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to me with hesitation-and his tendere owned it. He told me that in virtuness, which ever had been great, grew ous love there was no sin-that he apstill much greater, though less con- proved my choice that he himself stant; for he could not bear to see me had loved as tenderly and fervently as speak to any of our former play-mates, any one, and had been loved again, and sometimes he bitterly reproached and now I saw that he took pleasure me for it.
in observing how we loved each other. “ I knew not then the meaning of “ Had the Persians not come to our this change, and it was not until I saw village, Eusuf would in another week some other maidens looking kindly on have been my husband. That very him, and courting his attention, that day we had been solemnly betrothed, I knew how much I loved him, or and I had on my bridal clothes, and could feel why he disliked to see me all that day I had been called the speak to other men.
bride. A woful bridal-day it was to “I remember it was one day just me and all of us—for ere the night after the long fast, when we were met came down, I had forgotten, in my together many of us at a feast. After present misery, all that had befallen we had dined, some of the young men me in my life before ; and when I came to where the women were collect. came to think more calmly, I thought ed, and Fusuf came along with them. most of my dear father, and his mur. He was the fairest and the handsomest der—and that dreadful night-and of by far, and many of the maidens fixed the future ;--and when I thought of their
eyes upon him, and one of thein Eusuf, I thought of him as one whom persuaded him to sit down beside her, I should never see again, unless in hea. and smiled upon him, and whispered many words in his ear-and I thought “ From that fatal night on which my they pleased him. I felt, for the first sorrows first began, I never saw him time, as if he had neglected me-my till some days ago when going to the heart was full—the tear was near my garden. We scarce had passed the eye, and I could have wept, but shame gate of Shameroon, when a man passa prevented me.
ed us riding on horseback, and as he “ When he came round to where I rode along, he sung a song in my nasat, I could not conceal that I was tive language, which I had often heard angry with him, and I gave him short in our own village-It was a song and pettish answers. He made no re which some lover had written for his ply, but looked most kindly on me love, whose name, like mine, was his eyes filled, and he turned away Meiram, and therefore Eusuf often and left us.
sung it to me. I thought I knew the “ In the evening he came to me, and voice, and when I saw his face I knew we talked much together, and there it-my frame all shook-my eyes grew weresome tears shed, but no reproaches dim-my head ran round; and withuttered. Then I felt my love for him, out knowing what I said, I named his and his for me, and he wrung from name aloud. He started, and looked me a confession that I loved him, and round, but could not tell from which made me say that I would one day be of us the voice had come, for we were his wife. And then he spoke of all many riding together, but he followed his hopes, and of a time yet distant, at a distance, singing still the song of and of the happiness we should enjoy, Meiram, and almost broke my heart. for then our fears were few; and when “When we were returning, we found we parted, he kissed me, and called him still lingering on the way, and as me even then his wife.
we passed, he looked at us so narrow“I had never concealed anything from ly, that the guards ordered him off the my father, for, with my love for him, road, and then he went away: there was mixed no fear except the “ I never had ceased to love him, but fear lest I should give him pain. But I knew not where he was or if he I had never heard him speak of love lived. I feared that he had died-or such as I felt; and though I hoped that if alive, that he had long ago forgotten I had not done anything which could me-and I had ceased to lament for displease or pain him, I found it diffi him; yet when I found him seeking cult to tell him what had passed. But still for me, still loving me, I felt as he himself found out the secret of my if my heart had been untrue to him, heart, and when he spoke to me Í and that I therefore owed him much
more love than ever. I then remem- who, for my sake, has come to so much bered that I was, in fact, his wife. misery. By my own promise, by my father's “Oh, Meerza ! if you can save him, wish, and by the solemn ceremony of I'll bless you with my dying lips, and betrothing, I was his. My conscience if in another world we are allowed to now was roused to aid my love my feel the memory of kindnesses done mind distracted with a thousand here, my spirit after death shall bless thoughts-endless self-criminations you still." poured upon me. I thought that I had “ Speak not of him," said the old half consented to become what now I woman, sternly, “ speak not of him was, or was to be. What mattered it —his madness has brought this upon although he was a king-I had a hus- us all—let him suffer for it, for all the band, who was more than kings to me fault is his. What had he to do to seek -it was true, that I had been sent by for one, who by the hand of power force, and that resistance would have was taken from him ? What had he been vain, but I had not attempted to do to follow with his love, one, who it-I had not even said I was be- was happier far without him; and, trothed.
(madman that he is,) bring down the “ With thoughts like these I spent vengeance of the King on this sweet the night, and in the morning, confus flower, who (but for him) was floused and feverish, I went to the bath, rishing, and would have blossomed an and on my return home I sent for you. honour to her race, a pride to all her
“ This was what I wished to tell you. people. Speak not of him, but save I wished to beg your aid, but my own this lovely maid, and let him pay the weakness marred my purpose. I could penalty of follies such as his." not tell you, for I was then wretched, “Is it you,” said Meiram, “who and sorrow made me weak; but now speak thus you who bore him, who despair has given me strength, and I nursed him at your breast, and, as can tell you, even without blushing, yon yourself have told me, saw in his of my love.
smiling infant eyes a solace for your “ This is not all ; oh no! the worst woes, which then were many—you, is yet to come. What then was sor whom I have myself seen weep for very row—was happiness—to what I have joy to hear his praises from my father to tell you now : The King has sent and do you thus cast him off, who me presents, and ordered me to wait ought to plead for him! Oh, his heart on him to-night; and even worse than is true! He would not have deserted this-worse-worse than all, Eusuf the meanest slave at such a time-rewas mad enough to send to me a let- quiring so much aid as he does now." ter full of love—This has been inter- I was about to interfere, when a cepted; he is taken, and I am charged noise was heard without, and Aga with infamy-most falsely charged; Jewah rushed into the room, calling, for I swear by my dear father's soul, “ They are come-they are come.” He which looks on me from heaven, that threw himself upon the floor-kissed I am pure and innocent as when he his mistress's feet, and broke out into used to take me in his arms, and smile bitter lamentations. I demanded who upon me through tears of hope, and were come. He said, the executionlove, and joy.
ers. “ They came to give me the King's A solemn, dead, and awful pause presents, and tell that I was to be ensued. Poor Aga Jewah stood mute much honoured by waiting on his and motionless, the picture of despair. Majesty to-night; and when I pushed The old woman was on her knees at away the odious gifts, and wept, (as prayer, after the christian manner. what could I do else ?) they said that Her face was hid from me, but I could I did little grace to the King's mes- see her agony expressed in strong consage, and that they feared I scarcely vulsive heavings, which went to my was deserving of the honour done me. very soul. But wben they found the letter, they I turned to Meiram. Her face was thought that all was then made plain; deadly pale—calm and motionless she and so, in truth, it was, but not as sat-her streaming eyes turned up to they have made it; and they went to heaven-her pallid lips apart-her tell the King, and left me here to hair thrown back, and falling down in weep my sorrows, and to weep for him, long black silken tresses-her hands were folded on her bosom. If ever quest is such as the King cannot with there was true devotion in a look, that propriety grant, you shall pay a fine look was Meiram's. There was a halo of 100 tomans for making it. Now round her, even though a Christian, tell me what it is." which awed me into silence, and I fell again upon the ground, and made me feel that prayers are not in begged the life of Meiram. words, but in the heart, and that reli- “By the head of the King," said his gion, in its kind and holy influence, is Majesty, “ you must pay your 100 bound to no one form of faith.
tomans; can anything be more unreaAlthough I knew not what to do, I sonable than your request ? a jade, to felt it was my duty to do something, play the King the trick she has playand that without delay. I went to the ed; to disgrace and insult him; and outer room, and found there some of the you would have her forgiven! What, inferior eunuchs, who had, in truth, Meerza, do you want her for yourself? come to act as executioners. I gave I thought you had been too old to the chief of them some money, making trouble yourself about young wives him promise to wait till my return; now. What would you make of her, and I engaged for Aga Jewah, that he Meerza, if you had her ? Come, send should treat them handsomely.
for your 100 tomans, for you have I thought of many things which forfeited them, or give me a good reamight be done ; but all required more son for your request." time than I could give. I passed across “The girl," said I, “is innocent of the court, not knowing whither I went, the crime for which she is doomed to and got into another court, in which I suffer." had never been. There I saw about a “ If you can prove that," replied the dozen eunuchs standing together near King, “ I shall be better pleased than a window, which was open, where if I had received the money, for the some one seemed to be conversing with girl is passing fair.” them. I drew near unobserved, and I related to his Majesty the story of found it was the King of kings him- Meiram, word for word, as she had self. I stood till he perceived me, and told it to me, and he listened with then fell flat upon the ground, to shew great attention. When I came to tell that I came to make a supplication. him of the executioners' having gone
“Ab! Meerza Ahmed,” said his Ma- to take her away, and of her having jesty, “ what are you doing here?- reproached Eusuf's mother for trying What is the matter?-Have any of to save her, in preference to her own the women been treating you ill? son, and of the mother's opinion of They are terrible devils these women, her son's conduct, and of her calling Meerza- Ah! is it not so ? Come near, bim mad, and of their great disand tell me what you want. If you tress and sorrow, the King expresshave any ureeza* to present, you ought ed some pity for them. I added, that to have come to the salam.t-But let if his Majesty would grant a pardon me hear what it is."
to them both, their being in fact half “My urz, so please your Majesty," man and wife (for they had been besaid I, “ is one which it would not trothed) would give a fair pretext have become me to make to the King for doing so the generosity of his of kings in public ; but a fortunate Majesty would be echoed from one chance, or some lucky conjunction of end of the empire to the other; and the heavenly bodies, has now directed that I was sure the girl would rather me to your Majesty; for I lost my way, die than be untrue to her betrothed and came here, not knowing whither husband; for if he were put to death, I was going. But your Majesty is al- she certainly would break her heart ways gracious, and I trust will not with grieving. deny the first petition of the slave of The King reflected for a while, then your house."
said, “Hakeem Bashee,ll you have “Well, Meerza Ahmed," said his done well to make these things known Majesty, “ if you ask anything in rea- -the King gives the girl to your charge son, you shall have it ; and if your re -let her be taken to your own house,
• Ureeza, a petition.
+ Salam, a levee held by the King every morning.
|| Hakeem Bashce, head physician.
and well treated, and have her ready and seemed about to speak, but checkto be produced when the King shall ed herself, and cast her eyes upon the demand her. The fellow shall be ex- ground. The old woman's keen eye, amined. If his story agrees with too, was fixed upon me with a look of
yours, he shall be pardoned. If not, inquiry, which seemed to ask if I had , you must pay the 100 tomans. Do nothing more to say. I interpreted you hear what the King has ordered ?” their looks rightly, and told them that
I fell upon the ground once more, there was nothing to fear for Eusuf. and blessed his Majesty's generosity It has been said by wise men, that and benevolence, which no prince had the effects of excessive joy are nearly ever equalled.
the same with those of sorrow, and so His Majesty sent an eunuch of rank it was now, for Meiram and the old to liberate Meiram, and hand her over woman were no sooner relieved from to my charge, and gave me permission all their fears, which so late had hung to depart.
heavily upon them, than they began to When we arrived at the apartments, sob and weep, and any one who might I was alarmed by hearing a great noise have entered then, would have imawithin; many shrill voices were rai- gined that I had been the bearer of sed at once, and Aga Jewah's was loud some doleful tidings. After a time er than any of them.
they became more composed, and beWhen we entered, I found that the gan to prepare themselves for their deeunuchs whom I had left there under parture. a promise to remain quiet, till I ar- The eunuch now intimated that it rived, had forced their way into Mein was customary to give a present to the ram's room, seized upon everything King's eunuchs when they left the they could find, and completely plun- house; and though I represented their dered the house.
bad conduct, he still insisted on their Poor Meiram, believing that this right to a compensation for having been was only a prelude to a more trying disappointed of the plunder, which, scene, sat a silent, passive, indifferent had the King's intention not been hapspectator of their present proceedings. pily changed, would, as a matter of
The eunuch who accompanied me, course, have fallen to their share. He not being able to make them obey his also intimated, that he himself expectorders to restore the property, seized ed a handsome reward. a large piece of firewood, and began All this was speedily adjusted, and to lay about him with all his might. I having left Aga Jewah in charge of followed his example ; and Aga Jewah, the apartments, we proceeded to the who seemed delighted by the oppor- gate of the haram. tunity which was afforded him to vent . The news had gone abroad that his rage, gave us able assistance, so Meiram was to live at my house, and that in five minutes we were mas the people conceived that the King had ters of the house, and had recovered given her to me. As we went through almost all the things that had been the court many jokes were passed upon taken.
us ; some of them no doubt very witty ; Having turned the ruffians into the but my mind was too much occupied outer room, and set Aga Jewah to to be either annoyed or amused by watch them, the eunuch who accom- them. panied me with the king's order, came from the gate, an eunuch was sent with me into the inner apartment, and with Meiram, to shew her my house, having paid me many compliments, and I hurried home to prepare for her communicated the nature of his in- reception. structions.
Not many hours had elapsed since While he was speaking, a breath- the King had pardoned Meiram, but less and distressing anxiety was pain- my wife, who heard everything, and fully visible in the old woman's coun- always had a wrong edition of every tenance; and when she heard that story, had been told that the King had Meiram was to proceed to my house, given me a young wife, and that she she started from where she was sit might expect her immediately. Acting, and throwing herself at my feet, cordingly, when I entered she made kissed them a hundred times.
a furious attack upon me, and it was Meiram followed her example ; but long before she could be persuaded as she rose she looked at me wistfully, that what she had heard was not true.
At last I gave her a short sketch of and ordered that he should be immethe business; and had just succeeded diately married to Meiram. He gave in persuading her of the truth of it, Eusuf an office of emolument about when Meiram arrived.
the court, and allowed Meiram to keep My wife, to do her justice, was ca- all the jewels which she had received -pable of great kindness, and had na- while in the royal haram, which were turally a good heart, but her cursed valued at several thousand of tomans. jealousy ruined her temper, and for Eusuf rose every day in favour and many years destroyed my happiness. was soon made a Khán. On this occasion, however, her good
Till within a very few years they feelings had been excited, and she re- have resided at the capital, but have -ceived Meiram, and the old woman, lately removed to a village which the wbom I had invited to accompany her, King has given them, amongst the Aras kindly as I could possibly desire. menians, in one of his provinces. They She lodged them comfortably, put have several children, and live very fewer questions than could have been comfortably. They have been very expected, and succeeded in making grateful for my services, and send me them very happy.
frequent presents of fowls and fat The King, having satisfied himself lambs, and butter and eggs, so that I of the truth of what I had related to seldom bave occasion to buy any of him, liberated Eusuf the next day, these articles.