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VISITS TO THE HARAM, BY MEERZA AHMED TUBEEB.
Translated from the Persian.
Visit THIRD. All night long I could not sleep, the Khan in a sum of two hundred tofor thinking of the beautiful Meiram mans, for the injury done by his maand her misfortunes ; and I was impa- chine, but let him off for the compositient for the time which should make tion of a casseeda, * in which he introme acquainted with the rest of her duced the moral which his machine story. One difficulty occurred. I had had afforded. forgotten to ask at what hour I was to The Khan shewed me many curious go back, and I doubted whether she machines of his own invention, which, would send for me again. This per- for their ingenuity, rivalled the conplexed me; but I determined to return trivances of Feringistan.t at the same hour at which I had visits Futteh Allee Khan is a man of exed her the day before ; and, in the traordinary talent. He is more knowmeantime, I went to the house of the ing in mechanics than any man now in poet Futteh Allee Khan, to arrange his Persia, and few have so extensive a differences with his head wife about knowledge of chemistry. He is acknow. the painting of her eyebrows.
ledged to be the greatest epic poet since When I arrived at the poet's house, the time of Ferdoosi, and there is not I found him occupied in contempla a man who has so accurate an acquaintting a very curious machine, which he ance with the Persian language. His had himself invented, and which was satires and lampoons are dreaded by moved by the wind on dry land, as a all the men in power, and his laudaship is at sea. This machine, he in tory yerses are as elegantly turned as formed me, had exhibited itself before his satires are cutting. He has lately his Majesty the King, at the Camp in devoted some attention to painting, in Sooltaneeah, and had excited the ada which art he has made so much promiration of every one—even of the gress, that he is already a tolerable King himself. A small deficiency, artist. There are few books of any however, was found to exist in its con note which he has not read, and his struction, which the Khan was now memory is so retentive, that he never endeavouring to rectify. A very stormy forgets anything which he has once day had been chosen for the exhibi known. He has long been a very intition, and the machine set off in fine mate friend of mine,-in fact, the sistyle from the steps of the King's sum milarity of our pursuits has drawn us mer palace at Sooltaneeah, rattling much together. away straight for the Camp. The far The Khan, on the present occasion, ther it went, the quicker it fled ; and seemed much more inclined to give it was not until it threatened the de me a full account of his machinery, struction of tents, and even the lives his printing-press, &c. than to accomof the soldiers, that it was discovered pany me into the underoon. The fact that no provision had been made for was, that the Khan, with all his acstopping it. On it went, overturning complishments, had never been able to tents, and frightening horses, and manage his own family, and, in partialarming the whole Camp. The people, cular, had long been completely subnot knowing whence it had come, or jected by his head wife, with whom it what it was, took it for some horrible was now my wish to reconcile him. animal, or an engine sent by an ene As soon as we entered the inner my to destroy them, and fled in every court, his wife, whom he dreaded, and direction. The machine, glorying in who had often been my patient, came its own strength, went on and on, to receive me. She saluted me in the straight through the centre of the politest manner, and said many kind Camp, till, at last, tumbling into a ra things to me, without taking the slightvine, it overset, and gave, as the Poet est notice of the Khan, though she had observed, an admirable example of the not seen him for nearly twenty-four instability of power. His Majesty fined hours.
* Casseeda, a poem corresponding nearly to an epigram.
+ Feringistan, Europe. VOL. XVI.
When we had seated ourselves, and standing for a week ; but now she will taken a cup of coffee, I opened to her be ashamed of herself, and she will be the business of my mission, and spoke unhappy till she has done something of her husband in terms so handsome, to remove the unfavourable impression as could not fail to make her proud of which she knows she has left upon him.
She thanked me for my good your mind.” opinion of him civilly enough, but The Khan judged rightly. The lasaid, that all these qualities were more dy presently returned in another mood than counterbalanced by his vices. - she came into the room weeping, She made bitter complaints of his ha and told me, it was very hard, that, ving taken a young wite, to whom he after having born the Khan two sons, gave more money and finer clothes she should be treated by him so badly. than to her, though she had born “ Since his young wife has come to the him two sons. Only think,” said house,” said she, “ he has taken no she," he told me yesterday that I was more notice of me than if I was a an old fool, for painting my eyebrows; hubbushee.”+ and no longer ago than the night be After some difficulty, I persuaded fore last, when he ought to have been her to sit down between the Khan and in my room, I found him in his own myself, and reasoned with her on the apartment, with a young slave-girl subject. While I was speaking, the assisting him to undress, because, for Khan once or twice whispered somesooth, he had a pain in his shoulder, thing in her ear. At first she only anand could not pull off his own coat. swered him by a look of surprise, and And, for all this, he tells me that I am even of indignation ; but, however, he too old to paint my eyebrows !—Why, persevered, and, on his second attempt, he is at least twenty years older than I she deigned to call him an old ass ; on am! Shame upon him !-an old grey- the third, she was forced to smile, and headed man like him. But no matter gave the Khan a small pat on the -If he thinks me not worth the trouble cheek, which had more of kindness in of painting my eyebrows, I can tell him it than of anger. It was evident that that there are others--yes, others, the quarrel was now at an end; I acyounger and better-looking than ever cordingly took another pipe of very he was, who think , differently.—He, good Tuhbust tobacco, which the Khan ndeed, to call me old !-tuh* upon his preferred to that of Sh eraz, and debeard !- I would not give that for parted ; for the hour was approaching him!”-accompanying her words with when I hoped to see the lovely Meia loud crack of her fingers, and almostram, and hear the rest of her story. at the same moment bouncing out of I went to the Haram-Khanah on the room. I looked at the Khan in foot, for the first time, and entered so astonishinent. He shook his head, and quietly, that I was quite unperceived, spoke not a word.
except by the eunuchs at the gate, who I felt myself under the necessity of rose and saluted me as I passed them. expressing my regret that I had not I had no sooner entered, however, been able to do any good, and propo- than I was beset by half the slavesed to return again in the evening, women in the place, each eager to atwhen I hoped to be more success tract my attention to the narrative of ful.
their own complaints, which were * 0," said the Khan, “ I see you more various than the whole list of do not understand the matter. I was human diseases given by the celebraquite pleased when I saw her get into ted Aboo Allee. I at first atteinpted such a passion, and behave so absurd to lend an ear to their entreaties, but ly;—there is now some hope of her I found them so numerous, that it coming round. If she had conducted would have occupied me a week to herself reasonably before you, she have prescribed for them all, and so unwould not have come to any under- intelligible, that, in the end, I should
T'uh! an interjection of contempt. It represents the act of spitting, and is used to signify the same degree of contempt, as if the person was actually spit upon.
+ African black.
have had to prescribe at random. I solemn, calm, and collected; and she therefore put them off as well as I seemed to be as much a stranger to could, saying, that I should attend to those around her as I was, who had them on my return, but that the bu never seen them till now. I addressed siness on which I was going was ur her in Turkish, and the manner of her gent, and would not admit of delay. reply shewed that she was acquainted
As I passed on, I heard some re with the politest expressions of that marks made regarding my patient's language. I asked for Meiram—she state of health, which shewed me pointed to the bed on which I had first plainly that they more than suspected seen her in her loveliness, and for a my visits, as a professional man, were moment I saw nothing ; but on looknot much required ; and' I could per ing attentively, I perceived that some ceive that they did not consider me one was hid by the coverlid, which too old to be subjected to some un. shook as if the person beneath it had pleasant suspicions, which considerably alarmed me. I was once or twice I raised it, and saw Meiram bathed on the point of making some reply to in tears. Her hair was loose and ditheir insinuations, but I thought it shevelled, partly covering her face, wiser to pretend not to hear or under which was pale, save for one bright stand them; for, in truth, I did not spot on her cheek—Her eyes were red well know what reply to make. with weeping, and she had a confused
When I entered the apartments of and distracted appearance, which much my patient, I found the outer room alarmed me. On finding that some deserted, and though I coughed once one disturbed her, she cast a hurried or twice loud enough to be heard with- look of anxiety and alarm upon mein, still no one came to me. I was at and seeing who it was, burst again a loss what to do, and was on the point into tears. of going away, when I observed Aga The old woman kept her eye steadily Jewah's slippers; and being satisfied fixed upon me while this was passing, that he must be in the house, I called and, as I again dropped the coverlid, to know whether there was any one said to me in Turkish, “ Can you, who within. Still no one answered. My are a Persian, weep for an Armenian heart misgave me I fancied, I know woman? If so, God preserve younot why, that something wrong must you are not like your people.” This have happened-my curiosity and my was said with a tone and manner so fears were excited, and I called again strange, that it startled me, and I was louder than before. Aga Jewah imme- half afraid of her; for it is well known diately made his appearance with a that many Armenian women have suvery doleful countenance, and told me pernatural power at their command. that his mistress had been weeping all But as I looked round to observe her, morning. I made no reply, but moved I saw her dashing from her eyes tears forward.
which came too fast to be concealed, I entered her room in some anxiety, and I was then assured that she was and not without a small share of dis- nothing bad. pleasure. There were several women The other women sat by—their elin the apartment, some of whom hur bows on their knees-their cheeks restriedly veiled themselves as I entered. ed on their hands, with looks of deThere was dejection in their counte- jected composure, which scarcely indinances ; and one old woman, who sat cated sorrow, and whispered to one apart from the rest, had been weeping, another about something foreign to the but endeavoured to conceal her sorrow scene before them. It was evident that when I approached. She rose slowly, they did not enter into the feelings of and pointing to a place near to where Meiram, and I therefore intimated she sat, motioned to me to sit down. · that I wished to be left alone with my She wore no veil, and, from her dress, patient. They looked at one another, I perceived that she was an Armenian. muttered something, and went slowly She might be about sixty. Her face and sulkily away. had on it the lines of age, and perhaps The old Armenian woman took no of care; but her eye was full and bright, notice of their departure, and as she and there was in her appearance some seemed to be as deeply interested as thing more elevated than usually be myself, I made no atteinpt to remove longs to her people. Her manner was her.
I sat down by Meiram's bed-side ; “ What have you done?" said 1 and again raising the cover under which “ Of what are you accused ?-Who she lay, I forced her to sit up; but she are your accusers ?-What have they covered her face with her hands, and done?-Have they spoken to the King? sobbed aloud. “My child," said I, I trust, young woman, that your warm “ what new grief has fallen so heavy youthful blood has not broken down on your young heart, which has already the restraints of prudence. Tell me sufferedd sorrow beyond its years ? truly, and if you be truly innocent, Must I see you weeping, without know my tongue at least shall do you jusing the cause of your pain? Why will tice. I am not quite unknown to him you not trust me? I am an old man, you fear-the King of kings, my masand youth should seek the council of ter—and if you are falsely spoken of age.' Believe me, my soul is grieved to to him, I can speak to him truly-my see you thus; and if it is in my power word will go as far with him as that of to relieve you from any portion of your most men.' sorrow, it will lighten my own heart “ Then God give you exemption to do so.”
from all sorrow,” said the old woman, “Oh, Meerza,” said Meiram,“ you “ for you alone can save this girl ; and do not know the extent of my misery. if you have in your heart a place for There is no hope left for me-no hu kindness, and for boldness too, now man aid can save me now--I am gone, shew it--for you will have need of gone for ever. The only hope to which both. The prayers of all her race shall my heart, clung has vanished-This be raised for you ; and if you value not pery day all hope of earthly happiness the prayers of those whom you call inhas passed from Meiram.”
fidels, their last and dearest services “God forbid !” said I. “You are shall be at your command.” young, and know little of the world. “Woman,” said I, “ what can be What may seem to you so terrible, done, that will I do. That I have may yet to me be easily remedied. Do kindness for this daughter of your peonot make yourself so wretched. Tell ple, you may have seen already-else me what has happened, and I swear to why should I be here. And for the you, by the blessed Koran, that I shall boldness which you speak of, let me do everything in my power to serve tell you, that I have spoken to the late you.”
King in terms which no one else dared “You are good, yes, very good and to have used, and he was to his present kind,” said Meiram, “ to value so Majesty as a hungry lion to a lamb. much my happiness—God will reward But let ine know what has been done you for it. But I fear, alas ! that you what has been said—what is to do can render me no service. Oh no-I what is the matter-tell me all about know you cannot, for the King is ab it, and see you tell me truly.” solute, and no one dare dispute or argue “ You already know," said Meiram, with him; and they will poison his “ much of my story-almost all of it; ears with false things, and no man and I have promised to let you hear dares to tell him truly; and he will be the rest. Would to God that I had wroth, and will not listen to the words told you sooner ! of any one, if any should be found to “You may remember, Meerza, that speak in
my behalf; and my name will when I told you of my own captivity, be branded with infamy, and I shall I told you, too, that many others had die as one whose virtue has been stain been taken, and mentioned, more pared. But God, who knows our hearts, ticularly, one whom the Persian struck, and knows mine pure from this offence, because I flew to him for safety in my will grant me mercy, which I cannot terror and distress. hope for here. Yes, Meerza Ahmed, “I sought, in speaking of him, to long after the grave has closed over my conceal the agitation which I felt; and misery, it will be told how Meiram, though I longed to do so, yet I could the Armenian daughter, died in infa not bring myself to tell you that he was my-my name, till now, so kindly che all the world to me. rished, that it was chosen by lovers for “We had been play-mates from our their mistresses, and sung in love infancy, and first I used to call him songs, will henceforth be a reproach brother; but as we grew up in years, unto my people they will not dare to his manner to me changed he wished utter it.
me not to call him brother-- he spoke
to me with hesitation--and his tender- -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 murHe 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 them 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 passprevented 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 were some 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 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 bim, 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 i and that I therefore owed him much
che me ste ed