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The Story of Abbas.

HE fun appearing above the horizon, Solyman

prostrated himself in the profoundest adoration. When he arose from his devotions, he advanced towards the English merchant, his fellow-traveller, with a look of kindness mixed with pity and concern. The merchant understood him: but as he was unwilling to controvert the principles of his religion, he made no apology for his conduct during the devotions of Solyman.

The mild morning light which was diffused over the vallies and streams, the various beauty of the meadows, the regular disposition of blossomed hedge-rows, the foothing murmur of bees at their early labour, and the full concert of the feathered creation, drew their conversation on the universal beneficence of nature.--I feel, faid' Solyman, “a delight, which I can neither account for nor describe. These mountains gilled with the rays of the orient, sun, those painted vallies that shame the rich carpets of Persia, yon distant waters which gleam with the shifting effulgence of light, the

general busy voice of joy and activity in the animal creation, conspire to fill my heart with inexpressible pleasure.'

• That pleasure,' replied the merchant, I believe proceeds from sympathy: it is scarce poflible, unless you have some peculiar cause of misery, not to be pleafed when you see every thing around you happy. On the contrary, if you go into the mansions of sorrow, it will be impossible to withstand the infection of it. The God of nature seems to have given us these sympathetic feelings, to link our affections in the great chain of society: hence, social virtue is not left to depend solely on the moral will, but is founded on the principles of our nature. • But the object of your adoration is so prosuse of his favours, that I should now be glad to find some convenient lhade. · I think I discover a cave on the southern



declivity of the mountain ; let us retire to it during the heat of the day.'

As they were advancing towards the cave, they pera ceived a beaten path, leading directly from it to a diftant rivulet. This made them apprehenfive that it might be the habitation of fome wild beaft, that had worn the path by constantly going to drink at the frează : but their fears were soon removed upon the appearance of an aged hermit, advancing flowly towards the rivalet with an earthen pitcher. At fight of the travellers, the hafted to his abode with all the feeble precipitancy of äge. They agreed not to disturb him, and only took the advantage of the rock which projected over his celd to shelter themselves from the fun : but they had not long continued in this fituation before the hermit, per ceiving them to be inoffensive travellers, invited then into his cave.

* You will excufe, faid the hoary fage, the caution of years: these mountains are not secure from the rain vage of human ferocity; and these grey hairs would be no defence from the wanton cruelty of man.': I have suffered so much from my own fpecies, that I have at laft forfaken their fociety: I thought it better to give up the conveniencies of it, than to bear the evils, and I have long lived in this solitary cave on nothing more than what uncultivated nature would afford me'. # Those fufferings? faid-Solyman, must, indeed, have been extraordinary, that could make you give up one of the greatest advantages of life, the focial intercourse of your fellow-creatures. The narratives of age,' replied the hermit, « are seldom agreeable to youth ; bat asiastruction can be gained only from experience, you

will do wisely to learn it from the misfortunes of Abbas. 6.;

" I was born to-a competent fortune in the province of Lurestan: but being early left an orphan, my affairs came under the cognizance of a justiciary court, which the members of it call the court of equity; but fó equitable were they with regard to me, that they claimed two parts of my little fortune for their care of the


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third.'Would to God that were never the case in Great Britain ! interrupted the merchant. ceed. Though I had such an early and convincing proof of the treachery and ràpacity of mankind; yet, as I had always exercised the benevolent virtues myself, I could not think others totally devoid of them; and at my three and twentieth year being inclined to travel, I without scruple entrusted the remains of my fortune with a person whom I had long known and respected; a person, Holy Allah! who lifted his hands to thee; but I had not been absent from Lurestan more than three moons, when he pretended a commission to dispose of my effects, and immediately left the place. Upon my return, therefore, to the province I found neither friend not fortune; and being bred to no business, I was reduced to the most distressful state of indigence. I applied, however, not without hopes of redress or relief, to a perfon of power and eminence, whom I had often heard fpeak of his friendship with my father. After long and frequent attendance, I was admitted to an interview. I laid open my distress to him with that kind of eloquence which the miseries we suffer from the treachery of others always fuggests; and which, however unaffecting it may be to indifferent persons, utters its complaints with dignity and resentment. I was heard half-way through my story, and dismissed with the following reply : « It is not necessary, young man, to proceed with your complaints ; I perceive you have been abused, and I am sorry for you. But that shall not be the only proof of my regard for you; I will give you a little advice : you should never depend so much on the benevolence or integrity of any human being, as to trust him with your fortune or your life.” Thus ended my hopes from the friend of my father; whose benevolence extended no farther, than to instruct me how to secure the fortune that was stolen, and to preserye the life which I wished to lose.

• I had now no choice but to enter, as a common soldier, into the army of the Sophi. I had always de



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lighted in martial exercises, and was expert in the use of arms: 'my dexterity and address drew upon me the attention of my officers; and, in a fhort time, I obtained a small commission. I had now almost forgot my miseries, and embraced my new situation with cheerfulness and hope: but Fortune, who had for a while ceased to persecute me as below her notice, as if the had been indignant at my satisfaction, and jealous of my prospects, now renewed and redoubled her severity.

• My commanding officer had a daughter of extraor, dinary beauty, and an uncommon capacity. Zara was the object of universal admiration ; but she had set her heart on the unfortunate Abbas. The first moment I beheld her, I discovered in her looks the most tender and affectionate regard for me, which I imputed to her compassion for my misfortunes ; though at the same time I wilhed, without knowing why, that it might proceed from another cause. She asked me for the story of my life; I told it in the plainest and most pathetic manner; yet, when I had finished, she desired me to repeat it. From this moment I had done with peace; her infectious tenderness had such an influence upon my heart, that I could think of nothing but Zara; without Zara, I was miserable. A thousand times did I flatter myself, that there was something more than mere compassion in her look and manner; and not many days had paffed, before I was convinced of the dear fatal truth from this letter:


“ Your merit and your sufferings have a claim to something more than compassion : To espouse the cause of Abbas, is to discharge a duty which virtue cannot dispense with. Meet me on the parade this evening, and you shall know more of the sentiments of



* The emotions I felt on the receipt of this letter, can only be conceived by those who, in the midst of despairing love, have beheld a gleam of hope. The tumult of my heart hurried me to the place appointed; long before the time: I walked backward and forward in the utmost confusion; totally regardless of every object about me; fometimes raising my hands and eyes in the sudden effusions of transport, and sometimes smiling with the complacency of delight.

• At length the day departed, and Zara came. My heart bounded at her fight: I was unable to speak, and threw myself at her feet. She was alarmed at my exceflive earneftness and confusion; but, commanding me to rise, “ Abbas," said she, « if your confusion proceeds from your modest gratitude, restrain it, till you find whether I am able to serve you; if it arise from any other cause, I must leave you this moment." .I entreated she would tell me to what I was indebted for the happiness of this interview, and I would be calm and attentive.' « My regard for your merit; and my compafsion for your sufferings,” said she, “ make me wish to serve you. Tell me, Abbas, can I assist you through the interest of my father ?" I faultered out my acknowledgments; telling her, that to her I must owe all my hopes of future happiness.

• She left me immediately without reply. The fingularity of my behaviour on the parade before the coming of Zara, had drawn upon me the attention of an officer who was fecretly het admirer, and who, either through curiosity or fufpicion, though unobferved by me, had waited at a convenient distance to watch my motions. No sooner did he perceive the approach of Zara, than, as well to gratify his revenge, as to ingratiate himself with her father, he immediately told him of our interview.

• Zara, ignorant of what had passed, with her usual freedom and good-nature, began to express her compassion for the misfortunes of Abbas, talked of his merits, and wished to see him preferred. The old general, U 3


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