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CONDUCTED BY CHARLES DICKENS,
TALES, STORIES, AND OTHER ARTICLES,
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CONTENTS OF NO. XLVI. .
PAGR 1. HARUN AL RASHID AND SARACENIC CIVILIZATION,
337 2. MY HEART AND I,
349 3. THE LEAVEN THAT LEAVENED THE LUMP,
351 4. SCAMPAVIAS-PART VI.-A LAND SLIDE,
360 5. THE FISHING SONG,
367 6. WHAT IS POETRY?.
368 7. TAE PING WANG,
380 8. THE FATE OF THE FARLEIGHS,
384 A veritable Episode in the career of an “old Californian" Doctor. 9. THE GIPSIES AND THEIR WAYS,
395 10. EMERSON ON ENGLAND,
407 11. DONE FOR-A FRONTIER BALLAD,
415 12. FONCAULT, THE ACADEMICIAN,
416 13. MARIA AND HER STORIES,
422 14. THE COCKLE-SHELL,
427 15. MILITARY ARRAY OF NEW ENGLAND IN THE OLDEN TIME,
428 16. EDITORIAL NOTES,
434 The Confidential Correspondence of Napoleon and Josephine-Memorial of the Life and Character
of John W. Francis, Jr.-Reade's “ It is Never too Late to Mend"-Porter's Spirit of the Times
Slavery-Darley's Judd's Margaret.
Cents"-A Fossil in the White House-The Presidential Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego-
2 Magazine of Literature, Science, and Art.
VOL. VIII.-OCTOBER, 1856.—NO. XLVI.
HARÛN AL RASHID AND
ONE morning, in the beginning of themselves to the public on that occa
September of the year 795 of the sion were in the midst of a career which Christian era, the inhabitants of Bag resulted in crowning them with the fairdad rose early to behold one of the est renown belonging to their nation's most singular pageants of those times. history. They were all, with one exThe caliph had, in the days of his ad- ception, in the vigor of early manhood. versity, before a throne fell to his lot, That exception was the aged vizier, vowed a pilgrimage on foot to Mecca; Yaheia ibn Kaled Al Barmeki, son of and now, established in power, his him who had served, in the same caenemies subdued on every side, and pacity, the first caliph of the house of prosperity diffused over all his domin- Abbas; more than forty years before. ions, he proposed to fulfill that pious ob- The wisdom of his counsels had long ligation.
been proverbial. Suspected of being Still, it was a matter of much popular attached to the heresy of the Zendoubt, whether the greatest monarch of diks, a sect that denied almost every the age either would, or should, sub- doctrine of the Koran, save that of the ject himself to the toil of a common unity of God, he was, notwithstanding pilgrim. Had not his grandfather, Al (such was his prudence and rectitude), Mansur, performed the same journey in equally trusted and revered by prince the style becoming his rank, and it was and people. And both had abundant accepted as an act of piety? Was not reason; for they owed their happiest his father, Al Mahadi, attended through days to his government. The caliph, the desert by no less than five hundred when an infant, had been committed to camels laden with ice and snow, and his care ; had grown up in his family, with accommodations to spare for one as one of his children; had received thousand pilgrims, beside his own re his education from his lips; and still tinue? And could it be possible that loved and honored him as a father. The Al Rashid, more illustrious than either, wisest statesman of his time, his renown intended to submit to the fatigue and has survived the dissolution of the nahumiliation of the poorest hadji ?
tions he served. Speculation was soon brought to an The caliph Harûn Al Rashid, himend; for scarcely had the lofty domes self then in the thirty-third year of and minarets of Bagdad caught the first his age, was, of person and derays of the sun, when the cortege of portment, such as imagination loves the caliph issued from the gates of the to ascribe to a favorite hero. A city.
tall and athletic figure, a fair comThe principal persons who presented plexion, a noble and pleasing counVOL. VIII.-22
tenance, with beard and hair black, Unhappily for himself, his prudence and naturally curling, are features as was not equal to his genius. signed by the gravest historians to other sovereign of those times, his inthis celebrated leader of the faithful. discretions would have ruined bim in a His manners, though characteristically day. But Harûn, an ardent admirer of dignified, were changeable to a degree genius, excused his freedom and exuncommon with Mohammedans—some- travagance, and indulged him to excess. times stiffening into haughtiness, and And Giafar, relying confidently upon again unbending to the production or that attachment, besides all his own enjoyment of the most genial humor. lavish expenditure, thought nothing of And there can be little doubt that those pledging his master to the payment of who looked upon him now, as he walked thousands, without even consulting him. forth in this extraordinary act of self It is said that he one time went so far denial, beheld one of the choicest ex as to promise a worthy, but reduced, hibitions of a proud humility.
nobleman, that the caliph would admit The most beloved of his companionshim to favor ; would pay his debts, to and holding the highest offices under his the amount of four thousand dinars of hand, were the four sons of his vizier, all gold; and give one of his own daughters inheriting, to a high degree, the talents in marriage to his son, with the governof their father. Fazzel, the eldest, ment of Egypt for her dowry; and the born in the same year with his master, caliph did so. One of the most dangerwas one of the ablest generals of his ous enemies of the house of Abbas, time; princely in his benevolence and being defeated, and taken captive, was hospitality, and not less distinguished committed to the custody of Giafar, for the pureness of his moral character, with the order to put him to death. his enemies could only charge him with Giafar indulged his own benevolence, the vice of pride. In the course of the and set him free; nor failed to comforegoing year, he had been appointed municate his act to the caliph, who apto the viceroyalty of Korussan, in proved its clemency. which he is said to have united the ex But Harûn, though profusely generercise of consummate abilities with ous, was a man of business, and kept strict justice and integrity. He had a book of all his expenditures; to now returned to Bagdad to surrender which book the historian, Kondermir, his government into the hands of his having obtained access, found entries younger brother.
there of presents made to Giafar Al That brother, Giafar Al Barmeki, still Barmeki, to the amount of thirty milmore renowned in Saracenic tradition, lions of dinars, or about three and a besides possessing the administrative half millions of dollars, in one year. talents of his family in an eminent de The younger brothers, Mohammed gree, was more highly favored with the and Mousa, fully sustained the intelgifts of genius, and was esteemed the lectual reputation of the family of most eloquent speaker and the finest Barmek, in the discharge of the highwriter of his country. His elegant ac est duties both of war and peace. complishments, social qualities, and Beside these, the court was, at that dispatch in business, made him the time, adorned by a number of persons, chief favorite of his sovereign, who, eminent in talent, and of historical reafter the retirement of his father, ele nown, such as Hamzah ibn Malek, lately vated him to the place of grand vizier. governor of Egypt; Hareth mah, govIt is recorded of him, in oriental hy. ernor of Africa ; Ali ibn Eissa, comperbole, perhaps, that he once made out, mander of the army in the east; and in presence of the caliph, a thou- others, upon whose merits and exploits sand orders in one night, without a sin a fuller narrative might dwell with gle mistake.
interest. At the time of which we speak, he In this procession there was another had just returned from Syria, of which person, who, although deeply veiled, he had been appointed governor, having enlisted more curiosity than all the rest. reduced the disorders formerly prevail. It was the queen Zobeidah, celebrated ing there, and left it in charge of a over the east not more for beauty than deputy. Now in the thirtieth year of devotion. A hundred maidens of her his age, Giafar was the most elegant household, who knew all the Koran by man at the court of Harûn Al Rashid. heart, were constantly employed in its