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astonishment, wondering “what on ining the air. For, sir, though I am earth possessed you" to publish such a nervous man, my own voice has a soothdry thing-judging of it, as all women ing, rather than a hurtful effect, upon do, by the first glance. Then calling my own ears; and to say truly, there is Godey,"
," " Putnam” would have no one more fond of hearing himself been pitched summarily aside, and slid talk, than off upon the floor with as much celerity
YOUR Quiet Max. as did gallant “Old Pat." of Revolationary memory slide down the stone P.S. I am not sure, but you had best stairs, when the enemy were after him. delay publication of this until the steeple The next moment would have found is finished, at all events, until I telethem threading the mazes of some love- graph you that the tubing is put up and story, or ravished with delight over the the connections with the pit duly made. latest fashion-plates!
I foresee that your magazine, when it Sir, it is my earnest desire to be read, arrives with this article, is to make a and I trust I shall not be disappointed. great disturbance among the swearers, The world dearly loves to see folly shot and I must warn you to breathe not my upon the wing—some hoping to see her name-no, not even to your wife-lest the fall; the others ready to greet her with whole troop should come buzzing about bravuras, can she but shake out the my ears like so many wasps and hornets. arrow from her side. For my own part, In passing the church, which I now do I was never a good shot “on the wing;" daily, I shall hereafter take the other and have, therefore, chosen for my target, side of the street, lest Perplex's idea Folly on a church steeple. I trust the about a thousand of brick should be world will take equal interest in watch- carried into effect for the special benefit ing her struggles there, as when skim- of, &c.,
THE RICI MERCHANT OF CAIRO.
GREAT while ago,-several hun- dallah, however, had never quitted Cairo,
dred years at least, there lived the city of his birth. He knew too well in Cairo a rich merchant, whose name the dangers and hardships of travel to was Abdallah. He had other names think of exposing his precious person to beside, as is the custom there, but them. He had but to name a place to none that added to his reputation or his agents, and say—“Go there," and credit. He was commonly called Ab- they went. dallah the Rich, and sometimes Abdallah His bazaars were in different parts of the Miserly.
the city, but his house, like that of every From boyhood almost he had been en- good Turk, was in the Turkish Quarter. gaged in traffic, and always successfully. It was three stories in height, and the Shift as it might, the wind was still upper stories projected over the lower favorable to some of his ships, and ven- ones, casting a shadow even at noonday tures which ruined other merchants on the street below. The walls were overflowed his coffers with gold. The originally white, with horizontal bars blae Mediterranean reflected the gleam of crimson, like the stripes in a flag; but of his sails. Nile, the father of rivers, years bad elapsed since they were was shadowed by the swarthy faces of painted, and they were kept in such the slaves who rowed his boats, and the bad repair that it was hard to say what burning sands of the desert were color they really were, & smoky yellow, trampled by the feet of his caravans. or a muddy red. His emissaries were known in the bazaars Along the front of the mansion, on a of Delhi and Damascus, in the spicy level with the floor of the two upper forests of Ceylon, and among the pearl- stories, ran a couple of balconies closely divers of the far Indian seas. They even shut in with lattice-work. You see traded, it is said, with the natives of such lattices in most oriental pictures ; Timbuctoo, that mysterious city, whose they are made of thin slips of wood like existence has so often been denied. Ab- our lath, and cross each other diamondWise. Save the arch over the door, came gleams of the garden around, and which was elaborately carved, and illum- the mingled scent of its flowers. From inated with gold letters—a text from the & black marble urn in the basin of the Koran, -there was nothing about the out- kiosk gushed & sparkling fountain, a side of the house to stamp its owner & broad silver shaft with a willowy base wealthy man. Inside, however, it was that dripped back into the urn, and over apparent, and all was rich and beautiful. its rim into the bubbling ripples below.
Like many other mean and selfish It was a nook of delight, and a perfect men, Abdallah was at heart sensual and Dest of birds, the wondrous birds of the luxurious. His floors were_carpeted
East. Some were inclosed in cages of with the richest stuffs of the East, bril- sandal-wood and pearl, while others liant in dye, and soft as flowers to the were as free as the air in which they feet. Where the marble pavement was wantoned. Peacocks strutted in and out seen, as it was in some rooms which spreading their gorgeous trains ; golden were merely strewn with mats, it was pheasants dreamed in the gloom of the cunningly inlaid with mosaics. Couches dome; parrots chattered and swung and divans softer than down lined the on their rings, and Birds of Paradise, walls, and cabinets were filled with with sweeping rainbow tails, flew from chiboques, and beautiful Persian pipes, perch to perch. Truly it was an enwhose water-bowls were buried in the chanted place, that garden and house, long coil of their stems.
and worthy of a better master than You passed from room to room by Abdallah. gliding between pillars, and by pushing Here Abdallah dwelt year after year. aside curtains. Over the curtains rose No one shared his enjoyments save his magnificent arches of the finest and daughter Zuleika, and she only when he costliest workmanship. It would have was away. There was not much happimade you feel proud just to walk be- ness in the house where Abdallah was, Death them, they were so grand, and he was so selfish and exacting. It was yet so airy. Spicy cressets hung from impossible to please him. He thought the ceiling, and lanterns of divers colors of no one but himself, and his own gains dangled on golden chains. Pictures and and losses. He had a wonderful head statues there were none, both being for- for accounts, and could reckon untold bidden by the Koran, but vases and sums as by instinct. He knew to a fraccaps abounded; vases of exquisite pat- tion, how much every debtor owed him, tern, gold and silver, heaped with and how much it cost him to just keep precious stones, pearls, rubies, and em- the life in his slaves. eralds; and cups which a king might When the business of the day was have drained. And Abdallah did drain over, and he had smoked his bubbling them daily, so fond was he of his vault pipe, and quaffed his cup of Greek wine, of old Greek wine!
he used to shut himself up in his room, Bat it was not within doors, after all, and gloat over his gold. It was his that the wealth of Abdallah was most God, and he recognized no other, exmanifest, but in his garden, which was cept he wished to take a false oath. the finest in all Cairo. It was situated Then he was profuse of his "By Allah's,” at the back of the house, and was walled and "the holy beard of the Prophet!” in with a high wall. A forest could not Such was the man Abdallah, and such have been more shady and pleasant, so his mode of life up to the morning when thick and leafy were the trees, palms, our story begins. Having a new scheme acacias, and sycamores, and so cool the of gain on hand that morning, he rose winds imprisoned in their green retreats. earlier than usual, performed his cusThe walks were hegged with roses and tomary ablutions, and prepared to dejessamines, and roofed with the branches part for the market-place. Before setof fruit trees. Here hung the golden ting forth, he allotted their days' work quince, there the bloom-cheeked peach, to his servants and slaves; then he and there parple plums and red pome- charged his daughter Zuleika not to granates.
leave the house during his absence; and, In the centre of the garden was & finally, after he had made everybody as kiosk, or Turkish summer-house, a mi- miserable as he could, he departed, and racle of grace and beauty. It was square, the door was barred behind him. with four pillars on each side, and a It was still early in Cairo, and but few fretted dome overhead. The pillars sup- of the better citizens had yet risen. ported Saracenic arches, through which The streets were filled with the poorest
classes, and they jostled Abdallah in knew that Zuleika was safe at home, passing. He avoided them as much as and his schemes came into his head possible, by picking the least-crowded again-so he passed on, and forgot it. thoroughfares, and keeping close to the He had now reached a better portion of houses. Here sauntered a water-carrier, the city, although he was still in the Begwith his jar poised on his head; and gar's Quarter. He stopped in the pubthere marched a string of camels, bound
square, and gazed about him. His for Siout and the desert. Artisans vision was bounded on all sides by the hurried to their workshops, rubbing white wall of the city, and the fringe of their eyes as they went; donkeys turned palms overlooking it. An open country the corners suddenly, and almost knock- lay on the north—a region of gardens ed him down; and, to crown all, a per- and grain fields; on the south and west, tinacious driver insisted on having his the shining length of the Nile flecked custom! He must have been a wag, with sails, and the Pyramids that loomed or a stranger in Cairo, that driver, to through the haze of the Lybian desert. have, for a moment, imagined that Ab- But the glory of the dawn was in the dallah the Miser would ride. He knew east, in the serene blue sky, and on the the value of money too well, however crests of the Mokattam hills, which were wearied he might be, to think of spend- tipped with light. The sun had not yet ing it in that way. The idea was ab- risen, but the domes of the mosques surd.
were brightening, and the minarets burnAs I said before, the streets were ed with rosy flames. filled with the poorest classes, and the The heart of Abdallah was glad within short turn that Abdallah made to reach him, he hardly knew why, and he went the market-place led him among their on his way with a lighter and firmer dwellings. He had but little time for step. To say that he was depressed by observation, so intent was he in hatch- the Beggar's Quarter, or that he pitied ing his schemes,—but he could not help its unfortunate dwellers, would show seeing the filth and misery which sur- but little knowledge of a nature like rounded him. The houses were in a bis. Still, he felt happy in leaving them ruinous and tumble-down condition ; behind him, and in comparing his condimany of them without windows and tion with theirs. doors—mere hovels,—and their dwellers He drew near the market-place, in were in perfect keeping, lean, sallow, which his bazaars were held, when he and ragged.
was accosted by a beggar. Few of the men were at home, for the “I am poor," said the beggar, “it is day being a festival, promised an abun- two days now since I have tasted food." dant alms; but he saw the women in "What is that to me?" inquired the the miserable rooms, and troops of merchant. squalid children. Some of the women "Abdallah the Rich, I am poor and were busy with household matters, hungry, and I demand alms from thee!" kindling fires for the morning meal, Abdallah started back amazed. He was and mending the rents in their gar- not accustomed to demands, besides he ments : others sat in the ashes, supine had never before been mimicked as he and dejected, their long hair falling over was by the beggar; for the voice of the their eyes, and over the infants on their latter was an exact echo of his own. bosoms. These were the mothers and Nor did the initation stop at his voice : grandmothers: if there were girls in the form, features, gait, everything pertainfamily they were generally at the win- ing to Abdallah was reproduced with dows, ogling the passers-by, and singing strange fidelity. It was as if he saw ribald songs to entice them in.
himself in a mirror, or stood beside One among the number arrested the himself in a dream! sight of Abdallah, she was so much like There was a difference though, between his own child Zuleika. She was just her the beggar's garments and those of Abheight, although her figure was frailer; dallah. The merchant was dressed as had the same black hair adorned with became his station and wealth, in a flow. sequins, and the same lustrous large ing robe, with a rich sash around his eyes and long lashes. Zuleika, however, waist, and a jewel-bilted dagger in bis lacked the mingled mirth and melan- belt. His turban was a costly cashmere choly of her counterfeit; nor was she ever shawl, and his slippers were heavily em. seen, like her, at the balcony unveiled. broidered with gold. The beggar was clad The likeness puzzled Abdallah, but he in rags which failed to hide his leanness,
and he supported his tottering limbs had he tried, for his feet were rooted to with a long staff. His face was thin the ground. and ghastly, and his eyes, that burned He was a grim-looking fellow, the with an unnatural lustre, were deeply Captain of the Guard, and his manner of sunken in their sockets. He was like arresting Abdallah was not calculated Abdallah, and yet unlike; looking not to set the latter at ease. He drew his so much as Abdallah did, as Abdallah long sword with one hand, and clutched might, should he by any chance become the merchant by the wrist with the a beggar.
other, while the soldiers sprang upon “Abdallah the Miserly,” said the beg- him from the opposite side,
and pinioned gar, "you are rolling in abundance, his arms behind him. He was then while I am starving with want. Help marched off in the direction of the Sul. me, or I die."
tan's palace. As might have been ex"You are mistaken in thinking_me pected, his arrest drew together a crowd. rich," said the covetous merchant. "True First and foremost came the rabble from I have the reputation of wealth, but the Beggar's Quarter; children who everybody knows the uncertainty of broke off their plays to revile him; a merchant's business. To day he is women who ran to see if it was their rich, to-morrow poor. But, admitting lovers or husbands; and numbers of the that I am rich, my money is my own. beggarmen, whom the news had already I owe it entirely to my own exertions, reached. and not to others. I cannot help you, Among others, was the girl who so let me pass.”
looked so much like Zuleika. It was - Bat I am dying," persisted the beg- strange, but she was not in the least gar.
like Zuleika now. She had lustrous eyes, " Again I say, what is that to me?" long lashes, and black hair, adorned
" Listen to me, Abdallah,” said the with sequins; but her face was hagexcited beggar, shaking his skinny fin- gard with sensuality, and distorted ger in the face of the merchant. “ Listen with indecent mirth. She was no more to me, hard-hearted man, and tremble. like Zuleika—the pure and beautiful You refuse me, your fellow man, bread, Zuleika—than a wandering comet, a hell and you arrogate to yourself your good of ærial fire is like the moon, the silver fortune. These are deadly sins, and Eden of night. must be atoned for.
God gave you
“This is marvellous, this change,” prosperity; he can give you adversity thought Abdallah ; and the beggar as well. And he does; from this hour coming into his mind, he turned his there is a spell upon you."
head to see if the beggar was changed The merchant turned in wrath and also; and lo! he bad vanished. was about to smite the beggar, when he The guard and their prisoner had now saw the Captain of the Sultan's Guard reached the Sultan's palace. It was a approaching in the distance. In spite holiday in Cairo, and the square was of himself, he shuddered and turned fillled with soldiers. Bodies of black pale. He did not for an instant believe troops were drawn up in files on each the beggar's prophecy; but he knew that side, while the centre was filled by the no man's life was safe, if it were known dignitaries of the empire; bashaws of that he was rich, and the Sultan was in distant provinces, white-bearded old want of money.
shekhs of desert tribes, and daring “The curse is beginning to work, Mamalukes. Beside the palace gate, Abdallah,” said the beggar, tauntingly; stood two gigantic Nubian slaves, the bat Abdallah was too much troabled to executioners of the Sultan, one swinging hear him. He ran over in his mind all his bowstring, the other poising his his late business transactions, to see how immense scymitar. far the worst had infringed the law; The gates were thrown open, and the wondered which one of his many agents Sultan came furth_to judgment. The was most likely to betray him; and Commander of the Faithful was mounted whether, if the worst came to the worst, on a superb Arab barb, whose neck he conld manage to escape with life. arched proudly, and whose step dis
"Perhaps I may escape even now," dained the earth. His turban was coversaid he to himself: but no—the guarded with jewels, and it shone like a conwas too close. Besides, he reasoned, if stellation under his cloudy plame. His I attempt flight, it will seem to confirm caftan was green, the sacred color, but Suspicion. Bat he could not have flown his sash was deep red. It was an ominons color with the Commander of the the hilt of my famous Damascus blade," Faithful, for it generally betokened the and he threw it at the feet of the Sultan's shedding of blood. So his court ap- barb; "give me another, Master, and I proached him with terror, kissing his will punish the lying shop-keeper." robe, and feet, and even the ground “ You are a brave fellow, Mamaluke," before him. “Long life to the Shereef ! said the Sultan, unbuckling his own May God prolong his days !"
sword, and handing it to the soldier; Casting his eyes over the prostrate "wear this, and smite the Giaours. Leave crowd, the Commander of the Faithful the shop-keeper to us.” saw Abdallah kneeling in the custody of The soldier fell back in the ranks, and the Captain of the Guard. He sum- the Sultan made a sign to the slave with moned the latter, and as he drew near, the bow-string, who seized Abdallah, dragging the helpless culprit, beckoned and prepared to strangle him. to the executioners. Behold Abdallah The next accuser was one of the desert between them, in front of the Sultan. shekhs.
“Long life to the Shereef! May God “Seven years ago," he said, " there prolong his days!"
was a famine among my people. The “We have heard of this man,” said tidings reached Cairo, and this dog sent the Commander of the Faithful; “ does his agents amongst us loaded with corn, any here know him? It is said that he not to relieve our wants, but to rob us is rich, very rich. It is also said that of our flocks and herds. He built granhis riches are ill-gotten. If he has aries in our midst, and tortured us with wrorged any here, even a slave, let the the sight of food which few were rich wronged man step forth, and accuse enough to buy. We implored the assisthim. By the beard of my father he ance of other merchants, and many atshall have justice !"
tempted to help us, but he drove them The words of the Sultan passed from all from the field, some by bribery, and mouth to mouth till they reached the some by underselling, till, at last, no one ears of a merchant who was passing the would venture against him. The souls palace. Emboldened by the Sultan's of our dead cry out for justice-justice permission, he accused Abdailah.
on the corn-selling dog!" “Commander of the Faithful, the mer- “We, too, have a cause of complaint,” chant Abdallah owes me five purses of said the Commander of the Faithful, after gold, which he refuses to pay. He came a score or two had finished accusing to me one day, accompanied by a strange Abdallah." This jewel," and he plucked merchant, who, he said, was his friend; one from his turban, “was sold us by and who wished to purchase sandal-wood the merchant for a pure diamond, and it and gums. I sold him five purses' worthturns out to be a bit of glass. We gave Abdallah agreeing to pay for the same, him a thousand purses for what is not in case his friend did not. Twelve worth a piastre. To punish him for the moons have passed since then, and I cheat we confiscate his estates for the have not seen the merchant, nor will Prophet's treasury, and we seize his Abdallah pay me the debt."
daughter for the imperial Harem. As “Your case is hard," said the Sultan ; for the wretch himself he shall become “but we cannot help you. The law will a slave. We give him to your tribe," do you justice, if you can prove your said the Sultan turning to the desert claim. We give you a purse of gold shekh : “ It is just that he should suffer, that you may prosecute it freely." even as he has made others. The dog is
The next accuser was one of the Ma- no longer Abdallah the Merchant, but malukes.
Abdallah the Slave. God is great!" “Commander of the Faithful, this " Long life to the Shereef! May God shop-keeper lately sold me a sword for a prolong his days!" true Damascus blade. I paid him his The Sultan shook the reins of his barb, price without higgling, and went forth to and rode down the square, accompanied battle with the enemies of the Prophet. by his bashaws and shekbs. The NamaWe were hard pushed by the accursed lakes and black troops remained, together Giaours, and fell before them like ripe with Abdallah and the executioners. grain. A boy, whom I could have slain There was no danger now in insulting with the wind of a good scimitar, enga- him, and they made the most of the ged me; and, snapping my sword like a opportunity. The Mamalukes began by reed, gave me this ugly gash on the robbing him of everything valuable. cheek. I have no sword now. Here is One snatched his turban, anothor his