Imagens das páginas

come me

he was to know the Emperor. But his barked, was surrounded and attacked by search was in vain; the Emperor could those of this people ; it was forced to not be among them. At this moment surrender, and the whole crew were his glance fell upon his companion, and transferred to a smallership, which behold! this one still wore his hat. sailed on with the rest. But upon the

The youth was astonished, confused. sea it is not less unsafe than in the He looked long at his companion, and desert, where robbers fall unawares said, taking off his own hat, “Salaam upon a caravan, and kill and plunder. Aleikam, Petit Caporal. Thus much A ors out of Tunis attacked the I know, that I am not the sultan of the small vessel, which had been separated Franks, and it does not therefore be- by a storm from the others; it was cap

to keep my head covered; tured, and all the crew carried into Albut thou art he who wears the hat. giers and sold. Petit Caporal--thou art the Emperor !” Almanzor, it is true, came not into

** Thou hast guessed it,” answered such hard slavery as the Christians, for the former ; “and besides this, I am he was a true believing mussulman, but thy friend. Do not ascribe thy misfor- still all hope of seeing his home and tunes to me, but to an unhappy com- his father again disappeared. He lived plication of circumstances. Be assured there five years with a rich man, and thou shalt with the first ship be sent was obliged to water the fiowers, and back to thy native land. Return now cultivate the garden. When his master to my wife, and relate to her of the died, his possessions were divided, his Arabian professor, and all that thou slaves separated, and Almanzor fell into knowest. I will send the herring and the hands of a slave merchant, who had salad to the doctor, but thou shalt re- fitted out a ship, to sell his slaves elseside in my palace.”

where at a better price. I myself was Thus spoke the man who was em- a slave of this merchant, and was placperor, but Almanzor fell down before ed in the same ship with Almanzor; him, kissed his hands and prayed for- there we became known to each other, giveness that he had not known him; and there he related to me his singular he certainly had not seen it in his face fortunes. As we came to land also, I that he was the sultan.

was witness of the most wonderful pro“ Thou art right,” replied the former, vidence of Allah-it was the coast of laughing; 6 when one has been empe- his native country where the boat landror for a few days only, he cannot have ed, it was the market-place of his nait written upon his brow.” Thus he tive city where we were publicly offered spoke, and motioned him to retire. for sale, and, oh, my lord ! it was his

Since this day Almanzor lived hap- own, his dear father who purchased him." pily and in joy. He was permitted to The Sheik Ali Banu had sunk in visit the Arabian professor a few times, deep reflection over this narration; it but the doctor he never saw again. had carried him along involuntarily After a few weeks, the emperor sum- with itself; his breast heaved, his eyes moned the youth, and announced to glowed, he was often on the point of him that a ship lay at anchor, in which interrupting the slave, and now the end he would send him to Egypt. Alman- of the story seemed not to satisfy him. zor was beside himself with joy; a few “ He would now be one and twenty days sufficed for preparation, when, years old, thou said’st ?” thus he began with a heart full of gratitude, and to question him. richly laden with gifts, he took leave of My lord, he is of my age, from one the emperor, travelled toward the sea, to two and twenty years." and embarked.

“And what city did he name as the But Allah would still longer prove place of his birth? that thou hast not said." him, would still longer steel his cou- “If I err not,” answered the former, rage by misfortune, and did not yet per- “it was Alexandria.” mit him to see the coast of his native “ Alexandria !” exclaimed the Sheik, land. Another Frankish people, the Eng- it is my son-where is he? what keeps lish, at that time carried on a war against him? said'st thou not he was called Kairthe Emperor upon the sea. They took am ? has he dark eyes and brown hair ?” away all the ships which they could

“ lle has, and in mournful hours he conquer, and it so happened that the called himself Kairam, and not Almanvessel in which Almanzor had em- zor." VOL. XVI.NO. LXXIX.


“But-Allah, Allah! tell me-his the features of his newly-found son, and father purchased him before thine eyes undeniably he saw the image of his said’st thou ? said he it was his father ? child again as he had lost him. All then he is not my son."

present participated in his delight; for The slave answered," he said to me,” they loved the Sheik, and it was to each · Allah be praised, after such long un- one as if a son had on this day been rehappiness this is the market place of turned to him. my native city. After awhile a distin- Song and mirth now filled the hall, gnished personage turned the corner, as in the days of happiness and joy. and he exclaimed, . What a dear present The youth must once again and more from Heaven are the eyes! I once more circumstantially relate his history, and see my revered father! The man step- all praised the Arabian professor and the ped up to us, examined this and that emperor, and every one who had been one, and purchased at last him to whom kind to Kairam. They were together all this happened. He then called upon until night, and when they separated the Allah, uttered a prayer of thanks, and Sheik gave rich gifts to each of his whispered to me, 'I go again into the friends, that they might ever remember hall of happiness; it is my own father this day of joy. who has purchased me.'”

But the four young men he presented “ Then it is not my son, my Kairam,” to his son, and invited them always to exclaimed the Sheik, moved with an- visit him ; and it was a settled matter, guish.

that he should read with the scribe, The youth could no longer restrain make short travels with the painter, that himself, tears of joy burst from his eyes, the merchant should share with him he threw himself before the Sheik, and song and dancing, and the other prepare exclaimed," and still it is your son Kai- for them all their pleasures. They also ram-Almanzor, for it is you who have were presented with rich gifts, and stepbought himn."

ped joyfully from the house of the Sheik. “ Allah! a miracle, a great miracle !" “ Whom have we to thank for all exclaimed all present, and thronged this ?" they said to each other, “ Whom around him; but the Sheik stood speech- else than the old man? Who would have less, and looked in wonder upon the thought this as we stood here before youth, who raised his beautiful face to the house, and prated so idly about the him. “My friend Mustapha,” he said Sheik ?” to the old Dervish, “a veil of tears hangs “ And wonderful! Was it not here before mine eyes, and I cannot see whe- where we uttered our wishes aloud ?” ther the features of his mother, which said the scribe. “One would travel, the my Kairam bore, are engraved upon his other sing and dance, the third enjoy face; step hither, and look upon him.” good company, and I-read and hear

The old man drew near, and looked tales and histories. And are not all our upon him long, laid his hand upon the wishes fulfilled ? Am not I permitted to forehead of the young man, and said: read all the books of the Sheik, and to “Kairam, what was that sentence which purchase what I will ?” I repeated to thee in the camp of the “ And I, as often as my heart desires, Franks, on that day of inisfortune?" listen to singing and playing, and be

“My dear teacher,” answered the hold dancing,-may I not go there and youth, drawing the hand of the old man demand it of his slaves ?" to his lips, “it ran, He who loves Allah “And cannot I too oversee his table, and has a good conscience, is not alone in and take orders for all his finest pleathe desert of misfortune, for he has two sures, and be myself present ?” said the companions who walk at his side consol- other. ing him!'

“ And I,” exclaimed the painter, “beThen the old man raised his eyes fore this day, I was poor and could not thankfully toward heaven, drew the set foot out of the city, and now I can youth to his breast, gave him to the travel whither I will.” Sheik, and said, “ Take him; as certain- “Yes,” said they all, “ it was good ly as thou hast mourned ten years for that we followed the old man; how him, so certainly is he thy son Kairam.” different might have been our fortunes!"

The Sheik was lost in joy and rap- Thus they spoke, and went happily Lure; he gazed again and again upon and joyfully home.

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The prodigious amount of periodical forth in print that which has no good reading at the present day, makes the aim. It is impossible that anything ap- . question of the utility of such reading pearing with the advantages of the one of no little moment. If the effect press, should be simply indifferent in its be good, immense benefit must accrue tendency. If not written by an idiot, it to those in all classes of life whose must have some meaning, and that minds feed on this sort of aliment. If meaning must have some moral. We evil, it would be impossible to compute may be told that this endless round of the amount of that evil. Hundreds of vapid love-stories has no harm in it;

bat thousands read nothing else; and of we must deny this. They are usually these multiplied thousands how few free from intentional evil, but we canbegin with any judgment in the selec- tend that they may still cause an imtion of their reading, or a single wish mense amount of incidental harm. If that it shall be anything but amusing? they foster a mawkish sensibility ; if Where, then, are they to acquire that they teach young people that what they judgment ? Whence shall arise a de- describe as love is the business of life, sire for such reading as may instruct and as such is to be pursued in the very and enlarge the mind while it affords a face of duty and of prudence; if they delightful occupation for the time? By exalt wealth and its appendages, by the continued perusal of what is most gorgeous description, to the utmos: truly called “light” reading ? We fear pitch of attractiveness, while they innot. We have thought that useful culcate, in various ways, a course of reading was becoming less and less po- conduct which would inevitably prepular;

and that instead of complaints as vent the honest acquisition of them; if to the utter emptiness of the inflated they represent duelling as a renial nothings which build up the reputation transgression, arising only from a fatal.-of some of the periodicals, the only cry ly high sense of honor; if, in short, is for something more exciting, even they palliate evil

, or inculcate, directly though it be as empty and as unnatural or indirectly, false maxims of life, they as those. If any one venture to recom- must be the instruments of incalculable mend anything of a more solid charac. harm in any community like ourzy, ter, the reply is, “Oh! those things do where everything depends upon the not go down now-a-days ! A thing must ability of the people for self-governmentbe piquint and exciting, or it will not A democracy in which the people are be read!” A piquant” treatise on systematically irreligious, or even genatural philosophy, or an exciting" nerally frivolous and empty, must, in essay on some important question in time, become a state of things in conmorals, being still a desideratum, the parison with which the worst despotisms time seems far-distant when anything under which Russia or Austria ever but love-stories shall be considered read- suffered would be a blessed relief. It able by the great body of those who con- is bad enough, anywhere, when those stitute our reading population. to whom the pen and the press have

We are told that the style and mat- been entrusted use them for evil and ter of these things must be adapted to not for good ; but for the American who the taste of readers, since it is impossi- misleads, through selfishness or careble to fit or force the inclinations so lessness, the minds of his countrymen. that they shall prefer what is better. the peine forte et dure of the ancient This we deny as a whole, though we torture would be scarcely too severe a may admit it to be partly true. The punishment. duty of those who write for the public is Some of the British Monthlies, whicle to aim at raising the standard of taste, have been rendered very popular among and improving, in every possible way, us by the dashing brilliancy of their the powers of those who read. Nobody style, are far from exerting a healthful has a right, morally speaking, to send influence on American mind; but they

are read by a comparatively small por- matter what subject, in which is lugged tion of our people; and those of a class in, apropos des bottes, unmeasured abuse better able to judge of and guard against of this country, introduced for the sole their unfavorable tendencies, than that purpose of cutting to the quick our which chietly patronizes our own pe- national sensitiveness, is tolerably sure riodicals. Their morality is often of readers. In such things we can find scarcely strict enough for our Puritan that piquancy for which a satiated imanotions; they représent duelling as gination is ever seeking. But unless a something—to say the least-more Review come thus recommended—if it fashionable than virtue ; seduction as ofler only just and dispassionate critiadmitting of many excuses on both cims, condensed accounts of all that is sides; capital punishment and all se- new and useful, elegant essays upon vere penal laws, as the very vital prin- any variety of subjects,-it may lie on ciple of the moral world. And besides many a table with its leaves uncut, or all this, and much more that is contra- perhaps, be suffered to remain quietly ry to our better views, their flings at the slumbering on the bookseller's counter, political maxims which we are bound to while thousands of pages of wretched hold most sacred, must be far from en- balderdash, injurious alike to the more couraging, in our young people, a re- als and the taste, are being devoured spect and affection for their native land. by those whose minds must need fur. They hold up wealth and fame, or some nishing with elegant or practical knowspecies of worldly prosperity, as the pro- ledge. The lamentable poverty of conper and sufficient rewards of virtuous versation observable in most circles, is conduct; not only presenting, in most proof enough of the need of useful readcases, a delusive standard of merit, ing; and since there is certainly a great since the virtues they praise are of a deal of reading done among us, we fear very ordinary or quite dubious cast - the conclusion is unavoidable that much but a false and pernicious standard of of that reading is—to say the best we reward, false in fact as in philosophy, may-absolutely useless. yet fatally fascinating to youthful and We are not disposed to suspect our undiscriminating minds. We should countrymen of a taste for ricious readcharacterize the British Monthlies as ing, although we are not of the number being more thoroughly imbued with of those who could learn to think the what, for want of a better term, we may Mysteries of Paris and other kindred cal) a worldly spirit, than anything of the translations and transfusions from forkind on this side the water.

eign presses which obtained high popBut, as we have observed, the influ- ularity among us, likely to improve the ence of these attractive publications is morality of the public. We think that limited, generally, to that of the extracts same gentle public apt to be dazzled by which are commended to some of our false lights;-to be misled by the rediligent collectors by their wit, humor, presentations of venal critics, who can or better qualities.

Blackwood we consent to cater for whatever may be, take whole; but its toryism is, perhaps, or seem to be, the public taste, without too laughable to be injurious ; and the any consideration higher than the most vigorous and sprightly style of its ar- sordid self-interest. People do not ticles, though less striking now than enough consult their own spontaneous, formerly, might be imitated with ad- instinctive judgment in these matters; vantage, by some of our own writers of they give way too readily to false shame the same class.

from within and clamor from without. The Quarterlies, the work of the The practice of reading solely for ripest minds and most practised pens in amusement, is, of itself, likely to blind the United States, and in England, em- the judgment, and deprive the taste of body a fund of information on almost all discrimination. We shonld not be every subject worth understanding, and apt to employ a habitual whiskey-drinkwe fear it is for this very reason that er in the selection of fine wines; and they are comparatively neglected. We we ought as little to expect purity and do not as a people read for information, delicacy of literary relish in a reader but for amusement-excitement. An es- to whom excitement has become the say full of the most stinging satire, by only criterion. To taste with contident Macaulay; a slashing review of some acuteness, we must “ live cleanly.” To popular author; or an article on no obey the suggestions of a vitiated pal. ate is as unsafe in morals as in nature. may very possibly be met by the asserOur daughters will decide between right tion, that many among us who read peand wrong with all the more distinct- riodicals only, would, if there were none ness, from never having had their na- of those, read nothing at all; and that tural perceptions warped by the perusal intellectual amusement, even of the of fictions in which those boundaries poorest kind, is better than some other are artfully or stupidly confounded. things that might be mentioned. This

It is a mooted question in intellectual much we might grant, but why must it philosophy what may be the actual be thus? The shortness of life is a effect, upon the powers of the mind valid argument against the undertakitself, of so much periodical reading. ing of many things—why not against atColeridge says, “ the habit of perusing tempting to swallow all the nonsense of periodical works may be properly added the day? Nine-tenths of the magazine to Averrhoe's catalogue of weakness of stories, so popular among us, have nomemory." Ile will not dignify such thing to do with this life, and no referpass-time or rather kill-time" with the ence to that which is beyond it; and name of reading.“ Call it rather,” he fiction which has no relation to what says, “ a sort of beggarly day-dreaming, has been, or what is to be, must be both during which the mind of the dreamer vapid and valueless. Why exhaust furnishes for itself nothing but laziness life's precious honrs in trying to convert and a little mawkish sensibility; while into nourishing food the miserable nothe whole matériel and imagery of the substance which is the result of the efdoze is supplied, ab extra, by a sort of forts of ten thonsand blundering alchemental camera obscura, manufactured mists, to turn lead and feathers into at the printing-office; which, for the gold ? time, fixes, reflects, and transmits the Having thus briefly touched upon moving phantasm of one man's deliri- the things we would not have, it can um, so as to people the barrenness of a hardly be necessary to attempt an elahundred other brains, afflicted with the borate description of what we could same trance or suspension of all com- have in the matter of periodical reading. mon sense and all definite purpose." We shall not be suspected of a desire He classes this sort of amusement with to discourage all reading of this kin gaming; swinging on a chair or gate; We would allow it its due place; but smoking; snuff-taking; tête-a-tete quar- as ministering servants of the great rels after dinner between husband and literary temple, we feel bound to protest wife ; conning, word by word, all the against a complete oblivion of history, advertisements in a newspaper; the morals, criticism, and even poesy divine, habit of reading tombstones, and many in favor of what is just so far worse other equally improving modes of men- than blank paper, as a thing spoiled is tal dissipation; which catalogue, he de- worse than a thing unused. We would clares, is susceptible of a sound psy- remind the “ reading world" (so called), chological commentary. But, not to that its capacity, though immense, is not quote many high authorities which bear infinite; and that for everything absoout this view of the effects of desultory lutely trashy and worthless, which is reading, we cannot doubt that the most read, there is some subduction of time pernicious consequences to the memory which might be used to better purpose, do actually result from a constant flying while the habit of being content with from one subject to another, without any such reading is completely destructive balance in the shape of continuous and alike of the wish and the ability for imsystematic study. We remember to provement. have heard a lady of the soundest intel- If we have misunderstood this matlect and the most cultivated understand- ter—if we have been conjuring up buging, say, after having been tempted to bears and spectres, let it be shown by read, day after day, in a Cyclopedia, argument and examples. If this be that the effect upon her mind had been fairly proved, we shall be quite willing such as to convince her that to persist to see these ghosts of our imagination in such a course would lead to absolute laid, like other unreal mockeries-in derangement.

the Read-Sea. Weare quite aware that our strictures


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