Obrázky stránek



the Franks. I told him there were several equally powerful, but perhaps that the English nation might be fairly described as the most important. He answered, " Ay, on the sea, but not on land.”

14. I was surprised by the general knowledge indicated by this remark, and more so, when he further observed, that there was another nation stronger by land. I mentioned the Russians. He had not heard of them, notwithstanding the recent war with the Porte. The French? I inquired. : He knew the French, and then told me, that he had been at the siege of Acre, which explained all this intelligence.

15. He then inquired if I were an Englishman. I told him my country (Germany), but was not astonished that he had never heard of it. I observed, that when the old man spoke, he was watched by his followers with the greatest attention; and they grinned with pride and exultation at his knowledge of the Franks, showing their white teeth, elevating their eyes, and exchanging looks of wonder.

16. Two women now entered the tent, at wlieh I was surprised. They had returned from the fountain, and wore small black masks, which covered the upper part of their faces. They knelt down at the fire, and made a cake of bread, which one of them handed to me. I now offered to the Shiek my own pipe, which Lausanne had prepared. Coffee was again handed, and a preparation of sour milk and rice, not unpalatable.

17. I offered the Sheik renewed compliments on his mode of life, in order to maintain conversation ; for the chief, although, like the Arabs in general, of a very lively temperament, had little of the curiosity of what are considered the more civilized of Orientals, and asked very



“ We are content," said the Sheik.

“ Then, believe me, you are in the condition of no other people,” I replied.

My children," said the Sheik, “ hear the words of this wise man! If we lived with the Turks,” continued the chieftain, we should have more gold and ilver, and more clothes, and carpets, and baths ; but we should not have justice and liberty. Our luxuries are few, but our wants are less."

18. “ Yet you have neither priests nor lawyers.”

[ocr errors]

“When men are pure, laws are useless; when men are corrupt, laws are broken."

“And for priests?"God is

everywhere." The women now entered with a more substantial meal, the hump of a young camel. I have seldom eaten anything more delicate and tender. This dish was a great compliment, and could only have been offered by a wealthy Sheik. Pipes and coffee followed.

19. The moon was shining brightly, when, making my excuses, I quitted the pavilion of the chieftain, and went forth to view the humors of the camp. The tall camels crouching on their knees in groups, with their outstretched necks and still and melancholy visages, might have been mistaken for works of art, had it not been for their process of rumination.

20. A crowd was assembled round a fire, before which a poet recited impassioned verses. I observed the slight forms of the men, short and meagre, agile, dry, and dark, with tecth dazzling white, and quick, black, glancing eyes. They were dressed in cloaks of coarse black cloth, apparently of the same stuff as their tents, and few of them, I should imagine, exceeded five feet, two or three inches, in height.

21. The women mingled with the men, although a few affected to conceal their faces on my approach. They were evidently deeply interested in the poetic recital. One passage excited their loud applause. I inquired its purport of Abdallah, who thus translated it to me. A lover: beholds his mistress, her face covered with a red veil. Thus he addresses her;

“Oh! withdraw that red veil, withdraw that red veil ! Let me behold the beauty that it shrouds! Yes! let that rosy twilight fade away, and let the full moon rise to my vision !”

22. Beautiful! yet more beautiful in the language of the Arabs, for in that rich tongue, there are words to describe each species of twilight, and, where we are obliged to have recourse to an epithet, the Arabs reject the feeble and unnecessary aid.

23. It was late ere I retired; and I stretched myself on my mat, musing over this singular people, who combined

[blocks in formation]

primitive simplicity of habits with the most refined feelings of civilization, and who in a great degree appeared to me to offer an evidence of that community of property, and that equality of condition, which have hitherto proved the despair of European sages, and fed only the visions of their fancied Utopias.

[blocks in formation]

1. A Perilous life, and sad as life may be,

Hath the lone fisher on the lonely sea ;
In the wild waters laboring, far from home,
For some poor pittance, e'er compelled to roam !
Few friends to cheer him in his dangerous life,
And none to aid him in the stormy strife.
Companion of the sea and silent air,
The lonely fisher thus must ever fare ;
Without the comfort, hope with scarce a friend,
He looks through life, and only sees — its end !

2. Eternal Ocean! Old majestic Sea !

Ever love I from shore to look on thee,
And sometimes on thy billowy back to ride,
And sometimes o'er thy summer breast to glide;
But let me live on land, where rivers run,
Where shady trees may screen me from the sun ;
Where I may feel, secure, the fragrant air ;
Where, whate'er toil or wearying pains I bear,

Those eyes, which look away all human ill,
May shed on me their still, sweet, constant light;
And the little hearts I love, may, day and night,

Be found beside me, safe and clustering still.


The Clouds.

1. O clouds! ye ancient messengers,

Old couriers of the sky,
Treading, as in primeval years,
Yon still immensity.


In march how wildly beautiful

Along the deep ye tower,
Begirt, as when from chaos dull

Ye loomed in pride and power,
To crown creation's morning hour.

2. Ye linger with the silver stars,

Ye pass before the sun,
Ye marshal elements to wars,

And, when the roar is done,
Ye lift your volumed robes in light,

And wave them to the world,
Like victory Aags o'er scattered fight,

Brave banners all unfurled,
Still there, though rent and tempest-hurled.

3. And then, in still and summer hours,

When men sit weary down,
Ye come o'er heated fields and flowers,

With shadowy pinions on;
Ye hover where the fervent earth

A saddened silence fills,
And, mourning o'er its stricken mirth,

Ye weep along the hills, -
Then how the wakening landscape thrills !

[blocks in formation]

1. Who does not love the village bells ?

The cheerful peal and solemn toll,
One of the rustic wedding tells,

And one bespeaks a parting soul.

2. The lark in sunshine sings his song ;

And, dressed in garments white and gay, The village lasses trip along,

For this is Susan's wedding day.

3. Ah! gather flowers of sweetest hue,

Young violets from the bank's green side,



And on poor Mary's coffin strew,

For in the bloom of youth she died,

4. So passes life! - the smile, the tear,

Succeed, as on our path we stray ;
Thy kingdom come; for we are here

As guests, who tarry but a day."

LESSON XLVI. Jerusalem.

1. A SYRIAN village is very beautiful in the centre of a fertile plain. The houses are isolated, and each surrounded by palm-trees; the meadows are divided by rich plantations of Indian figs, and bounded by groves of olive.

2. In the distance rose a chain of severe and savage mountains. I was soon wandering, and for hours, in the wild, stony ravines of those shaggy rocks. At length, after several passes, I gained the ascent of a high mountain. Upon an opposite height, descending into a steep ravine, and forming, with the elevation on which I rested, a dark, narrow gorge, I beheld a city entirely surrounded by what I should have considered in Europe an old feudal wall, with towers and gates.

3. The city was built upon an ascent; and, from the height on which I stood, I could discern the terrace and the cupola of almost every house, and the wall upon the other side, rising from the plain ; the ravine extending only on the side to which I was opposite. The city was in a bowl of mountains.

4. In the front was a magnificent mosque, with beautiful gardens, and many light and lofty gates of triumph; a vari. ety of domes and towers rose in all directions from the buildings of bright stone.

5. Nothing could be conceived more wild, and terrible, and desolate, than the surrounding scenery; more dark, and stony, and severe; but the ground was thrown about in such picturesque undulations, that the mind, full of the sublime, required not the beautiful; and rich and waving woods, and sparkling cultivation, would have been mis

« PředchozíPokračovat »