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perish or revive, sendeth to Lama Zarin greeting; report hath long made known at Tonker the beauty of the maid Zerinda; and by thy messenger we learn the matchless excellence of the slave Ackbar. In answer, therefore, to thy prayer that these may be united, mark the purpose of our sovereign will, which, not to obey, is death, throughout the realms of Thibet. The lovers shall not see each other, till they both stand before the sacred footsteps of our throne at Tonker, that we ourselves may, in person, witness the emotion of their souls !'
This answer, far from removing their suspense, created feelings a thousand times more terrible. The Lama Zarin believed that it portended ruin to himself and family : he now reflected on the rash step which he had taken, and feared that his sanguine hopes had been deceived by frequent conversations with a stranger, who had taught him to think lightly of the laws and customs of Thibet. He again recalled to mind the grand Lama's bigotry and zeal, and knowing that he must obey the summons, trembled at his situation.
Ackbar was too much enamoured to think of any danger which promised him a sight of his beloved mistress; and the only circumstance that occasioned him uneasiness was, lest the beauty of Zerinda should tempt the Supreme Lama to demand her for his own bride ; but Zerinda, whose thoughts were all purity, revered the Lama for his decree, and believed that it proceeded from his desire of being witness to the mutual happiness of virtuous love : with these sentiments she looked only with joy to the period of their departure, which was fixed for the ensuing day; when they set out with all the pomp and splendour of an Eastern retinue.
After three days journey, during which the Lama Zarin sometimes tra. velled in the splendid palanquin of his daughter, and sometimes rode on the same elephant with Ackbar, dividing his attention between the conversation of each, but unable to suppress his apprehensions or dissipate the fears of his foreboding mind, the cavalcade arrived at Tonker, and proceeded without delay to the tribunal, which was held in the great · Hall of Silence.' At the upper end of this superb apartment sat, on a throne of massive gold, the Supreme Lama; before him, at some distance, were two altars, smoking with a fragrant incense; and around him knelt a hundred Lamas, in silent adoration, (for in Thibet divine honours are paid to the Supreme Lama, who is supposed to live for ever, the same spirit passing from father to son). To this solemn tribunal Lama Zarin was introduced by mutes, from an apartment directly opposite to the throne, and knelt in awful silence between the smoking altars. At the same time, from two doors facing each other, were ushered in Ackbar and Zerinda, each covered by a thick veil, and accompanied by a mute, both of whom fell prostrate before the throne. A dreadful stillness now prevailed, -all was silent as death, -whilst doubt, suspense, and horror, chilled the bosoms of the expecting lovers. In this fearful interval the throbbings of Zerinda's heart became distinctly audible; her father heard them, and a half-smothered sigh stole from his bosom, and resounded through the echoing dome. At length the solemn, deep-toned voice of the Supreme Lama uttered these words : Attend ! and mark the will of him who speaks with the lips of heaven; arise ! and hear! know that the promise of a Lama is sacred as the words of Allah, therefore are ye brought to behold each other, and in the august presence, by a solemn union, to receive the reward of the love which a fond father's praise has kindled in your souls, and which he having promised, must be fulfilled.
Prepare to remove the veils. Let Lama Zarin join your hands, and then embrace each other ; but on your lives utter not a word; for know that in the · Hall of Silence' 'tis death for any tongue to speak save that which utters the decrees of heaven!'
He ceased ; and his words resounding from the lofty roof, gradually died upon the ear, till the same dreadful stillness again pervaded the Hall; at length on a given signal the mutes removed their veils at the same moment, and exhibited the beauteous figures of Ackbar and Zerinda. They gazed in speechless rapture on each other, till by another sign from the throne the father joined their hands; and Ackbar, as commanded, embraced his lovely bride; while she, unable to support this trying moment, fainted in his arms. It was now that her lover, unmindful of the prohibition, exclaimed— Help, my Zerinda dies !' Instantly the voice from the throne ejaculated with dreadful emphasis, 'Ackbar dies !' upon which two mutes approached with the fatal bow-string, and, seizing their victim, fixed an instrument of silence upon his lips, whilst others hurried away the fainting Zerinda, insensible to the danger of her lover ; but the Lama Zarin, unable to restrain the anguish of his soul, cried out with bitterness - If to speak be death let me die also ; but first, I will execrate the savage customs, and curse the laws which doom the innocent to death for so trivial an offence' He would have proceeded, but the tyrant's slaves surrounded him and prevented him from uttering another word. Silence being restored, the Supreme Lama again vociferated— Know, presumptuous and devoted wretches, that before ye brake that solemn law which enjoins silence in this sacred presence, ye were already doomed to death! Thou, Lama Zarin, for daring to degrade the holy Priesthood of Lamas, by marrying thy daughter to a slave ; and thou, Ackbar, for presuming to ally thyself with one of that sacred race. The promise which Lama Zarin made was literally fulfilled; these daring rebels against the laws of Thibet, have seen and been united to each other; and the embrace which was permitted was doomed to be the last. • Now, therefore,' added he, addressing the mute, “perform your office on Ackbar first. They accordingly bound their victim, who was already gagged, to one of the altars, and were about to fix the silken string upon his neck, when they on a sudden desisted, and prostrating themselves before Ackbar, performed the obeisance which is paid only to the heir of the sacred throne of Tonker. A general consternation seized all present, and the Supreme Lama, descending from his throne, approached the victim, on whose left shoulder (which had been uncovered by the executioner), he now perceived the mystic characters by which the sacred family of Thibet are always distinguished at their birth. When he beheld the well-known mark, the voice of nature confirmed the testimony of his eye-sight, and falling on the neck of Ackbar, he exclaimed— It is my son, my long lost son ! let him speak: henceforth this place shall no longer be called the “ Hall of Silence, but the Hall of Joy,' for in this room will we celebrate to-morrow the nuptials of Ackbar and Zerinda!'
The history then goes on to explain this singular event by relating that some Jesuit Missionaries
who had gained access to the capitol of Thibet, in their zeal for their religion, had found means to steal the young heir to the throne, then an infant; hoping to make use of him in the conversion of his father's people; but in their retreat through the great desert of Cobi, they had been attacked by a banditti, who slaughtered them all, and sold the young Lama for a slave. He had served in the Ottoman army,--he had been taken by the Knights of Malta, afterwards became servant to a French officer, with whom he travelled through Europe; he finally accompanied him to India ; there, in an engagement with the Mahrattas, be had been again taken prisoner, and sold as a slave to some merchants of Thibet ; by this means he came into the service of the Lama Zarin, without knowing any thing of his origin, or the meaning of the characters he bore on his left shoulder, and which had been the cause of effecting this wonderful discovery.
The history concludes with an account of the nuptials of Ackbar and Zerinda. Their happiness was unexampled; for the lessons which the young Lama had learned in the school of adversity, and the observations he had made in the various countries through which he had travelled, prepared him to abolish many of the cruel and impious customs which had till then disgraced the legislature of Thibet,
A SKETCH FROM REAL LIFE.
At length her griefs have drawn the lines of care
A face that holds no lure, no tribute seeks,
No, no, I was not made for mirth,
For Fashion and its toys,
Enduring, precious joys;
A Paradise may be,
For some but not for me.
Yet chide I not that Beauty's glance
Should beam so brightly there,
And Love, more fond and fair;
Of radiance, pleasure-born,
The rose tints of the morn.
NATURE—meek mother-changeless friend
As beautiful, or wild,
A world-worn, weary child ?
Bid bosom-tempests cease,
Twin ministers of Peace!
Long have I known thee-long have found,
My last, best, bliss in thee;
That made, and keeps me free?
No, no,-let hearts untried and gay,
Seek happiness in mirth,
And call my dwelling fair ;
'Tis beauteous-PEACE is there !
Or worldly treasure crave,
And after death, a grave!
So prayed the Psalmist to be free
From mortal bonds and earthly thrall ;
when life's last sands we rove,
To flee away and be at rest.
A fairy scene doth life appear;
Its sounds are music to the ear :
And of its joys no more possessed,
Would flee away and be at rest.
All bright and beautiful as day?
Time steals the rose and dims the ray;
And we with speechless grief opprest,
Would gladly share her place of rest.
Oh! for the pinions of a dove;
Away, and be with them we love :-
And life is but a wintery waste,