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sense may exist without sublime endowments. Nay, I take it, in certain cases, that good sense is simply owing to the absence of those. Much more, cheerfulness. Unpossessed of genius, Hautboy is eternally blessed."
"Ah? You would not think him an extraordinary genius then? "
"Genius? What! such a short, fat fellow a genius! Genius, like Cassius, is lank."
"Ah! But could you not fancy that Hauthoy might formerly have had genius, but luckily getting rid of it, at last fatted up V
"For a genius to get rid of his genius is as impossible as for a man in the galloping consumption to get rid of that."
"Ah! You speak very decidedly."
"Yes, Standard," cried I, increasing in spleen, "your cheery Hauthoy, after all, is no pattern, no lesson for you and me. With average abilities; opinions clear, because circumscribed; passions docile, because they arc feeble; a temper hilarious, because he was born to it—how can your Hautboy be made a reasonable example to a heady fellow like you, or an ambitious dreamer like me! Nothing tempts him beyond common limit; in himself he has nothing to restrain. By constitution he is exempted from all moral harm. Could ambition but prick him; had he but once heard applause, or endured contempt, a very different man would your Hauthoy be. Acquiescent and calm from the cradle to the grave, he obviously slides through the crowd.
"Why do you say ah to me so strangely whenever I speak V
'' Did you ever hear of Master Betty!"
"The great English prodigy, who long ago ousted the Siddons and the Kembles from Drury Lane, and made the whole town run mad with acclamation?"
"The same," said Standard, once more inaudibly drumming on the slab.
I looked at him perplexed. He seemed to be holding the master-key of our theme in mysterious reserve; seemed to be throwing out his Master Betty too, to puzzle me only the more.
"What under heaven can Master Betty, the great genius and prodigy, an English boy twelve years old, have to do with the poor common-place plodder Hauthoy, an American of forty."
"Oh, nothing in the least. I don't imagine that they ever saw each other. Besides, Master Betty must be dead and buried long ere this."
"Then why cross the ocean, and rifle the grave to drag his remains into this living discussion?"
"Absent-mindedness, I suppose. I humbly beg pardon. Proceed with your observations on Hautboy. You think he never had genius, quite too contented and happy, and fat for that—ah? You think him no pattern for men in general \ affording no lesson of value to neglected merit, genius ignored, or impotent presumption rebuked? —all of which three amount to much the same tiiing. You admire his cheerfulness, while scorning his common-place soul. Poor Hauthoy, how
sad that your very cheerfulness should, by a byblow, bring you despite I"
"I don't say I scorn him; you are unjust. I simply declare that he is no pattern for me."
A sudden noise at my side attracted my ear. Turning, I saw Hauthoy again, who very blithely reseated himself on the chair he had left.
"I was behind time with my engagement," said Hauthoy, " so thought I would run back and rejoin you. But come, you have sat long enough here. Let us go to my rooms. It is only a five minutes' walk."
"If you will promise to fiddle for us, we will," said Standard.
Fiddle! thought I—he's a jigembob fiddler then! No wonder genius declines to measure its pace to a fiddler's bow. My spleen was very strong on me now.
'' I will gladly fiddle you your fill," replied Hauthoy to Standard. "Come on."
In a few minutes we found ourselves in the fifth story of a sort of storehouse, in a lateral street to Broadway. It was curiously furnished with all sorts of odd furniture which seemed to have been obtained, piece by piece, at auctions of old-fashioned household stuff. But all was charmingly clean and cosy.
Pressed by Standard, Hauthoy forthwith got out his dented old fiddle, and sitting down on a tall rickety stool, played away right merrily at Yankee Doodle and other off-handed, dashing, and disdainfully care-free airs. But common as were the tunes, I was transfixed by something miraculously superior in the style. Sitting there on the old stool, his rusty hat sideways cocked on his head, one foot dangling adrift, he plied the bow of an enchanter. All my moody discontent, every vestige of peevishness fled. My whole splenetic soul capitulated to the magical fiddle.
"Something of an Orpheus, ali?" said Standard, archly nudging me beneath the left rib.
"And I, the charmed Bruin," murmured I.
The fiddle ceased. Once more, with redoubled curiosity, I gazed upon the easy, indifferent Hautboy. But he entirely baffled inquisition.
When, leaving him, Standard and I were in the street once more, I earnestly conjured him to tell me who, in sober truth, this marvelous Hauthoy was.
"Why, haven't you seen him? And didn't you yourself lay his whole anatomy open on the marble slab at Taylor's. What more can you possibly learn? Doubtless your own masterly insight has already put you in possession of all."
"You mock me, Standard. There is some mystery here. Tell me, I entreat you, who is Hauthoy? "
"An extraordinary genius, Hclmstone," said Standard, with sudden ardor, "who in boyhood drained the whole flagon of glory; whose going from city to city was a going from triumph to triumph. One who has been an object of wonder to the wisest, been caressed by the loveliest, received the open homage of thousands on thousands of the rabble. But to-day he walks Broadway and no man knows him. With you and me, the elbow of the hurrying clerk, and the pole of the remorseless omnibus, shove him. He who has a hundred times been crowned with laurels, now wears, as you see, a bunged beaver. Once fortune poured showers of gold into his lap, as showers of laurel leaves upon his brow. To-day, from house to house he hies, teaching fiddling for a living. Crammed once with fame, he is now hilarious without it. With genius and without fame, he is happier than a king. More a prodigy now than ever.
"His true name!
"Let me whisper it in your ear.
"What! Oh Standard, myself, as a child, have shouted myself hoarse applauding that very name in the theatre."
"I have heard your poem was not very handsomely received," said Standard, now suddenly shifting the subject.
"Not a word of that, for heaven's sake !" cried I. "If Cicero, traveling in the East, found sympathetic solace for his grief in beholding the arid overthrow of a once gorgeous city, shall not my petty affair be as nothing, when I behold in Hauthoy the vine and the rose climbing the shattered shafts of his tumbled temple of Fame!"
Next day I tore all my manuscripts, bought me a fiddle, and went to take regular lessons of Hauthoy.
THE STOLEN SHOES. ~
ADORADO, where gold may be had for the gathering, has formed the subject of the traditions, or exercised the fancies, of most peoples. The Arabs have never had an opportunity of experiencing what such a place really is; but their story-tellers make use of the idea in the following manner:
In very ancient times, there lived, say they, in Cairo, in one of the streets near the foot of the citadel, a man named Abu Daood, whose poverty and misery were great. By trade he was a cobbler; but destiny did not permit him to gain a living by the labor of his hands. Sometimes he remained for whole days without having a single pair of babooshes to mend; and when work was brought to him, he was very frequently so beaten down in the price he asked, or cheated by dishonest people, that he found it absolutely impossible to earn even the expenses of his shop.
Fortunately for him he had no wife or relation of any kind; yet he considered this solitude as the greatest curse that had befallen him, and, strange to say, when he went home in hunger, he regretted he did not hear, as he opened the crazy door of his house, the voice of children, even though they should be crying for food. As he scarcely ever spent any money, or was seen to bring home provisions, the neighbors used to say that he was a magician, or that he lived upon air; but it was evident that this kind of nourishment was not favorable to him, for he was as thin and dry as a nail. The truth was, that he passed a great part of his time wandering up and down the streets, seeking for the news of some marriage or of some death; and then he went with
the beggars, and other sons of sorrow, to dip his fingers in the great wooden bowls that arc put out at the doors on such festive or mournful occasions. He found that in the scramble of the hungry, it was rarely possible for him to approach the dish more than once ; but an old beggar of experience had taught him the art of scooping out, with one single plunge of his hand, the substance of a meal. In this way he managed to keep soul and body together; but as he was a man respectable in his ideas, he never asked for alms with the others, when the wants of the moment were satisfied, but repaired at once to his shop, and sat waiting for custom until the going down of the sun.
From time to time, when he could get a little leather, he had actually fabricated some fine red shoes—half a dozen pair, which he had arranged in a row in front of his shop; but at first he had asked too much for them, and would not lower his price until their lustre became tarnished, and then every body passed by, and went to bargain with other dealers. Poor Abu Daood in vain invited the fastidious to come and buy, going so far, sometimes, as to offer his wares as a present. Nobody paid any attention to him. Destiny had decreed that he should not make his fortune as a shoemaker.
One day a very old man, whose dress and appearance revealed him to be a Maggrebby, or Man from the West, came down the street, evidently looking for a pair of shoes, or for a cobbler; for he carried a tattered baboosh in his hand. Abu Daood espied him afar off, and felt inclined to rush toward him, and seizing the skirts of his garment, to drag him by main force to his shop. But the Shah Bomdar of the merchants had married his daughter that morning, and the cobbler had not only succeeded in getting two handfuls of rice, but had snatched a rag of mutton from a greedy blind beggar, who was making off with it after having had his fill. Thus fortified, he was enabled to repress the undignified suggestion of his misery, and to wait in breathless expectation for the result. To his extreme surprise, the Maggrebby passed all his rivals, and coming straight up to him, saluted him by his name, and said:
"I charge thee to mend this excellent pair of babooshes with the utmost care, and in the mean time, I will take of thy stock for my immediate use." So saying, he slipped on two of the tarnished shoes, promised to return in the evening, and went away, leaving his own rags in pledge for the payment. Abu Daood was Ro delighted, that he ran immediately to three or four neighbors, and shouted with glistening eyes: "I have sold a pair of shoes i I have sold a pair of shoes!" He set to work immediately to cobble the babooshes of the Maggrebby, but he found them in such a wretched state, that it was impossible to do any thing with them. In vain did he put a patch here and a patch there, first renewing the heels, then the toes—it would have been far easier and cheaper to make a new pair. "I must persuade this foolish Maggrebby," said ho to himself, "to throw those miserable things into the street, and to buy new ones instead, if what he has already taken be not sufficient."oled for half a day with my camel, and found myself in a large city, whence a caravan was about to start for Egypt, and I started with it; but to my surprise, learned we were distant a six months' journey from Cairo, whereas I had reached that place in a few days. This is the whole of my story, and I am now ready to deliver over to thee half of the wealth which I have acquired."
Evening came, and no Maggrebby. Abu Daood had counted on a good supper, and kept his shop open until long after dark. All his neighbors put up their shutters, and went away one by one, | but he remained obstinately at his post, until the fear of robbers—superfluous fear! — overcame him, and he returned sorrowfully to his dismal dwelling. He lulled himself to sleep that night by curses on the Maggrebby, but was up before dawn, and on his way to his shop, still hoping that the owner of the ragged babooshes might come and clear up his character for honesty and fair-dealing. He could not refrain from relating his misadventure to his neighbors, who affected to pity him, but smiled maliciously one to the other, saying: "Abu Daood has sold a pair of shoes!" and it became the joke in the quarter, when they observed the poor cobbler dozing over his hunger, to cry out: "Here comrs the Maggrebby!" But a whole year passed away, and he did not reappear.
At length one day the cry of " Here comes the Maggrebby !" startled Abu Daood as usual; and looking forth to cast a reproachful glance at the wags, he actually beheld the same old man advancing toward him. His first impulse was to snatch up the pair of shoes, which he had cobbled during his interminable moments of leisure into something like shape, and thrust them down the throat of the dishonest customer; but he restrained himself, and when the Maggrebby had saluted him, as if nothing had happened, he said: "The job thou gavest me was very troublesome. It would have been better to take a new pair." Upon this, the Maggrebby laughed, and said: "Verily, thou art a wise man, and a circumspect. I came expecting thy reproaches! but, lo! thou sparest me. This shall be counted unto thee." So saying, he took out a piece of gold, and placed it in the hand of the cobbler, who well-nigh fainted with joy.
"Now, Abu Daood," said the stranger, "it will be fitting for thee to invite me to supper this evening. Take these two other pieces of gold, and buy what is necessary. I will come and join thee at sunset; and thou shall conduct me to thy house."
When the Maggrebby was gone, Abu Daood related his good fortune to his neighbors, who shook their heads incredulously, and suggested that the pieces of gold were merely leaves of yellow paper; but the cobbler went and changed his money, and came back triumphant. Then the neighbors, who began to be jealous, warned him to take care lest he should fall into the hands of a magician. But Abu Daood replied: "What can a magician do to me? He can not slay me, unless it be the will of God: all he can do is to turn me into an ass, a buffalo, or an ape; and verily, this would be no great misfortune, for the asses and the buffaloes and the apes of this world have a more happy existence than I." So Abu Daood went to prepare the supper of the
Maggrebby; and going to meet him at the place appointed at sunset, found him already arrived, and took him to his house.
The supper was magnificent, according to the ideas of the cobbler, and had been prepared at a neighboring cook-shop. The Maggrebby ate heartily, as did Abu Daood likewise. When they had washed their hands, coffee was brought and pipes; and the Maggrebby began to talk of travel, and foreign lands, and strange countries, while his host listened with eager cars, for a long time not venturing to speak. At length, however, he mustered up courage to say what he had upon his mind. It was this: "I pray thee, 0 honored master, if it be not impertinent—in which case forgive me—tell me wherefore thou didst not return last year and pay me for my shoes. I knew that thou wast an honest man, and waited for thee in patience, until all the neighbors mocked me."
'' My son," replied the Maggrebby, "I would have refrained from telling thee this secret, lest it might introduce into thy mind covetousneps and uneasiness; but since thou atkest me, and since equivocal conduct requireth an explanation, I will state the whole truth; and may God pardon me if the consequence be the troubling of thy thoughts! Know, then, that I am an inhabitant of the city of Taroor, in Fezzan, and that my poverty and misery were great. But one day I learned from a pilgrim who rested in my house, on his way to Gebel Tor, that in the south was reported a land, the ribs of whose mountains, and the sands of whose rivers, w ere of gold, so that whosoever reached it might collect, in one day, wealth sufficient to make him envied of princes. I eagerly desired further information of this land; but he told me that its access v,as most difficult, and that, according to an ancient tradition, none of the sons of Adam could penetrate to it but he who should wear the stolen shoes of the cobbler Abu Daood. So I began to seek for a cobbler of this name, and traveled into many countries until age came upon me. I arrived at length in the city of Cairo, and heard of thy story; and stole the shoes in the manner which I thou knowest. Then I set forth, and passed rapidly toward the regions of the south, until I reached a valley in the midst of great mountains. Here I found gold lying about like pebbles, and gathered together twice as much as I thought would be sufficient to support me in comfort to the end of my days. But the means of troutl ort were wanting, and I looked round in despair until I saw a man with a yellow skin approaching me, and leading a camel. 'Stranger,' said he, 'it is decreed that if any of the sons of Adam enter this valley, and collect gold sufficient to load one camel, he shall be suffered to depart, but if he collect more, he shall be kept as a slave.' On hearing this, I thanked Him who had infl in d me with moderation; and having placed n:y wealth in two small panniers, prepared 'o re
Abu Daood was bewildered and amazed by this concise narrative, which concluded by holding out to him a prospect of prosperity of which he had never dared to dream. Yet, says the tradition— in this matter eminently philosophical—he soon passed from joy at his good-fortune, to regret at not having been able himself to visit the land of gold. "Half a camel-load is little," muttered he, as he gazed with glaring eyes at the Maggrebby. The good old man, noticing the expression of his face, said meekly and kindly: "My son, thou art young, and I am ancient of days: take twothirds, and be satisfied." "But I should have liked a whole camel-load," quoth Abu Daood, still talkingas if to himself. "That was impossible," observed the Maggrebby humorously, "for thou couldst not steal thine own shoes." Upon this the cobbler, preserved from wicked thoughts by the will of God, laughed, and replied: "Think not that I envy thee what thou hast acquired; I receive what thou givest me with joy; but are there no means by which I, too, could visit this wonderful place?"
The old man hung his head for a time, and seemed to ponder deeply. At length he looked steadily at Abu Daood, and said: "In my regard for thy welfare, I concealed something from thee; but what is written must come to pass. Know, then, that the yellow man when he departed from me gave me a ring, saying: 'Should Abu Daood desire, in the covetousness of his heart, to come to this country, let him swallow that which he will find beneath the signet of this ring, and his wishes will be accomplished ; but it will be better for him to remain in the quiet enjoyment of the wealth which thou wilt bestow upon him.'" Abu Daood held out his hand eagerly, and took the ring, and found within it a little piece of a greenish substance, which he swallowed. When he had swallowed it, all things around him seemed to become confused: the Maggrebby's eyes grew round and red, his noso elongated into a beak, his mouth disappeared under his chin, his arms became wings, and his feet claws—in fine, he changed into a bird of strange aspect. The cobbler was at first frightened, and repented of his rashness; but the bird gave him no time to think, and snatching him up, clove the roof of the house, and carrying him high up toward the heavens, flew for the space of a night and a day, whon he set him down, and immediately returned into the clouds.
Abu Daood found himself beneath a tree, forming part of a sweet grove, with branches full of birds of wonderful plumage and sweet song. He looked around in wonder, and rubbed his eyes, fearful that all this might be a dream. But having Vol. IX.—No. 52.—M M
convinced himself that he was awake, he rose and walked until he came to the banks of a river, on the other side of which was a large city. A ferryman, with a very yellow face, spoke to him in an uncouth language; but seeing he did not understand, made signs that he was to get into his boat, which he did. On reaching the other side, he saw many people all bustling about, but all with yellow faces; and he now noticed that every one had a care-worn, haggard expression, and that their features were now and then distorted, as if by severe pain. "Verily," said Abu Daood, " all these folks have the cholera. I will hasten to collect gold, and escape at once from the country." He proceeded along the streets, which were filled with shops of all descriptions, excepting provision-shops. There were merccTs and drapers, and shoemakers and saddlers, but there were no butchers, or bakers, or fruit-dealers. "This is a wonderful place," quoth Abu Daood; "verily, it is more wonderful than ths valley which the Maggrebby saw."
He had scarcely uttered these words, when a man touched him on the shoulder, and said "Friend, it is tho hour of the evening-meal Thou knowest the law. Come into my house, for I perceive thou art a stranger to this quarter." Then it is related that Abu Daood, fearful to transgress the law, obeyed this invitation, and was taken into a room dimly lighted, where was a table, and round the table a number of men and women, all yellow as fever-patients. But when the dishes were uncovered, lo! upon them wa« no food, but only heaps of gold, which, with moanings and contortions, and grimaces of disgust, the guests began to swallow. Abu Daood. obeying an irresistible impulse, put out his hand, intending to fill his pockets; but he soon found himserT eating with the rest, and was unable to leave off until he had swallowed more gold than he had ever swallowed rice at a meal. After this strange supper, the guests dispersed, groaning and complaining; and the master of tho house took the cobbler to a chamber where was a comfortable bed, and bade him rest until morning.
The tradition is luxurious in details respecting this extraordinary city, which was inhabited by the souls of misers and usurers, and covetous men of all descriptions, condemned for their sins to live on, performing all the ordinary functions of existonce, except that their sole food was gold. A tone of burlesque satire pervades it; and the narrators, often in tho true spirit of Dante, introduce among the various characters encountered by the cobbler, the marked portraits of people of their own day celebrated for avarice. An hour is sometimes occupied in this way, so that the story becomes merely a vehicle for satire, mingled with moral reflections. At length, Abu Daood. well wearied of feeding on so indigestible a substance as gold, presents a petition to the princess of the city, and obtains an interview.
Dahabee, the princess, is a lady with golden hair, not of mortal origin, but a ginneeyeh—a spirit. She rules her kingdom with inexorable justice, and severely punishes the fastidious roortals who choose to fast in order to escape the accursed food alone allowed them. She herself feeds on fat pullets, on quails, on singing-birds, and other delicate morsels. The story of Abu Daood amuses her; and she even confesses that a single life had begun to be rather burdensome. She makes an offer of marriage, is accepted with dutiful resignation, and Abu Daood becomes king of the Golden Land. All traces of avarice, however, have been eradicated from his mind. In vain the princess, who has her secret reasons, exhibits vast treasures; in vain she makes progresses with him through the provinces, where mountains of gold blaze on all sides ; he remains perfectly unmoved, without a single access of cupidity, content to cat his quail or his pullet in her society, and condemning the precious metals as viler than dust. A year having passed in this way, Dahabee, with tears in her eyes, confesses, that since he has been proof against temptation, she has no right to retain him any longer, and that she is bound to send him back to his own country. He makes a show of unwillingness, but really feels a longing for Cairo; so one night she takes him up in his sleep, and carries him in her bosom to his own house, where she sets him down, and flies away with a long melancholy cry.
Some women were passing Abu Daood's door, uttering the yugharcet, or shrill scream of joy that announces a wedding. He awoke with a start, and dressing in an old habit, was about to run after them, to ascertain where the alms were to be distributed. But he remembered the events of the previous night, and of his dream. He looked round for the Maggrebby, but he was gone. In the place where he had sat, however, was a large bag filled with ingots of gold There was enough to make him a rich man; and hp lived ever afterward a quiet and contented life, although he sometimes shed a tear to the memory of the Princess Dahabee.
ROYALTY AT TABLE.
¥HEN Peter the Great and his consort dined together, they were waited on by a page and the Empress's favorite chamber-maid. Even at larger dinners, he bore uneasily the presence and service of what he called listening lacqueys. His taste was not an imperial one. He loved, and most frequently ordered, for his own especial enjoyment, a soup with sour cabbages in it; gruel; pig, with sour cream for sauce; cold roast meat, with pickled cucumbers or salad; lemons and lampreys; salt meat, ham, and Limburgh cheese. Previously to addressing himself to the " consummation" of this supply, he took a glass of aniseed water. At his repast he quaflfed quass, a sort of beer, which would have disgusted an Egyptian; and he finished with Hungarian or French wine. All this was the repast of a man who seemed, like the nation of which he was the head, in a transition state, between barbarism and civilization; beginning dinner with cabbage water, and closing the banquet with goblets of Burgundy.
Peter and his consort had stranger tastes than those. This illustrious pair once arrived at Stut
hof, in Germany, where they claimed not only the hospitality of the table, but a refuge for the night. The owner of the country house at which they sought to be guests was a Hcrr Schoppenhauer, who readily agreed to give up to them a small bedroom, the selection of which had been made by the Emperor himself. It was a room without stove or fire-place, had a brick floor, the walls were bare; and the season being that of rigorous winter, a difficulty arose as to warming this chamber. The host soon solved the difficulty. Several casks of brandy were emptied on the floor, the furniture being first removed, and the spirit was then set fire to. The Czar screamed with delight as he saw the sea of flames, and smelt the odor of the Cognac. The fire was no sooner extinguished than the bed was replaced, and Peter and Catherine straightway betook themselves to their repose, and not only slept profoundly all night in this gloomy bower, amidst the fumes and steam of burnt brandy, but rose in the morning thoroughly refreshed and delighted with their couch, and the delicate vapors which had curtained their repose.
The Emperor was pleased, because, when an emergency had presented itself, provision to meet it was there at hand. Napoleon loved to be so served at his tables when in the field. He was irregular in the hours of his repasts, and he ate rapidly and not over delicately. The absolute will which he applied to most things, was exercised also in matters appertaining to the appetite. As soon as a sensation of hunger was experienced, it must be appeased; and his table service was so arranged that, in any place and at any hour, he had but to give expression to his will, and the slaves of his word promptly set before him roast fowls, cutlets, and smoking coffee. He dined off mutton before risking the battle at Leipsic; and it is said that he lost the day because he was suffering so severely from indigestion, that he was unable to arrange, with sufficient coolness, the mental caleulations which he was accustomed to make as helps to victory.
As Napoleon, the genius of war, was served in the field, Louis XV., the incarnation of selfishness and vice, was served in his mistress's bower. That bower, built at Choisy for Pompadour, cost millions; but it was one of the wonders of the world. For the royal entertainments, there were invented those little tables, called "servants" or "waiters;" they were mechanical contrivances, that immortalized the artist Loriot. At Choisy, every guest had one of these tables to himself. No servant stood by to listen, rather than lend aid. Whatever the guest desired to have, he had but to write his wish on paper, and touch a spring, when the table sunk through the flooring at his feet, and speedily reappeared, laden with fruits, with pastry, or with wine, according to the order given. Nothing had been seen like this enchantment in France before; and nothing like it, it is hoped, will ever be seen again. The guests thought themselves little gods, and were not a jot more reasonable than Augustus and his companions, who sat down to dinner attired as deities.