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is necessary that my wishes should be satisfied. I must have finer dresses than any one else— even than my mother."
Mathias, therefore, had much to say, and the fame of his domestic dissensions spread abroad. The poor women of the neighborhood, whose husbands brought them home a few piastres daily, and contented them, were not sorry to talk of the fine lady who never went out except on the back of a high ass, with two slaves to attend her —one to clear the way with a whip, the other with his hand on the saddle, to prevent her falling—and who now, it was rumored, passed her days in weeping and wailing. It soon became known, indeed, that Mathias, when too late, had asserted his right of authority; and had become master of his own house, just as ho was about to abandon it. The creditors were eager; and there remained salvation only in flight. One day, therefore, Mathias collected some household property, sold it to a broker, made a parcel of a few valuables, and when sunset came, started with his wife and daughter, leaving Cairo by the iron gate. He intended to take boat for Darnietta, and that way escape to Syria, whero he had some relations.
He had not gone far beforo a rapid step was heard behind; and a soft voice called his name. He pressed on hastily; but soon Yazir came running up out of breath. The wife of Mathias recognized him, and began to curse him; but the boy said: "Bo not angry, 0 mother. This is a misfortune which can not be avoided. But behold, father Mathias, thou shall not go forth without assistance. My father has hoard of thy departure, and sends this purse for thy expenses on the way."
So saying, he placed a leathern purse in the hands of the merchant, who stooped down toward him and kissed him. All hearts beat high. The mother of Lulu felt the tears run down her cheeks; and Lulu herself, wayward girl as she was, cams to Yazir, and taking his hand, put it to her lips, and said:
"O prince—may happiness encircle theo as the halo encircleth the moon!"
Her parents felt that this was a renewal of the betrothal; but they said nothing, and presently wore pursuing their flight, whilo Yazir remained standing by the road-sido.
The boy was now nearly twelve years of age, tall, strong, and handsome; and more intelligent and knowing than lads are at fifteen in Western countries. He had already acquired all the instruments of knowledge necessary in the East. He could read, and write, and was capable at accounts. He already understood business, and his father had confidence in him. But the words of Lulu entered his mind. They had talked so much in his presence of the betrothal that he understood something of his father's wishes, though he knew not their importance. It seemed to him that his life had an object, which was the possession of Lulu; and he was too young to debate much on the means. If he had spoken to Zacharias he would have learned that circumstances had altered; that he had now no longer any desire to pro
mote this marriage, which had seemed so appropriate at a different time. But a certain shamefacedness withheld the boy; who, moreover, misinterpreted the import of his father's generosity on the night of Mathias's departure. A bias was given to his mind and increased every day.
Time passed; and the thoughts of Yazir dwelt always on the absent Lulu. At first he was influenced by filial affection. If he saw his father sad, he said to himself, "It is because I am not the husband of Lulu." If he were urged to become wise and rich, he thought, " It is that I may bo worthy of Lulu." His soul ever aspired in one direction toward Lulu.
The time came, when every thing in this outward world began from some mysterious cause to appear more beautiful in his eyes; when the majesty of the heavens at night, with all its throbbing stars, was revealed to him; when the breeze at eventide, that had formerly been voiceless, seemed full of magic eloquence; when the trill of birds and the hum of insects in the pomegranate and mulberry groves filled him with strange sensations; when the prattle of children smote his heart, and the glances of women pierced his brain like gleams of sunshine. Then it was that Lulu ceased to be a mere name, and was changed into a lovely form never absent from his dreams.
Zacharias, from whom propriety had not departed, seldom spoke of his absent friend; but talked frequently of finding a peerless bride for Yazir. This would have been easy; for all mothers noticed the youth in the street, and wished that their daughters might have the good-fortune to pleaso him. But the merchant was now in no hurry. If any one spoke to him on the subject he said, " There is a time for all things." The truth was, that time, which destroys all passions—even love—had in him destroyed anger. Besides, it is no rare thing for the aged, when they feel life slipping from them, to return to somo caprice they formerly cherished, which reminds them of younger days, and allows them, in fancy at least, to step back from the inevitable doom.
Zacharias had written recently to Syria, endeavoring to learn some tidings of Mathias; but his correspondents told him that they had searched in vain. Mathias had indeed arrived safely in Beyrout; but, after remaining there a year, had disappeared. Some speculations in which he had engaged had utterly failed; and it was believed that he had gone away in absolute poverty. This intelligence made Zacharias sick at heart; but there was no remedy, and he devoured his chagrin in secret.
One day Yazir, now a fine handsome youth, came to his father and said that a caravan was about soon to start for Bassora, by way of Damascus, and that he wished to take this opportunity to travel and see the world; for without experience of many countries what merchant can prosper? Zacharias was now old, and heard this wish with a deep-drawn sigh, but he knew it to be reasonable, and gave his consent, and collected a large amount of merchandise, and bought camels, and selected the most trustworthy servants, and made a present to the chief of the caravan. The old man with the white beard who had prophesied happiness to Yazir, gave him fresh encouragement, and furnished him with a rule of conduct which he saw might be of use to him: "Never be astonished—neither at danger nor good fortune."
Yazir parted with his father after both had wept, and went forth into the desert. In the recesses of his own mind there still lingered a hope that he might be one day united to Lulu; and it was to endeavor to ascertain her fate that he had wished to go by way of Damascus. On arriving in that city, instead of endeavoring to dispose of his merchandise, he occupied all his time in fruitless inquiries. After a stay of three months he departed for Bassora; but when the caravan had traveled for twenty days, a cloud of Bedouins, mounted on camels and horses, surrounded them and attacked them, slaying those who resisted and making prisoners of the rest. Yazir, remembering the advice that had been given him, and seeing that successful defense was impossible, sat down quietly and waited until the Bedouins came to him, and ordered him to follow them. They seemed surprised at the tranquillity of his demeanor; especially when they learned that he was one of the richest merchants of the company; and treated him far more favorably than the rest, abstaining from tying his hands, and promising to keep him well until such time as he could get friends to come with a ransom.
As he was left at liberty Yazir found no difficulty, after spending two or three days in the Bedouin encampment, in selecting the best horse belonging to the tribe, and in riding away one night at full speed. From words that he had heard, he knew that the city of Ardesh was at no great distance, and he felt confident of being able to reach it. He rode all night, and expected to see palm-trees and green pastures by the morning. But a plain of sand stretched on every side. He had mistaken the direction, and entered a boundless desert, which even the Bedouins do not traverse. He did not know whether to advance or retreat, so he allowed the horse to gallop whither he would. Thus he proceeded all day, until at length, just as he was about to give himself up to despair, he came in sight of a splendid city, built according to a style of architecture wholly unknown to him. He rode forward and entered the cultivated country that surrounded it. The roads were full of people, seemingly waiting for some arrival. When he approached they advanced with drawn swords and brandished spears, shouting:
"Wilt thou be king over us?"
Believing he had to do with a company of madmen, and remembering the advice that had been given him, he replied calmly:
"Certainly. I camo with that intention."
Upon this, there was a huge sound of human voices, and trampling of feet, and clanging of gongs; and Yazir was conducted into the city, amidst the acclamations of the populace. He
was installed in a splendid palace, and requested to dispense justice, and execute the laws.
He soon learned that it was the custom in that city when a king died, for the population to sally forth in the direction of the desert, and to wait for the first wanderer who, separated from seme caravan, had lost his way, and was expecting naught but death. According to their notion, a king raised to the throne from the extremity of despair would not be likely soon to acquire pride and ferocity. Sometimes they had found themselves mistaken; but they bad a remedy in their hands. It was their practice to tcst the courage of the neweomers by running at them, as they did at Yazir, shouting and brandishing their weapons; and they continued for seme time playing the same trick. If a monarch, therefore, showed a bad character, they soon contrived that an accident should happen; the throne became vacant, and the population went out again to the borders of the desert.
Yazir, though he would have preferred continuing his journey to Bassora, or returning to Cairo, consented to rule over this strange people; whose manners he found to be in many respects harsh and repulsive. When not in want of a king, they received all strangers roughly, and compelled them by ill-treatment to depart frcm their territory very quickly. Yazir, by an edict, ordered that this should no longer be, and contrived to instill hospitable views into the people of Goran, for such was the name of the place. He made it a custom that all strangers who arrived should be led into a certain room of his palace, and kindly received and fed; and he used to go and look at them through a vailed window. All people celebrated his goodness; and the fame thereof spreading, travelers for the first time began to arrive at the city of Goran.
One day it was told to Yazir that three persons, a man and two women, apparently beggars, had been taken to his reception-room. The strangers were no other than the merchant Mathias, hit wife, and his daughter Lulu, reduced to the extreme of poverty. Lulu, ripened into perfect womanhood, was more beautiful than ever. Yazir gazed at them with tears falling from his eyes. They were evidently wom with travel and suffering, and ate as if they had been long famished. When they were somewhat recovered, he called them before him, revealed his name and his condition; and before, from very wonder, they could find time to answer, he turned to Lulu, and said:
"O fair one, wilt thou have a prince for thy husband?"
Mathias hung his head; and his wife threw herself at Yazir's feet. But Lulu ran to his side, and seized her mother's hand, and ccmmanded her in the tone of a queen, not to bumble herself. The marriage was soon celebrated; and all the people were glad for three weeks.
Then, certain great families, who had hoped to raise one of their daughters to the throne, began to stir up dissatisfaction. A revolt was imminent. So the prince, making his preparations secretly, stole away one night with his win and Mathias, and the wife of Mathias, and they hastened in the direction of Ardesh: leaving the people of Goran once more without a sovereign. On their way they met a cobbler escaping from bis creditors, and informed him of the good fortune that awaited him if he arrived in time at Goran. Whether he succeeded to the throne they never knew; for they hastened with all speed back to Damascus, and thence to Egypt, and gladdened the heart of Zacharias: who lived long to witness the happiness of his son, who had been a prince, and of his new daughter who had been a beggar.
THE NURSE'S REVENGE, -j
WHAT a splendid wedding was that of Dorinda, Countess of Leverglen, expected to be! Just twenty-one and come (though, alas! by the death of a loving father) into possession of her title and fortune, with beauty enough to have drawn half the nobility of England to her feet without either, and about to be wedded to one of the handsomest and most fastidious of noblemen (Charles, Marquis of Willsbury), her earthly felicity seemed perfect and assured. Perhaps though her style of beauty might not have suited every taste, it was of a regal kind. Tall, commanding in figure, the height of a Juno, though not the full proportion of one, swan-liko neck, head firm and well set, hair glossy and black when left to its natural color, eyes dark and flashing, with a skin which would have seemed marble had it not been relieved by tho full bright color of youth and health. A grace and majesty which spoke of association with courts and courtliness all her life, and that pride which however unamiable it may be in tho sight of One before whom the best and noblest of us are but as dust, yet sat on Lady Leverglen not amiss for the fire it lent her eyes or the grace it imparted to her mien. Her marriage was to take place as soon as possible, and finely the dressmakers and jewelers were hurried to get ready to deck tho noble young bride in time. The dowager, Lady Leverglen, doted on her daughter, though there was so little resemblance between them personally that no one would have supposed them mother and daughter, Lady Leverglen, the dowager, being short and slight, and not even in her youth could have boasted of much beauty. The late lord himself, I believe, was any thing but a handsome man; therefore both parents rejoiced exceedingly in their daughter's queenly and surpassing charms. The young Lady Dorinda's mother had been unable to nurse her own child, and the infant had been confided to the care of a Welsh nurse, and had resided in Wales, till at two years old she was restored to her doting parents, an infantine model of strength and loveliness. A pension had been settled on tho " Welsh woman," who came frequently to London to visit her foster child, till her visits becoming tiresome and inconvenient, Lord Leverglen, from whose example his daughter seemed to take her great pride, forbade her future coming. Some of the old servants of the family, who remembered Gynneth Apreeco, say that her brow darkened, and
she clutched her fist in my lord's face when hu told her this, and said that he should one day rue his barbarity; but it had all no effect, except to give additional force to his determination; so Mrs. Aprecce, at that time a woman past forty years of age, went away heaping curses in Welsh on the carl and his tyranny, as she chose to call it; and indeed I can not help thinking it did seem a little hard to the poor woman—foster mothers often having tho tenderest affection for the children whom they have nourished at their bosoms. Perhaps she was as much mortified at the indifference of the child, who even then put up its little hands to push her, and said in its baby accents, "Do away—do away." Hut she never came to my lord's grand mansion in Pimlico any more, and they had ceased to hear any thing of her for years, except that she still lived and took her pension, which was paid her through a solicitor in a Welsh town contiguous to the village where Mrs. Aprecce resided. Lady Dorinda, I believe, had entirely forgotten her old nurse, and if she ever thought about her, was satisfied with tho reflection that her infirm years were provided for. As to affection, she would have smiled in contempt at the thought of such a feeling subsisting between the Countess of Leverglen and an old Welsh woman of low degree, merely because the said woman had had the honor of nursing her. Oh, pride ! how many, many shapes, Proteus-like, thou canst assume! now wearing the garb of charity; then vain of thy silken robes and velvet trappings spun by a worm like thyself; anon rejoicing and holding aloft thy head, because thou art decked with bright and colored stones whose value is fictitious; then puffed up, because mayhap in the reign of the first William thyremote progenitor was known to be a silken fawning Norman adventurer, graced by tho tyrant with the title of Baron in reward, maybe, for some ruthless sanguinary deed, or exulting over thy poor fellow for thy abundance of wealth which not thyself hast scraped together, or—but no wonder thou hast ascendency over the souls of mortals when thy
promptings caused the downfall of angels
Lady Leverglen's was but the baser sort of pride, I fancy, for her station was surely high enough to admit of any condescension without such derogating from her nobility. So the last stitch was put into the wedding gown—a white satin sacque and tiffany petticoat—I remember it to have been richly embroidered with roses—and the last stroke of the pen was added to the settlements by which her title and possessions were to enrich the already overflowing coffers of tho house of Willsbury. Proudly, and with almost the condescension of a sovereign, did Lady Leverglen receive her noble friends' congratulations; and at length tho important morning was ushered in—portentous omen !—by a lowering leaden canopy of sky that seemed momentarily about to deluge London with a fit of atmospheric weeping. It kept off, however, this untimely rain, and at eleven o'clock the carriages almost blocked up Piccadilly. The ceremonial was fixed to take place in St. James's Church, and a dean was there to unite the happy even royalty nearly related to the throne, to grace the auspicious union of mutual rank and wealth, with the additional felicity that Hymen at this altar was kept in countenance by Cupid. I had been in waiting at the bride's dressing, to give the last touch to her attire, and afterward proceeded on foot to the church to sec the ceremony. I remarked, I believe, to Mrs. Pomander, the young countess's own woman, how dull and oppressed my lady seemed, and she answered, that it was no wonder, for she had been compelled to sit up all night, to preserve her "head," after it had been under the hands of Coiffere, the French hair-dresser. Ah ! dear me, what we underwent for fashion's sake in those days; no one would believe now, only that it has become matter of history.
But, to return to the wedding, there was a rare crowd about the church door, and the beadles in their gold-lacc coats and gold-headed sticks had enough to do to keep order. Such a procession of rank and beauty as filed off into that church! So there they were—satins and feathers, and flowers and tiffany, and lace, and pearls, and diamonds, flashing in the gloomy morning, aa if to atone for the sun's absence. And after awhile, the splendid crowd having arranged itself into order, a deep solemnity pervaded the church, and the dean began the service of matrimony. He had read the opening address, and came to that solemn adjuration—" I require and charge ye both (as ye will answer at the dreadful day of judgment, when the secrets of all hearts shall be disclosed), that if cither of you know any impediment why ye may not be lawfully joined together in holy matrimony, ye do now confess it, for be ye well assured that so many as are coupled together otherwise than God's Word doth allow, are not joined together by God, neither is their matrimony lawful." As the dean slowly and impressively uttered the last word, there arose amidst the breathless silence in that church a strong, deep, yet slightly tremulous voice—" I forbid this marriage." Every one turned round to look for the intruder, and a pause, terrible for the short time it lasted, came—while each one was asking himself if it was not a dream, or a trick of the imagination. The dean, who, of course, had discontinued reading, demanded, "What impediment exists!" Then a woman, tall, bony, and hard-featured, as one who had been accustomed to wind and weather, to hard and open toil, yet bearing traces of having possessed in her youth great beauty, came forward. There was much shrinking among the dainty court dames, as this old, coarsely clad, homely object advanced toward the altar. Sho looked round at the grand company with an air of defiance, partaking, too, of a strange sort of exultation. "She is mad," said the dowager, Lady Leverglen, who was well-nigh fainting with terror, and whom—her ladyship being much addicted to hysterics—I every minute expected to see go off screaming. She reserved them, however, till she had more time; then I remember
three men could scarcely control her. "She it mad."
"It would be a good thing for you and myself, my lady, if I was mad," said the strange, edd woman, with a low reverence. "But I am not: only a sinner, my lady—a great sinner," she cried, throwing her amis up wildly over her head, and looking, I thought, liko some necromantic crone, or one of the weird sisters in Maebeth.
"Speak, woman," said the dean; "though how you gained admission here among this noble company I know not—there must have been strange neglect;" and his reverence looked severely at the gaping officials who were leisurely surveying this singular scene. "Speak, I say," he continued, "and say how and why you have dared to interrupt the ceremonial of marriage between these noble persons."
"Just because, please your Reverence, or your Grace, as the case may be," said the audacious woman, " for I don't presnme to understand the dress of High Church, being myself of the fold of the Reverend Jonas Camaby, of ."
"Silence!" said the dean; "keep to the subject. Your objection V
"Just this—that yonder fair bride is, my lord, an impostor, and not what she seems."
Here was a general exclamation of horror, and a demand of what was meant. The bride, as white as her own sacque, was supported by the bridegroom, who looked, poor man, hot and bewildered.
"This—that your fine young countess there it no countess; she was changed at nurse. I was the nuree: I ought to know my own child—for I am her mother. And now, my lord, the bridegroom, you can marry as fast as you please. I, for one, make no objection to my own flesh and blood being a lady in earnest. Only I have told my crime—saved, saved my precious soul," she said, again flinging her arms aloft.
"Take her into the vestry," said the dean. "I can not, my Lord Willsbury, proceed with the ceremony till this strange matter be cleared up." He was interrupted by the bride falling heavily to the ground, for somehow Lord Willsbury was no longer supporting her; and there she lay, cold, and white as the nosegay in her breast. She was laid on a heap of pew-cushions in the vestry, where the friends of the families adjourned. The guests were politely requested to disperse, for there seemed no chance of the marriage taking place that day. Constables were called in, and the strange woman was given into their charge. And one by one, or in pairs, the company departed— many of them, I am afraid, to spread this strange business over the town, which afforded the fashionable world food for gossip many a day after.
It turned out to be too true. The Welsh woman being examined strictly, the truth came out too certainly. It seems that the first thing that put the temptation in her heart was the fact that the real heiress of the Leverglens had taken the small-pox, and was so cruelly disfigured, that the nurse dreaded taking her home to my Lady Levto with that her little daughter should grow up a beauty. "There was my own girl," said Gynneth Apreece, "a perfect picture—healthy, pretty, and full of spirit. The thought came across my mind, how the poor defaced baby would be looked down on by her grand relations, and how no wealth, or being called' my lady,' could ever make up to her for the scorn her ugliness would bring down upon her; and then I thought how my beautiful Polly would become a title; and so, the thought once admitted, the Evil One kept whispering in my car and my heart, till I persuaded myself it was the best thing I could do. It was the wish to see my darling, and not to bo forgotten by her, which made me take many a journey on foot from Wales; and then I got abused by my lord, and it was a great sorrow to my poor heart. My Polly came to forget me, and beat me away with her tiny baby hands. I was very wroth at that, for I loved my child, and nothing but the sense of my great, great sin even now would have made me tell the truth. But I have been converted lately, and I could not die with such a sin on my soul. Besides, it is hard for a child to look down on her own mother, and, in short, I could bear it no longer."
Such was the miserable woman's statement, sworn to on the Bible before a magistrate; and the strong likeness, allowing for age, hardship, and poverty, between Gynneth and the unfortunate girl whom she claimed, was strong presumptive evidence. Lawyers were employed; for poor Lady Leverglen's heart and hopes were wrapped up in her supposed daughter, and revolted from the young woman, who, plain to positive ugliness, and rustic and ignorant in her manner and converse, had been fetched up from Wales to be introduced—poor thing—if necessary, to a fortune and title. Here again the truth was painfully apparent. Through the disfigurement of that scourge, the small-pox, the resemblance to her parents, Lord and Lady Leverglen, was manifest.
The motive of revenge on the Leverglen family was, at first, supposed to be the cause; but in the course of these proceedings, the old woman was taken ill in London, and, it was apparent, had been arrested by death. In her last moments, she mado a request to see tho Dowager, tho lawyers, and the Marquis of Willsbury, as well as the two young women; but she who has hitherto been called the Countess of Leverglen refused to come. Even in death the Welsh nurse's eyes flamed with passion.
"Never mind," she said, " wo shall soon meet where she must come."
She reiterated her statements on oath, made still more sacred by its being her dying one; and taking the sacrament, soon afterward expired. .... And she to whose pride this crushing blow had arrived, she would not believe, for a long time, that this dreadful discovery was true. What! she, the delicately bred, the refined, the beautiful, made of the common clay which formed wretched Welsh peasants? Impossible! She shut herself up in her chamber, and caused it to be darkened, and became more imperious than ever. Lady Leverglen, who was distracted, came
and sat by her, and soothed her awhile with flattering hopes and promises; but the defection of my Lord Willsbury, who had never recovered from the shame and disgrace of his wedding morning, affected her too powerfully to be mastered. It was in vain that they who were admitted to see her said that if his affection was for her wealth and state, instead of for herself, it were well that she had found out her mistake. She would not acknowledge any thing to be well that involved the loss of worldly homage. It was of no use to represent that her charms and accomplishments being personal, she could not be deprived of them. "Of what use were they," she said, " to poverty and disgrace?" Lady Leverglen, to comfort her, assured her that, in the worst case, an allowance should be hers to live like a gentlewoman.
"I thank you, madam," she said, her eyes flashing scorn; "and I have doubtless your consent to marry tho chaplain, or the hairdresser, or any who will take the vile disgraced changeling."
Then her mood would alter, and she would fling her arms round my lady's neck, and crave indulgence, and passionately implore her to remember if she knew not of some sign or mark by which she could be identified; and these scenes went on till Gynncth's death and final declaration, which there was no getting over. Lady Leverglen was compelled to say she would receive the real Countess of Leverglen as her daughter, and to intimate to Dorindo, or Polly as she had been christened, that she must depart to a retreat in the country till her feelings softened. My lady would gladly receive her as companion, still feeling for her like a daughter. Mrs. Pomander told me that to her dying day she would never forget the look of the ci-devant countess, but she only answered my lady with a "Certainly, madam; you shall be obeyed in every circumstance," and turned round on her bed, which she had never quitted since they brought her to it after that terrible morning, and buried her face in the pillows, as if she wished no further discourse; so my lady, who was nigh broken-hearted herself, left the room, and some hours after the invalid complained to Mrs. Pomander of a racking pain in her shoulder.
"It is cold," said the woman, who vowed that she knew not how to term her mistress.
"I suppose so," said Miss. "Send, Pomander, for some laudanum to rub it with."
The laudanum was got—a pint bottleful—from the apothecary's, and the shoulder well rubbed with it; and then Mrs. Pomander took her leavg for the night.
"Leave the bottle," said her mistress, " on the toilet, lest this terrible pain returns."
The woman did so.
» * . » * *.
When Mrs. Pomander drew her young lady's curtains next morning, there she lay in the stillness of death. Alas! alas! it was a death selfinflicted—the haughty and impatient spirit had dared to rush to its Creator, not in humiliation and prayer, but in desperation and anger. He who is more merciful than the most merciful of