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must he think of me? I calmed myself by the
you have been truly idle to tremble for your adYet I could not sleep at night. If he went, venturous Miriam as you call her. Of this rocould he escape them? I had opened a window mance, which makes you so uneasy, there only of the veranda, not recollecting that the park at remains at this hour a withered sprig of jasmine. Chimilah cut off all noises, and depending on the Your little princess is of a rank which sufficientrarity of the air to bring me some sound of ly protects her from the scorn which might wound what was taking place at that hour. Nothing! her pride. To put a seal on this secret for ever, I The sky, the stars with their mild light, illu- have written to this unhappy man a last reasonmined the parterres, whence rose odoriferous able letter, and I have again taken up my old breathings. Daylight surprised me still up. I course of life, so very busy, I assure you, with preptold myself then that this terrible adventure was arations for my marriage that it leaves no time unknown. As to Zourah—as I said before, she to give way to that natural nonchalance of my believed she carried a letter from some woman race with which you have so often reproached of the harem. From what passed at her house me, In eight days the Ramadan will be over, she can suspect nothing. Thus, then, no one will and, urged by my father, I have pronounced the ever discover that the Princess Miriam protected word which will accomplish my destiny. You this unfortunate, nor suspect that one evening can judge of the joy at Chimilah. Day before she left her palace to speak with him, Now, de- yesterday, departing more than ever from the esprived of all hope, the poor poet will live, and tablished rules, there was a new visit to the fathe remembrance of this incident will weaken in mous pavilion, where Seigneur Mohammed came his mind with time, which effaces all things. this time under the character of fiancé. Under
The next morning I had scarcely risen when stand, I was still losely wrapped in my veils. Nazly entered, handing me a letter which bore no Honestly, he did not utter his protestations badly. address.
Timid and impassioned by turns, he yet had a " Where did this letter come from?” I asked certain hardness of glance which presages the in amazement.
master - h'm! Martha ! He would have been “Zourah brought it to me. A slave carried perfect if he had not let me suspect that he it to her house and desired her to convey it im- treats me like a child. mediately to the hanum who had come to visit Before this proud man, to whom I must one her garden yesterday."
day humble myself, I could not prevent my I tremblingly opened the paper. Some jas- thoughts from returning to the foolish dreams mine-flowers fell upon my knees. I read : you know of. But, pshaw! all that has flown.
“ This act of thanks will reach you to say The glory and fortune of our family are at stake! that you have saved me. Alas! in leaving you I We have arranged the routine of my house. knew that the adieu from your lips was a final The gratings are newly gilded, as is suitable for adieu, and that I should never see you more, but one of the rarest of birds. Each morning magI bear in my heart the imperishable souvenir of nificent baskets of presents are sent to the hathat pity of an instant that you felt for me. rem. I find among them unknown flowers which From the retirement of the retreat which I have seem to have been forced expressly for me. Never secured, I do not wish one cloud to still trouble was there more radiant happiness. . . . Do not the calm peace of your happy life. Know, then, pay any attention to these blistered lines. Withthat I am free; that the perils which made you out knowing why, I melted into tears; that is tremble are now no more than idle shadows; all, and they have washed them. and that I remember.” When I had finished,
XVII. an unspeakable sadness took possession of me. Tears of tenderness wet my eyes. The danger
MORE and more enchanted, Hosnah has put now removed, in spite of myself, I pity this love herself at the head of all the preparations for the so full of abnegation, so respectful, so humble important day. She desires that Cairo shall long in its hopelessness that it does not even utter a remember such a fête. Owing to this diversion, complaint. This solicitude for my peace, which I have gained some respite, which I have profited has made him no doubt brave danger to send me by to go and see Adilah. My father is so joythis note, touches me to the depths of my soul! ous that I do not despair of arriving at the great Poor boy! I have repaired the evil that my im- aim I have pursued in fancy—to make him acprudence might have caused him. I am quits knowledge the poor, lonely girl. You know how with my conscience, and with him.
indulgent he is to my escapades. He listens Such is the end of my prank.
when I speak of her; and he no longer forbids
me to visit her, but feigns unconsciousness. I “Enter, hanums,” she said, in the grave and have already Saida as an ally. Were she not dignified manner of a sibyl. afraid of being disagreeable to Hosnah, we While she devoted herself to embracing her would be sure of the zeal of my step-mother, son, I examined with amazement the interior, on condition always that she remains hidden be- which I had entered after much repugnance. In hind the curtain.
the place of that sordid poverty and dirt which Mansour—my little savage—is a charming are ordinarily to be found in the dwellings of the child; you can not imagine the affection this fellahs, there was a comparative cleanliness which poor little fellow has for me: he only seems to almost testified to a certain ease. The cabin had live in my presence. Saida is devoted to him, only one room, lighted by the open door, so that and we take him out to drive with us, which, the the farther end was in darkness. We seated other day, was the cause of a curious incident. ourselves on a divan of red cotton cloth; on a We had gone out in the coach. The weather was mat before us were carefully arranged some litso beautiful that passing Choubrah we reached tle pottery cups, some shells, and some cheese ; the banks of the Nile, when the idea occurred to and on one side a writing-desk and some old me of taking the child to see his mother. The books. Silent, and impressed by all this, Saida scene was the same as before: the same children looked around with curiosity. -yaoulets, as they call them-were playing on Thin, bronzed, with strongly marked harsh the boats moored there, and startling the scarlet features, the guayari has an air of savage enerflamingoes. Some buffaloes dotted the blue gy which must inspire confidence and terror in water with great spots of black, while the little her fortune-telling. Her eyes, shaded with kohl fellahines, slender and graceful in their cloth as far as the middle of her cheeks, have a savage draperies, with jars upon their heads in the form glitter, which abash the gaze and seem to wrest of amphora vases, which each supports with one's secret thoughts involuntarily. She knelt the arm of a caryatid covered with glass brace- at my feet, searching me with her dark orbs. lets, went and came with the easy, undulating Give me your hand," she said. grace of antique statues. Mansour, on seeing I refused, but Saïda timidly held hers out. his old comrades, wished to get out and show The sorceress held the little hand in hers, and himself in his dress of an effendi, and we per- appeared to study the lines, then without saying mitted him to do so. We were soon surround- a word she rose and returned with a stand upon ed, and you can imagine the cries of joy and which a live adder was crawling. Saïda screamed. wonder.
“Do not be afraid,” she said. “It is a harmWe followed the road on foot to reach a less reptile." cluster of huts which were about a hundred And, as if she wished to show us what was yards off, when suddenly Mansour dropped my dangerous, she went and brought a little cage hand, and dashed off after a stranger who was which she placed before our eyes. A serpent, crossing the road. The pedestrian turned round: rolled into a ring scarcely larger than a bracelet, it was Hassan. Letting the child lead him, he seemed sleeping on a bed of sand. It was an came toward us, but-withheld by respect - asp, whose sting is mortal, and which is used stopped. My gaze met his; he started — no only in the most terrible incantations. doubt, discovering it was me—bowed his head in Of course the fortune-teller only predicted secret recognition, and smiling gently on the lit- happiness, fortune, power, and all smiling prophtle fellah, as if I must take the smile to myself, ecies, until Saida was beaming. Before going went on without daring to proffer a word. away I gave Salome permission to come and see
You may believe I was much exercised in her son at Chimilah. answering Saida's questions, for she was greatly
XVIII. puzzled with this by-play. When she learned that he was the man who saved Mansour I HAVE had an interview with my father, which “How ugly he is !" she cried.
was at the same time solemn and charming, in I know not why, but this exclamation spread which he complimented me by treating me as a peace into my soul. Certainly the ugliness of daughter with intelligence enough to understand the poor poet Hafiz absolves me for the secret things, and to be associated with the ambitious bond so strangely formed between us, and of projects that he does not confide to the narrow which chance seems to renew the remembrance. minds of my elder sisters. He did not conceal I told you, I think, that Mansour's mother is a from me the fact that, in the present ruined state fortune-teller. She was standing in the doorway, of our family affairs, they depend solely on me to and, seeing me approach with the child, rushed raise them up. Politics and caprice of the rulers to throw herself at my feet and kiss the hem of being in this country the only source of wealth my habarah with great effusion of gratitude. and favor, he unfolded to me the hopes arising
from this splendid marriage of mine, and he abnegation of self before his idol touches me to entered into the most confidential details. The the depths of my soul. He has the strength of influence that I appear to have gained already a lion, my dear, under this timid humility. I over Mohammed does not leave a doubt of the have again read his “ Princess Gulnare.”
An sovereign power I shall be able to wield. The Eastern poet alone could paint its burning pasharem, my dear, strange as it may seem, holdssion. One of these days I will translate it for here a more important place than you may sup- you. pose in the control of the government. My rôle
XIX. is admirable, and, in view of the high position I MARTHA ! you are the only one to whom I
1 shall be called to fill, if I am to believe the style can confide my most secret thoughts. Whether of the adulation of which I am the recipient in guilty or imprudent, I know that I shall always the innumerable visits I receive, behold me al- find in your heart the inextinguishable love of a ready the most envied hanum in Egypt. Hosnah sister. No! Do not say I have deceived you, and Farideh have introduced to me their most if, in consequence of an idle act, which up to this titled friends in Cairo. I am enthroned, and ac- hour troubles me, I have done injustice to mytually have almost a court, where the two parties self. I will at least open my soul to you, and let mingle, and petitions are presented to me as if you search there, like another conscience which I were the wife of a vizier.
forms part of my being. Yes ! you had foreseen Two new interviews with my fiancé have that, always pursuing chimeras, the imagination now definitely settled our future, and, save that of your poor Miriam would stray beyond your he only knows me by my eyes, the bond that advice and judgment. Led away by a miserable unites ou. souls is firmly knitted. Workmen are feeling of coquetry, perhaps, I have not kept my in his palace arranging my harem in French style, promise ! I have written, I have answered his and I learn through Hosnah that he is spending letters, which breathe such resigned, submissive nearly a million dollars on it. Think if I am love. I feel myself so exalted in this heart adorloved-and if I shall not be happy!...
ing me without hope or aim ! Does he not know To escape the fatigue of the visitors whom that we are utterly separated ? Do not believe my happiness has already secured me, I drive that I have encouraged him, Martha. His heart out of town, where, alone with Bell, I can collect is deep and transparent as a beautiful lake which my thoughts. Nearly each time I have met the reflects the sky. All there is noble and sublime poor poet Hafiz at the same spot, who seems to in its pleasures and its sorrows. Bereft of all come there and wait to see me pass. Perhaps hope, he loves me, and never dares even to prohe is in concealment in some hut in the neigh- nounce my name.
Resolved to give up all my borhood. Through precaution for him, though, dreams in consequence of the marriage required I have for several days discontinued going there, by my father, I have only given the poor poet a hoping that when he does not see me any longer token of my sympathy for the horrible suffering he will cease his painful attendance; but, some of which I have been the involuntary cause. His whim of Hosnah's leading us through the same respect so exalted me in my own eyes that I felt road, I met him again more sad and paler than reassured, and rather proud to console him. Do before. More touched than I cared to be by this not alarm yourself, then, like my unfortunate patient devotion, which can only bring him suf- Bell, who, ignorant of my secret, torments me fering, I resolved to at least spare his poor, noble with a thousand questions about a change in me heart the torture of an effort so agonizing. The that she observes. I shall be married in a few next morning, arming myself with all my cour- days; I will obey my destiny. What more can age, I went out alone with Bell, and, as my coach they require? Must I give up my life also ? Am passed before him, I let fall a sprig of jasmine, to I not dazzled by the splendor of an unequaled which I had fastened this cold, harsh farewell: future? What is wanting in my fate? A very “ I will return here no more."
little thing, truly—only the happiness of loving, The same evening Nazly's sister brought me the union of two souls which makes marriage an this note :
enchantment. What is all this I dream of? I have “ Pardon, pardon me for being so unhappy as a lover who adores me, and, whether with him or to cause you annoyance. Alas! that it should with another, I shall learn to have a master. be my fault that you should avoid that road be- That is all. cause I was there! But now I recognize my
Return-return; I will obey you. You No, Martha, I can not pretend any more! I shall not see me again.”
have lied to you: I feigned a stupid resignation; Poor fellow! In receiving these lines, where I am afraid — I am afraid. Possessed, in spite not a word of complaint escapes his desolated of myself, by a delirium stronger than my reaheart, I realize how harsh I have been. This son, I lose my senses. The bare thought of be
ing the wife of Mohammed terrifies me. Is there to defend myself. I can not be the wife of Monot some hour in our lives when the heart awakens hammed; I should die! It would be cowardly and, bursting all the trammels that our poor wis- infamy. It would be a frightful torture to which dom has invented to subjugate it, it speaks as a they have no right to condemn me. master, annulling the past, stifling everything, But what shall I do? Everything is decided even the recollection of pledges made ? Martha, upon; all is nearly accomplished. For three days I love Hassan! Do you understand ? I should I have thought of throwing myself at my father's love to give him my life-my soul, and all that is feet, and imploring him to break off the marmine! I have loved him from the first day, to riage; but what pretext could I give ? To own that second supreme one when we met. I will the truth, would be to betray Hassan-to loosen love him until I die, and I shall be the wife of against him new and powerful hatreds. You see, another ! What is to become of me in that irrev- I am utterly lost-only a miracle can save me ! ocable future to which I thoughtlessly abandoned myself? I am lost !·lost beyond recall — lost, From the French of JACQUES VINCENT without its being possible even for me to attempt (Revue des Deux Mondes).
(Conclusion next month.)
THEN Ismail Pasha ascended the vicere- dia to Europe to pass her by; whereas, before
gal throne of Egypt, he inherited from his the canal was dug, everything and every person predecessor, Said Pacha, a legacy which proved going to and coming from that direction, stopped to be the cause of his troubles, his misfortunes, at her ports, used her roads, and paid toll conand his end. Said Pasha had granted to a French tinually, thus profiting every one, from hotelcompany the right to cut a ship-canal from the keeper to donkey-boy. Mediterranean to the Red Sea.
It was a political mistake because it has It was a grand idea, no doubt. But, if we placed Egypt upon the highway to India, thus are to believe the records of the past, it was not making her an object of jealous solicitude, and of a new one. Twice before the waters of the great importance from a strategical point of view, Mediterranean had been connected with the wa- to those nations whose power is supposed to be ters of the Red Sea, and it is generally credited mainly derived from that country, or whose amthat even the canal which now exists was pro- bition lies in that direction ; while the ruinous jected long before the present company under- influence it has exercised over the finances of took to dig it. It was a gigantic undertaking, Egypt may be seen by a passing glance at the although not a very difficult one to accomplish. facts; and I venture the assertion that no one It does not require any great engineering skill to who will take the trouble to consider them—save excavate in sand; and, as soon as it was ascer- only those who have profited thereby—will hesitained that the sand would not return to the place tate to say that a greater scheme of cruelty and from which it was taken, the problem was solved. plunder was never imagined, or, if imagined, was As for the danger arising from the sides falling never before carried to such successful execution. in, every one knows that wet sand is always hard, The first proposition which was made to the and that it has no tendency to "cave." Any one then Khedive (Said Pasha), by the projectors of who walks upon a beach may observe it for him- the enterprise, was a very plain and simple one. self. Still, it was a great undertaking. It has If the Pasha would permit them to excavate a proved to all the world-Egypt alone excepted— canal through his dominions, which would join of great advantage. For Egypt, however, it has the Mediterranean with the Red Sea, they would turned out to have been a great commercial as do all the work at their own cost. When the well as a great political mistake. It has been canal should be completed, they would pay him the principal cause of her financial ruin, and led fifteen per cent of the profits which the canal to the dethronement of her late Viceroy. might earn. As there was no water in the coun
It has proved a great commercial mistake in try through which it was to be cut, except such this: that it has permitted all the travel and all as would come into it from the sea, and as a the merchandise going to and coming from In- great number of workmen would be employed upon it, and as the principal part of the grain of great a disaster. Besides, the money, when it the country is grown in Upper Egypt, beyond came, was to come from Europe, and those who Cairo, which then came to Alexandria for ship- had it did not fancy sending it so far away from ment, and which, it was hoped, would find its way home, under so many conditions of doubt and to the sea through the canal, it was agreed that, peril. should a sweet water canal be deemed necessary, To place themselves upon a better footing, the company were to be permitted to dig one, the company obtained further concessions from always at their own cost, from the Nile, starting the Viceroy (always subject, however, to the from a point near to and above Cairo, to the ship- approval of the Sultan). Among other things, canal. They were to be the owners for ninety- they were to be permitted to dig a fresh-water nine years of all the government land, then un- canal, starting from the point where the first one occupied, which lay along the banks of the ca- was to touch the marine canal, extending to the nal, and which might be irrigated from it, free of south as far as Suez, and to the north as far as taxes for ten years. At the expiration of ninety- Port Said. All the unoccupied land lying along nine years, the entire works were to revert to the the route of this projected canal, and belonging Government, upon the company being paid the to the Government, which might be irrigated value of their improvements. In case the char- from it (amounting to many thousands of acres, ter should be renewed at the expiration of its and which only needs the Nile-water to make it term, the Government was to receive an in- most productive), was to belong to the company creased share of the profits.
for ninety-nine years, and was to be free of taxes Nothing could be more business-like than for ten years. They were to be allowed to dethis. The results which the enterprise promised mand pay for the water which the canal might were so great that its projectors could afford to furnish the proprietors of land in its neighbordo the entire work, at their own cost, and give hood. They were to be allowed to charge ten to the grantor of the privilege fifteen per cent. francs per ton on vessels which might use the of their profits. This percentage on the profits ship-canal, and ten francs toll on each passenger would compensate for the loss of traffic which who might pass through it. the country then enjoyed from travelers and from One stipulation only was made in the interest merchandise in transit. But the grant was cou- of the people of the country. As it was evident pled with the express stipulation that the Khedive that the construction of these immense works was not to be bound to anything regarding it un- would require the employment of a great numless the Sultan should approve of the scheme and ber of laborers, it was agreed by the company give to it his assent. In point of fact, therefore, that four fifths, at least, of the workmen to be it was the Sultan who was to grant the necessary employed upon them should be Egyptians. These concessions. For this consent, however, the com- the Khedive agreed to furnish. They were to be pany did not wait, and they went to work. paid as follows: Those who were under twelve
Matters do not appear to have progressed very years of age were to receive two and a half rapidly. The company had undertaken a great piasters (about twelve and a half cents) per work, and, to perfect it, required a great deal of diem; those over twelve years of age were to money. The money was not forthcoming. Sub- receive three piasters (about fifteen cents) per scription to the stock was slow. Capitalists were diem; they were also to receive rations of the not eager to invest in such an undertaking. As value of one piaster (about five cents) per diem, usual, there were many croakers abroad. Every without regard to age. Lodging was to be proscheme of the sort finds many enemies. In Eng- vided for them, also hospitals, and transportation land, particularly, it was looked upon with great was to be furnished them to the point at which disfavor, just as canals in that country were pro- they were to work. The Khedive little dreamed, nounced impracticable when they were first pro- when he made this stipulation, which was clearly jected ; in the United States, just as railroads were intended should benefit his people, that he was before they were built. Many people believed that consigning upward of twenty thousand human the level of the Red Sea was so far below the level beings to their graves, and that he would, in the of the Mediterranean that, the canal once dug, all end, be called upon, and forced, to pay an imthe waters of the latter would pour through it, mense sum of money for it. leaving its bed dry. On the other hand, there Even with these vast grants in their favor, were others who thought the level of the Medi- the company stood in the presence of many diffiterranean so far below the level of the Red Sea culties. Although the first concession was made that the waters of the Indian Ocean would pour in November, 1854, and the second one in Januinto it, and flood a great portion of the Conti- ary, 1856, the subscription-books were not opened nent of Europe. Capitalists were not eager to until November, 1858. To secure 400,000,000 invest in an undertaking which threatened so francs (the estimated cost of the work) to be in