« 이전계속 »
cent upon the decrees of destiny, And yet Mustapha was not without his moral creed ; and I have seldom known one revert to such requisitions with more sincere reverence, or follow their dictates with resolution so apparently invincible. There is but one difference,' said he, in our reli. gion; the Supreme Being whom you designate as Deo, I call Allah. We take unto ourselves four wives, and we do so to make sure of the blessing for which you pray—not to be led into temptation.' Of all vices, he appeared to regard intemperance with the greatest disgust, and was evidently much pained to see the ladies of our party promenading the court unveiled. Are your wives beautiful ?' I inquired. •In my view,' he replied, they are lovely, and that is sufficient.' I asked him if they resembled any of the ladies who frequented the walk. “It wonld be a sin,' he answered, •for me to gaze at them, and never having done so, I cannot judge.' In answer to my request that he would afford me an opportunity of forming my own opinion, by allowing me a sight of his wives. Signor,' he said, with much solemnity, when a Frank has once looked upon one of our women, she is no louger fit to be the wife of a Turk.' And he appears to have acted strictly upon this principle, for when the custode abruptly entered his room, as they were all seated at breakfast, Mustapha suddenly caught up the coverlid from the bed, and threw it over their heads.
There is a law in physics, called the attraction of cohe. sion, by which the separate particles composing a body are kept together, till a more powerful agency draws them into greater masses. Upon somewhat such a principle, I
suppose it was, that the parties convened in the Lazzaret, darting from one another in zigzag lines, like insects on the surface of a pool, were brought into more intimate companionship, from being denied association with those around, except at a respectable distance, and under the strictest surveillance. Our company, at least, were soon established on the intimate terms of a family, and the indifferent observer could scarcely have augured from appearances, that we were but a knot of strangers, brought together by the vicissitudes of travelling. And now the spirit of gallantry began to exhibit itself anew; in the Neapolitan with passionate extravagance, in the Frenchwan with studied courtesies, and in the Yankee with quiet earnestness. At dinner, the first day, the latter took care to keep in the back ground, till most of the party had selected seats, and then, seemingly by the merest aceident, glided among the ladies, and secured a post between the two younger sisters. This successful manoeuvre so offended the Englishman, that he retired from the field in high dudgeon, and never paid any farther attention to the fair Italians than what civility required. The remaining aspirants only carried on the contest more warmly. I was obliged almost momently to turn aside to conceal an irresistible smile at their lahored politeness towarıls each other, and the show of indiff rence to the object of their devoirs, which each in turn assumed, when slightly discomfited. Nor could I wonder at the eagerness of the pursuit, as I beheld that lovely creature seated at her book, or work, in a simple but tasteful dress of white, and watched the play of a countenance in which extreme youth and modesty'were blent in strangely sweet contrast with the repose of innocence, the vivid. ness of talent, and beauty so rare and heart-touching. I could not, too, but wonder at the manner in which she received the attention of her admirers-a manner so amiable as to disarm jealousy, and so impartial as to baffle the acutest on-looker who strove to divine her real sentiments. There is a power of manner and expression peculiar to women, more potent and variable than any attribute vouchsafed to man; and were it not so often despoiled of its charm by affectation, we should more frequently feel its wonderful capacity. In the daughters of southren climes, at that age when existence is all a feeling, not yet shaped into a thought, it is often manifested in singular perfection, and never have I seen it more so than in Angelica. It was a lesson in the art of love, worthy of Ovidius himself, to mark the course of the rival three. Such ingenious tricks to secure her arm for the evening walk; such eager watching to obtain the vacant seat at her side ; such countless expedients to arouse her mirth, amuse her with anecdote, or interest her in conversation; and such inexpressible triumph, when her eye beamed pleasantly upon the successful competitor! The Neapolitan cast burning glances of passion, whenever he could meet her gaze : quoted Petrarch, and soothed his hopeless moments by dark looks, intend. ed to alarm his brother gallants, and awaken her pity. The Frenchman, on the contrary, was all smiles, constantly studying his toilet and attitude, and laboring, by the most graceful artifices, to fascinate the fancy of his ladylove. The Yankee evinced his admiration by an unassuming but unvarying devotion. If Angelica dropped her fan, he was ever the one to restore it; was the evening chill, he always thought of her shawl, and often his dinner grew cold upon his neglected plate, while he was attending to her wants. One day her album was circulated. Don Carlo, the Neapolitan, wrote a page of glowing protestations, asserting his inextinguishable love. Monsieur Jacques, in the neatest chirography, declared that the recent voyage had been the happiest of his life, and his present confinement more delightful than mountain liberty, in the company of so perfect a nymph. Delano simply declared, that the sweet virtues of Angelica sanctified her beauty to his memory and heart.
There are some excellent creatures in this world, whose lives seem to conduce to every body's happiness but their own.
Such an one was the donna Paolina. Affable and engaging, and with a clear and cultivated mind, she lacked the persoval loveliness of her sisters, and yet rejoiced in it as if it were her own. No one could remain long in the society of the two, without perceiving that the confidence between them was perfect, and found. ed on that mutual adaptation which we but occasionally behold, even in the characters of those allied by the ties of a common parentage. To this kind-hearted girl I discovered that the lovers had separately applied for counsel and support in the prosecution of their suits. Don Carlo begged her to warn her sister against the advances of the Frenchman, as he knew him to be a thorough hypocrite ; and Monsieur Jacques returned the compliment, by assuring her that the Neapolitan was by no means sufficiently refined and accomplished to be the companion of so delicate a creature as Angelica. Young Jonathan, with a more manly policy, so won the esteem of Paolina, by dwelling upon the excellencies of her sister, that she became his unwavering advocate. I confess that as the appointed period of durance drew to a close, I began to feel anxious as to the result of all this dallying with the tender passion. I saw that Monsieur was essentially selfish in his suit, and that vanity was its basis. It was evident that the Neapolitan was stimulated by one of those ardent and sudden partialities, which are as capricious as the flashes of a volcano, and often as temporary. In truth, there was not enough of the spirit of sacrifice, or vital attachment, in their love, to warrant the happiness of the gentle being whose outward charms alone had captivated their senses. Delano, I knew, was sincere, and my fears were, that his future peace was involved in the result. At length the last evening of our quarantine had arrived. Mons. Jacques had played over, as usual, all her favorite airs on his guitar, and Carlo had just fervently recited a glowing passage from some Italian poet, descriptive of a lover's despair, when sunset, playing through the bars of our window, reminded us that the cool hour of the day was at hand, when it was our custom to walk in the out. er court. As we went forth, there was that eloquently sad silence, with which even the most thoughtless engage in an habitual employment for the last time. anticipated me in securing the companionship of the sweet child of nature, whose beauty and gentleness had