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the Temple of Pleasure, whither he himself was going, he should be happy to be permitted to join company with him to beguile the way. This freedom disgusted the prince, who frowned most contemptuously on the intruder without uttering a word in reply. “ You have said a volume to me,” continued the man without relaxing from his former courtesy : “ I flattered myself that my company might have proved as agreeable to you, as yours would have been acceptable to me; but since you appear to think otherwise, I shall continue my journey alone —that is, not alone--for I am never alone, when in my own company, as I can bear and love reflection. Fare-you-well, Sir, Alla and the Holy Prophet guide and watch over your footsteps !” He then bowed again, and going up to the gatekeeper, civilly desired admittance, which was immediately granted.
When the portal was opened, the prince had a slight view of the road which lay beyond it's and which was so narrow, rugged, gloomy, and beset with thorns and briars, that he found it would have been impossible to have prevailed upon himself to attempt it. The traveller, how: ver, after having thanked the gatekeeper by a civil nod, entered the disagreeable path with a cheerful face, and a firm, undaunted step. .
As the Prince had not the least inclination to follow him, but still felt his curiosity increased by what he had seen, he advanced towards the merrymakers before the left-hand portal, who no sooner perceived the stranger, than they quitted their pursuits, and received him with the most flattering courtesy. He had no sooner expressed the cause of his curiosity, than they imniediately gratified it, by informing him that the portal on the left-hand led to the Temple of Pleasure, which was at the distance of six days easy journey from the entrance; that the road leading to it was deligbtful, and the houses of accommodation, which would be met with at the end of each day's journey, were far superior to any idea which could be formed of them. The road, they added, was used by innumerable persons of both sexes, and of the first rank and fashion; whereas that on the right hand was only taken by the vulgar, and, in truth, only carried the traveller at every step, farther from the Temple of Pleasure. They
then exerted the most persuasive oratory to induce the Prince to enter the gate, assuring him that if he disliked what he saw, he would find no impediment to his return, as there was not the least restraint upon those who took their route to the Temple of Pleasure.
The prince, whose love of variety and luxury was raised by what he had already seen, was easily prevailed upon to pursue the course of this strange adventure, and be entered the portal. He travelled on without discerning a single person, which he attributed to the earliness of the hour ; but he was in no want of entertainment, as the road was broad, level as a carpet, and bordered on both sides by groves of acacias, palms, and olives in full bloom, with open interstices at intervals affording the most enchanting vistas of a pleasant, open country. The most beautiful feathered songsters seemed to endeavour to beguile his way by their melodious strains, and he found alcoves at proper distances where he might rést himself. To his surprise, however, he was neither met nor overtaken by any person, inor did he perceive a single habitation, until just as the Sun was sinking in the West. He then discerned, at a very little distance before him, a large house, or rather a palace; and on approaching it, he descried the following inscription over the gate : - The TemPLE OF Fashion.”
The appearance of the building was so ex. cessively magnificent, that the prince hesitated to ask for entertainment; but his doubts were soon removed. Several persons ran out, and with the utmost obsequiousness welcomed him to the Temple of Fashion, in which they said they were domestics, and added that the house afforded entertainment suited to princes, and had even been honoured with the presence of many of them. The prince, who in spite of the pleasantness of the road, was tired with the length of his walk, readily suffered himself to be conducted into the Temple, whose magnificence within exceeded those without. The prince was surprised, however, to see it quite empty of guests, and, on enquiring the reason of it, the domestics replied, that all the guests who had rested there on the preceding night, had proceeded on their journey in the morning; and that they never expected any other guests at
so early an hour. They added that the Temple, capacious as it was, would scarcely afford ac. commodation for all the guests who would enter it before midnight.
By the time that the prince had partaken of an elegant repast which was served up to him, crowds of guests rushed into the house; the doors of every apartment were thrown open, and the apartments began to fill apace. Every one found wherewith to please his inclination and to amuse himself, as there were rooms for music, singing, dancing, spectacles, gaming, drinking, and all other fashionable pursuits. The assemblage of company was so elegant, and their manners so free and polished, that the prince experienced no more reluctance, than difficulty in engaging himself among them. Indeed his habit, although only a hunting dress, bespoke him to be of a superior rank, as his turban, his belt, and the handles and scabbards of his sword and dagger, were loaded with jewels.
Among the company, he discerned a female who was beautiful beyond description, for though by their religion, the women were for,