« PoprzedniaDalej »
of Woodstock, &c. Hence it clearly follows, that | for, in the Prologue to a play, written about 1613, Sir Richard Whittington never could have been a
the citizen says;
Why could you not be contented, poor bare-legged boy; for it is here plainly asserted as well as others, with the legend of Whittington that his father was a knight, no mean distinction in or the life and death of Sir Thomas Gresham, with those days. Yet in every popular account of Whit- | the building of the Royal Exchange? or the story tington, he is said to have been born in very humble of Queen Eleanor, with the rearing of London circumstances. This erroneous idea has evidently Bridge upon woolsacks ?” The word legend in this been owing to the popular legend of him and his cat, case would seem to indicate the story of the cat ; and it shows how fiction will occasionally drive truth and we cannot, therefore, well assign it a later date out of her domain. Such, then, is the real history than the sixteenth century. of this renowned Lord Mayor ; but tradition, we Cats, we know, fetched a high price in America, know, tells a very different tale: and it is as follows. when it was first colonized by the Spaniards. Two
Dick Whittington, a poor orphan boy, came up cats, we are told, were taken out on speculation to to London from the country, and a rich merchant, Guyana, where there was a plague of rats, and they named Fitzwarren, took compassion on him, and put were sold for a pound of gold. Their first kittens him into the kitchen under his cook, who treated fetched, each, thirty pieces of eight, the next genehim harshly: but Miss Alice, his master's daughter, ration, went for about twenty, and the price gradually showed him much kindness. The rats and mice fell, as the colony became stocked with them. The that swarmed in the garret where he slept led him elder Almagro, is also said to have given six hundred a wretched life, till, with a penny he had gotten, he pieces of eight, to the person who presented him with purchased a cat. Dick's master, Mr. Fitzwarren, the first cat which was brought to South America. was shortly afterwards sending a ship to sea, and he On reading this, we might feel disposed to assign gave all his servants permission to send out a a historical foundation to the legend of Whittington venture in her. Poor Dick had no property on earth and his Cat; but, it is more probably an independent but his cat, and, by his master's orders, he fetched British fiction. her down from his garret, and committed her to It is strange what a propensity there is to assign the captain with tears in his eyes, for he said he some other cause for the acquisition of riches, than should now be kept awake all night by the rats and industry, frugality, and skill," (the usual and surest mice. All laughed at Dick's venture, but Miss Alice road to wealth.) I hardly ever knew, in my own kindly gave him money to purchase another cat. country, says Mr. Keightley, an instance of a man
The ship was driven to the coast of Barbary, and who, as the phrase goes, “ had risen from nothing," the captain having sent out specimens of his cargo that there was not some extraordinary mode of to the king of the country, he and his chief mate accounting for his attainment of wealth. The simple were invited to court, where they were royally en and most usual explanation of the wonder was, to tertained; but the moment the dishes were set on assert that he had gotten a treasure some way or the table, rats and mice ran from all sides and de- | other. Thus, for example, I once knew a man, whose voured what was on them. The captain was told, original name had been Halfpenny (when he rose in that the king would give half his wealth to be deli- the world he refined it to Halpen), and who had vered of this torment; and, instantly recollecting grown rich from the humblest means. I was, one poor Dick's cat, he told the king that he could day, when a boy, speaking of him and his success in destroy them. He went down to the ship, and the world to our gardener ; " Sure, then, you are fetched up Puss under his arm. The tables were not such a gommaril (fool), Sir,” said he, smiling at covered once more, and the usual havoc begun, when my simplicity, “as to believe it was by honest industhe cat, jumping among the depredators, made a try he made all his money? I'll tell you, Sir, how carnage of them, which amazed all present. The it raley was: you see he sent one time to the Castle king, out of gratitude, purchased the whole ship's for a keg of half-pence, and, by the laws! what did cargo, and gave, over and above, a great quantity of they send him, in mistake, but a keg full of goulden gold for the cat, and the captain set sail for England. guineas! And Jemmy, you see, was 'cute, and he
To whom is the subsequent history of Richard kept his own secret, and by degrees he throve in the Whittington unknown? Who knows not how, during world, and became the man he is. That 's the rale the absence of the ship, he ran away from the ill-truth of it for you.” Here, then, we have an instance treatment of the cook, and had gotten as far as Hol- of the name giving occasion to the legend. loway, when he sat down on the stone, on the site of Other persons have a wonderful inclination to which is one called at this very day “ Whittington's discover a ground-work of historical truth in popular Stone*,” and heard Bow-bells ring out,
legends. Whittington's Cat has not escaped their Turn again Whittington,
shrewdness, for in some popular History of England, Thrice Lord Mayor of London!
the story has been explained, as it is called; and two and how he married good Miss Alice, and became, or three country newspapers, have copied the explain reality, Lord Mayor of this great city?
nation with evident delight. Sir Richard Whittington In the whole of this legendary history there is, we was, it seems, the owner of a ship named the CAT, may see, not one single word of truth further than by his traffic in which he acquired the greater part this,—that the maiden name of Lady Whittington was of his wealth. It is not, however, quite clear, that Alice Fitzwarren. It is really deserving of attention, our worthy mercer was directly engaged in foreign as an instance of the manner in which tradition will traffic. falsify history, and it would be extremely interesting to ascertain the exact age of the legend. Neither Henry the Eighth encouraged foreigners, and Germans in Grafton nor Hollingshed, who copies him, says any particular, to settle and trade in London, and separate thing of the legendary history of Sir Richard; but streets were assigned to the various branches of trade. it must have been current in the reign of Elizabeth, The haberdashers adjourned to East Cheape, and also to
London Bridge; pepperers and grocers, in Bucklersbury; • In the immediate neighbourhood of this, just at the foot of all the cooks' shops, were in Cooks' Row in Thames Street; Highgate Hill, is the neat and comfortable college, lately erected, the granaries of the City were kept in Leadenhall Street; called Whittington's College, in the centre of the principal court of and all the bread was baked at Stratford-le-Bow, and which is a figure of the founder, as “ a bare-legged boy," sitting on the Holloway stone.
brought thence to the city.--Life and Times of Henry VIII,
SUPERSTITIONS RELATING TO BEES.
THE ISLAND OF MADAGASCAR.
I. SITUATION AND EXTENT-NATURAL PRODUCTIONS-
MANNERS AND CUSTOMS OF THE NATIVES. The art of order to a peopled kingdom.-SHAKSPEARE.
The Island of Madagascar is one of those very few spots, The lower orders of people in this and some other places, in the direct line of the operations of Europeans of all have curious superstitions respecting bees. A poor old nations, which still remain in the possession of their widow once complained to me that all her stocks had died, ancient inhabitants. This is not, indeed, for want of incliand on inquiring the cause, she informed me that on the nation on the part of Europeans, but from the character death of her husband a short time before, she had neglected of the natives, who, jealous of their liberty, have successtò tap at each of the hives, to inform the bees of the cir- fully resisted every attempt to subjugate them. It is the cumstance: in consequence of this omission, they had third island in size in the world, being about 900 miles been gradually getting weaker and weaker, and that now long from North to South, and 300 broad in its widest she had not one left. This may appear a solitary instance part. Its name, in the language of the country, is indistinctly of superstition, but I believe it will be found that, very pronounced Madecasse, or Malegash; the Portuguese generally, on the death of a cottager who lias kept bees, called it Isle de St. Lawrence, but Madagascar is now some ceremonious observance takes place.
the general name by which it is designated. A correspondent of Mr. Loudon's mentions, that in It extends from 12° to 25° 40' South latitude, and from Norfolk, at places where bees are kept, it is peremptory, 43° 41' to 50° 30' East longitude, and is 670 leagues from in case of the death of any of the family, to put the bees the Cape of Good Hope, 186 from the Isle of France, and in mourning, or the conséquence would be that all of 150 from that of Bourbon. The coast is divided throughthem would die. The person who made the assertion out by rivers, many of them navigable a considerable mentioned a case in point, where, from the neglect of the way up their channels, and the bays and gulis are custom, every bee in the apiary had perished. The method numerous, forming excellent roads and harbours. The of putting them in mourning, is by attaching a piece of island is estimated to contain two hundred millions of black cloth to each of the hives. Another correspondent acres, and the face of the country consists of vast plains, also says, that in the neighbourhood of Coventry, in the and forests, the trees of which are of immense size event of the death of any of the family, it is considered and height, and overhang the sides of the mountains, necessary to inform the bees of the circumstance, otherwise whose summits, in the back-ground, are lost in the clouds. they will dwindle and die. The manner of communicating | Many of the woods are of great extent, and all of them the intelligence to the little community, is with due form are difficult to explore, on account of the tangled brush-, and ceremony to take the key of the house, and knock wood, and the huge parasitical and climbing plants, which with it three times against the hive, informing the inmates, form an impenetrable mass. at the same time, that their master or mistress, as the case The mountains are numerous, and abound in mines of may be, is dead. A similar custom prevails in Kent, and iron, steel, silver, and copper; gold also, and precious stones in some places it is considered expedient to communicate are found in the streams. The plains are diversified with any great event that may take place to these industrious rising grounds, on which the towns and villages are built. insects. The use of a key seems necessary in another These are surrounded by plantations of rice, barley, yams, ceremony which takes place in regard to bees.
&c., while the streams that intersect it in every direction, When a swarm has quitted one of my hives, I always impart great beauty and fertility. observe that a key is used to induce it to settle, by striking This island is divided into twenty-eight or thirty proit against a frying-pan, and I should feel some regret if vinces, all of them very fertile, and abounding with cattle and this good old custom was omitted. So far from letting the pasturage; formerly, these were each governed by its own ringer think that the tinkling noise he makes is a useless chieftain, but of late years, a large part of the island has one, I always encourage the practice of it, and it is one of been under the dominion of one monarch, who resides at the pleasurable sounds of the country. Often have I Tananarive, a town nearly in the centre, or towards the quitted my room on hearing it, to enjoy the sight of my southern end of the island. The port that is chietly additional wealth, and to assist in securing it. The day is resorted to by the Europeans, is Tamatave, on the eastern sure to be warm and smiling, and I watch the increased side; and not far from thence, to the north, is the Isle St. accumulation of my clustering bees with infinite satis- Mary, an extremely rich and fertile spot, within about faction. The old customs I have been mentioning, and three leagues of the main island, and dependent upon it. many similar ones which are practised by my poorer neigh- The famous Buccaneers, or Pirates, had a settlement here bours, may be laughed at, but I like them all, as long as about the beginning of the last century, where they they are innocent, and consider them as adding in some formed alliances with the native chiefs, among whom many degree to the interest of a country life.
of their descendants to this day hold rank. To a thinking mind, few phænomena are more striking The soil in general consists of a rich deep mould, than the clustering of bees on some bough, where they which, aided by the mild temperature of the atmosphere, remain, in order, as it were, to be ready for hiving: 1 produces the most luxuriant vegetation. In the south, observe that where a hive is fixed over a swarm, the bees are some extensive plains of arid sand, but these spots will generally go into it of their own accord, uttering at the
The air is salubrious in the neighbourhood same time their satisfied hum, and seeming to be aware of of the mountains; and the plains are not unhealthy, the purpose for which it was placed near them. How the except in the rainy season, or while the red rice is growing, queen bee is made acquainted that so convenient a place which requires the land to be flooded. for her to retreat to is near at hand, I know not, but so it The towns are generally built on eminences, and are is. Surrounded by thousands of her subjects who press surrounded by stockades, strengthened by large posts of around her, she makes her way through them all, and bamboo at short distances. On the outside of the stockade enters the hive, followed by the whole swarm. Some is a deep ditch, and within it a parapet of earth. The means of communication must have taken place, as it is houses consist of one floor only; the roof is covered with quite impossible that she could herself have seen the snug | leaves of the raven-palm; the walls consist of planks, lined retreat which had been prepared for her. Here the work with matting. The space within is divided into apartof preparing future cells is instantly commenced, and I ments, by matting; there are no chimneys, and the smoke have found that although a swarm has not been able for is intolerable to a European. Most of the dwellings are two or three days to quit the hive, after they had taken surrounded and shaded with fruit and other trees of a possession of it, a considerable number of cells had been thick foliage, particularly the raven-palm, which gives a nearly completed. Even as soon as the foundation of a picturesque and interesting appearance to the towns and cell has been finished, the queen bee will sometimes deposit villages, some of which are very large and populous. an egg upon it, the sides being afterwards built up. The natural productions of Madagascar are numerous
Nothing can be more melancholy than the appearance in kind, and abundant in quality. Of quadrupeds, there of bees in wet weather. Some of them I have observed are four varieties of oxen, including the bison. The flesh to come to the mouth of the hive, as if to take a view of of all these is excellent, and a plentiful supply is the passing clouds, and some of those who are tempted to always obtained by our East India ships, at a cheap rato. quit the hive, return to it with the greatest difficulty. A The sheep are similar to those at the Cape of Good Hope, sun-sbiny day in May is their delight, and it is then that having tails that weigh from twelve to twenty pounds. bees seem most active and most joyous.—JESSE's Glean- The babyroussa, a species of hog with curled tusks, is a ings in Natural History,
native of the woods, and with the porcupine, hedge-hug,
tendrac, baboons of a large size, monkeys, badgers, foxes, | the failings and the virtues of most savage nations. Placed civet-cats, wild-cats, crocodiles, and two or three beasts of in a land literally flowing with milk and honey, they ex prey, completes the catalogue of quadrupeds, unless we hibited an easy and indolent disposition. Abstemious in include the Rausette, or great Madagascar Bat, (the their habits, they had but little excitement to rouse them, Vampire of the ancients,) among the number. This except on particular public occasions. Towards those with extraordinary animal is a foot long, and extends its wings whom they were in friendship, their conduct was humane, four feet. Towards evening, clouds of them hover about generous, and good-natured, but they are easily provoked, the woods, destroying the ripe fruits and domestic fowls, and quick in their resentments. They possess considerable and frequently attacking the natives, who, however, eagerly mental powers, and readily comprehend and reason upon pursue them for food, their flesh being much esteemed. any new subject. Their public speakers display great
Birds are very numerous, and among the insects and eloquence and flow of language, their addresses being reptiles, there are four species of lizards, including the argumentative and conclusive. chameleon, and the breastleaper, a curious animal, not They are much given to superstition, and the practice of generally described. It attaches itself to the bark of the witchcraft prevails to a great extent. The Ombiasses, or trees, and will frequently leap upon the natives, clinging magicians, have great influence over the people, who are so fast by means of a sort of hook with which it is furnished, much afraid of them. Polygamy is practised throughout on the tail, legs, neck, and body, that they are obliged to the island, limited only by the resources of the party; cut away the skin. Snakes of different kinds are common, the first wife, however, is the superior. The women are some of a large size, but none venomous; scorpions, and cheerful and captivating in their manners, passionately centipedes, and flies, are also found in every part. The fond of dancing and singing, but generally preserve profire-tly is so numerous, that Flacourt, a Frenchman, who priety and decorum. The honesty of these people towards wrote an account of the island in 1661, says he once each other is remarkable; they have no bars or locks. thought his house was in flames, being almost covered Every precaution is taken to prevent a surprise from a with them. There are four species of silk-worms, all hostile tribe, but within their intrenchments all is security quadrupeds, and much of the silk they produce is of the and confidence. finest quality.
It is generally supposed that there are three distinct It is in the vegetable creation, however, that Madagascar races in Madagascar: first, the whites of Anossi and displays a 'most wonderful profusion. The edible plants Matatune, who call themselves Zafe Rahimini, or descendoomprise, among many others, barley, beans, pease, red ants of Imina, the mother of Mahomet. Secondly, the and white rice, including eleven varieties, yams, nine Zafe Hibrahini, or descendants of Abraham, who are also species of tobacco, ananas, water-melous, musk-melons, whites, and inhabit Isle St. Mary and the country opposite the sugar-cane, &c. Of fruit trees, there are many pecu on the main island. The third race comprises the blacks liar to the island, bearing delicious fruit, also figs, grapes,
or olives, who are the aborigines of the country. cocoa-nuts, almonds, tamarinds, a species of apples, and These are divided into classes, of which the first, or cardamoms. Spices also are numerous. In the forests are Zafe Rahimini, occupy the higher stations; and the hard woods of the most beautiful varieties, fit for cabinet latter the lowest. The Zafe Hibrahini are distinct from uses, and timber-trees of enormous bulk and height. Of both, and appear to have been on the island from a very the latter, the raven-palm is the most useful, as well as remote period. It has been supposed, indeed, that they are ornamental; it rises to a great height, affording shelter to sprung from some of Abraham's family, and arrived at the houses, near which the natives usually plant it. The their present locality soon after the death of that patriarch, ends of the stems are boiled and eaten like cabbage, the as there is no tradition extant of their coming thither; wood is used in building, the ribs of the leaves for partitions but this is mere supposition, though many of their and floors, the leaves for covering the roof, and also for customs, such as circumcision, and other ceremonies, dishes; and a gum, of exquisite flavour and sweetness, would seem to connect them with a very ancient people. is extracted from the blossom. Hemp, flax, cotton, Their religion is nearly approaching to what is called the papyrus-nilotica, bamboos, palms, several odoriferous natural religion; they acknowledge and worship one God, woods, the banyan, the dragon-tree, balsam-tree, and and have not fallen into gross idolatry, much less have a multitude of others, together with the pitcher-plant, they practised many revolting rites common in heathen and various gums and resins, are also plentiful. The nations. Every man is a priest in his own house, and an streams yield crystals, topazes, amethysts, emeralds, oli, or teraphim, is used as the medium of communication sapphires, hyacinths, cornelians, &c., which are manufac- with the Deity. They believe in a future state, and a world tured by the natives into various ornaments, set in gold, at of spirits, and that some of these are employed as mediwhich they are very expert.
ators or agents, possessing great influence with the Deity; The natives of Madagascar are above the common but they offer no worship to these; Unghorray, or God stature, strong-limbed, and of fine symmetry; their colour alone, being the object of their prayers and sacrifices. includes all the varieties between dingy-white and jet They have an indistinct belief of the Creation, the Fall, black, owing to the mixtures of the different tribes. The and of the Flood, mixed with much superstition, in the women are handsome in their features, and delicate in absence of a divine revelation. They observe the Sabbath their shape, with soft glossy skins, and white teeth. The as a day of rest from labour, but have no temples or stated hair of the unmarried flows in ringlets over the shoulders; period of worship, the latter being purely spontaneous, and the married women wear theirs in the form of a boquet on having neither divine nor moral law to guide them. In the top of the head.
sickness, or on the burial of the dead, or circumcision, or The dress of the men is a kind of apron, called a lamba, any other solemn occasion, the friends and attendants offer fastened round the waist, and reaching to the knees. It up prayers and sacrifices to the Deity, with many forms of is made of silk, cotton, or the filaments of the bark of a superstitious nature, on all which occasions, the heads of several kinds of trees. Persons of note wear ornaments of families preside. gold and silver, such as chains, rings, bracelets, ear-rings, But the horrid rite of exposing their children to destrucnecklaces, &c. On public days, the dress of the chiefs tion is common among them; this is the reason of the is splendid ; their lambas, of white cotton, full, and reach- smallness of the population; and the wonder is, that so ing to the feet, and having a deep border of striped silk, large a population still remains. The periods denounced and a silk cloak, thrown over the shoulders, with a pro as unfortunate, are the months of March and April, fusion of ornaments, bespeak their consequence and rank. the eighth day and last week of every month, and Wed
The dress of the women consists of a lamba, reaching nesday and Friday in every week; so that in more than half to the feet, above which they wear a close garment, that the year is the human race proscribed, all the children covers all the body, and is confined at the neck and waist; born at those periods, being devoted to destruction, and the it is made of dark silk, or cotton, and ornamented with population attacked at the very source.
Some parents, beads. The wives of the chiefs wear, in addition, a beau- however, allowing their affection to overcome their supertiful shawl, called a pagna, made of silk, cotton, or the stitious fears, have secretly employed slaves to save filaments of the raven-palm. Both men and women go their children, while sacrifices of oxen and fowls are bare-headed, except in the province of Manghabei. offered up, to avert the supposed impending danger of the
The population has been estimated at four millions, malignant star. It is gratifying to know, that this dreadthough some accounts have stated it larger. It is, how ful custom is giving way to the mild precepts of Christiever, small in proportion to the size and fertility of the anity, having been prohibited by the late King Radama, island, from causes of which we shall presently speak. who, as we shall have occasion to relate, made great The character of the people, when first discovered, exhibited advances towards the civilization of his subjects.
The manners of these islanders are marked with simpli- | arrows, and spears, but these, being superseded by the mus city; the usual hour of dinner is ten o'clock in the ket and sword of the European, are now fast falling into morning, and of supper, four in the afternoon. With every disuse. luxury in their power, they eat sparingly, except on The island was formerly divided into four or six king: special occasions. Mats are laid on the floor, and their doms, until the arrival of the race of Ramini, when their food is served up on wooden dishes, the leaves of the leader was chosen Ampansacabe, or sovereign of the whole, raven-palm serving for plates. European furniture and which form continued for twenty-four generations, ending customs, however, are now gaining ground, and rendering with Ramini Larizon, who was killed in an insurrection. their houses more comfortable. They have many amuse- At present, nearly all the island is under one king, and proments besides dancing, and a few musical instruments. bably will, in time, be wholly so; each province, however, Hunting wild buffaloes, boars, foxes, crocodiles, &c., is governed by its own chief, and its own code of laws, occupies a great deal of their time. They have some but subject to the general laws of the island. Thus, littie knowledge of astronomy, and divide the Zodiac into in Ghalimboule, each town is a distinct republic, governed twelve signs, and the year into twelve months. Only one by a filoubei, or president. The military force is language is spoken throughout the island, with slight great; every one capable of bearing arms is a warrior, provincial differences. It is chiefly Arabic, but agreeable and they are called together by pro mation, which they to the Greek in construction. The Ombiasses are their durst not disobey. Radama, on one occasion, marched learned men, and use the Arabic character, writing also with an army of a hundred thousand men to fight the from right to left. ;
Seelavis, a large proportion being armed and accoutred in The civil arts are practised to a considerable extent, the European manner. The soldiery have no other pay embracing iron-founders, goldsmiths, carpenters, potters, than the booty they obtain, and when the expedition is weavers, mat and basket makers, and many other trades. over they disband. Wine is made in considerable quantities; indigo, also, They have a regular code of criminal laws, called Masof an excellent quality, is manufactured by a simple sinditi, not written, but handed down by tradition; the process. Paper is made from the bark of the real papyrus penalties are inflicted in a summary manner, and when nilotica, in a manner very similar to that practised with the proofs are apparent to many spectators, the injured party us, though more simple. Their ink is a decoction of a may inflict the sentence on the spot, without the intervention sap from a tree, and their pens are made of small bamboos, of jud They have also a civil code, (Massinpoh,) rendered hard and transparent by boiling and baking, applicable to the behaviour of private persons in their
Trade was formerly conducted by barter, but of late trades, conversation, support of their families, &c.; and it years they have learned the use of money as a medium of regulates the private transactions between man and man. exchange, which will no doubt, in time, universally prevail. There is also a general standard of conduct which includes They have some foreign trade, which might be extended in its operation the whole of their domestic economy. It to any degree, the produce of the island being unbounded. is called Massintani, and enjoins the observance of ancient Their dyeing woods possess an exceeding brilliancy of customs, ceremonies, businesses, and amusements, and colour, and their silk and cotton are equal to any from the reduces them all to a system. Thus the customs of former East. Before many more years are passed, these people ages are as well provided for, as the punishment of offenders may be competitors in the European markets, in many against the laws. articles which are now exclusively procured from our Such is Madagascar, and such its inhabitants, who were eastern colonies.
found by their first ropean visiters living in a simple The practice of war, unfortunately, occupies a large and patriarchal manner; possessing, with great vices, a portion of their time; and their wars have been aggravated proportion of the ordinary virtues of savage life. and multiplied a hundred fold since their intercourse with succeeding paper, we shall shortly detail the particulars of Europeans, and the consequent introduction of the slave- their bistory. trade,
Their weapons were formerly clubs, bows and
Å PERSIAN STORY
POWER OF THE SENSES OF HEARING AND SADIK BEG was of good family, handsome in person, and
FEELING IN THE BLIND. possessed of good sense and courage, but he was poor, PEOPLE are not generally aware of the powers of having no property but his sword and his horse, with
the ear, and instances which we may quote of it in which he served as a gentleman retainer of a nobleman.
the blind may at first appear incredible. We have The latter, satisfied of the purity of Sâdik's descent, and entertaining a respect for his character, determined to
known blind men, for instance, who could not only make him the husband of his daughter, Hooseinée, who, ascertain the shape and dimensions of an apartment though beautiful, as her name implied, was remarkable for by the sound of their voice, but who could, on her haughty manner and ungovernable temper.
entering one with which they were familiar, tell by Giving a husband of the condition of Sadik Beg to a striking their cane on the floor, and listening to the lady of Hooseinee's rank, was, according to usage in such unequal matches, like giving her a slave; and as she heard echo, whether any of the large articles of furniture
had been removed from it, or shifted from their a good report of his personal qualities, she offered no objections to the marriage, which was celebrated soon after usual places. What seeing person would think it it was proposed, and apartments were assigned to the happy possible, with his eyes bandaged, to tell which was couple in the Nabob's palace,
the tallest, and which was the shortest of a number Some of Sâdik Beg's friends rejoiced in his good fortune, of speakers, merely by the direction in which the as they sảw, in the connexion he had formed, à sure pro- sound came from their mouths to his ear? Yet spect of his advancement. Others mourned the fate of so fine and promising a young man, now condemned to bear many blind persons can not only do this, but can through life all the humours of a proud and capricious ascertain very nearly the ages of the persons. We woman; but one of his friends, a little mån, called Mer- have made this experiment in more than fifty instances dek, who was completely hen-pecked by his own wife, was with the blind, and in the great majority of cases particularly rejoiced, and quite chuckled at the thought they came as near the mark as we did, aided by the of seeing another in the same condition with himself.
About a month after the nuptials Merdek met his friend, eyes. There is no doubt that the voice is changed and, with malicious pleasure, wished him joy of his mar
every changing year; we seize only upon the riage: “ Most sincerely do I congratulate you, Sadik,"
extremes of the chain; we can tell the shrill scream said he,“ on this happy event!" * Thank you, my good of the child, from the rough firm voice of manhood, fellow; I am very happy indeed, and rendered more so by and the trembling tones of old age; but besides the joy I perceive it gives my friends." Do you really these,-besides the difference in the volume and pitch mean to say you are happy?" said Merdek, with a smile. which exists between the voices of different persons, “I really am so," replied Sadik. " Nonsense,” said his there is another produced by the course of years; friend; “ do we not all know to what a termagant you are united ? and her temper and high rank combined, must, no
and time stamps his impress upon the voice, as doubt, make her a sweet companion." Here he burst into surely as upon the face. The blind man tests these a loud laugh, and the little man actually strutted with a by his practised ear, and not only can ascertain with feeling of superiority over the bridegroom.
tolerable correctness the age of the speaker, but proSadik, who knew his situation and feelings, was amused instead of being angry. “My friend," said he, “ I quite and so forth.
nounce upon his height, the dimensions of his chest, understand the grounds of your apprehension for my háppiness. Before I was married, I had heard the same
Nor is this the most extraordinary part of the reports as you have done of my beloved bride's disposition; discriminating power of some blind men, who seize but I am happy to say I have found it quite otherwise ; upon the slight variations of the intonation of the she is a most docile and obedient wife.” “ But how has this voice, às we do upon the changes of the countenance, miraculous change been wrought ?" Why," said Sâdik, and judge by them of what is passing in the mind of “ I believe I have some merit in effecting it; but you shall the speaker. We seldom think of the voice; but it hear. “ After the ceremonies of our nuptials were over, I went
is upon this that the blind man seizes, as upon a in my military dress, and with my sword by my side, to the thread, to direct him to the seat of the passions. apartment of Hooseinee. She was sitting in a most digni- Hence it is, that some of them can ascertain on so fied posture to receive me, and her looks were any thing short an acquaintance the disposition and character but inviting. As I entered the room, a beautiful cat, evi of persons: they are not imposed on by the splendour dently a great favourite, came purring up to me, I deli- of dress, they are not prejudiced by an ungainly air, berately drew my sword, struck its head off, and taking that in one hand, and the body in the other, threw then they are not won by a smile, nor are they dazzled out of the window. I then very unconcernedly turned to by the blaze of beauty, or led captive, as many are the lady, who appeared in some alarm; she, however, wont to be, by the fascination of a lovely eye. The made no observations, but was in every way kind and sub- voice is to them the criterion of beauty, and when missive, and has continued so ever since.'
its melodious tones come forcibly stamped with “ Thank you, my dear fellow," said little Merdek, with a significant shake of the head" a word to the wise : " and sincerity from the soul, their imaginations at once give away he capered, obviously quite rejoiced.
to the speaker a graceful form, and a beautiful face. It was near evening when this conversation took place :
The ear of some animals is surprisingly acute, and soon after, when the dark cloak of night had enveloped the there is no doubt that it is improved by blindness. bright radiance of day, Merdek entered the chamber of his We know of a horse who, after becoming blind, spouse, with something of a martial swagger, armed with evidently had his hearing very much sharpened; a scimitar. The unsuspecting cat came fortvard as usual, when feeding in the pasture with others, far from the to welcome the husband of lier mistress; but in an instant her head was divided from her body, by a blow from the road, he would hear the sound of hoofs, and raise hand which had so often caressed her. Merdek having his head, and whinny out his salutē, long before his proceeded so far courageously, stooped to take up the dis- companions betrayed any' consciousness of the apsevered members of the cat, but before he could effect this, proach of the passing stranger. a blow upon the side of the head, from his incensed lady, So with the blind man, when he is walking along laid him sprawling on the floor.
the street he can tell whether it is wide or narrow, The tattle and scandal of the day spreads from zenâneh to zenâneh with surprising rapidity, and the wife of Mer
whether the houses are high or low, whether an dek saw in a moment whose example it was that he imi- opening which' he may be passing is a court closed tated. Take that," said she, as she gave him another up at the end, or whether it has an outlet to another cuff,“ take that, you paltry wretch; you should," she street; and he can tell by the sound of his footsteps added, laughing him to scorn, “ have killed the cat on the in what lane, or court, or square he is. He goes wedding-day."
along boldly, seeming to see with his ears, and to [Abridged from SKETCHES IN Persia.]
have landmarks in the air,