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and violence, and the poisons which destroy their victims, whether artisans of cities or tribes of the deserts, with the rapid mortality of epidemics. He enjoined respect for bodily and mental disease; surrounded his dwelling with huts for the poor, old, and imbecile ; and went his round every evening amongst them, soothing their sufferings, listening to their complaints, and supplying their wants. A child climbed upon the back of Mahomet while his head was on the ground at prayers, and he did not move until the mother of the child took it away. A Bedouin, who saw him playing with a flock of children, said disdainfully, 'I have had many of these sheep, but instead of caressing them I buried them alive.' •Wretch ! cried Mahomet, you know nothing of the sweetest feelings of the human heart. The apprenticeship of orphans to handicrafts, and the education of every child in reading, writing, religion, and laws are commanded by the Koran.
A reformer, a statesman, a general, a conqueror, an orator, Mahomet compiled and adapted to the use of his countrymen the Judæan, Grecian, and Christian ideas he had collected during his travels with his caravan, or from the pilgrims to Mecca, and his Christian acquaintance Bahira, the Arabian monk, and Djaber, the Greek goldsmith. For ten years, from the age of forty to fifty, he tried to accomplish his reforms by preaching in Mecca and its neighbourhood. After being nearly stoned to death, his spirit or his plans changed; he resolved to enforce his ideas by the sword, and fled to join the enemies of his tribe and city at Medina. Negotiations opened with him by Christians were closed by his emphatic rejection of the divinity of Jesus Christ. Although publishing the Koran verse by verse, according to circumstances, he never afterwards swerved from his gospel nor his apostle ; and his gospel was deism, and his apostle the sabre !
Mahomet was pitifully weak in regard to the fair sex. Up to the age of fifty he was the irreproachable husband of one wife, who was older than himself; but during the last sixteen years of his life he was continually marrying young wives, and spent the intervals between fainting fits, in quarrels in his harem, declamations in the temple, and conflicts in the battle-field. Possibly a great man may be a hero to his valet ; but after fifty, or indeed at any age, it is impossible to be anything but a fool in a harem of young wives. Ayesha was his favourite. Mahomet pretended to receive guidance from angels in his domestic affairs ; yet he appears to have been treated like an ordinary man by the blind god and a cunning beauty. Ayesha shall herself in her spoken memoirs tell us her own tale
When the prophet of God,' says Ayesha, 'left Medina on an expedition against his enemies, or on a journey, he took with him one of his wives. She followed him, accompanied by several of his slaves, in
a grated litter, covered with a veil, and suspended to the side of a camel. This lot had fallen upon me during the campaign against the infidel Abdallah. On leaving in the morning, or in the night, I left my tent, and according to the precepts shunned the looks of men. I lay down in my litter, and two slaves took it up and attached it to the side of the camel. A similar litter, occupied by one of my women, made a counterpoise on the opposite side. I weighed little when lifted on account of my tender youth and my extreme sobriety,--a virtue which was then common among almost all the women of Arabia.
On returning from the campaign, and as the army came to the last station before Medina, they made a halt in the evening, and erected their tents to rest themselves during half the night.
Before day break the Prophet gave the signal to raise the camp. While the army defiled after him, and they tied up the luggage, I went away alone for a moment into the country. On returning towards my tent, I perceived that I had lost an onyx necklace of Jaffa, which had loosened and fallen from my neck during my walk. I quickly retraced my steps, to search in the sand. I lost time in this search, and at last having found my necklace I ran back towards the camp. The army was no longer there; my tent was taken up, and my camel gone. The slaves ordered to attach the litter had taken it up and tied it to the sides of the animal without perceiving that I was not within. When I arrived I found nobody. Stupefied and frightened I wrapped myself in my veil and sat down on the ground, hoping that they would perceive my absence and come in search of me. They did not; and continued their march without suspecting that the litter was empty.
• While I was worn with waiting, the son of Moatal, Safwan, passed near me, mounted on his camel. He recognised me, having seen me often in the house of the Prophet prior to the time when the Koran forbade us to let ourselves be looked upon by strangers. He made an exclamation of astonishment to God, and cried, " Is it possible ?-it is the wife of the Prophet!"
“He dismounted from his camel, made it kneel before me, and begged me to mount in his place. I swear by Heaven that he did not say one word more. He stood aloof respectfully while I climbed up upon the camel, and then he took hold of the halter of the animal and walked in silence before it. We could not rejoin the army before broad daylight, at the time of the morning halt. On seeing us thus reappear together, they whispered a thousand things against us. The calumnies spread from mouth to mouth, and mounted up to the ears of the prophet.
• After returning to Medina, I fell ill from excitement and fatigue. I remarked that the Prophet did not show me the tenderness which he had usually shown when I was ill. If he came into my chamber he confined himself, without speaking to me, to saying to my mother, who watched by my bedside, “How is your daughter;" I was hurt at this unaccustomed coldness, and I said to him one day, “ Apostle of God, I wish, if you will permit it, to be nursed among my family ?" “Willingly,” replied he. They carried me into my mother's house.
'I remained there three weeks without seeing the Prophet. One day, when I was better, one of my friends, who came to see me,
exclaimed suddenly, interrupting the conversation, "Cursed be the calumniators !" “What do you say ?” I answered. She then told me the rumours which circulated respecting my encounter with Safwan, and how it was ascribed to a guilty understanding between us.
I blushed; I burst into tears ; I rose up and threw myself upon my mother. "May God forgive you,” said I. “What! they tear my reputation into pieces, and you allow me to be ignorant of it all ?" "Be calm,” said my mother. “It is very rare indeed that a young woman who is beautiful and adored by her husband, and who has rivals in his heart, escapes defamation.”
•The rumour against me and Safwan was so great in Medina that the Prophet, afflicted by the scandal, ascended the pulpit in the Mosque and justified us,-being indignant, he said, against those who calumniated a person of his house, who was so dear to him, and a brave soldier, from whom he had received nothing but services.
*These words, as they made one person justify himself from the charge of calumny at the expense of another, only increased the noise. The Prophet, upon the advice of Ali, made
before him, to be interrogated respecting my conduct. In spite of the blows which Ali gave her to force her to make avowals against me, she swore that I was pure. The Prophet, who was then tranquillized, came to see me.
'He found me weeping with my father, my mother, and a female friend, who could not console me. He sat down beside me, and said, “You know, Ayesha, the stories which run against you. If you have committed a fault, confess it to me with a penitent heart, for God is indulgent, and pardons upon repentance.” My sobs hindering me from answering for a long time, I hoped that my mother or father would answer for me; but seeing they kept silence, I made a violent effort, and I said, “ I have done nothing to repent of. If I accused myself, it would be against my conscience. On the other side, however much I might deny the thing of which I am accused, I shall not be believed. I will
like” . . Here I stopped for an instant, the trouble in which I was made me forget the name of the patriarch Jacob, which I sought for in vain. "I will say, like the father of Joseph," I recommenced, " patience, and may God justify me!''
* At this moment the Prophet, himself over-excited, fell into one of those fits, during which heaven communicated its inspirations to him. I put a cushion under his head, and waited without anxiety until he should awake, being sure that heaven had absolved me by its revelations. But my father and my mother less certain than myself of my innocence, with what anxiety did they wait for the end of the swoon, and the first words of the Prophet! I thought they would die of terror.
"At last the prophet came to his senses, wiped his brow, which was covered with sweat, although it was winter, and said to me—“ Rejoice, Ayesha, thy innocence has been revealed to me on high.” “ Thank God," cried I. “And the Prophet going out, immediately went and published the verse of the Koran which attests
innocence." A cross-examination by a skilful nisi prius barrister would
not, we fear, have left much of this young lady's story hanging together. The sure rule in regard to doubtful matters is to interpret equivocal appearances by the well-known tenor of the lives of the parties. Ali left behind him the character of a generous and just man. Ayesha, by a series of conspicuous facts, proved herself to be guilty of great hypocrisy, indefatigable intrigue, and implacable
cruelty. She was rebuked for her public conduct, after the death of Mahomet, by a man of Bassora, in these terms: 'Shame on thee, O mother of the Faithful! The murder of the caliph was a grievous crime, but was a less abomination than thy forgetfulness of the modesty of thy sex. Wherefore dost thou abandon thy quiet home, and thy protecting veil, and ride forth like a man, barefaced, on that accursed camel, to foment quarrels and dissensions among the faithful?
We turn from these glimpses of the Arabs and their Prophet, without stopping amidst the wild vicissitudes of the history of the caliphs, and pass rapidly to the origin of the Tartar tribe, who have become memorable in Europe under the name of the Turks, or Ottomans. Organizing armies to victory on a religious principle, Mahomet was the Cromwell of the Arabs, with less of self-denial and of military genius than ennobled the Puritan. Appropriating the ideas which he found ripe for legislation, and turning them into laws, his Koran is the Code Napoleon of the East; and if he finds a modern parallel in Buonaparte, in his boundless lust for conquest, we know of none for his phenomenal sensuality, the description of which would task the congenial imaginations of a Lord Byron or a George Sand. The sins of great men become the ruin of empires, and as the French sayNous verrons.
Dreams prefigured the triumphs of the Turks, oriental dreams of a kind which may be explained some day, when mental philosophy shall have given us a satisfactory theory of the phenomena of dreaming. Ertogrul dreamt that he spent a whole night reading the Koran, and was rewarded for his reverence towards the eternal word' by the promise that his children, and the children of his children, should always be honoured on the earth. His son Othman had also his dream. Compelled to pass two years, in rivalry with other young men, courting the hand of Malkatoun, daughter of the Sheik Edebali, a celebrated Syrian beauty, he is said to have gained the prize by reciting the following dream :
He thought he saw the moon come out of the breast of Edebali, and repose upon his own bosom. A tree then spread out its branches before him over lands and seas to the farthest limits of Europe, Asia, and Africa. Four great mountains-the Caucasus, Atlas, Taurus, and Hemus-supported the heavy branches; and on the sides of the mountains flowed four rivers, the Tigris, the Euphrates, the Nile, and the Danube. Their course watered plains green with pastures, yellow with harvests, black with forests; and bore vessels to four seas. Towers, towns, domes, pyramids crowned with crescents, elevated themselves from among the roses and cypresses of the valleys. Invitations to prayers spread from the monuments like the melodies of celestial nightingales. Suddenly the twigs and leaves of the tree flashed like the blades of lances and sabres ; and the breeze turned them towards Constantinople. This capital, which is situated between two seas, sparkled like a sapphire upon a ring between two emeralds. It was the ring of the nuptials of Othman with the capital of the world.
The histories of Othman, and his sons Orkhan and Aladdin, show how hardy habits, cunning, courage, the passion for conquest, and an enthusiasm for the unity of God, enabled a tribe of mountaineers to found an empire. Old Ertogrul used annually to feed his flocks in the neighbourhood of the fortress of Angelocoma on Mount Olympus. His shepherds complained of being insulted and robbed by the occupants of the fortress; who, in their turn, retorted upon his armed shepherds the charge of having been the aggressors. Ertogrul disarmed his men, and consented to send every year the women of his tribe to deposit valuable pledges; goats'-hair carpets, sheep-skins, horse harness, cheese, and honey in the fortress as security for the good conduct of his shepherds, while his flocks browsed on the green pastures of the Lord of Angelocoma. His son Othman, however, planned and executed a perfidy which the Byzantine lord had from the first suspected, without, as often happens, taking precautions against it. Sixty warriors, disguised in the mantles and veils of women, entered the fortress, carrying in the sacks borne by their camels, arms instead of presents, and suddenly seized the castle. The Greek nobleman, returning from an expedition, was the same night waylaid, surprised, and defeated by Othman in the pass of Eremeni. Othman next attacked and seized KaraHissar, or the Black Fortress, which he made his capital, and which obtained for him the title of Emir or Prince, from the nominal sultan of all the Turks. This sultan, Aladdin III., dying without a successor, and Othman having surprised JarHissar, killed his rivals, and extended the terror of his name, was left without a superior in Syria, and without an equal among the Turkish emirs. His effigy was struck upon the money, and his name was mentioned in the public prayers of the mosques. Othman, his name, signifies bone-breaker. When he was a boy, the governor of Kepri-Hissar, the Castle of Bridges, had given him an entertainment, but had presented him his hand to kiss.