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The way to dufky death. Out, out, brief candle!
CHA P. · I.
THE DER VISE.
DERVISE, travelling thro' Tartary, being arrived
at the town of Balk, went into the king's palace by mistake, as thinking it to be a public inn or caravanfary. Having looked about him for fome time, he entered into a long gallery, where he laid down his wallet, and spread his carpet, in order to repofe himself upon it after the manner of the eastern nations. He had not been long in this pofture, before he was discovered by fome of the guards, who asked him what was his business in that place? The Dervise told them he intended to take up his night's lodging in that caravanfary. The guards let him know, in a very angry manner, that the house he was in was not a caravansary, but the king's palace. It happened that the king himself paffed through the gallery during this debate, and fmiling at the mistake of the Dervise, asked him how he could poffibly be fo dull as not to distinguish a palace from a caravanfary? Sir, fays the Dervise, give me leave to ask your maD 3
jefty a question or two. Who were the persons that lodged in this house when it was first built? The king replied, His ancestors. And who, fays the Dervife, was the laft perfon that lodged here? The king replied, His father. And who is it, fays the Dervife, that lodges here at prefent? The king told him, That it was he himself. And who, fays the Dervife, will be here after you? The king anfwered, The young prince his fon. Ah, Sir, faid the • Dervife, a houfe that changes its inhabitants fo often, and receives fuch a perpetual fucceffion of guests, is not a palace, but a caravanfary.'
E are told that the Sultan Mahmoud, by his perpe
tual wars abroad, and his tyranny at home, had filled his dominions with ruin and defolation, and half unpeopled the Perfian Empire. The vifier to this great Sultan (whether an humorist or an enthufiaft, we are not informed) pretended to have learned of a certain Dervise to understand the language of birds, so that there was not a bird that could open his mouth, but the vifier knew what it was he faid, As he was one evening with the emperor, in their return from hunting, they faw a couple of owls upon a tree that grew near an old wall out of a heap of rubbish. I would fain know, fays the fultan, what thofe two owls are saying to one another; liften to their discourse and give me an account of it. The vifier approached the tree, pretending to be very attentive to the two owls. Upon his return to the Sul, tan, Sir, fays he, I have heard part of their conversation,
but dare not tell you what it is. The Sultan would not be fatisfied with fuch an answer, but forced him to repeat word for word every thing the owls had faid. You must know then, faid the Vifier, that one of these owls has a fon, and the other a daughter, between whom they are now upon a treaty of marriage. The father of the fon faid to the father of the daughter, in my hearing, brother, I confent to this marriage, provided you will fettle upon your daughter fifty ruin'd villages for her portion. To which the father of the daughter replied, instead of fifty I will give her five hundred, if you pleafe. God grant a long life to Sultan Mahmoud; whilst he reigns over us, we shall never want ruined villages.
THE ftory fays, the Sultan was fo touched with the fable, that he rebuilt the towns and villages which had been deftroyed, and from that time forward confulted the good of his people.
A VARICE AND LUXURY.
HERE were two very powerful tyrants engaged in a perpetual war against each other: the name of the first was Luxury, and of the fecond Avarice. The aim of each of them was no less than universal monarchy over the hearts of mankind. Luxury had many generals under him, who did him great fervice, as Pleasure, Mirth, Pomp, and Fafhion. Avarice was likewise very strong in his officers, being faithfully ferved by Hunger, Industry, Care, and Watchfulnefs: he had likewise a privy-counsellor who was always at his elbow, and whispering fomething or other in his ear: the name of this privy-counsellor was Poverty. As Avarice conducted
ducted himself by the counfels of Poverty, his antagonist was entirely guided by the dictates and advice of Plenty, who was his first counsellor and minister of state, that concerted all his measures for him, and never departed out of his fight. While thefe two great rivals were thus contending for empire, their conquests were very various. Luxury got poffeffion of one heart, and Avarice of another. The father of a family would often range himself under the banners of Avarice, and the fon under thofe of Luxury. The Wife and Hufband would often declare themselves on the two different parties; nay, the fame perfon would very often fide with one in his youth, and revolt to the other in his old age. Indeed the wife men of the world ftood neuter; but alas, their numbers were not confiderable. At length when these two potentates had wearied themfelves with waging war upon one another, they agreed upon an interview, at which neither of their counsellors were to be prefent. It is faid that Luxury began the parley, and after having reprefented the endless state of war in which they were engaged, told his enemy, with a frankness of heart which is natural to him, that he believed they two fhould be very good friends, were it not for the inftigations of Poverty, that pernicious counsellor, who made an ill ufe of his ear, and filled him with groundless apprehenfions and prejudices, To this Avarice replied, that he looked upon Plenty (the first minister of his antagonist) to be a much more deftructive counsellor than Poverty, for that he was perpetuallyfuggesting pleasures, banishing all the necessary cautions against want, and confequently undermining thofe principles on which the government of Avarice was founded. At laft, in order to an accommodation, they agreed upon this preliminary, that each of them should immediately difmifs his privy-counfellor. When things were thus far adjusted towards a peace,