Imágenes de páginas

was Fadladeen, with his silken curtains thrown widely apart, that all might have the benefit of his august presence, and with his head full of the speech he was to deliver to the King, concerning Feramorz, and literature, and the chabuk, as connected therewith."


They had now entered the canal which leads from the Lake to the splendid domes and saloons of the Shalimar, and glided on through gardens ascending from each bank, full of flowering shrubs that made the air all perfume; while from the middle of the canal rose jets of water, smooth and unbroken, to such a dazzling height, that they stood like pillars of diamond in the sunshine. After sailing under the arches of various saloons, they at length arrived at the last and most magnificent, where_the_monarch awaited the coming of his bride; and such was the agitation of her heart and frame, that it was with difficulty she walked up the marble steps, which were covered with cloth of gold for her ascent from the barge. At the end of the hall stood two thrones, as precious as the Cerulean Throne of Koolburga, on one of which sat Aliris, the youthful King of Bucharia, and on the other was, in a few minutes, to be placed the most beautiful Princess in the world. Immediately upon the entrance of Lalla Rookh into the saloon, the monarch descended from his throne to meet her; but scarcely had he time to take her hand in his, when she screamed with surprise and fainted at his feet. It was Feramorz himself that stood before her!Feramorz was, himself, the Sovereign of Bucharia, who in this disguise had accompanied his young bride from Delhi, and, having won her love as an humble minstrel, now amply deserved to enjoy it as a King.

The consternation of Fadladeen at this discovery was, for the moment, almost pitiable. But change of opinion is a resource too convenient in courts for this experienced courtier not to have learned to avail him

[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

self of it. His criticisms were all, of course, recanted instantly; he was seized with an admiration of the King's verses, as unbounded as, he begged him to believe, it was disinterested; and the following week saw him in possession of an additional place, swearing by all the saints of Islam that never had there existed so great a poet as the monarch Aliris, and ready to prescribe his favourite regimen of the chabuk for every man, woman, and child that dared to think otherwise.

Of the happiness of the King and Queen of Bucharia, after such a beginning, there can be but little doubt; and, among the lesser symptoms, it is recorded of Lalla Rookh, that to the day of her death, in memory of their delightful journey, she never called the King by any other name than Feramorz.


[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]
[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »