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keep me from such experiences in fu- “A necklace for my love," he said, ture!"
“suitable for a lady both beautiful and "My dear boy,” said the magician, modest.” kindly, “it is easy to see you have “Think well,” said the magician ; never been in love before. The first you will never have another opportuparting of lovers seems eternal. But nity." come; the daylight is going. We must “Then,” said Ahmed, “I will have finish our work."
you choose what you will for me. I He then replenished the fire, and, can think of nothing more.” while the sticks were being reduced to “A powder that may prevent his dycoals, stood, as before, apparently in ing of hunger," said the magician. deep thought, with his head bent for- Now, do your duty!" ward and his arms folded. Then, throw- The earth instantly received the deing on the fire a powder that gave a But he was scarcely gone, when very different cloud, both in appearance he reappeared, bearing a salver that and odor, from the first, and watching contained a bunch of burnished steel the incense as it slowly rose, he waved keys of curious shape, strung on a ring a black wand over it gravely, repeating of gold, and two golden boxes of unto himself a number of words in a mys- equal size. The ten chests of gold terious language. He uttered the phrase are at thy mother's door," he said, and thrice; and each time as he reached a instantly disappeared. certain word, near its close, Ahmed felt Open the larger of the two boxes," the ground tremble. Then, standing said the magician. Ahmed obeyed upright, with an air of majesty, he him, and beheld the loveliest necklace paused a moment, and pronounced the of pearls that fancy could conceive-so word by itself in a loud voice. Instant large and lustrous were they, and so ly, accompanied by a fearful shaking of admirably arranged.
admirably arranged. A white halo the ground, a gigantic figure shot up seemed to surround them. From the from the earth, black as night, with an- delicate lining of the box an exquisite gry eyes that blazed like the sun. In odor escaped, that somehow recalled a his band was a huge club of ebony thought of the beautiful being who was “ What wouldst thou ?” he said, in a to receive it. voice so terrible, though subdued by “Oh, how lovely!” exclaimed Ahrespect and fear, that the listener quaked med. “How can I prove my gratitude to hear it. “I am thy slave, and the for these princely favors ? " slave of all who command in that “ By withholding your censure should name."
they cause misery instead of happiness," “Ahmed," said the magician, “this replied the magician. “Open not the spirit can give you instantly any thing other box. It contains the powder I you may choose to ask. But if you requested for you. The time to open it would prefer to earn a fortune by your is when the powder is needed." own exertions, I can summon another “But do you think that, with all my spirit, who will gladly point it out. riches, I can ever need this powder ? " Decide !"
asked Ahmed, as they set out to return. “Love decides !" answered Ahmed, “ How can I tell ?" answered the old eagerly, having partially recovered from man, with a grave smile. " It is well, his fright. “I will have a hundred however, to be prepared. And that it thousand pieces of gold, in ten chests, may be on hand when it is needed, I each with a different key. Let them be advise you always to keep it about you. set down before the door of my mother's And now, dear youth, a few words becottage, and the keys given to me here." fore we part. So soon as I saw the ap
Nothing more ?” inquired the de- parition of your beloved, I remembered mon, apparently astonished at Ahmed's her. I have known her for years, and moderation,
can testify to her charnis both of mind and person. You may indulge your at once. First place your chests of wildest dreams of perfection; you will gold in rough boxes, which you can most certainly fall behind the actual have sent to you from the city. Obtain truth. How important, then, that this no assistance until the gold is safely high and noble creature should be prop- concealed in them. Employ two or erly approached and most considerately three different wagoners, on different treated! How necessary, for your mu- days, that the inconsistency between tual happiness, that your own character so small and mean a house and so many should be high, and your views of life goods may not provoke suspicion, and of a corresponding nobleness ! Do not lead to the discovery of your wealth think to dazzle her with display. Be- before it is fairly secured. When you ing used to wealth, it has no particular have neatly and comfortably furnished importance in her eyes. But, to such your new house, and feel at home, enter beings, character is every thing. I the college as a regular student, and set would not advise that you should go to yourself seriously to the work of makher in rags, or with any other sign of ing the most of your natural talents. abject poverty ; but one may dress neat- Do not seek the fair Nourmahal till all ly and becomingly, and acceptably to this be done. Once you are fairly & all sensible persons, for very little student, really on the road to somemoney. What you need, far more than thing, you will be able to respect yourrich attire for the body, is suitable self, and may venture to tell her who clothing for the mind. By this I do and what you are. But reserve the senot mean to reproach your ignorance, cret of your sudden riches. Rather for by your language I know you have prefer to seem to her, and every one, been well taught; but to be perma- worthy to have riches and honor, as a nently acceptable to one so highly gift- kind of necessary complement to your ed as Nourmahal--for that is her name qualities, than, by a vulgar display, to -your acquirements must correspond tempt the world to find how much beto hers; not fully, perhaps, but you low your assumed station you really are. must be qualified to breathe the same If, however, it should finally be appaair, to feel the sunshine as she feels it, rent that nothing but the revelation of to look on the charms of nature with your riches will induce the parents of the same eye of loving intelligence, and Nourmahal to consent to your union, to behold the triumphs of art with a then you may devise some way of conkindred enthusiasm ; else she will quick- veying the fact to them that may leave ly discover that, after all, she is alone, it in a shape consistent with their good and love will give place to indifference, opinion of you. Meanwhile, secure an indifference, finally, alas ! to contempt, honest and capable man for steward. if not abhorrence! Do you appreciate When you are fully satisfied that he is this?"
trustworthy, let him trade with a part “Yes, entirely and humbly," mur- of your capital. If it be not improved, mured Ahmed.
of course it will finally decrease to “ You rejoice me," said the magician. nothing; and having been accustomed “ Now you are prepared for the advice to ease, you will then find poverty a I have to give you."
bitter morsel. Lastly, if, in spite of all I will follow it to the your prudence, you should, some time, letter!” exclaimed the grateful youth. find yourself reduced to poverty, and
“Well, then ; I impose no hardship. would learn how to retrieve your forYou will one day be glad to have done tunes, let me know your wish, and I as I now direct. Go into the city; pur- will befriend you. When the time chase a small but not mean house, in an comes to make yourself known to Nouragreeable quarter, with ample grounds. mahal, I will send you a friend of her See that the place is well supplied with family, who will introduce you proptrees and shrubbery. Remove thither erly.".
· Believe me,
They were now arrived at the cot- er, and some small luxuries for the tage, where they saw the ten chests table, and proceeded homeward. neatly piled at the side of the door, The next day he followed his friend's where stood Ahmed's mother, dazed by advice as to transferring his riches to the spectacle. Making known his dom- the new abode. icile to Ahmed, and bowing courteously And now, being eager to resolve bis to the mother, the magician excused fate, he at once enrolled himself as a himself from entering, as night was ap- student at the college, and began his proaching, and departed, expressing studies with the utmost diligence. The kindest wishes for their welfare. professors were pleased with him, and
With his mother's assistance, Ahmed took every pains to smooth the paths moved the heavy chests into the cot- of the rugged steep; for they honored tage; and not till they were all fairly his modesty and appreciated his zealsecured—the elegant wood, richly carv- ous application. ed, glistening in the lamplight--would he tell her a word of his adventure. Then, while she nervously prepared his Impatient of further delay-which, supper (for he was almost dying of according to strict interpretation of the hunger), he told the story, omitting magician's advice, was quite superflunothing. He showed the keys, pro- ous-Ahmed now wrote to his benefacduced the two gold boxes, and, finally, tor, asking the promised introduction that they both might realize their to Nourmahal's family. True to his wealth, he applied one of the keys to word, the magician the next day sent the lock that bore the same number, an elderly gentleman, who with much and, turning the massive bolts with good-humor announced his readiness to ease, opened the precious chest with fulfil his commission. Not deeming it trembling hands. It was full to the necessary to affect an ignorance of the brim with bright and glistening gold !
circumstances that occasioned his visit, “ Yes, it is no dream; there is the he spoke freely of the fair Nourmahal, gold, sure enough !” exclaimed the and seemed to enjoy Ahmed's confumother, with a kind of awe. “And sion. “Cheer up, friend Ahmed !” he now, may the good Shigemooni give us laughingly cried ; "you are the most grace to use it properly!'
lugubrious of lovers! I never knew a Ahmed almost forgot his hunger, and young lady of sixteen-or, indeed, of for some time could scarcely eat a any other age--who didn't prefer sunmouthful. He played with the gold, shine to gloom." and was delighted with its loud, clear “Oh!” said Ahmed, smiling, “I am ring, as he let the pieces fall. Then not melancholy. My disposition is he displayed the necklace, which his cheerful. But consider, that, besides mother pronounced the loveliest thing actually coming in contact for the first she had ever seen. “ What do you time with one so dear to me, I am also think of the magician's advice ?” he to encounter people of courtly manners, asked, returning to the table.
who can preveut my happiness." "You should follow it implicitly," “Pooh, pooh!” said his friend. was the reply. “In these things you “ There is no such . difference as you owe allegiance to so munificent a bene- imagine. What there is, so far as manfactor."
ners are concerned, is rather in your Accordingly, the next morning, fill- favor. The greatest blunder you can ing a small bag with gold, Ahmed went make is to allow yourself to be overto the city. After long search, he found whelmed by these people. Don't forget and purchased such a house as the ma- that you are now something more than gician had suggested. Then he bought you were a few weeks since.” a neat but modest suit of clothes, a “Well, I couldn't easily be less !" beautiful shawl and dress for his moth- said Ahmed.
The two friends now set out, the the building, with a quoit in his hand. elder constantly amusing the youth Near him stood a youth, of about Ahwith agreeable anecdotes or lively de- med's age, also with a quoit. scriptions of the peculiarities of those
“Oh, ho, yourself, Almansor !” he whom they were presently to meet. He shouted. observed that Nourmahal's father was While Noureddin.was engaged in a one of the most eccentric of men; a vociferous conversation with their host warm friend, but the most bitter and above, Ahmed suddenly descried the violent of enemies; a bigot in theory, fair Nourmahal, who was attracted to a self-indulgent in practice, but temper- window by the shouting. On discoving his laxity with traits of rigorous ering Ahmed, she looked as conscious self-discipline. One of these peniten
One of these peniten- as though she had really participated tial peculiarities was a habit, inflexibly in that blissful scene which he had suppursued, of bathing in very cold water posed to have been merely a kind of every morning-ice-water, if possible- enchanted dream of his own. He had and then of running races in a long barely time to kiss his hand to her, for covered way, with the servants, or any they passed on, obedient to the sumone who could be induced to enter the mons from above. A servant had hascourse; and, what was certainly odd, tened down to conduct them to the if he chanced to be beaten, he applaud- scene of the game, then in active proged the victor heartily, and from that moment became his friend. He was * Who is that boy, kissing his hand also fond of other gymnastic exercises to my daughter ?” roared Almansor. -feats of strength and daring, espe- “He's coming to see you,” roared cially of such as demanded fortitude Noureddin in return. and endurance; and in these he was It was a fatiguing ascent; and when also generous to those who were so for- they reached the palace-roof-which in tunate as to excel him. This, however, that place was quite level, and covered was not often the case, for he was very with earth-Noureddin was breathless, skilful. Indeed, this gentleman was a and for a moment could scarcely gasp. monomaniac on gymnastics.
“In the name of all the Lamas, and the “Now, my lad,” said Ahmed's friend, hundred and eight Boorchaus,* and “I must tell you one thing. You must heaven and earth in general,” he at do your best in showing your agility. length exclaimed, “ what do you mean Are you used to running, leaping, and by making your guests go through so climbing ? Can you turn yourself in- much to see so little!” side out, swallow your own shadow, “Well," said the laughing host, “ if and jump over the moon ? If not, I they will come when I am only throwtremble for you!”
ing quoits, why, that's all they can see, “I tremble for myself!” was Ah- of course. I can't leave my game for med's laughing reply.
such a frivolous purpose as showing “Young man, I like you!” exclaimed courtesy to a guest." This nonsense his elderly friend. Keep up your being properly taken, the noble quoitcourage, and you're sure to win. It is thrower was now pleased to make young delightful to see you approach your fate Ahmed's acquaintance, and in turn prein such a cheerful spirit. Remember, sented him to the youthful stranger, no knuckling to him! He is rough; whose name was Ganem. “Come," be rough yourself."
cried the lively host, “ now for a royal “Oh, ho, Noureddin! Oh, ho !”
game, two on a side-Ganem and I shouted a voice, apparently just over against you two." their heads. Ahmed's companion start- Now it so happened that quoits was ed to observe that they were already at the palace-gate. Glancing upward, he
* The Boorchaus, or idols, are created beings
who existed before the creation of the present espied his noble friend on the top of world, and were de for their holiness.
a favorite recreation of the college-stu- which he privately expressed to Noudents, and Ahmed had quickly mas- reddin ; but he was greatly comforted tered its difficulties. The quoits were by his friend's assurance that this invidiscs of brass with a hole in the centre. tation should be considered quite as The throw was perfect when the quoit sincere and cordial as though it had so descended as to encircle the upright been extended a week beforehand. stick which at either end of the ground Ceremony Almansor regarded as the marked its bounds. Every time a play- surest mark of effeminacy. er succeeded in doing this he was enti- Dinner was announced. It was a tled to an extra cast.
trying moment to Ahmed; but, sumThe eye of a lover being very sharp, moning all his firmness, he quietly deAhmed had quickly detected in Ganem scended, and, while his heart beat fast, signs of a sudden dislike, which he in- received the introduction to Nourmahal stantly attributed to the jealousy of a and her mother with grave composure. rival. For the first time in his life the As a mark of favor-earned through demon of hatred entered his soul. Un- his skill in the game-he was placed der this influence his senses quickened, between the two ladies, with the other and he felt conscious of his superiority guests opposite. Considering all the Among his fellow-students was the son circumstances, this was a difficult posiof a Hindoo conjurer, a subtle youth, tion for the modest Ahmed; but he sat who had taught him how to train his out the meal with credit, though an muscles and faculties. On this he now occasional word or glance from Nourcongratulated himself, leisurely watch- mahal would almost overwhelm him. ing the style of his adversaries. The State dinners of many tedious courses host played neatly, but rather too eager- did not suit the impetuous temper of ly; Ganem carefully, but inexpertly. the host; the dishes at his table were Ahmed was for a time content to accus- always few, and rapidly served; but tom himself to the weight and shape every thing was exquisitely prepared, of the discs; though his superior style and there was always enough. did not escape the noble's eye. At
Having matters of greater importance length, feeling sure of his cast, he threw awaiting our notice, we must pass over both his quoits over the stake, and, this hospitable meal, which the boistercalling for others, finally strung it full ous spirits of Almansor and the more of them. And so that game was won. refined liveliness of Noureddin served
Ganem evidently was annoyed; but to carry off with success. Nourmahal Almansor became more and more ex- seated herself on an embroidered mat, cited as the discs continued to settle and sang the following song, accompaupon one another with a loud click; nying herself skilfully on the lute: and at last, unable to control his enthu
Sad was my heart (sweet love denied) siasm, he rushed up to Ahmed and em
Till thou cam'st near, my joy, my pride! braced him heartily. “Splendid ! splen- Thy fervent glance this bosom's chill did, my boy!" he cried ; "you're an Changed quickly into love's warm thrill! artist! Come, gentlemen, let us now go
Ah, dearest! were our spirits free,
Forever would I dwell with thee; down and make ready for dinner; and
And not a soul, howe'er divine, if you're all as hungry as I am, I con- Should know so sweet a bliss as mine! gratulate you. If you don't enjoy your
Cold, biting winter comes apaccmeal, I'll give you my head for a foot- I care not, when I see thy face; ball. My new cook is worth her weight
There is no winter in my heart,
Where thou and heaven have equal part! in gold. I defy all Thibet to match her!"
As the ladies left the table, NouredAs Ahmed and Noureddin had not din placed himself by the side of been honored with a previous formal Ahmed. invitation to dine with their host, the “Did you notice the words of the former now felt some delicate scruples, song ?” he asked, quietly.