« VorigeDoorgaan »
Outvenoms all the worms of Nile; whose breath
There is a tide in the affairs of men,
TOMORROW, and to morrow, and to morrow,
À Dervise, travelling through Tartary, being arrived at the town of Balk, went into the king's palace by misa take, as thinking it to be a public inn or caravansary. 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 repose himself upon it after the manner of the eastern nations. He had not been long in this posture, before he was discovered by fome of the guards, who aked 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 him. self passed through the gallery during this debate, and smiling at the mistake of the Dervise, asked him how he could pollibly be fo dull as not to diftinguish a palace from a ca. ravansary ? Sir, says the Dervise, give me leave to ask your majesty 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 Dervise, was. the last person that lodged here? The king replied, his. Father. And who is it, fays the Dervise, that lodges here
at present? The king told him, that it was he himself. And who, fays the Dervise, will be here after you? The king answered, the young prince his son. Ah, Sir! said the Dervise, a house that changes its inhabitants fo often, and receives such a perpetual succeslion of guests, is not a palace, but a caravansary.
A TURKISH TALE. We are told that the Sultan Mahmoud, by his perpetual wars abroad, and his tyranny at home, had filled his domi. nions wih ruin and desolation, and half unpeopled the Perfian empire. The vifier to this great fultan (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 visier knew what it was he said. As he was one evening with the emperor, in their return from hunting, they saw a couple of owls upon a tree that grew near an old wall out of a heap of rubbish. I would fain know, says the sultan, what those two owls are saying to one anotlter--listen to their discourse, and give me an account of it. The visier approached the tree, pretending to be very attentive to the iwo owls. Upon his return to the sultan; Sir, says he, I have heard part of their conversation, but dare not tell you what it is the sultan would not be satisfied with such in answer, but forced him to repeaty word for word, every thing the owls had said. You must know, then, faid the visier, that one of thefe owls has a son, and the other a daughter, between whoin they are now opon a treaty of marriage. The father of the son said to the father of the daughter, in my hearing, Brother, I confen to this, marriage, provided you will settle upon your daughter fifty
ruined villages for her portion. To which the father of the daughter replied, instead of fifty I will give her five hundred, if you please. God grant a long life to Sultan Mahmoud; whilit he reigns over us, we shall never want ruined villages.
The story says, the fultan was so touched with the fa. ble, that he rebuilt the towns and villages which had been defiroyed, and from that time forward consulted the good of his people.
AVARICE AND LUXURY. There were two very powerful tyrants engaged in a perpetual war against each other : the name of the first was Luxury, and of the second 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 service, as Pleasure, Mirth, Pomp, and Fafhion. Avarice was likewise very Atrong in his officers, being faithfully served by Hunger, Induitry, Care, and Watchful. ness: he had likewise a privy-counsellor who was always at his elbow, and whispering something or other in his ear. the name of this privy-counsellor was Poverty As Avarice con ducted himselt by the counsels of Poverty, his antagon it was entirely guided by the dictates and advice of Plenty, who was his first counsellor and minister of Hate, that concerted all his measures for him, and never departed out of his fight. While these two great rivals were thus contending for empire, their conquests were very various. "Luxury got possession of one heart, and Avarice of another. The father of a family would often range himself under the banners of Avarice, and the son under ihose of Luxury. The wife and husband would often declare themselves on the two different parties ; nay, the same person would very often fide with one in his youth,
and revolt to the other in his old age. Indeed the wise men of the world stood neuter; ,but, alas ! their numbers were not considerable. 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 counfellors were to be prefent. It is said that Luxury began the parley, and after having represented 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 should be very good friends, were it not for the inftigations of Poverty, that pernicious counsellor, who made an ill use of his ear, and filled him with groundless apprehensions and prejudices. To this Avarice replied, that he looked upon Plenty (the first minister of his antagonist) to be a much more destructive counsellor than Pos verty, for that he was perpetually suggesting pleasures, banishing all the neceffary cautions against want, and consequently undermining those principles on which the government of Avarice was foundi d. At last, in order to an accommodation, they agreed upon this preliminary, that each of them should immediately difiniss his privy-counsellor. When things were thus far adjusted towards a peace, all other differences weie roon accommodated, insomuch that for the future they resolved to live as good friends and confederates, and flare between them whatever conquests were made on either fide. For this reason we now find Luxury and Avarice taking poffeffion of the fame heart, and dividing the fame perfon between them. To which I shall only add, that since the discarding of the counsellors above mentioned, Avarice supplies Luxury in the room of Plenty. as Luxury prompts Avarice in the place of Poverty.