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ery one of them supports a capital, which | essentially altered and enriched by Greek owes its origin to Greek, Roman, and By- words. The Coptic, a dialect whose synzantine masons. Most of these appear to tactic pureness delights the linguist, have come from Memphis. It is remark- stepped into the place of her mother, the able that the Arabs have nowhere made ancient Egyptian; but every educated use of pillars fashioned in the old Egyp- Copt was able also to speak Greek, and tian style, although they could have found the libraries of Memphis could not have them in any quantity they liked at Mem- been wanting in the most eminent works phis and Hieropolis. They must have of Greek literature. been thoroughly against their taste, for the simple reason that they imitated the forms of plants, and their religion forbade all recognizable likenesses of organic beings. But they could bear with pleasure the sight of Greek and Roman pillars of the most variegated form.
The Moslem ruled the land, and Fostat was a genuine Moslem town; but the Arab understood how to turn to account the superior knowledge and capacity of his numerous Egyptian fellow-citizens. They were superior to him in numbers, and many of them were scholars, immigrants from Memphis and Heliopolis, who went over to the new religion, and, as Moslems among Moslems, continued their scientific labors and worked as teach
The wonderfully quick apprehension, and the keen, nimble mind of the Arab, enabled him to appropriate rapidly the scientific treasures he found among the conquered Egyptians. The Moslems not only acquired foreign learning, but assimilated it to their own ways of thought, and followed out every discipline that seemed to them worth working at, with success, energy, and intellectual acuteness.
Just as their towns and mosques had a character of their own, although they were put together for the most part out of stones and building materials that owed their origin to foreign art, so their science may be said to be genuinely Arabic, although it can be shown that here, too, the stately ship has been built from planks found ready made at Egyptian wharfs. Of course the arcana of Egyptian science had long since grown less and less, for Greek learning was deeply studied in the Nile valley, and cast the priestly wisdom of the age of the Pharaohs into the shade. But precisely in the sphere of the socalled exact sciences to which the Arabs devoted themselves with preference, the Egyptians at the time of the foundation of Fostat had still much material in the form of traditions, although they had for centuries abandoned their obsolete complicated system of writing and had accustomed themselves to the use of Greek letters. Even the rude speech of earlier times was
This is no mere guess, for if fragments of a great library, including Greek MSS., which do not seem to have been produced very long before the foundation of Fostat, have been found in the unimportant Krokodilopolis in Fajjum, and parts of the Iliad, and of the lyric poet Alk man, in the neighborhood of a small town in middle Egypt, then it may be safely assumed that libraries full of Greek MSS. must have existed in the half Hellenic metropolis, Memphis. The treasures of the famous Alexandrian library were destroyed, sold to Constantinople, stolen, and scattered long before 'Amr came to Egypt. The famous story that this commander heated the baths of the town with costly books, because they deserved destruction if they taught anything different from the Koran, and were unnecessary if they taught the faith, belongs demonstrably to the region of fable.
From Longman's Magazine.
THE TREASURE OF FRANCHARD.
BY THE DYING MOUNTEBANK. THEY had sent for the doctor from Bourron before six. About eight some villagers came round for the performance, and were told how matters stood. seemed a liberty for a mountebank to fall ill like real people, and they made_off again in dudgeon. By ten Madame Tentaillon was gravely alarmed, and had sent down the street for Doctor Desprez.
The doctor was at work over his manuscripts in one corner of the little diningroom, and his wife was asleep over the fire in another, when the messenger arrived.
"Sapristi! said the doctor, "you should have sent for me before. It was a case for hurry." And he followed the messenger as he was in his slippers and skull-cap.
The inn was not thirty yards away, but the messenger did not stop there; he went in at one door and out by another
into the court, and then led the way by a boy would give him no peace; he seemed flight of steps beside the stable, to the profoundly indifferent to what was going loft where the mountebank lay sick. If on, or rather abstracted from it in a supeDoctor Desprez were to live a thousand rior contemplation, beating gently with years, he would never forget his arrival at his feet against the bars of the chair, and that room; for not only was the scene holding his hands folded on his lap. But, picturesque, but the moment made a date for all that, his eyes kept following the in his existence. We reckon our lives, I doctor about the room with a thoughtful hardly know why, from the day of our first fixity of gaze. Desprez could not tell sorry appearance in society, as if from a whether he was fascinating the boy, or first humiliation; for no actor can come the boy was fascinating him. He busied upon the stage with a worse grace. Not himself over the sick man: he put questo go further back, which would be judged tions, he felt the pulse, he jested, he grew too curious, there are subsequently many a little hot and swore; and still, whenever moving and decisive accidents in the lives | he looked round, there were the brown of all, which would make as logical a eyes waiting for his with the same inquirperiod as this of birth. And here, for in- ing, melancholy gaze. stance, Doctor Desprez, a man past forty, who had made what is called a failure in life, and was moreover married, found himself at a new point of departure when he opened the door of the loft above Tentaillon's stable.
It was a large place, lighted only by a single candle set upon the floor. The mountebank lay on his back upon a pallet; a large man, with a Quixotic nose inflamed with drinking. Madame Tentaillon stooped over him, applying a hot water and mustard friction to his feet; and on a chair close by sat a little fellow of eleven or twelve, with his feet dangling. These three were the only occupants, except the shadows. But the shadows were a company in themselves; the extent of the room exaggerated them to a gigantic size, and from the low position of the candle the light struck upwards and produced deformed foreshortenings. The mounte bank's profile was enlarged upon the wall in caricature, and it was strange to see his nose shorten and lengthen as the flame was blown about by draughts. As for Madame Tentaillon, her shadow was no more than a gross hump of shoulders, and now and again a hemisphere of head. The chair legs were spindled out as long as stilts, and the boy sat perched atop of them, like a cloud, in a corner of the roof.
At last the doctor hit on the solution at a leap. He remembered the look now. The little fellow, although he was as straight as a dart, had the eyes that go usually with a crooked back; he was not at all deformed, and yet a deformed person seemed to be looking at you from below his brows. The doctor drew a long breath, he was so much relieved to find a theory (for he loved theories) and to explain away his interest.
For all that, he despatched the invalid with unusual haste, and, still kneeling with one knee on the floor, turned a little round and looked the boy over at his leisure. The boy was not in the least put out, but looked placidly back at the doctor.
"Is this your father?" asked Desprez. "Oh, no," returned the boy; my mas
"Are you fond of him?" continued the doctor.
"No, sir," said the boy. Madame Tentaillon and Desprez exchanged expressive glances.
"That is bad, my man," resumed the latter, with a shade of sternness. Every one should be fond of the dying, or conceal their sentiments; and your master here is dying. If I have watched a bird a little while stealing my cherries, I have It was the boy who took the doctor's a thought of disappointment when he flies fancy. He had a great arched skull, the away over my garden wall, and I see him forehead and the hands of a musician, steer for the forest and vanish. How and a pair of haunting eyes. It was not much more a creature such as this, so merely that these eyes were large, or strong, so astute, so richly endowed with steady, or the softest ruddy brown. There faculties! When I think that, in a few was a look in them, besides, which thrilled hours, the speech will be silenced, the the doctor, and made him half uneasy. breath extinct, and even the shadow van. He was sure he had seen such a look be-ished from the wall, I who never saw him, fore, and yet he could not remember how this lady who knew him only as a guest, or where. It was as if this boy, who was are touched with some affection." quite a stranger to him, had the eyes of an old friend or an old enemy. And the
The boy was silent for a little, and appeared to be reflecting.
But the doctor was still scrutinizing the little pagan, his eyebrows knotted and uplifted.
"What is your name?" he asked. "Jean-Marie," said the lad.
Desprez leaped upon him with one of his sudden flashes of excitement, and felt his head all over from an ethnological point of view.
"Celtic, Celtic!" he said.
"Celtic!" cried Madame Tentaillon, who had perhaps confounded the word with hydrocephalous. "Poor lad! is it dangerous?"
"That depends," returned the doctor grimly. And then once more addressing the boy: "And what do you do for your living, Jean-Marie ?" he inquired.
"I tumble," was the answer. "So! 99 Tumble? repeated Desprez. "Probably healthful. I hazard the guess, Madame Tentaillon, that tumbling is a healthful way of life. And have you never done anything else but tumble?"
"Before I learned that, I used to steal," answered Jean-Marie gravely.
"Upon my word!" cried the doctor. "You are a nice little man for your age. Madame, when my confrère comes from Bourron, you will communicate my unfavorable opinion. I leave the case in his hands; but of course, on any alarming symptom, above all if there should be a sign of rally, do not hesitate to knock me up. I am a doctor no longer, I thank God; but I have been one. Good-night, madame. Good sleep to you, Jean-Marie."
DOCTOR DESPREZ always rose early. Before the smoke arose, before the first cart rattled over the bridge to the day's labor in the fields, he was to be found wandering in his garden. Now he would pick a bunch of grapes; now he would eat a big pear under the trellis; now he would draw all sorts of fancies on the path with the end of his cane; now he would go down and watch the river running endlessly past the timber landing-place at which he moored his boat. There was no time, he used to say, for making theories
like the early morning. "I rise earlier than any one else in the village," he once boasted. "It is a fair consequence that I know more and wish to do less with my knowledge."
The doctor was a connoisseur of sunrises, and loved a good theatrical effect to usher in the day. He had a theory of dew, by which he could predict the weather. Indeed, most things served him to that end the sound of the bells from all the neighboring villages, the smell of the forest, the visits and the behavior of both birds and fishes, the look of the plants in his garden, the disposition of cloud, the color of the light, and last, although not least, the arsenal of meteorological instruments in a louvre boarded hutch upon the lawn. Ever since he had settled at Gretz, he had been growing more and more into the local meteorologist, the unpaid cham. pion of the local climate. He thought at first there was no place so healthful in the arrondissement. By the end of the second year, he protested there was none so wholesome in the whole department. And for some time before he met JeanMarie, he had been prepared to challenge all France and the better part of Europe for a rival to his chosen spot.
a foul word. It should not be used to
moned to the dying mountebank, the doctor visited the wharf at the tail of his garden, and had a long look at the running water. This he called prayer; but whether his adorations were addressed to the goddess Hygieia or some more orthodox deity, never plainly appeared. For he had uttered doubtful oracles, sometimes declaring that a river was the type of bodily health, sometimes extolling it as the great moral preacher, continually preaching peace, continuity, and diligence to man's tormented spirits. After he had watched a mile or so of the clear water running by before his eyes, seen a fish or two come to the surface with a gleam of silver, and sufficiently admired the long shadows of the trees falling half across the river from the opposite bank, with patches of moving sunlight in between, he strolled once more up the garden and through his house into the street, feeling cool and renovated.
"It is so quiet," answered Jean-Marie; "and I have nothing to do; and then I feel as if I were good."
Doctor Desprez took a seat on the post at the opposite side. He was beginning to take an interest in the talk, for the boy plainly thought before he spoke, and tried to answer truly. "It appears you have a taste for feeling good," said the doctor. Now, there you puzzle me extremely; for I thought you said you were a thief; and the two are incompatible."
"Is it so very bad to steal?" asked Jean-Marie.
"Such is the general opinion, little boy," replied the doctor.
"No; but I mean as I stole," explained the other. "For I had no choice. think it is surely right to have bread; it must be right to have bread, there comes so plain a want of it. And then they beat me cruelly if I returned with nothing," he added. "I was not ignorant of right and wrong; for before that I had been well taught by a priest, who was very kind to me.' (The doctor made a horrible grimace at the word "priest.") "But it seemed to me, when one had nothing to eat and was beaten, it was a different affair. I would not have stolen for tartlets, I believe; but any one would steal for baker's bread."
The sound of his feet upon the causeway began the business of the day; for the village was still sound asleep. The church tower looked very airy in the sunlight; a few birds that turned about it, seemed to swim in an atmosphere of more than usual rarity; and the doctor, walking in long, transparent shadows, filled his lungs amply, and proclaimed himself well contented with the morning. "And so I suppose," said the doctor On one of the posts before Ten tallion's with a rising sneer, you prayed God to carriage entry, he espied a little dark fig-forgive you, and explained the case to ure perched in a meditative attitude, and immediately recognized Jean-Marie.
him at length."
"Why, sir?" asked Jean-Marie. do not see."
"Your priest would see, however," retorted Desprez.
"Would he?" asked the boy, troubled for the first time. "I should have thought God would have known."
"Eh?" snarled the doctor.
"I should have thought God would have understood me," replied the other. "You do not, I see; but then it was God that made me think so, was it not?"
"Little boy, little boy,' said Doctor Desprez, "I told you already you had the vices of philosophy; if you display the virtues also, I must go. I am a student of the blessed laws of health, an observer of plain and temperate nature in her common walks; and I cannot preserve my equanimity in presence of a monster. Do you understand?"
"No, sir," said the boy.
"I will make my meaning clear to you," replied the doctor. "Look there at the sky-behind the belfry first, where it is so light, and then up and up, turning your
chin back, right to the top of the dome, | round the church tower - making long where it is already as blue as at noon. Is sweeps, hanging poised, or turning airy not that a beautiful color? Does it not somersaults in fancy, and beating the please the heart? We have seen it all wind with imaginary pinions. And in our lives, until it has grown in with our this way he regained peace of mind and familiar thoughts. Now," changing his animal composure, conscious of his limbs, tone, "suppose that sky to become sud- conscious of the sight of his eyes, condenly of a live and fiery amber, like the scious that the air had a cool taste, like a color of clear coals, and growing scarlet fruit, at the top of his throat; and at last, towards the top - I do not say it would in complete abstraction, he began to sing. be any the less beautiful; but would you The doctor had but one air — "Mallike it as well?" brouck s'en va-t-en guerre ; "" even with that he was on terms of mere politeness; and his musical exploits were always reserved for moments when he was alone and entirely happy.
"I suppose not," answered Jean-Marie. "Neither do I like you," returned the doctor roughly. "I hate all odd people, and you are the most curious little boy in all the world."
Jean-Marie seemed to ponder for a while, and then he raised his head again and looked over at the doctor with an air of candid inquiry. "But are not you a very curious gentleman?" he asked.
The doctor threw away his stick, bounded on the boy, clasped him to his bosom, and kissed him on both cheeks. "Admirable, admirable imp!" he cried. "What a morning, what an hour for a theorist of forty-two! No," he continued, apostrophizing heaven, "I did not know such boys existed; I was ignorant they made them so; I had doubted of my race; and now! It is like," he added, picking up his stick, "like a lover's meeting. I have bruised my favorite staff in that moment of enthusiasm. The injury, however, is not grave." He caught the boy looking at him in obvious wonder, embarrassment, and alarm. "Hullo!" said he, "why do you look at me like that?_Egad, I believe the boy despises me. Do you despise me, boy?"
"Oh, no," replied Jean-Marie seriously; "only I do not understand."
"You must excuse me, sir,” returned the doctor, with gravity; “I am still so young. Oh, hang him!" he added to himself. And he took his seat again and observed the boy sardonically. "He has spoiled the quiet of my morning," thought
"I shall be nervous all day, and have a febricule when I digest. Let me compose myself." And so he dismissed his preoccupations by an effort of the will which he had long practised, and let his soul roam abroad in the contemplation of the morning. He inhaled the air, tasting it critically as a connoisseur tastes a vintage, and prolonging the expiration with hygienic gusto. He counted the little flecks of cloud along the sky. He followed the movements of the birds
He was recalled to earth rudely by a pained expression on the boy's face. "What do you think of my singing?" he inquired, stopping in the middle of a note; and then, after he had waited some little while and received no answer, "What do you think of my singing?" he repeated imperiously.
"I do not like it," faltered Jean-Marie. "Oh, come! cried the doctor. "Possibly you are a performer yourself?" "I sing better than that," replied the boy.
The doctor eyed him for some seconds in stupefaction. He was aware that he was angry, and blushed for himself in consequence, which made him angrier. "If this is how you address your master!" he said at last, with a shrug and a flourish of his arms.
"I do not speak to him at all," returned the boy. "I do not like him."
"You are too
"Then you like me?" snapped Doctor Desprez, with unusual eagerness. "I do not know," answered Jean-Marie. The doctor rose. "I shall wish you a good morning," he said. much for me. Perhaps you have blood in your veins, perhaps celestial ichor, or perhaps you circulate nothing more gross than respirable air; but of one thing I am inexpugnably assured: that you are no human being. No, boy"-shaking his stick at him- "you are not a human being. Write, write it in your memory I am not a human being- I have no pretension to be a human being-I am a dive, a dream, an angel, an acrostic, an illusion what you please, but not a hu man being.' And so accept my humble salutations, and farewell!"
And with that the doctor made off along the street in some emotion, and the boy stood, mentally gaping, where he left him.