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 This is no mere guess, for if fragments the simple reason that they imitated the of a great library, including Greek MSS., forms of plants, and their religion forbade which do not seem to have been proall recognizable likenesses of organic be. duced very long before the foundation of ings. But they could bear with pleasure Fostat, have been found in the unimporthe sight of Greek and Roman pillars of tant Krokodilopolis in Fajjum, and parts the most variegated form.

of the Iliad, and of the lyric poet Alk. The Moslem ruled the land, and Fos- man, in the neighborhood of a small tat was a genuine Moslem town; but the town in middle Egypt, then it may be Arab understood how to turn to account safely assumed that libraries full of Greek the superior knowledge and capacity of MSS. must have existed in the half Hel. his numerous Egyptian fellow.citizens. lenic metropolis, Memphis. The treas. They were superior to him in numbers, ures of the famous Alexandrian library and many of them were scholars, immi. were destroyed, sold to Constantinople, grants from Memphis and Heliopolis, stolen, and scattered long before 'Amr who went over to the new religion, and, came to Egypt. The famous story that as Moslems among Moslems, continued this commander heated the baths of the their scientific labors and worked as teach. town with costly books, because they de

served destruction if they taught anyThe wonderfully quick apprehension, thing different from the Koran, and were and the keen, nimble mind of the Arab, unnecessary if they taught the faith, be. enabled him to appropriate rapidly the longs demonstrably to the region of fable. 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

From Longman's Magazine, to them worth working at, with success, energy, and intellectual acuteness.

CHAPTER I. Just as their towns and mosques had a

BY THE DYING MOUNTEBANK. character of their own, although they were put together for the most part out of THEY had sent for the doctor from stones and building materials that owed Bourron before six. About eight some their origin to foreign art, so their science villagers came round for the performance, may be said to be genuinely Arabic, al- and were told how matters stood. It though it can be shown that here, too, the seemed a liberty for a mountebank to fall stately ship has been built from planks ill like real people, and they made off found ready made at Egyptian wharfs. again in dudgeon. By ten Madame TenOf course the arcana of Egyptian science taillon was gravely alarmed, and had sent had long since grown less and less, for down the street sor Doctor Desprez. Greek learning was deeply studied in the The doctor was at work over his manu. Nile valley, and cast the priestly wisdom scripts in one corner of the little diningof the age of the Pharaohs into the shade. room, and his wife was asleep over the But precisely in the sphere of the so- fire in another, when the messenger ar. called exact sciences to which the Arabs rived. devoted themselves with preference, the “Sapristi!”

said the doctor, "you Egyptians at the time of the foundation of should have sent for me before. It was a Fostat had still much material in the form case for hurry.” And he followed the of traditions, although they had for centu- messenger as he was — in his slippers ries abandoned their obsolete complicated and skull-cap. system of writing and had accustomed The inn was not thirty yards away,

but themselves to the use of Greek letters. the messenger did not stop there ; he Even the rude speech of earlier times was 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 i 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, At last the doctor hit on the solution at who had made what is called a failure in a leap. He remembered the look now. life, and was moreover married, found The little fellow, although he was himself at a new point of departure when straight as a dart, had the eyes that go he opened the door of the loft above Ten. usually with a crooked back; he was not taillon's stable.

at all deformed, and yet a deformed perIt was a large place, lighted only by a son seemed to be looking at you from single candle set upon the floor. The below his brows. The doctor drew a long mountebank lay on his back upon a pal. breath, he was so much relieved to find a let; a large man, with a Quixotic nose theory (for he loved theories) and to ex. inflamed with drinking. Madame Ten- plain away his interest. taillon stooped over him, applying a bot For all that, he despatched the invalid water and mustard friction to his feet; with unusual baste, and, still kneeling and on a chair close by sat a little fellow with one knee on the floor, turned a little of eleven or twelve, with his feet dangling. round and looked the boy over at bis These three were the only occupants, ex- leisure. The boy was not in the least cept the shadows. But the shadows were put out, but looked placidly back at the a company in themselves; the extent of doctor. the room exaggerated them to a gigantic “Is this your father?" asked Desprez. size, and from the low position of the can- “Oh, no," returned the boy; “my masdle the light struck upwards and produced ter." deformed foreshortenings. The mounte. “Are you fond of him?” continued the bank's profile was enlarged upon the wall doctor. in caricature, and it was strange to see his “No, sir," said the boy. nose shorten and lengthen as the flame was Madame Tentaillon and Desprez exblown about by draughts. As for Madame changed expressive glances. Tentaillon, her shadow was no more than " That is bad, my man,” resumed the a gross hump of shoulders, and now and latter, with a shade of sternness. • Every again a hemisphere of head. The chair one should be fond of the dying, or conlegs were spindled out as long as stilts, ceal their sentiments; and your master and the boy sat perched atop of them, here is dying. If I have watched a bird like a cloud, in a corner of the roof. 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 hinn 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 The boy was silent for a little, and apan old friend or an old enemy. And the peared to be reflecting.

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" You did not know him," he replied at like the early morning. "I rise earlier last. " He was a bad man."

than any one else in the village,” he once “ He is a little pagan,” said the land- boasted. • It is a fair consequence that lady. “For that matter, they are all the I know more and wish to do less with my same, these mountebanks, tumblers, art- knowledge." ists, and whatnot. They have no inte- The doctor was a connoisseur of sunrior."

rises, and loved a good theatrical effect to But the doctor was still scrutinizing the usher in the day. He had a theory of little pagan, his eyebrows knotted and dew, by which he could predict the weathuplifted.

er. Indeed, most things served him to “What is your name?” he asked. that end: the sound of the bells from all “ Jean-Marie,” said the lad.

the neighboring villages, the smell of the Desprez leaped upon him with one of forest, the visits and the behavior of both his sudden flashes of excitement, and felt birds and fishes, the look of the plants in his head all over from an ethnological his garden, the disposition of cloud, the point of view.

color of the light, and last, although not “Celtic, Celtic!” he said.

least, the arsenal of meteorological instru. “ Celtic!” cried Madame Tentaillon, ments in a louvre-boarded hutch upon the who had perhaps confounded the word lawn. Ever since he had seitled at Gretz, with hydrocephalous. “Poor lad! is it he had been growing more and more into dangerous ?"

the local meteorologist, the unpaid cham"That depends," returned the doctor pion of the local climate. He thought at grimly. And then once more addressing first there was no place so healthful in the the boy: “And what do you do for your arrondissement. By the end of the secliving, Jean-Marie ?” he inquired. ond year, he protested there was none “I tumble,” was the answer.

so wholesome in the whole department. “So! Tumble?” repeated Desprez. And for some time before he met JeanProbably healthful. I hazard the guess, Marie, he had been prepared to challenge Madame Tentaillon, that tumbling is a all France and the better part of Europe healthful way of life. And have you never for a rival to his chosen spot. done anything else but tumble?".

“ Doctor," he would say - -“ doctor is “Before I learned that, I used to steal," a soul word. It should not be used to answered Jean-Marie gravely.

ladies. It implies disease. I remark it, “Upon my word !” cried the doctor. as a flaw in our civilization, that we have "You are a nice little man for your age. not the proper horror of disease. Now I, Madame, when my confrère comes from for my part, have washed my hands of it; Bourron, you will communicate my un. I have renounced my laureation; I am no favorable opinion. I leave the case in his doctor; I am only a worshipper of the hands; but of course, on any alarming true goddess Hygieia. Ah, believe me, symptom, above all if there should be a it is she who has the cestus! And here, sign of rally, do not hesitate to knock me in this exiguous hamlet, has she placed up. I am a doctor no longer, I thank her shrine; here she dwells and lavishes God; but I have been one. Good-night, her gifts; here I walk with her in the madame. Good sleep to you, Jean-Ma- early morning, and she shows me how rie.”

strong she has made the peasants, how

fruitful she has made the fields, how the CHAPTER II.

trees grow up tall and comely under her eyes, and the fishes in the river become

clean and agile at her presence. RheuDoctor DESPREZ always rose early. matism!” he would cry, on some malapert Before the smoke arose, before the first interruption. • Oh, yes, I believe we do cart rattled over the bridge to the day's have a little rheumatism. That could labor in the fields, he was to be found hardly be avoided, you know, on a river. wandering in his garden. Now he would And of course the place stands a little pick a bunch of grapes; now he would eat low; and the meadows are marshy, there's a big pear under the trellis; now he would no doubt. But, my dear sir, look at Bourdraw all sorts of fancies on the path with ron! Bourron stands high. Bourron the end of his cane; now he would go is close to the forest; plenty of ozone down and watch the river running end there you would say. Well, compared lessly past the timberlanding place at with Gretz, Bourron is a perfect sham. which he moored his boat. There was no bles." time, he used to say, for making theories The morning after he had been sum.


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moned to the dying mountebank, the doc. “It is so quiet," answered Jean-Marie; tor visited the wharf at the tail of his "and I have nothing to do; and then I garden, and had a long look at the run feel as if I were good.” ning water. This be called prayer; but Doctor Desprez took a seat on the post whether his adorations were addressed to at the opposite side. He was beginning the goddess Hygieia or some more ortho- to take an interest in the talk, for the boy dox deity, never plainly appeared. For i plainly thought before he spoke, and tried he had uttered doubtful oracles, some. to answer truly. “It appears you have a times declaring that a river was the type taste for feeling good," said the doctor. of bodily health, sometimes extolling it as “Now, there you puzzle me extremely ; the great moral preacher, continually for I thought you said you were a thief ; preaching peace, continuity, and dili- and the two are incompatible.” gence to man's tormented spirits. After Is it so very bad to steal ? ” asked he had watched a mile or so of the clear Jean-Marie. water running by before his eyes, seen a “Such is the general opinion, little fish or two come to the surface with a boy,” replied the doctor. gleam of silver, and sufficiently admired “ No; but I mean as I stole," explained the long shadows of the trees falling hall the other. “For I had no choice. I across the river from the opposite bank, think it is surely right to have bread; it with patches of moving sunlight in be- must be right to have bread, there comes tween, he strolled once more up the gar- so plain a want of it. And then they beat den and through his house into the street, me cruelly if I returned with nothing," he feeling cool and renovated.

added. "I was not ignorant of right and The sound of his feet upon the cause. wrong; for before that I had been well way began the business of the day; for taught by a priest, who was very kind to the village was still sound asleep. The me." (The doctor made a horrible grim. church tower looked very airy in the ace at the word "priest.") “But it seemed sunlight; a few birds that turned about to me, when one had nothing to eat and it, seemed to swim in an atmosphere of was beaten, it was a different affair. I more than usual rarity; and the doctor, would not have stolen for tartlets, ! bewalking in long, transparent shadows, lieve; but any one would steal for baker's filled his lungs amply, and proclaimed bread." himself well contented with the morning. " And so I suppose," said the doctor

On one of the posts before Tentallion'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 him at length.”. immediately recognized Jean-Marie.

Why, sir?” asked Jean-Marie. “I “Aba!” he said, stopping before him do not see.” humorously, with a hand on either knee. “ Your priest would see, however,” re“So we rise early in the morning, do we ? torted Desprez. It appears to me that you have all the Would be?” asked the boy, troubled vices of a philosopher.".

for the first time. “I should have thought The boy got to his feet and made a God would have known.” grave salutation.

“ Eh?" snarled the doctor. “ And how is our patient?" asked Des. “I should have thought God would prez.

have understood me,” replied the other. It appeared the patient was about the “ You do not, I see; but then it was God

that made me think so, was it not? “And why do you rise early in the “ Little boy, little boy,” said Doctor morning ?" he pursued.

Desprez, "I told you already you had the Jean-Marie, after a long silence pro. vices of philosophy; if you display the fessed that he hardly knew.

virtues also, I must go. I am a student “You hardly know?” repeated Des. of the blessed laws of health, an observer prez. “We hardly know anything, my of plain and temperate nature in her man, until we try to learn. Interrogate common walks; and I cannot preserve your consciousness. Come, push me this my equanimity in presence of a monster. inquiry home. Do you like it?"

Do you understand ?" Yes," said the boy sloivly; "yes, I No, sir," said the boy. like it."

“ I will make my meaning clear to you," “And why do you like it?” continued replied the doctor. " Look there at the the doctor. “We are now pursuing the sky - behind the belfry first, where it is Socratic method. Why do you like it?" so'light, and then up and up, turning your


6. Mal

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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 topI 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 like it as well?”

brouck s'en va-t-en guerre ;

even with " I suppose not,” answered Jean-Marie. that he was on terms of mere politeness;

"Neither do I like you,” returned the and his musical exploits were always redoctor roughly. “I hate all odd people, served for moments when he was alone and you are the most curious little boy in and entirely happy. all the world.”

He was recalled to earth rudely by a Jean-Marie seemed to ponder for a pained expression on the boy's face. while, and then he raised his head again - What do you think of my singing ?” he and looked over at the doctor with an air inquired, stopping in the middle of a of candid inquiry: “But are not you a note; and then, after he had waited some very curious gentleman ?” he asked. little wbile and received no answer, “ What

The doctor threw away, his stick, do you think of my singing?” he repeated bounded on the boy, clasped him to his imperiously. bosom, and kissed him on both cheeks. I do not like it," faltered Jean-Marie. • Admirable, adınirable imp!” he cried. “Oh, come ! ” cried the doctor. “What a morning, what an hour for a sibly you are a performer yourself?" theorist of forty-two! No,” he continued, “I'sing better than that,” replied the apostrophizing heaven, “I did not know boy. such boys existed; I was ignorant they The doctor eyed him for some seconds made them so; I had doubted of my race; in stupefaction. He was aware that he and now ! It is like,” he added, picking was angry, and blushed for bimself in up his stick, “like a lover's meeting. I consequence, which made hiin angrier. have bruised my favorite staff in that mo." If this is how you address your masment of enthusiasm. The injury, how ter!” he said at last, with a shrug and a ever, is not grave.” He caught the boy flourish of his arms. looking at him in obvious wonder, embar- “ I do not speak to him at all,” returned rassment, and alarm. “ Hullo !” said he, the boy. “I do not like him.” "why do you look at me like that? Egad, “ Then you like me ? " snapped Doctor I believe the boy despises me. Do you Desprez, with unusual eagerness. despise me, boy?”

“I do not know," answered Jean-Marie. “Oh, no,” replied Jean-Marie serious- The doctor rose. " I shall wish you a ly; "only I do not understand.”

good morning,” he said. “You are too “ You must excuse me, sir," returned much for me. Perhaps you have blood the doctor, with gravity ; “I am still so in your veins, perhaps celestial ichor, or young. Oh, hang him!” he added to perhaps you circulate nothing more gross himself. And he took his seat again and than respirable air; but of one thing I observed the boy sardonically. “ He has am inexpugnably assured: that you are spoiled the quiet of my morning,” thought no human being. No, boy” — shaking he. “ I shall be nervous all day, and his stick at hini "you are not a human have a febricule when I digest. Let me being. Write, write it in your memory compose myself.” And so he dismissed L'Tam not a human being - I have no bis preoccupations by an effort of the pretension to be a human being - I am a will which he had long practised, and let dive, a dream, an angel, an acrostic, an his soul roam abroad in the contemplation illusion – what you please, but not a huof the morning. He inhaled the air, tast- man being. An so accept my humble ing it critically as a connoisseur tastes a salutations, and farewell !” vintage, and prolonging the expiration And with that the doctor made off with hygienic gusto. He counted the along the street in some emotion, and the little flecks of cloud along the sky. He boy stood, mentally gaping, where he left followed the movements of the birds him.

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