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claimed, with a burst of indignation, Yes, I shall prefer him! Early the next morning, he sent me my discharge; and while I was gazing, in stupid astonishment, upon my general's letter, a youth, masked, brought me a small casket, with a letter from Zara, which, to the best of my remembrance, was as follows:
TO ABBAS. By some unlucky circumstance, which I do not now understand, instead of promoting you, I have been the cause of your dismission. The bearer, who brings you a small casket of jewels for your support, has my commands to conduct you the shortest way over the mountains : follow him immediately, lest the rage of jealousy meditate new persecutions. He wears a mask, that he may not be taken notice of as one of the general's domestics; his attachment to me will make him faithful to you. Time may bring about happier events. Adieu, adieu !
• In the anguish and confusion of my heart, I followed my guide, without knowing whither he was leading me or what I was about to do. I vented my grief in broken ejaculations, frequently calling on the name of Zara, but not once addressing myself to my attendant. By the evening of the second day, we had advanced forty miles southward from the province of Lurestan ;. when—how shall I relate the last horrid scene of my miseries !-pardon me!--these aged eyes have yet a tear left, yet a tear for the memory of Zara! -we were attacked by a band of robbers. My guide was Zara! in her fright she threw off her mask, and cried, “ Zara!' Love, rage, fear, and vengeance gave me supernatural strength : three of the villains tell by my sabre; a fourth disarmed me; and the rest of the gang carried off Zara.'
At this crisis of his story, the spirits of the aged hermit were exhausted by their own violence; and it was some time before he could proceed.
* You have now,' continued he, heard the completion of my misfortunes. When I was recovered of the wounds I had received, I spent some months in a fruitless search of Zara. At last, despairing to gain any intelligence of her, I transınitted an account of the affair to her father; not without hope, that his power or his wealth might be a means of finding her out, and redeeming her : but I was deceived; and had soon the mortification to hear, that the unnatural wretch exulted in our misfortunes, and uttered the most dreadful imprecations on his only child.
• Deprived of hope, and dejected with melancholy, I could no longer bear the society of mankind : I therefore betook myself to these solitary mountains, where this cell has been my habitation for years, that have passed away in unvaried sorrow: and where you are the first of human beings that have heard me tell
Solyman expatiated on the sufferings of Abbas with the most tender sensibility, and inveighed against the baseness of mankind with all the rage of honest resentment Surely,' said he to the merchant, ‘man is the vilest of all creatures ! in proportion as he excels them in reason, he exceeds them in the ability to do mischief; and being equally cruel, the mischief he does renders him more detestible: Sacred Mithra! why dost_thou lend thy light to the villain and the tyrant? Were it not for the enjoyment of your company, my friend, I should have few inducements to go farther from the valley of Irwan; for possibly to see more of human life, is only to know more of its crimes and miseries.'
• From the complicated distresses of one person,' replied the merchant, you draw a partial image of the life of man. But the day declines : let us hasten over these mountains, that we may repose at night in some village of the valley.'
PLEASURES and ADVANTAGES of RELIGION.
all our virtues, and guardian of all our pleasures; who alone gives peace and contentment, divests the heart of care and the life of trouble, bursts on the mind a flood of joy, and sheds unmingled and perpetual sunshine in the virtuous breast. By her the spirits of darkness are banished the earth, and ministers of grace thicken unseen the scenes of mortality. She promotes love and good-will among men, lifts up the head that hangs down, heals the wounded spirit, dissipates the gloom of sorrow, sweetens the cup of affliction, blunts the sting of death, and wherever seen, or felt, or heard, breathes around her an everlasting spring. Religion raises men above themselves; irreligion sinks them beneath the brutes : the one makes them angels, the other makes them devils; this binds them down to a poor pitiable speck of perishable earth! that opens up a vista to the skies, and lets loose all the principles of an immortal mind among the glorious objects of an eternal world.
Lift up your head, O Christian, and look forward to yon calm unclouded regions of mercy, unsullied by vapours, unruffled by storms; where Friendship, the loveliest form in heaven, never dies, never changes, never cools!
Ere long thou shalt burst this brittle cage of confinement, break through the fetters of mortality, spring to life, and mingle with the skies. Corruption has but a limited duration. Happiness is even
now in the bud: a few days, or weeks, or months, or years at most, and that bud shall be fully blown. Here Virtue droops under a thousand pressures; but, like the earth with the returning spring, shall then renew her youth, renew her verdure, rise and reign in everlasting and undiminished lustre. It does not signify what thy prospects now are; what thy situation now is. In thy present condition, thy heart, indeed, may sob and bleed its last, before thou shalt meet with one, who has either the generosity to relieve, or the humanity to pity thee. Thou hast, however, in thy compassionate Parent of Nature, a most certain resource in the deepest extremity. Cast thine eyes but a little beyond this strange, mysterious, and perplexing scene, which at present intercepts thy views of futurity. Behold a bow stamped in the darkest cloud that lowers in the face of heaven, and the whole surrounding hemisphere brightening as thou approachest! Say, does not yon blessed opening, which overlooks the dark dominion of the grave, more than compensate all the sighs and sofferings, which chequer the present, passing, intervening scene? Lo! there thy long-lost friend, who still lives in thy remembrance, and warms thy inmost heart, whose presence gave thee more delight than all that life could afford, and whose absence cost thee more groans and tears than all that death can take
away, beckons thee to him, that where he is thou mayest be also • Here,' he says,
• dwell unmingled pleasures, unpolluted joys, unextinguishable love; immortal, unbounded, unmolested friendship. All the sorrows and imperfections of mortality are to us as though they had never been ; and nothing lives in heaven, but pure unadulterated virtue. Our hearts, swelled with rapture, cease to murmur; our breasts, warm with gratitude, to sigh ; our eyes, charmed with celestial visions, to water ; our hands, enriched with palms of victory, to tremble; and our heads, encircled with glory, to ache. We are just as safe as ivfinite power, as joyful as infinite fulness, and as happy as infinite goodness, can make us. Our's is peace without molestation, plenty without want, health without sickness, day without night, pleasure without pain, and life without the least mixture or dread of death.'
Happy thou, to whom life has no charm, for which thou canst wish it protracted! Thy troubles will soon vanish like a dream, which mocks the power of memory: and what signify all the shocks which thy delicate and feeling spirit can meet with in this shocking world? A moment longer and thy complaints are at an end; thy diseases of body and mind shall be felt no more; the ungenerous hints of churlish relations distress no more; fortune frown, futurity intimidate,
Then shall thy voice, no longer breathing the plaintive strains of melancholy, but happily attuned to songs of gladness, mingle with the hosts of heaven in the last and sweetest anthem that ever mortals or immortals sung;
“ O Death! where is thy plague? O Grave! where is thy victory?”
THE VISION OF MIRZAH.
FROM AN ORIENTAL MANUSCRIPT.
N the fifth day of the moon, which, according to
the custom of my forefathers I always 'keep holy, after having washed myself, and offered up my morning devotions, I ascended the high hills of Bagdat, in order to pass the rest of the day in meditation and prayer. As I was here airing myself on the tops of the mountains, I fell into a profound contemplation on the vanity of human life; and passing from one thought' to another, surely, said I, man is but a