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and daughters. Remember, O thou daughter of Zilpah, that the age of men is but a thousand years ; that beauty is the admiration but of a few centuries. It flourisheth as a mountain oak, or as a cedar on the top of Tirzah, which in three or four hundred years will fade away, and never be thought of by posterity, unless a young wood springs from its roots. Think well on this, and remember thy neighbour in the mountains.”
Having here inserted this letter, which I look upon as the only antediluvian billet-doux now extant, I shall in my next 10 paper give the answer to it, and the sequel of this story.
XXXVIII. HILPA AND SHALUM-CONTINUED.
Wednesday, August 25, 1714.
Ipsi lætitia voces ad sidera jactant
The Sequel of the Story of Shalum and Hilpa. The letter inserted in my last had so good an effect upon Hilpa, that she answered it in less than a twelvemonth, after the following manner.
Hilpa, mistress of the Valleys, to Shalum, master of
In the 789th year of the Creation. “What have I to do with thee, O Shalum ? Thou praisest Hilpa's beauty, but art thou not secretly enamoured with the verdure of her meadows? Art thou not more affected with the prospect of her green valley, than thou wouldest be with the sight of her person? The lowing of my herds, and
the bleatings of my flocks, make a pleasant echo in thy mountains, and sound sweetly in thy ears.
What though I am delighted with the wavings of thy forests, and those breezes of perfumes which flow from the top of Tirzah ; are these like the riches of the valley ?
“I know thee, O Shalum ; thou art more wise and happy than any of the sons of men. Thy dwellings are among the cedars;
thou searchest out the diversity of soils, thou understandest the influence of the stars, and markest the change of 10 seasons. Can a woman appear lovely in the eyes of such a
one ? Disquiet me not, O Shalum ; let me alone, that I may enjoy those goodly possessions which are fallen to my lot. Win me not by thy enticing words. May thy trees increase and multiply ; mayest thou add wood to wood, and shade to shade ; but tempt not Hilpa to destroy thy solitude, and make thy retirement populous.”
The Chinese say, that a little time afterwards she accepted of a treat, in one of the neighbouring hills, to which Shalum
had invited her. This treat lasted for two years, and is said 20 to have cost Shalum five hundred antelopes, two thousand
ostriches, and a thousand tun of milk; but what most of all recommended it, was that variety of delicious fruits and potherbs, in which no person then living could any way equal Shalum.
He treated her in the bower which he had planted amidst the wood of nightingales. The wood was made up of such fruit trees and plants as are most agreeable to the several kinds of singing birds ; so that it had drawn into it all the
music of the country, and was filled from one end of the year 30 to the other, with the most agreeable concert in season.
He showed her every day some beautiful and surprising scene in this new region of wood-lands; and as, by this means, he had all the opportunities he could wish for of opening his mind to her, he succeeded so well, that
her departure, she made him a kind of promise, and gave him
her word to return him a positive answer in less than fifty years.
She had not been long among her own people in the valleys, when she received new overtures, and at the same time a most splendid visit from Mishpach, who was a mighty man of old, and had built a great city, which he called after his own name. Every house was made for at least a thousand years, nay, there were some that were leased out for three lives ; so that the quantity of stone and timber consumed in this building is scarce to be imagined by those who live in 10 the present age of the world. This great man entertained her with the voice of musical instruments, which had been lately invented, and danced before her to the sound of the timbrel. He also presented her with several domestic utensils wrought in brass and iron, which had been newly found out for the convenience of life. In the meantime, Shalum grew very uneasy with himself, and was sorely displeased at Hilpa, for the reception which she had given to Mishpach, insomuch that he never wrote to her, or spoke of her, during a whole revolution of Saturn; but, finding that this inter- 20 course went no further than a visit, he again renewed his addresses to her, who, during his long silence, is said very often to have cast a wishing eye upon Mount Tirzah.
Her mind continued wavering about twenty years longer, between Shalum and Mishpach ; for though her inclinations favoured the former, her interest pleaded very powerfully for the other. While her heart was in this unsettled condition, the following accident happened, which determined her choice. A high tower of wood that stood in the city of Mishpach, having caught fire by a flash of lightning, in a few days 30 reduced the whole town to ashes. Mishpach resolved to rebuild the place, whatever it should cost him ; and, having. already destroyed all the timber of the country he was forced to have recourse to Shalum, whose forests were now two hundred years old. He purchased these woods, with so many · herds of cattle and flocks of sheep, and with such a vast
extent of fields and pastures, that Shalum was now grown more wealthy than Mishpach ; and, therefore, appeared so charming in the eyes of Zilpah's daughter, that she no longer refused him in marriage. On the day in which he brought her up into the mountains, he raised a most prodigious pile of cedar, and of every sweet-smelling wood, which reached above 300 cubits in height: he also cast into the pile bundles of myrrh, and sheaves of spikenard, enriching it with every
spicy shrub, and making it fat with the gums of his planta10 tions. This was the burnt offering which Shalum offered in
the day of his espousals : the smoke of it ascended up to heaven, and filled the whole country with incense and perfume.
THE SPECTATOR'S ACCOUNT OF HIMSELF. No. 1.
1. 7. peruses, reads through, examines, surveys. "A coined word; from Per- and Use. No other source can well be assigned ; but it must be admitted to be a barbarous and illformed word, compounded of Latin and French, and by no means used in the true sense ; since to per-use could only mean to use thoroughly. The sense of the word comes nearer to that of the F. revoir or E. survey’or'examine’; cp. 'Myself I then perused,' i.e. surveyed, Milton, P. L. viii. 267 ; Who first with curious eye Perused him,'id. P. R. i. 320. The F. revoir and E. survey both point to the Lat. uidere, to see ; there is a fair argument for the supposed barbarous coinage from per and use, in the fact that compounds with per were once far more common than they are now (Skeat, Ety. Dict.).
1. 8. black, dark; frequent in Shakespeare in this sense, e.g. T. G. v. 2. 12, “ Black men are pearls in beauteous ladies' eyes.
P. 2, 11. 5, 6. was gone ... months, had been pregnant three months.
1. 6. was brought ... judge, gave birth to a judge.
11. 8, 9. a justice of the peace, a title given to persons of position and character who are appointed to keep the peace of the neighbourhood in which they dwell.
1. 10. presaged, indicated ; Lat. preesagire, to feel or perceive beforehand, to have a presentiment of a thing.
1. 14. to favour, to give countenance to, to support.
1. 15. my rattle, a rattle and a coral are toys commonly given to infants, the former to amuse by its noise, the latter, which generally has little silver bells attached to it, to be sucked.
1. 20. nonage, minority, before one comes of age ; Lat. non, not, and age. sullen, reserved, hard to draw out.