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"My father, my dearest father!" exclaimed Hassan, throwing himself on the neck of the venerable Abul-Bedir, "how unfortuDate am I! I possess an immense treasure in pearls, jewels, and gold! My father has left me palaces, estates, baths, and charming gardens; all the roads are covered with my camels, and, nevertheless, I am not happy!"
Abul-Bedir smiled, pressing the young man's hand with paternal affection. "Tell me, Hassan," said he, "are there no unfortunate sufferers on thy estates who want assistance? Surely thou canst not be unhappy whilst a single being exists whose wants thou canst relieve. Dost thou know Hulkem?"
"Him whom the people call the wise Hulkem?"
"Whom else could I mean? Go, and do as Hulkem does, and thou wilt become happy. But, Hassan, before thou doest as Hulkem does, resolve first to imitate him likewise in the manner in which he does good. I know thou art capable of it!"
maidens, they proceeded on the road, extolling in all the countries to which they came Hulkem's hospitality. Hulkem, the happy, generous, and wise Hulkem, was the object of universal admiration in every country of the
When Hassan heard of Hulkem's fame, he meditated whether a life like that for which
Hulkem was renowned could make himself happy? "Yes," exclaimed he, starting up from his couch; "yes, I shall become happy: my name will be celebrated all over the globe; travellers will bless me on the snowy tops of the Ural, and the hospitable Arab shall say, Hassan is more hospitable than myself!"
Thus spoke he, and instantly sent workmen to the opposite side of Bagdad, where the roads "That from numerous sea-ports united. situation," said he, "will enable me to become more renowned than Hulkem; ny name will be extolled in all countries, and in all the palaces of the great, whilst Hulkem's name is known only in the cottages of the poor."
A splendid pile, composed of polished mar ble, was soon erected; an hundred gates were thrown open to the numerous caravans that constantly passed the spot where Hassan's palace stood; four hundred black slaves guarded the avenues, and invited all travellers to partake of their master's hospitality; a sumptuous bath occupied the centre of the palace, where beautiful female slaves greeted the travel
Hulkem lived at the distance of two days journey from Bagdad, in a fertile plain, intersected with groves, hills, and shady dales. Close by the main road stood his house, having as many doors as roads from the interior of the country crossed each other. Lofty palm-trees stood in shady rows round the house, and underneath the palm-trees were seen numerous seats, made of fragrant turf, and wells supplying cooling water to refreshlers, whilst the sweet sounds of music re-echoed the camels of the travellers. The floors of the spacious halls in Hulkem's house were covered with carpets, provided with soft pillows, for the accommodation of wearied travellers. Numerous slaves inhabited the cottages encompassing the hospitable mansion, and with kind words invited the travellers to bait their camels, to rest on Hulkem's carpets, to eat of his bread, and to drink of the milk of his sheep.
When travellers arrived they were received by officious female slaves, who offered them water to wash themselves, preparing a fragrant bath for them, and amusing them with dancing, singing, and playing on the lute, till sleep closed their heavy eyes. Early at morn they were waked by the harmonious notes of the lute, a bath afforded them refreshment, and after having partaken of the savoury viands which were served up by beautiful
through the lofty pile. Each traveller on leaving the splendid mansion received a costly carpet, in which Hassan's name was embroidered. Over every gate of the palace were engraven in letters of gold the words,-Devoted to the weary traveller, by Hassan the benevolent, the protector of the unfortunate.
Thousands came from Bagdad to admire Hassan's magnificence, to bathe, to eat, and to drink in his palace. Numerous travellers refreshed themselves in his mansion, and admired its splendour. Hassan was happy; he walked proudly beneath the palm trees that surrounded his mansion, and shewed its splendour to the traveller, received his thanks in the morning, and with inward pleasure looked after his departing guest, till a new caravan attracted his notice.
One day an old man bent his steps towards Hassan's palace. He stopped, whilst he was
yet distant, admiring the beauty of the lofty palm-trees, and gazing with admiring eyes at the marble benches underneath the shadowy trees. Hassan went up to him, and said, "Old man, will you not step nearer ?”
"May a poor old man take the liberty to come nearer ?" asked he, in timid accents.
Have you not read the superscription over the gates of Hassan's mansion?"
"I have; but-do you think I may ven. ture?"
"You may-Hassan is, like the sun of heaven, beneficent to the rich and the poor."
pulled out from under his garments, where he had concealed it near his heart.
The slaves took the purse and the silk robe, and having examined and robbed Hassan likewise, for appearance sake, withdrew into the woods. "Let us fly," said the old man to Hassan: 66 praised be the holy prophet! I have saved this piece of gold."—"Let us re turn to Hassan," rejoined Hassan: "he will repair our losses twofold." But the old nan hastened onward, concealing his piece with additional care in his turban.
"But what makes you value this single piece of gold so much?" asked Hassan, with looks of surprise and curiosity.”— .”—“ It is a gift of Hulkem, the wise and good Hulkem.”— "Of Hulkem? but say, why were Hassan's
The old man stepped nearer, though in a fearful manner. He stopped at one of the marble benches, but ventured not to sit down, till a slave pressed him to rest himself. san beckoned to one of the attendants, whis-gifts so indifferent to you?" pering something to him, when the slave urged the old man to enter the mansion, shewing him every apartment, and pointing out the splendour and elegance of the furniture. When the grey-headed traveller had seen every thing worth notice, a number of female slaves conducted him to the bath, and in the morning one of Hassan's domestics gave him an hundred pieces of gold and a silk robe, calling after him, as he quitted the house,—“Go now, old mau, and bless Hassan's generosity."
"Because-it was a-charitable donation. Ah! you do not know that Huikem; I would rather part with my life than with this remembrance of the good Hulkem, the best of
Hassan met the rejoiced old man beyond the palm-trees, asking him, smiling,-" Well, old man, did I not speak the truth, when I told you Hassan's generosity?"
"He is more generous than I expected," replied the old man : "look, here are an hundred pieces of gold, and this garment, présents which I received of Hassan, the most generous of men."
Hassan heard with inward satisfaction the praise of his maguanimity, and attended the old man to a woody valley, where he had ordered two slaves to conceal themselves, and to rob | the old man of his money, in order to have an opportunity of increasing the astonishment of the grey-headed traveller, by an additional gift of double the sum. The slaves rushed forth
"And how does Hulkem contrive thus to enhance the value of his pitiful gifts?"
"He gave me his heart with this piece of gold. When I approached his house, I saw him sitting under a palm tree: as soon as he descried me, he rose to meet me, kindly offering me his haud, and the very first words he uttered, "Good evening, my brother," reudered him dear to my heart. His eyes sparkled with pleasure, whilst he conducted me to a seat beneath a shadowy palm-tree. He sat down by my side, and asked whither I was going, and whence I came? I informed him of my fate, of the loss of my son, who had made a journey to Persia by the road of Bagdad, and had never returned again to my cottage. When I told him that I had been informed of his death at Ispahan, he mingled his tears with mine. I was going into the house, in order to rest myself among the other travellers; but he pressed me to follow him to his cottage, which is not far distant from the mansion where travellers are entertained, say
need of consolation, love, and sympathizing tears; I am as unfortunate as yourself, having also lost an only son. Come, and let us mingle our paternal tears at the death of our children. My daughter shall comfort us, and you shall give her your blessing.' I went with him; his daughter prepared a homely meal, gave us water to wash ourselves, sang to the sweet tones of the inte, and I slept again the first time with an easy heart.
from their hiding-place, pointing their daging in affectionate accents, You stand in gers at the old man's heart. "Here are an hundred pieces of gold," said he, trembling, "a gift of the generous Hassan; take them, and let ine proceed on my journey." The slaves took the purse, and examined the silk garment. The old man instantly pulled it off, and gave it the robbers. "Have you any thing else of value on you?" asked they, whilst they began to search him with rapacious eagerness. The old man dropped upon his knees, || conjuring them rather to take away his life than to rob him of a piece of gold, which he
"The next norning, wheu I had said my prayers, Hulkem asked me,- Was not your
son's name Abid? Was he not a tall young man, with black eye-brows? When I affirmed it, Hulkem exclaimed, praised be the great prophet! I then have an opportunity of discharging at last a debt which long has lain heavy upon my conscience.' His daughter rose from her seat, and fetched a purse containing an hundred pieces of gold, giving it to her father. Hulkem presented it to me, and said that my son Abid, on his journey to Ispahan, had left it with him, in order to be sent to me, if he should not return after the lapse of a twelvemonth. I intended long ago,' added he, to discharge my commission, but could not meet with a traveller to whom I could safely intrust it.'
"I declined accepting the purse, as I was certain that my son could not have had so much gold about him; and Hulkem, with his daughter, shed tears at the failure of their generous artifice. The next morning I prepared to proceed on my journey, and when I was going into the garden to perform my devotion, and took up my turban, felt that it was uncommonly heavy. When I examined it, I found that Hulkem had concealed in it the hundred pieces, the acceptance of which I had declined the preceding night. Deeply affected at the generous delicacy of my host, I concealed the purse underneath my pillow, and after having taken out one picce, left Huikem's cottage, attended by the good wishes of its beneficent owner, and resumed my journey."
Hassan looked gloomily on the ground, whilst the old man related this noble action. "But why did you accept of Hassan's gift?" asked be at length;" and what prompted you to decline the acceptance of Hulkem's gold?"
"I do not know myself," replied the old man; "it is very singular! I felt myself honoured by Hulkem's geuerosity; I valued the money as little as himself: I had ceased being poor; I was happy; whilst, on the other hand, Hassan's conduct rendered me sensible of my poverty: it mortified me, and his gift appeared to me nothing else but a compensation for the consciousness of my dependent situation, which he had excited in me. Hassan was only just, but Hulkem was beneficent.
"Hassan's splendour, his seats of marble, his gilded apartments, his royal bath, his silk hangings, his Persian carpets, do, indeed, excite astonishinent; but no one who enters his splendid mansion feels himself at ease in it; whereas Huikem's house, built of wood, his turf seats and simple baths, his worsted carpets and homely furniture, make his guests think that they are in their own houses.
Hassan does good, in order to promote his own happiness, whilst Hulken is beneficent for no other purpose than to render othe, s happy."
"I am Hassan!" exclaimed Hassan sternly, at these words; "farewel, old man!" So saying, he flung a heavy purse at the feet of the stranger, and left him abruptly.
He threw himself upon the ground in a thicket, and reclining his head on his hand, exclaimed, "A beggar slights my alms, and would rather part with his life, than with a remembrance of Hulkem!" His countenance was overcast with a sullen gloom the whole day, his palace ceased to give him pleasure, and the pompous praise of the travellers whom he entertained had no charms for him. "I am determined to eclipse that proud Hulkem!" exclaimed he with bitterness, and from that day sat constantly on the high-road, loading, the travellers with presents, calling the poor his brethren, and assisting personally in rendering them comfortable. The poor threw themselves at the feet of the generous and beneficent Hassan, and thanked him for his liberality and condescending kindness.
"My name will become renowned. I shall soon be happy!" exclaimed Hassan joyfully, as renowned and beneficent as Hulkem!"
One day as Hassan was sitting in the shade of a palm-tree, thinking with cheerful looks of his happiness and munificence, a traveller bent his steps towards his mansion, his head reclining almost on his breast, whilst his brow was covered with wrinkles and his eyes moistened with tears. "A person in distress, who conies to me for assistance !" exclaimed Hassan; but the stranger took no notice of Hassan's palace, nor did he stop to rest himself in the shade of the palm-trees, proceeding quickly onward. Hassan accosted him, and after repeated and pressing invitations, the stranger consented at last to take a seat by Hassan's side in the most gloomy part of the grove. Hassan inquiring after the cause of his grief, the stranger related :-"My name is Helim; my sole happiness consisted in a loving wife, the most charming woman in all Bagdad. We loved each other with unspeakable tenderness, and were as happy as the blessed spirits in heaven. One evening we were sitting in our little garden, adjoining our cottage; my wife sang to the sweet strains of the lute, whilst I reclined on flowers at her feet, hanging with tender looks on her lovely countenance, expressive of the most ardent love for me, when suddenly my garden-gate was forced open, and Ibrahim, the caliph's favourite, entered. My wife drew her veil over her face, whilst I rose to meet Ibrahim, inquiring, in accents of the
ed themselves on a bench beneath a palm-tree.
profoundest respect, what was his pleasure? || escape the artful designs of the caliph's fa"I wish to ascertain whether the face of that vourite" Helim's wife had in the mean time sweet songstress is as charming as her voice." || alighted from the palankin, and all three seatMy wife removed her veil at my request, and Ibrahim's eyes flashed with desire. He drew me aside, offering me a thousand pieces of gold for my wife; and when I declined the acceptance of his offer, he ordered his slaves to carry off my wife by force. She was torn with violence out of my arms, notwithstanding my furious resistance and her tears. I complained to the caliph of the baseness of his favourite, || but perjured witnesses were produced against me, and the caliph ordered me to quit Bagdad on pain of death."
When Helim had finished the mournful recital of his misfortune, he covered his face with his hands to conceal his tears."Unfortunate man!" exclaimed Hassan, clasping him affectionately to his bosom, "I will try what I can do for you; follow me to my palace!" Hassan conducted Helim into his mausion, and having entered with him the apartment of his female slaves, said "Which of them appears to you the most charming? take her with you, and forget your wife." But Helim replied with gloomy looks," Most gracious Hassau, how little are you acquainted with the power of virtuous love! Not even the most charming slave of the caliph himself would be capable of rendering me happy, and assuaging the grief that preys ou my bleeding heart."
Hassan requested Helim to stay a few days with him, and Helim accepted the invitation. Hassan sent in the mean time one of his stewards to Bagdad, to offer to the caliph's favourite the most charming woman of his haram in exchange for Helim's wife; but Ibrabim commauded Hassan to interfere no farther in Helim's behalf as he valued his life.
"You see," said Hassan to the unfortunate, Helim, "what I have risked to serve you; it is not in my power to repair your loss. Take as much of my gold as you chuse, and leave me the satisfaction to have done at least something to relieve your distress."
When Helim had left Hassan, who could not restore his wife to him, he went whither chance, the road, and his sorrows led him, and after a few days journey stopped beneath Hulkem's palm trees. Hulkem descried the unfortunate traveller as he passed, and joined him, as though he was going the same road. "The great prophet has assistance for every sufferer!" With these words Hulkem accosted the gloomy Helim. "For every one, myself excepted," replied Helim, relating his fate to the good old man. During the relation Hulkem had led the young man by an unfrequented path to his humble abode, which was situ ated at some distance from the building des. tined for the reception of travellers. He requested Helim to enter his cottage, and Helim related how generously Hassan had interested himself for him. "Hassan's generosity," replied Hulkem, "has anticipated every thing I can do for you, except endeavouring to dispel your sorrows a few days, if you will do me the favour to stop at my cottage." Helim accepted the old man's offer, and was treated with every tender attention his misfortune required. Hulkem being obliged the next morning to absent himself a few days from his cottage, in order to settle some important concern, he prevailed upon Helim to stay with bis daughter, and to be her protector till his
Hulkem went to Bagdad, placing himself in a spot which the caliph passed every day; and when the monarch came near him, prostrated himse, exclaiming :-" Ruler of the faithful, I have to reveal a conspiracy against your life, and, what is yet more important, against your honour. You see I am an old man, and intending to devote the few years I may yet have to live to the service of my country, honour cannot be my motive: I am on the verge of the grave; my son has already gone to a better world, and my circumstances are affluListen to what I am going to reveal; but grant me a private audience, and you shall know who is the betrayer of your honour.”— The caliph took Hulkem with him to his palace, where after he had ordered his attendants to retire, the old man informed him of his favourite's baseness.
"The people," added he, "adore you, for you are as beneficent as the Almighty; history will record your name with veneration for your love of justice, but you should consider that your own actions are blended indiscriminately with those of your favourites; for under the protection which your name affords them, they do as they please; and every robbery, every act of oppression which they commit, dero gates from your honour and greatness. I de mand justice, and request that the wife of my friend may be liberated: you cannot reject my request, since you are the father and judge of your people."
The caliph surveyed with surprise and awe
the bold and interesting old man, whose eyes flashed with indignant courage. "And what advantage do you expect to derive from exposing your life to imminent danger?"
"The cousciousness of dying in the performance of a good action; bat my prince surely cannot commit an act of injustice."
"No," replied the caliph; "your words, old man, have had a wonderful effect upon me. A good angel has assisted you; for 10 mortal has as yet dared to speak with such an independent spirit in my presence. Go now, I shall send for you when your presence is
[To be concluded in our next.]
PUBLIC AMUSEMENTS FOR MARCHI.
Ox Thursday, March 9, a new Comedy was produced at this Theatre, under the title of Independence; or, The Trustee. The author
is not known.
The Plot of this Play was very trite.-A younger brother is enjoying a good fortune under the will of his father, who had disinherited his eldest son upon the misrepresentations of the youngest, but the old gentleman having discovered before his death the villainy of the younger son, who had persuaded himn that his brother was dead, makes a new will, and appoints an honest country Grocer a Trustee under it. This revocation of his former will is carefully concealed from the younger brother, who, upon his father's death,⠀⠀ enters upon the estate, and excites a general disgust by his conduct. As he is about to carry off an heiress in the neighbourhood, his eldest brother arrives, the latter will of the father is produced; the younger brother is exposed, and the eldest restored to the estate.
Such is the outline of the plot of this piece; which, it must be confessed, attempted the best end of Comedy, by delineating manners, and bringing into action the humours of familiar character. The Dramatis P'ersone are, for the most part, a phalanx of sturdy Independents,— scorning servility, and asserting their freedom of sentiment with churlish pride. This humour is encountered by the violence and caprice of those with whom they are connected. At length, however, they triumph by the pertinacity of their virtue, and are crowned with wives, with money, and happiness.
There was something pleasing enough in the design of this Play, but the execution was very unskilful.-There was not much relief to
the serious parts by any humour either of incident or character; the country Grocer was a very wretched attempt; and the Clerk (a part performed by Liston) a very slight and insignificant sketch. The piece was violently opposed during the two last acts, and escaped with difficulty a final condemnation.
On Monday, Feb. 20, was performed at this Theatre the tragedy of King Lear; the part of Lear by Mr. Kemble.
This is perhaps one of the most affecting of all the tragedies of Shakespeare.-It is a tragedy without the dagger and the bowl-It is a tragedy which, stript of the common appendages and decorations of the drama, would lose nothing of its effect; such is the force of its character, aud the natural discrimination of its passion.
The wound of filial ingratitude, a suffering of the domestic kind, which, from other authors, might have produced a prosiac play, like George Barnwell or the Gamester, has been elevated by the genius of Shakespeare to the rank of a tragic passion; and a father, complaining of the ingratitude of his daughters, is made to command an universal sympathy.
The madness of Lear is perhaps the only natural madness on the stage. It is not the intoxication of an Alexander, or the poetic phrenzy of an Orestes; it is passion worked into natural fury; the bursting of a mind unable to compress its feelings, the extravagance and sensibility of a royal lunatic.
Mr. Kemble is the only actor of the present day who at all enters into the character of Lear; but his performance, rather from natural impossibility, than from any defect of