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this error is not within the circle of possibility, and such an injustice weighs heavily for ever on the head of him who had rendered himself guilty of the execution.”
After having heard this message, the Satrap gave orders that his wife should be brought into his presence, and thus addressed her: “ These parrots partake not of the nature of man, their discourse, therefore, cannot proceed from hatred or from malevolence; they declare what they have witnessed, and besides, the falconer says that he has seen what these birds have declared! This is not a trifle that can be excused with fine words; if the fault bath been committed no pardon can be expected.”
“ It is right to investigate respecting my conduct,” replied the bride, “and when this matter shall be perfectly understood then, if I merit death, thou wilt order it to be inflicted." " But how are we to clear it?" said the Satrap.“ Enquire of the people of Balkh," she replied, "if, besides these two phrases, the birds know any other or not; if it be discovered that they know only these words, it will be easy to convince yourself that this shameless libertine, who, not being able to succeed in his criminal views and insane desires, which he had formed against me, had taught them these words. If, on the contrary, they can repeat other phrases, it will be just in you to spill my blood. What do I say? It will be no longer permitted that I should live.” The Satrap then directed all his attention to investigate this affair, and on the other hand, the guests employed during three days, all their efforts to discover the truth; but the parrots could pronounce only these two phrases ! When it was ascertained that the woman was innocent, the Satrap acquitted her of the penalty of death, and ordered the page to be conducted to him ; the latter immediately hastened to present himself, with the falcon on his fist. “ Wicked traitor," exclaimed the wife, “hast thou seen me do any thing contrary to that which God approves ?” “Yes,” replied he, “I have seen what these birds have declared.” He had no sooner pronounced these words than the falcon which he had in his fist, flew in his face, and plucked out his eyes with his beak. “Then,” said the wife," there is the recompense, destined to those who pretend to have seen what they have not seen. The evil is punished by a similar evil."
THE BEAR AND THE GARDENER."
A gardever possessed a garden more agreeable and more voluptuous than the most celebrated gardens of the East. The various species of trees were as beautiful as the varied plumage of the
· The fable of the bear and the lover of gardens of La Fontaine imitation of this.
peacock, and the thousand varieties of flowers bad the brilliancy of the crown of Kaous.' The surface of its soil resembled the cheek of a beauty elegantly attired, and the zephyr of its atmosphere was perfumed like the magazine of a merchant of aromatics. Its boughs, loaded with fruit, were bowed down like an old man overwhelmed with age, and its sweet and embalmed fruits were matured without the heat of fire. Their different species, whether of spring or of autumn, were freshness and savour itself; its apples resembled the chin of enchantress beauties with bodies of silver, having the most agreeable color and the most delicious perfume. Their vivid color, at a distance, gave them the appearance of brilliant lamps, suspended upon trees. What shall I say of its pears ? Their extreme sweetness made them resemble viols of sugar suspended in the air,-its quincés, clothed with down, like the Sophis who rise during the night, pale, and look out of the window of the monastery of the creation; and their exterior, stained with dust, recalled to the aching hearts of lovers the desire of their beloved. The oranges, like golden balls, glittered in the bosom of the leaves, like the luminous globe of the sun in the midst of the bright vault of the heaven; and the perfume of its citrons was amongst the principal pleasures of the garden, by its fragrance, which elevated the heart by its exhalation, which created pleasure.
One might say of its pomgranates, similar to the lips of a young beauty that smiles, that Heaven, an alchymist, had scattered rubies in the fire to prove them.
On one side were seen peaches so fresh and succulent, that the most delicious juice distilled from them before they were put to the mouth; on the other side, incomparable figs, which resembled agreeable pastry, composed of the seeds of the poppy and sugar candy. There were golden grapes, whose beauty had been described by the pen of Wisdom, in that page of the Koran where we read these words : we made corn and
grapes grow there." There were inelons, like globes of gold, covered with a tender down, similar to that on the cheeks of youth; such as were comparable to the full moon, which appears on the horizon, the color of glass. One was satisfied on seeing them that they would bear away the ball of mail? on the fruits of Paradise.
Every tree so captivated this gardener, that he thought neither of his father nor of his children, but passed his life in delightful retirement in this garden. He finished, however, by being disgusted with the weariness of solitude, and of the privation of the balm of friendship.
Kaous, or Caikaous, king of Persia, of the 12th Dynasty, called the Caïanide Dynasty.
* In allusion to the game of mail, much used in the East-the prize.
This garden is full of roses and violets. " What is that to me ? Alas ! I see there no friend.” At length, with the heart wounded with isolated sorrow, he went out to walk in the desert, and began to pass over the foot of a mountain, whose extent, like the vast expansive field of hope, had no bounds : a most hideous and monstrous bear, by chance, had taken the same road, and from the same motive. They were no sooner met, than by reason of their mutual resemblance, the chain of friendship put itself in motion, and the heart of the gardener found itself disposed to the society of the bear.
Every atom in the earth and in the heavens is to the atom of its kind' as straw is to amber. The damned attract the damned, the blessed attract the blessed ; pure men delight in pure wine, men of bad character drink the dregs. A vain nan is suited to vain men, as a man of genius is delighted with a man of genius. Those who occupy themselves with eternity love to have for companions those who think on eternity.
The bear having received from the gardener such caresses as he had never before received from any oue, devoted himself entirely to his friendship, and at the first sign of invitation he followed him, and came to that garden which resembled paradise. Concord having been established between them by benefits, and the gift of these agreeable fruits, the sprig of friendship took root in the soil of their heart: they were frequently in a corner of the garden, always satisfied with finding themselves together. Whenever the excess of fatigue impelled the gardener to repose the head of indolence in the shade of refreshment, on the couch of repose, the bear from attention and by attachment to his friend lay near his cushion, and drove away the flies from his person.
“No," said he,“ I will not suffer the flies to cover the face of the object I adore.”
One day, according to custom, the gardener having reclined himself, fell asleep ; a great quantity of lies collected about his person; the bear began to drive them away, but it was in vain, for they immediately returned. If he drove them away on one side, they immediately fixed on the other. Exasperated, the bear took up a stone of a hundred weight, and in saying to bimself, I will kill them, he threw it on the countenance of the unfortunate gardener.
' It is well known by the merchants of amber that it attracts straw, and tbis is the criterion by which they distinguish true from sophisticated amber.
The flies received from it no harm, but the head of the agriculturist was bruised to the earth.
Therefore have the wise said, that in every circumstance, an intelligent enemy is preferable to an ignorant friend.
ON THE VARIOUS READINGS OF THE
Letter II.—[Continued from No. Ll. p. 66.] Ir the Various Readings are so numerous, not only in the Mss. but also in the editions of the Hebrew Bible, as was stated in ny last letter,' scarcely a doubt can exist as to the benefit likely to result from a careful collation of them, for the amendment of those passages which have suffered from the defects of Mss. or the errors of transcribers.
The splendid work of Dr. Kennicott, of which a short account was given in my last letter, was soon followed by a similar publication by De' Rossi, professor of the Oriental languages in the University of Parma. De Rossi collated no less than 691 Mss. of the Hebrew Bible in his own library, and 134 in other parts of Europe, besides 375 editions. De Rossi's work is not exactly on the plan of Kennicott's. It does not contain the Hebrew text, but refers to the text of Vander Hooght, which is also adopted as the groundwork of Kennicott's collation. Neither does it comprise all the various readings of the Mss., but only those which the author thought worthy of note, many of which he has likewise supported by the authority of the ancient versions, and the Jewish commentators. He has also en
· Class. Journ. No. LI. p. 63.
? I have noticed two trifling errors in Hartwell Horne's very valuable Introduction to the study of the Holy Scriptures. He states that 479 Mss. and 288 printed editions were collated for De Rossi's work. The number mentioned in the first volume of De Rossi is 479 in his own library, and 110 codices exteri; the remaining 236 Mss. and 87 editions are mentioned in the supplement published in 1798, or at least with the date of 1798, not 1799, as Hartwell Horne states. See De Rossi, Vol. i. p. 195–195. Supplem. p. 143.
riched his work by many valuable critical dissertations. He differs from Kennicott in some details of criticism, but entirely agrees with him as to the state of the Hebrew text, and adds many important readings to those already discovered by that acute and indefatigable critic. The first volume of De Rossi's work was published at Parma, A. D. 1784, with the following title, “ Varia Lectiones Veteris Testamenti ex immensa Mss. editorumque Codicum congerie hausta, et ad Samar, textum, ad vetustiss. versiones, ad accuratiores sacræ critice fontes ac leges examinata.” The Scholia Criticu, or supplement, forining a 5th and concluding volume, was published in 1798. I am not aware of any extensive collation of Hebrew Mss. since the publication of De Rossi's supplemental volume. In 1806, Dr. Buchanan, Vice-provost of the college of Calcutta, collected some valuable Hebrew and Syriac Mss. in the south of India, and presented them in 1812, to the University of Cambridge. Amongst them is a synagogue roll of the Pentateuch, which was collated by Mr. Yeates. This collation, however, threw no new light on the subject of Hebrew criticism. Yeates's well-executed collation," says Mr. Hamilton, in his Codex Criticus, “ has shown, that, except inasmuch as it confirms the opinion maintained by Kennicott and De Rossi, that all synagogue
rolls are formed on the same model, it adds nothing to our Biblical Mss. Whoever compares their collations with that of Mr. Yeates, will easily perceive that these rolls not only agree with each other, but with some of the worst readings of the printed text. This is no proof of the absolute integrity of the Hebrew text; it only teaches us to ascribe to all these rolls a common origin.” Even during the progress of Dr. Kennicott's collation, the partial result of his labors was applied to the important purpose of amending the text of the Hebrew Bible, and improving our English version. Bishop Louth, who first directed the powers of Dr. Kennicott's mind to the improvement of the printed Hebrew Text, had sagacity enough to appreciate the value of his collation, and skill and taste enough to avail himself of its assistance in his elegant version of the sublimest of the Hebrew prophets. Other Biblical translators followed his example ; and Newcome, Blaney, Wintle, Horsley, all applied the various readings collated by Kennicott for the correction of that portion of the Hebrew text which they respectively trans
· Codex Criticus of the Hebrew bible, by the Rev. G. Hamilton, Rector of Killermogh. See also a paper on the Buchanan roll by the writer of this letter, Cl. Jl. No. xv.p. 11. VOL. XXVIII. CI. JI NO. LV.