Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

am

corpulent, face ruddy and redolent of rakkee, (Turkish spirits,) and bad though strong wine; and beside being quite intoxicated, he carried a bottle of wine in one hand and a glass in the other.'

Here the Meddah rose from his seat, admirably imitated a drunken Cavoss, who pours out a glass of wine, drinks it off with a wry face, as if the juice of the grape were rather sour, twists his mouth very much to one side, smacks his lips, and leers at the amazed girl in a ludicrously comico-amorous manner. The girl screams and demands :

"Who are you fellow ?' (Draws her yashmark, or veil, half-over her face.) “Go away from here! What do you want ?!!

The Cavoss replies very incoherently, and wants her to take a glass of wine ; she refuses, and he then asks her what she came there for, if not to meet him.

"I came to meet the Prince of Egina,' she said. "I am the prince,' replied the drunken Cavoss; “Yes 1- the I

Prin Egina.' (Hickups.) You ! screamed the girl, beginning to perceive that the old woman had deceived her. Yes,' answered the Cavoss Bashi ; “I am the prince. Come, drink this ;' (the girl recoils, much alarmed ;) but no, I will bring you some of the other; and recollect, you must drink it all.' He leaves the room for some other liquor, perhaps a sweet cordial, and the poor girl, hastily reflecting on her condition, in despair lets herself fall from the window near which she sits, down upon the sea-shore-a fall of some ten or twelve feet — fortunately without injury, and seats herself on a rock at the water's edge.

The Cavoss soon returns reeling up to the spot where he left her, and not finding her, makes a ludicrous expression of astonishment, to the amusement of the younger part of the audience.

It is now more than dusk; the moon however, shines out brightly and the poor girl, seated upon the rock against which the sluggish waves of the sea roll and break, laments her lot. "My poor parents,' says she to herself, will soon miss me, and wonder what has become of me. Wretched creature that I am, how shall I ever reach my home? Oh, Allah! oh, Hakk! aid me now or never; for without

your

assistance I shall certainly die here alone!'

• Now, not far from that part of the city lived a Caikjee, or boatman, known by the name of DALEE MEHMED, a gruff, coarse-speeched fellow from about Trebizond, who returning from Tosskhauch where all day long he had been plying his oar for a subsistence, evidently with some success, for as he came along the shore, pulling with nonchalance and indifference, he sang a popular boat-song at the height of his voice.'

The Meddah here imitated the pulling of the oars, and sang a stanza of a song to admiration, to the great mirth and amusement of the audience.

•Suddenly Dalee Mehmed ceases pulling, and quite as abruptly his song, and appears greatly alarmed. He has seen the poor girl on the rock, and at once fancies her to be a water-sprite, ghoal, Dio, Peri, or some other fabled being. The girl is the first to break the silence, by imploring him to come to her relief. Oh, friend !' said she, come and take me from this rock, and restore me to my parents! The boatman catches water with his oars, (for the boat, from the impetus which it had

[ocr errors]

received, continued to approach the spot where the girl sat,) and exclaimed: “What! are you really a human woman, and no fairy? - perhaps none of the best, or you would not be here without a feradjâ.' (cloak.)

• Yes, indeed,' replied the maiden, 'I am a true woman in distress, deceived by a wretched woman : do, I implore you, let me get into your boat, and conduct me to my parents' house !

· Dalee Mehmed finally, after some entreaty, receives her in his boat, but tells her that as it is so late he will only take her that night to the room where he and several other caikjees sleep; that he will take good care of her until morning, and then conduct her to her own dwelling. As they leave the boat several of his comrades hail and ask him what trull that is with him; but giving them no satisfactory answer, he enters the room, where with his overcoat he arranges a seat for her in one corner, while he (with some other boatmen) lies down in another. The girl falls asleep, but he remains awake, carefully watches over her; and once, when his own eyes have become drowsy, a caikjee sneezes rather loud, at which he jumps up in alarm, and seizes a stick, ready to defend his charge. As the caikjee tells him that he only sneezed, and requests him not to be alarmed about nothing, he lies down again, muttering the request, or rather threat, that he had better not indulge in any more sneezes.

• The next morning Dalee Mehmed conducts the girl home, and the parents are delighted to find their lost daughter. She tells her father to recompense the boatman for his care of her, and this he does, giving him a small bag containing new and bright pieces of ten paras. After expressing his thanks in a rough waterman-like manner, he takes his leave, and on the way to his boat is struck with the fancy of learning the amount of the bag. “If,' said he to himself, • I count it in the Ka. hoch, those around me will ask questions, so I will not go there; if I count it in the street, a crowd will collect around me, so I had better row my boat out in the water, and there count it at my leisure.' So he returns to his caique, rows it out some distance from the shore, then stops it, and commences counting his present. He counts ten, twenty, thirty, forty paras ; 'one piastre,' says he to himself, laughing with evident satisfaction at the sight of the bright new money, and now and then stops to eye the lessened size of the bag.'

When the Turkish girl had escaped from the window, and seated herself on the rock, the Meddah stopped his narrative, and while the Khaveejee handed round a tambourine in which to collect the offerings of the audience for the Meddah, he quietly smoked his pipe, apparently imagining the succeeding part of his tale. So in like manner, after getting Dalee Mehmed in his caique, he again resumed his seat and pipe, and the story stopped until the collection being made, the proceeds were deposited in a capacious purse which he drew from his pocket. Then rising, he continued :

Now it happened that the Sultan of that period was fond of wandering about the city in disguise, accompanied only by one or more of his officers; and it so occurred that on the day of our tale he had bent his steps to the wharf near which Dalee Mehmed in his caique had rowed to count

his money without interruption. See,' said the Sultan to one of his companions, pointing to the caique in question, see that boatman out yonder, counting money and laughing. Call him here, and let us inquire into the cause of his mirth.' So the companion of the sovereign's pastime hailed Dalee Mehmed, who being very pleasantly occupied did not at first hear him, and when he did, he merely raised up his eyes for a moment from off his treasure, without deigning to give any answer. On being called several times, he at length replies that he is engaged, and does not want any mushterees, (passengers;) but being repeatedly called, he miscounts, is very much vexed at the interruption, and expresses his displeasure in no measured terms. Finding at length that he cannot, either on land or water, count his money in peace, he puts it all again in the bag, the bag in his breast, and catching up his oars slowly rows back to the wharf. The Sultan and his companions get in and tell him to row them to Seraglio Point. On the way the Sultan asks him what he was counting, and why he laughed; but Dalee Mehmed replies that it is none of his business, and requests him to attend to his own affairs. Soon one of the sovereign's companions lets Dalee Mehmed know who he has for freight, at which he becomes so alarmed that he can scarcely use his oars; (which is well imitated by the Meddah.) He now relates to the Sultan the occurrences of the previous evening, much to his amusement, and is directed to return to the quarter where the girl's parents reside. • Let us verify this affair,' said the Sultan to his companions; ‘for if it be true we must not permit the guilty to go unpunished.' On the way Dalee Mehmed gives the Sultan a glowing description of the Turkish maiden's beauty, and failing for a comparison for the clearness of her complexion, says she is as fair as a - goose!

• Arrived at the residence of the maiden, Dalee Mehmed soon lets her parents know who the individuals are who accompany him, and they both kneel down and kiss the sovereign's feet in humility. The Sultan sends one of his companions for the Cavoss Bashi, who is recognized from the maiden's description of his person; he cannot deny his conduct, and is sent off to prison. The Sultan next expresses a desire to marry the maiden to Dalee Mehmed. She consents; he does as much; the parents sanction their union; and the Sultan on the spot appoints the father to be a Capougee Bashi, (chamberlain), and Dalee Mehmed to be his own Caikjee-Bashi, or head boatman.'

The Meddah closed his story by saying that some days afterward the two were married, and established in a fine covak, the gift of the Sultan, to which he with royal generosity added a dowry of jewelry and fine clothes, with a suitable number of jariehs or maiden slaves to attend on Mrs. Dalee Mehmed. As to the old woman and the Cavoss Bashi, whose ill conduct had been the cause of making the fortune and happiness of two innocent individuals, their fates were shown to have been equally eastern with those of the former. The woman was searched for by the officers of justice, and her guilt being proven, shew as consigned to the deep waters of the Sea of Marmora, while the Cavoss Bashi was decapitated, as a warning to those who being charged with the administration of justice make use of it to oppress and tyranize.

[blocks in formation]

Its voices come to the battle-field,
Mid the rolling drum and glancing shield;
They float on the cold and midnight air
With the orphan's wail and widow's prayer;
And tell of glorious deeds gone by,
As the clarion's voice rings loud and high;
Of the daring soul and deathless name,
Of FREEDOM's smile, and a quenchless fame.
They come to the sad and broken heart,
Where the founts of grief forever start;
And the frail strings wake to life once more,
And notes of broken music pour.
They tell of a home beyond the sky,
Where the burning tears ne'er fill the eye,
Where the severed cords will be joined again,
And breathe a richer, holier strain.

They come when the fearful hand of Death
Dims the bright smile, and steals the breath;
When the light of life is passing away,
Like the flickering taper's dying ray ;
Strength they impart to the trembling soul,
As earthly mists from its vision roll,
While it melts away in the light of heaven,
As pale at morn the stars of even.

Oh! where'er we go they haunt us still!
They speak from mount, from valley and hill ;
Their low tones thrill mid the storms of life,
As the wind-harp's strains mid the tempest's strife:
List to their teachings! they bid us tread
Earth's weary paths, with spirits wed
To holy faith, and a boundless trust,
In climes where the soul 's not chained to dust.

Shelter-Island,

MARY GARDINER.

THE ADVOCATE

LO U B E T.

JOB N

HUNTER.

It was the evening of Saint John's day, in the year 16**. In accordance with a time-honored custom, the consuls of the good city of Aix had set fire to a heap of faggots and brush-wood raised in the form of a pyramid and surmounted with a banner of the fleur de lis, in the middle of the large square known as the Place des Precheurs. Presently a ruddy flame illumined with its flickering lustre the lofty mansions and old elms of the neighborhood, and was reflected in varying hues from the lozenge-shaped panes of the ancient county palace. Then the assembled populace, with shouts and clapping of hands, began to dance the farandoule around the bonfire; while from time to time some piece of fire-works fell among the crowd, who hastily dispersed with loud outcries. And now the more prudent began to make their retreat from the scene of rude and boisterous mirth.

About nine o'clock, when the standard was entirely consumed, the consuls withdrew, and a mimic warfare commenced. Since the invention of gunpowder, not a year had passed on which a large quantity of this deadly material had not been burnt on the return of the festival of Saint John. The municipal authorities usually winked at this species of friendly contest, in which, however, many of the combatants were frequently injured, and sometimes badly scarred and burnt by the unexpected explosion of some fiery serpent or ill-directed rocket.

It was for this reason that the doors and windows of the good city of Aix were usually closed and fastened at sunset on the evening of Saint John; and people of the better sort withdrew into their houses, not caring to risk themselves in the midst of the fire and smoke of the thousand petards, rockets, and other fire-works, which the officers of the royal guard, the members of the Basoche, the cadets and students of the university, were throwing about in every direction. It was like shower of wild fire on the Place des Precheurs, where the Basochians and Royal Guard had now,continued the contest for more than an hour. The populace, spectators of the battle, applauded with loud outeries every remarkable feat of arms, and had gradually retreated into the adjoining streets. A single individual, wrapped in a large cloak, with his face concealed by a slouched hat, alone remained, leaning against a tree opposite the hotel of the First President of the Parliament.

· Holloa ! Master Loubet,' cried a clerk of the Basoche, as he passed him; you have no arms. Take care of yourself!

The person thus addressed turned quietly around. Bravo! Marius Magis,' replied he ; 'the Royal Guard have given you a rough farewell; but you have bravely returned the compliment.'

• My fine officers have gone off well peppered,' replied the Basochian, shaking his little wallet, which was well stored with petards; “but you had better withdraw, Master Loubet; you stand a chance of getting a scorched face; there is hot work going on here.'

a

« ForrigeFortsæt »