Page images

I say a thing, it must at once be done.

What fear you? think you this a lion's den? Why, 't is a palace; where the truly wise Anticipate the Prophet's paradise.


6. You fool! I tell you no one means you

harm." “ So much the better," Juan said, “ for them; Else they shall feel the weight of this my arm,

Which is not quite so light as you may deem.
I yield thus far ; but soon will break the charm

If any take me for that which I seem:
So that I trust for every body's sake,
That this disguise may lead to no mistake.”


“ Blockhead ! come on, and see,” quoth Baba ; while

Don Juan, turning to his comrade, who Though somewhat grieved, could scarce forbear a

smile Upon the metamorphosis in view,“ Farewell !” they mutually exclaim'd: “ this soil

Seems fertile in adventures strange and new ; One's turn'd half Mussulman, and one a maid, By this old black enchanter's unsought aid.

LXXXIV. 6 Farewell !” said Juan : “ should we meet no more,

I wish you a good appetite.”—“ Farewell I” Replied the other; “ though it grieves me sore;

When we next meet, we'll have a tale to tell:

We needs must follow when Fate puts from shore. Keep your good name; though Eve herself once fell.”

[carry me, “ Nay,” quoth the maid, “ the Sultan's self shan't Unless his highness promises to marry me."


And thus they parted, each by separate doors;

Baba led Juan onward room by room Through glittering galleries, and o'er marble floors,

Till a gigantic portal through the gloom,
Haughty and huge, along the distance lowers;

And wafted far arose a rich perfume:
It seem'd as though they came upon a shrine,
For all was vast, still, fragrant, and divine.


The giant door was broad, and bright, and high,

Of gilded bronze, and carved in curious guise ; Warriors thereon were battling furiously;

Here stalks the victor, there the vanquish'd lies; There captives led in triumph droop the eye,

And in perspective many a squadron flies: It seems the work of times before the line Of Rome transplanted fell with Constantine.


This massy portal stood at the wide close

Of a huge hall, and on its either side Two little dwarfs, the least you


suppose, Were sate, like ugly imps, as if allied

In mockery to the enormous gate which rose

O'er them in almost pyramidic pride :
The gate so splendid was in all its features, (')
You never thought about those little creatures,


Until you nearly trod on thein, and then

You started back in horror to survey
The wondrous hideousness of those small men,

Whose colour was not black, nor white, nor grey, But an extraneous mixture, which no pen

Can trace, although perhaps the pencil may; They were mis-shapen pigmies, deaf and dumbMonsters, who cost a no less monstrous sum.


Their duty was— for they were strong, and though

They look'd so little, did strong things at times To ope this door, which they could really do,

The hinges being as smooth as Rogers' rhymes ; And now and then, with tough strings of the bow,

As is the custom of those Eastern climes,
To give some rebel Pacha a cravat;
For mutes are generally used for that.

(1) Features of a gate - a ministerial metaphor : “ the feature upon which this question hinges.See the “ Fudge Family," or hear Castlereagh. - [Phil. Fudge, in his letter to Lord Castlereagh, says:

“ As thou would'st say, my guide and teacher

In these gay metaphoric fringes,
I now embark into the feature

On which this letter chiefly hinges."
The note adds, “verbatim from one of the noble Viscount's speeches :
And now, sir, I must embark into the feature on which this question chiefly
hinges." - Fudge Family, p. 14.]


They spoke by signs - that is, not spoke at all;

And looking like two incubi, they glared As Baba with his fingers made them fall

To heaving back the portal folds : it scared
Juan a moment, as this pair so small,

With shrinking serpent optics on him stared;
It was as if their little looks could poison
Or fascinate whome'er they fix'd their eyes on.


Before they enter'd, Baba paused to hint

To Juan some slight lessons as his guide: “ If you could just contrive," he said, “ to stint

That somewhat manly majesty of stride, [in't) 'Twould be as well, and, -(though there's not much

To swing a little less from side to side, Which has at times an aspect of the oddest ;And also could you look a little modest,


“ 'Twould be convenient ; for these mutes have eyes

Like needles, which may pierce those petticoats; And if they should discover your disguise,

You know how near us the deep Bosphorus floats ; And you and I may chance, ere morning rise,

To find our way to Marmora without boats,
Stitch'd up in sacks - a mode of navigation
A good deal practised here upon occasion." ()

(1) A few years ago the wife of Muchtar Pacha complained to his father of his son's supposed infidelity: he asked with whom, and she had the barbarity to give in a list of the twelve handsomest women in Yanina XCIII.

With this encouragement, he led the way

Into a room still nobler than the last; A rich confusion form'd a disarray

In such sort, that the eye along it cast
Could hardly carry any thing away,

Object on object flash'd so bright and fast;
A dazzling mass of gems, and gold, and glitter,
Magnificently mingled in a litter.

[ocr errors]

Wealth had done wonders— taste not much; such

Occur in Orient palaces, and even [things In the more chasten'd domes of Western kings

(Of which I have also seen some six or seven) Where I can't say or gold or diamond Alings

Great lustre, there is much to be forgiven; Groups of bad statues, tables, chairs, and pictures, On which I cannot pause to make my


[ocr errors]

In this imperial hall, at distance lay

Under a canopy, and there reclined Quite in a confidential queenly way, (')

A lady; Baba stopp'd, and kneeling sign'd

They were seized, fastened up in sacks, and drowned in the lake the same night. One of the guards who was present informed me, that not one of the victims uttered a cry, or showed a symptom of terror at so sudden a “wrench from all we know, from all we love,” [See antè, Vol. IX. pp. 145. 200.]

(1) [“On a sofa, raised three steps, and covered with fine Persian carpets, sat the kiyaya's lady, leaning on cushions of white satin, embroidered," &c. LADY M. W. MONTAGU.]

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »