« EelmineJätka »
fell into a raging fever. The king was informed of her condition by those that saw her. Helim finding no other means of extricáting her from the difficulties he was in, after having composed her mind, and made her acquainted with his intentions, gave her a certain potion, which he knew would lay her afleep for many hours ; and afterwards, in all the feeming distress of a disconfolate father, informed the king she was dead. The king, who never let any sentiments of humanity come too near his heart, did not much trouble himself about the matter ; however, for his own reputation, he told the father, that fince it was known through the empire that Balfora died at a time when he designed her for his bride, it was his intention that the should be honoured as fuch after her death, that her body should be laid in the Black Palace, among those of his deceased queens.
In the mean time Abdallah, who had heard of the king's design, was not less amicted than his beloved Ballora. As for the several circumstances of his distress, as also how the king was informed of an irrecoverable. distemper into which he was fallen, they are to be found at length in the history of Helim. It shall suffice to acquaint the reader, that Helim, some days after the fupposed death of his daughter, gave the prince a potion of the same nature with that which had laid asleep Balsora.
It is the custom among the Persians, to convey in a private manner the bodies of all the royal family, a little after their death, into the Black Palace ; which is the repository of all who are descended from the Caliphs, or any way allied to them.
The chief physician is always governor of the Black Palace; it being his office to embalm and preserve the holy family after they are dead, as well as to take care of them while they are yet living. The Black Palace is so called from the colour of the building, which is all of the finest polished black marble. There are always burning in it five thousand everlasting lamps. It has also a hundred folding doors of ebony, which are each of them watched day and night by a
Hundred negroes, who are to take care that no body enters, besides the governor..
Helim, after having conveyed the body of his daughter into this repository, and at the appointed time reo ceived her out of the sleep into which he was fallen, took care some time after to bring that of Abdallah into the fame place. Balsora watched over him till such time as the dose he had taken lost its effect. Abdallah was, not acquainted with Helim's design when he gave him this sleepy potion. It is impoflible to describe the furprise, the joy, the transport he was in at his first awak.. ing. He fancied himself in the retirements of the bleft; and that the spirit of his dear Balsora, who he thought was just gone before him, was the first who came to congratulate his arrival. She forn informed him of the place he was in, which notwithftanding all its horrors, appeared to him more sweet than the bower of Mahomet, . in the company of his Balsora.
Helim, who was supposed to be taken up in the embalming of the bodies, visited the place very frequently. His greatest perplexity was how to get the lovers out of it, the gates being watched in such a manner as I have : before related. This consideration did not a little difeturb the two interred lovers. At length Helim bethought himself, that the first day of the full moon of the month Tizpah was near at hand. Now it is a received tradition, among the Persians, that the fouls of those of the royal family, who are in a state of bliss, do, on the first full: moon after their decease, pass through the eastern gate of the Black Palace, which is therefore called the gate of Paradise, in order to take their fight for that happy place. Helim therefore having made due preparation for this night, dressed each of the lovers in a robe of azure filk, wrought in the finest looms of Persia, with a long train of linen whiter than snow, that floated on the ground behind them. Upon Abdallah's head he fixed a wreath of the greenest myrtle, and on Balsora's a . garland of the freshest roses. Their garments were fcented with the richeft perfumes of Arabia. Having thus prepared every thing, the full moon was no sooner up, and shining in all its brightness, but he privately
opened the gate of paradise, and hut it after the fame manner, as foon as they had passed through it. The band of negroes who were posted at a little distance from the gate, seeing two such beautiful apparitions, that howed themselves to advantage by the light of the full moon, and being ravilhed with the odour that fowed from their garments, immediately concluded them to be the ghosts of the two persons lately deceased. They fell upon their faces as they passed through the midst of them, and continued proftrate on the earth till such time as they were out of sight. They reported the next day what they had seen, but this was looked upon by the king himself, and moit others, as the compliment that was usually paid to any of the deceased of his family. Helim had placed two of his own mules at about a mile's distance from the Black Temple, on the spot which they had agreed upon for their rendezvous. Here he met them, and conducted them to one of his own houses, which was situated on mount Khacan. The air of this mountain was so very healthful, that Helim had formerly transported the king thither, in order to recover him out of a long fit of sickness ; which succeeded so well that the king made him a present of the whole mountain, with a beautiful house and gardens that were on the top of it. In this retirement lived Abdallah and Balsora. They were both fo fraught with all kinds of knowledge, and posseft with fo constant and mutual a , passion for each other, that their solitude never lay heavy on them. Abdallah applied himself to those arts which were agreeable to his manner of living, and the situation of the place ; insomuch that in a few years he converted the whole mountain into a kind of garden, and covered every part of it with plantations or spots of flowers. Helim was too good a father to let him want any thing, that might conduce to make his retirement pleasant.
In about ten years after their abode in this place the old king died, and was succeeded by his fon Ibrahim, who, upon the supposed death of his brother, had been called to court, and entertained there as heir to the Persian empire. Though he was some years inconsolable for the death of his brother, Helim durft not trust him
with the secret, which he knew would have fatal consequences, should it by any means come to the knowledge of the old king. Ibrahim was no sooner mounted to the throne, but Helim fought after a proper opportunity of making a discovery to him, which he knew would be very agreeable to so good natured and generous a prince. It so happened, that before Helim found such an opportunity as he desired, the new king Ibrahim, having been separated from his company in a chace, and almost fainting with heat and thirst, saw himself at the foot of mount Khacan. He immediately ascended
the hill, and coming to Helim's house demanded some ... refreshments. Helim was very luckily there at that
time; and after having set before the king the choiceft of wines and fruits, finding him wonderfully pleased with so seasonable a treat, told him that the best part of his entertainment was to come. Upon which he opened to him the whole history of what had passed. The king was at once aftonished and transported at so strange a relation, and seeing his brother enter the room with Balsora in his hand, he leaped off from the fopha, on which he fat, and cried out, • It is he! it is my Ab“ dallah!”-Having said this, he fell upon his neck, and wept. The whole company, for some time, remained silent, and thedding tears of joy. The king at length, having kindly reproached Helim for depriving him so long of such a brother, embraced Balfora with the greatest tenderness, and told her that she should now be a queen indeed, for that he would immediately make his brother king of all the conquered nations on the other side the Tigris. He easily discovered in the eyes of our two lovers, that inftead of being transported with the offer, they preferred their present retirement to em-e pire. At their request therefore he changed his inrentions, and made them a present of all the open country as far as they could see from the top of mount Khacan. Abdallah continuing to exteriä his former improvements, beautified this whole prospect with groves and fountains, gardens and seats of pleasure, till it became the most delicious spot of ground within the empire, and is therefore called the garden of Persia. This Caliph,,
Ibrahim, after a long and happy reign, died without children, and was succeeded by Abdallah, a son of: Abdallah and Balfora. This was that king. Abdallah, who afterwards fixed the imperial residence upon mount Khacan, which continues at this time to be the favourite palace of the Persian empire.
The Adventures of Theodofius and Conftantia.
[Spectator, No. 164.]
YONSTANTIA was a woman of extraordinary
wit and beauty, but very unhappy in a father, who
having arrived at great riches by his own industry, took delight in nothing but his money. Theodofius was the younger son of a decayed family, of great parts and learning, improved by a genteel and virtuous education. When he was in the twentieth year of his age, he became acquainted with Conftantia, who had not then passed her fifteenth. As he lived but a few miles distant from her father's house, he had frequent opportunities of seeing her; and by the advantages of a good person and a pleasing conversation, made such an impression in her heart as it was impossible for time to efface: he was himself no less fmitten with Conftantia. A long acquaintance made them ftill discover new beauties in each other, and by degrees raised in them that mutual passion which had an influence on their following lives. It un. fortunately happened, that in the midit of this intercourse of love and friendship between Theodofius and Conftantia, there broke out an irreparable quarrel beween their parents, the one valuing himself too much "pon his bihub, and the other upon his poffeflions. The sather of Constantia was, fo-incenfed at the father of Tbeodofius, that he contracted an unreasonable aversion towards his son, infomuch that he forbad him his house, and charged his daughter upoin her duty never to see him more.
In the mean time, to break off all coma munication between the two lovers, whom he knew entertained secret hopes of some favourable opportunity