L'Esplendente [part 10]

Mehemed [51] finding immediately his descent into the plain was a hapless pursuit - considered the Scheme which the Jew proposed in a favourable Light. - The acquisitions of new ideas was to him ever engaging. the vivid illuminations of the Manuscripts had excited in him a wish to have their subjects explained. - Impatient to know more of that great Man who conducted the perilous march of the Israelites & of those majestic personages who were sacrifising in the midst of the encampment he had seen reproduced he determined to close with Jacoups - proposal. - Yes - my venerable Friend said he - I am convinced & I shall glory in submitting myself to your instructions - The Israelite who valued himself upon the talent of persuasion was pleased that his Arguments had prevailed. besides Mehmed's courteous deportment & attentions had won his heart - He felt himself interested in [52] the young Man's behalf & after his Riches - liked him rather better than any thing else in the World. - It was resolved then that he should be taught Hebrew & sufferd to improve himself secretly in painting at the Magasines. - The shades of night began to overspread the Meadows before their discourse was finishd - Jacoup - went to give orders about his Bed & settle his method of living as he proposed no more returning to Abdoulrahman's House - & Mehmed left him to go home to his Mother - not without a promise of coming back the next Day. - Almahide was very inquisitive about the rich old Man - & asked her Son a thousand questions concerning the vast store Houses he had so expeditiously raised. She was not quite clear in her ideas about him & was half inclined to conjecture [53] he was employ'd in magical Researches. - Mehmed quiet'd her suspicions as well as he was able - & told her that he did not think him abandoned to the study of that pernicious art; but on the contrary a great philosopher who knew well to employ his wisdom & had acquired immense Wealth by superior industry. - Whilst they were talking Abdoulrahman came in - as for Almansor he had been gone some time to his garden near Seville - The Father demanded of his Son how he had employ'd himself the whole Morning - whether he had been planting flowers upon his favourite Hill or attending the Israelite in the meads below. - I have been watching the progress of his buildings - replied the Youth - they are prodigious & he has obligingly shewn me their wonderful contents - You cannot imagine what fine things he has - what huge Chests of aromatic dust & Elephant's Teeth - gilt & emboss'd so curiously that [54] I have been quite amazed - He is the kindest Old Man you ever heard of & you would love him for his affection to me - for you must know Father he has promised to teach me the Language of the ancient patriarchs & I am to read about Suliman & [Moara?] who are mentioned with such respect in the Koran. - And if you consent I am to go to him every Day in his Tents & sleep there sometimes & be very happy - One of his Servants plays upon the Lute & I long to hear it sound amongst our Rocks on a calm Evening. - Abdoulrahman pausd an instant before he answerd He thought that as his Son very naturally disliked the Solitude of the secret Vale - this was an opportunity of employing his mind without risque & in security. - The conversation of the aged Israelite had appeared to him very instructive - & he hoped it would have sufficient charms to divert his Soul from any ideas of descending into the plains & mixing with the Xtians [55] - Having formed this judgement he gave him leave to visit Jacoup as much as he desired - This was a welcome permission to Mehmed - who said within himself - I now shall give a loose to my inclinations I shall paint from noon till Night & see all my Fancies transfer'd upon paper. - strange Castles - & Deserts skattered over with Tents - Priests ministering at altars & the antient King of China with his long nails surveying his golden Fountains. - Full of such romantic Ideas & soothed with the hope of executing them he eat his Supper with chearfulness & then stole silently to Bed - The first glimpse of day called him up rising sprightly as the Larks that were exulting in the freshness of the Morning - he [ILLEGIBLE] to the Rivulet that [56] flowed thro' the meads and observed whilst he bathed the Sun just risen gleam over the dewy Hills & tinge their Summits with ruddy Light. His Father passed him whilst he was dashing into the Stream - & calling out told him he was going upon some busyness to his Uncles for two or three Days. - Farwell Mehmed - be prudent & forget not the Koran - So he went away followed by his Servants driving a long string of Mules that were loaded with Oranges & pomgranats before them.

[Continued in Part 11]


Introduction to L'Esplendente
Part 1 ::: Part 2 ::: Part 3 ::: Part 4 ::: Part 5 ::: Part 6
Part 7 ::: Part 8 ::: Part 9 ::: Part 10 ::: Part 11 ::: Part 12
Part 13 ::: Part 14 ::: Part 15 ::: Part 16 ::: Part 17 ::: Part 18