L'Esplendente [part 6]

Knowing we lived in the Mountains he beseeched thy Father to grant him a temporary asylum whilst he could secure his riches - & I having the delivery of my Brother fresh in my Mind - granted his request. - He is without in our abode - Almahide is entertaining her Guest at this instant - & the Mules that were loaded with his treasure - are actually grazing in our - Meads. - But how is my Son. - Thou lookest pale - what has befallen thee - Meh'med coloured & casting down his eyes said - I have pined after thee in this dreary solitude & have often wept thy absence - The silence of this Vale is terrible when thou art away & my heart has been chilled - by the midnight gusts that blow from the Mountains. - Sometimes I thought thee no more & thy dying voice seemed to be born on the gales by my ear - My Nights were sad & desolate my mornings without consolation since thy departure - O my Father I rejoice in thy return - I am glad. I exult - The sky seems brighter than before - & the whole Scene looks as if the [31] veil which obscured it was removed. - Abdoulrahman pleased with these affectionate sentiments pressed him tenderly in his arms - then moving to the Mosque - thanked Alla & the Prophet that he was once more returned in safety. - When he arose from his devotions - the leaves which Mehmed had so ingeniously covered struck his sight but it was not with sensations of an agreeable nature. - He soon traced the lineaments of the Human Form in these Sketches & was displeased at objects so contrary to the Law of the Faithful - What do I behold Mehemed - is it possible - can you be the Author of these designs? - Yes Father - I am. - & their creation was the solace of my lonely Hours. - O Mehemed - those are idolatrous recreations - We are forbidden by the prophet to imitate the works of Alla or impiously represent any of the Animals into whom he has inspired Life - Desist from this Pagan excursion of the pencil - & abandon for ever an Art - which some Dæmon must have [32] suggested to you in this Retirement - So saying - he furiously snatched up the leaves which were scattered about & tearing them asunder committed them to the winds & the Torrents. - The youth sobbed not daring to reply or to make any attempt to save the children of his Fancy - But their loss affected him more than can be imagined - he turned angrily from his Father & hiding his face with his Hands - gave way to silent indignation. - What can my Father mean - what Crime have I committed - Can the mighty Alla be offended by so contemptible a cause. - It can not be. - Not all the prophets in the Universe can persuade me - Luckily for Mehemed these words were mutt'rd in so low a tone that his Father could not distinguish them. - He observed tho' his Son's passions - & willing to divert it - told him the time he had allotted for his retirement was expired. Mehmed looked up - I see continued the Father you are disgusted with a solitary Life - & sigh after more extensive Scenes. - You shall be indulged - this very Evening I conduct you to yr Mother & she shall present you to [33] Ben Jacoub - the hoary Israelite to whom - my Brother owes his present existence. - These words made the most pleasing impression on the youth - who forgot the loss of his Designs in the transport they occasioned. - Springing up - alertly - he expressed his joy by the liveliest gestures. - & cried out - I shall embrace my dear Mother - I shall feed my favourite Heifer - & run all over my Haunts on the fresh free upon Hills - & drinking new Milk - & see the old Man & hear him/the O.M. tell strange stories about the great City - Come Father - make haste let us begone - Where is the entrance of the dark place I passed thru when first I came here - is it there or here - or perhaps - under those boughs - what would I have given to have found it but a day or two ago. - You would Mehemed replied the Father with some sterness - you would feign have escaped - & straying about might in all probability have fallen into the very jaws of the Inquisition. - [34] Take care - take infinite care or your headlessness will expose you to severe trials - & Recollect my admonitions - if you value yr happiness. - Be silent. - Above all shun the smiles of the fair Xstians - they dart poison from their eyes - If you Gaze an instant you are lost - After giving this Sage advice to which Mehmed's impatience allowed him to pay little attention he led him to - a Cliff - to all appearance of the greatest solidity - but touching a huge stone. - which was hung on imperceptible Hinges - it gave way & they found themselves in a dark grot - To its extremity they at length arrived & Abdoulrahman moving a loose fragment - crept thro' the cavity & was followed by his Son - who after struggling thro a Thicket emerged into the open air. - No sooner was he disentangled from the Shrubs than he wound thro' the Rocky glen with [35] inconceivable agility. -

[Continued in Part 7]


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