L'Esplendente [part 7]

His heart beat quick when he saw the smoke rising from his native Cottages - He flew swift across the lawn which separated them from the Cliffs & leaping over every bank of the Rivulet which oppressd his progress cast himself breathless into the Arms of Almahide who was come out to receive him. - After the first transports of affection were subsided - she took him to the best Chamber - which was set out - with cushions of her own embroidery - There sat the venerable Ben Jacoup - in earnest conversation with Almansor. - They rose up to embrace the youth - who was awed by the reverend appearance of the old Man his white locks - long Robe - & flowing beard. Jacoup was no less struck with the blooming aspect of Mehemed - he beconed him to advance near him - & the youth bowing - low - he stretched out his hand over him & pronounced a benediction with great solemnity. - Whilst this ceremony was performing - Almahide spread a mat on the floor - which she soon covered with a variety of dishes prepared after the morisco fashion - All sat down & partook of the repast with Hilarity. - when it was ended [36] a sort of Lemonade was served about - in [ILLEGIBLE] cups that from the Juices whafted around a grateful odour - Just as the rose water was introduced & Jacoup had respectfully perfumed his Beard Abdoulrahman entered & joined in the conversation which became very interesting to a youth who had led so solitary a Life as Mehemed. - It turned upon the news of the plain - upon the rise of some Families at Seville & the downfall of others - upon the fleets that covered the Quadalquivir & poured into the City the wealth of the Indies. - Surprising relations were told of the Countries from whence these rich merchandise were captured & Jacoup enlarged upon the barbarities of their Conquerors. - The reduction of Mexico & the vast peruvian Empire once so flourishing was an almost inexaustible topic - The Israelite from his extensive commerce with Merchants and Strangers of every denomination - had learned innumerable anecdotes concerning the Inhabitants of these remote Regions of the Xstians who subdued them. - His discourse was eagerly imbibed by Abdoulrahman & his Son It reminded them of the fall of their [37] Moorish Empire - & revived in their minds every circumstance of its dissolution Almansor - who was known in the plains by the appelation of Rodriguez - & who [ILLEGIBLE WORDS] than his Brother enforced the assertions of Jacoup & added on his own part many Stories of a similar tendency. - It was Night before they had ceased talking over the affairs of Seville & declaiming against its present Inhabitants. - Tapers being lighted they repaired to a Fountain in the midst of the Appartment. Jacoup whose long residence in the Levant had familiarized with its customs - desired his Calian to be brought & began smoking very peaceably Almansor followed his example & his Brother retired to the Mosque in the secret Vale. - Meanwhile Mehmed who had no inclination to accompany him - remained by the Fountain & offered his Guests the best Fruits & sweetmeats he could produce. The old Man was charmed by these civilities - & with an opportunity of telling all his long stories to so attentive an Auditor, expressed his satisfaction to the Uncle [38] in the Warmest terms. - Really this youth is a blessing to your Family. - We see not often so much modesty - mixed with such a share of sprightliness. - I love to hear him question - in so animated a manner & shall never be tired of resolving them. - The youth blush'd when he heard himself commended - & was silent a [ILLEGIBLE] but secretly rejoiced that he had found favor in the old Man's eyes as he proposed making him his Friend - & trusting him with the desire he add [sic] of pursuing his amusements with the pencil & of mixing with the World. - After a little hesitation he replied so pertinently to Jacoups compliments & flattered him in his turn & with such intelligence that the Israelite was delighted beyond idea - & parted from him reluctantly when it was the Hour of repose.

[Continued in Part 8]


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