L'Esplendente [part 8]

The next Day at Sunrise Mehmed entered his Chamber to enquire after his Health & to present him with some Curds he had just fetched - from the Grot which [39] served Almahide as a Dairy. - These old Jacoup devoured with appetite & thanked too the hospitable youth for his Courtesy. - When he was up & had arranged himself in his ample Robe - the youth conducted him to a little green spot in the wood of Orange trees by the spring - which commanded an uninterrupted prospect of those smooth & fertile plains - thro' which the Quadalquivir wanders. - then running back he returned in an instant with a soft carpet & some cushions on which he invited his venerable Guest to recline - Seating himself at his Feet he drove away the Insects that happened to disturb him - & intreated him to taste a vase of Sorbet - which his Mother had carefully preserved in a Cave that was filled with Ice. - Jacoup had never experienced more flattering attentions - he quaffed the cool Liquor - admired the - sweet Landscape below - enjoyed the Shade - & was perfectly contented - The placid Scenery around - & the consciousness of his removal from [40] the prison abodes of Busyness spread over his mind an unknown composure & for the first time in his life perhaps the anxious care of acquiring & preserving riches was forgotten. - The whole morning past away in various discourse to which Mehmed listened with unwearied attention. He was never tired with being told - how people lived in Cities - what palaces some erected & what beautiful Horses others maintained. - how the walks round Seville were crowded with glittering equipages that bore the - loveliest Women from one gay circle to another. - & what agreeable symphonies echoed every Evening in the Streets. - Thus a multitude of new ideas poured in upon him & he burnt with impatience to see them realised. - The Israelite however did not as yet encourage his Scheme of visitting the plain - but assured him that he was too young at present to think of exposing himself to its allurements - He advised him therefore to remain sometime longer contented in his rural Habitation with the innocent amusements [41] it afforded. - I would not for Worlds - said Jacoup - that so aimable youth should hazard himself amongst the Xstians. - Much Evil lurks under the fairest appearances - their ways are engaging but lead astray - They pitch a thousand gilded snares - which it is impossible one so unexperienced should know how to avoid since I myself who am grown gray in the paths of Life - have been frequently perplexed & embarrass'd. - Let me entreat you to rest secure amongst these Hills - your time shall not be vacant at least whilst I rest under your Fathers roof. - I have many recreating Objects amongst my Stores which thanks to your beneficient Uncle are securely deposited hard by, - Come let us go thither & divert ourselves with their Contemplation. - Mehemed would rather have been council'd to descend into the plains & mix with Society - but he thought it best to say no more at least for the present - & following Jacoup - who turned into a smooth green [ILLEGIBLE] hemmed in on three sides by Cliffs - & bounded on the fourth - by a steep descent. [42] arrived at several large Magasines, adjoining to some Caves in the Rock - which had been erected during his retirement. - This new Creation held him a few minutes in surprise - He gazed at the solidity of their structure & remarked how judiciously their Roofs were constructed all the while reflecting on the power of Wealth which in so short a space of time had been able to erect Buildings of such strength & utility. - Two Tents were raised at the end of the Meadow - under which several Servants as remarkable as their Master for a length of beard - were employed in opening & sealing Coffers - Jacoup called to one of them & bid him unlock the door of a magasine which appeared the most finished - for the others still wanted several planks to be totally compleat. The Door opening discovered a spacious place communicating with a Cave & entirely filled with bales of goods & Boxes of neat workmanship Most of which contained Ivory, spices & Indian wares - conveyed by the Galleons to the mouth of the Quadalquivir & [43] scarcely purchased at low prices by the Jew - who always paying in fair gold Coin - was served before any of the Sevillian Merchants. In Others were silks & rarities - from distant Empires & Isles far in the Ocean the novelty of which delighted - Mehemed even beyond his Conductor's expectations. - All these curious articles were severally displayed before him & Jacoup took great pleasure in observing the joy which sparcled in his eyes. - Finding his Treasures were not thrown away upon an indifferent Spectator he went into the recess of the Cave & returned with a Casket under his Arm enriched with precious gems - After Mehemed's curiosity was satisfied with examining the exterior - he touched some hidden spring & instantly the cover flying open there appeared - some Hebrew manuscripts beautifully illuminated & glittering with gold & azure. - Every other object vanish'd in [44] Mehemed's Ideas before these - he knelt down quite in extasies - & viewed the shining scripture with so much earnestness that the Israelite could not forbear exclaiming - with a Smile. - You are quite a Convert I see to the Law of Moses - These are his mighty Actions - which - one of the most ingenious artists of Rome - have represented in a series of living paintings. Behold the wandrings of our Forefathers in the Deserts of Sinai - the aweful Cloud which preceded them by day & the flame - which guided their nightly march - see there the Tabernacle - towering in the midst of innumerable Tents, resplendent with the glory of the Lord - Before it appears Aaron - surrounded By the Elders of the People in the act of Sacrifice - How naturally the Smoke is represented which ascends from the Altar & thro' which the interior perspective of the Holy place is faintly distinguishable/seen. -

[Continued in Part 9]


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