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" In the first moon of the following year, the Caliph came again to Mecca with the same secresy, and for the same purposes. He was willing once more to see the man, whom he considered as deriving felicity from himself. But he found me, not singing at my work, ruddy with health, vivid with cheerfulness; but pale and dejected, sitting. on the ground, and chewing opium, which contributed to substitute the phantoms of imagination for the realities of greatness. He entered with a kind of joyful impatience in his countenance, which, the moment he beheld me, was changed to a mixture of wonder and pity. I had often wished for another opportunity to address the Caliph; yet I was confounded at his presence, and, throwing myself at his feet, I laid my hand upon my head, and was speechless. "Hassan," said he, "what canst thou have lost, whose wealth was the labour of thine own hand; and what can have made thee sad, the spring of whose joy was in thy own bosom? What evil hath befallen thee? Speak, and if I can remove it, thou art happy." I was now encouraged to look up, and I replied, "Let my lord forgive the presumption of his servant, who, rather than utter a falsehood, would be dumb for ever. I am become wretched by the loss of that which I never possessed; thou hast raised wishes, which indeed I am not worthy thou shouldst satisfy; but why should it be thought, that he who was happy in obscurity and indigence, would not have been rendered more happy by eminence and wealth?”
"When I had finished this speech, Almalic stood some moments in suspense, and I continued prostrate before him. "Hassan," said he, "I perceive,
not with indignation but regret, that I mistook thy character; I now discover avarice and ambition in thy heart, which lay torpid only because their objects were too remote to rouse them. I cannot therefore invest thee with authority, because I would not subject my people to oppression; and because I would not be compelled to punish thee for crimes which I first enabled thee to commit. But as I have taken from thee that which I cannot restore, I will at least gratify the wishes that I excited, lest thy heart accuse me of injustice, and thou continue still a stranger to thyself. Arise, therefore, and follow me."-I sprung from the ground as it were with the wings of an eagle ; I kissed the hem of his garment in an ecstasy of gratitude and joy; and when I went out of my house, my heart leaped, as if I had escaped from the den of a lion. I followed Almalic to the caravansera in which he lodged; and after he had fulfilled his vows, he took me with him to Medina. He gave me an apartment in the seraglio; I was attended by his own servants; my provisions were sent from his own table; I received every week a sum from his treasury, which exceeded the most romantic of my expectations. But I soon discovered, that no dainty was so tasteful as the food to which labour procured an appetite; no slumbers so sweet, as those which weariness invited; and no time so well enjoyed, as that in which diligence is expecting its reward. I remembered these enjoyments with regret; and while I was sighing in the midst of superfluities, which, though they encumbered life, yet I could not give up, they were suddenly taken away.
'Almalic, in the midst of the glory of his kingdom, and in the full vigour of his life, expired suddenly in the bath: such, thou knowest, was the destiny which the Almighty had written upon his head.
His son, Aububekir, who succeeded to the throne, was incensed against me, by some who regarded me at once with contempt and envy; he suddenly withdrew my pension, and commanded that I should be expelled the palace; a command which my enemies executed with so much rigour, that within twelve hours I found myself in the streets of Medina, indigent and friendless, exposed to hunger and derision, with all the habits of luxury, and all the sensibility of pride. O! let not thy heart despise me, thou whom experience has not taught, that it is misery to lose that which it is not happiness to possess. O! that for me this lesson had not been written on the tablets of Providence! I have travelled from Medina to Mecca; but I cannot fly from myself. How different are the states in which I have been placed! The remembrance of both is bitter! for the pleasures of neither can return."-Hassan having thus ended his story, smote his hands together; and, looking upward, burst into tears.
Omar, having waited till this agony was past, went to him, and taking him by the hand, 'My son,' said he, more is yet in thy power than Almalic could give, or Aububekir take away. The lesson of thy life the Prophet has in mercy appointed me to explain.
Thou wast once content with poverty and labour, only because they were become habitual,
and ease and affluence were placed beyond thy hope; for when ease and affluence approached thee, thou wast content with poverty and labour That which then became the object, was also the bound of thy hope; and he, whose utmost hope is disappointed, must inevitably be wretched. If thy supreme desire had been the delights of Paradise, and thou hadst believed that by the tenour of thy life these delights had been secured, as more could not have been given thee, thou wouldest not have regretted that less was not offered. The content which was once enjoyed, was but the lethargy of soul; and the distress which is now suffered, will but quicken it to action. Depart, therefore, and be thankful for all things; put thy trust in Him, who alone can gratify the wish of reason, and satisfy thy soul with good fix thy hope upon that portion, in comparison of which the world is as the drop of the bucket, and the dust of the balance. Return, my son, to thy labour; thy food shall be again tasteful, and thy rest shall be sweet; to thy content also will be added stability, when it depends not upon that which is possessed upon earth, but upon that which is expected in heaven.'
Hassan, upon whose mind the Angel of Instruction impressed the counsel of Omar, hastened to prostrate himself in the temple of the prophet. Peace dawned upon his mind like the radiance of the morning: he returned to his labour with cheerfulness; his devotion became fervent and habitual; and the latter days of Hassan were happier than the first. Adventurer.
RELIGION THE BEST SUPPORT AMIDST THE
DISTRESSES OF LIFE.
CONSIDER religion in the light of consolation, as bringing aid and relief to us, amidst the distresses of life. Here it incontestibly triumphs; and its happy effects in this respect furnish a strong argument to every benevolent mind, for wishing them to be further diffused throughout the world. For, without the belief and hope afforded by divine revelation, the circumstances of man are extremely forlorn. He finds himself placed here as a stranger in a vast universe, where the powers and operations of nature are very imperfectly known; where both the beginnings and the issues of things are involved in mysterious darkness; where he is unable to discover, with any certainty, whence he sprung, or for what purpose he was brought into this state of existence; whether he be subjected to the government of a mild, or of a wrathful ruler; what construction he is to put on many of the dispensations of his providence; and what his fate is to be when he departs hence. What a disconsolate situation to a serious, inquiring mind! The greater degree of virtue it possesses, its sensibility is likely to be the more oppressed by this burden of labouring thought. Even though it were in one's power to banish all uneasy thought, and to fill up the hours of life with perpetual amusement; life so filled up would, upon reflection, appear poor and trivial. But these are far from being the terms upon which man is brought into this world. He is conscious that his being is frail and feeble; he sees himself beset