صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني
[ocr errors]

flict this trial upon me, to know thy action commenced, and the air-cleaving slave. 1 bend subservient to thy will arrow whistled across the field, I sighed I embrace thy pleasure--Zulema loves, the name of Zulema, and drawing my and is beloved by Ali Sheing-Alla, sharp-edged sabre, rushed to the conflict : crown their loves with a diadem immor- breathing, as I aimed each destructive tal.'

blow, for Zulema, my country, and my “ Murmurs of applause ran through king! Christians gasped beneath my the whole divan-Bensadi placed his blood-besmeared scymitar—their eyedaughter's hand in mine—and Zantma balls rolled in the agony of death, and dropped a tear of illumined joy upon his still I pursued my mad career, delighting

I breastma tear of piety and gratitude. in the havoc that I made, and followed

“ The nuptial rites were soon per- by a band of steady patriots, who bore formed : the Soldan was present and destruction in their powerful hand. assisted at the rites: the whole country “ At length, I was severed from them spokeof his unparalleled generosity, and by a christian troop, which hemmed me our marriage-day was a day of joy to in on every side. I now saw certain the inhabitants of Bedamoora, for the death before me; and I resolved to fall Soldan extended his munificence to the worthy the son of Zantma, worthy of most humble and lowly of his people. such a father--the father of his people

. All was mirth and festivity. What There was no hope. Fierce and thickly heart but rejoiced ? Oh, What raptures I dealt my blows; but, overpowered by were mine!

numbers, I sunk upon the ground, “ Not long did the sun of our joy bloody, and severely wounded. shine in an unclouded sky.

« * Zulema,' still my trembling lips 66 The Christians, with an increase repeated. And now the pointed sword of force from all the nations of Europe, was reared against my breast.

In this came against us, firing towns and vil- moment of life and death, a female's lages in their progress, and putting eve- screams were heard-her locks hung ry living thing to the sword. Inhuman dishevelled on her shoulders--she burst wretches ! ye came to our shores to en- through the crowd. All powerful Alla! lighten-was it rather to destroy--to it was Zulema. She flung herself upon satisfy your accursed thirst for blood

my bosom, and exclaimed, • Now, bar“ Al Asia was in arms to repel their barians, strike ! strike through the hearts force. I followed to the war; and Zu- of both! O, Al Sheing, my husband, lema, with warlike ardour, determined we will die together.' to accompany me.

Alas! what perils " Stab the pagan wretebes,' cried did she sustain for me-how endure the a soldier, rearing his weapon. Let moist and burning heat-traversing vast them not live to breathe their impious and trackless deserts for me! Alla gave prayers. Stab them, I say.' her fortitude for the undertaking, and ci • Who dares to lift an arm against she overcame all the terrors, all the in the defenceless ? cried a young knight, conveniences and difficulties attending interfering. · Coward, learn, that he such a march, that she might be by my who seeks for triumph, triumphs most side.

in being merciful to a fallen foe. Be“ We now arrived at Gudingooma, gone,' he exclaimed, with much energy; where the Christians were encamped ; and for the future, shew valour in temand instantly prepared to give them perance.' battle.

“ The soldier drew back, abashed : “ A new-created vigour animated my with a murmur they retired, and Zulebosom, added to the martial fire that ma flew, wild with joy, into the arms of before had nerved me in the fight for a our deliverer. She embraced him, flung beloved wife. I fought: and when the herself at his feet, and bathed them with

[ocr errors]

4. At length, they drove us back to PPS The day was appointed, which

her tears. The generous Christian rais- that Zulema and myself awoke to a new ed her from the ground : in the warmth felicity. of his heart, united our hands, and im- “ At this time, the Soldan declared mediately hurried away, bidding us in- it his pleasure, that the christian prisonstantly quit the fatal field, where the ers, taken in the newly-closed war, Christian cross waved in the pride of should make a forfeit of their lives. I victory, and the crescent, the banner of pitied the fate of the poor misguided the faithful yielded. Our troops were wretches. Zulema wept when the dreadput to the route ; and it is needless to ful news reached her ear, but it was not repeat to you, the successful advances in our power to award the impending of the Christians, who, in each ensuing flow; and then, again, did they not engagement, slaughtered our people, come into our shores to subjugate and and committed havoc.

oppress Bedamoora, where they still prevailed; soon arrived, and hundreds of wretched and our Soldan perished in the conflict. Christians manaeled, were

led forth to His death was a grievous blow, that perish in consuming flames. They passed struck deep to the hearts of his subjects. beneath the window of our dwelling They loved him, and with the firm re- agony was in their countenances; their solution to die or conquer, determined hands were crossed upon their breasts. to revenge his death : a speedy-raised They passed us with slow and disorderarmy now opposed the Christians, not ed step, with the broad scimitar of our so numerous as the former ones, but countrymen opposed to their necks. with the fire of desperation in their bo- Many there were that preferred that soms, that threatened to consume em- death to the one prepared for them, and pires for its darling gratification. In rushed upon the cruel weapon raised this action Zantma and Bensadi perish- against their lives. Zulema, almost ed; but the Christians gave way, and fainting, hung upon my bosom; and at length were defeated. With immense one brought up the rear of the solemn loss, they flew in every direction :- procession, who smiled on death, but it Richard the Lion was wounded; and was no smile of insensibility-he did shortly after, they evacuated our shores. not go vaunting to his fate. There was

“ Now then peace, and her thousand in the midst of all, a majesty and soblessings, smiled upon us ; we poured lemnity in his demeanour, a noble spirit forth our hearts to the high and mighty in his countenance, which defied all Alla, in gratitude, and devoted two torture. Gracious Heaven! I looked moons to prayer and rejoicing. The upon him. Zulema burst from my arm, brother of the late Soldan was proclaim- and we both involuntarily exclaimed, ed throughout the empire. Six moons “ All powerful Alla, our deliverer!" more were now devoted to festive mirth. “ For, a time I was paralized : the Oh, what a heart of joy was mine! pulsation of my heart was thick : recolZulema loved me—mutual were the section flashed across my brain. I endearments we lavished upon each could not see my preserver perish, and

and Alla crowned our transports I flew to save him. The Soldan heard with a lovely boy. Nine moons were my prayers, and the prisoner was rewasted since we first tasted of connubial manded back to prison. This prisoner bliss, and Zulema gave to my arms a was no other than Lord Adelfred, the boy, fresh as the morn, lovely in com- preserver of my life--your lord, and plexion, like the golden sun.

the rightful Baron of Llanbedder. Gra“But to be less prolix in my narra

cious Alla, thou didst give me the powtion, which I shall now hastily draw to er to save him, who, in my distress, a conclusion ; I shall but inform you, saved me. Upon my knees I thanked

other ;


thee for it, thou great adorable : thou suade Adelfred to embrace our faithheardst me.

he was inflexible; and my heart owned “ A few days after this event, Zule- bis rectitude, fully persuaded, that is

the true mission, visited Lord Adelfred in his In this interval of time, Zulema

" confinement: he recognised us with blessed me with four children : lovely in brim-full heart—he flew towards me, innocence ; the first that could lisp ! while mine overflowed with tears. taught to bless the name of Adelfred. Zulema held him in her arms. Painful And now an opportunity presented itself was this interview. Our hearts were for us to favour his escape; but, ah! variously overwhelmed, tears of mingled how could we part ? Five years' interjoy and anguish, flowed at the same course had so closely wound him round instant down our cheeks, engendered our hearts, that to separate would be to by the same emotions of love and gra- deprive us of one of our strongest holds titude: needless would it be to recount to life. To me, Adelfred was a second the many stratagems I formed for his Zulema; to Zulema, a second Ali Sheing, emancipation. I sought the Soldan, but “ Wonder not, that we who differed he turned a deaf ear to my entreaties. so widely in our faith, could be in friend.

“ • The life of the abandoned Chris- ship so firm : our hearts were good, and tian I have spared,' he cried, ' at your the same sun shone upon us ; we loved solicitation : he lives! but never shall each other, and religion never made a he taste of liberty until he embraces our part of our conversation ; we prayed in faith.'

secret, and the God of either sanctionImpossible ! I cried. • Surely ed our orisons, and blessed us. you cannot so determine. Oh! mighty “ Adelfred discovered a small aperture Soldan, give this Christian liberty S in his cell, which led to some courts in shew how merciful you are inclined to the palace; he had explored them, but be, and teach the frigid nations of Eu- it was impossible to escape by their rope, by your example, honour, gene- means, they being always locked and rosity, and nobleness of conduct. Oh! guarded. He informed me of this : his most wise Soldan, set your prisoner at wasted form made an impression on my large; free to depart, to tell his pallid heart; I determined to assist him in his countrymen how widely differ the sons émancipation, and acquainted Zulema of Asia, from the cold-blooded children with my resolution. Zulema shed tears of the north : to tell them that Alla will of regret, but acquiesced, and the night protect our faith—that the monarch was fixed upon for his departure. I whom we love, mild in his justice, re- got the keys of the palace gates from signs the power to destroy, for the nobler the keeper, who did not fear to trust me means of conquering by mercy.?.

with them, and procuring a disguise for • I have declared my will,' he Adelfred, at midnight, when stars incried; · dare not to dispute it.' numerable laced the heavens, descended

Again I urged, but in vain. Zu- to his dungeon. lema sought the palace : the Soldan saw “All was profound silence : we emher-her prayers

and entreaties almost braced each other, as we thought, for subdued his breast: but firm in his the last time.-Adelfred hurried on his determination, he left her; and a second disguise, and we reached the gates untime, she was denied admittance to his molested. presence. Now then, no resource was “Noble and generous Ali,' he cried, left-we flew to the dungeon where he grasping my band: Alla! Alla! it was was confined, and mingled our tears cold as death; his voice faltered, and with his. Five years' intercourse ripen- he hung upon my shoulder, statue-like, ed our friendship. Vain was it to per- and motionless. In this attitude a sen



tinel discovered us, who presented a “ We had provided ourselves with sabre to my breast. Stand,' he cried, provisions were prepared for a long and declare yourself.'


Adelfred was light and gay ; • Ali Sheing,' I returned; the but the more I thought, the more I beSoldan's friend-ihe friend of my coun- came dejected. Melancholy now occutry.'— Pass on,' was returned for an- pied my bosom: I thought on Zulema swer; and we escaped without discovery. ---on my orphaned children, orphaned

“ Adelfred parted with tearful eyes, by the fight of a fugitive father, until from Zulema, who was alike overwhem- i distracted by my feelings, my brain was ed with grief; and bidding adieu to i almost turned, and I was more an inaniBedamoora he retired to a cavern in a mate corpse than a being on the earth. rock, which I discovered to him, at two “ In this situation, we arrived at an miles distance, waiting the ensuing European port, where a seafaring man night to aid his escape to the sea-shore. undertook our safe. conduct to Britain. I pressed him to my heart-Zulema be- Wearrived in Wales: you know the rest.” dewed his cheek with her tears—but we were forced to separate, and he flew The infidel ceased. He had often from us in an agony of mind almost wept during his interesting narrative ; insupportable.

and Iserlt hastened to dry his tears. “The next day, the prisoner was “ Great, indeed, have been your sufdiscovered to have fled, and instantly ferings, Ali,” cried the designing wretch; suspicion fell on me. Bound in chains, “sufferings which the warmth of your I was dragged to the Soldan's presence. own heart has led you to.” Above dissimulation I scorned to deny “ Oh, could I once more press the facts urged against me. I confessed the fond Zulema to my breast !" whole of my contrivance in the plot, " Think on it no more, Ali; she is but scorned to betray my friend. I de- lost to you for ever," interrupted Iserlt. fied torture. I would not give up the Then after a pause." But I will not place of his concealment; and the aggravate your misery, by opening Soldan, enraged, gave me liberty on this your eyes to the treachery of Adelfred." condition; that if I did not surrender 'Treachery!-" the prisoner the ensuing day, I should « Pardon, pardon--I have said too lose my head. I left his presence with much. Dwell not upon my words ; the firmest determination to act with they have been uttered in haste; and" honour towards my friend; and rather “ Treachery!" repeated Ali. sacrifice my life than him.

“ Answer me but this question," reInstantly I flew to the cavern where joined Iserlt: “Does Adelfred favour I had directed him, and informed him you now, as when he was dependant of the whole. He urged me to fly—to upon your mercy ? Seeks he now to leave my nation, my country, and Zu- repose his griefs in your bosom, as lema. In my despair, I half consented. when imprisoned at Bendamoora Again he urged, pictured to me the There was he not all love ? Does he possibility of meeting Zulema in a chris- avoid you now? See you no change : tan land—laid down a plan so plausible, or is he still the same ?”. that I consented to his views, and hur- A new light beamed through the ried with him to the nearest shore, brain of Ali. He paused-his eye sparwhere, instantly getting on board a small kled with angry fire-then, checking boat, we set sail for other lands; the the suspicious thoughts, he cried, “ No one overjoyed, when morning dawned, no, it cannot be : Adelfred is still the to find himself so far out at sea-the same.” other, with aching heart, on beholding

Say you so ? Oh, blessed Ali, his country's shore decrease in size, as blessed in thy ignorance! Live, live, the swift vessel mounted over the wave. and love! Cherish in thy bosom friend


ship for the deceitful Adelfred: friend- ed abroad, that Elfrida still lived. Many ship to be scorned. But, in thy blind- affirmed that she was confined in one ness, thou shalt feel no pang of rejected of the dungeons of the castle, by Owain. love-thy sensibility shall not be wound- These reports met the eye of Adelfred, ed by the keen dagger of favours ill re- who totally discredited them. The conturned.”

duct of Owain, spite of the malignant “Adelfred saved my


reports that met his ear, appeared to him “ And so didst thou his."

untainted; and upon this ground Iserlt “ He had no incitement but his own raised his structure. The time diew heart-I was prompted by gratitude near to accomplish his death : the waand affection."

vering Moor must be surprised into the “ Oh, noble Ali, what a soul hast act. Iserlt had sounded him to the thou! By Heaven, thy wrongs bear bottom of his heart; and found, that me beyond myself. My veins swell giving him time to reflect, was only with my boiling blood. Rancour and losing what, by his inflated conversation, hate ennerves my arm to vengeance. he had gained. Iserlt dared not prevail Thou, Ali, art all truth-Adelfred all


the Moor to stab Adelfred in the deception. He keeps thee, like a slave, castle, fearful lest his schemes should in his train-rewards thy virtue with a fail, and the whole mischief be turned yoke of bondage. Thou art his friend upon himself. Ali Sheing was only to no longer, but his menial—the slave be rouzed to commit the act by a sense whom he values, not for services done, of his wrongs. Deliberation blunted but as part of his pomp, his equipage." his dagger's point ; and Iserlt determin

“ Iserlt, thou drivest me mad. It ed to draw, by some design, Lord Adelcannot be—it is impossible. Adelfred fred to the vaults of the castle, where he --yet, arouse thee, Ali Sheing——” might be instantly dispatched without

Passion choaked his speech-wildly the hopes of rescue, and Owain becomhis eye balls glared.

ing the judge of the murderer, should « Revenge !" cried Iserlt.

doom himn to instant death : thus discoInsulted honour swelled the chest of very would be frustrated, and he become Ali Sheing. “ Thou god of Asia,” he the rightful Baron of Llanbedder. exclaimed, “if Adelfred be true, to my For this purpose, Iserlt addressed an heart I'll clasp him with sincerity--if anonymous letter to Adelfred, which he false, I'll compass the earth for a deep took care to drop in his path;--and in

it he requested him not to place too Iserlt daily worked upon

the passions

great a reliance in the virtues of Owain, of the poor Moor, who, half-inclined to who had deceived him ; and informed think the noble Adelfred false, miscon- him that the report of Elfrida's being strued every act; and from the rooted alive was not without foundation; sorrow that preyed upon his mind, that she still lived, and was, by his drew out a conclusion of services at an traitorous cousin, confined in one of the end, and cold dislike.

vaults beneath the castle. It concluded Great was the soul of Ali Sheing; he by desiring him to be secret-and when scorned an explanation with him whom the mid-night bell tolled, to descend to he thought his foe. Often would bis the caverns, where he would find a friend rolling eye-balls declare his anger in ready to conduct him to the arms of her the presence of the dejected Adelfred. he loved. And now the designing Iserlt prepared At first, Adelfred could not believe for the final blow. Owain constantly what his eyes beheld. Again he read corresponded with him from the monk it-a third-a fourth time. “Can it ish convent, whither he had taken be possible !” he exclaimed. “ No! sanctuary, and gained every intelligence no! it is a treacherous artifice of some necessary to his views. It was rumour- designing villain, disgraced by my coU


and firm revenge."


« السابقةمتابعة »