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that his father and his mother lived in the next village, and that his name was Alibez.

The more Cha-Abbas discoursed with him, the more he admired the modesty and the justness of his answers. His eyes were lively without the least fierceness, his voice was sweet and insinuating, and his features were neither harsh nor vulgar, nor yet soft and effeminate. The shepherd, who was not above sixteen years of age, was unconscious of his own advantageous form, and suspected not that his person, his speech, and his thoughts, were extraordinary, or peculiar more to him than to all the other swains of the village. But nature had been liberal to him, and had implanted that force of reason in his mind, which others acquire by education.

The king was charmed with conversing familiarly with him, and often smiled at the natural expressions of the youth, whose answers were unconstrained, his lips speaking the language of his heart; a style of conversation which, till then, the king had never heard. Wherefore he made a sign to the courtier, his companion, not to discover him; fearing that Alibez would immediately lose all his frankness and his natural graces, if he knew before whom he spoke.

After a long conversation," I am at last convinced (said the prince to his confident) that

the perfections of nature are not confined to birth and grandeur, and that the monarch is not always superior to the peasant. Never was the son of a king better born than this young shepherd. I should think myself happy in a son, whose beauty, whose sense, and whose virtues, were equal to the rare endowments I have observed in this youth. If I judge aright, he would excel in any condition of life; and if proper care be taken of his education, he will undoubtedly one day prove an extraordinary man: therefore I am determined to rescue him from obscurity, and to educate him in my court."

Hereupon the king disclosed himself to Alibez ; whose countenance was agreeably varied with confusion, with surprize, and with joy. His parents consenting, Cha-Abbas took the lovely youth into his care, and returned to his palace. Alibez was taught to read and to write, to dance and to sing; and had masters appointed to instruct him in all the arts and sciences which embellish and improve the understanding. He was at first dazzled with the splendour of the court, and the great change in his fortune made some small alteration in his mind. His youth and his beauty both conspired to incline his heart a little to vanity. The sheephook, and pipe, and the shepherd's garb, were laid aside: he was now clothed in a purple robe, and a turban sparkling with jewels, and his beauty was the admiration of the court. Nevertheless, he wanted not diligence and application to render himself capable of the most serious affairs. As he grew into years and experience, he merited the confidence of his master, who, observing his genius admirably turned for the splendour and magnificence of a court, made him keeper of all his jewels and costly furniture; a post of great honour and trust in Persia.

FREE-THINKER, No. 128, June 12, 1719. No. XXXIV.

Justum et tenacem propositi virum,

Non civium ardor prava jubentium;
Non vultus instantis tyranni
Mente quatit solida.

HORATIUS

The just, who firmly keeps his destin'd course,

No tyrant's threat’ning frowns control;
No crowd's unjust demands can force,
Or shake the steady purpose of his soul.

BoscAWEN.

As his years

While the great Cha-Abbas lived, Alibez

grew daily in the favour of his master. increased, and his judgment ripened, he often called to mind his former condition, with a sensible regret. O, blessed days! (would he say to himself) days of innocence! days in which I relished uninterrupted joys, not mixed with fears! O days! such as I have never since enjoyed: and am I never to see the like again? The monarch who has deprived me of my peaceable hours, by delivering me over to riches and honours, has robbed me of my whole store of happiness!"—He grew impatient to revisit his native village: and his heart beat with emotions of tenderness, as he viewed the places where in his youth he used to dance, to pipe, and to

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sing with his companions. He was liberal in bounties to his parents, his relations, and all his acquaintance: but he earnestly entreated them, as they tendered their own felicity, never to quit the tranquillity of a country life, nor ever once to think of experiencing the flattering miseries of a court.

These miseries did he feel in the utmost se. verity, after the death of his kind master, ChaAbbas; who was succeeded by his son, ChaSephi. A cabal of courtiers, full of envy and artifice, concerted measures to prejudice the prince against Alibez.-“ He has abused (said they) the confidence of the late king: he has amassed immense treasures; and has converted to his own use the most valuable jewels of the crown, which were committed to his care."

Cha-Sephi was young; and, at the same time, he was a monarch: either of which circumstances was alone sufficient to render him credulous, inadvertent, and averse to business. He had the vanity to pride himself upon reforming all his father's regulations, and he called the old king's wisdom in question upon all occasions, to magnify his own. That he might have a pretext to remove Alibez from his high post, he ordered him (by the advice of his wicked council kors) to produce immediately the great scymitar,

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