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studded with diamonds of an inestimable value, which the king his grand-father used in combats. Cha-Abbas, it seems, had formerly taken all the valuable diamonds off from this scymitar; and Alibez proved, by unquestionable witnesses, that the stones had been disposed of by the late king, before he was appointed keeper of the jewels.
When the enemies of Alibez found that they could not ruin him by this pretence, they ad, vised Cha-Sephi to command him to make a particular inventory, within fifteen days, of all the jewels and valuable furniture intrusted to
The fifteen days expired; Cha-Sephi demanded he might view all the particulars specified in the inventory. Alibez set open all the doors, and shewed him every thing committed to his keeping. There was nothing wanting; every thing was ranged in exact order, and preserved with great care. The king was again disappointed, and greatly surprised when he saw the regularity observed in the disposition of all his treasures; so that he began to entertain a favourable opinion of Alibez; when, casting his eye through a long gallery full of rich furniture, he discovered at the end of it an iron door, strongly barred, with three great locks. Thereupon, the invidious courtiers, observing the cu
riosity of the king, whispered to him, “ It is there Alibez has treasured up all the riches of which he has defrauded you."
Hereupon, the king again grew jealous of Alibez; and with a loud voice cried out in a rage, “ I will instantly see what lies concealed within that strong place; take off the locks, and clear yourself from my suspicions, without delay." At these words, Alibez threw himself prostrate at the feet of his prince; conjuring him, in the most solemn manner, not to take from him the only valuable treasure he had upon earth:—" It is not equitable (said he) that I should be at once deprived of my whole substance, my sole resource, on which alone I have depended, as my recompence for the services of many years under the king your father. Take every thing else, if you please, from me, but let me preserve what I have treasured here.”—The king now made no doubt of the iniquity of his minister; and raising his voice with greater vehemence, gave an absolute command to have the iron door set open. When Alibez saw it not safe longer to resist the will of his prince, he produced the keys, and took off the locks himself from the door.
The king immediately entered the strong place; and all the wealth he found there was a sheep-hook, a pipe, and a shepherd's habit, which Alibez had worn ; all which he often took a pleasure in visiting privately, to remind him of his former condition.
“ Behold (said he), great king, the precious remains of my former happiness! Neither fortune, nor your power, have as yet been able to deprive me of them. . Behold my treasure; the wealth I have hoarded against the day when it shall please you to make me poor again. Take from me every thing else, but let me enjoy these dear pledges of my first state of life. Behold my substantial riches, which will never fail : look upon these simple, these innocent possessions, always sufficient for those who do not covet the superfluities of life. Freedom, ease, and security, are the blessings that flow from them. To me their value is inestimable, as they never gave me a moment's anxiety. O endearing remembrances of true felicity! on you are my whole desires fixed, to you I dedicate the remainder of
my days : why was it my destiny to be obliged to give up the quiet of my life, in exchange for other riches! Those riches, great monarch, do I restore to you; the fatal tokens of your father's liberality. I carry nothing away, save what I possessed when the king your father first made me wretched by his favours.”
The heart of the king was touched with the speech of Alibez, whose looks and words were free from confusion; and his integrity and innocence shone out in their full lustre. The king perceived with indignation the malice of the courtiers who had studied the ruin of Alibez, and he banished them all from his presence. After this, he raised Alibez to be his prime vizier, and committed the whole affairs of the kingdom to his care. Nevertheless, Alibez continued still to visit his sheep-hook, his pipe, and his ancient garb, and he still kept them under the security of the iron door ; with a resolution to retire to his pastoral life, when the inconstancy or the artifices of a court should deprive him of his master's favour. He lived to a good old age, and never attempted to inflict any punishment upon his enemies, nor to amass riches to himself; and, when he died, he left to his family no greater wealth than was sufficient to enable them to live at ease in the condition of shepherds; which, to the last, he esteemed the most desirable state of life.
FREE-THINKER, No. 129, June 15, 1719.
I consider this Persian Tale as possessing distinguished merit; as exhibiting, together with an excellent moral, a very interesting fiction, and no small share of pathos.
Nec Coæ referunt jam tibi purpuræ,
Notis condita fastis :
Vain the diamond's radiant blaze,
Vain the purple, to restore
The Romans used to say ex pede Herculem," or “you may know Hercules by his foot;" intimating, that one may commonly judge of the whole by a part. I confess I am myself very apt to judge in this manner; and may, without pretending to an uncommon share of sagacity, say, that I have very seldom found myself mistaken in it. It is impossible not to form to one's self some opinion of people the first time one sees them, from their air and dress; and a suit of clothes has often informed me, with the utmost certainty, that the wearer had not common
The Greeks (to display my learning) said
sje&TIOy aung, or “ the dress shews the man;" and it is certain, that, of all trifling things, there is none by which people so much discover their