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the aspirings of vulgarity, which thinks to elevate itself by humiliating its neighbour.
As I have brought these families into contrast, I must notice their behaviour in church. That of the nobleman's family was quiet, serious, and attentive. Not that they appeared to have any fervour of devotion, but rather a respect for sacred things, and sacred places, inseparable from good breeding. The others, on the contrary, were in a perpetual flutter and whisper; they betrayed a continual consciousness of finery, and a sorry ambition of being the wonders of a rural congregation.
The old gentleman was the only one really attentive to the service. He took the whole burden of family devotion upon himself, standing bolt upright and uttering the responses with a loud voice that might be heard all over the church. It was evident that he was one of those thorough church and king men, who connect the idea of devotion and loyalty; who consider the Deity, somehow or other, of the government party, and religion “a very excellent sort of thing, that ought to be countenanced and kept up."
When he joined so loudly in the service, it seemed more by way of example to the lower orders, to show them, that, , though so great and wealthy, he was not above being religious; as I have seen a turtle-fed Alderman swallow publicly a basin of charity soup, smacking his lips at every mouthful, and pronouncing it "excellent food for the poor.”
When the service was at an end, I was curious to witness the several exits of my groups. The young noblemen and their sisters, as the day was fine, preferred strolling home across the fields, chatting with the country people as they went. The others departed as they came, in grand parade. Again were the equipages wheeled up to the gate. There was again the smacking of whips, the clattering of hoofs, and the glittering of harness. The horses started off almost at a bound; the villagers again hurried to right and left; the wheels threw up a cloud of dust ; and the aspiring family was wrapt out of sight in a whirlwind.
FROM MUSTAPHA RUB-A-DUB KELI KHAN,
To Asem Hacchem, principal Slave-drirer to his Highness
the Bashard of Tripoli. Swest, О Asem! is the memory of distant friends! Like the mellow ray of a departing sun, it falls tenderly yet sadly on the heart. Every hour of absence from my native land rolls heavily by, like the sandy wave of the desert; and the fair shores of my country rise blooming to my imagination, clothed in the soft illusive charms of distance. I sigh, yet no one listens to the sigh of the captive: I shed the bitter tear of recollection, but no one sympathises in the tear of the turbaned stranger Think not, however, thou brother of my soul, that I complain of the horrors of my situation; think not that my captivity is attended with the labours, the chains, the scourges, the insults, that render slavery, with us, more dreadful than the pangs of hesitating, lingering death. Light, indeed, are the restraints on the personal freedom of thy kinsman; but who can enter into the afflictions of the mind? who can describe the agonies of the heart? They are mutable as the clouds of the air; they are countless as the waves that divide me from my native country.
I have, of late, my dear Asem, laboured under an incon. venience singularly unfortunate, and am reduced to a di: lemma most ridiculously embarrassing. Why should I hide it froin the companion of my thoughts, the partner of my sorrows and my joys? Alas! Asem, thy friend Mus: tapha, the invincible captain of a ketch, is sadly in want of a pair of breeches! Thou wilt, doubtless smile, O most grave Mussulman, to hear me indulge in such ardent lamentations about a circumstance so trivial, and a want apparently so easy to be satisfied: but little canst thou know of the mortifications attending my necessities, and the astonishing difficulty of supplying them. Honoured by the smiles and attentions of the beautiful ladies of this city, who have fallen in love with my whiskers and my turban; courted by the bashaws and the great men, who delight to have me at their feasts; the honour of my company eagerly solicited by every fiddler who gives a concert; think of my chagrin at being obliged to decline the host of invitations that daily overwhelm me; merely for want of a pair of breeches! Oh, Allah! Allah! that thy disciples could come into the world all be-feathered like a bantam, or with a pair of leather breeches like the wild deer of the forest; surely, my friend, it is the destiny of man to be for ever subjected to petty evils, which, however trifling in appearance, prey in silence on this little pittance of enjoyment, and poison these moments of sunshine, which might otherwise be consecrated to happiness.
The want of a garment, thou wilt say, is easily supplied; and thou mayest suppose need only be mentioned, to be remedied at once by any tailor of the land. Little canst thou conceive the impediments which stand in the way of my comfort, and still less art thou acquainted with the prodigious great scale on which every thing is transacted in this country. The nation moves most majestically slow and clumsy in the most trivial affairs, like the unwieldy elephant which makes a formidable difficulty of picking up a straw! When I hinted my necessities to the officer who has charge of myself and my companions, I expected to have been forthwith relieved; but he made an amazingly long face-told me that we were prisoners of state—that we must therefore be clothed at the expense of the government; that as no provision has been made by the Congress for an emergency of the kind, it was impossible to furnish me with a pair of breeches, until all the sages of the nation had been convened to talk over the matter, and debate upon the expediency of granting my request. Sword of the immortal Khalid, thought I, but this is great !—this is truly sublime! All the sages in an immense logocracy assembled together to talk about my breeches !-Ďain mortal that I am! I cannot but own I was somewhat reconciled to the delay which must necessarily attend this method of clothing me, by the consideration that if they made the affair a national act, my "name must of course be embodied in history," and myself and my breeches flourish to immortality in the annals of this mighty empire!
"But pray, sir," said I, “how does it happen that a matter so insignificant should be erected into an object of such importance as to employ the representative wisdom of the nation? and what is the cause of their talking so much about a trifle !"_"Oh,” replied the officer, who
acts as our slave-driver; "it all proceeds from economy. If the government did not spend ten times as much money in debating whether it was proper to supply you with breeches as the breeches themselves would cost, the people, who govern the bashaw and his divan, would straightway begin to complain of their liberties being infringed the national finances squandered-not a hostile slang-whanger throughout the logocracy but would burst forth like a barrel of combustion and ten chances to one but the bashaw and the sages of his divan would all be turned out of office together. My good Mussulman," continued he, “the administration have the good of the people too much at heart to trifle with their pockets; and they would sooner assemble and talk away ten thou. sand dollars than expend fifty silently out of the treasury -such is the wonderful spirit of economy that pervades every branch of this government.” “But,” said I, “how is it possible they can spend money in talking : surely words cannot be the current coin of this country?” — " Truly," cried he, smiling, “your question is pertinent enough for words indeed often supply the place of cash among us, and many an honest debt is paid in promises ; but the fact is, the grand bashaw and the members of Congress, or grand talkers of the nation, either receive a yearly salary or are paid by the day.”—“By the nine hundred tongues of the great beast in Mahomet's vision, but the murder is out! it is no wonder these honest men talk so much about nothing, when they are paid for talking like day-labourers," "" You are mistaken,” said my driver; "it is nothing but economy."
I remained silent for some minutes, for this inexplicable word economy always discomfits me; and when I flatter myself I have grasped it, it slips through my fingers like a jack-o'lantern. I have not, nor perhaps ever shall acquire, sufficient of the philosophic policy of this government, to draw a proper distinction between an individual and a nation. If a man was to throw away a pound in order to save a beggarly penny, and boast at the same time of his economy, I should think him on a par with the fool in the fable of Alfangi; who, in skinning a flint worth a farthing, spoiled a knife worth fifty times the sum, and thought he had acted wisely. The shrewd fellow would doubtless have valued himself much more highly on his economy, could he have known that his example would one day he followed by the bashaw of America, and the sages of his divan,
This economic disposition, my friend, occasions much fighting of the spirit, and innumerable contests of the tongue in this talking assembly. Wouldst thou believe it ? they were actually employed for a whole week in a most strenuous and eloquent debate about patching up & hole in the wall in the room appropriated to their meetings! A vast profusion of nervous argument and pompous declamation was expended on this occasion. Some of the grators, I am told, being rather waggishly inclined were most stupidly jocular on the occasion; but their waggery gave great offence, and was highly reprobated by the more weighty part of the assembly; who hold all wit and humour in abomination, and thought the business in hand much too solemn and serious to be treated lightly. It was supposed by some that this affair would have occupied a whole winter, as it was a subject upon which several gentlemen spoke who had never been known to open their lips in that place except to say yes and no. These silent members are by way of distinction denominated orator mums, and are highly valued in this country on account of their great talents for silence;a qualification extremely rare in a logocracy.
Fortunately for the public tranquillity, in the hottest part of the debate, when two rampant Virginians, brim full of logic and philosophy, were measuring tongues, and syllogistically cudgelling each other out of their unreasonable notions, the president of the divan, a knowing old gentleman, one night slyly sent a mason with a hod of mortar, who in the course of a few minutes closed up the hole, and put a final end to the argument. Thus did this wise old gentleman, by hitting on a most simple expedient, in all probability, save his country as much money as would build a gun-boat, or pay a hireling slangwhanger for a whole volume of words. As it happened, only a few thousand dollars were expended in paying these men, who are denominated, I suppose in derision, legislators,
Another instance of their economy I relate with pleasure, for I really begin to feel a regard for these poor barbarians. They talked away the best parts of a whole winter before they could determine not to expend a few dollars in purchasing a sword to bestow on an illustriQus warrior : yes, Asem, on that very hero who frightened all our poor old women and young children at