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daughter, if she will live with me, to settle on her four hundred pounds a year, and to lay down the sum for which you are now distressed. I will be so ingenious as to tell you, that I do not intend marriage; but if you are wise, you will use your authority with her not to be too nice, when she has an opportunity of serving you and your family, and making herself happy.
I am &c. 9. This letter came to the hands of Amanda's mother; she opened it and read it with great surprise and concern. She did not think it proper to explain herself to the messenger; but desiring him to call again the next morning, she wrote to her daughter as follows:
10. "YOUR father and I have just now received a letter from a gentleman who pretends love to you, with a proposal that insults our misfortunes, and would throw us to a lower degree of misery than any thing which is come upon us. How could this barbarous man think that the tenderest of parents would be tempted to supply their wants, by giving up the best of children to infamy and ruin! It is a mean and cruel artifice to make this proposal at a time when he thinks our necessities must compel us to any thing; but we will not eat the bread of shame; and therefore we charge thee not to think of us, but to avoid the snare which is laid for thy virtue. Beware of pitying us: it is not so bad as you have perhaps been told. All things will yet be well, and I shall write my child better news.
11. I have been interrupted. I know not how I was moved to say things would mend. As I was going on, I was startled by the noise of one who knocked at the door, and brought us an unexpected supply of a debt which had long been owing. Oh! I will now tell thee all. It is some days I have lived almost without support, having conveyed what little money I could raise to your poor father. Thou wilt weep to think where he is, yet be assured he will soon be at liberty. That cruel letter would have broke his heart but I have concealed it from him. I have no com-. pany at present besides little Fanny, who stands watching my looks as I write, and is crying for her sister; she says she is sure you are not well, having discovered that my present trouble is about you. But do not think I would thus repeat my sorro grieve thee. No, it is to entreat thee not to make them insupportable, by adding what would be worse than all. Let us bear cheerfully an affliction which we have not brought on ourselves, and remember there is a Power who can better deliver us out of it, than by the loss of thy innocence. Heaven, preserve my dear child.
Thy affectionate mother,12. The messenger, notwithstanding he promised to deliver
this letter to Amanda, carried it first to his master, who, he imagined, would be glad to have an opportunity of giving it into her hands himself. His master was impatient to know the suc, cess of his proposal, and therefore broke open the letter privately, to see the contents.
13. He was not a little moved at so true a picture of virtue in distress: but, at the same time, was infinitely surprised to find his offers rejected. However, he resolved not to suppress the letter, but carefully sealed it up again, and carried it to Amanda, All his endeavours to see her were in vain, till she was assured he brought a letter from her mother, He would not part with it but upon condition that she should read it without leaving the room,
14. While she was perusing it, he fixed his eyes on her face with the deepest attention; her concern gave a new softness to her beauty, and when she burst into tears, he could no longer refrain from bearing a part in her sorrow, and telling her, that he too had read the letter, and was resolved to make reparation for having been the occasion of it. My reader will not be displeas ed to see the second epistle which he now wrote to Amanda's mother.
"I am full of shame, and will never forgive myself if I have not your pardon for what I lately wrote. It was far from my intention to add trouble to the afflicted; nor could any thing but my being a stranger to you,, have betrayed me into a fault, for which if I live, I shall endeavour to make you amends as a son. You cannot be unhappy while Amanda is your daughter; nor shall be, if any thing can prevent it, which is in the power of,
Your obedient humble servant,
15. This letter he sent by his stewart, and soon after went up to town himself to complete the generous act he had now resolved on. By his friendship and assistance, Amanda's father was quickly in a condition of retrieving his perplexed affairs. To conclude, he married Amanda, and enjoyed the double satisfaction of having restored a worthy family to their former prosperity, and of making himself happy by an alliance to their virtues.
The Story of Abdallah and Balsora. GUARDIAN, No. 167. 1. HE following story is lately translated out of an Arabi
an oriential tale; and as it has never before been printed, I question not but it will be highly acceptable to my readers.
2. The name of Helim, is still famous through all the eastern part of the world. He is called among the Persians, even to
this day, Helim, the great physician. He was acquainted with all the powers of simples, understood all the influences of the stars, and knew the secrets that were engraved on the seal of Solomon the son of David. Helim was also governor of the Black Palace, and chief of the physicians to Alnareschin the great king of Persia.
3. Alnareschin was the most dreadful tyrant that ever reigned in this country. He was of a fearful, suspicious and cruel nature, having put to death upon very slight jealousies and surmises five and thirty of his queens, and above twenty sons whom he suspected to have conspired against his life. Being at length wearied with the exercise of so many cruclties in his own family, and fearing lest the whole race of caliphs should be entirely lost, he one day sent for Helim, and spoke to him after this manner.
4.Helim,' said he, 'I have long admired thy great wisdom, and retired way of living. I shall now shew thee the entire confidence which I place in thee. I have only two sons remaining, who are as yet but infants. It is my design that thou take them home with thee, and educate them as thy own. Train them up in the humble unambitious pursuits of knowledge. By this means shall the line of Caliphs be preserved and my children succeed after me, without aspiring to my throne whilst I am yet alive.?
5. The words of my lord the king shall be obeyed, said Helim. After which he bowed, and went out of the king's preHe then received the children into his own house, and from that time bred them up with him in the studies of knowledge and virtue. The young princes loved and respected Helim as their father, and made such improvements under him that by the age of one and twenty they were instructed in all the learning of the east.
6. The name of the eldest was Ibrahim, and of the youngest Abdallah. They lived together in such perfect friendship, that to this day it is said of intimate friends that they live together like Ibrahim and Abdallah. Helim had an only child who was a girl of a fine soul, and a most beautiful person. Her father omitted nothing in her education, that might make her the most accomplished woman of her age.
7. As the young princes were in a manner excluded from the rest of the world, they frequently conversed with this lovely virgin, who had been brought up by her father in the same course of knowledge and of virtue.
8. Abdallah, whose mind was of a softer turn than that of his brother, grew by degrees so enamoured of her conversation, that he did not think he lived, when he was not in company with his beloved Balsora, for that was the name of the maid. The fame of her beauty was so great that at length it came to the ears
of the king, who, pretending to visit the young princes his sons demanded of Helim the sight of Balsora his fair daughter.
9. The king was so inflamed with her beauty and behaviour, that he sent for Helim the next morning, and told him that it was now his design to recompense him for all his faithful services; and that in order to do it, he intended to make his daughter queen of Persia.
10. Helim, who knew very well the fate of all those unhappy women who had been thus advanced, and could not but be privy to the secret love which Abdallah bore to his daughter; Far be it,' says he, 'from the king of Persia to contaminate the blood of the Caliphs, and join himself in marriage with the daughter of his physician.'
11 The king, however, was so impatient for such a bride, that without hearing any excuses, he immediately ordered Balsora to be sent for into his presence, keeping the father with him in order to make her sensible of the honour which he designed. Balsora, who was too modest and humble to think her beauty had made such an impression on the king, was a few moments after brought into his presence as he had commanded.`
12. She appeared in the king's eyes as one of the virgins of Paradise. But upon hearing the honour which he intended her, she fainted away, and fell down as dead at his feet, Helim wept, and after having recovered her out of the trance into which she was fallen, represented to the king, that so unexpected an honour was too great to have been communicated to her all at once; but that if, he pleased, he would himself prepare her for it. The king bid him take his own way, and dismissed him.
13. Balsora was conveyed again to her father's house, where the thoughts of Abdallah renewed her affliction every moment; insomuch that at length she fell into a raving fever. The king was informed of her condition by those who saw her. Helim finding no other means of extricating her from the difficulties she was in, after having composed her mind, and made her acquainted with his intentions, gave her a certain potion, which he knew would lay her asteep for many hours; and afterwards in all the seeming distress of a disconsolate father, informed the king she was dead.
14. The king, who never let any sentiments of humanity. come too near his heart, did not much trouble himself about the matter: however, for his own reputation, he told the father, that since it was known through the empire that Balsora died at a time when he designed her for his bride, it was his intention that she should be honoured as such after her death, that her body should be laid in the black palace, among those of his decease ed queens.
15. In the mean time Abdallah, who had heard of the king's design, was not less afflicted than his beloved Balsora. As for the several circumstances of his distress, as also how the king was informed of an irrecoverable distemper into which he was fallen, they are to be found at length in the History of Helim.
16. It shall suffice to acquaint the reader, that Helim, some days after the supposed death of his daughter, gave the prince a potion of the same nature with which he had laid asleep Balsora.
17. It is the custom among the Persians, to convey in a private manner the bodies of all the royal family a little after their death into the black palace; which is the repository of all who are descended from the Caliphs, or any way allied to them. The chief physician is always governor of the black palace; it being his office to enbalm and preserve the holy family after they are dead, as well as to take care of them while they are yet living.
18. The black palace is so called from the colour of the building, which is all of the finest polished black marble. There are always burning in it five thousand everlasting lamps. It has also an hundred folding doors of ebony.. Which are each of them watched day and night by an hundred negroes, who are to take care that nobody enters besides the governor.
19. Helim, after having conveyed the body of his daughter into this repository, and at the appointed time received her out of the sleep into which she had fallen, took care some time after to bring that of Abdallah into the same place. Balsora watched over him till such time as the dose he had taken lost its effect. Abdallah was not acquainted with Helim's design when he gave him this sleepy potion.
20. It is impossible to describe the surprise, the joy, the transport he was in at his first awaking. He fancied himseif in the retirement of the blest, and that the spirit of his dear Balsora, who he thought was just gone before him, was the first who came to congratulate his arrival. She soon informed him of the place he was in, which notwithstanding all its horrors, appeared to him more sweet than the bower of Mahomet, in the company of his Balsora.
21. Helim, who was supposed to be taken up in the embalming of the bodies, visited the palace very frequently. His greatest perplexity was how to get the lovers out of it, the gates being watched in such a manner as I have before related. This consideration did not a little disturb the two interred lovers.
22. At length Helim bethought himself, that the first day of the full moon of the month Tizpa was near at hand. Now it is a received tradition among the Persians that, the souls of those of the royal family, who are in a state of bliss, do, on the first