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"HY listeneth man to the il. ing had smiled on his early year. carno
ORASMIN ; or the FOLLY of DESPONDENCY: An Oriental Fable.
riches and honour were his handmaids CHAPTER I. from his birth; and genius learn
Buto lusive whisper of hope? Why impetuous in his temper, and impatidoth imagination expatiate on the dil- ent of disappointment or delay, he tant prospect ? The smile of spring considered, as too little, the blessings he may be succeeded by the falubrious had received, and, in lamenting the wealth of autumn; and the pray that absent, neglected the present good. blushes with the vernal bloom, may Many were the projects he had bend with the radiant fruit : but the formed for the attainment of felicity; bud of hope unfoldeth only to decay, and many the objects he had pursued and the fruits of expectation are dif- with impetuous ardour; but, enraged appointment and pain.
by the disappointment of too fanguine *How often hath disaster baffled the hopes, and impatient of the needful efforts of my youthful strength! How season of probation, he stopped in the oft, pursuing the phantoms of am- mid career, and abandoned them ere bition or desire, have I funk, exhausted, attained, or turned disgusted to some amid the mazy wanderings of inex- new expedient, just as success was pretricable error! Yet still, at the flat- paring to smile upon the old. tering dawn of novelty or joy, my Thus were the youthful spirits of foul has awaked, reinvigorated, from Orasmin wearied and overspent ; and its despair ; nor reflected that the flat- the time which perseverance might tering dawn was but the early har- profitably have employed, was diffibinger of another night. Active I pated in repining, and impatient verarole, and chased, with enthusiastic ar- satility, till, thankless to heaven, and dour, the fleeting forms of expected heedless of the boon of life, he threw gratification : but the prospect of fe- himself disconfolate on his couch, and licity still vanished as I approached ; repined at his untoward lot. the role of delight still faded from my But the ingrate was not abandoned touch; and the thorn of anguish was to his gloomy will, nor neglected by left festering in my hand.
whom he served fo ill. A • Turn, then, my foul, from the genius of light appeared refulgent beseducing revels of fancy; urge me fore him, and cheered him with reno more through the toilsome path of viving hope. unavailing exertion ; but pensive, and • Arise, O Orasmin! from this reclined in gloomy inactivity, let me couch of anxiety, and listen,' said the mourn the youthful season that hath spirit, to my instructive voice. Too feeted without enjoyment, and brood foon is thy foul abandoned to despair; over the anguish of a joyless heart.' for though, feeking felicity, thou hast
Such were the reflections of Oras- hitherto fought in vain, yet persemin, the son of Haffarac, the wealthy verance might fecure thee the boon citizen of Bagdad : yet, if Orasmin desired. Rouse then, once more, and might with justice complain, ah! who prepare thee for the pursuit, obedient among the children of men may be to the instructions I shall unfold. expected to exult?
• True, many are the objects that The person of Orasmin was formed have mocked thy efforts to attain ; by the partial hand of Nature, and and many, when attained, have failed adorned with peculiar grace; and Alla of the desired effect; yet one ftill rehad showered his choicest blessings on mains, which, if thou haft fortitude his head. With beauty and majesty to acquire it, shall bless thee to the were blended activity and ftrength; summit of thy wilh ; for if thou re.
poseft with confidence, on the power reflected the solemn ray through an by whom I am commissioned, and avenue in the trees, dark-shadowing performest what is needful in the trial the lonely scene, a castle was descried of thy worth, a blooming nymph, afar (such as the tower of Aladin had whose form is of no earthly mould, been delineated by the genius) and and in whose bosom is enshrined the the heart of Orasmin danced in his rich talisman of felicity, is defiined for breat. the reward of thy faith. But as the He drew forth his sabre with eager wavering of thy mini has prevented valour, and darted, with recruited vithe timely seizure of thy bliis, the gour, through the shadowy path that powers of enchantment have prevailed p.omised to conduct him to the sumfor awhile against her, and thy courage mit of all his hopes. and steady fortitude mult rescue her But the face of heaven became sudfrom her cruel chains. Fix then the denly enveloped with clouds; the sword of valour in the girdle of pa- gentle breeze was filenced by the tience, and brace the shield of confi- loud howlings of the stormy north; dence on thy determined arm, and pealing thunders burst reiterated from thy efforts shall rescue the celestial the lowering skies, and forked lighthourie from the enchanted tower of nings played round the astonished head Aladin, and receive the golden amu- of the traveller. let of felicity as her dower.'
Father of the faithful !' said the Orasmin prostrated himself, with adventurer, as he advanced, affist joyful gratitude, at the feet of the the valour of my soul ! Guide me by genius, and received his instructions thy wisdom in this trial of my strength, with an attentive ear: nor were instruc- and direct my unconscious feet to the tions all that he obtained; for these hourie with celestial charms.' were accompanied by a sword of Thus prayed the adventurer, with ethereal temper, which was to assist becoining fervour, and the many-cohim in the hour of need, and, if ap- loured flame that played innoxious pealed to whenever prudence required, round his head, seemed to indicate would vanquish every opposing foe. that his prayer was heard. Impelled
Thus armed, and thus initructed, by a power unseen, he travelled briskly he prepared for the adventure, and, through the foreit, unimpeded by the quitting the house of his father, at tangling copse. But loft feemed his break of day went in quest of the toil in the leafy labyrinths he trod; blooming hourie, who had the golden for when the tempest subsided in the amulet of felicity.
calm of peace, and the moon resumed Three days did he pursue his course the azure regency of heaven, the traover the desert heath, stiil glowing veller looked in vain for the enchanted with unabated ardour. The sweet caitle of Aladin, and mourned the disaflurance of success gave strength to appointment of his hopes. his sinews, and imparted sprightly As the feeble rays of the moon vigour to his mind. "Intent upon his could but partially penetrate the thick object, and willing to be pleased, all gloom of the leafy labyrinth, the imappeared delightful that was presented perfect light was insufficient for the to his view; cach rural beauty wishes of Oraímin, who resisting the brightened in his eye, as he travelled impulse which had hitherto guided onward; sweeter breathed the fra- him, as he supposed, aftray, fatigued grance from the perfumed Power, and himself in vain in attempting to richer in his ear founded the warblings emerge from the forest. Chaffing of the feathered choir.
with rage, he lamented the bitterness And now - while soft on the humid of his fate, and condemning life as a landscape shone the mildness of the scene of nothing but disappointment moon, and bills and purling rivulets and woe, he forgot that his present
night of anxiety had been preceded cheerfulness of the folar ray, and by three whole days of cheerful ex- aguilh vapours infected the fullen air. pectation and delight.
Hoarse croaked the reptile from the joy, however, returned to the heart unwholesome marsh, and despondency of the traveller, with the dawn of echoed the discordant note. day, when, looking around, he disco The doubting Orasmin was called vered a winding aver!e, skirted by upon to choose, and the choice apmajestic palms, and worn by the fre- peared decisive ; for the steep descent quent tread of human feps. He pur- between the opposing roads was guardsued the beaten path with reviving ed by entangling briars, whose luxuhope, and found that it conducted to riant shoots, high-twining with the the public road, which he hailed as hanging trees, prohibited the human the highway of his wishes. Nor small step. was the increase of satisfaction he re Vexation and doubt!' exclaimed ceived, when the mansion of hospitality the traveller, with a frown that reappeared by the way-side, inviting proached the arrangements of heaven; the weary pilgrim to rest. He ac- .is this the certain chase of felicity cepte i the invitation with cheerfulness and success that was to atone for disand delight, and banqueted on the appointment past? Which way shall I repast to which fatigue had imparted proceed, unguided and perplexed, an additional relish.
that the castle of Aladin may be gain
ed? But dark be the doubtful path CHAPTER II.
that Orasmin treads, for dark is the Having satisfied himself with food, fate to which Orasmin is doomed.' and reposed, Orasmin renewed his He said, and proceeded by the journey wirh unabated strength ; but downward track with painful and fullenness and discontent intruded upon undetermined ftep; his gloomy mind his mind, when he reflected on the till whispering to return, and foredisappointment of the preceding boding disappointment and error. night; and the supposition that his Nor were the whispers of Fancy dt toils were again to begin, abated the lusive, though his lullen soul rejected cheerful ardour of youth.
the warning voice ; for when, beHe pursued his way, however, wildered and overspent, he would still anxious for the blooming reward, have reposed on the marshy foil, his and difpated at times the angry ear was disturbed by the rushing of gloom from his brow, by picturing impetuous itreams. He started with the future felicity of his days, and the terror at the unusual noise; and faintcharms of his intended bride. But ly, through the gloomy mists, defwearinels overtook him toward the cried the roaring waves. clote of evening, while not an habita • And let them come,' faid the tion was to be teen to inelter his ach- gloomy child of desperation, Oraling head; and his vexation was in- min Thall meet their fury. Welcome, creased by the perplexity of his mind, ye roaring harbingers of death! for as he knew not which road he should what unto me, but disappointment and prefer.
pain, are the blessings of this boalled High-towering toward the left, this life? Not for me is designed the was gilded by the descending fun, and hourie of immortal charms, nor shall enamelled by Nature with the choicest the talisman of felicity be mine ; but blooms, which wooed the feathered hcaven has mocked me with fallacious sonyiters from the flowering copfe, hopes, to retain, yet a little longer, and called forth their last cheerful the tyrant power of torturing an unlays; while that, low-descending ob- refiiling slave.' liquely to the right, was obscured by Thus spoke the blasphemer, and, impenetrable gloom. Lot was the ruling toward the torrent, would
have perished in its roaring wave, castle thou beheldest on the third night when a light burft through the gloom, of thy adventure was an illusion of and the genius who before had roused the necromancer, and defined for thy him from the desponding couch, shone desiruction ; and had not the darkness in conspicuous majesty before him; and the tempeft impeded thy course, but more severe was the glance of his thou hadít been buried in the pitfalls reproving eye, and his admonitions prepared by thy treacherous foe. Thy were delivered in a more angry tone. petition to Alla was timely, and was
• Presumptuous particle of created heard ; and, unseen and unknown, I duit,' exclaimed the celestial messen- impe:led thy unconscious feet toward ger, once more is thy guardian ge- the dwelling of the hourie with cenius commissioned to preserve thee, lestial charms, from which the path to and to reprove the bold blasphemies the delusive castle would have conof thy rebellious lips. Durst thou, on ducted thee afar. whom heaven has showered down its « Yet the favour of heaven was rechoicest blessings, arraign the mercies, turned by impatient discontent; and, and the justice of the power by whom with impious
, didst thou abuse thou art blessed, and, complaining of the first ray of imperfect light, to reject the hard conditions of the tenure of the allistance it offered ; and trusting life, presume to relinquish that tenure in self-willed pride, thou wast wearibefore thy appointed date? Charging ed, perplexed, and loft. thy discontent on the neglect of the • Is the Almighty then a tyrant, that most high, and the consequences of mocks with fallacious hopes ? or art thy disobedience of ny instructions thou an ungrateful rebel, perverting on the arrangements of that provi- his beneficent designs ? Tremble, thou dence, whose wisdom thy weak eyes audacious offender, at the answer of are incompetent to penetrate ; dareft thy heart; and confess, that if thy life thou tax thy fate with the calamities is a scene of disappointment and woe, thou endurest, when thou wast pre- the blame is in thy folly and impiety viously informed how those calamities alone, that rejected the opportunities might be shunned?
of felicity and success !' When thou waft first roused to this The heart of Orasmin was humbled essay of thy faith and valour, waft thou by the reproof; and the face of his not warned to than the downward confusion was hidden in his cloak, as path of melancholy, and pursue the he prostrated himself on the humid cheerful track of aspiring hope ; to shore of the torrent. ascend with vigour in the face of toil, • But rouse thee once again from the and seize by active confidence the humid earth,' resumed the genius, with pilm of joy, fince finking in the laf- a milder tone, not yet is the foriitude of despondency, would but ener-bearance of Alla quite withdrawn, vate thy strength in the aguilh dell, and the prophet has permitted, once or overwhelm thee in the torrents of again, the voice of admonition: but ruin and despair? Yet thou hast hope not this indulgence more. gloomily neglected the upland path * Tread back then the devious path for the dreary horrors of this irri- thou hast pursued, and tread it with
And now heaven is re- confidence and ardour. Remember, proached as the cruel author of the that cheerful Hope is the parent of woes, which, but for disobedience a- perseverance; and that resignation to gainst heaven, thou hadît never known. the superintendance of infinite wis
* Nor here did thy offence begin. dom is the duty of the purblind creaThe murmurs of thy folly had been ture who is dependent on his parental heard before; and the providence will. Cultivate then, with incessant that preserved thee was execrated for care, the happy dispositions, without having liliened to ihy prayer. The which the talisman of felic ty can ne
ver be obtained, nor the Hourie with the preceding evening, he should celestial charms.'
have attained the desirable retreat just
at the due feason of refreshment and CHAPTER III.
repose; and he anxiously reflected, When the genius had finished his that perhaps the following night might timely admonition, he spread his ethe- overtake him, when no such refuge real wings, and vanished. Orasmin, was at hand. reinvigorated with the vital ray of
The painful thought oft recurred hope, trod back the devious way his as he advanced, and he frequently dejected steps had strayed; and re- paused to send back a lingering glance, freshed, as with flumber, at the dawn with a figh for what was lost by his of day, began to ascend the cheerful folly, and a doubt for what might upland path.
yet remain. Engrossed by these reThe chorus of nature hailed him as flections, his spirits began once more he passed, and conspired with the to fag; and, wrapt in musing mebeauties of the extensive prospect to lancholy, he passed several pleasant encourage the vivacity of his heart. springs without regard, which might
If,' he exclaimed, the feathered have replenished with timely draughts warblers can thus rejoice, and the his exhausted cruise, so that the heat fawns gambol over the fresh pastures of the day overtook him, without a below, surely peace and felicity may draught to flake his thirit
, in a place be found upon earth; and wherefore where not a spring was to be found. thould not man have his share ? Be
T'he brooks that had murmured ungone, ye idle visions of dejection ; for noticed as he passed, now appeared to hope shall be the inmate of my foul.'
his imagination to reproach his nege As he spoke, the smiling prospect lect, and increase the langour prostill brightened to his view, and he duced by the raging heat. Again feasted on the varied scene. He fur- fighed Orasmin for the hospitable inn, veyed the pleasant champaign from but he fighed for it in vain. the swelling height, and all was tran
As the verdure of the field before quillity and bliss. The sweet diver- the noxious blast, fo withered the sities of fun and shade, of swelling cheerful hopes of the adventurer; and mountain and of lowly vale, of dark as the sapling in the drought of the lowering wood and bright transluent itony soil
, shrunk the vigour of his stream, of spreading palm, tufting the youthful strength. level green, and peaceful villages
Painfully and flow, he dragged (whose holy mosques invite to grate- along his weary limbs, beneath the ful praise) scattered through all the palm tree's shade, and at the approach prospect, whence poured the sons of of night discovered, as he had forecheerful induttry; these all conspired boded, no hospitable roof to repose to fwell his heart with rapture, and and recruit his itrength. he faw, with unclouded eyes, the be
But the desire of felicity still urged neficence of heaven.
him on his
way, and dark as was the As Orasmin was advarcing thus night, he yet continued his route, and cheerfully on his way, he passed one pictured in each distant bulh the sembof those manfions of hospitality, which lance of some friendly habitation; the bounty of well-directed opulence and though each, as he advanced, diserects for the entertainment of the be- appointed his hopes, and each, in its nighted and the weary, that the pil- turn, was marked in his impatient grim or the traveller may not perish mind as the last he would endeavour unaslisted on the road.
to attain, yet, still hoping amid deHis heart was smitten by self-re- spair, he crawled toward fome newproach, when he recollected, that had discovered point, and again removed he advanced by the proper road on the goal to which his efforts trained.