« PreviousContinue »
viving lady came to the merchant in her usual gaiety, affecting all the deceased's actions; and as was said before they were so much alike that none could distinguish them, but by their names. She bought several valuable things that she fancied, and was well delighted in the merchants company; who could not forbear expressing his passion to her. This was much to her satisfaction, this lady being now the only daughter, and her father very ancient. Upon an invitation from the merchant, she condescended one night to come to supper with him ; for tho' unmarried women have eunuchs to attend them, if they are not confirmed to any man, they have the liberty of disposing of themselves as they please. As she had promised to give the merchant her company, she dressed herself in her richest attire, and during the time of their amorous discourse, she gave him a very rich pearl necklace, off her neck, and desired him to preserve it for ber sake; which he promised : and in return, accordingly made her a rich present. The merchant having now sold off most part of his goods, and got a vast deal of ready money in the house; his servants who knew this well enough, and wbo had for some time defrauded him, resolved to murder bim and seize his effects. This they effected soon after the lady was gone, by strangling him in his bed; they then packel up all his treasure, and made off with cvery thing, except the great pearl nccklace, which was set in gold. They buried the merchant in the court-yard under the pavement ; and with him the pearl necklace, being afraid to keep it, lest. it should make a discovery.
The lady coming some time after, and finding the house shut up, made inquiry after the young merchant. The neighbours said, that they saw all his effects carried off such a morning, and that his servants went the night before and, paid the rent of the house by his order, as they pretended; so that he did not go away in private : they gave out, that their master had ordered his merchandize to be carried to Cambay, where he designed to sell the remainder, as he supposed Guzurat to be now well supplied with his sort of, goods; but that he would return thither in a short time.The lady was much enraged, to think she should thus lose the only man she had ever yet placed her affections on; and to find be should so far deceive her, by making promises to her of fidelity; but however, she consoled herself with the thought that he was only gone for a short time, and would. soon return.
With this hope she comforted herself for a long time; but; finding him not return, she fell into great agonies of grief, which occasioned a dangerous fit of sickness; insomuch that her father feared she would die. This happened some years before I knew Guzurat, but what follows occurred whilst ! was on the spot,
There happened to come down from Cambay a great cornfactor, who wanted a house, and chanced to take that of this merchant, which had stood empty ever since he was murdered. The corn-factor was a young man, very much in esteem among the merchants; and one day a large quantity of corn being shot in the yard, the men in turning it about to air, somehow with the edge of their shovels turned up the stone that the young merchant was buried under. Upon this they called their master, who spying part of the pearl neck. lace, took it up; and afterwards seeing the bones of a human body, he called the people of the neighbourhood in, but concealed the necklace. Great inquiry was immediately made all over the city concerning this affair; it being naturally supposed that these were the bones of some person who had been murdered, and clandestinely buried. But by the appearance it must have lain there so long that there seemed litile hope of discovering the murderers. Notices were fixed at all the city gates, and great rewards offered for any that would make a discovery,
The murdered merchant's uncle had used to come for se. veral years from Persia to trade at Guzurat ; but had now remained a long while in Persia, and was grown very rich; but not having heard from his nephew for some ycars, was resolved to quit Persia, and settle at Guzurat. On his arri. yal there, he was informed that he had moved all his effects from thence to Cambay; since which, he could hear no account of him. This gave him great uneasiness; and he sent to Cambay to inquire after him ; but hearing no news of him there, he sent to several other chief cities of trade in the Mogul's dominions; but all to no purpose.
The uncle being a man of reputation, was soon made one of the catwalls, or justices of the city, and hearing the re. port which was given out by the corn-factor, he went with some officers to the house to examine into the affair; they perceived the place where a body had been buried for many years, but there was nothing remaining but the bare bones. They could not therefore be positive that it was the skeleton of the young merchant, but only imagined it to be the same. The old Mufti was still living, and his daughter; who had grievously mourned for the absence of ber lover, and had
been terribly tormented with the thoughts of having poisoned her sister; by which means she was almost worn away to a shadow.
The landlord of the house being sent for, declared that the merchant's servants paid him his rent the night before they said their master was going to Cambay; and that he had no manner of mistrust of any foul play from the servants. That indeed some of the neighbours designed to have took their leave of him ; but they were told that he set out with several other merchants at break of day, and left orders for his effects to follow him immediately. The servants having all things in readiness, and the camels loaded, went out of the city very boldly, and none had any mistrust.
The corn-factor resolved to make the most of the necklace, for which purpose he put it' in his pocket one morning after the noise was a little over, and brought it to a wealthy broker that dealt in jewels, and asked bim if he would buy those pearls set in goll. He no sooner saw them, but he judged they were not his own; however, he asked him what he would have for them; the corn-factor put a very low price upon them, that did not amount to a quarter of the value : the broker judging by this that the necklace was stolen, and the corn-factor being a stranger to him, he desired him to sit down a little, and he would consider of the price. In the mean time, he sent for some officers, who came in and carried him before the Catwall. The broker told him, that this young man had shewed him a rich pearl necklace, which he offered to dispose of; but that he was sure it must be stolen, for he did not ask a quarter the value of it. The corn-factor hearing what was said to the Catwall, was so far confounded, that he could not tell what to say, and knowing how he came by it, was afraid to own that he found it near the body of the supposed murdered person, because that might give a suspicion of his being one of the murderers. He was now in so much confusion, that he was not able to answer any questions the Justice asked him, but seemed to equivocate to and fro in a scandalous manner. This confirmed the Justice and all présent, in an opinion that he was actually guilty of murder and robbery ; on which the Catwall ordered his right hand to be cut off. The pain, shame and confusion that he was now brought into, caused him to be like one distracted; but so soon as the execution was performed, he was set at liberty, and the broker delivered the pearl necklace to the Catwall, who hung it up, in his office for people to see if they could give any account of it.
As they were turning the young corn-factor about his bu
siness, the old Mufti came to the Catwall's office, and seeing a crowd of people about the place, demanded the reason, and what was the cause. Being seated by the Catwall, he told him the whole story, and shewed him the necklace, which he knew to be his daughter's. He therefore sent for her to come forth with ; and in the mean time they stopped the cornfactor again, and passing a fresh examination, the Mufti's daughter aflirmed the necklace to be her's, by comparing it with her other jewels; she also related the whole circum. stances of the affair between her and the young merchant, before the Catwall and her father. They now blamed the corn-factor for not having the courage to tell the truth be. fore, which might have been a means to have prevented the severe sentence which had been executed on him. The Catwall was now satisfied, that the murdered person was his kinsman, according to the account which the Mufti's daugh. ter gave of the matter; though she did not confess at that time that she had poisoned her sister, but the eunuchs knew the whole affair. The Mufti took the young corn-factor home to his house, and expressed a great concern for his misforturie; and to make him some amends, ordered a broker to sell off his effects, that he might settle and live with him, and the more to comfort him in his melancholy, gave him his daughter in marriage. But she, stung with remorse for having poisoned her sister, and the tragical exit of her first lover adding more sorrow, expired in two or three weeks after, confessing her inbumanity to her sister.
The Rev. Caleb Colton, nephew of the late Sir G. Staunton, has related the following anecdote : " My late uncle, Sir G. Staunton, related to me a curious anecdote of old Kien Long, Emperor of China. He was inquiring of Sir George the manner in which physicians were paid in England. When, after some difficulty, his Majesty was made to com. prehend the system, he exclaimed, “ Is there any man well in England that can afford to be ill! Now I will inform you, (said he) how I manage my physicians. I have four, to whom the care of my health is commiited: a certain weekly salary is allowed them, but the moment I am ill, that salary stops till I am well again. I need not inform you my illuesses are usually short.
Occasioned by the Liberation of Mr. John Magee from an Impri.
sonment of Two Years and a half, commenced when he had scarcely attained the age of Manhood.
BY CHARLES PHILLIPS, ESQ.
" A dauntless soul erect, who smil'd on Death."-THOMSOX
Ireland !-if aught of Ireland now remains
And he is free!
Friend ! let the despot frown-the slave deride
Again Creation's glories cheer thine eye;
Or shall the mourning Felon's midnight sigh ;
Or the poor Convict's execution cry,