Imagini ale paginilor
PDF
ePub

long tobacco pipe, the one which the Bey of Constantinople had presented to him, and asked me to exchange with him."

Nathan then stopped a moment in his narrative to take breath. Asisa, his wife, did not dare to breathe loudly lest she might miss some of the account. Nathan then continued :

“ As we were smoking together in the greatest friendship, Omar just requested me to hand him the salt-box, which was on my side of the table where we were smoking, and, in my excitement, just as I was about to reach it to him, somebody touched my elbow, and the salt-box fell over, and the salt lay scattered between me and the Dey."

“Oh! alas ! you are lost,” said his wife, with a cry of grief.

Now, I must tell you that the people in the East are very suspicious, and that they attach the greatest importance to the most unimportant things, and, above all, to salt, If salt is tilted over and scattered between two persons, it is always taken as a sign of hostility and betrayal. Hence, as the Dey of Algiers saw that Nathan had spilled salt, he took it as a confirmation of all the reports that he had heard against him.

The sum and substance of the remaining part of Nathan's story was, that the Dey immediately arose from his seat, told Nathan that he now believed all the reports that he had heard, and that he must leave immediately, and that, probably, he would be deprived of his life.

The next day a messenger came to Nathan's house, which was now the abode of so much sorrow, informing him that he must leave for prison, and that, after two day's imprisonment, he was to be beheaded. This was a terrible blow, but one which his wife and elder sons had expected, and which Nathan himself had expected, and had been preparing for. He knew that he was fully innocent, and he felt sure that it was one of his enemies who had touched his arm, and made him spill the salt between limself and the Dey. But all this was of no avail. He had to go to prison, and after that was led to the place of execution, and there, in the sight of the multitude, Nathan's life was taken

Englioni On the following day Nathan's widow told her children that now they must learn trades, as it was important for them to find 'means of supporting themselves. They all willingly adopted her suggestion, and one after another commenced to learn a useful trade. The second son was named Cador, and it was he who afterwards proved more of a support to his mother and the remaining children than any of the rest. He was strictly honourable in all that he did, and no one, of all those connected with the great jewelry establishment where he was apprenticed, was 'more highly esteemed for honesty of character than was Cador. From year to year he rose in the respect of his employers and of his associates.

The 'principas man in the establishment where Cador was had occasion to send to a distant part of Algiers to get a large quantity of jewels, and he concluded that Cador should 'undertake the important commission. Cador was accordingly called to him, when full directions were given him. He promised to carry out the business to the best of his ability, and he was soon on his journey. He went as straight as he could to the place of his destination, secured the jewelry, and set out on his way home. Somehow or other-I cannot tell you how—he was watched, and some dishonest persons made themselves acquainted with his mission. Accordingly, at a certain point on his way home, he was assailed by fifteen' robbers. But one would think that fifteen against one would be such an unequal fight that there would be little trouble in their conquering him. But Cador felt that his honour was at stake, and that if he'returned without the jewels he would be considered dishonest, and thus bring still greater disgrace upon his family. The robbers offered him his life and liberty if he would give up

the jewels; but “ No," said Cador, “I will give up nothing."

Accordingly, they rushed at him ; but he, having the advantage of a good firm rock against which to lean, resisted their blows very successfully. He was pretty well armed; but the best of his weapons was an excellent ştick, with a heavy head, by which he disabled one after another of his assailants. Finally twelve of them lay helpless around him, and only three more were to be disposed of. Of these three, two were struck and disabled by his stick, and the last one 'he secured without injury, and tied him with a rope. .

Now, this seems a very strange account, but Providence was favouring (the noble young man, and gave him the upper hand over his enemies, and the result was as I have related. Of course, the whole circumstance soon became known, for a caravan passed that way an hour afterward, while poor Cador was lying almost helpless himself from the excitement and fatigue through which he had just passed. He told the 'whole circumstance to the leader of the caravan, and there was little difficulty in believing him, for there was the plain proof of every word that he had said.

Cador, on reaching his home, received by thousands of the citizens with as much honour as if he had conquered an army. He placed all the jewels before his employer, and received in return the congratulations of the firm and of all his associates.

The next morning the Dey, who had heard all about the affair, sent for Cador, and the young man made his appearance in the Dey's palace.

“ I have heard of the great deed that you have performed, my young man, and I wish you to tell me some thing about it. Tell me what is your name, and all about yourself.”

Cador, making a low bow, then related to the Dey the

[ocr errors]

unfortunate end of his father, and how he had been beheaded, and how, he himself had seen the necessity of supporting his family, and maintaining the honour of his mother and his remaining brothers. ,

“Nathan your father?" exclaimed the Dey. , " Impossible!")

wir to ? “ It is possible, your Majesty," replied Cador,

“Then the father who had such a son as yourself could not have been dishonourable; and could, therefore, not have conspired against me. He was innocent, and the blood of that innocent mán rests upon me! You have nobly revenged my crime and the injury done your family! Here are ten thousand pieces of gold for your mother, and one hundred thousand for yourself ! 19 I give you my favourite horse, Lamonsora. But there is one condition I attach to all this-and that is, that you unite yourself to my army, and take thele ad of my favourite Bedouins,'?? “I thank you

for your good estimation, replied Cador ; “ but I can never take any part against the life of a human being, unless it be in self-defence."

The Dey then saw that he could have no hope of succeeding with the noble Cador, and, therefore, gave up the effort.

“ Have you, then,” said he," no wishes that I can gratify?”.

“Wishes I havel” replied Cádor'; :but the only favour that I ask of you is, that your Majesty will, in future, never take the life of a human being without duly considering before-hand whether you are dealing justly or unjustly. Life is the gift of God, and God is stronger than you and all men.”

Ihat was the lesson which the noble Cador taught the Déy of Algiers, and it was one which he never forgot. Thus was honest old Nathan avenged by the son who would not be bribed to be dishonest or' to do any mean act.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Thieves detected by a Bec.

A TRUE STORY.

[graphic]

go

T was a beautiful night in the Autumn of

18+, as three boys, brothers, said, “Good night father, good night mother,” and playfully ran off to bed. The moon

was throwing her bright beams into each Voo room, so that they needed no candle. On

arriving on the landing leading to the -1980s different. apartments, one remarked,

Haya LUR" Father has cut the comb from the hives, and spread it out to drain, so let us go in and take a little honey.”..“Agreed, agreed,” cried all, but who should

first became a question of debate. The youngest was afraid to go alone, and all could not go together, because father and mother were below, and upon the least noise the thieves would be detected, and detection would bring upon them the rod, and a little preaching about disobedience and its consequences. All were agreed that that must be avoided: but how, was the question. So the trio stood for some time, suggesting plan after plan, only to be given up as not safe. At length, number one said, “I have it, I have it. I'll take in number three with me; you number two, make a noise in your room, whilst we are there and when we come back you shall go in and have your fill.” This plan was adopted, as it bade, defiance to detection ; but all the while conscience was saying, "It is wrong boys, it is wrong boys ; say your prayers and go to bed : ”and I am not quite sure that they did not feel, secret as their actions were, “Thou God seest us." But conscience was trifled with, and the teachings of pious parents, and the instruction of Sabbath-school teachers were set aside. The temptation was “ Honey, honey," and honey was sweet. Num

« ÎnapoiContinuați »