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county of Caithness The Salmon fisheries | escape, I was answered in the negative; and here and at Fort George are let to London there was another prisoner (but he was a rich fishmongers. The town, which consists of rogue), committed for more serious charges, The gaoler intwo principal streets, crossing each other, who was not fettered at all. stands upon the eastern side of the heautiful formed me that the former had been thus river Ness, having considerable suburbs on the severely ironed for some months. This was other side, which are united by an ancient the only prisoner I saw in irons in Scotland. bridge of seven arches. The room for the debtors is airy, and the prison allowance liberal. The court-room, to which there is a passage from the grated gallery of the prison, is spacious and hand
"The view of the town from the suburbs over this bridge, looking a little to the north ward, is said much to resemble Basle, in Switzerland. Both Gaelic and English are promis. cuously spoken here, but the ear of a stranger is almost immediately sensible of the pleasing softness with which the English language is here pronounced; it has neither the accent of the Highland nor the Lowland English language, but possesses a sweetness and purity peculiarly its owu; it has been well compared to very pure English spoken with a soft foreign The reasons assigned for the purity with which English is here spoken, both with respect to pronunciation and grammar, are, that not being the mother tongue it is learnt more by book, as Greek and Latin are learnt, than by conversation; that there have been garrisons of English soldiers in the neighbourhood ever since the time of Cromwell; and that, in consequence of there being little comparative communication between these counties and the Lowlands, the corrupt phrases and pronunciation of the latter are but little heard. It is very whimsical to find, in this as well as other Highland towns on the western coast, that frequently the inhabitants speak Gaelic on one side of the street and English on the other. There is a great appearance of industry and opulence, urbanity and refinement, The females are amongst the inhabitants. remarked for their beauty. There is an elegaut suite of assembly-rooms; and in the winter, I am informed, the town is extremely gay.
"I ascended the hill where the Castle of Macbeth stood, the walls of which were standing when Dr. Johnson visited luverness, but of which, to my disappointment, there were now no traces; I was rewarded, however, for my trouble, by a beautiful prospect of the town, rich corn-fields, the Frith, and many a cloud-capp'd mountain. In this castle it is believed that Macbeth murdered Duncan : the bed on which this foul deed was perpetrated is, I was informed, to be seen at Caldercastle.
"The academy established here in 1790 may be considered as partaking very much of the character and consequence of an university, and is much and justly celebrated. The building containing the schools is more extensive than ornamental. Latin, Greek, French, mathematics, writing, and geography are taught here with great success, under the tuition of nine masters, who have smali salaries, and chiefly depend on the fees of their different classes, by which, as before, upou a somewhat similar occasion, has been observed, their interest is placed on the side of their duty. The number of youths at this academy was two hundred. The academy spring ses sions, or terms, commence the 2d of January, and close the 28th of May. The autumnal sessions commence the 15th of July, and close the 20th of December. Besides this school for boys, there is a seminary, as I was inform
"The houses are lofty, and the streets are tolerably clean. One of the principal build-ed, for young ladies, who are sent to it from ings is the court-house; and the tolbooth, remote parts of the Highlands. which is a very handsome modern building, surmounted by an elegant spire. The prison, which I inspected, is airy and strong, but destitute of a court-yard. I was surprised to see one prisoner, and only one, whose legs were fastened close together with irons, such as are used to bolt the hands of a deserter, so that he could not move without great difficulty: upon inquiring of the gaole if he had attempted to
"Misfortune has always strong claims upon the feelings of a Highlander, and I could not help being highly gratified by a little rebuke which I received in this town from one whose loyalty and devotion to the august family now upon the throne are examplary: upon designating the royal exile by the usual name of the Pretender-Do not call him the Pretender,' said he, he was the Prince Charles."
"My father, my dearest father !" exclaimed Hassan, throwing himself on the neck of the venerable Abul-Bedir," how unfortu-kem's hospitality. Hulkem, the happy,
generous, and wise Hulkem, was the object of universal admiration in every country of the
bate am I! I possess an immense treasure in pearls, jewels, and gold! My father has left me palaces, estates, baths, and charming gardens; all the roads are covered with my camels, and, nevertheless, I am not happy!"
Abul-Bedir smiled, pressing the young man's hand with paternal affection. "Tell me, Hassan," said he, "are there no unfortunate sufferers on thy estates who want assistance? Surely thou canst not be unhappy whilst a single being exists whose wants thou canst relieve. Dost thou know Hulkem?"
"Him whom the people call the wise Hulkem?"
"Whom else could I mean? Go, and do as Hulkem does, and thou wilt become happy. But, Hassan, before thou doest as Hulkem does, resolve first to imitate him likewise in the manner in which he does good. I know thou art capable of it!"
Hulkem lived at the distance of two days journey from Bagdad, in a fertile plain, intersected with groves, hills, and shady dales. Close by the main road stood his house, having as many doors as roads from the interior of the country crossed each other. Lofty palm-trees stood in shady rows round the house, and underneath the palm-trees were seen numerous seats, made of fragrant turf, and wells supplying cooling water to refresh, the camels of the travellers. The floors of the spacious halls in Hulkem's house were covered with carpets, provided with soft pillows, for the accommodation of wearied travellers. Numerous slaves inhabited the cottages encompassing the hospitable mansion, and with kind words invited the travellers to bait their camels, to rest on Hulkem's carpets, to eat of his bread, and to drink of the milk of his sheep.
When travellers arrived they were received by officious female slaves, who offered them water to wash themselves, preparing a fragrant bath for them, and amusing them with dan cing, singing, and playing on the lute, till sleep closed their heavy eyes. Early at morn they were waked by the harmonious notes of the lute, a bath afforded them refreshment, and after having partaken of the savoury viands which were served up by beautiful
maidens, they proceeded on the road, extolling in all the countries to which they came Hul
When Hassan heard of Hulkem's fame, he meditated whether a life like that for which Hulkem was renowned could make himself happy? "Yes," exclaimed he, starting up from his couch; 66 yes, I shall become happy: my name will be celebrated all over the globe; travellers will bless me on the snowy tops of the Ural, and the hospitable Arab shall say, Hassan is more hospitable than myself!”
Thus spoke he, and instantly sent workmen to the opposite side of Bagdad, where the roads from numerous sea-ports united. "That situation," said he, "will enable me to become more renowned than Hulkem; any name will be extolled in all countries, and in all the palaces of the great, whilst Hulkem's name is known only in the cottages of the poor."
A splendid pile, composed of polished mar. ble, was soon erected; an hundred gates were thrown open to the numerous caravans that constantly passed the spot where Hassan's palace stood; four hundred black slaves guard. ed the avenues, and invited all travellers to partake of their master's hospitality; a sumptuous bath occupied the centre of the palace, where beautiful female slaves greeted the travellers, whilst the sweet sounds of music re-echoed through the lofty pile. Each traveller on leaving the splendid mansion received a costly carpet, in which Hassan's name was embroi dered. Over every gate of the palace were engraven in letters of gold the words,-Devoted to the weary traveller, by Hassan the benevolent, the protector of the unfortunate.
Thousands came from Bagdad to admire Hassan's magnificence, to bathe, to eat, and to drink in his palace. Numerous travellers refreshed themselves in his mansion, and admired its splendour. Hassan was happy; he walked proudly beneath the palm trees that surrounded his mansion, and shewed its splendour to the traveller, received his thanks in the morning, and with inward pleasure looked after his departing guest, till a new caravan
attracted his notice.
One day an old man bent his steps towards Hassan's palace. He stopped, whilst he was
yet distant, admiring the beauty of the lofty palm-trees, and gazing with admiring eyes at the marble benches underneath the shadowy trees. Hassan went up to him, and said, "Old man, will you not step nearer ?”
"May a poor old man take the liberty to come nearer ?" asked he, in timid accents. "Have you not read the superscription over the gates of Hassan's mansion?"
pulled out from under his garments, where he had concealed it near his heart.
The slaves took the purse and the silk robe, and having examined and robbed Hassan likewise, for appearance sake, withdrew into the woods. "Let us fly," said the old man to Hassan: "praised be the holy prophet! I have saved this piece of gold."-" Let us return to Hassan," rejoined Hassan: "he will repair our losses twofold." But the old nan hastened onward, concealing his piece with additional care in his turban.
"But what makes you value this single piece of gold so much?" asked Hassan, with looks of surprise and curiosity."—" It is a gift of Hulkem, the wise and good Hulkem.""Of Hulkem? but say, why were Hassan's
"I have; but-do you think I may ven ture ?"
"You may-Hassan is, like the sun of heaven, beneficent to the rich and the poor."
The old man stepped nearer, though in a fearful manner. He stopped at one of the marble benches, but ventured not to sit down, till a slave pressed him to rest himself. san beckoned to one of the attendants, whis-gifts so indifferent to you?" pering something to him, when the slave urged the old man to enter the mansion, shewing him every apartment, and pointing out the splendour and elegance of the furniture. When the grey-headed traveller had seen every thing worth notice, a number of female slaves conducted him to the bath, and in the morning one of Hassan's domestics gave him an hundred pieces of gold and a silk robe, calling after him, as he quitted the house,-"Go now, old man, and bless Hassan's generosity."
Hassan met the rejoiced old man beyond the palm-trees, asking him, smiling," Well, old man, did I not speak the truth, when I told you Hassan's generosity?"
"He is more generous than I expected," replied the old man : "look, here are an hundred pieces of gold, and this garment, présents which I received of Hassan, the most generous of men."
"Because-it was a-charitable douation. Ah! you do not know that Huikem; I would rather part with my life than with this renembrance of the good Hulkem, the best of men.”
"And how does Hulkem contrive thus to enhance the value of his pitiful gifts?"
"He gave me his heart with this piece of gold. When I approached his house, I saw him sitting under a palm tree: as soon as he descried me, he rose to meet me, kindly offering me his hand, and the very first words he uttered, “Good evening, my brother,” reudered him dear to my heart. His eyes sparkled with pleasure, whilst he conducted me to a seat beneath a shadowy palm-tree. He sat down by my side, aud asked whither 1 was going, and whence I came? I informed him of my fate, of the loss of my son, who had made a journey to Persia by the road of Bagdad, and had never returned again to my cottage. When I told him that I had been informed of his death at Ispahan, he mingled his tears with mine. I was going into the house, in order to rest myself among the other travellers; but he pressed me to follow him to his cottage, which is not far distant from the mansion where travellers are entertained, say
Hassan heard with inward satisfaction the praise of his magnanimity, and attended the old man to a woody valley, where he had ordered two slaves to conceal themselves, and to rob the old man of his money, in order to have an opportunity of increasing the astonishment of the grey-headed traveller, by an additional gift of double the sum. The slaves rushed forth from their hiding-place, pointing their daging in affectionate accents, You stand in gers at the old man's heart. "Here are an hundred pieces of gold," said he, trembling, "a gift of the generous Hassan; take them, and let ine proceed on my journey." The slaves took the purse, and examined the silk garment. The old man instantly pulled it off, and gave it the robbers. "Have you any thing else of value on you?" asked they, whilst they began to search him with rapacious eagerness. The old man dropped upon his knees, conjuring them rather to take away his life shan to rob him of a piece of gold, which he
need of consolation, love, and sympathizing tears; I am as unfortunate as yourself, having also lost an only son. Come, and let us mingle our paternal tears at the death of our children. My daughter shall comfort us, and you shall give her your blessing.' I went with him; his daughter prepared a homely meal, gave us water to wash ourselves, sang to the sweet tones of the lute, and I slept again the first time with an easy heart.
"The next norning, when I had said my prayers, Hulkem asked me,- Was not your
son's name Abid? Was he not a tall young man, with black eye-brows? When I affirmed it, Hulkem exclaimed, praised be the great prophet! I then have an opportunity of discharging at last a debt which long has lain heavy upon my conscience.' His daughter rose from her seat, and fetched a purse eontaining an hundred pieces of gold, giving it to her father. Hulkem presented it to me, and said that my son Abid, on his journey to Ispahan, had left it with him, in order to be sent to me, if he should not return after the lapse of a twelvemonth. I intended long ago,' added he, to discharge my commission, but could not meet with a traveller to whom I could safely intrust it.'
"I declined accepting the purse, as I was certain that my son could not have had so much gold about him; and Hulkem, with his daughter, shed tears at the failure of their generous artifice. The next morning I prepared to proceed on my journey, and when I was going into the garden to perform my devotion, and took up my turban, felt that it was uncommonly heavy. When I examined it, I found that Hulkem had concealed in it the hundred pieces, the acceptance of which I had declined the preceding night. Deeply affected at the generous delicacy of my host, I concealed the purse underneath my pillow, and after having taken out one picce, left Hulkem's cottage, attended by the good wishes of its beneficent owner, and resumed my journey."
Hassan looked gloomily on the ground, whilst the old man related this noble action. "But why did you accept of Hassan's gift?" asked be at length; " and what prompted you
decline the acceptance of Hulkem's gold?" "I do not know myself," replied the old man; "it is very singular! I felt myself honoured by Hulkem's geuerosity; I valued the money as little as himself: I had ceased being poor; I was happy; whilst, on the other hand, Hassan's conduct rendered me sensible of my poverty: it mortified me, and his gift appeared to me nothing else but a compensation for the consciousness of my dependent situation, which he had excited in me. Hassan was only just, but Hulkem was benefi
Hassan does good, in order to promote his own happiness, whilst Hulken is beneficent for no other purpose than to render othe, s happy."
"I am Hassan!" exclaimed Hassan sternly, at these words; "farewel, old man!" So saying, he flung a heavy purse at the feet of the stranger, and left him abruptly.
He threw himself upon the ground in a thicket, and reclining his head on his hand, exclaimed, “A beggar slights my alms, and would rather part with his life, than with a remembrance of Hulkem!" His countenance was overcast with a sullen gloom the whole day, his palace ceased to give him pleasure, and the pompous praise of the travellers whom he entertained had no charms for him. "I am determined to eclipse that proud Hulkem!" exclaimed he with bitterness, and from that day sat constantly on the high-road, loading the travellers with presents, calling the poor his brethren, and assisting personally in rendering them comfortable. The poor threw themselves at the feet of the generous and beneficent Hassan, and thanked him for his liberality and condescending kindness.
"My name will become renowned. I shall soon be happy!" exclaimed Hassan joyfully, as renowned and beneficent as Hulkem!" One day as Hassan was sitting in the shade of a palm-tree, thinking with cheerful looks of his happiness and munificence, a traveller beut his steps towards his mansion, his head reclining almost on his breast, whilst his brow was covered with wrinkles and his eyes moistened with tears. "A person in distress, who
conies to me for assistance!" exclaimed Hassan; but the stranger took no notice of Hassan's palace, nor did he stop to rest himself in the shade of the palm-trees, proceeding quickly onward. Hassan accosted him, and after repeated and pressing invitations, the stranger consented at last to take a seat by Hassan's side in the most gloomy part of the grove. Hassan inquiring after the cause of his grief, the stranger related :-" My name is Helim; my sole happiness consisted in a loving wife, the most charming woman in all Bagdad. We loved each other with unspeakable tenderness, and were as happy as the blessed spirits in heaven. One evening we were sitting in our little garden, adjoining our cottage; my wife sang to the sweet strains of the lute, whilst I reclined on flowers at her feet, hanging with tender looks on her lovely countenance, ex
"Hassan's splendour, his seats of marble, his gilded apartments, his royal bath, his silk hangings, his Persian carpets, do, indeed, excite astonishment; but no one who enters his splendid mansion feels himself at ease in it;pressive of the most ardent love for me, when whereas Huikem's house, built of wood, his suddenly my garden-gate was forced open, and turf seats and simple baths, his worsted car- Ibrahim, the caliph's favourite, entered. My pets and homely furniture, make his guests wife drew her veil over her face, whilst I rose think that they are in their own houses. to meet Ibrahim, inquiring, in accents of the
profoundest respect, what was his pleasure? || escape the artful designs of the caliph's fa"I wish to ascertain whether the face of that sweet songstress is as charming as her voice." My wife removed her veil at my request, and Ibrahim's eyes flashed with, desire. He drew me aside, offering me a thousand pieces of gold for my wife; and when I declined the acceptance of his offer, he ordered his slaves to carry off my wife by force. She was torn with vio- || lence out of my arms, notwithstanding my farious resistance and her tears. I complained to the caliph of the baseness of his favourite, || but perjured witnesses were produced against me, and the caliph ordered me to quit Bagdad on pain of death.”
vourite" Helim's wife bad in the mean time alighted from the palankin, and all three seated themselves on a bench beneath a palm-tree. "And how have you become happy?" asked Hassan. "Halkem, the best of men, bas made me happy."-He related now, amidst copious tears of grateful emotion, how Hulkem had rendered him happy.
When Helim had left Hassan, who could not restore his wife to him, he went whither chance, the road, and his sorrows led him, and after a few days journey stopped beneath Hulkem's palm trees. Hulkem descried the unfortunate traveller as he passed, and joined him, as though he was going the same road.
When Helim had finished the mournful recital of his misfortune, he covered his face with his hands to conceal his tears. "Unfortunate man!" exclaimed Hassan, clasping him affectionately to his hosom, "I will try what I can do for you; follow me to my palace!" Hassan conducted Helim into his mausion, and having entered with him the apartment of his female slaves, said " Which of them appears to you the most charming? take her with you, and forget your wife." But Helim replied with gloomy looks," Most gracious Hassau, how little are you acquainted with the power of virtuous love! Not even the most charming slave of the caliph himself would be capable of rendering me happy, and assuaging the grief that preys on my bleeding heart."
"The great prophet has assistance for every sufferer!" With these words Hulkem accosted the gloomy Helim. "For every one, myself excepted," replied Helim, relating his fate to the good old man. During the relation Hul kem had led the young man by an unfrequented path to his humble abode, which was situated at some distance from the building destined for the reception of travellers. He requested Helim to enter his cottage, and Helim related how generously Hassan had interested himself for him. "Hassan's generosity," replied Hulkem, "has anticipated every thing I can do for you, except endeavouring to dispel your sorrows a few days, if you will do me the favour to stop at my cottage." Helim accepted the old man's offer, and was treated with every tender attention his misfortune required. Hulkem being obliged the next morning to absent himself a few days from his cottage, in order to settle some important concern, he prevailed upon Helim to stay with bis daughter, and to be her protector till his
Hassan requested Helim to stay a few days" with him, and Helim accepted the invitation. Hassan sent in the mean time one of his stewards to Bagdad, to offer to the caliph's favourite the most charming woman of his haram in exchange for Helim's wife; but Ibrahim commanded Hassan to interfere no farther in Helim's behalf as he valued his life.
Hulkem went to Bagdad, placing himself in a spot which the caliph passed every day; and when the monarch came near him, prostrated himse, exclaiming :-" Ruler of the faithful, I have to reveal a conspiracy against your life, and, what is yet more important, against your honour. You see I am an old man, and intending to devote the few years I may yet have to live to the service of my country, honour cannot be my motive: I am on the verge of the grave; my son has already gone to a better world, and my circumstances are affluent. Listen to what I am going to reveal; but grant me a private audience, and you shall know who is the betrayer of your honour."→ The caliph took Hulkem with him to his palace, where after he had ordered his attendants to retire, the old man informed him of his favourite's baseness.