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AN EASTERN NARRATIVE.
W. G'IFFORD PALGRAVE,
AUTHOR OF “ TRAvELS IN CENTRAL ARABIA,”
“ I ran it through, even from my boyish days,
PART‘ II. (cam‘z'num’.)
“BEFORE we parted it was agreed between us that Moharib should meet me the next day at a kahwah which I named in a back street of the town; and should there bring me Zahra’s message. He did so. It appointed the same place and time for the morrow as the day before.
“ And now began for me a period of happiness such as I had never known till then, nor have ever since. Though not daily,— that could not be, owing to hindrances arising sometimes from her family and her occupations, sometimes from mine,-~my visits at the little door with the red mark, which, by the way, I took care to dull considerably, though not wholly to efface, were frequent‘; and the door
VOL. II. ' B
of paradise never opened on keener joys. The veil was rent between us! her heart lay open to mine, and mine to her; without words we understood each the other’s very soul, _yet used many words to realize to ourselves our own bliss; as a miser turns over and over in his open palms the treasure which he knew was his all the same while yet locked up in the strong box at his feet. She, however, unfailingly true to herself, never allowed the faintest approach to the familiarity that‘ might, if permitted, have shaken the unsullied bloom from the tree of our happiness; and I, taught by her example, steadily repressed the passion which I felt, and by repressing increased it. “Often however we could not but laugh together at the security we enjoyed amid the possibilities of discovery and danger on every hand; like those comfortably seated on a
firm ‘grass-grown ledge, with precipices all around. Without, within the dwelling itself, where we met so easily, conversed so unreservedly, loved so ardently, were those to whom the slenderest hint of what was then passing in old jowhar’s chamber would have been the signal for amazement, dismay,— fury, revenge, and blood. Now all was hushed
and calm; if any suspicion had for a moment
‘existed, it seemed to have again wholly died
away. That I too, Hermann Wolff, a European, a stranger, should be here, Ahmed Agha, a Mahometan, a retainer of a Koordish Beg, unsurmised, undetected, in the hara'm of a Sheykh of Benoo-Sheyban, conversing with his only daughter, loved by her, pledged to her as she to me, seemed to me at times, and to her also, more a dream than a reality; till strangeness lent a new zest to enjoyment, and wonder to love.
“Often, too, did our talk turn on the future‘