Εικόνες σελίδας
PDF
Ηλεκτρ. έκδοση

bole and put a final end to the argument. Thus did this wise old gentlemañ, by bitting on a most simple expedient, in all probability, save his country as much money as would build a gun-boat, or pay a hireling slang-whanger for a whole volume of words. As it happened, only a few thousand dollars were expended in paying these men, who are denominated, I suppose in derision, legislators.

Another instance of their economy I relate with pleasure; for I really begin to feel à regard for these poor barbarians. They talked away the best part of a whole winter before they could detetmine not to expend a few dollars in purchasing a sword to bestow on an illustrious warrior : yes, Asem, on that very hero who frightened all our poor old women and young children at Derne, and fully proved himself a greater man than the mother that bore him. Thus, my friend, is the whole collective wisdom of this mighty logocracy employed in somniferous debates about the most triv. ial affairs ; like I have sometimes seen a herculean mouptebank exerting all his energies ir balancing a straw upon his nose. Their sages behold the minutest object with the microscopic eyes of a pismire; mole-hills swell into mountains, and a grain of mustard-seed will set the whole ant hill na hub-bub. Whether this indicates a capacious

rision, or a diminutive mind, I leave thee to de cide ; for my part I consider it as another proof of the great scale on which every thing is transacted in this country.

I have before told thee that nothing can be done without consulting the sages of the nation, who compose the assembly called the congress. This prolific body may not improperly be termed the “ mother of inventions ;” and a most fruitful mother it is let me tell thee, though its children are generally abortions. It has lately labored with what was deemed the conception of a mighty navy.--All the old women and the good wives that assist the bashaw in his emergencies hurried to head quarters to be busy, like midwives, at the delivery.-All was anxiety, fidgetting and consultation ; when after a deal of groaning aud struggling, instead of formidable first rates and gallant frigates, out crept a litter of sorry little gun, boats! These are most pitiful little vessels, partaking vastly of the character of the grand bashaw, who lias the credit of begetting them; being flat shallow vessels that can only sail before the wind ; -must always keep in with the land ;-are continually foundering or running ashore'; and in short, are only fit for smooth water. Though intended for the defence of the maritime cities, yet the ci

ties are mbliged to defend them"; and they require as much nursing as so many rickety little bantlings. They are, however, the darling pets of the grand bashaw, being the children of his dotage, and, perhaps from their diminutive size and palpable weakness, are called the “infant navy of America." The act that brought them into existence was almost deified by the majority of the people as a grand stroke of economy. By the beard of Mahomet, but this word is truly inexplicable !

To this economic body tberefore was I advised to address my petition, and humbly to pray that the august assembly of sages would, in the plenitude of their wisdom and the magnitude of their powers, munificently bestow on an unfortunate captive, a pair of cotton breeches ! “Head of the immortal Amrou,” cried I, “but this would be presumptuous to a degree ;-what! after these worthies have thought proper to leave their country naked and defenceless, and exposed to all the political storms that rattle without, can I expect that they will lend a helping hand to comfort the extremities of a solitary captive ?my exclamation was only answered by a smile, and I was consoled by the assurance that, so far from being neglected, it was every way probable my breeches might occupy a whole session of the divan, and set several of the longest heads together by the ears

U 2

Flattering as was the idea of a whole nation being agitated about my breeches, yet I own I was somewhat dismayed at the idea of remaining in querpo, until all the national grey-beards should have made a speech on the occasion, and given their consent to the measure. The embarrassment and distress of mind which I experienced was visible in my countenance, and my guard, who is a man of infinite good 'nature, immediately suggested, as a more expeditious plan of supplying my wants-a benefit at the theatre. Though profoundly ignorant of his meaning, I agreed to his proposition, the result of which I shall disclose to thee in another letter.

Fare thee well, dear Asem ; in thy pious prayers to our great prophet, never forget to solicit thy friend's return; and when thou numberest up the many blessings bestowed on thee by all bountiful Allah, pour forth thy gratitude that he has cast thy nativity in a land where there is no assembly of legislative chatterers ;-no great bashaw, who bestrides a gun-boat for a hobby-horse ;-where the word economy is unknown ;-and where an unfortunate captive is not obliged to call upon the whole pation, to cut him out a pair of breeches.

• ever thine,

MUSTAPHA,

FROM THE MILL OF

PINDAR COCKLOFT, ESQ.

Though enter'd on that sober age, When men withdraw from fashion's stage, And leave the follies of the day, To shape their course a graver way; Still those gay scenes I loiter round, In which my youth sweet transport found : And though I feel their joys decay, And languish every hour away,Yet like an exile doom'd to part, From the dear country of his heart, From the fair spot in which he sprung, Where his first notes of love were sung, Will often turn to wave the hand, And sigh his blessings on the land ; Just so my lingering watch I keepThus oft I take my farewell peep.

And, like that pilgrim, who retreats Thus lagging from his parent seats, When the sad thought pervades his mind, That the fair land he leaves behind

« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »