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some time since, in our fashionable circles, at the head of a ragged regiment of tripolitan prisoners. His conversation was to me a perpetual feast ;--| chuckled with inward pleasure at his whimsical mistakes and unaffected observations on men and manners; and I rolled each odd conceit“ like a sweet morsel under my tongue."
Whether Mustapha was captivated by my ironbound physiognomy, or flattered by the attentions which I paid him, I won't determine ; but I so far gained his confidenee, that, at his departure, he presented me with a bundle of papers, containing, among other articles, several copies of letters, which he had written to his friends at Tripoli.-The following is a translation of one of them.-The original is in arabic-greek ; but by the assist. ance of Will Wizard, who understands all languages, not excepting that manufactured by Psalmanazar, I have been enabled to accomplish a tolerable translation. We should have found little difficulty in rendering it into english, had it not been for Mustapha's confounded pot-hooks and trammels.
M, FROM MUSTAPHA PUB-A-DUB KELI KHAN,
captain of a ketch, to Asem Hacchem, principal slave-driver to his highness the bashaw of
Thou wilt learn from this letter, most illustrious disciple of Mahomet, that I have for some time resided in New-York; the most polished, vast, and magnificent city of the United States of America. But what to me are its delights! I wander a captive through its splendid streets, I turn a heavy eye on every rising day that beholds me banishied from my country. The christian husbands here lament most bitterly any short absence from home, though they leave but one wife behind to lament their departure;--what then must be the feelings of thy unhappy kinsman, while thus lingering at an immeasurable distance from threeand-twenty of the most lovely and obedient wives
in all Tripoli! oh, Allah! shall thy servant never again return to his native land, nor behold his beloved wives, who beam on his memory beautiful as the rosy morn of the east, and graceful as Mahomet's camel ! .
Yet beautiful, oh, most puissant slave-driver, as are my wives, they are far exceeded by the women of this country. Even those who run about the streets with bare arms and necks, (et cætera) whose habiliments are too scanty to protect them either from the inclemency of the seasons, or the scrutinizing glances of the curious, and who it would seem belong to nobody, are lovely as the houris that people the elysium of true believers. If then, such as run wild in the highways, and whom no one cares to appropriate, are thus beauteous; what must be the charms of those who are shut up in the seraglios, and never permitted to go abroad! surely the region of beauty, the valley of the graces can contain nothing so inimitably fair!
But, notwithstanding the charms of these infidel women, they are apt to have one fault, which is extremely troublesome and inconvenient. Wouldst thou believe it, Asem, I have been positively assured by a famous dervise, (or doctor as he is here called) that at least one filih part of them-have
souls ! incredible as it may seem to thee, I am the more inclined to believe them in possession of this monstrous superfluity, from my own little experience, and from the information which I have derived from others. In walking the streets I have actually seen an exceeding good looking woman with soul enough to box her husband's ears to his heart's content, and my very whiskers trembled with indignation at the abject state of these wretched infidels. I am told, moreover, that some of the women have soul enough to usurp the breeches of the men, but these I suppose are married and kept close ; for I have not, in my rambles, met with any 80 extravagantly accoutred; others, I am informed, have soul enough to swear!-yea! by the beard of the great Omar, who prayed three times to each of the one hundred and twenty-four thousand prophets of our most holy faith, and who never swore but once in his life-they actually swear!
Get thee te the mosque, good Asem! return thanks to our most holy prophet that he has been thus mindful of the comfort of all true mussựlmen, and has given them wives with no more souls than cats and dogs, and other necessary animals of the household.
Thou wilt doubtless be anxious to learn Qur reception in this coựntry, and how we were treated
them. Thou knowest how invaluable are these silent companions ;--what a price is given for them in the east, and what entertaining wives they make. What delightful entertainment arises from beholding the silent eloquence of their signs and gestures; but a wife possessed both of a tongue and a soulmonstrous ! monstrous ! is it astonishing that these unhappy infidels should shrink from a union with a woman so preposterously endowed. l.
Thou hast doubtless read in the works of Abul Faraj, the arabian historian, the tradition which mentions that the muses were once upon the point of falling together by the ears about the admission of a tenth among their number, until she assured them, by signs, that she was dumb; whereupon they received her with great rejoicing. I should, perhaps, inform thee that there are but nine christian muses, who were formerly pagans, but have since been converted, and that in this country we never hear of a tenth, unless some crazy poet wishes to pay an hyperbolical compliment to his mistress ; on which occasion it goes hard but she figures as a tenth muse, or fourth grace, even though she should be more illiterate than a hottentot, and more ungraceful than a dancing-bear! Since my arrival in this country, I have met with not less than a hundred of these supernumerary muses and gracosant