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near a spring shaded with trees in a pleasant mes. dow, where we were set upon the ground, and offered such refreshments as our masters were partaking. I was suffered to fit with my maids apat from the rest, and none attempted to comfort or insult us. Here I first began to feel the full weight of my misery. The girls fat weeping in silence, and from time to time looked on me for succour. I knew not to what condition we were doomed, nor could conjecture where would be the place of our captivity, or whence to draw any hope of deliverance. I was in the hands of robbers and savages, and had no reason to suppose that their picy was more than their justice, or that they would forbear the gratification of any ardour of desire, or caprice of cruelty. I, however, kissed my maids, and endeavoured to pacify them by remarking, that we were yet treated with decency, and that, since we were now carried beyond persuit, there was no danger of violence to our lives.
“ When we were to be set again on horseback, my maids clung round me, and refused to be parted, but I coin:nanded them not to irritate those who had us in their power. We travelled the remaining part of the day through an unfrequented and pathlets country, and cane by moon-light to the fide of a hill, where the rest of the troop was ftationed. Their tents were pitched, and their fires kindled, and our chif was welcomed as a man much beloved by his dependants.
“We were received into a large tent, where we founi women who had atiended their husbands in the expedition. They set before us the supper
which they had provided, and I eat it rather to encourage my maids, than to comply with any appetite of my own. When the meat was taken away, they spread the carpets for repose. I was weary, and hoped to find in Neep that remission of distress which nature seldom denies. Ordering myself therefore to be undrest, I observed that the women looked very earnestly upon me, not expecting, I suppose, to fee me so submissively attended. When my upper vest was taken off, they were apparently struck with the splendour of my clothes, and one of them timorously laid her hand upon the embroidery. She then went out, and, in a short time, came back with another woman, who seemed to be of higher rank, and greater authority. She did, at her entrance, the usual act of reverence, and taking me by the hand, placed me in a sinaller tent, spread with finer carpets, where I spent the night quietly with my maids.
“ In the morning, as I was sitting on the grass, the chief of the troop came towards me. receive him, and he bowed with great respect. “ Illustrious lady, said he, my fortune is better than I had presumed to hope; I am told by my women, that I have a princess in my camp.” Sir, answered I, your women have deceived themselves and you; I am not a princess, but an unhappy ftranger who intended soon to have left this country, in which I am now to be imprisoned for ever. “Whoever, or whencesoever, you are, returned the Arab, your dress, and that of your servants, shew your rank to be high, and your wealth to be great. Why should you, who can so easily procure your
I rose up to ransom, think yourself in danger of perpetual captivity? The purpose of my incursions is to increase my riches, or, more properly, to gather tribute. The fons of Ishmael are the natural and hereditary lords of this part of the continent, which is usurped by late invaders, and low-born tyrants, from whom we are compelled to take by the sword what is denied to justice. The violence of war admits no distinction; the lance, that is listed at guilt and power, will sometimes fall on innocence and gentleness.”
“ How little, said I, did I expect that yesterday it should have fallen upon me!”
Misfortunes, answered the Arab, should always be expected. If the eve of hoftility could learn reverence or pity, excellence like yours had been exempt from injury. But the angels of affliction spread their toils alike for the virtuous and the wicked, for the mighty and the mean. Do not be disconfolate: I am not one of the lawless and cruel rovers of the desert; I know the rules of civil life : I will fix your ransom, give a pasport to your messenger, and perform my ftipulation with nice punctuality.”
“ You will easily believe that I was pleased with his courtcly: and finding that his predominant paflion was defire of money, I began now to think iny danger itis, sur I knew that no sum would be thought to you for the release of Pekuah. I told him, that he frould have no reason to charge me with ingratitude, if I was used with kindness, and that any ranfom which could be expected for a maid of common rank, would be paid; but that
he must not persist to rate me as a princess. He said, he would consider what he should demand, and then siniling, bowed and retired.
« Soon after the women came about me, each contending to be more officious than the other, and my maids themselves were served with reverence. We travelled onward by short journeys. On the fourth day the chief told me, that my ransom must be two hundred ounces of gold; which I not only promised him, but told him, that I would add fifty more, if I and my maids were honourably treated.
“ I never knew the power of gold before. From that time I was the leader of the troop. The march of every day was longer or shorter as I commanded, and the tents were pitched where I chose to rest. We now had camels and other conveniences for travel, my own women were always at my side, and I amused myself with observing the manners of the vagrant nations, and with viewing remains of ancient edifices, with which these deserted countries appear to have been, in some distant age, lavishly embellished.
« The chief of the band was a man far from illiterate: he was able to travel by the stars or the compass, and had marked, in his erratick expeditions, such places as are most worthy the notice of a pasfenger. He observed to me, that buildings are always best preserved in places little frequented, and difficult of access : for, when once a country declines from its primitive splendour, the more inhabitants are left, the quicker ruin will be made. Walls supply stones more easily than quarries, and palaces and temples will be demolished, to make itables of granate, and cottages of porphyry.
CH A P.
THE ADVENTURES OF PEKUAH CONTINUED,
“WE wandered about in this manner for some
weeks, whether, as our chief pretended, for my gratification, or as I rather suspected, for some convenience of his own.
I endeavoured to appear contented where sullenness and resentment would have been of no use, and that endeavour conduced much to the calmness of my mind; but was always with Nekayah, and the troubles of the night much overbalanced the amusements of the day. My women, who threw all their cares upon their mistress, set their minds at ease from the time when they saw me treated with respect, and gave themselves up to the incidental alleviations of our fatigue without folicitude or sorrow. I was pleased with their pleasure, and animated with their confidence. My condition had loit much of its terrour, since I found that the Arab ranged the country merely to get riches. Avarice is an uniform and tractable vice: other intellectual distempers are different in different constitutions of mind; that which fooths the pride of one will offend the pride of another; but to the favour of the covetous there is a ready way; bring money and nothing is denied.
“ At last we came to the dwelling of our chief, a strong and spacious louíc built with stone in an island of the Nile, which lies, as I was told, under the tropick. “ Lady, said the Arab, you shall rest after your journey a few weeks in this place, where you are to consider yourself as sovereign. My occu