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and who wished to wait in meekness and in
patience for the world to come?

These meditations disturbed Matthias, but
they did not render him more unhappy. They
occupied his mind; they relieved the monotony
of his existence; they prevented him
from always turning his eyes inward upon
himself; they forced him to look abroad. He
went to the houses of his friends and once
more studied the perfections or imperfections
of their daughters. His object was so manifest,
that the joke went round that he wished
to save the Christian tailor from ruin. People
jested with the Jew as they brought in their
money to change. But although Matthias
saw many beautiful girls who threw the
glances of their almond-shaped eyes
encouragingly towards him, he saw none that pleased
his heart; and suddenly retiring from society,
shut himself up for a whole year in his palace,
seeing nobody, and taking back melancholy
and discontent for his only companions.

At length Matthias began to feel the desire
of change, and made it a practice every morning
to have his mule saddled and to ride out to
the base of the mountains; and, then putting
foot to ground to wander until evening
amidst the rocks and valleys. On one occasion
he went so far that he could not return to
where he had left his mule and servant before
night-fall, and lost his way. After going
hither and thither for some time, he was
compelled to seek the shelter of a cave, and to
wait until morning. Sleep overtook him, and
he did not wake until the sun's rays slanting
in through the cleft of the rock, played upon
his eye-lids. He got up; and, having said
his prayers, went forth and beheld a beautiful
green meadow stretching along the banks of
a stream which came from a narrow gorge
at no great distance. He did not recognise
his whereabouts and was doubtful of finding
his way back, until he saw, at the further
end of the meadow, some object moving
rapidly to and fro. It was a young girl
chasing a cow that had escaped from her, and
ran with a cord tangled about his horns in
the direction of Matthias. " Ah!" said he, "I
will catch this unruly animal, and then make
its keeper point out to me the direction of
Tarsus." So he tucked up his robes; and,
being strong and vigorous, soon came up to
the cow that was wantonly galloping hither
and thither, and brought it to a stand-still.
"May blessings light upon thy sturdy arms,
stranger," exclaimed the girl, running up
out of breath, and unwinding the rope
from the cow's horns  "If Naharah had
escaped they would have beaten me."

"And who could find it in his heart to beat
thee, child?" said the merchant, as he looked
at her and wondered at her delicate loveliness.

"The fathers," she replied, pulling Naharah
in the direction she wanted to go. "Triple
blessings upon thee, again I say, stranger!"

Matthias forgot all about Tarsus, and
walked by the side of the girl, asking
questions of her. He learned that she was the
bond-maiden of a monastery situated in those
mountains, and that her duty was to take out
the cows, and especially this one, every
morning to the pasturage. "Do not follow me,"
said she, when they came to the entrance of
the gorge from which the stream flowed;
"for I am forbidden to talk with those whom
I may meet." Matthias thought awhile, and
then bade her adieu, having learned what
path he was to follow, and returned to his
palace full of nothing but the image of this
simple bond-maiden.

"Verily," said he to himself next morning,
"I forgot to ask the name of that girl. I
must learn it, in order that I may send her a
recompense." Under this poor pretence he
mounted his mule and rode towards the
mountains, and began his walk at the usual
place, and repaired to the cave and passed
the night there, and was out on the meadow
before dawn. He soon saw four or five cows
driven out of the gorge, and the girl following
them, leading the frolicsome Naharah.
"There is no need for thee to-day, stranger,"
said she smiling playfully, "unless thou wilt
drive my herd down to the water to drink,
and take care that the black one goes in first,
or else she will gore the others." Upon this,
Matthias took the branch of a tree and began
to cry, "Hoo! hoo!" like a herdsman, and to
beat the flanks of the black cow, which
scampered away, and led him a long chase
round the meadow; so that he did not come
back until all the other animals had taken
their morning drink, and the girl was sitting
on the bank laughing at him, and wreathing
a crown of flowers to deck the horns of
Naharah.

"Thou dost not know thy new business,"
said she, to Matthias, as he came up out of
breath; whereupon he began to curse the
cow which had led him that dance, and to
think that he had made himself ridiculous
in the eyes of the girl. However, they were
soon sitting side by side in pleasant talk, and
the merchant learned that the name of the
bond-maiden was Carine.

By this time he had quite made up his mind
to marry her if she would have him; but,
although reflecting upon his wealth and her
poverty, it seemed scarcely probable that she
should refuse, his modesty was so great that
he dared not venture to talk of love. They
parted early, and Matthias went away,
promising to return on the morrow. He did so;
and for many weeks continued these meetings
in which, for the first time since his youth, he
found real happiness. At length, one day he
took courage, and told Carine that he intended
to take her away and marry her, and make
her the mistress of his wealth. "My lord,"
said she, with simple surprise, "has madness
stricken thee? Dost thou not know that l am
a bond-maiden, and that there is no power
that can free me?"

"Money can free thee, child," said Matthias.

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