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tenderness! I am of opinion that he does not
see it at all. He winds up his evidence with
the following extraordinarily flat remark:

"I think that the public attention ought to
be very pointedly directed to the fact, that
while in the rich man's superior courts the
suitors pay nothing towards the salaries of
judges, officers, &c., yet in the poor man's
county courts the suitors are taxed to pay
for all these, and something extra, by which
the state is mean enough to make a small
profit. I cannot understand how any one,
except, perhaps, a very timid Chancellor of
the Exchequer, could justify or even tolerate
an injustice so gross, palpable, and cruel."

On the whole, therefore, it appears to me,
and I am of opinion: that, if many such men
as my learned friend Willmore were to secure
a hearing, the vast and highly-entertaining
collection of our legal and equitable jokes
would be speedily brought to a close forever.
That, the object of such dull persons clearly
is, to make Law and Equity intelligible and
useful, and to cause them both to do justice
and to be respected. Finally, that to clear
out lumber, sweep away dust, bring down
cobwebs, and destroy a vast amount of
expensive practical joking, is no joke, but quite
the reverse, and never will be considered
humorous in any court in Westminster Hall.

THE BETROTHED CHILDREN.

IT is not uncommon in Egypt, both among
Christians and Mohammedans, when children
of opposite sexes are born to friends near
about the same time, for the parents to
betroth them, either by a verbal promise or
by binding ceremonies. From that time
forth they are looked upon by all the world
as belonging to one another, almost as part
of the same being; and the female marriage-
brokers, the professional match-makers of
the East, never feel any interest in the beauty
of the girl or the accomplishments of the
boy. The maiden, however, is esteemed
to be especially fortunate. The probabilities
of the future are in her favour. At any
rate, she is protected from the chance of being
sold to some man five or six times her age.
She has a reasonable expectation that what
happiness can be secured by parity of years
and conformity of education it is in her
power to enjoy. There are plenty of chances
of misery left.

Ideas of this kind formed the staple of the
conversation of Zacharias and Mathias, two
Levantine merchants established in Cairo,
when they resolved, as they smoked a friendly
pipe together, that Yazir, who had been born
about a year previously, and Lulu, who was
then only a month old, should in process
of time be united. The proposal came
from Zacharias, the father of the boy.
He was a widower, and could therefore
venture to form an energetic resolution,
and carry it into effect, without crossing
his threshold in the interval. Mathias
was not so free; but his companion's
eloquence persuaded him into giving a sacred
promise in the name of Lulu, the Pearl. It
is true that in his own mind he said, "If my
wife has any reason to urge against this, and
abuses me, I can retract and lay the sin of
falsehood at her door."

He returned home in a timid mood.
The gate of his courtyard was shut, and it
was only by battering it with a stone, and
making a great noise, that he succeeded in
obtaining admission. He found his wife
sitting in the courtyard in company with an ill-
looking woman. A black girl, squatting near,
held Lulu on her knees, and sometimes put
her lips to its cheek. The heart of Mathias
swelled with delight; and, lifting up his great
moustaches with both hands, he stooped to
kiss it.

"Verily, my lord," said his wife, looking
pleased, "thou hast reason to be proud of
thy offspring."

"She is indeed beauteous as a pearl, and
will resemble thee."

"That is not it," quoth the mother, who
was occupied with other thoughts. "There
are many beautiful children; but few are
destined, like ours, to be won in marriage by
a princea ruler of many lands and of much
people."

Mathias glanced from his wife to the ill-
looking woman, and from the ill-looking
woman to his child, and back again to his
wife; and, being of confined intellect,
remained puzzled.

"Thou must learn," quoth the mother,
"that this woman is one who knows things,
who can dive into the mysteries of the past
and of the future, who can see what is
invisible, and sound what is fathomless."

The merchant made a sort of curtesy of
respect towards the learned lady; but an
ironical suppleness about his knees
displeased her.

"Yes, unbeliever," she exclaimed, "all
these things and much more am I able to
accomplish; and I have foreseen that the
child Lulu will, within fifteen summers,
become the wife of a powerful sultan."

"Then what shall I say to my friend Zacharias,
to whose son Yazir I have this day
betrothed her?"

The ambitious mother became pale with
rage; and, not having the prudence of her
western sisters, did not content herself with
uttering sharp words, that pierce so deep and
sting so sharply, but took off her slipper, and
threw it in Mathias's face. Then she began
using all the descriptive epithets that were
disparaging with which her memory was
stored; so that the young slave girl, who had
only just come from the uncivilised parts of
Africa, opened her mouth so wide that she
might almost have swallowed the object
of dispute. Perhaps because she thought
she would do it, the mother seized Lulu,

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