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the caravan. The old man-with the white
beard who had prophesied happiness to Yazir
gave him fresh encouragement, and furnished
him with a rule of conduct which he saw
might be of use to him: "Never be astonished
neither at danger nor good fortune."

Yazir parted with his father after both had
wept, and went forth into the desert. In the
recesses of his own mind there still lingered a
hope that he might be one day united to
Lulu; and it was to endeavour to ascertain
her fate that he had wished to go by way of
Damascus. On arriving in that city, instead
of endeavouring to dispose of his merchandise,
he occupied all his time in fruitless
inquiries. After a stay of three months he
departed for Bassora: but when the caravan
had travelled for twenty days a cloud
of Bedowins, mounted on camels and
horses surrounded them and attacked
them, slaying those who resisted and making
prisoners of the rest. Yazir, remembering
the advice that had been given him, and
seeing that successful defence was impossible,
sat down quietly and waited until the
Bedowins came to him, and ordered him
to follow them. They seemed surprised
at the tranquillity of his demeanour;
especially when they learned that he was one
of the richest merchants of the company; and
treated him far more favourably than the
rest, abstaining from tying his hands, and
promising to keep him well until such time
as he could get friends to come with a
ransom.

As he was left at liberty Yazir found no
difficulty, after spending two or three days in the
Bedowin encampment, in selecting the best
horse belonging to the tribe, and in riding away
one night at full speed. From words that he
had heard, he knew that the city of Ardesh
was at no great distance, and he felt confident
of being able to reach it. He rode all night,
and expected to see palm-trees and green
pastures by the morning. But a plain of sand
stretched on every side. He had mistaken
the direction, and entered a boundless desert,
which even the Bedowins do not traverse. He
did not know whether to advance or retreat,
so he allowed the horse to gallop whither he
would. Thus he proceeded all day, until at
length, just as he was about to give himself
up to despair, he came in sight of a splendid
city, built according to a style of architecture
wholly unknown to him. He rode forward
and entered the cultivated country that
surrounded it. The roads were full of people,
seemingly waiting for some arrival. When
he approached they advanced with drawn
swords and brandished spears, shouting:

"Wilt thou be king over us?"

Believing he had to do with a company of
madmen, and remembering the advice that
had been given him, he replied calmly:

"Certainly. I came with that intention."

Upon this, there was a huge sound of
human voices, and trampling of feet, and
clanging of gongs; and Yazir was conducted
into the city, amidst the acclamations of the
populace. He was installed in a splendid
palace, and requested to dispense justice, and
execute the laws.

He soon learned that it was the custom in
that city when a king died, for the population
to sally forth in the direction of the desert,
and to wait for the first wanderer who,
separated from some caravan, had lost
his way, and was expecting nought but
death. According to their notion, a king
raised to the throne from the extremity of
despair would not be likely soon to acquire
pride and ferocity. Sometimes they had
found themselves mistaken; but they had a
remedy in their hands. It was their practice
to test the courage of the newcomers by
running at them, as they did at Yazir, shouting
and brandishing their weapons; and they
continued for some time playing the same
trick. If a monarch, therefore, showed a bad
character, they soon contrived that an accident
should happen; the throne became vacant,
and the population went out again to the
borders of the desert.

Yazir, though he would have preferred
continuing his journey to Bassora, or returning
to Cairo, consented to rule over this
strange people; whose manners he found to
be in many respects harsh and repulsive.
When not in want of a king, they received
all strangers roughly, and compelled them
by ill-treatment to depart from their territory
very quickly. Yazir, by an edict, ordered that
this should no longer be, and contrived to
instil hospitable views into the people of
Goran, for such was the name of the place.
He made it a custom that all strangers who
arrived should be led into a certain room of
his palace, and kindly received and fed; and
he used to go and look at them through a
veiled window. All people celebrated his
goodness; and the fame thereof spreading,
travellers for the first time began to arrive at
the city of Goran.

One day it was told to Yazir that three
persons, a man and two women, apparently
beggars, had been taken to his reception-
room. The strangers were no other than
the merchant Mathias, his wife, and his
daughter Lulu, reduced to the extreme
of poverty. Lulu, ripened into perfect
womanhood, was more beautiful than ever.
Yazir gazed at them with tears falling from
his eyes. They were evidently worn with
travel and suffering, and ate as if they had
been long famished. When they were somewhat
recovered, he called them before him,
revealed his name and his condition; and
before, from very wonder, they could find
time to answer, he turned to Lulu, and said:

"O fair one, wilt thou have a prince for
thy husband?"

Mathias hung his head; and his wife
threw herself at Yazir's feet. But, Lulu ran
to his side, and seized her mother's hand, and

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