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promised to conduct them to her dwelling.
They waited accordingly, and following her
steps, which she made slow out of respect to
the age of Hanna, passed by a green garden,
in the midst of which were three graves, and
reached a kind of hermitage scooped in the
rock, in front of which, on a sunny bench, sat
an old man with a huge white beard that
swept to his knees. No stranger had
penetrated into that valley for many a long year;
but the patriarch was past the age when
surprise is possible, and meekly bade the
travellers to be seated on the bench beside

When they had refreshed themselves with
rest and food, the old hermit bade them tell
their stories, whilst the maiden sat at their feet,
a little nearer to Gorges than to the others,
listening with downcast eyes. Hanna related
what had sent them in search of the Whis-
pering Tree of Kama, omitting nothing, not
even the love of the young man for the
being of his dream. The hermit smiled
in his white beard and said: "I am one
hundred years old, and no longer fear the enmity
of man; for I am in hopes of the mercy of
God. I have sinned, but I have suffered. It
was I, O Hanna, who took away thy wife
Lisbet. I took her to my tents, not far from
this valley; but she refused her love and
died. Then I desponded and retired to this
hermitage with her child, which I bred as my
own. I called him Kama, which in our
tongue means the Bereaved, and named the
place of our dwelling after him. He grew up
not knowing his origin, and in due time knew
a maiden, and took her and dwelt with her
in happiness until he died, and she died leaving
this daughter to my care. There are the
graves of Lisbet, and her son, and her son's
wife," said the old man, pointing to the three
mounds of earth. His hand fell, says the
story, with a rattle. Old age had done its
work. He had lived to restore the grand-
daughter of Lisbet to him who had so long
sought for herself; and was buried in the
little garden before his hermitage.

The worthy gentleman who related this
story to me, after observing that of course
Miriam became the wife of Gorges, and that
they and Hanna returned in safety to Cairo,
endeavoured to play the free-thinker by
explaining that whatever seemed supernatural
in this story was purely ornament; that the
Tree most probably did not whisper at all;
and that there was nothing in it incompatible
with the supposition of an extraordinary

I observed, however, that while venturing
on this ticklish ground he had an uneasy
look which reminded me of those
philosophical young gentlemen whom one meets
in society, and who observe in a dismal voice
that they believe in nothing they do not

The fact is; these Levantines are as
credulous as the Muslims; and, although their
stories are not quite so wild and extravagant
as those of the Arabian Nights' Entertain-
ments, they exact the exercise of nearly as
great an amount of faith. I mentioned this
to the narrator, and observed, instead ot
entering upon a philosophical discussion with
him, that he seemed to lay no stress on the
joy of Hanna at recovering his grand-
daughter, or on that of Gorges at beholding
the lady of his dream.

"As to the latter point," said he, "we can all
imagine the feelings of the young man; but
T remember that it is usual to say, in telling
this story, that the good old Hannawhilst
the hermit was telling his storyput his arms
round the necks of Miriam and Gorges, and
pressing them to his breast tried to speak,
but could only give utterance to a loud cry of
triumph and joy. They say, too, that he
always wandered in his speech a little
afterwards; and would, now and then, wish that
he were asleep in Kama by the side of


TIMES are changed since knights and
abbots, travelling into the interior of the
country from Boulogne towards Amiens, had
so many thick forests to go through and had
such dangers to apprehend in so doing from
the herds of famished wolves which infested
them, that they were forced to be accompanied
by a pack of powerful dogs of a fierce breed,
who, when they had done with the wolves, had
robbers, nearly as dangerous, to defend their
masters from. Not to mention the stags of
enormous size and fabulous strength that
roamed in these vast forests, and fought with
the hunters who dared to intrude upon them,
with almost as much fury as the wolves and
the robbers.

So we lately thought as we sat in the railway
carriage, bound from Boulogne on an
antiquarian expedition. We had heard of a
wonderful town, out of the line, only two
leagues from Abbeville, the account of which
seemed to us as extraordinary as that fabled
African city, only a short day's journey from
the coast, where everything remains as it
existed unknown centuries since, but turned
into stone and seldom visible to the human eye.
Saint Riquier was the name of this enchanted
place. Once imbued with an antiquarian
feeling, all the dreary, marshy country, with
its low sand hills, grew important in our eyes
as we drew pictures of banners floating and
trumpets soundingnow English, now
Burgundian, now French; for not fifty years were
allowed to pass on in the turbulent Middle
Ages without a fresh quarrel, more and
more violent contentions, slaughter, pillage,
conquest, defeat, and utter ruin under all
circumstances. We had been disturbed in our
historical reveries more than once by the angry
and lamentable howling of an imprisoned dog