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Strengthen'd, the tasks allotted to fulfil;—
  Calm'd, the thick-coming sorrows to endure;
Fearful of nought but of my own frail will,—
  In His Almighty strength and aid secure.

For a sweet voice had whisper'd hope to me,—
  Had through my darkness shed a kindly ray;—
It said: "The past is fix'd immutably,
  Yet is there comfort in the coming day!"

THE HIPPOPOTAMUS.

BEFORE we give a more exclusive attention
to the "illustrious stranger," we think it will
be advisable to present the reader with a brief
authentic account of the circumstances which
led to the honour conferred upon England by
the visit of this extraordinary personage.
These circumstances are little known to the
world; indeed, we have reason to believe they
have never before been published.

The British Consul at Cairo had frequently
intimated to His Highness the Pasha of
Egypt, that a live hippopotamus would be
regarded as a very interesting and valuable
present in England. Now, there were sundry
difficulties of a serious nature involved in this
business. In the first place, the favourite
resort of the hippopotami is a thousand or
fifteen hundred miles distant from Cairo; in
the second place, the hippopotamus being
amphibious, is not easily come-at-able; when he
is environed, he is a tremendous antagonist,
by reason of his great strength, enormous
weight, his wrathfulness when excited, and
we may add his prodigious mouth with its
huge tusks. "We are speaking of the male
hippopotamus. He is often slain by a number
of rifle-balls (he only makes a comic
grin of scorn at a few) and laid low from a
distance: but as to being taken alive, that is
a triumph which has scarcely ever been
permitted to mortal man of modern times. It is
quite a different matter in respect of the
elephant. He cannot take to the water, and
neither dive clean away, nor upset your boat
with a plunge of his forehead; besides which
you cannot get two tame renegade hippopotami
to assist in the capture and subjugation of a
relative, as is the case with elephants. Accordingly,
His Highness the Pasha, not liking to
compromise the dignity of despotism, and his
own position as sovereign of Egypt, by
promising anything which he might, perhaps, be
unable to perform, turned a deaf ear to the
repeated overtures of the British Consul. He
never refused his request; he simply did not
hear what he said, or could not be made to
have a clear understanding as to what the
Consul really wanted. His Highness had
already given him the skin and bones of
hippopotami, and many other animals alive and dead.
If he wished for any birds, he was welcome to
as many as he pleased!

It so chanced, however, that Abbas Pasha
took it into his head, or somebody told him,
that we had in England several extraordinary
breeds of dogs, horses, and cows,—hounds
that could catch a gazelle by sheer fleetness,
small fighting-dogs that would master a bull,
horses that could compete with his finest
Arabian steeds, and beat them in a hard day's
hunt over rough ground. He bethought
himself, therefore, of the hippopotamus. One
good turn of this kind might deserve another
of a different kind.

"So, Consul," said the Pasha abruptly one
day, when Mr. Murray was dining with him,
"so, you want a hippopotamus?"

"Very much, your Highness."

"And you think that such an animal would
be an acceptable present to your Queen and
country?"

"He would be accounted a great rarity,"
said the Consul; "our naturalists would
receive him with open armsfiguratively
speaking,—and the public would crowd to pay
their respects to him."

Abbas Pasha laughed at this pleasantry of
the Consul. "Well," said he, "we will inquire
about this matter." He half-turned his head
over one shoulder to his attendants: "Send
here the Governor of Nubia!" The attendants
thus ordered made their salam, and retired.

Anybody, not previously aware of the easy
habits of a despotic sovereign, would naturally
conclude that the Governor of Nubia was, at
this time, in Cairo, and at no great distance
from the royal abode. But it was not so.
The Governor of Nubia was simply there
at home smoking his pipe in Nubia. This
brief and unadorned order, therefore, involved
a post-haste messenger on a dromedary across
the Desert, with a boat up the Nile, and then
more dromedaries, and then another boat, and
again a dromedary, till the Pasha's mandate
was delivered. We next behold the Governor
of Nubia, in full official trim, proceeding
posthaste with his suite across the Desert, and
down the Nile, travelling day and night, until
finally he is announced to the Pasha, and
admitted to his most serene and fumigatious
presence. The Governor makes his grand salam.

"Governor," says the Pashaand we have
this unique dialogue on the best authority
"Governor, have you hippopotami in your
country?"

"We have, your Highness."

Abbas Pasha reflected a moment; then
said—"Send to me the Commander of the
Nubian army. Now, go!"

This was the whole dialogue. The Governor
made his salam, and retired. With the
same haste and ceremony, so far as the two
things can be combined, he returned to
Nubia by boat, and dromedary, and horse,
and covered litter; and the same hour found
the Commander of the army of Nubia galloping
across the Desert with his attendants, in
obedience to the royal mandate.

The Pasha, knowing that all means of
speed will be used, and what those means
will be, together with the nature of the
route, is able to calculate to a day when the
Commander ought to arriveand therefore

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