+ ~ -
Please report pronunciation problems here. Select and sample other voices. Options Pause Play
Report an Error

"The Description of Person you want, or
would appreciate for a, and the Prospects,
Fortune, or Capital required, if such is desirable.
A beauty of noble birth, with good prospects,
large fortune, and a capital house in town.

"I aver the above statement to be the truth,
                    "(Signature or Initials). DAMON."

That, Mr. Conductor of Household Words,
was the Form I sent in, properly filled up; and
I was told that there were a number of lovely
candidates upon the books, of various positions
in society. I suppose my form is circulated
among them; but, if so, why haven't I had
an answer? If you will be kind enough to
publish my Application Form in your widely-
circulated journal, you will confer an
inestimable favour on your most obedient servant.


IT came to pass, some years ago, that I went
to the fair of Nishin, Novogorod, which is in
the land of the Muscovites, who are
unbelievers, and worship the pictures of created
things. And, lo! I took to the fair fur caps
and cloaks from Thibet, and woollen garments
from Cashmere, and also the dates of Bokhara.
And our Lord the Prophet, whose tomb I have
visited (and whose name is blessed), gave me
a ready sale for my merchandise, so that I had
soon a girdle full of roubles, which are coins
of the Muscovites. And, behold! I made
acquaintance with one of the unbelievers,
whose name was Demski, and who had brought
to the fair garments of white fur and garments
of seal-skin. And, of a truth, before the fair
was over, I was greatly troubled in my body
by reason of the noise and the crowd, and the
anxieties of buying and selling; and also by
reason of the unwholesome food, wherewith
the Muscovites (may God enlighten them!) are
wont to fill themselves. And I was afflicted
with a great trembling of the limbs, so that
walking fatigued mealthough I am one who
had journeyed to Mecca (the riches of which
place may God increase). And whereas, when
I was in Khiva, my girdle caused a shortness
of the breath, and a constriction of the ribs:
it would now have fallen over my waist, if the
good roubles, whereof our Lord the Prophet
had permitted me to despoil the Muscovites,
had not kept it in its place. And when Demski
saw that I walked with difficulty, and was
even as a peeled wand for thinness, he said,
"Verily, oh Hamet! the way to Khiva is
long, and the motion of camels, I have heard,
is an affliction to the limbs: it were better for
thee to go with me and my merchandise unto
Berezow, which is a town on the river Obb,
in the province of Tobolsk; for though the
winter is long and cold; yet, when we roll thee
up in furs, and give thee the warmest corner
of the stove, and cause the pores of thy skin
to be opened by means of the sweating-house,
thou wilt not think of the snow or of the
long night." And I said, "Of a truth, oh
my friend! the words of the poet are
exemplified in thee, saying,

'In a brother I have found no love, but a stranger
                       hath shown me affection.
And a stranger has been to me more than the son of
                        my mother.'"

But he answered, "These are foolish words!
When I come to Khiva, thou wilt prepare
the kabobs and the pilaff for me. And now,
oh Hamet, make ready thy goods; for on the
second day we shall harness the horse to the

And on the second day Demski loaded his
sledge with merchandise, even with dried
meat and fish, and with brandy, and with
stewed pears (may Allah confound them and
exterminate them!), for of such things do the
Muscovites eat. And he spread fur cloaks
upon the merchandise, and we sat thereon,
and he struck the horse with a whip having
three lashes, and we went like the horses of
the Kurds, and like the camels of the Bedawee.

And, lo, the journey was long; but the
novelty thereof sustained me, for from my
youth up, I have loved to see strange
places, and to hear of the people who dwell
therein. And when we came to Berezow, we
found there Petrovna, the wife of Demski, and
Alexandrovitch, their little son, and I gave
to her a handkerchief of bright colours, and
to him a tarboosh of red cloth; so that they
were glad to see me, and I abode with them
during the winter. And, verily, I saw a
strange thing; for the sun appeared not for the
space of five months. And when I saw this, I
said, "Of a truth this is a land forsaken of
God. And it is because the people thereof
worship the pictures of created things."

And I abode much in the house, going only
from the stove to the sweating-house, and
from the sweating-house to the stove. And in
the sweating-house they took from me my
clothes, and set me on warm stones, and
poured water on stones heated in the fire,
until the house was filled with the steam
thereof, and beat my body gently with the
twigs of birch, until the perspiration ran
from me; and indeed this is of great
convenience in so cold a land. And in the house
we talked of the countries we had seen, and
of the wonderful works of God: and Demski
taught me the game of chess, and I taught
him that of Ahama, which I had learned of
an Osmanlee when I journeyed to Mecca,
(which may God establish!)

And, lo! one evening I noticed that
Alexandrovitch, the son of Demski, was cutting
out the bits of bone wherewith the game of
chess is played, and fashioning them into the
images of created things. And I saw that the
bone wherefrom he was cutting them was that
of a large animal; and I said, "Oh Demski!
whence is that bone? for I have seen here no
animals whose bones are of such a bigness,
but only a few hares and foxes, with white
fur. For in this accursed land, God has