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The Vault at PfaffsAn Archive of Art and Literature by the Bohemians of Antebellum New York
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              [newspaper clipping continued]
of art, and regret at times that he had ever given up painting.
Taylor expressed great admiration for modern English poets,
especially Browning, and recited with great spirit �How
they brought the Good News from Ghent to Aix.�  Desirous
of adding something to the entertainment, I tried to adduce
some instances of pleasure caused to the ear by a change of
beat in verses, and, amongst others, quoted the lines by
Wordsworth:
			�The moon doth with delight
		Look round her, when the heavens are bare.
		     Waters on a starry night
		     Are beautiful and bright;�
where the spondee �waters� suddenly introduced has all
the effect of a change of key, and this I compared with a
striking change of key in a German song from the Night
Camp in Grenada��Ein Sch�tz bin Ich.�
  Off now in a new direction, we trolled a catch or two
together.  Thus ready was he to jump with the humour of the
moment.  But, behold a figure was seen approaching�an 
old Mohammedan with a bronzed and pleasant face, bright
eyes, and beard of silver hue.  He came hobbling along
towards us; lame, indeed, he was not, but thought it
right, in his inefficient oriental slippers, to protest by a
shuffling gait against the sharpness of the stones and the
roughness of the way.  This was Bisharut Alee�the cicerone
of the ruins, and a privileged visitor.  He was soon ensconced,
cross-legged, on a parapet, and asking friendly permission
to remove his turban, substituted for it a linen skill-cap.
Thus at his ease, and waving his rosary in his hand, he pro-
ceeded to tell a story with admirable point and gesure.
The tale was substantially that of the �Ring of Polycrates,�
though bearing a different moral from the Greek version.
Mr. Ralston would be able to say whether the basis of the
anecdote is Eastern or Western, but it is clear that such
narratives in migrating often change the truth they seem
expressly created to enforce.  I had to interpret, and feared
I had rather deadened the vivacity of the incident, but was
surprised when Taylor�s book on India came out to find
how completely he had caught the spirit of the thing.  The
story ended, Bisharut Alee got on his favourite topic of the
fair sex, and was anxious to know if our experiences had not
led us to set down the womanly mind as deceitful and
treacherous.  This, of course, we stoutly denied, and Bisharut
Alee went on to say that female admiration was certainly
gratifying, but that he did not find furtive glances from
behind jalousies or the curtains of pasing cars directed
towards him so much as formerly.  As he was past sixty,
we urged him to be content with the sensation he had
created heretofore, and to turn his thoughts to less perplex-
ing subjects.  Evening was approaching.  The pigeons from
the lofty gateway were wheeling in the air.  Exaggerated
shadows grew pale.  The sun was about to hand over the
solitary city to light more spectral, but scarcely to silence
more profound.  A fox�s small bark announced other
comers.  Bisharut Alee begged some tea, and having ob-
tained a portion, betook himself to evening prayer on a
neighbouring slab.  The moon was to light Taylor back to
Agra.  His dog-cart was brought round.  A top-coat was
put on, with the dry observation that India would be
intolerable if it were not for the cold nights.  Then a few
last words.
  �If you ever cross the Atlantic, you must come and
see me.�
  �Of course I will.  And when you visit London, please
look me up.�
  �Without fail.�
  How many of these partings�that seem so casual�are
the longest of farewells!
  WIth the case of our own Layard before us, it would not
be true to say that a man cannot push his way unaided in
the English diplomatic service, but the case is almost solitary;
and it is highly creditable to America that there should be
a fairly practicable road for capacity from merely mechanical 
duties in a printing establishment ot the ambassadorial
apartments in Berlin, that the journey should be effected,
and that no one should wonder.			S.               
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