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Then, sudden through the lurid air,.
Thick darkness spread around, Save where the lightning's sulphurous glare
Ran frequent o'er the ground; Yet, still undaunted, on he went, Unalter'd in his fix'd intent,
But now the kind of peril chang’d,
The night was turn'd to day,
Appear’d to point the way;
The fragrant arbour grew;
Alternate met the view.
Idalia's ripen'd charms she wears,
And those her robe conceals,
Surpass what it reveals.
Lost with surprise, amaz’d, confus’d,
In wonder stood the knight,
His quick enquiring sight,
Then, fierce, he drew his polish'd blade,
And at one vengeful stroke,
Which thus the magic broke:
The blooming Elda sudden stood
Close by Sir Albert's side,
Restor’d, his destin'd bride.
“Hail! spotless maiden, well-belov'd
By one of high renown,
That fortune's darkest frown
THE CELEBRATED LARGE DIAMOND.
“ Glittering, precious stone!
What a great omnipotence hast thou,
.... During my residence in Astrakhan, I became acquainted with the heirs of the late Grigori Safarov Shafrass, the Armenian, who sold the celebrated large diamond, which is now set in the imperial sceptre of Russia. The history of this diamond, which holds so distinguished a place among those of the first water,
may probably afford entertainment to my readers, as I shall thereby refute many false reports which have been circulated on this subject.
Shah Nadir had in his throne two principal Indian diamonds, one of which was called the Sun of the Sea, and the other the Moon of the Mountain. At the time of his assassination, many precious ornaments belonging to the crown were pillaged, and afterwards secretly disposed of by the soldiers who shared the plunder.
Shafrass, commonly known at Astrakhan by the name of Millionskik, or the Man of Millions, then resided at Bassora, with two of his brothers. One day, a chief of the Auganians applied to him, and secretly proposed to sell, for a very moderate sum, the before-mentioned diamond, which probably was that called the Moon of the Mountain, together with a very large emerald, a ruby of a considerable size, and other precious stones of less value. Shafrass was astonished at the offer, and pretending that he had not a sufficient sum to purchase these jewels, he demanded time to consult with his brothers on the subject. The vender, probably from suspicious motives, did not again make his appearance. · Shafrass, with the approbation of his brothers, immediately went in search of the stranger with the jewels, but he had left Bassora. The Armenian, however, met him accidentally at Bagdad, and concluded the bargain by paying him fifty thousand piastres for all the jewels in his possession. Shafrass and his brothers being conscious that it was necessary to observe the most profound secrecy respecting this purchase,
resolved, on account of their commercial connections, to remain at Bassora.
After a lapse of twelve years, Grigori Shafrass, with the consent of his brothers, set off with the largest of the jewels, which had till then been concealed. He directed his route through Sham and Constantinople, and afterwards by land through Hungary and Silesia to the city of Amsterdam, where he publicly offered his jewels for sale.
The English government is said to have been among the bidders. The court of Russia sent for the large diamond, with a proposal to reimburse all reasonable expences, if the price could not be agreed upon. When the diamond arrived, the Russian minister, Count Panin, made the following offer to Shafrass, whose negociator, Mr. Lasaref, was then jeweller to the court. Besides the patent of hereditary nobility demanded by the vender, he was to receive an annual pension of six thousand rubles during life, and five hundred thousand rubles in cash, one fifth part of which was to be payable on demand, and the remainder in the space of ten years, by regular instalments. The capricious Shafrass likewise claimed the honour of nobility for his brothers, and various other immunities or advantages, and persisted so obstinately in his demands, that the negociation was frustrated, and the diamond returned.
Shafrass was now in great perplexity: he had involved himself in expences, was obliged to pay interest for considerable sums he had borrowed, and there was no prospect of selling the jewel to advantage. His negociators left him in that perplexity, in order to profit by his mismanagement... To elude his creditors, he
was obliged to abscond to Astrakhan. At length, the
THE SILENT GIRL BECOMES A TALKATIVE WIFE.
“ Silence is the ecstatic bliss
Of souls, that by intelligence converse."
....So common is the desire of having a quiet, humble fool for a wife, that a gentleman in this country, (the Highlands of Scotland), a learned doctor of the laws, who had studied more books than the human heart, imagined that he wanted a wife, but then he must have one that would not talk much.
Accordingly he looked out for a stupid and ignorant woman, because he laid it down as an incontrovertible maxim, that a sensible, well-informed woman would necessarily talk him to death. Having examined, for some time, his various female acquaintance, he at length pitched upon the youngest daughter, out of five, of a neighbouring gentleman. This girl was seldoni or ever heard to utter a single syllable, but sat in som