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pass their lives in ecstasy till they are visited by the Terminator of Delights and the Separator of Companions.' There is no lack of the true romantic spirit about these tales, which form the bulk of the Arabian Nights.' That nothing is impossible to him who loves is their teaching, providedand this is a conspicuous moral in the tales-provided he be not cursed with a spirit of curiosity, in which case he is in danger of losing his head or being carried back from the palace of houris to his own dull shop on the giddy back of a flying horse. Ask not of that which doth not concern thee, lest thou hear what will not please thee,' is the lesson of many a tale, and Bluebeard's secret chamber has its numerous equivalents in the Nights.' It is only when he cannot bring his lovers together, or having done so cannot find enough fires of trouble to test their constancy, that the Arab raconteur introduces his genie,' afrit,' or 'marid,' or changes his hero into an ape. As a rule he finds he has quite enough to do to manage his inflammable lovers without trespassing too far in the direction of the Mountains of Kaf, where the genies habitually reside.

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Yet these romantic lovers, who will go through fire to meet each other, are not in themselves interesting characters. It may be questioned whether they have any character at all. Beauty they both possess, and that is the sole reason for their mutual attachment. The young man is described in terms which we should apply only to girls; the softness of his skin, the turn of his waist (conceive an Englishman with a waist!), or the curve of his cheek are made the subject of ecstatic admiration by his lady love, who constantly faints at the mere sight of his charms. We do not hear that he was brave, though he was generally able to support pain with fortitude; we do not read that he was a mighty hunter, or fond of polo or of any manly exercises-a fact which points conclusively to a middle-class bourgeois origin for the tales. Our young lover is something of a mollycoddle,' though he is capable of great exertions when it is a question of seeking out his princess in the islands of Wak-Wak or elsewhere. Even then, however, he does not seem to be doing it quite of his own accord. He saunters out of the city with a vague intention of finding the lost beauty, but it depends on higher powers whether he succeed. At every point some providential interposition, in the form of a chance encounter or a complaisant genie or the like, is necessary to move him another stage onwards in his journey, and we are left to infer that but for this deus ex machina the

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The characteristic theme of the 'Nights' is love, and it appears in every form and variety. Most commonly it is the violent passion inspired by a first glimpse of the beloved, as she waters her flowers at the lattice window and displays but the turn of her wrist; or as she sits on the seat in the merchant's shop and shows him the fire of her eyes with their dark fringe of kohl, and allures him with the honey of her tongue. The 'Nights' are largely made up of such chance meetings and the instantaneous kindling of a frantic passion, which sticks at nothing to accomplish its desire. The ladies return the emotion with at least equal enthusiasm; and it is generally they who, through the intermedium of some old woman, arrange the interview for which both are longing. Many of the tales are founded upon a palace intrigue, when one of the Khalif's women contrives to admit her lover into the forbidden precincts of the royal harim, and therefrom ensue various and exciting adventures, and much fainting, weeping, and broken hearts. Such is the tale of Ali the Son of Bakkar and Shems-en-Nahar,' where the lover is altogether too lachrymose for Western taste. Another is the story of Ghalib the Son of Ayyub,' where the Lady Zobeyda, the Khalif's jealous wife (she had her reasons), makes the hero a scapegoat for her hatred of Kout el-Kuloub; but all ends well, and the Khalif blesses Ghalib and the fair slave. Khalifa the Fisher' has the same motive. But others are much more romantic, and some have a very pathetic side, like the melancholy tale of the unselfish devotion of Aziza to her cousin Aziz, a weak-kneed and sentimental youth, or the charming little love story of the Christian broker, or Ali Sher and Zumurrud,' or Gulnar of the 'Sea,' where we have the one Undine of the Nights,' but without the tragedy.

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The charm of these love stories lies, we believe, chiefly in their absolute abandon. The lovers love, and that is enough; no power on earth can keep them long apart-or if it can, they die. The hero journeys over the whole world in search of the object of his love. He has seen her for but a moment and knows not who she is; but he has fallen in love, and off he sets, be he king's son or plain merchant. Of course he finds her, and then the narrator has to separate them, when the lady will probably be carried off by genies or robbers or wicked Magians, or will stray to an unknown country, where she will assume male attire and become vizir of the land, until such time as her lost love chances to come that way, when they will embrace each other till they swoon, and then

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pass their lives in ecstasy till they are visited by the Terminator of Delights and the Separator of Companions.' There is no lack of the true romantic spirit about these tales, which form the bulk of the Arabian Nights.' That nothing is impossible to him who loves is their teaching, providedand this is a conspicuous moral in the tales-provided he be not cursed with a spirit of curiosity, in which case he is in danger of losing his head or being carried back from the palace of houris to his own dull shop on the giddy back of a flying horse. Ask not of that which doth not concern thee, lest 'thou hear what will not please thee,' is the lesson of many a tale, and Bluebeard's secret chamber has its numerous equivalents in the Nights.' It is only when he cannot bring his lovers together, or having done so cannot find enough fires of trouble to test their constancy, that the Arab raconteur introduces his genie, afrit,' or 'marid,' or changes his hero into an ape. As a rule he finds he has quite enough to do to manage his inflammable lovers without trespassing too far in the direction of the Mountains of Kaf, where the genies habitually reside.

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Yet these romantic lovers, who will go through fire to meet each other, are not in themselves interesting characters. It may be questioned whether they have any character at all. Beauty they both possess, and that is the sole reason for their mutual attachment. The young man is described in terms which we should apply only to girls; the softness of his skin, the turn of his waist (conceive an Englishman with a waist!), or the curve of his cheek are made the subject of ecstatic admiration by his lady love, who constantly faints at the mere sight of his charms. We do not hear that he was brave, though he was generally able to support pain with fortitude; we do not read that he was a mighty hunter, or fond of polo or of any manly exercises a fact which points conclusively to a middle-class bourgeois origin for the tales. Our young lover is something of a mollycoddle,' though he is capable of great exertions when it is a question of seeking out his princess in the islands of Wak-Wak or elsewhere. Even then, however, he does not seem to be doing it quite of his own accord. He saunters out of the city with a vague intention of finding the lost beauty, but it depends on higher powers whether he succeed. At every point some providential interposition, in the form of a chance encounter or a complaisant genie or the like, is necessary to move him another stage onwards in his journey, and we are left to infer that but for this deus ex machind the

young man would probably have sat down and contentedly wept. Nor is the young lady much more individual; she is of course lovely, with a form like the Oriental willow and a vacillating gait; she can probably produce from her pocket a lute in a hundred and thirty-two pieces, which she will put together and then discourse most eloquent music; she may possess the gift of oratory, and even be profoundly trained in all branches of learning, though this is very exceptional. But of her other qualities, less external than beauty and accomplishments, we hear nothing, unless it be the very general capacity for ingenious intrigue and the power of finding a way,' which in Eastern love is almost always managed by the woman. The other characters are also little better than lay figures: the old king, given to hunting and manly sports, who has no offspring till just when the story begins, and complaisantly gives up his last breath at the very moment when his son is ready to ascend the throne; the wise and venerable vizir and his crafty rival; the old kahramana' or go-between; the fair slave girls and the slobbering blacks--all serve to fill the picture of Moslem life, but none has much personal individuality. All are machines appropriately moved by Fate to perform their parts in the remarkable adventures which are forthwith unfolded. The story and not the delineation of character is the essence of the Arabian Nights;' and we are not sure that this is much to be regretted. Some of us are still frivolous enough to love Montecristo' and the Trois 'Mousquetaires,' despite the lack of portraiture; the same ignorant people will maintain, and we shall not contradict them, that Scott's novels are an inexhaustible fund of enjoyment, though there too the story is paramount and the characters a little wooden; and we are afraid there still remain not a few barbarous folk who will like their Arabian Nights,' as they like their Montecristo' and their 'Ivanhoe,' not the less because there is not much introspection or philosophising in them. Delineation of character is very well in its right place; but we can conceive its being a foreign element in a story book pure and simple, and we confess we do not much miss it in the Thousand and One Nights.' Two or three figures there are, indeed, which stand out conspicuously from the rest and have a character of their One is of course the Khalif Haroun er-Rashid, who appears to much greater advantage in the 'Nights' than he ever did in real life. He forms a most imposing and at the same time fascinating figure. He is at once so great and power

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in which the young man broke his leg, and the indefatigable Barber pursued him through the streets, and I desired for 'death to free me from him.' The last touch of all, when the young man again encounters his persecutor, and tells his story as a reason for refusing to remain in the same room, is perfect :

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""By Allah," answered the Barber, "it was through my intelligence "that I acted thus towards him; and had I not done so he had perished; myself only was the cause of his escape; and it was through the "goodness of God, by my means, that he was afflicted by the breaking "of his leg instead of being punished by the loss of his life. Were I a person of many words I had not done him this kindness!"

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ART. VII.-Correspondance du Maréchal Davout, Prince d'Eckmühl, ses Commandements, son Ministère, 1801-1815. Avec Introduction et Notes par CH. DE MAZADE, de l'Académie Française. 4 tom. 8vo. Paris, 1885.

THE four large volumes lately published of Marshal

Davout's official correspondence form what, at first sight, may be thought a disproportionate contribution to the history of events in which this officer occupied only a subordinate position. But the interest in these events shows no sign of diminution; and these volumes furnish, we believe for the first time, an insight into the working of the Napoleonic military system from a new point of view. Hitherto the contributions available to the military history of the time in question have been either in the form of unverified memoirs of different actors in the scene, or the more or less authentic statements of the chief actor. Here we have the official correspondence of the commander of one of the units in the great military machine with which Napoleon effected his achievements. And the record is remarkably continuous. While most of the Generals of the Empire were moved about from one position to another, at one time serving with an army corps directly under the Emperor, at another holding independent command at a distance, Davout remained attached to the same corps-the Third--for almost the whole duration of the reign. Of all Napoleon's lieutenants he was one of the most distinguished; if he never held an absolutely independent command, as others did in Spain and Italy, he fought more than one great battle without support. Moreover, he never lost a battle or position committed to his charge; indeed, it may be said he never

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