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numerous prisoners, and he divided among his soldiers the lands of the conquered. Teloné soon found a merchant who offered him an hundred crowns for his brother, Whilst he was hesitating and trembling at this horrible bargain, a trumpet sounds in the square, and a public crier proclaims with a loud voice, that the king of Dahomai would give four hnndred ounces of gold to whoever would deliver a negro, as yet unknown, who dared to profane, the preceding night, the seraglio of the monarch, and had escaped at day-break, amidst the arms of his guards. Selico, on hearing this proclamation, made a sign to Teloné not to conclude the bargain with the merchant; and taking his brother aside, spoke thus to him in a firm and determined voice : “ Thou must sell me, and I am resolved on it, in order to preserve my mother ; but the moderate price this white offers thee will not make her comfortable. Four hundred ounces of gold will be a large fortune for her and you both. You must not let this opportunity slip ; no, brother you must bind me directly, and conduct me to the king as the criminal he is in search of. Don't be frightened, I know as well as you what punishment awaits me; I have calculated its duration, and it cannot last longer than an hour; and when my mother brought me into the world, she suffered much longer.” Teloné trembled so much that he could not answer. Full of alarm and tenderness, he fell at the feet of Selico,' embraced his knees, and, pressing them, besought him by the name of their mother, by that of Berissa, by every thing he held dear and sacred on this earth, to give up so terrible a resolution. « Of whom dost thou speak ; (replied Selico, with a smile of anguish) I have lost Berissa ; I am anxious to meet her again : I preserve my mother by my death, and render my brothers richer than ever they could have expected, and I save myself a slavery that might have lasted forty years, My determination is fixed; do not argue longer, or I will go and deliver myself to the king; thou wilt lose the benefit of my death, and be the means of destroying her to whom we are indebted for our existence.”
Intimidated by the tone and manner with which Selico pronounced these last words, Teloné dared not to make any reply ; he obeyed his brother, and went for cords to bind him. He tied his two arms behind his back, as he bathed it with his tears ; and, driving him before him, went to the palace of the king.
Stopped by the first guards, he demanded to be conducted to the king; his name and purpose is announced; and he is presented to the monarch. The king of Dahomai, covered with gold and precious stones, was half reclined upon a sopha of scarlet and gold, his head leaning on the breast of one of his favourites, clothed with petticoats of brocade. The ministers, nobles, and officers, very richly dressed, were prostrated at twenty steps from him ; the bravest were distinguished by a collar of human teeth, each of which was a mark of a victory. Many women, with firelocks on their shoulders, guarded the doors of the apartment: large vases of gold, containing palın wine, brandy, and strong liquors, were placed indiscriminately at a little distance from the king, and the floor was paved with the skulls of his enemies.
“Sovereign of the world ! (said Teloné, bowing his forehead to the ground) I come, according to thy sacred orders, to deliver into thy hands-" He could say no more, his voice faltered, the king questioned him, but he could not answer. Selico then spoke. "King of Dahomai, you see before you the criminal who, instigated by a fatal passion, penetrated last night into your seraglio. He who holds me bound was so long my confidential friend, that I intrusted him with my secret ; zealous to serve thee, he has betrayed his friend. He surprised me when sleeping, bound me, and brings me here to demand thy promised recompense : give it him, for the wretch has well earned it.” The king, without deigning to answer him, makes a sign to one of his ministers, who seizes the culprit, delivers him to the armed women, and counts out to Teloné the four hundred ounces of gold. He, loaded with this gold, whose touch is dreadful to him, hastens to buy provisions, and then rushes out of the city in a hury to carry them to his mother.
Already, by orders from the monarch, they had begun the preparations for the terrible execution, with which adultery with the king's wives were punished in Juida. Two wide ditches are dug at a short distance from each other. In that destined for the guilty wife the criminal is fastened to a stake, and all the ladies of the seraglio, dressed in their best apparel, carrying large vases of boiling water, march to the sound of drums and Autes, and pour this water upon her head until she expires. In the other ditch there is a pile of wood, above which is an iron bar, supported by two stakes; to this bar the other criminal is tied, and when the pile is lighted, the extremity of the flames do but touch him, and he perishes by length of torture. The square was full of spectators. The whole army under arms formed a square battalion of firelocks and darts. The priests, in their dresses of ceremony, were waiting to lay their hands on the victims and devote them to death. The prisoners came from opposite quarters, guarded by women. Selico, calm and resigned, marched with an erect countenance and firm step. Having come to the fatal spot, an involuntary movement made him turn his eyes to view his companion in misery : what is his surprise-what is his grief-to see Berissa! He screams out and attempts to fly to her, but his executioners prevent him. Indignation directly takes possession of him. “Wretch! (says he to himself) during the time when I was bewailing her loss, and seeking death in order to follow her, sh was one of those vile mistresses that
dispute the heart of a tyrant ! Not content with having betrayed her love, she was faithless to her master! she deserved the name of adultress, and the chastisement with which they are punished. O, my dearest mother! is it for you alone I die ! it is you alone that I wish to think of !” At the same instant the unfortunate Berissa had discerned Selico, she cries out, and calls the priests to her, and declares that the young man at the stake is not the person, who broke into the seraglio ; she confirmed this by the most redoubled oaths. The priests are alarmed, stop the execution, run to inform the king what had happened, who comes in person to the great square. Anger and indignation are strongly painted on the face of the monarch, as he approaches Berissa “ Slave! (says he, with a tremendous voice) thou who disdained the love of thy master, thou whom I wished to raise to the dignity of my first wifc, and whom I suffered to live in spite of your refusals, what is thy object in denying the crime of thy accomplice ? Dost thou wish to save him ? If he is not thy lover, name him then, guilty girl ; point him out to my justice, and I will immediately deliver the innocent.
King of Dahomai, (replied Berissa, who was tied to the stake) I could not accept of thy heart; mine was no longer in my possession, and I was not afraid to tell thee so. Dost thou imagine that she who would not tell a falsehood to share a throne, could be capable of it at the moment she is going to expire ? No; I have owned every thing ; I will repeat all I know. A man penetrated last night into my apartment; he only quitted me at day-break; but that prisoner is not the man. Thou askest me to name him ; neither my duty nor my will can consent to do
I know nothing can save me, and I only wish to prolong these terrible moments to hinder you from committing a crime. I swear, king of Dahomai, that the blood of this innocent man will fall on thine own head. Let him be released, and let me suffer. that is all I request." The king was struck with the tone and manner with which Berissa had pronounced these last words : he remained musing, holding down his head, and astonished himself at his own secret repugnance, for once, to shed blood. But recollecting that this negro had accused himself as being guilty, and fancying that Berissa's eagerness to save him was from her love to him, all his rage returned; he makes a sign to the executioner, who immediately sets fire to the pile ; the women begin procession with their vases of boiling water, when an old man, quite out of breath, and covered with blood and wounds, pushes through the crowd, and throws himself at the king's feet. “Stop! (he cried) stop !—it is I who am the guilty person !-it was I who scaled the walls of thy seraglio to carry off my daughter. I was formerly the priest of the deity who was worshipped on this spot: my daughter was torn from my arms, and dragged to thy palace ; ever since I have constantly, watched to see her. This
last night I got into her chamber; she in vain attempted to follow me; thy guards saw her, and I escaped amidst showers of arrows, of which you see here the marks. I come to give myself
a victim to you, to expire with her for whom I wished to live.” He had not finished, when the king ordered the two prisoners to be unbound and brought before him. He interrogated Selico : he was desirous to know what motive could be powerful enough to make him wish for so cruel a punishment. Selico, whose heart beat with joy to find that his Berissa had not been faithless to him, was not afraid to inform the monarch of every particular. He related his misfortunes, the indigence of his mother, and the resolution he had taken to gain the four hundred ounces for her. Berissa and her father listened, sheding tears of admiration. The chiefs, the soldiers, and the people were affected ; the king felt tears run down his cheeks for the first time : such is the force of virtue that even barbarians adore it.
The king, after Selico had finished, stretched forth his hand and raised him up, then turning to the European merchants, whom this sight had brought there, “ Tell me, (says he) you whom wisdom and long experience have taught the nicest valuation of a man, how much is Selico worth ?" The merchants blushed at this question ; but a young Frenchman, holder than the rest, cried out, ten thousand crowns of gold. Let them be given directly to Berissa, replied the king, and with this sum she shall not purchase, but marry Selico. After this order, which was immediately executed, the king retired, surprised at the sensation of joy which he had never before experienced. Faculbo the same day gave his daughter to Selico. The next day all three set out with their treasure. for the hut of Darina, who almost expired with joy, as well as his brothers, at the sight of them. This virtuous family were never again separated, enjoyed their riches, and in a barbarous country were for a long time, the brightest example under heaven, namely, happiness and opulence acquired by virtue.
The Cæsar sailed from the continent of India in 1817. Notwithstanding the crowded state of the ship, two passengers, of rather a singular nature, were put on board at Batavia, for a passage to Britain ; the one, a snake of that species called Boa Constrictor; the other, an Ourang Outang. The former was somewhat small of its kind, being only about sixteen feet long, and about eighteen inches in circumference; but his stomach was rather disproportionate to its size, as will presently appear. He was a native of Borneo, and was the property of a gentleman residing in Britain, who had two of the same sort; but, in their passage up to Batavia, one of them broke loose from its confinement, and very soon cleared the decks, as every body very civilly made way for him. Not being used to a ship, however, or taking, perhaps, the sea for a green field, he sprawled overboard and was drowned. Its companion, lately our shipmate, was brought safely on shore, and lodged in the court-yard of Mr Davidson's house at Ryswick, where he remained for some months. At an early period of the voyage we had an exhibition of its talents in the way of eating, which was publicly performed on the quarter-deck, upon which he was brought. The sliding door of its cage being opened, one of the ship's
goats was thrust in, and the door immediately shut. The poor goat, as if instantly aware of all the horrors of its perilous situation, began to utter the most piercing and distressing cries, butting instinctively, at the same time with its head towards the serpent, in self-defence.
The snake, which at first appeared scarcely to notice the poor animal, soon began to stir a little, and turning its head in the direction of the goat, it at length fixed a deadly and malignant eye on the trembling victim, whose agony and terror seemed to increase; for, previous to the snake seizing its prey, it shook in every limb, but still continued its unavailing show of attack, by butting at the serpent, who now became sufficiently animated to prepare for the banquet. The first operation was that of darting out his forked tongue, and at the same time rearing a little its head ; then suddenly seizing the goat by the fore-leg with its mouth, and throwing him down, it was encircled in an instant in its horrid folds ! So quick indeed, and so instantaneous was the act, that it was impossible for the eye to follow the rapid convolution of his elongated body. It was not a regular screwlike turn that was formed, but resembling a knot, one part of the body overlaying the other, as if to add weight to the muscular pressure, the more effectually to crush its object. During this time it continued to grasp with its mouth, though it appeared to be an unnecessary precaution, that part of the animal which he had first seized. The poor goat, in the meantime, continued its feeble and half-stified cries for some minutes, but they soon became more and more faint, and at last expired. The snake, however, retained it for a considerable time in its grasp, after it was apparently motionless. It then began slowly and cautiously to unfold itself, till the goat fell dead from its monstrous embrace when it began to prepare himself for the feast.