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At last he sent for his youngest daughter, and when she was come into his presence, he asked her likewise, "how much she loved him."
Theodosia bowed her head, and bent her knee to her father, as she mildly replied, "Even as my father de. serveth."
Then was the emperor hurt with her reply, and he said, "Lovest thou me no more than this? thy reward shall be less than thy sisters." So he married her unto a poor but good lord, who was one of the lesser nobles of his kingdom.
Time passed away, misfortune came upon the emperor, and his kingdom was all but taken from him by the king of Egypt. Then said he to himself, "I will appeal to my children." So he wrote to his eldest daughter for aid.
My lord, the king, I have here a letter from my father," said the eldest daughter to her husband, “he asketh help of us in his misfortunes."
"Is it not just that we should aid him?" replied the king; we will raise an army and go and fight for him.” Nay, my lord," rejoined his wife, "consider the expense; send my father five knights to keep him company in his wanderings."
"Alas, alas!" said the aged emperor when he read his eldest child's answer, "in her was my chief trust; she, that loved me more than herself, hath done only this much, how then shall I trust the other two."
Then wrote he to the second daughter, who, when she read her father's letter, advised her husband to grant him food, lodging, and raiment, during the time of his need. The emperor was sore grieved at this reply. "Now have I tried my two daughters, and have found them wanting, let me try the third;" so he wrote to his youngest child.
When the messenger brought the emperor's letter to Theodosia, she wept sorely as she read how that her father was driven from his capital, and was become a wanderer in his own kingdom. Then went she to her husband and said,
Oh, my dear lord, by thy love towards me, succour me in this great distress: my father is driven from his capital by the king of Egypt, and even now wanders up and down his own kingdom, homeless and unattended."
"As thou willest, Theodosia," replied the noble, SO will I do."
"Gather then a great army, raise again my father's banner, and go, my lord, fight for my father's throne, and under God's blessing thou shalt conquer."
Gladly the noble obeyed the wishes of his wife; gladly did he summon his retainers and friends, and raise the royal standard. His example was all that was required; numbers flocked to the royal standard, for they wished well to the emperor, but lacked a leader. Then led he his
forces against the king of Egypt, and long and fierce was the battle; but at length the emperor's friends prevailed, the Egyptian was driven from the land, and the emperor re-seated on his throne. It was a happy day for his people when Theodosius re-ascended his throne: round him stood all his nobles, and on his right hand his youngest daughter, and on his left her noble husband, to whom he was indebted for his restoration. Before his footstool stood his other children and their husbands, and sought to do him homage. But the emperor forbade them; and, turning to his nobles, he said
"The child that loved me but as I deserved, hath succoured me in this my time of trouble; the twain that professed to love me more abundantly, have failed in the trial God ordained to them and to me. I pray ye, my nobles and knights, to ratify this my wish. When I die, let the kingdom pass to her and to her husband, for she succoured her father and her country: but for these other two, let them go hence,"
And the nobles and knights with one accord exclaimed, "It is well said; be it so."-Evenings with the Old Story Tellers.
THE DESERT OF SUEZ.
WE found the equipages in which we were to cross the desert waiting for us at the City of Tombs. They consisted of donkey-chairs, one being provided for each of the females of the party. Nothing could be more comfortable than these vehicles; a common arm-chair was fastened with a sort of wooden tray, which projected in front about a foot, thereby enabling the passenger to carry a small basket or other package; and these, by means of ropes or straps placed across, were fastened upon the backs of donkeys-one in front, the other behind. Five long and narrow vehicles of this kind running across the desert made a sufficiently droll and singular appearance; and we did nothing but admire each other as we went along. Our cavalcade consisted, besides, of two stout donkeys, which carried the beds and carpet bags of the whole party: thus enabling us to send the camels a-head: the three men-servants were also mounted on donkeys. There were eight or ten donkey-men and a boy: the latter generally contrived to ride, but the others walked by the side of the equipages.
In first striking into the desert we all enjoyed a most delightful feeling of repose: every thing around appeared so calm and tranquil that, especially after encountering the noises and multitudes of a large and crowded city, it was soothing to the mind thus to emerge from the haunts of men, and wander through the vast solitudes that spread their wastes before us. To me there was nothing dismal in the aspect of the desert, nor was the view so boundless as I had expected. In these wide plains the fall of a few inches is sufficient to diversify the prospect: there is always some gentle acclivity to be surmounted, which cheats the sense with the expectation of finding a novel scene beyond: the sand hills in the distance also range themselves in wild and fantastic forms, many appearing
like promontories jutting into some noble harbour, to which the traveller seems to be approaching. Nor were there wanting living objects to animate the scene; our own little kafila was sufficiently large and cheerful to banish every idea of dreariness, and we encountered others much more picturesque.
After losing sight of the tombs we came upon a party who had bivouacked for the night; the camels, unladen, were, with their burthens, placed in a circle, and the people busily employed in preparing their evening meal. Evidences began to appear that the toils of the desert were but too frequently fatal to the wretched beasts of burthen employed in traversing these barren wastes. Our first stop was the shortest of the whole, and we came to the rest-house just as night closed in.
In consequence of several delays it was rather late, past nine o'clock, before we set forward. I had provided myself with a pair of crape spectacles and a double veil, but I speedily discarded both. Though the sun was rather warm, its heat was tempered by a fresh cold air which blew across the desert, though not strongly enough to lift the sand. I could not endure to mar the prospect by looking at it through a veil, and found my parasol quite sufficient protection from the rays of the sun.
Occasionally we saw a small party of Bedouins, easily distinguished by their fierce countenances, glaring from beneath the large rolls of cloth twisted over their turbans and round their throats, leaving nothing besides flashing eyes, a strongly developed nose, and a bushy beard to be seen. One or two, superior to the rest, were handsomely dressed, armed to the teeth, and rode camels well groomed and richly caparisoned: wild looking warriors, whom it would not have been agreeable to meet were the country in a less tranquil state.
When we reached the bungalow, or resting place, we found Ali, whom we had sent forward, busily superintending the cooking for dinner, which was performed in the open air. The share of bread and apples given to me upon the road I now bestowed upon my donkeys, not having reflected at the time that the drivers would be glad of it; so the next day, when the usual distributions were made, I gave the grapes, &c. to the donkey-men, who stuffed them into their usual repository, the bosoms of
their blue shirts, and seemed very well pleased to get them.
We were as usual rather late the following morning; our dear little plaything, the baby, bore the journey wonderfully, she appeared to enjoy the scene as much as ourselves sometimes seated in the lap of her nurse, who travelled in a chair; at others, at the bottom of one of our chairs: then in the arms of her male attendant, who rode a donkey, or in those of the donkey-men, trudging on foot. I mention her, not only for the delight she afforded us, but also to show how very easily infants at her tender age -she was not more than seven months old-could be transported across the desert. After breakfast, and just as we were about to start on our day's journey, we saw what must certainly be called a strange sight—a wheeled carriage approaching our encampment. It came along like the wind, and proved to be a phaeton, double bodied, with a driving seat in front, with a European charioteer guiding a pair of horses as the wheelers; while the leaders were camels, with an Arab riding postilion. During this day's journey we met several parties coming from Suez. We arrived at rather an early hour at our halting place for the night; and as we considered it to be desirable to get into Suez as speedily as possible, we agreed to start by three o'clock on the following morning. Just as we had finished our evening meal, three gentlemen of our acquaintance, who had scrambled across the desert from the Pyramids, came up, weary and wayworn, and as hungry as possible. We put the best that we had before them, and then retired to the opposite apartment. But in this place I found it impossible to stay; there was no free circulation of air throughout the room, and it had all the benefit of the smell from the stable.
Leaving, therefore, my companions asleep, and wrapping myself up in my shawl, I stole out into the passage, where there were several Arabs lying about, and not without difficulty contrived to step between them, and to unfasten the door which opened upon the desert. There was no moon, but the stars gave sufficient light to render the scene distinctly visible. A lamp gleamed from the window of the apartment which I had quitted, and the camels, donkeys, and people belonging to the united parties formed themselves into very picturesque groups upon the sand,