The ground, and disappeared in the abyss of the dark
entrails of the world.
These Argan forests continued under the fearful ban of the enchantress
and wicked jinns, until a holy man was brought from the farthest desert
upon the back of a flying camel, who set free the spell-bound wood by
tying on each bewitched tree a small piece of cork bark on which was
inscribed the sacred name of the Deity. The legends of these haunted
Argan forests remind us of the enchanted wood of Tasso, whose
enchantment was dissolved by the gallant knight, Rinaldo, and which
enabled the Crusaders to procure wood for the machines of war to assault
and capture the Holy City. Two quotations will shew the universality and
permanence of superstition, begotten of human hopes and fears. Such is
the beautiful imagery devoted to superstitious musings, by the
illustrious bard: -
"While, like the rest, the knight expects to hear
Loud peals of thunder breaking on his ear,
A dulcet symphony his sense invades,
Of nymphs, or dryads, warbling through the shades.
Soft sighs the breeze, soft purls the silver rill.
The feathered choir the woods with music fill;
The tuneful swan in dying notes complains;
The mourning nightingale repeats her strains,
Timbrels and harps and human voices join,
And in one concert all the sounds combine!"
Then for the streamlets and flowerets -
"Where'er he treads, the earth her tribute pours,
In gushing springs, or voluntary flowers.
Here blooms the lily; there the fragrant rose;
Here spouts a fountain; there a riv'let flows;
From every spray the liquid manna trills,
And honey from the softening bark distills.
Again the strange the pleasing sound he hears,
Of plaints and music mingling in his ears;
Yet naught appears that mortal voice can frame.
Nor harp, nor timbrel, whence the music came."
I had another interview with the Governor on Anti-Slavery subjects.