The Goldsmith and the Carpenter; and the Theft and Concealment of the Golden Images.

WHEN the sun was set, and the moon risen, Kho-jisteh, having covered herself with gold and jewels, went to the parrot, and said, “Give me leave to re-pair to my sweet-heart to-night.” The parrot answered, “I gave you permission the first night, why do you loiter till now? but it is not advise-able that you should go and appear before the man bedecked in these ornaments, lest he may covet them, and quit his affection for you; just as the goldsmith, who coveted the carpenter's gold, and abandoned a friendship of many years standing.”

Khojisteh having desired to hear the detail of the story, the parrot repeated it as follows:

“In a certain city there had subsisted such friend-ship between a goldsmith and a carpenter, that every person who saw them imagined them to be brothers. Once on a time they undertook a jour-ney together, and on their arrival at a certain city were much distressed for the means of defraying their expences. They said to each other, As there is in the city an idol temple, wherein are many golden images, it is adviseable that we feign our-selves Brahmins, and, entering into the service of the temple, perform our devotions, till we can find a convenient opportunity for stealing some of the images. Then both having entered the temple, they began to worship.

“The other Brahmins, beholding their mode of worshipping, were so much ashamed that every day one or two Brahmins left the temple, and did not return; and if any person questioned them why they had done so, they would say, Because we men are not able to perform the ceremonies in the manner that these two persons go through them; on which account we feel shame. After some days the temple was entirely deserted by the Brahmins, no person remaining but the goldsmith and the carpenter. One night the goldsmith and the carpenter seized all the images, and set out for their own city.

“When they arrived in the neighbourhood of their own city, they buried the images under a tree, and then went to their respective homes. One night the goldsmith went alone, and carried all the images to his own house. In the morning he exclaimed against the carpenter, saying, Thief! thou hast forgotten our long friendship, and stolen my share: this money you will devour in a few days. At first the carpenter was astonished, and said to himself, What is that he saith? O gold-smith! I suspect your doings; but, however, for God's sake, don't fix any accusation on me! The carpenter was a shrewd fellow, and seeing that it was to no purpose to wrangle or dispute, remained silent.

“Some time after, the carpenter made a figure of wood resembling the goldsmith, and having dressed it in his clothes, got from some place or other, two bears' cubs, whose victuals he put into the skirts and sleeves of the clothes on the figure. Whenever the cubs were hungry, they ate their food out of the skirts and sleeves of the effigy's garment. As soon as the cubs had conceived a great attachment to the figure, the carpenter made a feast for the goldsmith and the females of his family, with other women of the neighbourhood. The goldsmith's wife, with her two sons, came to the carpenter's house. The carpenter having concealed the boys, brought in the two whelps, and then began to bawl and cry out, that the goldsmith's sons were trans-formed into bears' cubs.—The goldsmith hearing the disturbance, came to the spot, and said to the carpenter, You assert a falsity, for never was a man transformed into a bear. At length the dispute was referred to the Governor and Cazy of the place, and brought before them. The Cazy inquired of the carpenter how the case stood. The carpenter replied, The goldsmith's sons were playing together, when suddenly falling on the ground they were changed into bears' cubs. The Cazy said, How can I credit your assertion? The carpenter replied, I have seen, in ancient books, that a whole tribe was metamorphosed; their forms having been changed, whilst their reason continued: therefore, if these cubs know persons, and can distinguish their friends, my assertion will be established. Now I will let loose these cubs in the middle of the court amongst all the people, when, if they recognize the gold-smith, they are his children. The Cazy having heard and approved of the carpenter's proposal, the cubs were then let loose, when seeing the goldsmith, the exact counter-part of the wooden figure, they ran to him, rubbed their heads against his feet, and began to play and frisk about. When the Cazy considered all these circumstances, he said to the goldsmith, Now I do believe that these cubs are your children—take them home with you:— Why do you thus unjustly and thro' malice wran-gle with the carpenter? The goldsmith being con-founded, laid his head at the carpenter's feet, and asked pardon for his misdemeanors, saying, If this is your contrivance in order to recover your share of the gold, take the gold immediately, and return me my children. The carpenter said, You acted unfairly, and dishonesty is a grievous sin: should you repent, it would not be astonishing if your children were restored to their original form. The goldsmith surrendered to the carpenter his share of the gold in question; when the carpenter, in return, brought out the children and presented them to the goldsmith.”

The parrot having finished the story of the gold­smith and the carpenter, said to Khojisteh, Carry not these jewels with you, lest your lover covet them, and cease to entertain friendship and regard for you. Khojisteh wanted to take off the ornaments from her person, and lay them aside, and to go to her sweet-heart, when Aurora appearing, the departure was deferred.