Story of the Careless Mother.

[I HAVE heard of a lovely woman in Arabia, that when she grew up to be a fair beauty, she ever sat at her window or in the alcove. Like the tulip, she hid not her face from strangers; like the hyacinth, she covered not constantly her hair. She was wanton, and joyous, and fond of pleasure, and was never without flute, harp, or tambourine. She had no care of name, or thought of fame, but all day listened to the sound of the harp. She had no fear of brother or thought of father; and in this manner she passed her days. She had a little darling (lit. a corner of her liver), very dear to her heart, from whose mouth the scent of milk would come to her. One morning she took a cord and a pitcher, and put the little darling on her shoulder. She went on to the well, where she saw a fairy-faced one, like the sun—like the cypress in figure, like the moon in face, before whom the fame of Joseph would have fallen into the well. She saw him, and lost her wits, so that she forgot herself— forgot all good and bad. In her madness, this inebriate wanton bound the cord round the child's neck, and lowered him into the well. The boy cried out, and a crowd speedily came from the road, and drew him from the well.]*

“So thoughtless is youth,” said the prince. “Make not thyself uneasy, then, about the raw stripling, since time will render him mature. Thus was it with me. Youth is the season of gaiety and thoughtlessness. I then cared but for sport and the chase. That period is now past, and no one sees it a second time, even in a dream. Reason then became my guide; and when I distinguished right from wrong, my heart was plunged in thought. Virtue and know­ledge are the only garments that never grow old.— Sire, I have seen three persons wiser than myself and more experienced in the world: the first, an infant at the breast, by the inspiration and aid of the Creator; the second, a little child of five years old; the third, a blind old man.”

At the request of his Majesty, the Prince then relates the