28 THE LANDS OF THE SARACEN. he did not mean that the facts were precisely so, but only that the King was very rich, and the Sultan had a great many horses. In order to giv.e the Shekh an idea of the great wealtti and power of the American Nation, I was obliged to adopt the same plan. I told him, therefore, that our country was two J ears' journey in extent, that the Treasury consisted of four thousand houses filled to the roof with gold, and that two hun- dred thousand soldiers on horseback kept continual guard around Sultan Fillmore's palace. He received these tremendous statements with the utmost serenity and satisfaction, carefully writing them in his book, together with the name of Sultan Fillmore, whose fame has ere this reached the remote regions of Tim))uctoo. The Shekh, moreover, had the desire of visiting England, and wished me to give him a letter to the English Sultan. This rather exceeded my powers, but I wrote a simple certificate explaining who he was, and whence he came, which I sealed with an immense display of wax, and gave him. In return, he wrote his name in my book, in the Mughrebbin char- acter, adding the sentence : " There is no God but God." This evening the forbidden subject of politics crept into our quiet community, and the result was an explosive contention which drowned even the braying of the agonizing trumpets out- side. The gentlemanly Frenchman is a sensible and consistent republican, the old Jilatmr a violent monarchist, while Absa- lom, as I might have foreseen, is a Red, of the schools of Proud- hon and Considerant. The first predicted a Republic in France, the second a Monarchy "in America, and the last was in favor of a general and total demolition of all existing sys- tems. Of course, with such elements, anything like a serious discussion was impossible ; and, as in most French debates, it
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