The Higher The Flight, The Lower The Fall part 1



Until comparatively recent times Holland has not produced very much in the way of short stories. Before the beginning of the modem period, and particularly the advent of Herman Heijermans, Dutch writers were more interested in philosophy, theology, poetry, the drama, and history.

But of the early writers Jacob Cats, affectionately known as Father Cats, after more than three centuries still retains his popularity. His fables, or Emblems, have from the Sixteenth Century until modem times been widely known among the Dutch people.

In recent years there have been very interesting revivals both of the drama and the novel. During the Nineteenth Century, however, one figure stands out among the novelists, E. D. Dekker, known under his pseudonym of Multatuli. His celebrated novel, Max Havelaar, which contains The Story of Saidjah, was not only a dramatic revelation of conditions in Java, but a work of high independent artistic

The Higher The Flight, The Lower The Fall part 2

The present version is made by the editors from two old English verse translations.

The Higher The Flight, The Lower The Fall

(From Emblems)

Puffed up with an overweening sense of his own importance, he desired to change his earthly lot for a more exalted one. His friends failed to recognize in him any extraordinary powers, doubtless because of their limited tortoise-like point of view. He was none the less resolved to convince the earthly creatures of his ability to shine in a sphere where they could never hope to rival him.

One day, seeing an eagle, the bird of Jupiter, alight after his journey through the clouds, he politely asked him to take him aloft, in order that he might prove to all tortoise-kind that he was eminently qualified to grace a position more exalted than that which he now held on earth; to be able to look down upon the glories of land and sea, to watch the glories of the rising sun high above the flat earth, where groveli

Khaled and Djaida part 10

Khaled was determined at once to resist her in this demand. They engaged in a furious combat. The struggle lasted for well oyer an hour, when the warrior saw in the eyes of his adversary an expression which frightened him. He mounted his horse again, and having wheeled round his steed from the place of combat, exclaimed: “By the faith of an Arab, I beg of you to tell me what horseman of the desert you are; for I feel that your attack and the violence of your blows are irresistible.

You have prevented me from accomplishing what I had intended, and everything that I had eagerly wished to do.” On hearing these words Djaida raised her visor, allowing him to see her face. “Khaled,” she cried, “is it necessary for the girl you love to attack wild beasts, in order that the daughters of Arabia may learn that this is not the sole privilege of a warrior?” At this stinging rebuke Khaled was overcome with shame.

By the faith of an Arab

“By the faith

Khaled and Djaida part 9

This is my demand: that on the day of my marriage, some nobleman`s daughter, a free-born woman, hold the bridle of my camel; she ipust be the daughter of a prince of the highest rank, in order that I may be most honored of all the daughters of Arabia.” Khaled consented, and set about to carry out her wishes.

That same day he started with his horsemen, and crossed plains and valleys, searching the land of Ymer, until he reached the country of Hijar and the hills of Sand. In that place he attacked the tribe-family of Moawich, son of Mizal. He fell upon them like a tempest, and cutting a way with his sword through the opposing horsemen, took prisoner Amima, daughter of Moawich, at the very moment when she was betaking herself to flight.

Having accomplished feats which rendered useless the resistance of the skilful heroes, after having scattered all the clans in flight, and car-ried off all the wealth of all the Arabs in that country, he returned home. But he di

Khaled and Djaida part 8

Khaled began by complimenting his uncle on his fortunate return from war, but no one could be more astounded than Zahir at this second visit, particularly when he saw his nephew with all the chieftains of his family. It never occurred to him that his daughter Djaida had anything to do with Khaled`s return; he thought that his nephew simply wished to persuade him to return to his native land.

He offered them every hospitality, provided them with tents and entertained them in great magnificence. He ordered camels and sheep killed, and offered a banquet, furnishing his guests with all things needful and proper for a period of three days. On the fourth day Khaled arose, and after thanking his uncle for all his courtesy, asked him for his daughter`s hand, and begged him to return to his own land.

Zahir denied that he had any child except his son Djonder, but Khaled told him all that he had learned, and all that had passed between himself and Djaida. On hearing t

Khaled and Djaida part 7

She thereupon mounted her camel at once, and started off through the desert on the tracks of Djaida, who immediately on her arrival home had told her mother everything that had happened. As soon as Khaled`s mother had arrived, she threw herself into the arms of her relative and demanded Djaida in marriage for her son, for Zahir had not yet returned from his expedition.

When Djaida heard from her mother the request of Khaled, she said, “This shall never be, even though I be forced to drink the cup of death. What occurred at his tents was brought about by me to quench the fire of my grief and unhappi-ness, and soothe the anguish of my soul.”

On hearing these words Khaled`s mother, disappointed, went back to her son, who was tortured by the crudest anxiety. He rose suddenly to his feet, for his love had reached the point of despair, and asked un-easily what were the feelings of his cousin. When he learned the answer of Djaida his distress became overwhelmin

Khaled and Djaida part 6

When they separated neither one was hurt, and none could say which was the victor. Thus Djaida, while rousing the admiration of the spectators, perceived the annoyance they felt on finding their chief equaled in fight by so skilful an opponent.

Khaled ordered his antagonist to be treated with every care and honor, and then retired to his tent, his mind filled with thoughts of this conflict. Djaida remained for three days at her cousin`s dwelling-place. Every morning she presented herself on the field of combat and remained under arms until the fall of night. She enjoyed it greatly, still keeping her identity concealed, whilst Khaled, on the other hand, made no inquiries, and asked no questions of her, as to who she was and to what clan she might belong.

On the morning of the fourth day, while Khaled, according to his custom, rode out over the plain, and passed close to the tents reserved for strangers, he caught sight of Djaida mounting her horse. He saluted h

Khaled and Djaida part 5

On hearing these words Khaled cast his eyes on the ground; and remained for some time thoughtful and gloomy. Then he answered: “Mother, I cannot remain here longer. I must return home in company with my horsemen and troops. I have no intention of saying more to my cousin; I am convinced that she is a girl whose temper and philosophy are uncertain; her character and mode of speech are destitute of stability and propriety. I have always been accustomed to live with warriors, on whom I spend my wealth, and with whom I win a soldier`s fame. As for my cousin`s love for me, it is the weakness of a woman, a young girl.”

He then put on his armor, mounted his horse, bade his uncle farewell, and announced his intention of leaving on the moment. “What means this haste?” cried Zahir. “I can remain here no longer,” answered Khaled, and, putting his horse to a gallop, he plunged into the wilderness. His mother, after relating to Djaida the conversation she had had with h

Khaled and Djaida part 4

As for his cousin, the moment she had seen how handsome and valiant Khaled was, she fell violently in love with him. She was unable to sleep; she could not eat; and her love drew to such a pitch that feeling her heart completely lost to him, she spoke to her mother, saying: “Oh, mother, if my cousin should leave without taking me with him, I shall die of grief at his absence.”

Then her mother was touched with pity for her, and spoke no reproaches, feeling that they would be in vain. “Djaida,” she said, “conceal your feelings, and restrain yourself from grief. You have done nothing wrong, for your cousin is the man of your choice, and is of your own race and blood. Like him, you are beautiful and attractive; like him, brave and skilful in horsemanship. Tomorrow morning, when his mother comes to us, I will lay before her the whole matter; we will soon afterwards give you to him in marriage, and at last we shall all return to our own country.”


Khaled and Djaida part 3

About the same time Moharib, the other brother, had a son born to him, whom he called Khaled. He chose this name out of gratitude to God, because, since his brother`s departure, his affairs had prospered.

The two children in time reached maturity, and their fame spread far and wide among the Arabians. Zahir had taught his daughter to ride horseback, and trained her in all the accomplishments fitting to a brave and daring warrior. He accustomed her to the severest labor, and the most perilous enterprises.

When he went to war, he put her among the other Arabs of the clan, and among these horsemen she soon took her rank as one of the most valiant of them. And thus it came to pass that she outstripped all her comrades, and would even attack the lions in their dens. At last her name inspired the greatest terror; when she had conquered a champion she never failed to cry out: “I am Djonder, son of Zahir, horseman of the clans.”

For his part, her cousin