It is a strange thing，that when I feel most ferventlyand most deeply，my hands and my tongue seem aliketied，so that I cannot ringhtly describe or accurately portraythe thoughts that are rising within me；and yet I am apainter：my eye tells me as much as that，and all myfriends who have seen my sketches and fancies say thesame．
I am a poor lad，and live in one of the narrowest oflanes；but I do not want for light，as my room is high upin the house，with an extensive prospect over the neigh－bouring roofs．During the first few days I went to live inthe town，I felt low-spirited and solitary enough．Insteadof the forest and the green hills，I had here only the greychimneys to look out upon．And I had not then a singlefriend；not one familiar face greeted me．
So one evening I stood at the window，in a despond－ing mood；and presently I opened the casement and looked out．Oh，how my heart leaped up with joy！Herewas a well－known face at last—a round，friendly counte－nance，the of a good friend I had known at home．Infact，it was the Moon that looked in upon me．He wasquite unchanged，the dear old Moon，and had the sameface exactly that he used to show when he peered downupon me through the willow trees on the moor．I kissedmy hand to him over and over again，as he shone straightinto my little room；and he，for his part，promised me that every evening，when he came abroad，he would lookin upon me for a few moments．This promise he has faith－fully kept．It is a pity that he can only stay such a shorttime when he comes．Whenever he appears，he tells meof one thing or another that he has seen on the previousnight or on that same evening．
"Just paint the scenes I describe to you！"This iswhat he said to me—"And you will have a very pretty pic－ture－book．"
I have followed his injunction for many evenings．Icould make up a new "Thousand and One Nights"，in myown way，out of these pictures，but the number might betoo great，after all．The pictures I have here given have notbeen selected，but follow each other，just as they were de-scribed to me．Some great gifted painter，or some poet ormusician，may make something more of them if he likes；what I have given here are only hasty sketches，hurriedlyput upon the paper，with some of my own thoughts inter-spersed；for the Moon did not come to me every evening—a cloud sometimes hid his face from me．
"Last night！"—I am quoting the Moon's ownwords—"last night I was gliding through the cloudless In－dian sky．My face was mirrored in the waters of theGanges，and my beams strove to pierce through the thickintertwining boughs of the plane trees，arching beneath melike the tortoise's shell．Forth from the thicket tripped aHindoo maid，light was a gazelle，beautiful as Eve．Therewas something so airy and ethrereal，and yet so full andfirm in this daughter of Hindostan：I could read herthoughts through her delicate skin．The thorny creepingplants tore her sandals，but for all that she came rapidlyforward．The deer which came from the river where it hadquenched its thirst，sprang by with a startled bound，for inher hand the maiden bore a lighted lamp．I could see the blood in her delicate finger－tips，as she spread them for ascreen before the flame．She came down to the stream，andset the lamp upon the water，and let it float away．Theflame flickered to and fro，and seemed ready to expire；butstill the lamp burned on，and the girl's black sparklingeyes，half－veiled behind their long silken lashes，followedit with a gaze of earnest intensity．She well knew that ifthe lamp continued to burn so long as she could keep it insight，her betrothed still alive；but if the lamp wassuddenly extinguished，he was dead．And the lampburned and quivered，and her heart burned and trembled；she fell on her knees，and prayed．Near her in the grasslay a speckled snake，but she heeded it not—she thoughtonly of Brahma and of her betrothed．' He lives！'sheshouted joyfully，' he lives！'And from the mountains theecho came back upon her，'He lives！'"