Mardi ; and, A Voyage Thither, by Herman Melville

Chapter 83

They Visit The Tributary Islets

In Willamilla, no Yillah being found, on the third day we took leave of Donjalolo; who lavished upon us many caresses and, somewhat reluctantly on Media’s part, we quitted the vale.

One by one, we now visited the outer villages of Juam; and crossing the waters, wandered several days among its tributary isles. There we saw the viceroys of him who reigned in the hollow: chieftains of whom Donjalolo was proud; so honest, humble, and faithful; so bent upon ameliorating the condition of those under their rule. For, be it said, Donjalolo was a charitable prince; in his serious intervals, ever seeking the welfare of his subjects, though after an imperial view of his own. But alas, in that sunny donjon among the mountains, where he dwelt, how could Donjalolo be sure, that the things he decreed were executed in regions forever remote from his view. Ah! very bland, very innocent, very pious, the faces his viceroys presented during their monthly visits to Willamilla. But as cruel their visage, when, returned to their islets, they abandoned themselves to all the license of tyrants; like Verres reveling down the rights of the Sicilians.

Like Carmelites, they came to Donjalolo, barefooted; but in their homes, their proud latchets were tied by their slaves. Before their king-belted prince, they stood rope-girdled like self-abased monks of St. Francis; but with those ropes, before their palaces, they hung Innocence and Truth.

As still seeking Yillah, and still disappointed, we roved through the lands which these chieftains ruled, Babbalanja exclaimed —“Let us depart; idle our search, in isles that have viceroys for kings.”

At early dawn, about embarking for a distant land, there came to us certain messengers of Donjalolo, saying that their lord the king, repenting of so soon parting company with Media and Taji, besought them to return with all haste; for that very morning, in Willamilla, a regal banquet was preparing; to which many neighboring kings had been invited, most of whom had already arrived.

Declaring that there was no alternative but compliance, Media acceded; and with the king’s messengers we returned to the glen.

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Last updated Monday, March 17, 2014 at 17:11