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A bushman a-love-story
 

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    A bushman a-love-story A bushman a-love-story Document Transcript

    • A Love Story A BushmanRelease date: 2005-09-01Source: Bebook
    • A Love StorybyA Bushman.Vol. I. "My thoughts, like swallows, skim themain, And bear my spirit back againOver the earth, and through the air, Awild bird and a wanderer."1841.
    • To Lady Gipps This Work Is RespectfullyInscribed, By A Grateful Friend.
    • Preface.
    • The author of these pages considered thata lengthened explanation might benecessary to account for the present work.He had therefore, at some length, detailedthe motives that influenced him in itscomposition. He had shown that as asolitary companionless bushman, it hadbeen a pleasure to him in his loneevenings "To create, and in creating live A beingmore intense."He had expatiated on the love he bears hisadopted country, and had stated that hewas greatly influenced by the hope thatalthough "Sparta hath many a worthier son thanhe,"
    • this work might be the humblecornerstone to some enduring and highlyornamented structure.The author however fortunatelyremembered, that readers have but littlesympathy with the motives of authors; butexpect that their works should amuse orinstruct them. He will therefore contenthimself, with giving a quotation from oneof those old authors, whose "well ofEnglish undefined" shames our modernwriters.He intreats that the indulgence prayed forby the learned Cowell may be accorded tohis humble efforts."My true end is the advancement ofknowledge, and therefore have Ipublished this poor work, not only toimpart the good thereof, to those young
    • ones that want it, but also to draw from thelearned, the supply of my defects."Whosoever will charge these travails withmany oversights, he shall need no solemnpains to prove them."And upon the view taken of this booksithence the impression, I dare assurethem, that shall observe most faultstherein, that I, by gleaning after him, willgather as many omitted by him, as he shallshew committed by me."What a man saith well is not, however, tobe rejected, because he hath some errors;reprehend who will, in Gods name, that is,with sweetness, and without reproach."So shall he reap hearty thanks at myhands, and thus more soundly help in afew months, than I by tossing and tumbling
    • my books at home, could possibly havedone in some years."
    • A Love Story
    • Chapter I.The Family.
    • "It was a vast and venerable pile." "Oh, mayst thou ever be as now thou art,Nor unbeseem the promise of thy spring."The mansion in which dwelt the Delm� wasone of wide and extensive range. Its centreslightly receded, leaving a wing on eitherside. Fluted ledges, extending the wholelength of the building, protruded aboveeach story. These were supported byquaint heads of satyr, martyr, or laughingtriton. The upper ledge, which concealedthe roof from casual observers, was ofconsiderably greater projection. Placedabove it, at intervals, were balls of marble,which, once of pure white, had now caughtthe time-worn hue of the edifice itself. Ateach corner of the front and wings, theballs were surmounted by the familydevice--the eagle with extended wing.
    • One claw closed over the stone, and thebird rode it proudly an it had been theglobe. The portico, of a pointed Gothic,would have seemed heavy, had it not beenlightened by glass doors, the vivid coloursof which were not of modern date. Theseadmitted to a capacious hall, where,reposing on the wide-spreading antlers ofsome pristine tenant of the park, gleamedmany a piece of armour that in days ofyore had not been worn ingloriously.The Delm�family was an old Norman one,on whose antiquity a peerage could haveconferred no new lustre. At the periodwhen the aristocracy of Great Britain lentthemselves to their own diminution ofimportance, by the prevalent system ofrejecting the poorer class of tenantry, inmany instances the most attached,--theconsequence was foreseen by the thenproprietor of Delm�Park, who, spurning
    • the advice of some interested few aroundhim, continued to foster those whoseancestors had served his. The Delm� werethus enabled to retain--and they deservedit--that fair homage which rank andproperty should ever command. As afamily they were popular, and asindividuals universally beloved.At the period we speak of, theDelm�family consisted but of threemembers: the baronet, Sir Henry Delm�his brother George, some ten years hisjunior, a lieutenant in a light infantryregiment at Malta; and one sister, Emily,Emily Delm�was the youngest child; hermother dying shortly after her birth. Thefather, Sir Reginald Delm� a man of strongfeelings and social habits, neverrecovered this blow. Henry Delm�wasbarely fifteen when he was called to thebaronetcy and to the possession of the
    • Delm�estates. It was found that SirReginald had been more generous thanthe world had given him credit for, andthat his estates were much encumbered.The trustees were disposed to restcontented with paying off the strictly legalclaims during Sir Henrys minority. This theyoung heir would not accede to. He waitedon his most influential guardian--told himhe was aware his father, from hospitalityand good nature, had incurred obligationswhich the law did not compel his son topay; but which he could not but think thatequity and good feeling did. He beggedthat these might be added to the otherclaims, and that the trustees wouldendeavour to procure him a commission inthe army. He was gazetted to a cornetcy;and entered life at an age when, if themanlier traits are ready to be developed,the worthless ones are equally sure tounfold themselves. Few of us that have not
    • found the first draught of life intoxicate!Few of us that have not then run wild, ascolts that have slipped their bridle!Experience--that mystic word--is wanting;the retrospect of past years wakes no sigh;expectant youth looks forward to futureones without a shade of distrust. The mindis elastic--the body vigorous and free frompain; and it is then youth inwardly feels,although not daring to avow it, the almosttotal impossibility that the mind shouldwax less vigorous, or the body growhelpless, and decay.But Sir Henry was cast in a finer mould, nordid his conduct at this dangerous perioddetract from this his trait of boyhood. Hejoined his regiment when before theenemy, and, until he came of age, neverdrew on his guardians for a shilling.Delm�s firmness of purpose, and his afterprudence, met with their due reward. The
    • family estates became whollyunencumbered, and Sir Henry wasenabled to add to the too scanty provisionof his sister, as well as to make up toGeorge, on his entering the army, a summore than adequate to all his wants. Thesecircumstances were enough to endear himto his family; and, in truth, amidst all itsmembers, there prevailed a confidenceand an unanimity which were never for aninstant impaired. There was oneconsequence, however, of Sir HenryDelm�s conduct that _he_, at the least,foresaw not, but which was gradually andunconsciously developed. In pursuing theline of duty he had marked out--in actingup to what he knew was right--his mindbecame _too_ deeply impressed with thecircumstances which had given rise to hisdetermination. It overstepped its object.The train of thought, to which necessitygave birth, continued to pervade when
    • that necessity no longer existed. His wishto re-establish his house grew into anardent desire to aggrandize it. Hisambition appeared a legitimate one. Itgrew with his years, and increased with hisstrength.Many a time, on the lone bivouac, whenhome presents itself in its fairest colours tothe soldiers mind, would Delm�s prayerbe embodied, that his house might againbe elevated, and that his descendantsmight know _him_ as the one to whom theywere indebted for its rise. Delm�sambitious thoughts were created amidstdangers and toil, in a foreign land, and farfrom those who shared his name. But hisheart swelled high with them as he againtrod his native soil in peace--as he gazedon the home of his fathers, and communedwith those nearest and dearest to him onearth. Sir Henry considered it incumbent
    • on him to exert every means that lay in hispower to promote his grand object. Aconnection that promised rank andhonours, seemed to him an absoluteessential that was worth any sacrifice. SirHenry never allowed himself to look for, orgive way to, those sacred sympathies,which the God of nature hath implanted inthe breasts of all of us. Delm�had arrivedat middle age ere a feeling incompatiblewith his views arose. But his had been adangerous experiment. Our hearts orminds, or whatever it may be that takes theimpression, resemble some crystallinelake that mirrors the smallest object, andheightens its beauty; but if it once getsmuddied or ruffled, the most lovely objectceases to be reflected in its waters. By thetime that lake is clear again, the fairy formthat ere while lingered on its bosom is fledfor ever.
    • Thus much in introducing the head of thefamily. Let us now attempt to sketch thegentle Emily.Emily Delm�was not an ordinary being. Touncommon talents, and a mind of mostrefined order, she united great femininepropriety, and a total absence of those artswhich sometimes characterise those towhom the accident of birth has givenimportance. With unerring discrimination,she drew the exact line between vivacityand satire, true religion and its semblance.She saw through and pitied those who,pluming themselves on the faults of others,and imparting to the outward man theascetic inflexibility of the inner one, wouldfain propagate on all sides their rigidcreed, forbidding the more favouredcommoners of nature even to sip joyschalice. If not a saint, however, but a fair,confiding, and romantic girl, she was good
    • without misanthropy, pure withoutpretension, and joyous, as youth andhopes not crushed might make her. Shewas one of those of whom society mightjustly be proud. She obeyed its dictateswithout question, but her feelingsunderwent no debasement from thecontact. If not a child of nature, she was byno means the slave of art.Emily Delm�was more beautiful thanstriking. She impressed more than sheexacted. Her violet eye gleamed withfeeling; her smile few could gaze onwithout sympathy--happy he who mightrevel in its brightness! If aught gave apeculiar tinge to her character, it was thepride she felt in the name she bore,--thisshe might have caught from Sir Henry,--theinterest she took in the legends connectedwith that name, and the gratification whichthe thought gave her, that by her
    • ancestors, its character had been butrarely sullied, and never disgraced.These things, it may be, she hadaccustomed herself to look on in a light tooglowing: for these things and all mundaneones are vain; but her character did notconsequently suffer. Her lip curled notwith hauteur, nor was her brow raised oneshadow the more. The remembrance of theold Baronetcy were on the ensanguinedplain,--of the matchless loyalty of a fatherand five valiant sons in the cause of theRoyal Charles,--the pondering over tomes,which in language obsolete, but true,spoke of the grandeur--the deservedgrandeur of her house; these might berecollections and pursuits, followed withan ardour too enthusiastic, but they stayednot the hand of charity, nor could theycheck pitys tear. If her eye flashed as shegazed on the ancient device of her family,
    • reposing on its time worn pedestal, itcould melt to the tale of the houselesswanderer, and sympathise with thesorrows of the fatherless.
    • Chapter II.The Album.
    • "Oh that the desert were my dwellingplace, With one fair spirit for my minister; That I might all forget the human race,And, hating no one, love but only her."A cheerful party were met in the drawingroom of Delm� Clarendon Gage, aneighbouring land proprietor, to whomEmily had for a twelvemonth beenbetrothed, had the night previous returnedfrom a continental tour. In consequence,Emily looked especially radiant,Delm�much pleased, and Clarendonsuperlatively happy. Nor must we passover Mrs. Glenallan, Miss Delm�s worthyaunt, who had supplied the place of amother to Emily, and who now sat in heraccustomed chair, with an almost sunnybrow, quietly pursuing her monotonoustambouring. At times she turned to admireher niece, who occasionally walked to the
    • glass window, to caress and feed animpudent white peacock; which onemoment strutted on the wide terrace, andat another lustily tapped for his bread at neof the lower panes."I am glad to see you looking so well,Clarendon!""And I can return the compliment, Delm�Few, looking at you now, would take youfor an old campaigner."The style of feature in Delm�andClarendon was very dissimilar. Sir Henrywas many years Gages senior; but hismanly bearing, and dark decided features,would bear a contrast with even the talland elegant, although slight form ofClarendon. The latter was very fair, andwhat we are accustomed to callEnglish-looking. His hair almost, but not
    • quite, flaxen, hung in thick curls over hisforehead, and would have given aneffeminate expression to the face, were itnot for the peculiar flash of the clear blueeye."Come! Clarendon," said Emily, "I willimpose a task. You have written twice inmy album; once, years ago, and thesecond time on the eve of our parting.Come! you shall read us both effusions,and then write a sonnet to our happymeeting. Would that dear George werehere now!"Gage took up the book. It was amoderately-sized volume, bound incrimson velvet. It was the fashion to keepalbums _then_. It glittered not in a bindingof azure and gold, nor were its momentoussecrets enclosed by one of Bramahs locks.The Spanish proverb says, "Tell me who
    • you are with, and I will tell you what youare." Ours, in that album age, used to be,"Show me your scrap book, I will tell youyour character." Emilys was not onecommencing with-- "I never loved a dear gazelle!"and ending with stanzas on the"Forget-me-not." It had not thosehackneyed but beautiful lines addressedby Mr. Spencer to Lady Crewe-- "I stayd too late: forgive the crime!Unheeded flew the hours; For noiselessfalls the foot of Time. That only treads onflowers."Nor contained it those sublime, but yetmore common ones, on Sir John Mooresdeath; which lines, by the bye, havesuffered more from that mischief-making,
    • laughter-loving creature, Parody, than anylines we know. It was not one of thesebooks. Nor was it the splendid scrap book,replete with superb engravings andproof-impression prints; nor at all allied tothe sentimental one of a garrison flirt,containing locks of hair of at least fivegentlemen, three of whom are officers inthe army. Nor, lastly, was it of that genuswhich has vulgarity in its very title-page,and is here and there interspersed withdevilish imps, or caricatured likenesses ofthe little proprietress, all done in mostinfinite humour, and marking the familiarfriendship, of some half-dozen whiskeredcubs, having what is technically called therun of the house. No! it was a repository forfeeling and for memory, and, in its fairpages, presented an image of Emilysheart. Many of these were marked, it istrue; and what human beings character isunchequered? But it was blotless; and the
    • virgin page looks not so white as when thecontrast of the sable ink is there.Clarendon read aloud his firstcontribution--who knows it not? The verywords form a music, and that music isMetastasios, "Placido zeffiretto, Se trovi il carooggetto, Digli che sei sospiro Ma non glidir di chi, Limpido ruscelletto, Se maitincontri in lei, Digli che pianto sei, Manon le dir qual eiglio Crescer ti fe cosi.""And now, Emily! for my parting tribute--ifI remember right, it was sorrowfulenough."Gage read, with tremulous voice, thefollowing, which we will christen THE FAREWELL.
    • I will not be the lightsome lark, Thatcarols to the rising morn,-- Id rather besome plaintive bird Lulling nights earforlorn. I will not be the green, green leaf,Mingling midst thousand leaves andflowers That shed their fairy charmsaround To deck Springs joyous bowers. Id rather be the one red leaf, Wavingmidst Autumns sombre groves:-- On theheart to breathe that sadness Whichcontemplation loves. I will not be the morning ray, Dancingupon the rivers crest, All light, all motion,when the stream Turns to the sun herbreast. Id rather be the gentle shade,
    • Lengthening as eve comes stealing on,And rest in pensive sadness there, Whenthose bright rays are gone. I will not be a smile to play Upon thycoral lip, and shed Around it sweetness,like the sun Risen from his crimson bed. Oh, no! Ill be the tear that steals In pityfrom that eye of blue, Making the cheekmore lovely red, Like rose-leaf dippd indew. I will not be rememberd when Mirthshall her pageant joys impart,-- A dreamto sparkle in thine eye, Yet vanish fromthy heart. But when pensive sadness clouds thee,When thoughts, half pain, half pleasure,steal Upon the heart, and memory dothThe shadowy past reveal.
    • When seems the bliss of former years,--Too sweet, too pure, to feel again,-- Andlong lost hours, scenes, friends, return,Remember me, love--then!"Ah, Clarendon! how often have I readthose lines, and thought--but I will notthink now! Here come the letters! Henrywill soon be busy--I shall finish mydrawing--and aunt will finish--no! shenever _can_ finish her tambour work. Takemy portfolio and give me anothercontribution!" Gage now wrote "TheReturn," which we insert for the readersapproval:-- THE RETURN. When the blue-eyed morn doth peepOver the soft hills verdant steep, Lightingup its shadows deep, Ill think of thee,
    • love, _then!_ When the lightsome lark doth sing Hergrateful song to Natures King, Making allthe woodlands ring, Ill think of thee,love, _then!_ Or when plaintive Philomel Shall mournher mate in some lone dell, And to thenight her sorrows tell, Ill think ofthee, love, _then!_ When the first green leaf of spring Shallpromise of the summer bring, And allaround its fragrance fling, Ill think ofthee, love, _then!_ Or when the last red leaf shall fall, Andwinter spread its icy pall, To mind me ofthe death of all, Ill think of thee, love,_then!_
    • When the lively morning ray Is dancingon the rivers spray, And sunshine gildsthe joyous day, Ill think of thee,love, _then_! And when the shades of eve steal on,Lengthening as lifes sun goes down, Likesweetest constancy alone, Ill thinkof thee, love, _then_! When I see a sweet smile play On corallips, like Phoebus ray, Making all lookwarm and gay, Ill think of thee,love, _then_! When steals the tear of pity, too, Oer acheek, whose crimson hue Looks likerose-leaf dippd in dew, Ill think ofthee, love, _then_! When mirths pageant joys unbind Thegloomy spells that chain my mind, And
    • make me dream of all thats kind, Illthink of thee, love, _then_! And when pensive sadness clouds me,When the host of memory crowds me,When the shadowy past enshrouds me, Ill think of thee, love, _then_! When seems the bliss of former years,--Too sweet, too pure, to feel again,-- Andlong lost hours, scenes, friends, return, Ill think of thee, love, _then_!
    • Chapter III.The Dinner.
    • "Hues which have words, and speak to yeof heaven." "Away! there need no words or termsprecise, The paltry jargon of the marblemart, Where pedantry gulls folly: wehave eyes."We are told by the members of thesilver-fork school, that no tale of fiction canbe complete unless it embody thedescription of a dinner. Let us, therefore,shutting from our view that white-limbedgum-tree, and dismissing from our tabletea and damper, [Footnote: _Damper_.Bushmans fare--unleavened bread] call onmemorys fading powers, and feast oncemore with the rich, the munificent, theintellectual Belliston Gr�e.Dinner! immortal faculty of eating! to what
    • glorious sense or pre-eminent passiondost thou not contribute? Is not love halffed by thy attractions? Beams ever the eyeof lover more bright than when, aftergazing with enraptured glance at thecoveted haunch, whose fat--a pure white;whose lean--a rich brown--invitingly awaitthe assault. When doth lovers eye sparklemore, than when, at such a moment, itlights on the features of the loved fair one?Is not the supper quadrille the mostdangerous and the dearest of all?Cherished venison! delicate white soup!spare young susceptible bosoms! Againwe ask, is not dinner the very aliment offriendship? the hinge on which it turns?Does a mans heart expand to you ere youhave returned his dinner? It would be follyto assert it. Cabinet dinners--corporationdinners--election dinners--and vestrydinners--and rail-road dinners--we pass
    • by these things, and triumphantlyask--does not _the_ Ship parexcellence--the Ship ofGreenwich--annually assemble under itsrevered roof the luminaries of the nation?Oh, whitebait! called so early to your lastaccount! a tear is all we give, but it flowsspontaneously at the memory of yoursorrows!As Mr. Belliston Gr�e was much talked ofin his day, it may not be amiss to say a fewwords regarding him. He was an onlychild, and at an early age lost his parents.The expense of his education wasdefrayed by a wealthy uncle, the secondpartner in a celebrated banking house. Histutor, with whom he may be said to havelived from boyhood--for his uncle had littlecommunication with him, except to write tohim one letter half-yearly, when he paidhis school bill--was a shy retiring
    • clergyman--a man of very extensiveacquirements, and a first rate classicalscholar. After a short time, the curate andyoung Gr�e became attached to eachother. The tutor was a bachelor, and Gr�ewas his only pupil. The latter was sooninoculated with the classical mania of hispreceptor; and, as he grew up, it was quitea treat to hear the pair discourse of Greeksand Romans. A stranger who had _then_heard them would have imagined thatThemistocles and Scipio Africanus werestars of the present generation. WhenGr�e was nineteen, his uncle invited him totown for a month--a most unusualproceeding. During this period he studiedclosely his nephews character. At the endof this term, Mr. Hargrave and his youngcharge were on their way to the classicalregions, where their fancy had been solong straying. They explored France, andthe northern parts of Italy--came on the
    • shores of the Adriatic--resided andsecretly made excavations near theamphitheatre of Polo--and finally reachedthe Morea. Not a crag, valley, or brook,that they were not conversant with beforethey left it. They at length tore themselvesaway; and found themselves at the ancientParthenope. It was at Pompeii Mr. Gr�efirst saw the beautiful Miss Vignoles, theMrs. Glenallan of our story; and, in astrange adventure with some Neapolitanguides, was of some service to her party.They saw his designs of some tombs, andtook the trouble of drawing him out. Theyoung man now for the first time basked inthe sweets of society; in a fortnight, to Mr.Hargraves horror, was rolling in its vortex;in a couple of months found himselfindulging in, and avowing, a hopelesspassion; and in three, was once again inhis native land, falsely deeming that hispeace of mind had fled for ever. He was
    • shortly, however, called upon to exert hisenergies. The death of his uncle suddenlymade him, to his very great surprise, oneof the wealthiest commoners of England.At this period he was quite unknown. In ashort time Mr. Hargrave and himself werelodged luxuriously--were deep in thepursuit of science, literature, and the bellearte--and on terms of friendship with thecleverest and most original men of theday. Mr. Gr�es occupations beingsedentary, and his habits very regular, heshortly found that his great wealth enabledhim, not only to indulge in every personalluxury at Rendlesham Park, but topatronise largely every literary work ofmerit. In him the needy man of geniusfound a friend, the man of wit a companion,and the publisher a generous customer.He became famous for his house, hislibrary, his exclusive society. But he didnot become spoilt by his prosperity, and
    • never neglected his old tutor.Our party from Delm�were ushered into alarge drawing-room, the sole light ofwhich was from an immense bow window,looking out on the extensive lawn. Thepanes were of enormous size, andbeautiful specimens of classique platedglass. The only articles of furniture, weresome crimson ottomans which served toset off the splendid paintings; and onetable of the Florentine manufacture ofpietra dura, on which stood a carved bijouof Benvenuto Cellinis. Our party wereearly. They were welcomed by Mr. Gr�ewith great cordiality, and by Mr. Hargravewith some embarrassment, for the tutorwas still the bashful man of former days.Mr. Gr�es dress shamed these degeneratedays of black stock and loose trowser.Diamond buckles adorned his knees, andfastened his shoes. His clear blue eye--the
    • high polished forehead--the deep lines ofthe countenance--revealed the man ofthought and intellect. The playful lipshewed he could yet appreciate a flash ofwit or spark of humour."Miss Delm� you are looking at mypaintings; let me show you my latepurchases. Observe this sweet Madonna,by Murillo! I prefer it to the one in theMunich Gallery. It may not boast Titiansglow of colour, or Raphaels grandeur ofdesign,--in delicate angelic beauty, it mayyield to the delightful efforts of Guidos orCorreggios pencil,--but surely no humanconception can ever have more touchinglyportrayed the beauteous resigned mother.The infant, too! how inimitably blended isthe God-like serenity of the Saviour, withthe fond and graceful witcheries of theloving child! How little we know of thebeauties of the Spanish school! Would I
    • could ransack their ancient monasteries,and bring a few of them to light!"You are a chess player! Pass not by thischeck-mate of Caravaggios. Whatundisguised triumph in one countenance!What a struggle to repress naturesfeelings in the other! Here is a Guido!sweet, as his ever are! He may justly bestyled the female laureat. What artist cancompete with him in delineating theblooming expression, or the tender, butlighter, shades of female loveliness? whocan pause between even the Fornarina,and that divine effort, the Beatrice Cenci ofthe Barberini?"The party were by this time assembled.Besides our immediate friends, there washis Grace the Duke of Gatten, agood-natured fox-hunting nobleman,whose estate adjoined Mr. Gr�es; there
    • was the Viscount Chamb�y, who hadpenned a pamphlet on finance--indited afolio on architecture--and astonishedEurope with an elaborate dissertation onmodern cookery; there was Charles Selby,the poet and essayist; Daintrey, thesculptor--a wonderful Ornithologist--adeep read Historian--a learnedOrientalist--and a novelist, from France;whose works exhibited such unheard ofhorrors, and made man and woman soirremediably vicious, as to make thisyoung gentleman celebrated, even inParis--that Babylonian sink of iniquity.Dinner was announced, and our host,giving his arm very stoically to Mrs.Glenallan, his love of former days, led theway to the dining-room. Round the tablewere placed beautifully carved oakenfauteuils, of a very old pattern. The serviceof plate was extremely plain, but of
    • massive gold. But the lamp! It was ofmagnificent dimensions! The light chainshanging from the frescoed ceiling, thelinks of which were hardly perceptible,were of silver, manufactured in Venice; thelower part was of opal-tinted glass, exactlyportraying some voluptuous couch, onwhich the beautiful Amphitrite might havereclined, as she hastened through beds ofcoral to crystal grot, starred withtransparent stalactites. In the centre of thisshell, were sockets, whence verged smallhollow golden tubes, resembling in shapeand size the stalks of a flower. At thedrooping ends of these, were lampsshaped and coloured to imitate the mostbeauteous flowers of the parterre. Thisbouquet of light had been designed by Mr.Gr�e. Few novelties had acquired greatercelebrity than the Gr�e astrale. The roomwas warmed by heating the pedestals ofthe statues.
    • "Potage �la fant�e, and �lourika.""I will trouble you, Gr�e," said my LordChamb�y, "for the fant�e. I have dined onla pritanni�e for the last three months, anda novel soup is a novel pleasure."Of the fish, the soles were �la Rowena, thesalmon �lamour. Emily flirted with thewing of a chicken saut�au supr�e,coquetted with perdrix perdu masqu��laMontmorenci, and tasted a boudin �laDiebitsch. The wines were excellent--theGeisenheim delicious--the Champagnesparkling like a pun of Jekylls. But nothingaroused the attention of the ViscountChamb�y so much as a liqueur, which Mr.Gr�e assured him was new, and had justbeen sent him by the Conte de Desir. Thedessert had been some time on the table,when the Viscount addressed his host.
    • "Gr�e! I am delighted to find that you atlength agree with me as to the monstroussuperiority of a French repast. Youromelette imaginaire was faultless, and asfor your liqueur, I shall certainly order asupply on my return to Paris.""That liqueur, my dear lord," replied Mr.Gr�e, "is good old cowslip mead, with aflask of Maraschino di Zara infused in it.For the rest, the dinner has been almost asimaginaire as the omelet. The greater partof the recipes are in an old English volumein my library, or perhaps some owe theirorigin to the fertile invention of myhousekeeper. Let us style them �laDoroth�.""Capital! I thank you, Gr�e!" said his Graceof Gatten, as he shook his host by thehand, till the tears stood in his eyes.
    • The prescient Chamb�y had made a gooddinner, and bore the joke philosophically.Coffee awaited the gentlemen in a smalloctagonal chamber, adjoining the musicroom. There stood Mr. Gr�es threefavourite modern statues:--a Venus, byCanova--a Discobole, byThorwaldson--and a late acquisition--theAriadne, of Dannecker."This is the work of an artist," said Mr.Gr�e, "little known in this country, but inGermany ranking quite as high asThorwaldson. This is almost a duplicate ofhis Ariadne at Frankfort, but the marble ismuch more pure. How wonderfully fine theexecution! Pray notice the bold profile ofthe face; how energetic her action as shesits on the panther!"Mr. Gr�e touched the spring of a window
    • frame. A curtain of crimson gauze fell overa globe lamp, and threw a rich shade onthe marble. The features remained asfinely chiselled, but their expression wastotally changed.They adjourned to the music-room, whichdeserved its title. Save some seats, whichwere artfully formed to resemble lyres,nothing broke the continuity of musicstones, which ascended majestically to thelofty dome, there to blend and wreath, andfall again. At one extremity of musics hallwas an organ; at the other a grand piano,built by a German composer. Ranged oncarved slabs, at intermediate distances,was placed almost every instrument thatmay claim a votary. Of viols, from theviolin to the double bass,--of instrumentsof brass, from trombones and basskettledrums even unto trumpet andcymbal,--of instruments of wood, from
    • winding serpents to octave flute,--and offiddles of parchment, from the grossecaisse to the tambourine. Nor were ancientinstruments wanting. These were of quaintforms and diverse constructions. Mr. Gr�ewould descant for hours on an antiquespecies of spinnet, which he procuredfrom the East, and which he vehementlyaverred, was the veritable dulcimer. Hewould display with great gusto, hisspecimens of harps of Israel; whosedeep-toned chorus, had perchance thrilledthrough the breast of more than one ofJudeas dark-haired daughters. Greece,too, had her representatives, to remind thespectators that there had been anOrpheus. There were flutes of the Doricand of the Phrygian mode, and--let usforget not--the Tyrrhenian trumpet, with itsbrazen-cleft pavilion. But by far the greaterpart of his musical relics he had acquiredduring his stay in Italy. He could show the
    • litui with their carved clarions--the twistedcornua--the tuba, a trumpet so long andtaper,--the concha wound by Tritons--andeke the buccina, a short and brattlinghorn.Belliston Gr�e was an enthusiasticmusician; and was in this peculiar, that heloved the science for its simplicity.Musicians are but too apt to give to musicsdetail and musics difficulties the homagethat should be paid to musics self: in thisresembling the habitual man of law, whooccasionally forgetteth the great principlesof jurisprudence, and invests withmysterious agency such words as latitatand certiorari. The soul of music may nothave fled;--for we cultivate herassiduously,--worship Handel--andappreciate Mozart. But music _now_springs from the head, not the heart; is notfor the mass, but for individuals. With our
    • increased researches, and cares, andtroubles, we have lost the faculty of beingpleased. Past are those careless days,when the shrill musette, or plain citternand virginals, could with their first straingive motion to the blythe foot of joy, or callfrom its cell the prompt tear of pity. Thosedays are gone! Music may affect some ofus as deeply, but none as readily!Mr. Gr�e had received from Paris anunpublished opera of Aubers. Emilyseated herself at the piano--her host tookthe violin--Clarendon was an excellentflute player--and the tinkle of theViscounts guitar came in veryharmoniously. By the time refreshmentswere introduced, Charles Selby too was inhis glory. He had already nearly convulsedthe Orientalist by a theory which he saidhe had formed, of a gradualmetempsychosis, or, at all events,
    • perceptible amalgamation, of the yellowQui Hi to the darker Hindoo; which saidtheory he supported by the most ingeniousarguments."How did you like your stay in Scotland,Mr. Selby?" said Sir Henry Delm�"I am a terrible Cockney, Sir Henry,--foundit very cold, and was very sulky. The onlyman I cared to see in Scotland was at theLakes; but I kept a register of events,which is now on the table in mydressing-room. If Gr�e will read it, for I ambut a stammerer, it is at your service."The paper was soon produced, and Mr.Gr�e read the following:--"THE BRAHMIN.
    • "A stranger arrived from a far and foreigncountry. His was a mind peculiarlyhumble, tremblingly alive to its owndeficiencies. Yet, endowed with thismistrust, he sighed for information, and hissoul thirsted in the pursuit of knowledge.Thus constituted, he sought the city he hadlong dreamingly looked up to as the site oftruth--Scotias capital, the modern Athens.In endeavouring to explore the mazes ofliterature, he by no means expected todiscover novel paths, but sought totraverse beauteous ones; feeling he couldrest content, could he meet with but oneflower, which some bolder and moreexperienced adventurer might haveallowed to escape him. He arrived, andcast around an anxious eye. He foundhimself involved in an apparent chaos--thewhirl of distraction--imbedded amidst aceaseless turmoil of would-be knowingstudents, endeavouring to catch the aroma
    • of the pharmacopaeia, or dive to the deeprecesses of Scotch law. He sought andcultivated the friendship of the literati; andanticipated a perpetual feast of soul, froma banquet to which one of the mostdistinguished members of a learned bodyhad invited him. He went with his mindbraced up for the subtleties ofargument--with hopes excited, heart elate.He deemed that the authenticity ofChampolions hieroglyphics might now bepermanently established, or a doubtthrown on them which would for everextinguish curiosity. He heard a doubtraised as to the probability of Dr. Knoxsconnection with Burkes murders!Disappointed and annoyed, he returned tohis hotel, determined to seek other meansof improvement; and to carefully observethe manners, customs, and habits of thebeings he was among. He enquired first asto their habits, and was presented with
    • scones, kippered salmon, and a gallon ofGlenlivet; as to their manners and ancientcostume, and was pointed out a short fatman, the head of his clan, whopromenaded the streets without trousers.Neither did he find the delineation of theircustoms more satisfactory. He was madenearly tipsy at a funeral--was shown how tocarve haggis--and a fit of bile was theconsequence, of his too plentifullypartaking of a superabundantly richcurrant bun. He mused over these defeatsof his object, and, unwilling to relinquishhis hitherto fruitless search,--reluctant todespair,--he bent his steps to that city,where utility preponderates overornament; that city which so earlyencouraged that most glorious ofinventions, by the aid of which he hoped,that the diminutive barks of hiscountrymen might yet be propelled, thussuperseding the ponderous paddle of
    • teak, He here expected to be involved inan intricate labyrinth of mechanicalinventions,--in a stormy discussion on thecomparative merits of rival machinery,--tobe immersed in speculative but gigantictheories. He was elected an honorarymember of a news-room; had his coatwhitened with cotton; and was obliged toconfess that he knew of no beverage thatcould equal their superb cold punch. Ourphilosopher now gave himself up todespair; but before returning to his ownwarm clime, he sought to discover thereason of his finding the flesh creep,where he had deemed the spirit wouldsoar. He at length came to the conclusionthat we are all slaves to the world and tocircumstances; and as, with his peculiarbelief, he could look on our sacred volumewith the eye of a philosopher, feltimpressed with the conviction that thehistory of Babels tower is but an allegory,
    • which says to the pride of man, "Thus far shall ye go, and no farther."The Brahmins adventures elicited muchamusement. In a short time, Selby was in ahot argument with the French novelist.Every now and then, as the Frenchmananswered him, he stirred his negus, andhummed a translation of "Id be a butterfly." "Erim papilio, Natus in flosculo."
    • Chapter IV.The Postman.
    • "Not in those visions, to the heartdisplaying Forms which it sighs but tohave only dreamd, Hath aught like theein truth or fancy seemd; Or, having seenthee, shall I vainly seek To paint thosecharms which, imaged as they beamd, Tosuch as see thee not, my words were weak; To those who gaze on thee, whatlanguage could they speak?"Delm�had long designed some internalimprovements in the mansion; and asworkmen would necessarily be employed,had proposed that our family party shouldpass a few weeks at a watering place, untilthese were completed. They were notwithout hopes, that George might therejoin them, as Emily had written to Malta,pressing him to be present at herwedding.
    • We have elsewhere said, that Sir Henryhad arrived at middle age, before onefeeling incompatible with his ambitiousthoughts arose. It was at Leamington thisfeeling had imperceptibly sprung up; andto Leamington they were now going.Is there an electric chain binding heartspredestined to love?Hath Providence ordained, that on our firstinterview with that being, framed to meetour wishes and our desires--the rainbow toour cloud, and the sun to ournoon-day--hath it ordained that thereshould also be given us some undefinabletoken--some unconscious whispering fromthe hearts inmost spirit?Who may fathom these inscrutablemysteries?
    • Sir Henry had been visiting an oldschoolfellow, who had a country seat nearLeamington. He was riding homewards,through a sequestered and wooded part ofthe park, when he was aware of thepresence of two ladies, evidently a motherand daughter. They sate on one side of therude path, on an old prostrate beech tree.The daughter, who was very beautiful, wassketching a piece of fern for a foreground:the mother was looking over the drawing.Neither saw the equestrian.It was a fair sight to regard the youngartist, with her fine profile and droopingeyelid, bending over the drawing, like aGrecian statue; then to note the calmfeatures upturn, and forget the statue in thebreathing woman. At intervals, her auburntresses would fall on the paper, and sweepthe pencils efforts. At such times, shewould remove them with her small hand,
    • with such a soft smile, and gentle grace,that the very action seemed to speakvolumes for her feminine sympathies.Delm�disturbed them not, but making atour through the grove of beech trees,reached Leamington in thoughtful mood.It was not long before he met them insociety. The mother was a Mrs. Vernon, awidow, with a large family and smallmeans. Of that family Julia was the fairestflower. As Sir Henry made heracquaintance, and her character unfoldeditself, he acknowledged that few couldstudy it without deriving advantage; fewwithout loving her to adoration. Thatcharacter it would be hard to describewithout our description appearinghigh-flown and exaggerated. It bore animpress of loftiness, totally removed frompride; a moral superiority, whichimpressed all. With this was united an
    • innate purity, that seemed her birthright; apurity that could not for an instant bedoubted. If the libertine gazed on herfeatures, it awoke in him recollections thathad long slumbered; of the time when hisheart beat but for one. If, in her immediatesphere, any littleness of feeling wasbrought to her notice, it was met with anintuitive doubt, followed by painfulsurprise, that such feeling, foreign as shefelt it to be to her own nature, could reallyhave existence in that of another.Thank God! she had seen few of thetrickeries of this restless world, in whichmost of us are struggling against ourneighbours; and, if we could look forwardwith certainty, to the nature of the worldbeyond this, it is most likely that we shouldbreathe a fervent prayer that she shouldnever witness more.
    • Her person was a fit receptacle for such amind. A face all softness, seemed and_was_ the index to a heart all pity. Tallerthan her compeers,--in all she said or did,a native dignity and a witching grace wereexquisitely blended. She was one noteasily seen without admiration; but whenknown, clung Cydippe-like to the heartsmirror, an image over which neither timenor absence possessed controul.The Delm� resided at Leamington theremainder of the winter, which passedfleetly and happily. Emily, for the firsttime, gave way to that one feeling, which,to a woman, is the all-important andengrossing one, enjoying her happiness inthat full spirit of content, which basking inpresent joys, attempts not to mar them byideal disquietudes. The Delm� cultivatedthe society of the Vernons; Emily and Juliabecame great friends; and Sir Henry, with
    • all his stoicism, was nourishing anattachment, whose force, had he beenaware of it, he would have been at somepains to repress. As it was, he totallyoverlooked the possibility of his triflingwith the feelings of another. He had anumber of sage aphorisms to urge againsthis own entanglement, and, with a moralperverseness, from which the best of usare not free, chose to forget that it waspossible his convincing arguments, mightneither be known to, nor appreciated byone, on whom their effect might be farfrom unimportant.At this stage, Clarendon thought it his dutyto warn Delm� and, to his credit be it said,shrunk not from it."Excuse me, Delm�" said he, "will youallow me to say one word to you on asubject that nearly concerns yourself?"
    • Sir Henry briefly assented."You see a great deal of Miss Vernon. Sheis a very fascinating and a very amiableperson; but from something you once saidto me, it has struck me that in somerespects she might not suit you.""I like her society," replied his friend; "butyou are right. She would _not_ suit me._You_ know me pretty well. My hope hasever been to increase, and not diminishthe importance of my house. It once stoodhigher both in wealth and consideration. Isee many families springing up aroundme, that can hardly lay claim to a descentso unblemished I speak not in a spirit ofintolerance, nor found my family claimsolely on its pedigree; but my ancestorshave done good in their generation, and itis a proud thing to be the scion of a noble
    • race!""It may be;" said Clarendon quietly, "but Icannot help thinking, that with youraffluence, you have every right to followyour own inclination. I know that few of myacquaintances are so independent of theworld."Sir Henry shook his head."The day is not very distant, Gage, when aDacre would hardly have returned twomembers for my county, if a Delm�hadwilled it otherwise. But there is littleoccasion for me to have said thus much.Miss Vernon, I trust, has other plans; and Ibelieve my own feelings are not enlisteddeep enough, to make me forget the hopesand purposes of half a life-time."It was some few days after this, when Emily
    • had almost given up looking with interestto the postmans visit, that a letter at lastcame, directed to Sir Henry; not indeed inGeorges hand-writing, but with the Maltapost mark. Delm�read it over thoughtfully,and, assuring Emily that there was nothingto alarm her, left the room to consider itscontents.By the way, we have thought overheartless professions, and cannot helpconceiving that of a postman, (it may beconceit!) the most callous and unfeeling ofall. He is waited for with more anxiety thanany guest of the morning; for his visitsinvariably convey something new to themind. He is not love! but he bears it in hispocket; he cannot be friendship! but hedaily hawks about its assurances. With allthis, knowing his importance, aware of thesensation his appearance calls forth, hisvery knock is heartless--the tones of his
    • voice cold. Feeling seems denied him; hishead is a debtor and creditor account, hisdeparture the receipt, and time alone cansay, whether your bargain has been agood or a bad one. He has certainly noassumption--it is one of his few good traits;he walks with his arms in motion, butattempts not a swagger; his knock isunassuming, and his words, though muchattended to, are few, and to the point.Why, then, abuse him? We know not, butbelieve it originates in fear. An intuitivefeeling of dread--a rushing presentimentof evil--crosses our mind, as our eyedwells on his thread-bare coat, with itscapacious pockets. News of a death--or amarriage--the tender valentine--theremorseless dun--your having been left anestate, or cut off with a shilling--fortune,and misfortune--- he quietly dispenses, asif totally unconscious. Surely such aman--his round performed--cannot quietly
    • sink to the private individual. Can such aman caress his wife, or kiss his child, whenhe knows not how many hearts arebursting with joy, or breaking with sorrow,from the tidings _he_ has conveyed? Toour mind, a postman should be anabstracted visionary being, endowed witha peculiar countenance, betraying theunnatural sparkle of the opium-eater, andevincing intense anxiety at the delivery ofeach sheet. But these,--they wait not tohear the joyful shout, or heart-rendingmoan--to know if hope deferred be atlength joyful certainty, or bitter onlyhalf-expected woe. We dread a postman.Our hand shook, as we last year paid theman of many destinies his demandedChristmas box.The amount was double that we gave to theminister of our corporeal necessities--thebutchers boy--not from a conviction of the
    • superior services or merit of the former,but from an uneasy desire to bribe, if wecould, that Mercury of fate.The letter to Sir Henry, was from thesurgeon of Georges regiment. It statedthat George had been severely ill, and thatconnected with his illness, were symptomswhich made it imperative on the medicaladviser, to recommend the immediatepresence of his nearest male relative.Apologies were made for the apparentmystery of the communication, with apromise that this would be at once clearedup, if Sir Henry would but consent to makethe voyage; which would not only enablehim to be of essential service to hisbrother, but also to acquire muchinformation regarding him, which couldonly be obtained on the spot. A note fromGeorge was enclosed in this letter. It waswritten with an unsteady hand, and made
    • no mention of his illness. He earnestlybegged his brother to come to Malta, if hecould possibly so arrange it, andtransmitted his kindest love and blessingto Emily.Sir Henry at once made up his mind, toleave Leamington for town on the morrow,trusting that he might there meet withinformation which would be moresatisfactory. He concealed for the time thetrue state of the case from all butClarendon; nor did he even allude to hisproposed departure.It was Emilys birth-day, and Gage hadarranged that the whole party shouldattend a little f�e on that night. Sir Henrycould not find it in his heart to disturb hissisters dream of happiness.
    • Chapter VThe F�e.
    • "Ye stars! which are the poetry of heaven!If, in your bright leaves, we would read thefate Of men and empires,--tis to beforgiven, That, in our aspirations to begreat, Our destinies oerleap their mortalstate, And claim a kindred with you."The night came on with its crescent moonand its myriads of stars: just such a night asmight have been wished for such a f�e. Itwas in the month of April. April dews, inBritains variable clime; are not the mostsalubrious, and Aprils night air is too oftenkeen and piercing; but the season was anunusually mild one; and the ladies, withtheir cloaks and their furs, promenadedthe well-lighted walks, determined to bepleased and happy.The giver of the f�e was an enterprisingItalian. Winters amusements were over, or
    • neglected--summers delights were notarrived; and Signor Pacini conceived, thatduring the dull and monotonous interval, aspeculation of his own might provewelcome to the public and beneficial tohimself. To do the little man justice, he wasindefatigable in his exertions. From doorto door he wended his smiling way,--herepraising the mothers French, there thedaughters Italian. He gained hosts ofpartisans. "Of course you patronisePacini!" was in every ones mouth. TheSignors prospectus stated, that "throughthe kindness of the steward of aninfluential nobleman, who was now on thecontinent, he was enabled to give his fetein the grounds of the Earl of W----; where afull quadrille band would be in attendance,a pavilion pitched on the smooth lawnfacing the river, and a comfortable ballroom thrown open to a fashionable andenlightened public. The performance
    • would be most various, novel, andexciting. Brilliant fireworks from Vauxhallwould delight the eye, and shed a charmon the fairy scene; whilst the car would beregaled with the unequalled harmony ofthe Styrian brethren, Messrs. Schezer,Lobau, and Berdan, who had very kindlydeferred their proposed return to Styria, inorder to honour the fete of Signor Pacini."As night drew on, the mimic thunder ofcarriages hastening to the scene of action,bespoke the Signors success. After theninth hour, his numbers swelled rapidly.Pacini assumed an amusing importance,and his very myrmidons gave out theirbrass tickets with an air. At ten, a rocketwas fired. At this preconcerted signal, thepavilion, hitherto purposely concealed,blazed in a flood of light. On its balconystood the three Styrianbrethren,--although, by the way, they were
    • not brethren at all,--and, striking theirharmonious guitars, wooed attention totheir strains. The crowd hurried down thewalk, and formed round the pavilion. Ourparty suddenly found themselves near theVernons. As the gentlemen endeavouredto obtain chairs for the ladies, a crush tookplace, and Sir Henry was obliged to offerhis arm to Julia, who happened to be thenearest of her party. It was with pain MissVernon noted his clouded brow, and lookof abstraction; but hardly one word ofrecognition had passed, before the deepvoices of the Styrians silenced all. Aftersinging some effective songs,accompanied by a zither, and performinga melodious symphony on a variety ofJews-harps; Pacini, the manager,advanced to address his auditors, with thatair of smiling confidence which no one canassume with better grace than a cleverItalian. His dark eye flashed, and his whole
    • features irradiated, as he delivered thefollowing harangue."Ladies and gentlemen! me trust you wellsatisfied wid de former musicalentertainment; but, if you permit, memention one leetle circonstance. MonsieurSchezer propose to give de song; but itrequire much vat you call stagemanagement: all must be silent as degrave. It ver pretty morceau."The applause at the end of this speech wasvery great. Signor Pacini bowed, till hisface rivalled, in its hue, the rosyunder-waistcoat in which he rejoiced.Schezer stepped forward. He was attiredas a mountaineer. His hat tapered to thetop, and was crowned by a single heronfeather. Hussars might have envied him hismoustaches. From his right side protruded
    • a couteau de chasse; and his legs were nota little set off by the tight-laced boots,which, coming up some way beyond theancle, displayed his calf to the very bestadvantage.The singers voice was a fine manly tenor,and did ample justice to the words, ofwhich the following may be taken as a freeversion."Mountains! dear mountains! on you have Ipassed my green youth; to me your breezehas been fragrant from childhood. Whenmay I see the chamois bounding oer yourtoppling crags? When, oh when, may I seemy fair-haired Mary?"The minstrel paused--a sound was heardfrom behind the pavilion. It was themountains echo. It continued the air--thendied away in the softest harmony. All were
    • charmed. Again the singer steppedforward--the utmost silence prevailed--histones became more impassioned--theybreathed of love."Thanks! thanks to thee, gentle echo! Ofthast thou responded to the strains of lovemy soul poured to--ah me! how beautifulwas the fair-haired Mary!"Again the echo spoke--again all werehushed. The minstrels voice rose again;but its tones were not akin to joy."Why remember this, deceitful echo?Wars blast hath blown, and hushed are thenotes of love. The foe hath polluted myhearth--I wander an exile. Where, where isMary?"The echo faintly but plaintively replied.There were some imagined that a tear
    • really started to the eye of the singer. Hestruck the guitar wildly--his voice becamemore agitated--he advanced to theextremity of the balcony."My sword! my sword! May my right handbe withered ere it forget to grasp its hilt!One blow for freedom. Freedom--sweet aswas the lip--Yes! Ill revenge my Mary!"Schezer paused, apparently overcome byhis emotion. The echo wildly replied, as ifregistering the patriots vow. For a momentall was still! A thundering burst of applauseensued.The mountain music was succeeded by asweep of guitars, accompanying aVenetian serenade, whose burthen was theapostrophising the cruelty of "la caraNina."
    • It was near midnight, when all eyes weredirected to a ball of fire, which, risingmajestically upward, soared amid the tallelm trees. For a moment, the balloonbecame entangled in the boughs,revealing by its transparent light the greenbuds of spring, which variegated andcheered the scathed bark. It broke loosefrom their embrace--hovered irresolutelyabove them--then swept rapidly before thewind, rising till it became as a speck in thefirmament.This was the signal for Mr. Robinsonsfireworks, which did not shame Vauxhallsreputation. At one moment, a salamandercourted notice; at another, a train of fieryhonours, festooned round four woodenpillars, was fired at different places, by asmany doves practised to the task. Here, animitation of a jet deau elicitedapplause--there, the gyrations of a
    • Catherines wheel were suddenlyinterrupted by the rapid ascent of a Romancandle.Directly after the ascent of the balloon,Emily and Clarendon had turned towardsthe ball room. Julias sisters had a group oflaughing beaux round their chairs,--Mrs.Glenallan and Mrs. Vernon werediscussing bygone days,--and no oneseemed disposed to leave the pavilion. SirHenry, in his silent mood, was glad toescape from the party; and engaging Juliain a search for Emily, made his way to thecrowded ball room. He there found hissister spinning round with Clarendon toone of Strausss waltzes; and Sir Henry andhis partner seated themselves on one ofthe benches, watching the smiling faces asthey whirled past them. It was amelancholy thought to Delm� how soonEmilys brow would be clouded, were he
    • to breathe one word of Georges illnessand despondency. The waltz concluded, aquadrille was quickly formed. Miss Vernondeclined dancing, and they rose to joinEmily and Clarendon; but the lovers wereflown. The ball room became still morethronged; and Delm�was glad to turn oncemore towards the pavilion. The party theyhad left there had also vanished, andstrangers usurped their seats. In thisdilemma, Miss Vernon proposed seekingtheir party in the long walk. They took oneor two turns down this, but saw not thosefor whom they were in search."If you do not dislike leaving this busyscene," said Sir Henry, "I think we shallhave a better chance of meeting Emily andClarendon, if we turn down one of thesewinding paths."They turned to their left, and walked on.
    • How beautiful was that night! Its calmtranquillity, as they receded from thegiddy throng, could not but subdue them.We have said that the moon was not ridingthe heavens in her full robe of majesty, norwas there a sombre darkness. The purplevault was spangled thick with stars; andthere reigned that dubious, glimmeringlight, by which you can note a face, but notmark its blush. The walks woundfantastically. They were lit by festoons ofcoloured lamps, attached to theneighbouring trees, so as to resemble thependent grape-clusters, that the travellermeets with just previous to the Bolognesevintage. Occasionally, a path would beencountered where no light met the eyesave that of the prying stars overhead. Inthe distant vista, might be seen a part ofthe crowded promenade, where musicheld its court; whilst at intervals, a voicesswell or guitars tinkle would be borne on
    • the ear. There was the hum of men,too--the laugh of the idlers without thesanctum, as they indulged in the delightsof the mischievous fire-ball--and thesudden whizz, followed by an upwardglare of light, as a rocket shot into the air.But the hour, and the nameless feeling thathour invoked, brought with them asubduing influence, which overpoweredthese intruding sounds, attuning the heartto love and praise. They paced the walk inmutual and embarrassed silence. SirHenrys thoughts would at one time revertto his brother, and at another to thatparting, which the morrow wouldassuredly bring with it. He was lost inreverie, and almost forgot who it was thatleant thus heavily upon his arm. Julia hadloved but once. She saw his abstraction,and knew not the cause; and her timidheart beat quicker than was its wont, asundefined images of coming evil and
    • sorrow, chased each other through herexcited fancy. At length she essayed tospeak, although conscious that her voicefaltered."What a lovely night! Are you a believer inthe language of the stars?"This was said with such simplicity ofmanner, that Delm� as he turned to answerher, felt truly for the first time the full forceof his attachment. He felt it the morestrongly, that his mind previously hadbeen wandering more than it had done foryears.There are times and seasons when we areengrossed in a train of deep andunconscious thought. Suddenly recalled toourselves, we start from our mentalaberration, and a clearer insight into theimmediate purposes and machinery of our
    • lives, is afforded us. We seem endowedwith a more accurate knowledge of self;the inmost workings of our souls areabruptly revealed--feelings mysteriesstand developed--our weaknesses stare usin the face--and our vices appear to gnawthe very vitals of our hope. The veil wasindeed withdrawn,--and Delm�s heartacknowledged, that the fair being wholeant on him for support, was dearer--fardearer, than all beside. But he saw too,ambition in that hearts deep recess, andknew that its dictates, unopposed foryears, were totally incompatible with sucha love. He saw and trembled.Julias question was repeated, before SirHenry could reply."A soldier, Miss Vernon, is particularlysusceptible of visionary ideas. On the lonebivouac, or remote piquet, duty must
    • frequently chase sleep from his eyelids. Atsuch times, I have, I confess, indulged inwild speculations, on their possibleinfluence on our wayward destinies. I wasthen a youth, and should not now, I muchfear me, pursue with such uncheckedardour, the dreams of romance in which Icould then unrestrainedly revel. Perhaps Ishould not think it wise to do so, even hadnot sober reality stolen from imaginationher brightest pinion.""I would fain hope, Sir Henry," repliedJulia, "that all your minds elasticity is notthus flown. Why blame such fancifultheories? I cannot think them wrong, and Ihave often passed happy hours in formingthem.""Simply because they remove us too muchfrom our natural sphere of usefulness.They may impart us pleasure; but I
    • question whether, by dulling our mundanedelights, they do not steal pleasure quiteequivalent. Besides, they cannot assist usin conferring happiness on others, or ingleaning improvement for ourselves. I amnot quite certain, enviable as appears thedistinction, whether the _too_ feelinglyappreciating even natures beauties, doesnot bear with it its own retribution.""Ah! do not say so! I cannot think that it_should_ be so with minds properlyregulated. I cannot think that _such_ canever gaze on the wonders revealed us,without these imparting their lesson ofgratitude and adoration. If, full of hope, oureye turns to some glorious planet, and wefondly deem that _there_, may our dreamsof happiness _here,_ be perpetuated;surely in such poetical fancy, there is littleto condemn, and much that may wean usfrom follys idle cravings.
    • "If in melancholys hour, we mourn for onewho hath been dear, and sorrow for theperishable nature of all that may hereclaim our earthly affections; is it not sweetto think that in another world--perhaps insome bright star--we may again communewith what we have _so_ loved--once morebe united in those kindly bonds--and in akingdom where those bonds may not thuslightly be severed?"Julias voice failed her; for she thought ofone who had preceded her to "the last sadbourne."Delm�was much affected. He turnedtowards her, and his hand touched hers."Angelic being!"As he spoke, darker, more worldly
    • thoughts arose. A fearful struggle, whichconvulsed his features, ensued. The worldtriumphed.Julia Vernon saw much of this, and maidendelicacy told her it was not meet theyshould be alone."Let us join the crowd!" said she. "We shallprobably meet our party in the long walk:if not, we will try the ball room."Poor Julia! little was her heart in unisonwith that joyous scene!By the eve of the morrow, Delm�was manyleagues from her and his family.Restless man, with travel, ambition, andexcitement, can woo and almost winoblivion;--but poor, weak, confidingwoman--what is left to her?
    • In secret to mourn, and in secret still tolove.
    • Chapter III.The Journey.
    • "Adieu! adieu! My native land Fades oerthe ocean blue; The night winds sigh--thebreakers roar-- And shrieks the wild seamew. Yon sun that sets upon the sea,We follow in his flight: Farewell awhile tohim and thee! My native land! goodnight!"We have rapidly sketched the d�ouementof the preceding chapter; but it must notbe forgotten, that Delm�had been residingsome months at Leamington, and thatEmily and Julia were friends. In his ownfamiliar circle--a severe but true test--SirHenry had every opportunity of becomingacquainted with Miss Vernons sweetnessof disposition, and of appreciating themany excellencies of her character. Forthe rest, their intercourse had been of thatnature, that it need excite no surprise, thata walk on a gala night, had the power of
    • extracting an avowal, which, crude,undigested, and hastily withdrawn as itwas, was certainly more the effusion of theheart--more consonant with Sir Henrysoriginal nature--than the sage reasoningson his part, which preceded and followedthat event.On Delm�s arrival in town, he prosecutedwith energy his enquiries as to his brother.He called on the regimental agents, whocould give him no information. Georgesmilitary friends had lost sight of him sincehe had sailed for the Mediterranean; andof the few persons, whom he could hear of,who had lately left Malta; some werepassing travellers, who had made noacquaintances there, others, Englishmerchants, who had met George at theOpera and in the streets, but nowhereelse. It is true, there was an exception tothis, in the case of a hair-brained young
    • midshipman; who stated that he had dinedat Georges regimental mess, and hadthere heard that George "had fallen in lovewith some young lady, and had fought withher brother or uncle, or a soldier-officer,he did not know which."Meagre as all this information was, itdecided Sir Henry Delm�He wrote a long letter to Emily, in which heexpressed a hope that both George andhimself would soon be with her, andimmediately prepared for his departure.Ere we follow him on his lonely journey,let us turn to those he left behind. Mrs.Glenallan and Emily decided on at onceleaving Leamington for their own home.The marriage of the latter was deferred;and as Clarendon confessed that hisperiod of probation was a very happy one,
    • he acquiesced cheerfully in thearrangement. Emily called on the Vernons,and finding that Julia was not at home,wrote her a kind farewell; secretly hopingthat at some future period they might bemore nearly related. The sun was sinking,as the travellers neared Delm� The oldmansion looked as calm as ever. The bluesmoke curled above its sombre roof; andthe rooks sailed over the chimneys,flapping their wings, and cawingrejoicefully, as they caught the firstglimpse of their lofty homes. Emily letdown the carriage window, and withsunshiny tear, looked out on the home ofher ancestors.There let us leave her; and turn to bidadieu for a season, to one, who for many aweary day, was doomed to undergo thepangs of blighted affection. Such pangsare but too poignant and enduring, let the
    • worldly man say what he may. Could webut read the history of the snarling cynic,blind to this worlds good--of him, whofrom being the deceived, has become thedeceiver--of the rash sensualist, whoplunging into vice, thinks he canforget;--could we but know the train ofevents, that have brought the stampingmadman to his bars--and his cell--and hisrealms of phantasy;--or search the breastof her, who lets concealment "feed on herdamask cheek"--who prays blessings onhim, who hath wasted her youthfulcharms--then mounts with virgin soul toheaven:--we, in our turn, might sneer atthe worldling, and pin our fate on the taleof the peasant girl, who discourses soglibly of crossed love and broken hearts.Sir Henry Delm�left England with veryunenviable sensations. A cloud seemed tohang over the fate of his brother, which no
    • speculations of his could pierce.Numberless were the conjectures heformed, as to the real causes of Georgessickness and mental depression. It was invain he re-read the letters, and varied hiscomments on their contents. It wasevident, that nothing but his actualpresence in Malta, could unravel themystery. Sir Henry had _one_ consolation;how great, let those judge who have hadaught dear placed in circumstances at allsimilar. He had a confidence in Georgescharacter, which entirely relieved himfrom any fear that the slightest taint couldhave infected it. But an act of imprudencemight have destroyed his peace ofmind--sickness have wasted his body. Norwas his uncertainty regarding George,Delm�s only cause of disquiet. When hethought of Julia Vernon, there was aconsequent internal emotion, that he couldnot subdue. He endeavoured to forget
    • her--her image haunted him. He meditatedon his past conduct; and at times itoccurred to him, that the resolutions hehad formed, were not the result of reason,but were based on pride and prejudice.He thought of her as he had last seen her._Now_ she spoke with enthusiasm of thebright stars of heaven; anon, her eyeglistened with piety, as she showed howthe feeling these created, was butsubservient to a nobler one still. Again, hewas beside her in the moment of maidenagony; when low accents faltered from herquivering lip, and the hand that rested onhis arm, trembled from her heartsemotion.Such were the bitter fancies that assailedhim, as he left his own, and reached aforeign land. They cast a shadow on hisbrow, which change of scene possessedno charm to dispel. He hurried on to
    • Frances capital, and only delaying till hecould get his passports signed, hastenedfrom Paris to Marseilles.On his arrival at the latter place, his firstenquiries were, as to the earliest periodthat a vessel would sail for Malta. He waspointed out a small yacht in the harbour,which belonging to the Britishgovernment, had lately brought over astaff officer with despatches.A courier from England had that morningarrived--the vessel was about toreturn--her canvas was alreadyloosened--the blue Peter streaming in thewind. Delm�hesitated not an instant, butthrew himself into a boat, and was rowedalongside. The yachts commander was alieutenant in our service, although aMaltese by birth. He at once entered intoSir Henrys views, and felt delighted at the
    • prospect of a companion in his voyage. Ashort time elapsed--the anchor was up--thewhite sails began to fill--Sir Henry wasonce more on the wide sea.What a feeling of loneliness, almost ofdespair, infects the landsmans mind, as herecedes from an unfamiliar port--seescrowds watching listlessly his vesselsdeparture--crowds, of whom not one feelsan interest in _his_ fate; and then, turningto the little world within, beholds but faceshe knows not, persons he wots not of!But to one whose home is the ocean, suchare not the emotions which its expanse ofbroad waters calls forth. To such an one,each plank seems a friend; the vessel, arefuge from the world and its cares.Trusting himself to its guidance, deceitwounds him no more-- hollow-heartedfriendship proffers not its hand to
    • sting--love exercises not its fatalsorcery--foes are afar--and his heart, if notthe waves, is comparatively at peace. Andoh! the wonders of the deep! Ocean! tameis the soul that loves not thee! grovellingthe mind that scorns the joys thouimpartest! To lean our head on the vesselsside, and in idleness of spirit ponder onbygone scene, that has brought usanything but happiness,--to gaze on thecurling waves, as impelled by theboisterous wind, we ride oer the angrywaters, lashed by the sable keel to ayeasty madness,--to look afar upon thedisturbed billow, presenting its crestedhead like the curved neck of the warhorse,--_then_ to mark the screaming seabird, as, his bright eye scanning thewaters, he soars above the stormymain--its wide tumult his delight--theroaring of the winds his melody--theshrieks of the drowned an harmonious
    • symphony to the hoarse diapason of thedeep! All these things may awakereflections, which are alike futile andtransitory; but they are accompanied by amental excitement, which land scenes,however glorious, always fail to impart.Delm�s voyage was not unpropitious,although the yacht was frequently baffledby contrary winds, which prevented thepassage being very speedy. During theday, the weather was ordinarily blustering,at times stormy; but with the setting sun, itseemed that tranquillity came; for duringthe nights, which were uncommonly fine,gentle breezes continued to fill the sails,and their vessel made tardy but sureprogress. Henry would sit on deck till alate hour, lost in reverie. _There_ would heremain, until each idle mariner was sunk torest; and nothing but the distant tread ofthe wakeful watch, or the short cough of
    • the helmsman, bespoke a sentinel over thehabitation on the waters. How would therecollections of his life crowd uponhim!--the loss of his parent--the worldsfirst opening--bitter partings--painfulmisgivings--the lone bivouac--themarshalling of squadrons--the fiercecharge--the excitement of victory, whosecharm was all but flown, for where werethe comrades who had fought beside him?These things were recalled, and broughtwith them alternate pain and pleasure. Anda less remote era of his life would bepresented him; when he tasted thewelcome of home--saw hands uplifted ingratitude--was cheered by a brothersgreeting, and subdued by a sisters kiss.But there _was_ a thought, which let himdwell as he might on others, remained theuppermost of all. It was of Julia Vernon,and met him as a reproach. If his feelingswere not of that enthusiastic nature, which
    • they might have been were he now in hisgreen youth, they were not on this accountthe less intense. They were coloured bythe energy of manhood. He had lost aportion of his self-respect: for he knew thathis conduct had been vacillating withregard to one, whom each traversedleague, each fleeting hour, proved to beyet dearer than he had deemed her.In the first few days of their passage, thewinds shaped their vessels coursetowards the Genoese gulf. They then tooka direction nearly south, steering betweenCorsica and Sardinia on the onehand--Italy on the other.Delm�had an opportunity of noting theoutward aspect of Napoleons birth-place;and still more nearly, that of its oppositeisland, which also forms so memorable alink in the history of that demi-god of
    • modern times. How could weaker spiritsdeem that _there_, invested withmonarchys semblance, the ruler of thepetty isle could forget that he had beenmaster of the world?How think that diplomacys cobweb fibrecould hold the eagle, panting for anupward flight?They fearfully misjudged! What atranscendent light did his star give, as itshot through the appalled heavens, ere itsunk for ever in endless night!The commander of the yacht pointed outthe rock, which is traditionally said to bethe one, on which Napoleon has beenrepresented--his arms folded--watchingintently the ocean--and ambitions votarygleaning his moral from the stormy wavesbelow. As they advanced farther in their
    • course, other associations were notwanting; and Delm� whose mind, like thatof most Englishmen, was deeply tincturedwith classic lore, was not insensible totheir charms. They swept by the Latiancoast. Every creek and promontory,attested the fidelity of the poetsdescription, by vividly recalling it to themind. On the seventh day, they doubledCape Maritime, on the western coast ofSicily; and two days afterwards, the vesselneared what has been styled the abode ofCalypso, the island of Gozzo. As theycontinued to advance, picturesque tradingboats, with awnings and numerous rowers,became more frequent--the low landappeared--they were signalled from thepalace--the point of St. Elmo wasturned--and a wide forest of masts met thegaze. The vessel took up her moorings;and in the novelty of the scene, andsurrounding bustle, Sir Henry for a time
    • rested from misgivings, and forgot his realcauses for melancholy. The harbour ofMalta is not easily forgotten. The sun wasjust sinking, tinging with hues of amber,the usually purple waters of the harbour,and bronzing with its fiery orb, thebatteries and lofty Baraca, where lieentombed the remains of Sir ThomasMaitland. Between the Baracas pillars,might be discerned many a faldette, withpretty face beneath, peering over to markthe little yacht, as she took her station,amidst the more gigantic line of battleships.The native boatmen, in their gilded barkswith high prows, were seen surroundingthe vessel; and as they exerted themselvesin passing each other, their dress andaction had the most picturesqueappearance. Their language, a corruptedArabic, is not unpleasing to the ear; and
    • their costume is remarkably graceful. Ared turban hangs droopingly on one side,and their waistcoats are loaded with largesilver buttons, the only remains of theiruncommon wealth during the war, whenthis little island was endowed with afictitious importance, it can never hope toresume. Just as the yacht cast anchor, agun from the saluting battery was fired. Itwas the signal for sunset, and every flagwas lowered. Down came in mostseaman-like style the proud flag of merryEngland--the _then_ spotless banner ofFrance--and the great cross, hangingungracefully, over the stout, but clumsy,Russian man of war. All these flags werethen in the harbour of Valletta, although itwas not at that eventful time when--theMoslem humbled--they met with thecordiality of colleagues in victory.The harbour was full of vessels. Every
    • nation had its representative. Theintermediate spaces were studded byMaltese boats, crowded with passengersindiscriminately mingled. The carelessEnglish soldier, with scarlet coat andpipe-clayed belt--priests andfriars--Maltese women in national costumesat side by side. Occasionally, a gig,pulled by man of wars men, might be seenmaking towards the town, with one ormore officers astern, whose glitteringepaulettes announced them as eitherdiners out, or amateurs of the opera. Thescene to Delm�was entirely novel;although it had previously been his lot toscan more than one foreign country.The arrival of the health officers was thefirst circumstance that diverted his mindfrom the surrounding scene. There hadbeen an epidemic disease at Marseilles,and there appeared to be some doubts,
    • whether, as a precaution, some quarantinewould not be imposed. The superintendentof quarantine was rowed alongside, chieflyfor the purpose of regulating this. Thespirited little commander of the yacht,however, was not at all desirous of anysuch arrangement; and after someenergetic appeals on his part, met bycautious remonstrances on the part of theother, their pratique was duly accorded.During the discussion with thesuperintendent, Sir Henry had enquiredfrom the health officer, as to where heshould find George, and was informed thathis regiment was quartered at Floriana,one of Vallettas suburbs. In a short time aboat from the yacht was lowered, and thecommander prepared to accompany thegovernment courier with his dispatches tothe palace.
    • Previous to leaving the deck, he hailed aboat alongside--addressed the boatmen intheir native language--and consigned SirHenry to their charge. Twilight wasdeepening into night as Delm�left thevessel. The harbour had lost much of itsbustle; lights were already gleaming fromthe town, and as seen in some of theloftiest houses, looked as if suspended inthe air above. Our traveller folded hiscloak around him, and was rowed swiftlytowards the shore.
    • Chapter VII.The Young Greek.
    • "But not in silence pass Calypsos isles,The sister tenants of the middle deep." * * * * * "Her reign is past, her gentle gloriesgone, But trust not this; too easy youth,beware! A mortal sovereign holds herdangerous throne. And thou mayst find anew Calypso there."Night had set in before Sir Henry reachedthe shore. The boatmen, in broken, butintelligible English, took the trouble ofexplaining, that they must row him to apoint higher up the harbour, than thelanding place towards which thecommanders gig was directing its course,on account of his brothers regiment beingquartered at Floriana. Landing on thequay, they took charge of Delm�s
    • portmanteau, and conducted him throughan ascending road, which seemed to forma part of the fortifications, till they arrivedin front of a closed gate. They werechallenged by the sentinel, and obliged toexplain their business to anon-commissioned officer, before theywere admitted.This form having been gone through, anarrow wicket was opened for theirpassage. They crossed a species ofcommon, and, after a few minutes walk,found themselves in front of the barrack.This was a plain stone building, enclosinga small court, in the centre of which stood amarble bason. The taste of some of theofficers had peopled this with golden fish;whilst on the basons brim were placedstands for exotics, whose fragrancecharmed our sea-worn traveller, so latelyemancipated from those sad drawbacks to
    • a voyage, the odours of tar and bilgewater.On either side, were staircases leading tothe rooms above. A sentry was slowlypacing the court, and gave Delm�thenecessary directions for finding Georgesroom. Delm�s hand was on the latch, buthe paused for a moment ere he pressed it,for he pictured to himself his brother lyingon the bed of sickness. This temporaryirresolution soon gave way to the impulseof affection, and he hastily entered thechamber. George was reading, and hadhis back turned towards him. As he heardthe footsteps, he half turned round; anenquiry was on his lip, when his eyecaught Henrys figure--a hectic flushsuffused his cheek--he rose eagerly, andthrew himself into his brothers arms.Ah! sweet is fraternal affection! As boys,
    • we own its just, its proper influence; but asmen--how few of us can lay our hands onour hearts, and in the time of manhoodfeel, that the thought of a brother, still callsup the kindly glow which it did in earlieryears. Delm�strained his brother to hisheart, whilst poor Georges tears flowedlike a womans."Ah, how," he exclaimed, "can I ever repayyou for this?"The first burst of joyful meeting over--SirHenry scanned his brothers features, andwas shocked at the apparent havoc a fewshort years had wrought. It was not that thecheek--whose carnation tint had oncedrawn a comment from all who saw it--itwas not that the cheek was bronzed by aneastern sun. The alabaster forehead,showed that this was the natural result, ofexposure to climate. But the wan, the
    • sunken features--the unnatural brilliancy ofthe eye--the almost impetuous agitation ofmanner--all these bespoke that more thaneven sickness had produced thechange:--that the mind, as well as body,must have had its sufferings."My dear, dear brother," said Henry, "tellme, I implore you, the meaning of this. Youlook ill and distressed, and yet from you Idid not hear of sickness, nor do I know anyreason for grief." George smiledevasively; then, as if recollecting himself,struck his forehead. He pressed hisbrothers arm, and led him towards a roomadjoining the one in which they were."It were in vain to tell you now, Henry, theeventful history of the last few months; butsee!" said he, as they together entered,"the innocent cause of much that I havegone through."
    • Sir Henry Delm�started at the sight thatgreeted him. The room was dimly lightedby a lamp, but the moon was up, and shedher full light through part of the chamber.On a small French bed, whose silkenlinings threw their rosy hue on the face ofits fair occupant, lay as lovely a girl as evereye reposed on.The heat had already commenced tobecome oppressive; the jalousies andwindows were thrown open. As the nightbreeze swept over the curtains, and thetint these gave, trembled on that youthfulbeauty; Delm�might well be forgiven, fordeeming it was very long since he hadseen a countenance so exquisitely lovely.The face did indeed bear the stamp ofyouth. Delm�would have guessed that thebeing before him, had barely attained herfifteenth year, but that her bosom heaved
    • like playful billows, as she breathed hersighs in a profound slumber. Her style ofbeauty for a girl was most rare. It had analmost infantine simplicity of character,which in sleep was still more remarkable;for awake, those eyes, now so still, did notthrow unmeaning glances.Such as these must Guarini haveapostrophised, as he looked at hisslumbering love. "Occhi! stelle mortale! Ministri de mieimali! Se chiusi muccidete, Aperti,--chefarete?"Or, as Clarendon Gage translated it. "Ye mortal stars! ye eyes that, een insleep, Can thus my senses chaind inwonder keep, Say, if when closed, yourbeauties thus I feel, Oh, what when open,
    • would ye not reveal?"Her beauty owed not its peculiar charm toany regularity of feature; but to anineffable sweetness of expression, and toyouths freshest bloom. Hafiz would havecompared that smooth cheek to the tulipsflower. Her eye-lashes, of the deepest jet,and silken gloss, were of uncommonlength. Her lips were apart, and disclosedsmall but exquisitely formed teeth. Theirhue was not that of ivory, but the moredelicate though more transient one of thepearl. One arm supported her head--itshand tangled in the raven tresses--of theother, the snowy rounded elbow was alonevisible.She met the eye, like a vision conjured upby fervid youth; when, ere our wakingthoughts dare to run riot in beautyscontemplation--sleep, the tempter, gives
    • to our disordered imaginations, forms andscenes, which in after life we pant for, butmeet them--never!George put his finger to his lips, asDelm�regarded her--kissed her silkencheek, and whispered,"Acm� carissima mia!"The slumberer started--the envious eye-lidshrouded no more its lustrous jewel--thewondering eyes dilated, as they met herlovers--and she murmured something withthat sweet Venetian lisp, in which theGreek women breathe their Italian. But, asshe saw the stranger, her face and neckbecame suffused with crimson, and hersmall hand wrapped the snowy sheetround her beauteous form.Sir Henry, who felt equally embarrassed,
    • returned to the room they had left; whilstGeorge lingered by the bedside of hismistress, and told her it was his brother.Once more together, Sir Henry turnedtowards George."For Gods sake," said he, "unravel thismystery! Who is this young creature?""Not now!" said his brother, "let us reserveit for to-morrow, and talk only of home.Acm�has retired earlier than usual--shehas been complaining." And hecommenced with a flushed brow and rapidvoice, to ask after those he loved."And so, dearest Emily will soon bemarried. I am glad of it; you speak so wellof Gage! I wish I had stayed three weekslonger in England, and I should have seenhim. We shall miss her in the flowergarden, Henry! Yes! and every where else!
    • And how is my kind aunt? I forgot to thankher when I last wrote to Delm� for makingFid�e a parlour inmate!--and I dont thinkshe likes dogs generally either!--And Mrs.Wilcox! as demure as ever?--Do yourecollect the trick I played her the lastApril I was at home?--And my favouritepony! does _he_ still adorn the paddock,or is he gone at last? Emily wrote me hecould hardly support himself out of theshed. And the old oak--have you railed itround as I advised? And the deer--Is myaunt still as tenacious of killing them? Isuppose Emilys pet fawn is a fine antleredgentleman by this time. And your charger,Henry--how is he? And Mr. Sims? and thenew green house? Does the aviarysucceed? did you get my slips of the bloodorange? have the Zante melon seedsanswered? And the daisy of Delm� FannyPorter--is she married? I stole a kiss theday I left. And so the coachman is dead?
    • and you have given the reins to Jenkins,and have taken my little fellow on yourown establishment? And Ponto? andRanger? and my friend Guess?"Here George paused, quite out of breath;and his brother, viewing with some alarmhis nervous agitation, attempted to answerhis many queries; determined in his ownmind, not to seek the explanation he somuch longed for, until a more favourableperiod for demanding it arrived. Thebrothers continued conversing on Englishtopics till a late hour, when Henry rose toretire."I cannot," said George, "give you a bedhere to-night; but my servant shall showyou the way to an hotel; and in the courseof to-morrow, we will take care to have aroom provided for you. You must feelharassed: will nine be too early an hour for
    • breakfast?"It was a beautiful night, still and starry. Tillthey arrived in the busy street, no soundcould be heard, but the cautious openingof the lattice, answering the signal of theguitar. Escorted by his guide,Delm�entered Valletta, which is bustlingalways, even at night; but was more thanusually so, as there happened to be a f�eat the palace. As they passed through theStrado Teatro, the soldier pointed out theOpera-house; although from the latenessof the hour, Rossinis melodies werehushed. From a neighbouring caf�however, festive sounds proceeded; andDelm� catching the words of an unfamiliarlanguage, paused before the door torecognise the singer. The table at which hesat, was so densely enveloped in smoke,that it was some time before he couldmake out the forms of the party, which
    • consisted of some jovial Britishmidshipmen, and some Tartar-lookingRussians. One of the Russian officers wascharming his audience with a chanson�boire, acquired on the banks of theVistula, His compatriots were yelling thechorus most unmercifully. A few cal�hedrivers, waiting for their fares, and two orthree idle Maltese, were pacing outsidethe cafe, and appeared to regard thescene as one of frequent occurrence, andcalculated to excite but little interest. Hisguide showed Delm�the hotel, and wasdismissed; and Sir Henry, preceded by anobsequious waiter, was introduced to aspacious apartment facing the street.It was long ere sleep visited him. He hadmany subjects on which to ruminate; therewere many points which the morrow wouldclear up. His mind was too busy to permithim to rest.
    • When he did, however, close his eyes; heslept soundly, and did not awake till thebroad glare of day, penetrating throughthe Venetian blinds, disclosed to him theunfamiliar apartment at Beverleys.
    • Chapter VIII.The Invalid.
    • "Mid many things most new to ear andeye, The pilgrim rested here his wearyfeet."As Sir Henry Delm�stepped from the hotelinto the street, the suns rays commencedto be oppressive, and, although it was onlyentering the month of May, served toremind him that he was in a warmer clime.The scene was already a bustling one. Theshopkeepers were throwing water on thehot flag stones, and erecting canvasawnings in front of their doors. In thevarious caf� might be seen the subservientwaiters, handing round the small gildedcup, which contained thick Turkish coffee,or carrying to some old smoker the littlepipkin, whence he was to light his genialcigar. In front of one of these caf�, someEnglish officers were collected, sippingices, and criticising the relieving of the
    • guard. Turning a corner of the principalstreet, a group of half black andthree-parts naked children assaulted ourtraveller, and vociferously invoked carit�They accompanied this demand by thecorrupted cry of "nix munjay"--nothing toeat,--which they enforced by mostexpressive gestures, extending theirmouths, and exhibiting rows ofravenous-looking teeth. The cal�hedrivers, too, were on the alert, andrespectfully taking off their turbans,proffered their services to convey theSignore to Floriana. Delm�declined theiroffers, and, passing a draw-bridge whichdivides Valletta from the country, made hisway through an embrasure, anddescending some half worn stonesteps--during which operation he wasagain surrounded by beggars--he foundhimself within sight of the barracks.Acm�and George were ready to receive
    • him. The latters eye lit, as it was wont todo, on seeing his brother, whilst the youngGreek appeared in doubt, whether torejoice at what gave him pleasure, or tostand in awe of a relation, whose influenceover George might shake her own. Thisdid not, however, prevent her offeringDelm�her hand, with an air of greatfrankness and grace. Nor was he lessstruck with her peculiar beauty than hehad been on the night previous. Her dresswas well adapted to exhibit her charms tothe greatest advantage. Her hair wasparted in front, and smoothly combed overher neck and shoulders, descending to herwaist. Over her bosom, and fastened by achased silver clasp, was one of the saffronhandkerchiefs worn by the Parganotwomen. A jacket of purple velvet,embroidered with gold, fitted closely toher figure. Round her waist was a crimsongirdle, fastened by another enormous
    • broach, or rather embossed plate of silver.A Maltese gold rose chain of exquisiteworkmanship was flung round her neck, towhich depended a locket, one side ofwhich held, encased in glass, Georgeshair braided with her own; the other had acameo, representing the death of thepatriot Marco Bozzaris."Giorgio tells me," said she, "that youspeak Italian, at which I am very glad; forhis efforts to teach me English have quitefailed. Do you know you quite alarmed melast night, and I really think it was too badof George introducing you when he did;"and she placed her hand on her loversshoulder, and looked in his faceconfidingly. In spite of the substance of herspeech, and the circumstances underwhich Delm�saw her, he could not avoidfeeling an involuntary prepossession inher favour. Her manner had little of the
    • polish of art, but much of natures witchingsimplicity; and Sir Henry felt surprised atthe ease and animation of the whole party.Acm�presided at the breakfast table, witha grace which many a modern lady offashion might envy; and during the meal,her conversation, far from being dull orlistless, showed that she had much talent,and that to a quick perception of naturescharms, she united great enthusiasm intheir pursuit. The meal was over, when thesurgeon of the regiment was announced,and introduced by George to Sir Henry.After making a few inquiries as to theinvalids state of health, he proposed toDelm� taking a turn in the botanicalgarden, which was immediately in front oftheir windows.Sir Henry eagerly grasped at theproposition; anxious, as he felt himself, toascertain the real circumstances
    • connected with his brothers indisposition.They strolled through the garden, whichwas almost deserted--for none but dogsand Englishmen, to use the expression ofthe natives, court the Maltese noon-daysun,--and the surgeon at once entered intoGeorges history. He was a man of mostrefined manners, and a cultivated intellect,and his professional familiarity withhorrors, had not diminished his naturaldelicacy of feeling. His narrative wasbriefly thus:--George Delm�s bosom companion hadbeen an officer of his own age andstanding in the service, with whom he hadembarked when leaving England. Theirintercourse had ripened into the closestfriendship. George had met Acm�although the surgeon knew not theparticulars of the rencontre,--had confidedto his friend the acquaintance he had
    • made--and had himself introducedDelancey at the house whereAcm�resided. Whether her charms reallytempted the friend to endeavour tosupplant George, or whether heconsidered the latters attentions to theyoung Greek to be without definite object,and undertaken in a spirit of indifference,the narrator could not explain; but it wasnot long before Delancey consideredhimself as a principal in the transaction.Acm� whose knowledge of the world wasslight, and whose previous seclusion fromsociety, had rendered her timidityexcessive, considered that her best modeof avoiding importunities she disliked, andattentions that were painful to her, wouldbe to speak to George himself on thesubject.By this time, the latter, quite fascinated byher beauty and simplicity, and deeming,
    • as was indeed the fact, that his love wasreturned, needed not other inquietudesthan those his attachment gave him. Thepride of ancestry and station on the onehand--on the other, a deep affection, and awish to act nobly by Acm�-caused aninternal struggle which made him open toany excitement, nervously alive to anywrong. He sought his friend, and usedreproaches, which rendered it imperativethat they should meet as foes. Delanceywas wounded; and as _he_ thought--and itwas long doubtful whether it _were_so--_mortally_. He beckoned GeorgeDelm�to his bedside--begged him toforgive him--told him that his friendshiphad been the greatest source of delight tohim--a friendship which in his dyingmoments he begged to renew--that farfrom feeling pain at his approachingdissolution, he conceived that he hadmerited all, and only waited his full and
    • entire forgiveness to die happy. GeorgeDelm�wrung his hands in the bitterness ofdespair--prayed him to live for hissake--told him, that did he not, his own lifehereafter would be one of the deepestmisery,--that the horrors of remorse wouldweigh him down to his grave. The surgeonwas the first to terminate a scene, which heassured Delm�was one of the most painfulit had ever been his lot to witness. Thismeeting, though of so agitating a nature,seemed to have a beneficial effect on thewounded man. He sunk into a sweet sleep;and on awaking, his pulse was lower, andhis symptoms less critical. He improvedgradually, and was now convalescent. Butit was otherwise with George Delm� Hesought the solitude of his chamber, a preyto the agonies of a self-reproaching spirit.He considered himself instrumental intaking the life of his best friend--of one,richly endowed with the loftiest feelings
    • humanity can boast. His nerves previouslyhad been unstrung; body and mind sankunder the picture his imagination hadconjured up. His servant was alarmed bystartling screams, entered his room, andfound his master in fearful convulsions. Afever ensued, during which Georges lifehung by a thread. To this succeeded a longstate of unconsciousness, occasionallybroken by wild delirium.During his illness, there was one whonever left him--who smoothed hispillow--who supported his head on herbreast--who watched him as a motherwatches her first-born. It was the youthfulGreek, Acm�Frascati. The instant sheheard of his danger, she left her home totend him. No entreaties could influenceher, no arguments persuade. She would sitby his bedside for hours, his feverish handlocked in hers, and implore him to
    • recover, to bless one who loved him sodearly. They could not part them; forGeorge, even in his delirious state,seemed to be conscious that some one wasnear him, and, did she leave his side,would rise in his bed, and look around himas if missing some accustomed object. Inhis wilder flights, he would callpassionately upon her, and beg her tosave his friend, who was lying so dead andstill.For a length of time, neither care norprofessional skill availed. Fearful was thestruggle, between his disease, and anaturally hardy constitution. Reason at lastresumed her dominion. "I know not," saidthe surgeon, "the particulars of the firstdawning of consciousness. It appears thatAcm�was alone with him, and that it was atnight. I found him on my professional visitone morning, clear and collected, and his
    • mistress sobbing her thanks. I needperhaps hardly inform you," said thenarrator, "that Georges gratitude toAcm�was vividly expressed. It was in vainI urged on her the propriety of nowleaving her lover. This was met on bothsides by an equal disinclination, andindeed obstinate refusal; and I feared theresponsibility I should incur, by enforcinga separation which might have proved ofdangerous consequence to my patient.Alas! for human nature, Sir Henry! need itsurprise you that the consequences werewhat they are? Loving him with thefervency of one born under an easternsun--with the warm devotion of womansfirst love--with slender ideas of Christianmorality--and with a mind accustomed toobey its every impulse--need it, I say,surprise you, that the one fell, and thatremorse visited the other? To thatremorse, do I attribute what my previous
    • communication may not have sufficientlyprepared you for; namely, the littledependence to be placed on the tone ofthe invalids mind. Reason is but as aglimmering in a socket; and painful as myprofessional opinion may be to you, it ismy duty to avow it; and I frankly confess,that I entertain serious apprehensions, asto the stability of his minds restoration. Itis on this account, that I have felt soanxious that one of his relations should benear him. Change of scene is absolutelynecessary, as soon as change of scene canbe safely adopted. Every distractingthought must be avoided, and the utmostcare taken that no agitating topic isdiscussed in his presence. Theseprecautions may do much; but should theyhave no effect, which I think possible; as amedical man, I should then recommend,what as a member of his family may startleyou. My advice would be, that if it be
    • ultimately found, that his feelings asregard this young girl, are such as arelikely to prevent or impede his mindsrecovery; why I would then at once allowhim to make her any reparation he maythink just."To what do you allude?" enquired SirHenry."Why," continued the surgeon, "that if hisfeelings appear deeply enlisted on thatside of the question, and all our othermodes have failed in obtaining theirobject; that he should be permitted tomarry her as soon as he pleases. I see youlook grave. I am not surprised you shoulddo so; but life is worth preserving, andAcm� if not entirely to our notions, is agood, a very good girl--warm-hearted andaffectionate; and it is not fair to judge herby our English standard. You will however
    • have time and scope, to watch yourself theprogress and extent of his disorder. I fearthis is more serious than you are at presentaware of; but from your own observations,would I recommend and wish your futureline of conduct to be formed. May I trustmy frankness has not offended you?"Sir Henry assured him, that far from thisbeing the case, he owed him many thanksfor being thus explicit. Shaking him by thehand, he returned to Georges room with aclouded brow; perplexed how to act, orhow best discuss with his brother, thepoints connected with his history.
    • Chapter IX.The Narrative.
    • "The seal Loves dimpling finger hathimpressd, Denotes how soft that chinwhich bears his touch, Her lips whosekisses pout to leave their nest, Bid man bevaliant ere he merit such; Her glance howwildly beautiful--how much Hath Phoebuswood in vain to spoil her cheek, Whichgrows yet smoother from his amorousclutch, Who round the north for palerdames would seek? How poor their formsappear! how languid, wan, and weak."Love! Heavenly love! by Platos mindconceived, and Sicyons artist chiselled!not thou! nights offspring, springing ongolden wing from the dark bosom ofErebus! the first created, and the firstcreating: but thou! immaculate deity;effluence of unspotted thought, and childof a chaster age! where, oh where is nowthy resting place?
    • Pensile in mid-heaven, gazest thou yet withseraphic sorrow on this, the guilty abodeof guilty man?--with pitys tear stillmournest thou, as yoked to the car ofyoung desire, we bow the neck indegrading and slavish bondage? Or dostthou, the habitant of some bright star,where frailty such as ours is yet unknown,lend to lovers a rapture unalloyed bypassions grosser sense; as, symphoniouswith the tremulous zephyr, chastened vowsof constancy are there exchanged? Ah!vainly does one solitary enthusiast, in hisbalmy youth, for a moment conceive hereally grasps thee! tis but a fleetingphantasy, doomed to fade at the first sneerof derision--and for ever vanish, as a falseand fascinating world stamps its dogmason his heart! Celestial love! oh where mayhe yet find thee? and a clear voicewhispers, ETERNITY!
    • Hope! guide the fainting pilgrim! undyingsoul! shield him from the worlds venomeddarts, as he painfully wends his toilsomeway!When Delm�returned to his brother, hefound the latter anxiously expecting him,and desirous of ascertaining theimpression, which his conversation withthe surgeon had created.But Delm�thought it more prudent, to deferthe discussion of those points, till he hadheard from George himself, as to manycircumstances connected with Acm�shistory, and had been able to form somepersonal opinion regarding the health ofthe invalid. He therefore begged George,if he felt equal to the task, to avail himselfof the opportunity of Acm�s absence, totell him how he had first met her. To this
    • George willingly assented; and as there isever a peculiarity in foreign scenes andhabits, which awakens interest, we give hisstory in his own language."There are some old families here, Henry,"began the invalid, "whose names areconnected with some of the proudest,which the annals of the Knights of St. Johnof Jerusalem can boast. They are for themost part sunk in poverty, and possess butlittle of the outward trappings of rank. Buttheir pride is not therefore the less; andrather than have it wounded, by being putin collision with those with whom inworldly wealth they are unable tocompete, they prefer the privacy ofretirement; and are rarely seen, and morerarely known, by any of the Englishresidents, whom they distrust and dislike.It is true, there are a few families, some ofthe male members of which have accepted
    • subordinate situations under government:and these have become habituated toEnglish society, and meet on terms oftolerable cordiality, the English whoseacquaintance they have thus made. Butthere are others, as I have said, whoseexistence is hardly recognised, and whovegetate in some lone palazzo; broodingover the decay of their fortunes--nevercrossing the threshold of theirmansions--except when religious feelingscommand them to attend a mass, or publicprocession. Of such a family was Acm�amember. By birth a Greek, she was awitness to many of the bloody sceneswhich took place at the commencement ofthe struggle for Grecian freedom. She washerself present at the murder of both herparents. Her beauty alone saved her fromsharing their fate. One of the Turks, struckwith, her expression of childish sorrow,interfered in her behalf, and permitted a
    • friend and neighbour to save her life andhis own, by taking shipping for one of theislands in our possession. After residing inCorfu for some months, she received aninvitation from her fathers brother-in-law,a member of an ancient Maltese family;and for the last few years has spent a life, ifnot gay, at least free from a repetition ofthose sanguinary scenes, which have lenttheir impress to a sensitive mind, and atmoments impart a melancholy tinge, to adisposition by nature unusually joyous. Itwas on a festa day, dedicated to the patronsaint of the island, when no Maltese notabsolutely bed-ridden, but would deem ita duty, to witness the solemn and lengthyprocession which such a day calls forth;that I first met Acm�Frascati."I was alone in the Strada Reale, andstrolling towards the Piazza, when myattention was directed to what struck me as
    • the loveliest face I had ever seen."Acm� for it was her, was drest in thecostume of the island; and, although afaldette is not the best dress for exhibitinga figure, there was a grace and lightness inher carriage, that would have arrested myattention, even had I not been riveted byher countenance. She was on the oppositeside of the street to myself, and wasattended by an old Moorish woman, whocarried an illumined missal. Of thesewomen, several may yet be seen in Malta,looking very Oriental and duenna-like. AsI stopped to admire her, she suddenlyattempted to cross to the side of the streetwhere I stood. At the same moment, Iobserved a horse attached to a cal�hegalloping furiously towards her. It wasalmost upon her ere Acm�saw her danger.The driver, anxious to pass before theprocession formed, had whipped his horse
    • till it became unmanageable, and it wasnow in vain that he tried to arrest itsprogress. A natural impulse induced me torush forward, and endeavour to save her.She was pale and trembling, as I caughther and placed her out of the reach ofdanger; but before I could touch thepavement, I felt myself struck by the wheelof the carriage, was thrown down, andtaken up insensible. When consciousnessreturned, I found they had conveyed me toa neighbouring shop, and that medicalattendance had been procured. But morethan all, I noticed the solicitude of Acm�Until the surgeon had given a favourablereport, she could not address me, butwhen this had been pronounced, sheoverwhelmed me with thanks, begged toknow where I would wish to be taken, andrested not until her own family cal�hecame up, and she saw me, attended by theMoorish woman, on the road to Floriana.
    • "My accident, though not a very seriousone, proved of sufficient consequence, toconfine me to my room for some time; andduring that period, not a day passed, thatdid not give me proof of the anxiety of theyoung Greek for my restoration. I need notsay that one of my first visits was to her.Her family received me as they would anabsent brother. The obligations theyconsidered I had conferred, outweighedall prejudices which they might haveimbibed against my nation. On _my_ part,charmed with my adventure, delightedwith Acm� and gratified by the kindness ofher relations, I endeavoured to increasetheir favourable opinion by all the meansin my power. Acm�and myself were soonmore than friends, and I found my visitsgave and imparted pleasure."I now arrive at the unhappy part of my
    • narrative. How do I wish it were effacedfrom my memory. You may rememberhow, in all my letters to Delm� I mademention of my dear friend Delancey. Wewere indeed dear friends. We joined at thesame time, lived together in England,embarked together, and when, onedreadful night off the African coast, thecaptain of the transport thought we mustinevitably drift on the lee shore, wesolaced each other, and agreed that, if itcame to the worst, on one plank would weembark our fortunes. On our landing inMalta, we were inseparable, and my firstimpulse was to inform Delancey of all thathad occurred, and to introduce him to ahouse where I felt so happy. I must here dohim the justice to state, that whether I waspartly unaware of the extent of my ownfeelings towards Acm� or whether I felt amorbid sense of delicacy, in alluding towhat I knew to be the first attachment I had
    • ever formed, I am unable to inform you!but the only circumstance I concealedfrom my friend was my attachment to theyoung Greek. Perhaps to this may bemainly attributed what happened. God,who knows all secrets, knows this; but Imay now aver, that my friend, with manyfaults, has proved himself to have as frankand ingenuous a spirit, as noble ideas offriendship, as can exist in the humanbreast. For some time, matters continuedthus. We were both constant visitors atAcm�s house. With unparalleledblindness, I never mistrusted the feelingsof my friend. I never contemplated that_he_ also might become entangled withthe young beauty. I considered her as myown prize, and was more engaged inanalysing my own sensations, and in vainlystruggling against a passion, which I wascertain could not meet my familysapproval, than at all suspicious that fresh
    • causes of uneasiness might arise inanother quarter. As Acm�s heart opened tomine, I found her with feelings guilelessand unsuspecting as a childs; althoughthese were warm, and their expression butlittle restrained. There was a confidingsimplicity in her manner, that threw an airover all she said or did, which quiteforbade censure, and excited admiration.My passion became a violent and anall-absorbing one. I had made up mymind, to throw myself on the kindness ofmy family, and endeavour to obtain allyour consents. Thus was I situated, whenone day Acm�came up to me withfrankness of manner, but a tremulousvoice, to beg I would use my interest withmy friend, to prevent his coming to seeher."Indeed, indeed, said she, I have tried tolove him as a friend, as the friend of my
    • lifes preserver, but ever since he hasspoken as he now does, his visits are quiteunpleasant. My family begged me to tellyou. They would have asked him to comeno more, but were afraid you might beangry. Will you still come to us, and loveus all, if they tell him this? If you will not,he shall still come; for indeed we could notoffend one to whom we owe so much."_I_, too, said I to Acm� _I_, too, dearest,ought perhaps to leave you, _I_, too--"Oh, never! never! said she, as she turnedto me her dark eyes, bright with humidradiance. We cannot thus part!"She _did_, then, love me! I clasped her tomy arms--our lips clung together in onerapturous intoxicating embrace."Yet, even in that moment of delirium,
    • Henry, I told her of you, and of the manyobstacles which still presented themselvesto retard or even prevent our union. Isought my friend Delancey, andremonstrated with him. He appeared todoubt my right to question his motives.Success made me feel still more injured. Ishowered down reproaches. He could nothave acted differently. We met! and I sawhim fall! Till then, I had considered myselfas the injured man; but as I heard him onthe ground name his mother, and onedearer still--as he took from his breast thelast gift _she_ had made him--as hebegged of _me_ to be its bearer; I thenfirst felt remorse. He was taken to hisroom. Even the surgeon entertained nohopes. He again called me to his side; Iheard his noble acknowledgment, hisreiterated vows of friendship, the mournfultones of his farewell. I entered this room aheart-broken man. I felt my pulse throb
    • fearfully, a gasping sensation was in mythroat, my head swam round, and I clungto the wall for support. The next thing ofwhich I have any recollection, was thedawn of reason breaking through mytroubled dreams. It was midnight--all wasstill. The fitful lamp shone dimly throughmy chamber. I turned on my side--and, oh!by its light, I saw the face I mostloved--that face, whose gentle lineaments,were each deeply and separatelyengraven on my heart. I saw her bendingover me with a maidens love and amothers solicitude. As I essayed tospeak--as my conscious eye met hers--asthe soft words of affection wereinvoluntarily breathed by my feeblelips--how her features lit up with joy! Oh,say not, Henry, till you have experiencedsuch a moment of transport, say not thatthe lips which then vowed eternal fidelity,that the young hearts which _then_
    • plighted their truth, and vowed to love forever--oh call not these guilty!"Since that time my health has beenextremely precarious. Whether the eventscrowded too thickly on me, or that I havenot fully recovered my health, or--which Iconfess I think is the case--that mycompunctions for my conduct toAcm�weigh me down, I know not; but it isnot always, my dear Henry, that I can thusaddress you. There are hours when I amhardly sensible of what I do, when mybrain reels from its oppression. At suchtimes, Acm�is my guardian angel--mytender nurse--my affectionate attendant! Inmy lucid intervals, she is what you seeher--the gentle companion--the confidingfriend. I love her, Henry, more than I cantell you! I shall never be able to leave her!From Acm�you may learn more of thosedreary hours, which appear to me like
    • waste dreams in my existence. She haswatched by my bed of sickness, till sheknows every turn of the disorder. Fromher, Henry, may you learn all."Thus did George conclude his tale ofpassion; which Delm�mused over, butrefrained from commenting on.Soon afterwards, Georges cal�he, inwhich he daily took exercise, wasannounced as being at the door. Thebrothers entered, and left Floriana.
    • Chapter X.The Cal�he.
    • "The car rattling through the stony street."For an easy conveyance, commend us to aMaltese cal�he! Many a time, assaulted bythe blue devils, have we taken refuge in itssolacing interior--have pulled down itssilken blinds, and unseeing and unseen,the motion, like that of the rocking-cradleto the petulant child of less mature growth,has restored complacency, and lulled us togood humour. The cal�he, the real cal�he,is, we believe, peculiar to Malta. It is thecarriage of the rich and poor--LadyWoodford may be seen employing it, tovisit her gardens at St. Antonio; and in theservice of the humblest of her subjects,will it be enlisted, as they wend their wayto a picnic in the campagna. Every varietyof steed is put in requisition for its draught.We may see the barb, with nostril of fire,
    • and mane playing with the wind, perform acurvet, as he draws our aristocraticcountrywoman-- aristocratic and haughtyat least in Malta, although, in England,perhaps a star of much less magnitude.We may view too the over-burtheneddonkey, as he drags along some agedvehicle, in which four fat smiling women,and one lean weeping child, look forwardto his emaciated carcase, and yet blamehim for being slow.And thou! patient and suffering animal,whose name has passed into a proverb,until each vulgar wight looks on thee asthe emblem of obstinacy,--maligned mule!when dost thou appear to more advantage,more joyous, or more self-satisfied, thanwhen yoked to the Maltese cal�he? Whothat has witnessed thee, taking the scantymeal from the hand of thine accustomed
    • driver, with whinnying voice, waving tail,thy long ears pricked upwards, and thyhead rubbing his breast, who that has seenthee thus, will deny thee the spirit ofgratitude?Most injured of quadrupeds! if we ascendthe rugged mountains path, where oneither side, precipices frown, and thepines wave far--far beneath--when onefalse step would plunge us, with ourhopes, our fears, and our vices, into theabyss of eternity; is it not to thee we trust?Calumniated mule! go on thy way.This worlds standard is but little to berelied on, whether it be for good, orwhether it be for evil.The motion of a cal�he, such as wepatronised, is an easy and luxurious
    • one--the pace, a fast trot or smooth canter,of seven miles an hour--and with the blindsdown, we have communed with ourselves,with as great freedom, and as little fear ofinterruption, as if we had been crossingthe Zahara. The cal�he men too are apeculiar and happy race--attentive to theirfares--masters of their profession--and witha cigar in their cheek dexter, will troll youMaltese ditties till your head aches. Theircostume is striking. Their long red capsare thrown back over their necks--theirblack curls hang down on each side of theface--and a crimson, many-folded sash,girds in a waist usually extremely small.Their neck, face, and breast, fromcontinued exposure to the sun, are a redcopper colour. They are always withoutshoes and stockings; and even ourcountrywomen, who pay much attention tothe costume of their drivers, have not yetventured to encase their brawny feet in the
    • mysteries of leather. They run by the sideof their cal�hes, the reins in one hand--thewhip in the other--cheering on theiranimals by a constant succession ofepithets, oaths, and invocations to theirfavourite saint.They are rarely fatigued, and may be seenbeside their vehicles, urging the horses,with the thermometer at 110�, and perhapsa stout-looking Englishman inside, withwhite kerchief to his face, the image oflanguor and lassitude.Their horses gallop down steeps, which noEnglish Jehu dare attempt; and ascend anddescend with safety and hardihood, stonesteps which occur in many parts ofValletta; and which would certainlypresent an insurmountable obstacle to oursteeds at home.
    • The proper period, however, to see acal�he man in his glory, is during thecarnival. Every cal�he is in employ; andmany a one which has reposed for thetwelvemonth previous, is at that timewheeled from its accustomed shed, andput in requisition for some of pleasuresvotaries. Long lines of them continue topass and repass in the principal street.Their inmates are almost universally of thefair sex, and of the best part of it, theyoung and beautiful. Cavaliers, with silkenbags, containing bon-bons, slung on theirleft arm, stand at intervals, ready todischarge the harmless missiles, at thosewhom their taste approves worthy of thecompliment. Happy the young beauty,who, returning homewards, sees thecarpet of her cal�he thickly strewn withthese dulcet favours! The driver is now inhis element! He ducks his head, as themisdirected sweetmeat approaches; he
    • has an apt remark prompt for the occasion.As he nears too the favoured inamorato,for whom he well knows his mistresssweetest smile is reserved--who alreadywith his right hand grasping the sugaredfavours, is prepared to lavish his wholestore on this one venture--how arch hislook--how roguish his eye--as he turnstowards his donna, and speaks as plainlyas words could do, "See! there he is, hewhom you love best!"Ah! well may we delight to recal oncemore those minute details! ah! well may weremember how--when our brow wassmoothed with youth, as it is now furrowedwith care--when our eye sparkled frompleasure, as it is now dimmed from time,or mayhap, tears--well may we love toremember, how our whole hearts wereengrossed in that mimic warfare. Howimpatiently did we watch for _one_, amidst
    • that crowded throng, for one--whosebeauty haunted us by day, and whosesmile we dreamt over by night. Well do werecal with what unexampled ingenuity, welaboured to befit the snow white egg for arare tenant--attar-gul. Well do weremember how that face, usually socloudless, became darkened almost to afrown, as our hearts mistress saw themissile approach her. What a radiant smilebewitched us, as it burst on her lap, andfilled the air with its fragrance! Truly wehad our reward!Delm�and George took a quiet drive, andenjoyed that sweet interchange of ideas,that characterises the meeting of twobrothers long absent from each other.They went in the direction of St. Julians, adrive all our Maltese friends will befamiliar with. The road lay almost wholly
    • by the sea side. A gentle breeze wascrisping the waters, and served to allay theheat, which, at a more advanced period ofthe season, is by no means an enviableone. Sun-shine seemed to beam onGeorges mind, as he once more spoke ofhome ties, to one to whom those home tieswere equally dear. And gratefully did hebask in its rays! Long used to the verdantbut tame, beautiful but romanticlandscapes, which the part of England heresided in presented; the scenery aroundhim, novel and picturesque, struck SirHenry forcibly. To one who has residedlong in Malta, its scenes may wear anaspect somewhat different. The limitedcountry--the ceaseless glare--the dust, orrather the pulverised rock--theever-present lizard, wary and quick,peeping out at each crevice--the buzzingmosquito, inviting the moody philosopherto smite his own cheek,--these things may
    • come to be regarded as real grievances.But Delm� as a visitor, was pleased withwhat he saw. The promising vineyards--theorange groves, with their glowing fruit andample foliage, "looking like golden lamps"in a dark night of leaves--the thick leavesof the prickly pear--the purple sky abovehim, lending its rich hue to the seabeside--the architectural beauties of thecottages--the wide portico of themansions--the flat terrace with itsbalustrade, over which might be seen afair face, half concealed by the faldette,smilingly peering, and through whosepillars might be noted a pretty ancle, andsiesta-looking slipper--these werenovelties, and pleasing ones! Their driveover, Delm�felt more tranquil as toGeorges state of mind, and more inclinedto look on the bright side, as to his futurefortunes.
    • Acm�was waiting to receive them, and asshe scanned Georges features,Delm�could not but observe theaffectionate solicitude that marked herglance and manner.Let it not be thought we would make viceseductive!Fair above all things is the pure affection ofwoman! happy he who may regard it his!he may bask without a shade of distrust inits glorious splendour, and permanentlyadore its holy beauty.While, fascinating though be theconcentred love of woman, whetherstruggling in its passion--enraptured in itsmadness--or clinging and loving on in itsguilt: Man--that more selfish wandererfrom virtues pale, that destroyer of his
    • own best sympathies--will find too late thata day of bitterest regret must arrive: a daywhen love shall exist no more, or, linkedwith remorse, shall tear--a fiercevulture--at his very heart strings.
    • Chapter XI.The Colonel.
    • "Not such as prate of war, but skulk inpeace."Delm�strolled out half an hour before hisbrothers dinner hour, with the intention ofpaying a visit of ceremony to the Colonelof Georges regiment. His house was notfar distant. It had been the palazzo of oneof the redoubted Knights of St. John; andthe massive gate at which Sir Henryknocked for admittance, seemed anearnest, that the family, who had ownedthe mansion, had been a powerful andimportant one. The door was opened, andthe servant informed Delm� that ColonelVavasour was on the terrace.The court yard through which they passedwas extensive; and a spring "Of living water from its centre rose,
    • Whose bubbling did a genial softnessfling."Ascending a lofty marble staircase, alongwhich were placed a few bronzed urns,Delm�crossed a suite ofapartments--thrown open in the Italianmode--and passing through a glass door,found himself on a wide stone terrace,edged by pillars.Immediately beneath this, was an orangegrove, whose odours perfumed the air.Colonel Vavasour was employed inreading a German treatise on light infantrytactics. He received Sir Henry with greatcordiality, and proposed adjourning to thelibrary. Delm�was pleased to observe, forit corresponded with what he had heard ofthe man; that, with the exception of thechef doeuvres of the English and Germanpoets, the Colonels library, which was an
    • extensive one, almost wholly consisted ofsuch books as immediately related tomilitary subjects, or might be able to bearon some branch of science connected withmilitary warfare. Pagan, and his followerVauban, and the more matured treatises ofCormontaigne, were backed by the worksof that boast of the Low Countries,Coehorn; and by the ingenious theories, asyet _but_ theories, of Napoleons ministerof war, Carnot.Military historians, too, crowded theshelves. _There_ might be noted theveracious Polybius--the classicXenophon--the scientific C�ar--theamusing Froissart, with his quaint designs,and quainter discourses--and many anauthor unknown to fame, who in lengthyquarto, luxuriated on the lengthycampaigns of Marlborough or Eugene;those wise commanders, who flourished in
    • an era, when war was a well debatedscientific game of chess; when the rivalopponents took their time, before makingtheir moves; and the loss of a pawn wasfollowed by the loss of a kingdom. _There_might you be enamoured with even asoldiers hardships, as your eye glancedon the glowing circumstantial details ofKincaid;--or you might glory in yourcountrys Thucydides, as you read thenervous impassioned language of aNapier. _Thou_, too, Trant! our friend! wertthere! Ah, why cut off in thy prime? Did notthy spirit glow with martial fire? Did notthy conduct give promise, that not in vainwere those talents accorded thee? Whathadst _thou_ done, to sink thus early to apremature inglorious grave? Nor were ourfriends Folard and Jomini absent; nor ekethe minute essays of a Jarry, who taughtthe aspiring youths of Great Britain all thearts of castrametation. With what gusto
    • does he show how to attack Reading; orhow, with the greatest chance of success,to defend the tranquil town of Egham._Here_ would he sink trous de loup on theancient Runnimede, whereby the advanceof the enemys cavalry would be frustrated;_there_ would he cut down an abattis, orplant chevaux de frise. At _this_ winding ofEnglands noblest river, would he establisha pontoon bridge; the approaches to whichhe would enfilade, by a battery placed onyonder height.Before relating the conversation betweenDelm�and Colonel Vavasour, it may not beimproper to say a few words as to thecharacter of the latter. When we say thathe was looked up to as an officer, andadored as a man, by the regiment he hadcommanded for years; we are notaccording light praise.
    • Those who have worn a coat of red, orbeen much conversant with military affairs,will appreciate the difficult, the ungratefultask, devolving on a commanding officer.How few, how very few are those, who cancommand respect, and ensure love. Howmany, beloved as men, are imposed on,and disregarded as officers. How many arethere, whose presence on the paradeground awes the most daring hearts, whoare passed by in private life, withsomething like contumely, and of whom, intheir private relations, few speak, and yetfewer are those who wish kindly. Whendeserving in each relation, how frequentlydo we see those who want the manner, thetact, to show themselves in their truecolours. An ungracious refusal--ay! or anungraciously accorded favour! may raise afoe who will be a bar to a mans popularityfor years:--whilst how many a free and
    • independent spirit is there, who criticiseswith a keener eye than is his wont, thesayings and doings of his commandingofficer, solely because he _is_ such. Howapt is such an one to misrepresent a word,or create a wrong motive for an action!how slow in giving praise, lest _he_ shouldbe deemed one of the servile train! Passwe over the host of petty intrigues--themyriads of conflicting interests:--show nothow the partial report of a favourite, maymake the one in authority unjust to himbelow him; or how the false tale-bearermay induce the one below to be unjust tohis superior. Colonel Vavasour was notonly considered in the field, as one ofEnglands bravest soldiers; but was yetmore remarkable for his gentlemanlydeportment, and for the attention he everpaid to the interior economy of his corps.This gave a tone to the---- mess, almostincredible to one, who has not witnessed,
    • what the constant presence of acommanding officer, if he be a realgentleman, is enabled to effect. ColonelVavasour had ideas on the duties of asoldier, which to many appeared original.We cannot but think, that the Colonelsideas, in the main, were right. He dislikedhis officers marrying; often stating that heconsidered a sword and a wife as totallyincompatible."Where," would he say, "is _then_ thatboasted readiness of purpose, that spirit ofenterprise? Can an officer _then_, with halfa dozen shirts in his portmanteau, and amoderate quantity of cigars, if he be asmoker, declare himself ready to sail overhalf the world?"The Colonel would smile as he said this,but would continue with a graver tone.
    • "No, there is a choice, and I blame no onefor making his election:--a soldiershardships and a soldiers joys;--ordomestic happiness, and an ingloriouslife:--but to attempt to blend the two, is, Ithink, injudicious."On regimental subjects, he was what istechnically called, a regulation man. Noinnovations ever crept into his regiment,wanting the sanction of the Horse Guards;whilst every order emanating from thence,was as scrupulously adopted and adheredto, as if his own taste had prompted thechange. On parade, Colonel Vavasour wasa strict disciplinarian;-- but his sword inthe scabbard, he dropped the officer in hismanner,--it was impossible to do so in hisappearance,--and no one ever heard himdiscuss military points in a placeinappropriate. He knew well how to makethe distinction between his public and his
    • private duties. On an officer under hiscommand, being guilty of any derelictionof duty, he would send for him, andreprimand him before the assembledcorps, if he deemed that such reprimandwould be productive of good effect toothers; but--the parade dismissed--hewould probably take this very officersarm, or ask to accompany him in hiscountry ride.Colonel Vavasour had once a young andan only brother under his command. In noway did he relax discipline in his favour.Young Vavasour had committed a breachof military etiquette. He was immediatelyordered by his brother to be placed inarrest, and would inevitably have beenbrought to a court martial, had not thecommanding officer of the stationinterfered. During the whole of this time,the Colonels manner towards him
    • continued precisely the same. They livedtogether as usual; and no man, without aknowledge of the circumstance, couldhave been aware that any other but afraternal tie bound them together. Whatwas more extraordinary, the youngerbrother saw all this in its proper light; andwhilst he clung to and loved his brother,looked up with awe and respect to hiscommanding officer.As for Colonel Vavasour, no one who sawhis convulsed features, as his brother fellheading a gallant charge of his company atWaterloo, could have doubted for amoment his deep-rooted affection. Fromthat period, a gloomy melancholy hungabout him, which, though shaken off inpublic, gave a shade to his brow, whichwas very perceptible.In person, he was particularly neat; being
    • always the best dressed officer in hisregiment, "How can we expect the men topay attention to _their_ dress, when wegive them reason to suppose we pay butlittle attention to our own?" was a constantremark of his. And here we may observe,that no class of men have a stricter idea ofthe propriety of dress, than privatesoldiers. To dress well is half a passport toa soldiers respect; whilst on the otherhand, it requires many excellent qualities,to counterbalance in his mind a carelessand slovenly exterior. Colonel Vavasourhad an independent fortune, which hespent at the head of his regiment. Many adinner party was given by him, for whichthe corps he commanded obtained thecredit; many a young officer owed relieffrom pecuniary embarrassments, whichmight otherwise have overwhelmed him,to the generosity of his Colonel. Heappeared not to have a wish, beyond the
    • military circle around him, although thosewho knew him best, said he had greatertalent, and possessed the art of fascinatingin general society, more than most men."I am glad to see you here, Sir Henry," saidhe to Delm� "although I cannot but wishthat happier circumstances had broughtyou to us. I have a very great esteem foryour brother, and am one of his warmestwell wishers. But I must not neglect theduties of hospitality. You must allow me topresent you to my officers at mess thisevening. Our dinner hour is late; but wereit otherwise, we should miss that delightfulhour for our ride, when the suns rays haveno longer power to harm us, and the seabreezes waft us a freshness, which almostcompensates for the languor attending thesummers heat."Delm�declined his invitation, stating his
    • wish to dine with his brother on that day;but expressed himself ready to accept hiskind offer on the ensuing one."Thank you!" said Colonel Vavasour, "it isnatural you should wish to see yourbrother; and it pains me to think that poorGeorge cannot yet dine with his oldfriends. Have you seen Mr. Graham?"Delm�replied in the affirmative; adding,that he could not but feel obliged to himfor his frankness."I am glad you feel thus," said Vavasour, "itemboldens me to address you with equalcandour; and, painful as our advice mustbe, I confess I am inclined to side withGeorges medical attendant. I have myselfbeen witness to such lamentable proofs ofGeorges state of mind--he has so often,with the tears in his eyes, spoken to me of
    • his feelings with regard to Acm�Frascati,that I certainly consider these as in a greatmeasure the cause, and his state of mindthe effect. I speak to you, Sir Henry,without disguise. I had once a brother--theapple of my eye--I loved him as I shallnever love human being more; and, asGod is my witness, under similarcircumstances, frankness is what I shouldhave prayed for,--my first wish would havebeen at once to know the worst. Mr.Graham has told you of his long illness--hisdelirium--and has, I conclude, touchedupon the present state of his patient. Shall Ishock you, when I add that his lucidintervals are not to be depended upon;that occasionally the wildest ideas, themost extraordinary projects, areconceived by him? I wish you not, to act onany thing that Mr. Graham, or that I maytell you, but to judge for yourself. Withoutthis, indeed, you would hardly understand
    • the danger of these mental paroxysms. Sofearful are they, that I confess I should beinclined to adopt any remedy, make anysacrifices which promised the remotestpossibility of success.""I trust," said Sir Henry, "there are nosacrifices I would not personally make formy only brother, were I once convincedthese were for his real benefit.""I frankly mean," said Vavasour, "that Ithink almost the only chance of restoringhim, is by allowing him to marryAcm�Frascati."Delm�s brow clouded."Think not," continued he, "that I amignorant of what such a determination mustcost you. _I_, too, Sir Henry,"--and the oldman drew his commanding form to its
    • utmost height,--"_I_ too, know what mustbe the feelings of a descendant of nobleancestors. I know them well; and in moreyouthful days, the blood boiled in myveins as I thought of the name they had leftme. Thank heaven! I have never disgracedit. But were _I_ situated as _you_ are, andthe dead Augustus Vavasour in the placeof the living George Delm� I would act as Iam now advising you to do. I speak solelyas to the expediency of the measure. Fromwhat I have stated--from my situation inlife--from my character--you may easilyimagine that all my prejudices are enlistedon the other side of the question. But I musthere confess that I see somethinginexpressibly touching in the devotionwhich that young Greek girl displayed,during the whole of Georges illness. Butputting this on one side, and consideringthe affair as one of mere expediency, Ithink you will finally agree with me, that
    • however desperate the remedy, somesuch must be applied. And now, let meassure you, that nothing could haveinduced me to obtrude thus, my feelingsand opinions on a comparative stranger,were it not that that stranger is the brotherof one in whose welfare I feel the liveliestinterest."Sir Henry Delm�expressed his thanks, andinwardly determined that he would formno opinion till he had himself been witnessto some act of mental aberration. It is true,he had heard the medical attendant give adecided opinion,--from Georges own lipshe had an avowal of much that had beenstated,--and now he had heard one, forwhom he could not but feel greatrespect--one who had evidently no interestin the question--declare his sentiments asstrongly. We are all sanguine as to whatwe wish. It may be, that a hope yet lurked
    • in Delm�s breast, that these accountsmight be unconsciously exaggerated, orthat his brothers state of health was nowmore established than heretofore.On returning to Floriana, Delm�foundGeorge and the blushing Acm�awaitinghim. A delightful feeling is that, of againfinding ourselves with those from whomwe have long been parted, once moreengaged in the same round of familiaravocations, once more re-acting thethousand little trifles of life which we haveso often acted before, and that, too, incompany with those who now sit beside us,as if to mock the lapse of interveningyears. These meetings seem to steal apinion from times wing, and hard indeedwere it if the sensations they called forthwere not pleasurable ones; for oh! howrudely and frequently, on the other hand,are we reminded of the changes which the
    • progress of years brings with it: thebereavement of loved ones--theprostration of what we revered--ourbuoyant elasticity of body and minddeparted--all things changing andchanged.We sigh, and gaze back. How few are thescenes, which memorys kaleidoscopepresents in their pristine bright colours, ofthat journey, performed so slowly, as itonce appeared, but which, to the eye ofretrospection, seems to have hurried to itsend with the rapid wings of the wind!Imbued with an association, what a trivialcircumstance will please! As the brotherstouched each others glass; and drank tomutual happiness, what gratefulrecollections were called up by that act!How did these manifest their power, asthey lighted up the wan features of George
    • Delm� Acm�looked on smilingly; her hairflowing about her neck--her dark eyesflashing with unusual brilliancy. Delm�feltit would be unsocial were he alone to lookgrave; and although many forebodingthoughts crowded on him, _he_ tooseemed to be happy. It was twilight whenthe dinner was over. The windows wereopen, and the party placed themselvesnear the jalousies. They here commandeda view of the public gardens, wheregroups of Maltese were enjoying thecoolness of the hour, and the fragrance ofthe flowers. The walk had a roof of latticework supported by wooden pillars; roundwhich, an image of womans love, thehoneysuckle clingingly twined, diffusingsweets.Immediately before them, the principaloutlet of the town presented itself.Laughing parties of English sailors were
    • passing, mounted on steeds of every size,which they were urging forward, in spite ofthe piteous remonstrances of the menialsof their owners. The latter, for the mostpart, held by the tails of their animals, anduttered a jargon composed of English,Italian, and Maltese. The only wordshowever, that met the unregarding ears ofthe sailors, were some such exclamationsas these."Not you go so fast, Signore; he goodhorse, but much tire."The riders sat in their saddles swingingfrom side to side, evidently thinking theirtenure more precarious than that on thegiddy mast; and wholly unmindful of theexpressive gestures, and mournfulejaculations of the bare-legged pursuers.At another time, their antics andbuffoonery, as they made unmerciful use
    • of the short sticks with which they werearmed, would have provoked a smile._Now_ our party gazed on these things asthey move the wise. They felt calm andhappy; and deceptive hope whisperedthey might yet remain so. Acm�took upher guitar, and throwing her fingers overit, as she gave a soft prelude, warbled thatsweet although common song, "Buonanotte, amato bene." She sung with greatfeeling, and feeling is the soul of music.How plaintively! how tenderly did her lipsbreathe the "ricordati! ricordati di me!"There was something extremely witchingin her precocious charms. She resembledsome beauteous bud, just ready to burstinto light and bloom. It is not yet therose,--but a moment more may make it
    • such. Her beauties were thus ripe formaturity. It seemed as if the sunshine oflove were already upon them--they werebasking in its rays. A brief space--and thegirl shall no longer be such. What waspromise shall be beauty. She shall meetthe charmed eye a woman; rich in graceand loveliness. As Delm�marked hersympathising glance at George--herbeaming features--her innocentsimplicity;--as he thought of all she hadlost, all she had suffered for his brotherssake,--as he thought of the scorn of themany--the pity of the few--the unweariedwatching--the sleepless nights--the day ofsorrow passed by the bed of sickness--allso cheerfully encountered for _him_--hecould not reproach her. No! he took herhand, and the brothers whisperedconsolation to her, and to each other.Late that evening, they were joined by
    • Colonel Vavasour, and Mr. Graham.Georges spirits rose hourly. Never had hisColonel appeared to suchadvantage--Acm�so lovely--or Henry sokind--as they did to George Delm�thatnight.It was with a sigh at the past pleasures thatGeorge retired to his chamber.
    • Chapter XII.The Mess.
    • "Red coats and redder faces."The following day, a room having beengiven up to Delm� he discharged his bill atBeverleys; and moved to Floriana. Heagain accompanied George in his drive;and they had on this occasion, theadvantage of Acm�s society, who amusedthem with her artless description of themanners of the lower orders of Maltese.Pursuant to his promise, at the buglessignal Delm�entered the mess room; andthe Colonel immediately introduced him tothe assembled officers. To hisdisappointment, for he felt curious to seeone, who had exercised such an influenceover his brother, Delancey was notamongst them. Sir Henry was muchpleased with the feeling that appeared toexist, between Colonel Vavasour and his
    • corps of officers:--respect on oneside--and the utmost confidence on both.We think it is the talented author ofPelham, who describes a mess table ascomprising "cold dishes and hot wines,where the conversation is of Johnson ofours and Thomson of jours."This, though severe, is near the truth; andif, to this description, be added _lots_ ofplate of that pattern called theQueens--ungainly servants in stiff messliveries--and a perpetual recurrence to Mr.Vice; we have certainly caught the mostglaring features of a commonplaceregimental dinner. Vavasour was wellaware of this, and had directedunremitting attention, to give a tone to theconversation at the mess table, morenearly approaching to that of private life;one which should embrace topics ofgeneral interest, and convey some general
    • information. Even in _his_ well orderedregiment, there were some, whose naturewould have led them, to confine theirattention to thoughts of the daily militaryroutine. This inclination was repressed bythe example of their Colonel; and these, ifnot debaters, were at least patientlisteners, as the conversation dealt ofmatters, to them uncongenial, and thevalue of the discussion of which they couldnot themselves perceive. Not that militarysubjects were interdicted; the contrarywas the case. But these subjects took asomewhat loftier tone, than thecontemplation of an exchange of orderlyduty, or an overslaugh of guard.When dinner was announced, ColonelVavasour placed his hand on the shoulderof a boy near him."Come, Cholmondeley!" said he, "sit near
    • me, and give me an account of your match.You must not fail to write your Yorkshirefriends every particular. Major Clifford,will you sit on the other side of Sir Henry?You are both Peninsula men, and will find,I doubt not, that you have many friends incommon."There is something," said he to Delm� ashe took his seat, "revivifying to an oldsoldier, in noting the exhilaration of spiritof these boys. It reminds us of the zeal withwhich _we_ too buckled on our coat of red.It is a great misfortune these youngsterslabour under, that they have no outlet fortheir ambition, no scene on which they candisplay their talents. Never were youthfulaspirants for service more worthy, or morezealous, and yet it is probable theircountry will not need them, until theyarrive at an age, when neither body normind are attuned for _commencing_ a life
    • of hardship, however well adapted to_continue_ in it. _We_ have had theadvantage there--_we_ trod the soldiersproudest stage when our hopes andbuoyancy of heart were at their highest;and for myself, I am satisfied that much ofmy present happiness, arises from thevery different life of my earlier years."The conversation took a military turn; andDelm�could not help observing theattention, with which the youngermembers of the corps heard theanecdotes, related by those who had beenactually engaged. Occasionally, thesuperior reading of the juniors would peepout, and give them the advantage ofknowledge, even with regard tocircumstances, over those who had beenpersonal actors in the affairs they spoke of.The most zealous of these detail narrators,were the quarter-master of the regiment,
    • and Delm�s right-hand neighbour, MajorClifford. The former owed his appointmentto his gallantry, in saving the colours of hisregiment, when the ensign who bore themwas killed, and the enemys cavalry weremaking a sudden charge, before theregiment could form its square.His was a bluff purple face, denoting thebon vivant. Indeed, it was with uncommoncelerity, that his previous reputation ofbeing the best maker of rum punch in theserjeants mess, had changed into hispresent one of being the first concoctor ofsangaree at the officers.Major Clifford merits more especial notice.He was a man hardly appreciated in hisown profession; out of it, he wasmisrepresented, and voted a bore. He hadspent all the years of his life, since thedown mantled his upper lip, in the service
    • of his country; and for _its_ good, as heconceived it, he had sacrificed all his littlefortune. It is true his liberality had not hada very comprehensive range: he had sunkhis money in the improvement of thepersonal appearance of his company--inpurchasing pompons--or new feathers--orwhistles, when he was a voltigeur--inestablishing his serjeants mess on a morerespectable footing--in giving his poorcomrade a better coffin, or a richerpall:--these had been his foibles; and inindulging them, he had expended thewealth, that might have purchased him onto rank and honours. His eagle glance, hisaquiline nose, and noble person, showedwhat he must have been in youth. His hairwas now silvered, but his coat was asglossy as formerly--his zeal wasunabated--his pride in his profession thesame--and what he could spare, still went,to adorn the persons of the soldiers he still
    • loved. He remained a captain, although hislong standing in the army had brought himin for the last brevet. It is true every onehad a word for poor Clifford. "Such a finefellow! what a shame!" But _this_ did nothelp him on. At the Horse Guards, too, hisservices were freely acknowledged. TheMilitary Secretary had always a smile forhim at his levee, and an assurance that "hehad his eye on him" The Commander inChief, too, the last time he had inspectedthe regiment, attracted by his Waterloobadge, and Portuguese cross, had stoppedas he passed in front of the ranks, andconversed with him most affably, fornearly two minutes and a half; as his colourserjeant with some degree of pride used totell the story. But yet, somehow or other,although Major Clifford was an universalfavourite, they always forgot to rewardhim. A man of the world, would havedeemed the Majors ideas to be rather
    • contracted; and to confess the truth, therewere two halcyon periods of his life, towhich he was fond of recurring. The onewas, when he commanded a lightcompany, attached to General Craufordslight brigade;--the other, when he had thetemporary command of the regimentaldepot, and at his own expense, haddressed out its little band, as it had neverbeen dressed out before.Do you sneer at the old soldier, courtlyreader?There breathes not a man who darearraign that mans courage;--there is notone who knows him, who would notcheerfully stake his life as a gage for hisstainless honour.The soup and fish had been removed,when Delm�observed a young officer
    • glide in, with that inexpressible air offashion, which appears to shun notice,whilst it attracts it. His arm was in a sling,and his attenuated face seemed tobespeak ill health. Sir Henry addressedColonel Vavasour, and begged to know ifthe person who had just entered the roomwas Delancey. He was answered in theaffirmative; and he again turned toscrutinise his features. These rivettedattention; and were such as could not beseen once, without being gazed at again.His eyes were dark and large, and restedfor minutes on one object, with an almostmournful expression; nor was it until theyturned from its contemplation, that thediscriminating observer might read intheir momentary flash, that their possessorhad passions deep and uncontrollable. Hisdark hair hung in profusion over hisforehead, which it almost hid; though fromthe slight separation of a curl, the form of
    • brow became visible; which wasremarkable for its projection, and for itspallid hue, which offered a strong contrastto the swart and sunburnt face."Are you aware of his history?" said theColonel."Not in the slightest," replied Delm� "I feltcurious to see him, on account of the wayin which he has been mixed up withGeorges affair; and think his featuresextraordinary--very extraordinary ones.""He is son," said Vavasour, "to the oncecelebrated Lady Harriet D----, who made amarriage so disgracefully low. He is theonly child by that union. His parents livedfor many years on the continent, inobscurity, and under an assumed name.They are both dead. It is possibleDelancey may play a lofty role in the
    • world, as he has only a stripling betweenhim and the earldom of D----, whichdescends in the female line. I am sure hewill not be a common character; but I havegreat fears about him. In the regiment he isconsidered proud and unsocial; andindeed it was your brothers friendship thatappeared to retain him in our circle. Hehas great talents, and some good qualities;but from his uncommon impetuosity oftemper, and his impatience of beingthwarted, I should be inclined to predict,that the first check he receives in life, willeither make him a misanthrope, or a pestto society."At a later period of his life, Delm�againencountered Delancey; and this prophecyof the Colonels was vividly recalled.In the ensuing chapter, we purpose givingOliver Delanceys history, as a not
    • uninstructive episode; although we areaware that episodes are impatientlytolerated, and it is in nowise allied to thepurpose of our story. But before doing so,we must detail a conversation whichoccurred between Delancey and Delm� atthe table of the ---- mess. The latter wasscanning the features of the former, whentheir eyes met. A conviction seemed toflash on Delancey, that Delm�wasGeorges brother; for the blood rushed tohis cheek--his colour went and came--andas he turned away his head, he made a halfinvoluntary bow. Delm�was struck with hismanner, and apparent emotion; and inreturning the salute, ventured "to hope hewas somewhat recovered."When Major Clifford left the table,Delancey took his vacant seat."Sir Henry Delm�" said he, "I have before
    • this wished to see you, to implore theforgiveness of your family for the misery Ihave occasioned. How often have I cursedmy folly! I acted on an impulse, which atthe time I could not withstand. I had neverserious views with regard to Acm�Frascati.Indeed, I may here tell you,--to no otherman have I ever named it,--that I have tiesin my own country far dearer, and moreimperatively binding. I knew I had erred.The laws of society could alone have mademe meet George Belm�as a foe; but eventhen--on the ground--God and my secondknow that my weapon was never directedat my friend. I am an unsocial being, SirHenry, and, from my habits, not likely tobe popular. Your brother knew this, andsaved me from petty contentions andinvidious calumnies. He was the best andonly friend I possessed. I purpose soon toleave Malta and the army. The former isbecome painful to me,--for the latter I have
    • a distaste, A feeling of delicacy toAcm�Frascati would prevent my seeingyour brother, even if Mr. Graham had notforbidden the interview, as likely to harasshis mind. Will you, then, assure him of myunabated attachment, and tell me that _you_ forgive me for the part I have taken inthis unhappy affair."Delm�was much moved as he assured himhe would do all he wished; that he couldsee little to blame him for--that Georgesexcited feelings had brought on thepresent crisis, and that _he_ had amplyatoned for any share he might have had inthe transaction. Delancey pressed his handgratefully.It was at a somewhat late hour thatDelm�joined Acm�and his brother;declining the hearty invitation of theQuartermaster to come down to his
    • quarters."He could give him a devilled turkey and acapital cigar."
    • Chapter XIII.Oliver Delancey.
    • "Then the few, whose spirits float abovethe wreck of happiness, Are driven oerthe shoals of guilt, or ocean of excess;The magnet of their course is gone, or onlypoints in vain The shore to which theirshiverd sail shall never reach again."We have said that Delm�saw Delanceyonce more. It was at a later period of ourstory, when business had taken Sir Henryto Bath. He had been dining with Mr.Belliston Gr�e, who possessed a villa inthe neighbourhood. Tempted by thebeauty of the night, he dismissed hiscarriage, and, turning from the high road,took a by-path which led to the city. Theair was serene and mild. The moon-lightwas sufficiently clear to chase away nightsdank vapours. The ground hadimperceptibly risen, until havingascended a grassy eminence, over which
    • the path stretched, the well-lighted cityburst upon the eye.Immediately in front of the view, aprincipal street presented itself, the lampson either side stretching in regularsuccession, until they gradually narrowedand joined in the perspective. Nearer tothe spectator, the flickering lights of thedetached villas, and the moving ones ofthe carriages in the public road, relievedthe stillness of the scene. Delm�paused toregard it, with that subdued feeling withwhich men, arrived at a certain period oflife, scan the aspect of nature. The moon atthe moment was enveloped in light clouds.As it broke through them, its shimmeringlight revealed a face and form thatDelm�at once recognised as Delanceys. Itwas with a consciousness of pain he did so,for it brought before him recollections ofscenes, whose impressions had still power
    • to subdue him. All emotions, however,soon became absorbed in that of curiosity,as he noted the still figure and agitatedfeatures before him. A block of granite laynear the path. Delancey leant back overit--his right hand nearly touched theground--his hat lay beside him. The darkhair, wet with the dews of night, was blownback by the breeze. His high forehead wasfully shewn. His vest and shirt were open,as he gazed with an air of fixedness on thecity, and conversed to himself. His teethwere firmly clenched, and it seemed thatthe lips moved not, but the words werefearfully distinct. We often hear of thesesoliloquies,--they afford scope to thedramatist, food for the poet, a chapter forthe narrator of fiction,--but we rarelywitness them. When we do, they areeminently calculated to thrill and alarm. Itwas evident that Delancey saw him not; buthad it been otherwise, Delm�s interest was
    • so aroused that he could not have left thespot."Hail! sympathising night!" thus spoke theyoung man, "the calm of thy silent hourseems in unison with my lone heart--thydewy breeze imparts a freshness to thislanguid and darkened spirit, Sweet night!how I love thee! And moon, too! fair moon!how abruptly!--how chastely!--howgloriously!--dost thou break through thevariegated and fleecy clouds, which wouldimpede thy progress, and deny me to gazeon thy white orb unshrouded. And thou,too! radiant star of eve! oh that womanslove but resembled thee! that it weregentle, constant, and pure as thy holygleam. That _that_ should dazzle to bringin its train--oh God! what misery." Heraised his hand to his brow, as if apoignant thought had stung him.
    • Sir Henry Delm�stole away, and ruminatedlong that night, on the distress that couldthus convulse those fine features.Afterwards, when Delanceys name was nolonger the humble one he had first knownit, but became bruited in loftiercircles,--for Vavasours prediction becamerealised,--Delm�heard it whispered, thathis affections had suffered an early blight,from the infidelity of one to whom he hadbeen affianced. We may relate thecircumstances as they occurred. BlancheAllen was the daughter of a countrygentleman of some wealth, whose estatejoined that of the Earl of D----s, whereDelanceys boyhood had been spent. Foryears Blanche and Oliver consideredthemselves as more than friends. Eachselected the other as the companion in thesolitary walk, or partner in the joyousdance. Not a country girl but had hersignificant smile, as young Delanceys
    • horses head was turned towards HattonGrange.Delancey joined the army at an early age.Blanche was some eighteen months hisjunior. They parted with tears, and thusthey continued to do for the two followingyears, during which Oliver frequently gotleave to run down to his uncles. This waswhile he was serving with part of theregiment at home. When it came to his turnto embark for foreign service, it wasnatural from this circumstance, as well asfrom their riper age, that their farewellshould be of a more solemn nature. Theybade adieu by the side of the streamletthat divided the two properties. It waswhere this made a small fall, down which itgushed in crystal brightness, and thenmeandered with gentle murmur through asuccession of rich meadows. A narrowbridge was below the fall, while beside it,
    • a rustic seat had been placed, on whichthe sobbing Blanche sat, with her loversarm round her waist. For the first time hehad talked seriously of their attachment,and it was with youthful earnestness, thatthey mutually plighted their troth. Nor didBlanche hesitate, though blushing deeplyas she did so, to place in his hand a trivialgage damour, and that which has so longsolaced absent lovers, a lock of her sunnyhair. Blanche was very beautiful, but shehad a character common to many Englishwomen--more so, we think, than to foreignones.As a girl, Blanche was natures self, warm,gentle, confiding,--as an unmarriedwoman, she was a heartless coquette,--as amatron, an exemplary mother and anaffectionate wife. During the timeDelancey was abroad, he heard of Blanchebut seldom, for the lovers were not of that
    • age in which a correspondence would betolerated by Blanches family. She oncemanaged to send him, by the hands of ayoung cousin, some trifling present, with afew lines accompanying it, informing himthat she had not forgotten him. Hisuncle--his only correspondent inEngland--was not exactly the person tomake a confidant of; but he would, in anoccasional postscript, let him know that hehad seen Blanche Allen lately--that "shewas very gay, prettier than ever, andalways blushing when spoken to of acertain person."To do Oliver justice, he at all times thoughtof Blanche. We have seen him, with regardto Acme, apparently disregarding her, butin that affair he had been actuated by amere spirit of adventure. His heart was butslightly enlisted, and his feelings partookof any thing but those of a serious
    • attachment.Oliver Delancey left Malta soon after hisconversation with Delm� Previous to doingso, he had forwarded his resignation toColonel Vavasour.He passed some time in Italy, and, as theseason arrived, found himself a denizen inthat gayest of cities, Vienna. Pleasure istruly there enshrouded in her liveliestrobes. As regards Delancey, not in vainwas she thus clothed. Just relieved fromthe dull monotony of a military life--dull asit ever must be without wars excitement,and peculiarly distasteful to oneconstituted like Delancey, who refused tomake allowance for the commonplaceuncongenial spirits with whom he foundhimself obliged to herd--he was quiteprepared to embrace with avidity any lifethat promised an agreeable change.
    • Austrias capital holds out manyinducements to dissipation, and to noneare these more freely tendered, than toyoung and handsome Englishmen. Thewomen, over the dangerous sentimentalityof their nation, throw such an air of easeand frankness, that their victims resemblethe finny tribe in the famous tunny fishery.While they conceive the whole ocean is attheir command--disport here and there inimagined freedom--they are alreadyencased by the insidious nets; the harpoonis already pointed, which shall surelypierce them. Delancey plunged headlonginto pleasures vortex--touched each linkbetween gaiety and crime. He wanderedfrom the paths of virtue from the infatuationof folly, and continued to err from thefascinations of sin. He was suddenlyrecalled to himself, by one of thosecatastrophes often sent by Providence, toawaken us from intoxicating dreams. His
    • companion, with whom he had residedduring his stay in Vienna, lost his all at agaming table. Although he had not thefirmness of mind to face his misfortunes,yet had he the rashness to meet his Godunbidden. Sobered and appalled, Oliverleft Germany for England. There was athought, which even in the height of hisfollies obtruded, and which now came onhim with a force that surprised himself.That thought was of Blanche Allen. Heturned from the image of his expiringfriend to dwell unsated on hers. A newvista of life seemed to open--thoughtswhich had long slept came thronging onhis mind--he was once more the love-sickboy. The more, too, he brooded over hislate unworthiness, the more did hisimagination ennoble the one he loved. Henow looked to the moment of meeting her,as that whence he would date his moralregeneration. "Thank God!" thought he, "a
    • sure haven is yet mine. There will I--myfeelings steadied, my affectionsconcentrated--enjoy a purified andunruffled peace. What a consolation to beloved by one so good and gentle!"He hurried towards England, travelled dayand night, and only wondered that hecould have rested any where, while he hadthe power of flying to her he had lovedfrom childhood. Occasionally a feeling ofapprehension would cross him. It wasmany months since he had heard ofher--she might be ill. His love was of thatconfiding nature, that he could notconceive her changed. As he came nearhis home, happier thoughts succeeded. Infancy, he again saw her enjoying theinnocent pleasures in which he had beenher constant companion,--health on hercheek--affection in her glance. He had topass that well known lodge. His voice
    • shook, as he told the driver to stop at itsgate. As he drove through the avenue ofelms, he threw himself back in thecarriage, and every limb quivered fromhis agitation. He could hardly makehimself understood to the domestic--hewaited not an answer to his enquiry--butbounded up the stairs, and with falteringstep entered the room. Blanche was there,and not alone but oh! how passing fair!Even Delancey had not dared to think, thatthe beauty of the girl could have been soeclipsed by the ripe graces of the woman.She recognised him, and rose to meet himwith a burst of unfeigned surprise. Sheheld out her hand with an air of winningfrankness; and yet for an instant,--and hishand as it pressed hers, trembled with thatthought,--he deemed there was ahesitating blush on her cheek, whichshould not have been there. But it passedaway, and radiant with smiles, she turned
    • to the one beside her."My dear," said she, as she gave him aconfiding look, which haunts Delancey yet,"this is a great friend of Papas, and an oldplaymate of mine--Mr. Delancey;" and asthe stranger stepped forward to shake hishand, Blanche looked at her old lover, witha glance that seemed to say, "How foolishwere we, to deem we were ever more thanfriends." Oliver Delancey turned deadlypale; but pride bade him scorn her, andhis hand shook not, as it touched that ofhim, who had robbed him of a treasure, hewould have died to have called his."And you have been to D---- Castle, Isuppose, and found your uncle had left itfor Bath. Indeed, _we_ only arrived the daybefore yesterday; but Papa wrote us,saying he had got one of his attacks ofrheumatism, from the late fishing, and
    • begged us to take this on our way toHabberton, Did you see my marriage inthe papers, or did your uncle write you,Oliver?"Delanceys lips quivered, but hiscountenance did not change, as he lookedher in the face, and told her he had notknown it until now.And now her husband spoke: "It was verylate, and he must want refreshment; andMr. Allen intended to be wheeled to thedinner table; and they could so easily sendup to D---- Castle to tell them to get a bedaired; and he could dismiss the chaisenow, and their carriage could take himthere at night."And Delancey _did_ stay, although unableto analyse the feeling that made him do so.
    • And during dinner, _he_ was the life of thatlittle party. He spoke of foreignlands--related strange incidents oftravel--dwelt with animation on hisschoolboy exploits. The old man wasdelighted--the husband forgot hiswife;--and she, the false one, sat silent, andfor the moment disregarded. She gazedand gazed again on that familiarface--drank in the tones of that accustomedvoice--and the chill of compunction creptover her frame.But Delanceys brain was on fire; and in thesolitude of his chamber--no! he was notcalm there. He paced hurriedly across theoaken floor; and he opened wide hiswindow, and looked out on the brightstars, spangling heavens blue vault; andthen beneath him, where the cypress treesbowed their heads to the wind, and themoons light fell on the marble statues on
    • the terrace.And he turned to his bed-side, and hid histearless face in his hands; and in thefulness of his despair, he knelt and prayed,that though he had long neglected hisGod, his God would not now forsake him.And, as if to mock his sufferings, sleepcame; but it was short, very short; and aweight, a leaden weight, oppressed hiseye-lids even in slumber. And he gave onestart, and awoke a prey to mental agony.His despair flashed on him--he sprung upwildly in his bed. "Liar! liar!" said he, aswith clenched teeth, and hand upraised,he recalled that fond look given to another.Drops of sweat started to his brow--hispulse beat quick andaudibly--quicker--quicker yet. A feeling ofsuffocation came over him--and Godforgive him! Oliver Delancey deemed thathour his last. He staggered blindly to the
    • bell, and with fearful energy pulled itscord, till it fell clattering on the marblehearth stone. The domestics found himspeechless and insensible on the floor--theblood oozing from his mouth and ears.It may be said that this picture isovercharged; that no vitiated mind couldhave thus felt. But it is not so. In lifesspring we all feel acutely: and to theeffects of disappointed love, and woundedpride, there are few limits.Woman! dearest woman! born to alleviateour sorrow, and soothe our anguish! whocanst bid feelings tear trickle down theobdurate cheek, or mould the iron heart,till it be pliable as a childs--why stain thygentle dominion by inconstancy? whydismiss the first form that haunted thymaiden pillow, until--or that vision is adear reality beside thee--or thou liest pale
    • and hushed, on thy last couch of repose?And then--shall not thy virgin spirit hailhim? Why first fetter us, slaves to virtueand to thee; _then_ become the malevolentTyphoon, on whose wings our good geniusflies for ever? In this--far worse than theiconoclasts of yore art thou! _They_ butdisfigured images of mans rudefashioning: whilst _thou_ wouldst injure the_once_ loved form of Gods highcreation,--wouldst entail on the body apremature decay--and on that which diethnot, an irradicable blight. "Then the mortal coldness of the soul, likedeath itself comes down; It cannot feel forothers woes--it dares not dream its own.That heavy chill has frozen oer the fountainof our tears; And though the eye maysparkle still, tis where the ice appears."
    • On such a character as was Delanceys, theblow did indeed fall heavy. Not that hisparoxysms of grief were more lasting, orhis pangs more acute, than is usual insimilar cases; but to his moral worth it wasdeath. An infliction of this nature, falling ona comparatively virtuous man, isproductive of few evil consequences. Itmay give a holier turn to histhoughts--wean him from sublunaryvanities--and purify his nature. On anutterly depraved man, its effects may befleeting also; for few can _here_ expect amoral regeneration. But falling onDelancey, it was not thus. The slenderthread that bound him to virtue, was snaptasunder; the germ whence the good of hisnature might have sprung, destroyed forever. Such a man could not love purelyagain. To expect him to wander to anotherfont, and imbibe from as clear a stream,would be madness. The love of a man of
    • the world, let it be the first and best, isgross and earthly enough; but let him bebetrayed in that love--let him see the staffon which he confidingly leant, break fromunder him--and he becomes fromhenceforth the deceiver--but never thedeceived. When Delm�saw him, Delanceywas writhing under his affliction. When heagain entered the world, and it was soon,he regarded it as a wide mart, where hemight gratify his appetites, andunrestrainedly indulge his evilpropensities. He believed not that virtueand true nobility were there; could he butfind them. He looked at the blow hishappiness had sustained, and thought itafforded a fair sample of human nature.Oliver Delancey became a selfish and aprofligate man.He was to be pitied; and from his soul didDelm�pity him. He had been one of
    • promise and of talent; but _now_ his lot iscast on the die of apathy;--and it is to befeared--without a miracle intervene--andshould his life be spared--that when thewavy locks of youth are changed to thesilver hairs of age--that he will then be thatthing of all others to be scoffed at--thehoary sensualist. Let us hope not! Let ushope that she who hath brought him to this,may rest her head on the bosom of herright lord, and forget the one, whose handused to be locked in her own, forhours--hours which flew quick as summersevening shadows! Let us trust that remorsemay be absent from her; that she maynever know that worst of reflections--thehaving injured one who had loved her,irremediably; that she may gaze on herfair-haired children, and her cheek blanchnot as she recals another form than thefathers; that her life may beirreproachable, her end calm and
    • dignified; that dutiful children may attendthe inanimate clay to its resting place; thatfilial tears may bedew her grave; and,when the immortal stands appalled beforeits Judge, that the destruction of that soulmay not be laid to her charge.
    • Chapter XIV.The Spitfire.
    • "And I have loved thee! Ocean! and my joy Of youthful sports was on thy breast to be Borne like thy bubbles onward." * * * * * "Pull away! yo ho! boys!"Delm�continued to reside with his brother,whose health seemed to amend daily.George generally managed to accompanyhim in his sight-seeing, from which Henryderived great gratification.He mused over the antique tombs of someof the departed knights; and admired therich mosaics in that splendid church,dedicated to Saint John; than which thetraveller may voyage long, and meetnothing worthier his notice. He visited theancient armoury--dined at the palace, and
    • at the different messes--inspected thelaborious travailings of the silkworm at theboschetto--conversed with the original ofByrons Leila--a sweet creature sheis!--looked with wondering eye on theostrich of Fort Manuel--and heard the thencommandants wife relate her talethereanent. He went to Gozzo too--shotrabbits--and crossed in a basket to thefungus rock. He saw a festa in the town,and a festa in the country--rode to St.Antonio, and St. Pauls Bay--and was toldhe had seen the lions. Nor must we passover that most interesting of spectacles;viz., some figures enveloped in monkishcowl, and placed in convenient niches; butbeneath the close hood, the blood mountsnot with devotions glow, nor do eyes glarefrom sockets shrunk by abstinence.Skeletons alone are there!These, curious reader, are the bodies of
    • saintly Capuchins; thus exhibited--driedand baked--to excite beholders to a life ofvirtue!One morning, George said he felt ratherunwell, and would stay at home. An oarhappened to be wanted in the regimentalgig, which Sir Henry offered to take. Hewas soon accoutred in the dress of anabsent member, and in a short time wasdischarging the duties of his office to thesatisfaction of all; for he knew every secretof _feathering,_ and had not _caught acrab_ for years.It was a beautifully calm day--not a speckin the azure heaven. It was hot too--but forthis they cared not. They had porter; andon such occasions, what better beveragewould you ask? Swiftly and gaily did theslim bark cleave through the glassy sea. Itshue was a dark crimson, with one black
    • stripe--its nom de guerre, the Spitfire.As the ------ regiment particularly prideditself on its aquatic costume, we shalldescribe it. Small chased pearl buttons onthe blue jacket and white shirt; a blackband round the neck, to match the one onthe narrow-brimmed thick straw hat; whitetrousers; couleur de rose silk collar,fastened to the throat by a golden clasp;and stockings of the same colour. Howjoyously did the gig hold her course! Whata thrilling sensation expanded the soul, asthe steersman, a handsome little fellowwith large black whiskers, gave theencouraging word, "Stroke! my goodones!" Then were exerted all the energiesof the body--then was developed eachstraining muscle--then were the armsthrown back in sympathy, to give a longpull, and a strong pull--till the bark reeledbeneath them, and shot through the wave.
    • The tall ship--the slender mole--the busydeck--the porticoed palace--the strongfort--the bristling battery--the astonishedfishers bark as it sluggishly crepton--were all cheeringly swept by, as thebending oars in perfect unison, kissed theerst slumbering water. What sensation canbe more glorious? The only thing tocompete with it, is the being in a crackcoach on the western road; the oppositionslightly in front--a knowing whipdriving--when the horses are at theirutmost speed--the traces tight as tracescan be--the ladies inside pale andscreaming--one little child cramming outher head, her mouth stuffed with Banburycakes, adding her shrill affetuoso--whilstthe odd-looking man in the white hat,seated behind, is blue from terror, andwith chattering teeth, mumblesundistinguishable sentences of furious
    • driving and prosecution. Surely suchmoments half redeem our miseries! Whatbitter thought can travel twelve miles anhour?And ever and anon would the Spitfire dartinto some little creek, and the thirstyrowers would rest on their oars, whoselight drip fell on purple ocean, tinged by apurple sky. And now would the jovialsteersman introduce the accommodatingcorkscrew, first into one bottle and theninto another, as these were successivelyemptied, and thrown overboard, to givethe finny philosophers somewhat tospeculate on.Delm�landed weary; but it was abeneficial weariness. He felt he had takenmanly exercise, and that it would do himgood. He was walking towards thebarrack, with his jacket slung over his
    • shoulder, when he was met by Georgesservant."Oh, Sir!" said the man, "I am so glad youare come. The Signora is terribly afraid formy young master. I fear, Sir, he is in one ofhis fits."Delm�hurried forward, and entered hisbrothers room. George held a riding whipin his hand. He had thrown off hiscravat--his throat was bare--his eyesglanced wildly."And who are you, Sir?" said he, as Henryentered."What! not know me, dearest George?"replied his brother, in agony."I do not understand your insolence, Sir;but if you are a dun, go to my servant.
    • Thompson," continued he, "give me myspurs! I shall ride.""Ride!" said Delm�Thompson made him a quiet sign. "I amvery sorry, Sir," said he, "but the Arab isquite lame, and is not fit for the saddle.""Give me a glass of sangaree then, yourascal! Port--do you hear?"The glass was brought him. He drained itscontents at a draught."Now, kick that scoundrel out of the room,Thompson, and let me sleep."He threw himself listlessly on the sofa.Acm�was weeping bitterly, but he seemednot to notice her. It was late in the day. Thesurgeon had been sent for. He now
    • arrived, and stated that nothing could bedone; but recommended his beingwatched closely, and the removing alldangerous weapons. He begged Henry,however, to indulge him in all his caprices,in order that he might the better observethe state of his mind.While George slept, Delm�enteredanother room, and ordering the servant toinform him when he awoke, he sat down todinner alone and dispirited; forAcm�refused to leave George. It wasindeed a sad, and to Sir Henry Delm�anunforeseen shock.In a couple of hours, Thompson came witha message from Acm� "Master is awake,Sir--knows the Signora--and seems muchbetter. He has desired me to brush hiscloak, as he intends going out. Shall I doso, Sir, or not?"
    • "Do so!" said Delm� "but fail not to informme when he is about to go; and be yourselfin readiness. We will watch him."
    • Chapter XV.The Charnel House.
    • "And when at length the mind shall be allfree, From what it hates in this degradedform, Reft of its carnal life, save what shallbe Existent happier in the fly or worm;When elements to elements conform, Anddust is as it should be."The last grey tinge of twilight, was fastgiving place to the sombre hues of night,as a figure, enveloped in a military cloak,issued from the barrack at Floriana.Henry at once recognised George; andonly delaying till a short distance hadintervened between his brother andhimself, Delm�and Thompson followed hisfootsteps.George Delm�walked swiftly, as if intenton some deep design. The long shadowthrown out by his figure, enabled his
    • pursuers to distinguish him very clearly.He did not turn his head, but, with hurriedstep, strode the species of common whichdivides Floriana from La Valette. Crossingthe drawbridge, and passing through theporch which guards the entrance to thetown, he turned down an obscure street,and, folding his cloak closer around him,rapidly--yet with an appearance ofcaution--continued his route, diving fromone street to another, till he entered asmall court-yard, in which stood anisolated gloomy-looking house. No lightappeared in the windows, and its exteriorbespoke it uninhabited. Henry and thedomestic paused, expecting George eitherto knock or return to the street. He walkedon, however, and, turning to one side ofthe porch, descended a flight of stonesteps, and entered the lower part of thehouse.
    • "Perhaps we had better not both followhim," said the servant."No, Thompson! do you remain here, onlytaking care that your master does not passyou: and I think you may as well go roundthe house, and see if there is any other wayof leaving it."Sir Henry descended the steps in silence.Arrived at the foot of the descent, a narrowpassage, diverging to the left, presenteditself. Beyond appeared a distantglimmering of light. Delm�groped alongthe passage, using the precaution tocrouch as low as possible, until he camebefore a large comfortless room in thecentre of which, was placed a brass lamp,whose light was what he had discerned atthe extremity of the passage. He coulddistinctly observe the furniture andinmates of the room. Of the former, the
    • only articles were a table--on which wereplaced the remains of a homely meal--aniron bedstead, and a barrel, turned upsidedown, which served as a substitute for achair. The bedstead had no curtains, but inlieu of them, there were hangings aroundit, which struck Delm�as resemblingmourning habiliments. Whilst the lightoperated thus favourably, in enabling SirHenry to note the interior of the apartment,it was hardly possible, from its situation,that he himself could be observed. Its raysdid not reach the passage; and he was alsoshrouded in some degree by a door,which was off its hinges, and which wasplaced against the wall. Fastened to theside of the room were two deepshelves--the lower one containing somebottles and plates; the upper, a number ofhuman sculls. In a corner were some moreof these, intermingled in a careless heap,with a few bleached bones.
    • George Delm�was standing opposite thedoor, conversing earnestly with a Maltese,evidently of the lowest caste. The latterwas seated on the barrel we havementioned, and was listening withapparently a mixture of surprise andexultation to what George was saying.Georges voice sunk to an inaudiblewhisper, as the conversation continued,and he was evidently trying to removesome scruples, which this man eitheraffected to feel, or really felt. The mansanswers were given in a gruff and loudtone of voice, but from the Maltese dialectof his Italian, Sir Henry could notunderstand what was said. Hiscountenance was very peculiar. It was ofthat derisive character rarely met with inone of his class of life, except when calledforth by peculiar habits, or extraordinarycircumstances. His eyes were very small,
    • but bright and deeply set. His lips wore aconstant sarcastic smile, which gave himthe air of a bold but cunning man. Histhroat and bosom were bare, and of adeep copper colour; and his muscularchest was covered with short curly hair.The conversation on Georges partbecame more animated, and he at lengthmade use of what seemed anunanswerable argument. Taking out abeaded purse, which Sir Henry knewwell--it had been Emilys last present toGeorge--he emptied the contents into thebronzed hand of his companion, whograsped the money with avidity. TheMaltese _now_ appeared to acquiesce inall Georges wishes; and rising, wenttowards the bed, and selected some of thearticles of wearing apparel Delm�hadalready noticed. He addressed somewords to George, who sat on the bedsidequiescently, while the man went to the
    • table, and took up a knife that was upon it.For a moment, Delm�felt alarm lest hisdesign might be a murderous one; but itwas not so. He laughed savagely, as hemade use of the knife, to cut off theluxuriant chestnut ringlets, which shadedGeorges eyes and forehead. He thenapplied to the face some darkening liquid,and commenced choosing a sable dress.George threw off his cloak, and was attiredby the Maltese, in a long black cotton robeof the coarsest material, which,descending to the feet, came in a hoodover his face, which it almost entirelyconcealed. During the whole of this scene,George Delm�s features wore an air ofdogged apathy, which alarmed hisbrother, even more than his agitation inthe earlier part of the day. After his beingmetamorphosed in the way we havedescribed, it would have been next to animpossibility to have recognised him. His
    • companion put on a dress of the samenature, and Sir Henry was preparing tomake his retreat, presuming that theywould now leave the building, when hewas induced to stay for the purpose ofremarking the conduct of the Maltese. Hetook up a scull, and placing his fingerthrough an eyeless hole, whence _once_love beamed or hate flashed, he madesome savage comment, which heaccompanied by a long and malignantlaugh. This would at another time haveshocked Sir Henry, but there was anotherlaugh, wilder and more discordant, thatcurdled the blood in Delm�s veins. Itproceeded from his brother, the gay--thehappy George Delm� and as it re-echoedthrough the gloomy passage, it seemedthat of a remorseless demon, gloating onthe misfortunes of the human race.Delm�turned away in agony, and,unperceived, regained the anxious
    • domestic. Screened by an angle of thebuilding, they saw George and hiscompanion ascend the stone steps, crossthe yard, and turn into the street. Theyfollowed him cautiously--Delm�s earsringing with that fiendish laugh. Georgescompanion stopped for a moment, at ahouse in the street, where they werejoined by a sallow-looking priest,apparently one of the most disgusting ofhis tribe. He was accompanied by a boy,also drest in sacerdotal robes, in one handbearing a silver-ornamented staff, of thekind frequently used in processions, and inother observances of the Catholic religion;and in the other, a rude lanthorn, whoselight enabled Delm�to note theseparticulars. As the four figures sweptthrough the streets, the lower ordersprostrated themselves, before the figure ofthe crucified and dying Saviour whichsurmounted the staff. They again stopped,
    • and the priest entered a house alone. Oncoming back, he was followed by a coffin,borne on the shoulders of four of the lowerorder of Maltese. At the moment thesewere leaving the house, Henry heard asolitary scream, apparently of a woman. Itwas wild and thrilling; such an one as wehear from the hovering sea bird, as thetempest gathers to a head. To Delm�coming as it did at that lone hour from onehe saw not, it seemed superhuman. In thefront of the house stood two cal�hes, thelast of which, Sir Henry observed waswithout doors. At a sign from the Maltese,George and his strange companionentered it. They were followed by thecoffin, which was placed lengthways, withthe two ends projecting into the street. Inthe _leading_ cal�he were the priest andboy, the latter of whom thrust the figure ofthe bleeding Jesus out at the window,whilst with the other hand he held up the
    • lanthorn. Twice more did the cal�hestop--twice receive corpses. Another lightwas produced, and placed in the lastconveyance, and Delm�took theopportunity of their arranging this, to passby the cal�he. The light that had beenplaced in it shone full on George. Thecoffins were on a level with the lower partof his face. Nothing of his body, which wasjammed in between the seat and thecoffins, could be seen. But the features,which glared over the pall, were indeedterrific; apathy no longer marked them.George seemed wound up to anextraordinary state of excitement. Gonewas the glazed expression of his eye,which now gleamed like that of a famishedeagle. The Maltese leant back in thecarriage, with a sardonic smile, his darkface affording a strange contrast to thestained, but yet ghastly hue of GeorgeDelm�s.
    • "They intend to take them to the vault atFloriana, your honor," said the servant,"shall I call a cal�he, and we can followthem?"Without waiting a reply, for the man sawthat Sir Henrys faculties, were totallyabsorbed in the strange scene he hadwitnessed; Thompson called a carriage,which passed the other two--nowcommencing at a funeral pace to proceedto the vault--and, taking the same directionwhich they had done on entering the town,a short time sufficed to put them downimmediately opposite the church. Theyhad time allowed them to dismiss theircarriage, and screen themselves fromobservation, before the funeral processionarrived.This stopped in front of the vault, and
    • Delm�anxiously scrutinised theproceedings. Another man--probably theone whose place George hadsupplied--had joined them outside thetown, and now walked by the side of thecal�he. He assisted Georges companion inbearing out the coffins. The huge doorgrated on its hinges, as they opened it. Thecoffins were borne in, and the whole partyentered; the priest mumbling a short Latinprayer. In a short time, the priest alonereturned; and looking cautiously around,and seeing no one, struck a light from atinder box, and lighted his cigar. The othertwo men brought back the coffins,evidently relieved of their weight; and thepriest--the boy--with the man who had lastjoined them, and who had also lit hiscigar--entered the first cal�he, afterexchanging some jokes with Georgescompanion, and returned at a rapid pacetowards the town. During this time,
    • George Delm�had been left alone in thevault. His companion returned to him, aftertaking the precaution to fasten its doorsinside.Sir Henry was now at a loss what plan toadopt; but Thompson, after a momentshesitation, suggested one."There is an iron grating, Sir, over part ofthe vault, through which, when a bar wasloose, I know one of our soldiers wentdown. Shall I get a cord?"The man ran towards his barrack, andreturned with it. To wrench by their unitedefforts, one bar from its place, and tofasten the rope to another, was the work ofan instant. Space was just left them tocreep through the aperture. Sir Henry wasthe first to breathe the confined air of thesepulchre. A voice warned him in what
    • direction to proceed; and not waiting forthe domestic, he groped his way forwardthrough a narrow passage. At first,Delm�thought there was a wall on eitherside him; but as he made a false step, andthe bones crumbled beneath, he knew thatit was a wall, formed of the bleachedremains of the bygone dead. As he drewnearer the voice, he was guided by thelanthorn brought by Georges companion;and towards this he proceeded, almostoverpowered by the horrible stench of thecharnel house, As he drew near enough todistinguish objects, what a scenepresented itself! In one corner of the vault,lay a quantity of lime used to consume thebodies, whilst nearer the light, lay corpsesin every stage of putrefaction. In some, thelime had but half accomplished itspurpose; and while in parts of the body,the bones lay bare and exposed; in others,corruption in its most loathsome form
    • prevailed. Here the meanerreptiles--active and prolific--might be seenbusily at work, battening on human decay.Sir Henry stepped over a dead body, andstarted, as a rat, scared from its prey,rustled through a wreath of witheredflowers, and hid itself amid a moulderingheap of bones. But there were some formslovely still! In them the pulse of life hadthat day ceased to beat. The rigidity ofDeath--his impressive stillness wasthere--but he had not yet "swept the lineswhere beauty lingers."The Maltese stood with folded arms,closely regarding George Delm�George leant against a pillar, with oneknee bent. Over it was stretched thecorpse of a girl, with the face horriblydecomposed. The dull and flagging windsof the vault moved her dank and matted
    • hair."Acm�" said he, as he parted the dry hairfrom the blackened brow, "_do_ but speakto your own George! Be not angry with me,dearest!" He held the disgusting object tohis lips, and lavished endearments on theputrid corpse.Delm�staggered--and Thompsonsupported him--as he gasped for breath inthe extremity of his agony. At this momenthis eye caught the face of the Maltese. Hehad advanced towards George--his armswere still folded--his eyes were sparklingwith joy--and his features wore themalignant expression of gratified revenge.Sir Henry sprang to his feet and rushedforward."George! my brother! my brother!"
    • The maniac raised his pallid brow--his eyeflashed consciousness--the blue veins inhis forehead swelled almost tobursting--he tossed his arms wildly--andsunk powerless on the corpses around--hisconvulsive shrieks re-echoing in thatlonely vault. Thompson seized the Maltese,and making him unlock the door, bore thebrothers into the open air; for Henry, at thetime, was as much overpowered asGeorge himself.A clear solution to that curious scene wasnever given, for George could not give theclue to his train of mental aberration.With regard to his companions share inthe transaction, the man was closelyquestioned, and other means ofinformation resorted to, but the only factselicited were these:
    • His son had been executed some yearsbefore for a desperate attempt toassassinate a British soldier, with whom hehad had an altercation during the carnival.The man himself said, that he had norecollection of ever having seen Georgebefore, but that he certainly _did_remember some officers questioning himon two occasions somewhat minutely as tohis mode of life.This part of his story was confirmed byanother officer of the regiment, whoremembered George and Delancey beingwith him on one occasion, when the latterhad taken much interest in the questioningof this man. The Maltese declared, that onthe night in question he was taken entirelyby surprise--that George entered the roomabruptly--offered him money to beallowed to accompany him to the
    • vault--and told him that he had just placeda young lady there whom he wished tosee.Colonel Vavasour, who took some troublein arriving at the truth, was satisfied thatthe man was well aware of Georgesinsanity, but that he felt too happy in beingable to wreak an ignoble revenge on aBritish officer.
    • Chapter XVI.The Marriage.
    • "The child of love, though born inbitterness, And nurtured in convulsion."For many days, George Delm�lay on hiscouch unconscious and immoveable. If hiseye looked calm, it was the tranquillity ofapathetic ignorance, the fixedness ofidiotcy. He spoke if he was addressed, butrecognised no one, and his answers werenot to the purpose. He took his food, andwould then turn on his side, and close hiseyes as if in sleep. In vain did Acm�watchover him--in vain did her tears bedew hiscouch--in vain did Delm�take his hand,and endeavour to draw his attention topassing objects.George had never been so long without alucid interval. The surgeons voice grewless cheering every day, as he saw thelittle amendment in his patient, and
    • remarked that the pulse was graduallysinking. Colonel Vavasour never allowed aday to elapse without visiting the invalid;and in the regiment, his illness excitedgreat commiseration, and drew forth manyexpressions of kindness."Oh God! oh God!" said Delm� "he mustnot sink thus. Just as I am with him--justas--oh, poor Emily! what will _she_ feel?Can nothing he done, Mr. Graham?""Nothing! Sir: we must now put our wholetrust in an all-seeing Providence. _My_skill can neither foresee nor hasten theresult."One soft summers evening, when the windblew in the scent of flowers from theopposite gardens--and the ceaseless humof the insects--those twilightrevellers--sounded happily on the ear,
    • Acm�started from the couch as a thoughtcrossed her."We have never tried music," said she, "Ihave been too unhappy to think of it."Her tears fell fast on the guitar, as shetuned its strings. She sung a plaintiveGreek air. It was the first George everheard her sing, and was the favourite. Heheard it, when watching; lover-likebeneath her balcony during the first vernaldays of their attachment. The song wasgone through sadly, and without hope.Georges face was from her, and she laiddown the guitar, weary of life.George gently turned his head. His eyeswore a subdued melancholy expression,bespeaking consciousness. Down hischeek one big drop was trickling.
    • "Acm�" said he, "dearest Acm�"Delm� who had left the room, was recalledby the hysterical sobs of the poor girl, asshe fell back on the chair, her handsclasped in joyful gratitude.The surgeon, who had immediately beensent for, ordered that George shouldconverse as little as possible.What he did say was rational. What asolace was that to Henry and Acm� Theinvalid too appeared well aware of hisprevious illness, although he alluded to itbut seldom. To those about him, hismanner was femininely soft, as hewhispered his thanks, and sense of theirkindness.Immediately after the horrible scene hehad witnessed, Sir Henrys mind had been
    • made up, as to the line of conduct he oughtto pursue. The affectionate solicitude of theyoung Greek, during Georges illness,gave him no reason to regret hisdetermination."Now," said Mr. Graham, one day asGeorge was rapidly recovering, "now, SirHenry, I would recommend you to breakall you have to say to George. For Godssake, let them be married; and although,mark me! I by no means assert that it willquite re-establish Georges health, yet Ithink such a measure _may_ effectually doso, and at all events will calm him for thepresent; which, after all, is the great objectwe have in view."The same day, Delm�went to his brothersbed-side. "George," said he, "let me takethe present opportunity of Acm�s absence,to tell you what I had only deferred till you
    • were somewhat stronger. She is a goodgirl, George, a very good girl. I wish shehad been English--it would have beenbetter!--but this we cannot help. You mustmarry her, George! I will be a kindbrother-in-law, and Emily shall love her foryour sake."The invalid sat up in his bed--his eyesswam in tears. He twice essayed to speak,ere he could express his gratitude."Thank you! a thousand times thank you!my kind brother! Even _you_ cannot tellthe weight of suffering, you have this daytaken from my mind. My conduct towardsAcm�has been bowing me to the earth;and yet I feared your consent would neverbe obtained. I feared that coldness fromyou and Emily would have met her; andthat I should have had but _her_ smile tocomfort me for the loss of what I so value.
    • God bless you for this!"Delm�was much affected.To complete his good work, he waited tillAcm�had returned from a visit she had justmade to her relations; and taking heraside, told her his wishes, and detailed hislate conversation with George."Never! never!" said the young Greek, "Iam too happy as I am. I have heard you allmake better lovers than husbands. I cannotbe happier! No! no! I will never consent toit."All remonstrances were fruitless--noarguments could affect her--no entreatiespersuade.Delm� quite perplexed at finding such adifficulty, where he had so little expected
    • to find one,--pitying her simplicity, butadmiring her disinterestedness,--went toGeorge, and told him Acm�s objections."I feared it," said his brother, "but perhapsI may induce her to think differently. WereI to take advantage of her unsophisticatedfeelings, and want of knowledge of theworld, I should indeed be a villain."Acm�was sent for, and came weepingin--took Georgs hand--and gazedearnestly in his face as he addressed her."You must change your mind, dearest,"said he. And he told her of the worldsopinion--the contumely she might have toendure--the slights to which she would besubjected. Still she heeded not."Why mention these things?" said she."Who would insult me, were _you_ near?
    • or if they did, should I regard them while_you_ were kind?"And her lovers words took a loftier tone;and he spoke of religion, and of the dutiesit imposes; of the feelings of hiscountrywomen; and the all-seeing eye oftheir God. Still the fond girl wept bitterly,but spoke not."My own Acm� consider _my_ health too,dearest! Were you now to consent, I mightnever again be ill. It would be cruelty tome to refuse. Say you consent for _my_sake, sweet!""For your sake, then!" said Acme, as shetwined her snowy arms round his neck,"for _your_ sake, Giorgio, I do so! But oh!when I am yours for ever by that tie;when--if this be possible--our presentraptures are less fervent--our mutual
    • affections less devoted--do not, dearestGeorge--do not, I implore you--treat mewith coldness. It would break my heart,indeed it would."They were married according to the ritesof both the Protestant and Catholic Church.Few were present. George had been liftedto the sofa, and sat up during theceremony; and although his features werepale and emaciated, they brightened withinternal satisfaction, as he heard thosewords pronounced, which made his love alegitimate one. Acm�was silent andthoughtful; and tears quenched the fire ofher usually sparkling eye. George Delm�srecovery from this date became morerapid.He was able to resume his wontedexercise--his step faltered less--his eyebecame clearer. His convalescence was so
    • decided, that the surgeon recommendedhis at once travelling, and for the presentrelinquishing the army."Perhaps the excessive heat may not bebeneficial. I would, if possible, get him toSwitzerland for the summer months. I willenquire what outward-bound vessels thereare. If there is one for Leghorn, so muchthe better. But the sooner he tries changeof scene, the more advantageous it islikely to be; and after all, the climate is buta secondary consideration."An American vessel bound to Palermo,happened to be the only one in theharbour, whose destination would servetheir purpose; and determined not topostpone Georges removal, Sir Henry atonce engaged its cabin. Colonel Vavasourobtained George leave for the present,and promised to arrange as to his
    • exchanging from full pay. He likewiseenabled him, which George felt as a greatboon, to take his old and attached servantwith him; with the promise that he woulduse all his interest to have the mansdischarge forwarded him, before theexpiration of his leave."He may be useful to you, my dear boy, ifyou get ill again, which God forbid! He isan old soldier, and a good man--welldeserving the indulgence. And remember!if you should be better, and feel areturning penchant for the red coat, writeto me--we will do our best to work anexchange for you."
    • Chapter XVII.The Departure.
    • "Farewell! a word that must be, and hathbeen, A sound that makes us linger, yetfarewell."The day of departure at length arrived.Thompson had been busy the greater partof the night in getting every thing readyfor the voyage. It was a lovely morning,and the wind, although light, waspropitious.Acm�had parted with her relations andfriends the day previous.She was henceforward to share the destinyof one, who was to supply the place of bothto her. Attached to them as she was, andgrateful as she felt for their kindness in thehour of need, there was nothing in thatparting to throw a permanent gloom on thehopes of the youthful bride.
    • Her love, and the feelings it engendered,were of that confiding nature, that shecould have followed George anywhere,and been happy still. As it was, her lotseemed cast "in pleasant places," and noforeboding of evil, except indeed forGeorge, ever marred the waking dreamsof Acm� Her simple heart had alreadylearnt, to look up with respect andaffection to Sir Henry, and yearned withfond longing for the period when sheshould return a sisters love.She had that lively talent too, which,miniatured as it was, allowed of her fullyappreciating the superiority of the Englishshe had lately met, to the general run ofthose with whom she had hithertoassociated. An English home had none butcharms for her.
    • "Come Acm�" said George, as he assistedher in adjusting the first bonnet that hadever confined her wavy curls, "wish goodbye to your ring-dove, dear! Mrs. Grahamwill take good care of it; and Thompsonhas just finished the packing."The boat which was to convey them to thevessel was so near, that they had agreed towalk down to the place of embarkation.As George left the room, a tall figurepresented itself on the staircase."Ah, Clark!" said George, "my good fellow!I am very sorry to part with you. I do notknow what I shall do without my payserjeant!" and he held out his hand.It was grasped gratefully."Thank you, your honour!"
    • The old soldier stood erect, and put hishand to his cap."God bless you! Mr. Delm� I have servedunder many officers, but never under akinder. May the Almighty bless you, Sir, inall your wanderings."The soldier turned away--one large dropburst oer the lid, and trickled down hissun-burnt cheek.With the back of his hand, he brushed it offindignantly.His converse may be rough--his mannerrude--his hand ever ready forquarrel;--but, believe us! ye who deem thesoldier beneath his fellow-men,--that thelife of change--of chance--of hardship--andof danger--which is his, freezes not the
    • kindlier emotions of the soul, if it sweepaway its sicklier refinements. Beneath thered vest, beat hearts as warm and true, asever throbbed beneath operative apron,or swelled under softest robe of ermine.George was moved by the mans evidentlysincere grief. He reached the bottom of thestairs. The company to which he belongedwas drawn up in the court yard.In front of it, the four tallest men supporteda chair, and almost before GeorgeDelm�was aware of their purpose, borehim to it, and lifted him on their shoulders,amidst the huzzas of their comrades. Theband, too, which had voluntarily attended,now struck up the march which Georgedelighted to hear; and, followed by hiscompany, he was carried triumphantlytowards the mole.
    • Georges heart was full.Sir Henry felt deeply interested in thescene; and poor Acm�leant on his arm,and wept with joy.Yes! there are moments in life, and thiswas one, when the approval of ourinferiors awakens a degree of pride andmental satisfaction, that no panegyric ofour superiors, no expressions of esteemfrom our equals, could have ever calledforth. Such approval meets us, as thespontaneous effusion of hearts that havelooked up to ours, and have _not_ beendeceived.This pride was it that flushed Georgescheek, and illumed with brightness hisswimming eye. He was thus carried till hearrived at the spot where his boat shouldhave been. It was already, with Thompson
    • and their baggage, half way towards thevessel. In its place was the regimental gig,manned by Georges best friends. Itssteersman was Colonel Vavasour, drest inthe fanciful aquatic costume his regimenthad adopted.Trifling as this may appear, this act of hisColonel, seemed to George the veryhighest compliment that had ever beenpaid him.George Delm�turned to his company, andwith choking voice thanked them for thislast mark of attention. We are very certainthat a shake of the hand from a prince,would not have delighted him as much, asdid the hearty farewell greeting of hisrough comrades.Even Acm�blushingly went up to thechair-supporters, and, with a winning
    • smile, extended her small hand. Vavasourassisted her into the gig, and it was with abounding elasticity of spirit, to which hehad long been a stranger, that Georgefollowed. As the boat cut through thewater, they were greeted with a last anddeafening huzza.In a short time they were alongside thevessel. The captain was pacing the deck,and marking the signs of the wind, with thekeen eye of the sailor. A chair was loweredfor Acm� She shook hands with the rowers.George parted from them as if they hadbeen brothers, and from Colonel Vavasourlast of all."Take care of yourself, my dear boy," saidthe latter, "do not forget to write us; weshall all be anxious to know how you havestood the voyage."
    • As the gig once more shot its wayhomewards, and many a friendlyhandkerchief waved its adieu, George felt,that sad as the parting was, he should havefelt it more _bitterly_ if they had loved himless.To divert their minds from thoughts of amelancholy nature, Sir Henry, as the boatmade a turn of the land, and was no longervisible, proposed exploring the cabin.This they found small, but cleanly. Somehampers of fruit, and a quantity of ice,exhibited agreable proofs of the attentionof Acm�s relations. We may, by the way,observe, that rarely does the sense of thepalate assert its supremacy with greaterforce than on board-ship. There will the_thought_--much more the _reality_--of amellow pine--or juicy pomegranate--causethe mouth to water for the best part of along summers day. On their ascending the
    • deck, the captain approached Sir Henry."No offence! Sir; but I guess the wind isfair. If you want nothing ashore, we will off,Sir, _now_! if you please."Delm�acquiesced.How disagreable is the act of leavingharbour in a merchant ship!Even sailors dislike it, and growl betweentheir teeth, like captive bears. The chainsof the anchor clank gratingly on the ear.The very chorus of the seamen smacks ofthe land, and wants the rich and free tonethat characterises it in mid-sea. Hoarse arethe mandates of the boat-swain! his whistlepainfully shrill! The captain walks the deckthoughtfully, and frowningly ruminates onhis bill of lading--or on some over-chargein the dock duties--or, it may be, on his
    • dispute on shore with a part owner of thevessel.And anon, he shakes off these thoughts,and looks on the weather-side--thenupwards at the the masts--and, as he notesthe proceedings, his orders are deliveredfiercely, and his passions seemungovernable.The vessel, too, seems to share the generalfeeling--is loath to leave the port.She unsteadily answers the call of hercanvas--her rigging creaks--and herstrong sides groan--as she begins lazilyand slowly to make her way.Glad to turn their attention to anythingrather than the scene around, Georgebegan conversing on the effect theattentions of his company and brother
    • officers had had on him."Their kindness," said George, "waswholly unexpected by me, and I felt it verydeeply. An hour before, I fancied thatAcm�and my own family monopolisedevery sympathy I possessed. But, thankGod! the heart has many hidden channelsthrough which kindness may steal, andinfuse its genial balm.""_I_ felt it, too, George!" said his brother,"and was anxious as to the effect the scenemight have on you. I am glad it _was_unexpected. We are sometimes betterenabled to enact our parts improvisingthem, than when we have schooledourselves, and braced all our energies tothe one particular purpose."Acm� how did you like the way Georgesmen behaved?"
    • "It made me weep with joy," replied theyoung Greek, "for I love all who love myGiorgio."
    • Chapter XVIII.The Adieu.
    • "Adieu! the joys of La Valette." * * * * * "No more! no more! No! never more onme The freshness of the heart shall falllike dew." * * * * * "Absence makes the heart grow fonder,Isle of Beauty! fare thee well."Malta! the snowy sail shivers in thewind--the waves, chafed by our intrudingkeel, are proudly foaming--sea birds soar,screaming their farewell aloft--as we waveour hand to thee for ever! What is ourfeeling, as we see thee diminish hourly?Regret! unfeigned regret!
    • Albeit we speed to our native land, on thewing of a bark as fleet as ever--but itmatters not--_thou_ hast seen the best ofour days.Visions conjured up by thee, have theunusual power, to banish anticipations ofAlmacks glories, and of home flirtations.We are recalling balls enjoyed in thee,loved island! the valse spun round with thedarling fleet-footed Maltese, who duringits pauses leant back on our arm, againstwhich her spangled zone throbbed, fromthe pulsations of her heart.Dreams of turtle and of grand master--the_fish_, not the _official_--and ofconsecutive iced champagne, mock oursight! But more--yes! far more than all, arewe reminded of thy abode--thou dispenser
    • of cheering liquids! thou promoter ofconvivial happiness! meek Saverio! Howswiftly glided the mirth-loving nightsas--the enchanting strains of the primadonna hushed--we adjourned to thy everto be praised bottegua!With what precision didst thou there meteout the many varied ingredients--the exactrelative proportions--which can aloneembody our conception of the nectar of theGods, punch �la Romaine!Whose cigars ever equalled thine, thouprince of Ganymedes? and when werecigars more justly appreciated, than as ourpuffs kept time with the trolling ditty,resounding through the walls of thydomain?The luxury of those days!
    • Then would Sol come peeping in upon us;as unwelcome and unlooked-for a visitant,as to the enamoured Juliet, when shesighing told her lover that "Twas but a meteor that the sun exhaled,To be to him that night a torch-bearer,And light him on his way to Mantua."Then, with head dizzy from its gladness,with heart unduly elate, has the StradaTeatro seen us, imperiously calling for thesubmissive cal�he. Arrived in ourchamber, how gravely did we close itsshutters! With what a feeling of satisfiedenjoyment, did we court the downyfreshness of the snow-white sheet!Sweet and deep were our slumbers--foryouths spell was upon us, and our fifthlustre had not _yet_ heralded us to seriousthoughts and anxious cares.
    • Awoke by the officious valet, andremorseless friend, deemest though ourdebauch was felt? No! an effervescentdraught of soda calmed us; we ate a bloodorange, and smoked a cigar!We often hear Malta abused. Byron is thestale authority; and every snub-nosedcynic turns up his prominent organ, andtalks of "sirocco, sun, and sweat." Byrondisliked it--he had cause. He was there at abad season, and was suffering from anattack of bile. _We_ know of no placeabroad, where the English eye will meetwith so little to offend it, and so much toplease and impress.There is such a blending together ofEuropean, Asiatic, and African customs;there is such a variety in the costumes onemeets; there is such grandeur in their
    • palaces--such glory in their annals; suchnovelty in their manners and habits; suchdevotion in their religious observances;such simplicity and yet such beauty, in thedress of the women; and their wearerspossess such fascinations; that we defy themost fastidious of critics, who has reallyresided there, to deny to Malta many ofthose attributes, with which he wouldinvest that place, on whose beauty andagr�ens, he may prefer of all others todescant.With the commonplace observer, itssuperb harbour, studded with gildedboats; its powerful fortifications, where arttowers over nature, and where the eyelooks up a rock, and catches a bristlingbattery; the glare of its scenery, with nofoliage to cover the white stone;--all these,together with the different way in whichthe minutiae of life are transacted,--will
    • call forth his attention, and demand hisnotice.Art thou a poet, or a fancied warrior? Whatscene has been more replete with nobleexploits? In whose breasts did the flame ofchivalry burn brighter, than in those of theknights of St. John of Jerusalem? Not aname meets thee, that has not belonged toa hero! If thou grievest to find all dissimilar_but_ the name; yet mayest thou still muse,contemplative, over the tomb and ashes ofhim, whom thy mind has shadowed forth,as a noble light in a more romantic age.Art thou a moralist, a thinking Christian?Thou mayest there trace--and the pursuitshall profit thee--the steps of the saintedapostle; he who was so signally calledforth, to hear witness to the truth of ONE,whom he had erst reviled. Yon cordelierwill show you the bay, where his vessel
    • took refuge in its distress; and will tell you,that yon jagged rock first gave itsdangerous welcome, to the bark of hispatron saint.Lovest thou music? hast loved? or beenbeloved? or both perchance?Steal forth when night holds her starrycourt, and the guitars around are tinkling,as more than one rich voice deplores hismistresss cruelty, in hopes she may nowrelent. But see! _there_ is one, who puts inrequisition neither musics spell, norflatterys lay.See! he approaches. His cloak wrappedaround him, he cautiously treads thetranquil street.He gains the portico--the signal is given.Who but an expectant maiden could hear
    • one so slight?Hark! a sound! cautiously the latticeopens--above him blushes the fair one!How brightly her dark eye flashes! howsilver soft the tones of her voice!The stern father--the querulousmother--the tricked duenna--all--all areslumbering. She leans forward, and herear drinks in his honied words; as herhead is supported by her snowy arm.And now he whispers more passionately.She answers not, but hides her face in herhands. She starts! she throws back her hairfrom her brow; she waves a white fazzolet,and is gone.Not thus flies the lover. He crouchesbeneath the Ionic portico, his figure hardlydiscernible. A bolt--the last bolt is
    • withdrawn. A form is dimly seenwithin--retiring, timid, repentant.Sweet the task to calm that throbbingheart, or teach it to throb no more withfear!But let him of melancholy mood, wander tothe deserted village. A more fearfulcalamity has befallen it, than ever attendedthe soft shades, of the one conjured up bythe poet._Here_ the demon Plague, with banefulwing, and pestilential influence, tarried formany days; till not one--no! not one soul ofthat village train--that did not join hisbygone fathers.Stray along its grass-grown rooflesstenements! where _your_ echo alonebreaks the silence, as it startles from its
    • resting-place the slumbering owl--for whowould dwell in abodes so marked fordestruction? Stray there! think of the gentlecontadina diffusing happiness around her!_then_ think of her as she supports theyouth she loves--as she clasps his faintform--and drinks in a poisonous contagionfrom his pallid lip.Think of her as the disease seizes on itsnew victim--still attempting to prop up hishead--to reach the cup, that may relievehis maddening thirst,--until, giddy andoverpowered, she sinks at last;but--beside him!Think of their dying together! _that_ atleast is a solace.Do not the scene and the thought draw atear?
    • If your eye be dry, come--comeaway--_your_ step should not sound there!The wind continued fair during the wholeof the first day. Every trace of Valletta wassoon lost; and the good barque Bostonswept by the rocky coast of the island,where few human habitations meet theeye, swiftly and cheerily. The sea birdssported round the tall masts--the canvasbulged out bravely--the Captain forgot hisshore griefs, and commenced a colloquywith Sir Henry. The sailors sung in chorus;whilst poor Acm�--we grieve to confessthe fact, for never was a Mediterranean sealooked down on by brighter sun, or morecloudless sky,--retired to her cabin,supported by George, a prey to thatunsentimental malady, sea sickness. Thefollowing day, the wind shifted somepoints; and the Captain judged it mostprudent to forego his original intention of
    • steering direct for Palermo; but to takeadvantage of the breeze, and adopt thepassage through the Faro of Messina.Delm�felt glad of this change; for Scyllaand Charybdis to an Englishman, are asfamiliar as Whittington and his cat. For thefirst two days Acm�continued unwell; andGeorge, who already appeared improvedby the sea air, never left her side.Delm�had therefore a dull time of it; whichhe strove to enliven by conversing, oneafter the other, with the Captain and histwo mates. From all of them, he learntsomething; but from all he turned away, asthey commenced discussing thecomparative merits of the United States,and the old country; a subject he hadneither the wish to enter on, nor fortitudeto prosecute. Not daunted, he attackedmate the third; and was led to infer better
    • things, as the young gentlemancommenced expatiating on the "purplesky," and "dark blue sea." This hope didnot last long; for this lover of nature turnedround to Sir Henry, and asked him in anasal twang, if he preferred Coopers orMr. Scotts novels? Delm�was not naturallya rude man, but as he turned away, hehummed something very likeYankee-doodle.And then the moon got up; and Sir Henryfelt lonely and sentimental. He leant overthe vessels side, and watched it picturedon the ocean, and quivering as thetransient billow swept onwards. And hethought of home, and Emily. He thought ofhis brother, his heir,--if he died, the onlymale to inherit the ancient honours of hishouse,--married to a stranger, and--butAcm�was too sweet a being, not to havealready enlisted all his sympathies with
    • her. And as if all these thoughts, like raysconverged in a burning glass, did but tendto one object, the image of Julia Vernonsuddenly rose before him.He saw her beautiful as ever--gentlenessin her eye--fascination in her smile!And the air got cold--and he went to bed.
    • Chapter XIX.A Dream and a Ghost Story.
    • "Touching this eye-creation; What is it tosurprise us? Here we are Engendered outof nothing cognisable-- If this were not awonder, nothing is; If this be wonderful,then all is so. Mans grosser attributes cangenerate What _is_ not, and has neverbeen at all; What should forbid his fancyto restore A being passd away? Thewonder lies In the mind merely of thewondering man."It was the fourth evening of the voyage.Hardly a breath fanned the sails, as thevessel slowly glided between theCalabrian and Sicilian coasts, approachingquite close to the former.The party, seated on chairs placed on thedeck, gazed in a spirit of placid enjoymenton one of those scenes, which theenthusiastic traveller often recals, as in his
    • native clime, he pines for foreign lands,and for novel impressions. The sun wassetting over the purple peaks of theCalabrian mountains, smiling in sunnygladness on deep ravines, whose echoesfew human feet now woke, save those ofsimple peasant, or lawless bandit. Wherethe orb of day held its declining course,the sky wore a hue of burnished gold; itsrich tint alone varied, by one fleecy violetcloud, whose outline of rounded beauty,was marked by a clear cincture of white,On their right, beneath the mountain, laythe little village of Capo del Marte, aperfect specimen of Italian scenery.Its sandy beach, against which the tidebeat in dalliance--the chafed spraycatching and reflecting the glories of thesetting sun--ran smoothly up a slope ofsome thirty yards; beyond which, the
    • orange trees, in their greenest foliage,chequered with their shade the whitecottages scattered above them.The busy hum of the fishermen on thecoast--the splash of the casting net--andthe drip of the oar--were appropriateaccompaniments to the simple scene.On the Sicilian side, a different viewwooed attention. There, old Etna uprearedhis encumbered head, around which thesmoke clung in dense majesty; and--notcontemptible rivals of the decliningdeity--the moons silvery crescent, and theevening stars quiet splendour, werebedecking the cloudless blue of thefirmament.Acm�gazed enraptured on the scene--herlong tresses hanging back on the chair,across which one hand was languidly
    • thrown."Giorgio," said she, "do you see thisbeautiful bird close to the ship--swimmingso steadily--its snowy plumage apparentlyunwet from its contact with the wave? Towhat can you compare it?""That bright-eyed gull, love!" replied he,"riding on the water as if all regardless thathe is on the wide--wide sea--whose billowsmay so soon be lashed up tomadness;--where may I find aresemblance more close, than my Acm�ssimplicity, which guides her through atroubled world, unknowing its treacheries,and happily ignorant of its dangers and itswoes?""Ah!" said the blushing girl, "how poeticalyou are this evening; will you tell us astory, Giorgio?"
    • "_I_ will tell you one," said Delm�interrupting her. "Do you recollect oldFeatherstone, who had been in the civilservice in India, and who lived so nearDelm�Park, George?""Perfectly," said his brother, "I remember Iused to think him mad, because he alwayslooked so melancholy, and used to send usword in the morning when hecontemplated a visit; in order that all catsmight be kept out of his way.""The very man! I am glad you know somuch about him, for it is on this subject Iwas going to speak. I cannot tell youwhere he picked up the ideaoriginally--but I believe in a dream--that acat would occasion his death."Well! he was at Ascot one year, when a
    • gipsy woman came up to him on thecourse--told him his fortune--and, to hisutter astonishment, warned him to bewareof the wild cat."From that moment, I understand his habitschanged. From being a tolerably cheerfulcompanion, he became a wretchedhypochondriac; all his energies beingdirected to the avoiding a contact with anyof the feline race."Featherstone, two or three years ago,embarked in one of the miningspeculations--lost great part of hisfortune--and found it necessary to try andretrieve his affairs, by a second voyage toIndia."I heard nothing more of him, till justbefore leaving England, when my oldschool-fellow, Lockhart, who went as a
    • cadet to the East, called on me--remindedme of our old whimsical friend--andrelated his tragic death."Lockhart says that one day he and somemutual friends, persuaded Featherstone toaccompany them into the interior of thecountry, to enjoy the diversion of a boarhunt."They had had good sport, and werereturning homewards, when they suddenlycame on a party of natives, headed by theRajah."They were mounted on elephants, andsurrounding a jungle, in which, as somesepoys had reported, lay a tiger."You know Lockharts manner--animatedand enthusiastic--making one see thescene he is describing.
    • "I will try and clothe the rest of the story inhis own words, although I can hardly hopeit will make the same impression on you,that its recital did on me."Well, Sir! we all said we would see thesport--all but Featherstone--who saidsomething about coming on."We were engaged to dine with Sir JohnM----, who was in that part of the world, onsome six-and-eightpenny mission aboutindigo."The beaters went in, firing andshouting--intending to make him breaktowards the hunting party."We all drew up on one side, to be inview, but out of the way; Featherstone wasnext me. He suddenly grasped my arm,
    • and pointed to the jungle, his teethchattering--his face ashy pale. I turned andsaw the tiger!--a splendid beast--certainly!"He seemed not to notice us, and stalkedon with an innocent yep! yep! like a sickhounds, more than anything else."Suddenly his eye caught us, and flashedfire. At the first view, he crouched to theearth, then came on us, bounding like atost foot-ball. More magnificent leaps Inever beheld! We were struck dumb--butfired--and turned our horses heads!--allbut Featherstone."I shall remember the tones of his voice tomy dying hour.""The cat! Lockhart! the cat!""I dont know whether his horse refused
    • the spur--or whether the riders nerve wasgone: but neither appeared to make aneffort, till the animal was close on them."The horse gave one plunge--and hadhardly recovered his feet, when downwent horse and rider."Featherstone gave a piercing scream!Some of the sepoys were by this timeup--and fired."The tiger trailed off--the blood spoutingdown his striped side."We came up--it was all over!"The first stroke of that terrific paw hadlaid the unfortunate mans scull bare. Onhis shoulder, were the marks of theanimals teeth.
    • "The horse was still writhing in agony.One of my pistols relieved him."We bore Featherstone to the nearestcantonment, and buried him there.""How terrible!" said Acm� as she gave aslight shudder. "Englishmen are generallymore sceptical on these points than weare; and disbelieve supernaturalappearances, which we are accustomed tothink are not unfrequent. I could tell youmany stories, which, in my native island,were believed by our enemies the Turks,as well as by ourselves: but if you wouldlike it, I will tell you a circumstance thatoccurred to myself, the reality of which Idare not doubt."You have often, Giorgio! heard me revertwith pain, to the horrible scene which tookplace, on the recapture of our little isle by
    • the infidel Turks; when my family weremassacred, and only poor Acm�left to telltheir tale."Here the young bride put herhandkerchief to her face, and weptbitterly. George put his arm round her andsoothed her. She continued her narrative."You know my escape, and how I was sentto a kinsman, who had promised to haveme sent to my kind friends in Malta. Hewas a Corfuote, and it was in Corfu Iremained for a long--a very long time--andthere first met my dear friend, Z�Scalvo-Forressi. I was then very young.We lived in the Campagna--about fourmiles from each other."We had both our Greek ponies, and usedoften to pass the evenings together; and atlength knew our road so well, that often it
    • was night before we parted."One night, we had been singing togetherat her house, and it was later than usualwhen I cantered home."About four months had elapsed previousto my landing in Corfu, and I had beeneight months there; although at the time, Ipaid little attention to these circumstances."My road lay through an olive grove. I hadarrived in its centre, where a small knollstretched away on my right; on whosesummit, was a white Greek monastery,backed by some dark cypress trees."The moon was shining brightly--dancingon the silver side of the olive trees--andilluminating the green sward."This was smooth and verdant.
    • "My spirits were more than usuallybuoyant, when suddenly my ponystopped."I could not conceive the reason."I looked before me. Immediately in frontof me, was the shattered trunk of an oldolive tree--it had been blasted bylightning--and sitting quietly at its foot--Isaw my own mother, Giorgio! as clearly asI see you now. I could not be mistaken. Shewore the same embroidered vest andAlbanian shawl, as when I had last seenher."She conversed with me calmly for manyminutes, and--which surprised me much atthe time--I felt no dread, and asked herand answered many questions.
    • "She told me I should die early, in aforeign land; and many--many morethings, which I dare not repeat; for I cannotcontemplate the possibility of their beingtrue."At the time, I told you I felt composed:without any sense of alarm or surprise. Formany days afterwards, however, I neverleft my bed of sickness."I told my kinsman all the circumstances,and he discovered beyond a doubt, that itwas on that very day, the twelve-monthprevious, that my poor mother had beenmurdered."Sir Henry and George tried to smile atAcm�s story, and account for what she hadseen;--but her manner was so impressive,and her ingenious reasonings--deliveredin the most earnest tone--seemed to
    • confute so entirely all their speculations,that they were at length content to deem it"wondrous strange."In the best and wisest of us, there is such atendency to believe in a mysterious link,connecting the living and the departed;that a story of this nature, in exciting ourfeelings, serves to paralyse our reasoningfaculties, and leaves us half converts, tothe doctrines that we faintly combat.They looked forth again on the scene. Themountains of Calabria were frowning onthem. The village was far behind--and nota straggling light marked its situation.Numberless stars were reflected on theglassy water, whose serenity was nolonger ruffled by wing of sea bird, whichlong ere now had returned to its "wavegirded nest."
    • Our party and the watch were the onlylingerers on deck.George wrapped Acm�s silk cloak aroundher, and then carefully assisted her in herdescent to the cabin.
    • Chapter XX.The Mad House. "And see the minds convulsion leave itweak."The land breeze continued to freshen, andthe first dawn of morning saw our party ondeck, scanning with near view, theopposite coasts of Sicily and Italy, as theirvessel glided through the Faro of Messina.Some pilot boats,--how unlike those whichgreet the homeward-bound voyager, as hefirst hails Britains chalky cliffs--crowdedaround the vessel, offering their servicesto guide it through the strait.Avarice--one incentive to language--had
    • endowed these Sicilian mariners with acompetent knowledge of English, whichthey dealt out vociferously.As the Captain made his selection, therejected candidates failed not to use thatfamiliar English sal�; half the gusto ofwhich is lost, when used by foreign lip.On the Calabrian coast, the sea-port townof Reggio wore an unusual air of bustle andanimation.It was a festa day there; and groups ofpeasants, in many-coloured costumes,paced up and down the mole; emitting thatjoyous hum, which is the never-failingconcomitant of a happy crowd. Passingthrough the Faro, the vessels course layby the northern coast of Sicily. The currentand wind were alike favourable, as itswept on by Melazzo and Lascari.
    • Etna, towering over the lesser mountains,became once more visible; its summitburied in the clouds of heaven.On the right, a luminous crimson ringrevealed Stromboli, whose fitful volcanowas more than usually active.The following day our party arrived atPalermo. So pleasurable had been theirvoyage, that it was with a feeling akin toregret, that they heard the rumbling chainsof the anchor, rush through thehawse-hole, as their vessel took her stationin the bay.After going through those wearisomeforms, which a foreign sea-port exacts; andwhich appear purposely intended, totemper the rapture of the sea-wornvoyager, as he congratulates himself on
    • once more treading terra firma; our partyfound themselves the inmates of theEnglish hotel; and spent the remainder ofthe day in engaging a cicerone, and indiscussing plans for the morrow.The morrow came--sunny andcloudless--and the cicerone bowed to theground, as he opened the door of thecommodious fiacre."Where shall I drive to, Sir?""What were our plans, George?" said SirHenry."I think," replied George, "that we onlyformed one plan to change it for another.Let the cicerone decide for us."_He,_ nothing loath, accepted the charge;and taking his station on the box of the
    • carriage, directed the driver.The carriage first stopped before a largestone building. The bell was rung--aveteran porter presented himself--and ourparty entered the court yard."What place is this?" said Delm�"This," rejoined his guide, with the truecicerone fluency, "is the famous lunaticasylum, instituted by the illustrious BaronPisani. This, gentlemen, is the Baron!"Here a benevolent-looking little man witha large nose, took off his hat."So much approved of was his beneficentdesign, that our noble King, and ourpaternal Government, have not onlyadopted it; but have graciously permittedthe Baron, to continue to preside over that
    • institution, which he so happilycommenced, and which he so refulgentlyadorns."During this announcement, the Baronsface flushed with a simple, but honestpride.These praises did not to him appearexaggerated; for his intentions had been ofthe purest, and in this institution was hiswhole soul wrapt up. Acm�becamesomewhat pale, as she heard where theywere, and looked nervously at George;who could not forbear smiling, as hebegged they would be under noapprehensions."Yes! gentlemen," said the Baron,"circumstances in early life made meregard mental disease as the most fearfulof all. I observed its victims struggling
    • between reason and insanity; goaded onby the ignorance of empirics, and theharsh treatment of those about them, untillight fled the tortured brain, and madnessdirected its every impulse. You,gentlemen, are English travellers, Iperceive! In _your_ happy land, wheregenerosity and wealth go hand in hand,there are, I doubt not, many humaneinstitutions, where those, who--boweddown by misfortunes, or preyed on bydisease--have lost the power to take careof themselves, may find a home, wherethey may be anxiously tended, andcarefully provided for."Here we knew not of such things."I have said, gentlemen, that chance mademe feel a deep interest in theseunfortunates. I sunk the greater part of myfortune, in constructing this mansion,
    • trusting that the subscriptions ofindividuals, would enable me to prosecutethe good work."In this I was disappointed; but our worthyViceroy, who took an interest in my plans,laid the matter before the Government,which--as Signer Guiseppe observes--hasnot only undertaken to support my asylum,but also permits me to preside over theestablishment. _That_, gentlemen, is myapartment, with the mignionette boxes infront, and without iron bars in the window;though indeed these very bars arepainted, at my suggestion, such a delicategreen, that you might not have been awarethat they were such."This is our first chamber--cheerful andsnug. Here are the patients first brought.We indulge them in all their caprices, untilwe are enabled to decide with certainty,
    • on the fantasy the brain has conjured up.From this room, we take them to theadjacent bed-room, where we administersuch remedies as we think the best fittedto restore reason."If these fail, we apportion the patient acell, and consider the case as beyond ourimmediate relief. We cure, on an average,two-thirds of the cases forwarded to us;and there have been instances of theminds recovering its tone, after aconfinement of some years.""How many inmates have you in theasylum at present?" said Acm�"One hundred and thirty-six, eighty-six ofwhom are males. These are our baths, towhich they are daily taken; this therefectory; this the parlatorio, where theysee their friends; and now, if the lady is not
    • afraid, we will descend to the court yard,and see my charges.""There is no fear?" said George."Not in the least. Our punishment is soformidable, that few will incur it by beingrefractory.""What! then you are obliged to punishthem?" said Acm� with a shudder."Sometimes, but not often. I will show youwhat our punishment consists in. You seethis room without furniture! Observe thewalls and floor; and even the door as itcloses. All these are carefully stuffed; andif you walk across the room, there is nosound."We cautiously search violent lunatics;who are then dressed in a plain flannel
    • suit, and left alone. It is seldom we haveoccasion to retain them longer thantwenty-four hours. They soon find theycannot injure themselves; their mostviolent efforts cannot elicit a sound. Theirminds become calmed; and whenreleased, they are perfectly quiet, andgenerally inclined to melancholy."They descended to the court yard, setapart for the men. Its inmates were pacingit hurriedly; some jabbering tothemselves; others with groups roundthem, to whom they addressed somequickly delivered jargon. With one or twoexceptions, all noticed the entrance of thestrangers; and some of them bowed tothem, with mock gravity. One man, whowore an old cocked hat with a shabbyfeather, tapped Sir Henry on the shoulder."Vous me reconnaissez--Napoleon! votre
    • Empereur!"He wheeled round, and called for hisMamelukes.The next moment, a young and interestinglooking person came forward, the tearsstanding in his, eyes, and extended hishand to Acm�"Give me yours," said he, "as a greatfavour. I was a painter once in Naples--andI went to Rome--and I loved GianettaCantieri!"A more ludicrous incident now occurred.At and since their entrance, our party hadheard what seemed the continued bark ofa dog. A man on all fours came forwardfrom behind a group, and with unmeaningface, and nostril snuffing up the wind,imitated to perfection the deep bay of a
    • mastiff."That mans peculiarity," observed theBaron, "is an extraordinary one. He had acottage near Catania, and had saved somelittle wealth. His house was one nightrobbed of all it contained. This misfortunepreyed on the mans reason, and he nowconceives himself a watch dog. He knowsthe step of every inmate of the asylum, andonly barks at strangers."From the male court yard, the Baronushered them to the female, whereinsanity assumed a yet more melancholyshape.A pale-faced maniac, with quiveringframe, and glaring eye-balls, continued tocry, in a low and piteous tone, "Murder!murder!! murder!!!"
    • One woman, reclining on the coldpavement, dandled a straw, and called ither sweet child; while another hugged amisshapen block of wood to her baredbreast, and deemed it her true love.A third was on her knees, and at regularintervals, bent down her shrivelled body,and devoured the gravel beneath her.Acm�was happy to leave the scene, andmove towards the garden; which wasextensive, and beautifully laid out.As they turned down one of the alleys, theyencountered five or six men, drawn up inline, and armed with wooden muskets.In front stood Napoleon, who, withstentorian voice, gave the word to "presentarms!" then dropping his stick, and takingoff his hat to Delm� began to converse
    • familiarly with him, as with his friendEmperor Alexander, as to the efficiency ofPoniatowski and his Polish lancers."Poor fellow!" said the Baron, as theymoved on. "Never was insanity moreharmless! He was once brigade major toMurat. This is his hour for exercise. Exactlyat two, he goes through the scene ofFontainbleau, What will appear to youextraordinary is, that over the five or sixmen you saw around him, whose madnesshas been marked by few distinguishingtraits, he has gradually assumed asuperiority, until they now believe him tobe, in reality, the Emperor he sounconsciously personates."In the garden, which was of considerablesize, were placed a number of swings andwhirligigs, in full motion and occupancy.
    • On a stuccoed wall, were representedgrotesque figures of animals dancing;opposite to which, one of Terpsichoresvotaries, with a paper cap on his head,shaped like a pyramid, was executingagile capers, whose zeal of purpose wouldhave found infinite favour in the eyes ofLaporte.Having explored the garden,Delm�accompanied the Baron to a smallroom, where the sculls of the deceasedmaniacs were ranged on shelves, with asmall biographical note attached to each;and heard with attention, the old mansenergetic reasoning, as to these fullydemonstrating the truth of Spurzheimstheory.Acm� meantime, remained on Georgesarm, talking to a girl of thirteen, who hadbeen selected to conduct them to the
    • carriage.They entered their names in a book at thelodge, and then, turning to the benevolentdirector, paid him some well deservedcompliments, for which he bowed low andoften.The young girl, who had been conversingmost rationally with Acm� moved forward,and made a signal for the carriage to driveup.She was a fair-haired gentle-lookingcreature, with quiet eye, and silvery voice.She assisted Acm�to step into the carriage,who dropped a piece of silver into herhand, for which she gave a sweet smileand a curtsey.She stood a moment motionless. Suddenlyher eye lighted up--she darted into the
    • carriage, and clapped her hands togetherjoyfully."Viva! viva! we shall soon be home atTrapani!"The tears sprang to the eyes of the youngGreek.Even the driver and cicerone were moved.Acm�took some flowers from herzone--kissed her cheek--and tried tochange the current of her thoughts; but itwas not till the driver promised he wouldcall again, at the same hour the followingday, that she consented with a sigh torelinquish her journey home.From the Lunatic Asylum, our partyadjourned to the Duomo, and beheld thecoffin, where the revered body of the
    • Palermitan Saint, attracts many a devoutCatholic.Sweet Rosalia! thy story is a pretty one--thyfesta beauteous--the fireworks in thyhonour most bright. No wonder the fairSicilians adore thy memory.In the cool of the evening, our travellersdrove to the Marina; where custom--thecrowded assemblage--and the grateful seabreeze--nightly attract the gay inhabitantsof Palermo.The carriages, with their epaulettedchasseurs, swept on in giddy succession,and made a scene quite as imposing as iswitnessed in most European capitals.Delm�did not think it advisable, to remaintoo long in the metropolis of Sicily; and thetravellers contented themselves, with the
    • sight-seeing of the immediateneighbourhood.They admired the mosaics of the Chiesa diMonte Reale; and fed the pheasants, at thatbeautiful royal villa, well styled "theFavourite." They took a boat to witness thetunny fishery; and Sir Henry exploredalone the vast catacombs--that city of thedead.After a few days thus passed--the weathercontinuing uncommonly fine--they did nothesitate to engage one of the small vesselsof the place, to convey them to Naples.After enjoying their evening drive asusual, they embarked on board theSparonara, one fine starry night, in orderto get the full advantage of the favouringnight breeze.
    • End of the First Volume.
    • A Love StorybyA Bushman.Vol. II. "My thoughts, like swallows, skim themain, And bear my spirit back againOver the earth, and through the air, Awild bird and a wanderer."1841.
    • A Love Story.
    • Chapter I.Naples.
    • "And be it mine to muse there, mine toglide From day-break when the mountainpales his fire, Yet more and more, andfrom the mountain top, Till then invisible,a smoke ascends, Solemn and slow." "Vedi Napoli! e poi muori!"Memory! beloved memory! to us thou artas hope to other men. Thepresent--solitary, unexciting--where are itscharms? The future hath no joys in store forus; and may bereave us of some of the fewfaint pleasures that still are ours.What then is left us--old before ourtime--but to banquet on the past?Memory! thou art in us, as the basil of theenamoured Florentine. [Footnote 1: SeeKeats poem taken from Boccaccio.] Thy
    • blossoms, thy leaves,--green, fresh, andfragrant,--draw their nurture, receive theirevery colouring, from what was dearest tous on earth. And are they not watered byour tears?The poet tells us-- "Nessun maggior dolore Che ricordarsidel tempo felice Nella miseria."But it is not so. Where is he of the tribe ofthe unfortunate, who would not gladlybarter the contemplation of presentwretchedness, for the remembrance,clogged as it is by a thousand woes, of atime when joyous visions flitted acrosslifes path?Yes! though the contrast, the succeedingmoment, should cut him to the soul.
    • But "Joys recollection is no longer joy,Whilst sorrows memory is a sorrow still."Ah! theres the rub! yet, better to think it_was_ joy, than gaze unveiled on the coldreality around; than view the wreck--thegrievous wreck--a few short years havemade.We care not,--and, alas! to such as we havein our minds eye, these are the only casesallowed,--we care not! whether rapture hasbeen succeeded by apathy, or whether thefeelings continue as deeply enlisted--thethoughts as intenselyconcentrated;--but--in the servitude ofdespair!And again we say--gentle memory! let usdream over our past joys! ay! and brood
    • over our sorrows--undeserved--as in thishour of solitude, we may justly deem them.Yes! let us again live over our days ofsuffering, and deem it wiser to steep oursoul in tears, than let it freeze with an icedcoating of cynic miscalled philosophy.And shall adversity--thattouchstone--softened as our hearts shallthus be--shall it pass over us, and improveus not?No! it has purifying and cleansingqualities; and for us, it has them not in vain.We are not dust, to be more defiled bywater; nor are we as the turbid stream,which passing over driven snow, becomesmore impure by the close contact.Thee, Mnemosyne! let us still adore;
    • content rather to droop, fade, anddie--martyrs to thee! than linger on asbeasts of the forest, that know thee not. Nohope may be ours to animate the future: letus still cling to thee, though thine influencesadden the past.Away! we are on the placid sea! andNaples lies before us.The sun had just risen from oceans bed,attired in his robe of gold; as our travellerswatched from the deck of their Sparonara,to catch the first view of the "garden of theworld," as the Neapolitans fondly styletheir city,A dim haze was abroad, the mists wereslowly stealing up the mountains, as theirvessel glided on; a light breeze anonfilling its canvas, then dying away, andleaving the sails to flap against the
    • loosened cordage.On their left, extended the charmingheights of Posilipo---the classic site ofBaia--Pozzuoli--Nisida--and Ischia, to bereverenced for its wine.On their right, Capras isle and Portici--andVesuvius--wreathed in vapour, presentedthemselves.As their vessel held on her way, Naplesbecame visible--its turrets capt by asolitary cloud, which had not yetacknowledged the supremacy of the risingdeity.The effulgence of the city was dimmed, butit was lovely still,--as a diamond, obscuredby a passing breath; or womans eye,humid from pitys tear.
    • "And this," said Sir Henry, for it happenedthat his travels in Italy had not extended sofar south, "this is Naples! and this sea viewthe second finest in the world!""Which is the first?" said Acm� laughing,"not in England, I trust; for we foreignersdo not invest your island with beautysattributes.""My dear Acm�" replied Sir Henry,somewhat gravely, "I trust the day mayarrive, when you will deem Delm�Park,with its mansion bronzed by time--its manyhillocks studded with ancient trees--itsglistening brook, and hoary gateways--itswooded avenue, where the rooks havebuilt for generations--its verdant glades,where the deer have long found ahome:--when you will consider all these,as forming as fair a prospect, as ever eyereposed on. But I did not allude at the time
    • to England; but to the Turkish capital.George! I remember your glowingdescription of your trip in Mildmaysfrigate, up the Dardanelles. Whatcomparison would you make between thetwo scenes?""I confess to have been muchdisappointed," replied George, "in my firstview of Stamboul; and even the beauty ofthe passage to the Dardanelles, seemed tome to have been exaggerated. But whatreally _did_ strike me, as being the mostvaried, the most interesting scenery I hadever witnessed, was that which greeted us,on an excursion we made in a row boat,from the Bosphorus into the Black Sea."There all my floating conceptions ofOriental luxury, and of Moslem pomp,were more than realised.
    • "The elegant kiosks--the ornamentedgardens--the pinnacled harems, theentrance to which lofty barriers jealouslyguarded--the number of the tombs in theirsilent cities---gave an intense interest tothe Turkish coast;--while sumptuousbarges, filled with veiled women, sweptby us, and gave a fairy charm to the sea.On our return, we were nearly lost fromour ignorance of the current, which israpid and dangerous.""Well! I am glad to hear such a smilingaccount of Stamboul," rejoined Acm� "Myfeelings regarding it have been quiteGrecian. It has always been to me a sort ofOgre city."The breeze began to freshen, and thevessel made way fast.As they neared the termination of their
    • voyage, some church, or casino bedeckedwith statues, or fertile glen, whose sidesblushed with the luscious grape, opened atevery instant, and drew forth theiradmiration.Their little vessel swung to her anchor.The busy hum of the restless inhabitants,and the joyous toll of the churches,announcing one of the never-failingNeapolitan processions, was borne on thebreeze.The whole party embarked for thequarantine office, and--once authorised tojoin the throng of Naples--soon foundthemselves in the Strada Toledo, movingtowards the Santa Lucia.Their hotel was near the mole; its windowscommanding an extensive view of the
    • purple sea, beyond which the eye took inthe changeful volcano; and many avista--sunny, smiling, and beauteousenough, for the exacting fancy of anEnglishman, who conjures up for an Italianlandscape, marble-like villas--andporticoes, where grapes cluster, infestoons of the vine--heaving mountains--apurple sky--faces bronzed, but oh howfair!--and song, revelry, and grace.But what struck Acm� and even Sir Henry,who was more inured to the whirl of cities,as the characteristical feature of Naples,was its moving life. In the streets, therewas an incessant bustle from morning untilmidnight. Each passer by wore an air ofimportance, almost amounting to aconsciousness of happiness. There was firein the glance--speech in the action--on thelip a ready smile.
    • In no city of Italy, does care seem moremisplaced. The noble rolls on in hisvehicle on the Corso, with features gayand self-possessed; while the merry laughof the beggar--as he feasts on thelengthened honors of his Macaroni--greetsthe ear at every turn. Stray not there! ohthou with brow furrowed by anguish!If thy young affections have beenblighted--if hope fondly indulged, bereplaced by despair--if feelings that lenttheir roseate hue, to the commonestoccurrences of life, now darken everyscene--if thou knowest thyself theaccessary to this, thy misery, stray not inNaples, all too joyous for thee!Rather haunt the shrines of the worldsancient mistress! Perchance the sunkenpillar--and the marble torso--and themoss-grown edifice--and the sepulchre,
    • with the owl as tenant--and the thought thatthe great, the good, and the talented, whoreared these fading monuments--are silentand mouldering below: mayhap thesethings will speak to thy heart, and repressthe full gush of a sorrow that may not becontrolled! And if--the martyr tooer-sicklied refinement--to sentiment tooetherialised for the world, where God hathplaced thee--ideal woes have stamped awrinkle on the brow, and ideal dreamsnow constitute thy pleasure and thy bane:for such as thou art! living on feelingsexcess--soaring to raptures heights--orsinking to despairs abyss--Naples is notfitting!Visit the city of the sea! there indulge thyshapeless imaginings--with no sound tobreak thy day dreams--save the shrill cryof the gondolier, and the splash of his busyoar.
    • The young Greek, Delm� and George,were soon immersed in the round of sightseeing.Visits to the ancient palace of QueenJoanna--to the modern villa of theMargravine--to the Sibyls Cave, and toMaros Tomb--to _some_ sites that owedtheir interest to classic associations--to_others_ that claimed it from presentbeauty--wiled away days swiftly andpleasurably.What with youth, change of scene, and anItalian sky, George was no longer aninvalid. His eye wore neither the film ofapathy, nor the unnatural flush of delirium;but smiled its happiness on all, andbeamed its love on Acm�One night they were at the Fondo, and
    • after listening delightedly to Lalande, andfollowing with quick glance, the rapidmovements of the agile ballerina, and afterGeorge had been honoured by abow--which greatly amused Acm�-fromthe beautiful princess; who, poor girl!_then_ felt a penchant for Englishmen,which she failed not to avow from heropera box--the party agreed to walk hometo the hotel. On their way, they turned intoa coffee-room to take ice.The fluent waiter prattled over hiscatalogue; and Acm�selected his "sorbettoMaltese," because the name reminded herof the loved island.Leaving the coffee-room, they wereaccosted by a driver of one of the publiccoaches."Now, Signore! just in time for Vesuvius!
    • See the sun rise! superb sight! elegantcarriage!""Do let us go!" said Acm� clapping herhands with youthful enthusiasm."No, no! my dear!" said Sir Henry, "wemust not think of it! you would be so tired.""No, no! you do not know how strong I am;and I intend sleeping on Georgesshoulder all the way--and we are all insuch high spirits--and these improvisedexcursions you yourself granted werealways best--and besides, you know wemust always start at this hour, if we expectto see the sunrise from the mountain. Whatdo _you_ say, Giorgio?"The discussion ended, by the driver takingthe direction of the hotel; whence, aftermaking arrangements as to provisions and
    • change of dress, the party started for themountain.The warm cheek of Acm�was reposing onthat of her husband; and the wanton nightair was disporting with her wavy tresses,as the loud halloo of the driver, warnedthem that they were in Portici, and in theact of arousing Salvador, the guide to themountain. After some short delay, theyprocured mules. Each brother armedhimself with a long staff, and leaving thecarriage, they wended their way towardsthe Hermitage.It was a clear night. The moon wasmajestically gliding on her path, vassalledby myriads of stars.There was something in the hour--and thescene--and the novelty of theexcursion--that enjoined silence.
    • Arrived at the Hermitage, the partydismounted. Acm�clung to the strap,fastened round their guide, and theycommenced the ascent. In a short time,they had manifest proofs of their vicinity tothe volcano. The ashy lava gave way ateach footstep, and it was only by takingshort and quick steps, and perseveringlytoiling on, that they were enabled to makeany progress.More than once, was Acm�inclined to stop,and take breath, but the guide assuredthem they were already late, and that theywould only just be in time for the sunrise.As the last of the party reached thesummit, the sun became perceptible--androse in glory indescribable. The scene afarhow gorgeous! around them how grand!
    • Panting from their exertions, they sat on acloak of Salvadors, and gazed withastonishment at the novelties bursting onthe eye.Each succeeding moment, gusts of flameissued forth from the crater.They looked down on the bason, abovewhich they were. From a conical pyramidof lava, were emitted volumes of smoke,which rolled up to heaven in rounded andfantastic shapes of beauty. Below, a deepazure--above, of a clear amber hue--theclouds wreathed and ascendedmajestically, as if in time to the rumblingthunder--the accompaniments of naturessubterraneous throes.Their fatigues were amply repaid. SirHenrys curiosity was aroused, and hedescended with the guide to the crater.
    • George and Acm� delighted with theexcursion, remained on the summit,partaking of Salvadors provisions.The descent they found easy and rapid; thelava now assisting, as much as it hadformerly impeded them.At Portici, Salvador introduced them to hisapartment, embellished with specimens oflava. They purchased some memorials oftheir visit--partook of some fruit--and, afterrewarding the guide, they returned toNaples.Another of their excursions, and it is onethan which there are few more interesting,was to that city--which, like the fabulousone of the eastern tale, rears its temples,but there are none to worship; its theatres,but there are none to applaud; its marblestatues, where are the eyes that should
    • dwell on them with pride? Its mansions aremany--its walls and tesselated pavements,show colours of vivid hue, and describetales familiar from our boyhood. The priestis at his altar--the soldiers in theirguard-room--the citizen in his bath. It isindeed difficult, as our step re-echoesthrough the silent streets, to divestourselves of the impression, that we arewandering where the enchanters wandhas been all powerful, that he has waved it,and lo! the city sleeps for a season, untilsome event shall have been fulfilled.Our party were in the Via Appia ofPompeii, when Acm�turned aside, toremark one tomb more particularly. It wasan extensive one, surrounded with aspecies of iron net work, through whichmight be seen ranges of red earthenvases. Acme turned to the custode, andasked if this was the burial place of some
    • noble family."No! Signora! this is where the ashes of thegladiators are preserved."From the Appian Way, they enteredthrough the public gate; and passing manyshops, whose signs yet draw notice, if theyno longer attract custom, they came to theprivate houses, and entered one--thatcalled Sallusts--for the purpose of a moreminute inspection."Nothing appears to be more strange,"said George, "on looking at these frescoedpaintings, and on such mosaics as we haveyet seen; than the extraordinary familiarityof their subjects."There are many depicted on these walls,and I do not think, Henry, _we_ are firstrate classics;--and yet it would be difficult
    • to puzzle us, in naming the story whencethese frescoes have their birth. Look at thisLatona--and Leda--and the Ariadneabbandonata--and this must certainly bethe blooming Hebe. Ah! and look at thislittle niche! This grinning little deity--thefacsimile of an Indian idol--must expresstheir idea of the Penates. Strange! is itnot?""But are you not," rejoined Sir Henry,"somewhat disappointed in thedwelling-houses? This seems one of themost extensive, and yet, how diminutivethe rooms! and how little of attraction inthe whole arrangement, if we except thisclassic fountain."This I think is a proof, that the ancientRomans must have chiefly passed their dayabroad--in the temples--the forum--or thebaths--and have left as home tenants none
    • but women, and those unadorned with thetoga virilis."These habits may have tended toengender a manlier independence; and toimpart to their designs a loftier spirit ofenterprise. What say you, Acm�""I might perhaps answer," replied Acm�"that the happiness gained, is well worththe glory lost. But I must not fail to remindyou, that--grand as this nation must havebeen--my poor fallen one was itsprecursor--its tutor--and its model."Hence they wandered to the theatre--theforum--the pantheon--andamphitheatre:--which last, from theirconverse in the earlier part of theday--fancy failed not to fill with daringcombatants. As the guide pointed out thedens for the wild beasts--the passages
    • through which they came--and the arenafor the combat--Sir Henry, like most Britishtravellers, recalled the inimitable story ofThraso, and his lion fight. [Footnote: InValerius.]The following day was devoted to theStudio, and to the inspection of the relics ofPompeii.These relics, interesting as they are, yetconvey a melancholy lesson to thecontemplative mind. Each modern vanityhere has its parallel--each luxury itsarchetype. Here may be found thecameoed ring--and the signet seal--andthe bodkin--and paint for the frail onescheek--a cuirass, that a life guardsmanmight envy--weights--whose elegance ofshape charm the eye. Not an article ofmodern convenience or of domesticcomfort, that has not its representative.
    • They teach us the trite French lesson. "Lhistoire se r��e."With the exception of these twoexcursions, and one to Poestum; ourtravellers passed their morningssight-seeing in Naples, and chiefly at theStudio, whose grand attraction is thethrilling group of the Taureau Farnese.In the cool of the evening, until twilightshour was past, they drove into the country,or promenaded in the gardens of the VillaReale, to the sound of the military band.Each night they turned their footstepstowards the Mole; where they embarkedon the unruffled bay. To a young andloving heart--the heart of a bride--nopleasure can equal that, of being next theone loved best on earth--at nights still
    • witching hour. The peculiar scenery ofNaples, yet more enhances such pleasure.Elsewhere night may boast its azure vaultand its silver stars. Cynthia may ride theheavens in majesty--the water may beserene--and the heart attuned to the nightsbeauty:--but from the _land_, ifdiscernible--we can rarely expect muchaddition to the charms of the scene, andcan never expect it to form its chiefattraction. At Naples it is otherwise.Our eyes turn to the Volcano, whose flame,crowning the mountains summit, crimsonsthe sky.We watch with undiminished interest, itsfitful action--now bursting outbrilliantly--now fading, as if about to beextinguished for ever. Seated besideGeorge, and thus gazing, what pleasure
    • was Acm�s! We need not say time flewswiftly. Never did happiness meet withmore ardent votary than in that youngbride--or find a more ready mirror, onwhich to reflect her beamingattributes--than on the features of thatbrides husband.Their swimming eyes would fill withtears--and their voices sink to the lowestwhisper.Sir Henry rarely interrupted theirconverse; but leant his head on the boatsside, and thoughtfully gazed on the placidwaters, till he almost deemed he sawreflected on its surface, the face of one, inwhose society _he_ felt he too might beblest.But these fancies would not endure long.Delm�would quickly arouse himself; and,
    • warned by the lateness of the hour, andfeeling the necessity that existed, for histhinking for the all-engrossed pair, wouldorder the rowers to direct the boatscourse homewards.Returned to their hotel, it may be thatorisons more heavenward, have issuedfrom hearts more pure.Few prayers more full of gratitude, havebeen whispered by earthly lips, than werebreathed by George and his young wife inthe solitude of their chamber.How often is such uncommon happiness asthis the precursor of evil!
    • Chapter II.The Doctor.
    • "Son port, son air de suffisance, Marquentdans son savoir sa noble confiance. Dansles doctes debats ferme et rempli decoeur, M�e apr� sa d�aite il tient t�e anvainqueur. Voyez, pour gagner temps,quelles lenteurs savantes, Prolongent deses mots les syllabes tra�antes! Tout lemonde ladmire, et ne peut concevoirQue dans un cerveau seul loge tant desavoir."It was soon after the excursion to Poestum,that a packet of letters reached thetravellers from Malta. These letters hadbeen forwarded from England, on theintelligence reaching Emily, of Georgesintended marriage. They had beenredirected to Naples, by ColonelVavasour, and were accompanied by a fewlines from himself.
    • In Sir Henrys communication with hissister, he had prudently thrown a veil, overthe distressing part of Georges story, andhad dwelt warmly, on the beauty andsweetness of temper of Acm�Frascati. Hecould hardly hope that the proposedmarriage, would meet with the entireapproval of those, to whom he addressedhimself.The letters in reply, however, onlybreathed the affectionate overflowings ofkind hearts. Mrs. Glenallan sent hermotherly blessing to George; and Emily,in addition to a long communication to herbrother, wrote to Acm�as to a belovedsister; begging her to hasten Georgesreturn to England, that they might meetone, in whom they must henceforward feelthe liveliest interest."How kind they all are," said George. "I
    • only wish we _were_ with them.""And so do I," said Acm� "How dearly Ishall love them all.""George!" said Sir Henry, abruptly, "doyou know, I think it is quite time we shouldmove farther north. The weather is gettingmost oppressive; and we have nearlyexhausted the lions of Naples.""With all my heart," replied George. "I amready to leave it whenever you please."On Sir Henrys considering the best modeof conveyance, it occurred to him, thatsome danger might arise from the malariaof the Pontine marshes; and indeed, Romeand its environs were represented, at thattime, as being by no means free from thisunwelcome visitant.
    • Sir Henry enquired if there were anyEnglish physicians resident in Naples; andhaving heard a high eulogium passed bythe waiter, on a Doctor Pormont, "whoattended the noble Consul, and my LordRimington," ventured to enclose his card,with a note, stating that he would be gladof five minutes conversation with thatgentleman.In a short time, Doctor Pormont wasintroduced.He was a tall man, with very markedfeatures, and a deeply furrowed brow;whose longitudinal folds, however,seemed rather the result of thought or ofstudy, than of age. The length of his nosewas rivalled by the width of his mouth.When he spoke, he displayed two rows ofvery clean and very regular teeth, butwhich individually narrowed to a sharp
    • point, and gave his whole features apeculiarly unpleasing expression. Hisvoice was husky--his manners chilling--hisconverse that of a pedant.Doctor Pormont was in many respects asingular man. From childhood, he hadbeen remarkable for stoicism of character.He possessed none of the weak frailties, orgentle sympathies, which ordinarilybelong to human nature. His blood rancold, like that of a fish. Never had he beenknown to lose his equanimity ofdeportment.A species of stern principle, however,governed his conduct; and his veryabsence of feeling, made him an impartialphysician, and one of the most successfulanatomists of the day.What brought him to bustling, sunny
    • Naples, was an unfathomed mystery. Oncethere, he acquired wealth without anxiety,and patients without friends.Amongst the many anecdotes, currentamongst his professional brethren, as tothe blunted feelings of Doctor Pormont,was one,--related of him when he waslecturer at a popular London institution. Asubject had been placed on the anatomiststable, for the purpose of allowing thelecturer, to elucidate to the youngstudents, the advantages of a post mortemexamination, in the determination ofdiseases. The lecturer dissected as heproceeded, and was particularly clear andluminous. He even threw light on theprevious habits of the deceased, andshowed at what period of life, the germ ofdecay was probably forming.A friend casually enquired, as they left the
    • lecture room, whether the subject hadbeen a patient of his own."No!" replied the learned lecturer, "thebody is that of my cousin and schoolfellow,Harry Welborne. I attended his funeral, atsome little distance from town, a couple ofdays ago. My servant must have giveninformation to the exhumer. It is clear thebody was removed from the vault on thesame evening."Sir Henry Delm�briefly explained toDoctor Pormont, his purpose in sending forhim. He stated that he was anxious to takehis advice, as to the best mode ofproceeding to Rome, and also as to thebest sleeping place for the party;--that hehad a wholesome dread of the malaria, butthat one of his party being a female, andanother an invalid, he thought it might beas well to sleep one night on the road.
    • Regarding all this, he deferred to theadvice and superior judgment of thephysician."Judgment," said Doctor Pormont, "istwo-fold. It may be defined, either as thefaculty of arriving at the knowledge ofthings, which may be effected by thesynthetic or analytic method; or it may beconsidered as the just perception of them,when they are fully indagated."Our problem seems to resolve itself intotwo cases."First: does malaria exist to an unusual andalarming extent, on the route you purposetaking?"Secondly: the existence conceded--whatis the best method to escape the evileffects that might attend its inhibition into
    • the human system?"Let us apply the synthetic method to ourfirst case."The Doctor prefaced his arguments, by along statement, as to the gradualcommencement, and progress ofmalaria;--showed how the atmosphere,polluted by exhalations of water,impregnated with decaying and putrifiedvegetable matter, gave forth miasmata;which he described as being particles ofpoison in a volatile state.He alluded to the opinion held by many,that the disease owed its origin to theravages of the barbarians, who destroyingthe Roman farms and villas, had made_desert_ what were _fertile_ regions.He traced it from the time of the late
    • Roman Emperors, to that of the dominionof the Popes, whose legislative enactmentsto arrest the malady, he failed not tocomment on at length.He explained the uncertainty whichcontinued to exist, as to the boundaries ofthe tract of country, in which the diseasewas rife; and then plunged into hisargument.George, at this crisis, quietly took theopportunity of gliding from the room. SirHenry stretched his legs on an ottoman,and appeared immersed in the study of aprint--the Europa of Paul Veronese--whichhung over the mantel-piece."The Diario di Roma," continued theDoctor, "received this day, decidedlystates that malaria is fearfully raging on theNeapolitan road. Pray forgive me, if I
    • occasionally glide into the vulgar error, ofconfounding the disease itself, with thecauses of that disease."On the other hand, a young collegian,who arrived in Naples from Romeyesterday evening, states that he smokedand slept the whole journey, and sufferedno inconvenience whatever."Here two considerations presentthemselves. While sleep has beenconsidered by the best authorities, aspredisposing the human frame to infection,by opening the pores, relaxing theinteguments, and retarding the circulationof the blood; I cannot overlook the virtuesof tobacco,narcotic--aromatic--disinfecting--as wemust grant them to be."Here then may I place in juxta-position,
    • the testimony of the Diario, and that of ayoung gentleman, half of his timeasleep--the other half, under the influenceof the fumes of tobacco."Synthetically, I opine, that we mayconclude that malaria does exist, and to agreat degree, in the Campagna di Roma.Will you now allow me, to submit thequestion under dispute, to the analyticprocess? By many, in the present age,though not by me, it is considered themore philosophical mode of reasoning.""I am extremely obliged to you, Doctor,"said Sir Henry, in a quiet tone of voice,"but you have raised the syntheticstructure so admirably, that I think that inthis instance we may dispense with youranalysis. Pray proceed!""Having already shown, then--although
    • your kindness has allowed me to do so butpartially--that malaria does indeed exist, itbecomes me to show, which is the bestmode of avoiding its baneful effects."Injurious as are the miasmata in general,and fatal as are the effects of that peculiarform in this country, termed malaria; thediseases they engender, I apprehend tobe rather endemic than epidemic."It would be difficult to determine, to whatpart of the Campagna, the disease is atpresent confined; but I should certainly notadvise you, to sleep within the bounds ofcontagion, for the predisposing effects ofsleep I have already hinted at."Rapid travelling is, in my opinion, thebest prophylactic I can prescribe, asbesides a certain exhilarating effect on thespirits, the swift passage through the air,
    • will remove any spicul�of the marshmiasmata, which may be hovering nearyour persons. Air, cheerfulness, andexercise, however, predispose to, and arethe results of sleep: and to an invalidespecially, sleep is indispensable."In Mr. Delm�s case, therefore, I wouldrecommend a temporary halt."Dr. Pormont then gave an account of thelength of the stages, the nature of thepost-house accommodations, and theprobable degree of danger attached toeach site.From all this, Delm�gathered, that malariaexisted to some extent, on the line of roadthey were to travel--that sleep would benecessary for George--and that, on thewhole, it would be most desirable to sleepat an inn, situated at a hamlet between
    • Molo di Gaet�and Terracina, somewhatremoved from the central point of danger.But the truth is, that Sir Henry Delm�wasdisposed to consider Dr. Pormont, with hispomposity, and wordy arguments, as amere superficial thinker; and he halflaughed at himself, for having ever thoughtit necessary to consult him. This class ofmen influence less than they ought.Sensible persons are apt to set them down,as either fools or pedants. Their verymagniloquence condemns them; for, in thepresent day, it seems an axiom, thatsimplicity and genius are invariably allied.This rule, like most others, has itsexceptions; and it would be well for all ofus, if we thought less of the manner, inwhich advice may be delivered, and moreof the matter which it may contain.
    • The Doctor rose to take leave,--Sir Henrywitnessed his departure with livelysatisfaction; and, with the exception ofenjoying a hearty laugh, at his expense,with George and Acm� ceased to recollectthat such a personage existed.Delm� however, had cause to rememberthat Doctor Pormont.Were it not so, he would not have figuredin these pages.The last evening they were at Naples, theyproceeded, as was their custom, to theMole; and there engaging a boat, directedit to be rowed across the bay.The volcano was more than usuallybrilliant, and the villages at its base,appeared as clear as at noonday.
    • The waters surface was not ruffled by aripple. A bridal party was following in thewake of their boat--and nuptial music wasfloating past them in subdued cadence.A nameless regret filled their minds, asthey thought of the journey on the comingmorrow. They had been so happy inNaples. Could they hope to be happierelsewhere?It was midnight, when they returned to thehotel. As they neared its portico, the roundcold moon fell on the forms of thelazzaroni, who were lying in groups roundthe pillars.One of the party sprang to his feet,alarming the slumberers. The whole ofthem rose with admirablecheerfulness--took off their hatsrespectfully--and made way for the
    • forestieri.During the momentary pause that ensued,Acm�turned to the volcano, and playfullywaved her hand in token of farewell.Her eyes filled with tears, and she clungheavily to Georges arm.She was doomed never to look on thatscene again.
    • Chapter III.The Beginning of the End.
    • "Thou too, art gone! thou loved and lovelyone, Whom youth and youths affectionsbound to me."At an early hour, rich aureate hues yetstreaking the east, our party were dulyseated in a roomy carriage of Angrasanis,on their way to Rome.They had hopes of arriving at the capital,in time to witness that unique sight, theillumination of Saint Peters; a sight whichfew can remember, without deeming itsanticipation well worthy, to urge on thejaded traveller, to his journeystermination.Who can forget the play of the fountains infront of the Vatican, the music of whosedescending water is most distinctlyaudible, although crowds throng the wide
    • and noble space.Breathless--silent all--is the assembledmultitude, as the clock of Saint Petersgives its long expected signal.Away! darkness is light! a fairy palacesprings before us! its beautiful proportionsstarting into life, until the giddy brainreels, from the excess of that splendour, onwhich the eye suddenly and delightedlyfeasts!With the exception of a short halt, whichafforded the travellers time for an earlydinner at the Albergo di Cicerone, whichis about half a mile from the Molo di Gaeta,they prosecuted their journey withoutintermission, till arrived within sight oftheir resting place.This bore the aspect of an extensive, but
    • dilapidated mansion, evidently designedfor some other purpose.Its proprietor had erected it, at a period,when malaria was either less prevalent orless dreaded; and his descendants hadquitted it, for some more salubrious site.The albergo itself, occupied but a smallportion of the building, immediately on theright and left of the porch.The other apartments, which formed thewings, were either wholly tenantless, orwere fitted up as hay-lofts, granaries, orreceptacles for farming utensils.In the upper rooms, the panes of glasswere broken; and the whole aspect of theplace betokened desolation and decay.As they drove to the door, a throng of
    • mendicants and squalid peasants cameforth. Their faces had a cadaverous hue,which could not but be remarked. Theireyes, too, seemed heavy, and deep set inthe head; while many had their throatsbandaged, from the effects of glandularswellings, brought on by the marshyexhalations.Acm�threw some small pieces ofNeapolitan money amongst them; andtheir gratitude in consequence wasboundless.She sprang from the carriage like a youngfawn."Come, come, Giorgio! look at that sweetsun-set--and at the blue clouds edged withburnished gold! Would it not be a sin toremain in-doors on such an evening? andbesides," added she, in a whisper--"is it
    • not a pleasure to leave behind us thesesickly faces, to muse on an Italianlandscape, and admire an Italian sky?Driver! will you order supper? We willtake a stroll while it is preparing."Come! Henry! come away! do not look sograve, or you will make me think of youramusing friend--Dr. Pormont.""Thompson!" said George, as the smilingbride bore off the brothers in triumph, "donot forget your mistress guitar case!"The travellers passed a paved court, inrear of the building; whence a wicket gateadmitted them to a kitchen garden, wellstocked with the requisites for an Italiansalad.Behind this, enclosed with embankments,was a small vineyard. The vines twined
    • round long poles, these again beingconnected with thin cords, which thetendrils were already clasping.Thus far, there was nothing that seemedindicative of an unwholesome situation. Asthey extended their walk, however,pursuing the continuation of the path, thathad led them through the vineyard, theyarrived at the edge of a dark sluggishstream, whose surface was nearly on alevel with them; and which, graduallybecoming broader, at length emptieditself into what might be styled a wide andluxuriant marsh, which abounded withwater-fowl. This was studded with smallround lakes, and with islets of an emeraldverdure.From the bosom of the marsh itself, rosebulrushes and pollard willows, toweredover by gigantic noisy reeds.
    • The stream was thickly strewn with thepure honours of the water lily.If--as Eastern poets tell us--these snowyflowers bathe their charms, when the sunis absent, but lift up their virgin heads,when he looks down approvingly:--butthat, sometimes deceived, on somepeerless damsels approaching, theymistake her eye for their loved luminary,and pay to her beauty an abrupt andinvoluntary homage:--_now_ might theyindeed gaze upward, to greet as fair a faceas ever looked down on the water theybedecked.They approached the edge of the marsh,and discovered a rural arbour of fadedboughs--the work of children--placedaround a couple of willow trees.
    • Within it, was a rude seat; and someparasitical plant with a deep red flower,had twined round the withered boughs,and mingled fantastically with the deadleaves.Below the arbour, was a small stoneembankment, which prevented the watersfrom encroaching, and made theimmediate site comparatively free fromdampness.Acme arranged her cloak--took one handof each of the brothers in hers--and in theexuberance of health andyouth--commenced prattling in thatcharming domestic strain, which onlyhousehold intimacy can beget or justify.George leant back in silence, but couldhave clasped her to his heart.Memory! memory! who that hath a soul,
    • cannot conjure up one such gentlebeing,--while the blood for one momentresponds to thy call, and rolls through theveins with the tide of earlier and of happierdays?At the extremity of the horizon, was a moreextensive lake, than any near them. Overthis, the sun was setting; tinting its waterswith a clear rich amber, save in its centre,where, the lake serving as a halo to itsglory, a blood-red sun was vividlyreflected.As the sun descended, one slender ray oflight, came quivering and tremblingthrough the leaves of the arbour.This little incident gave rise to a thousandfanciful illustrations on the part of Acm�Her spirits were as buoyant as a childs;and her playful mood soon communicated
    • itself to her travelling companions.They compared the solitary ray to virtue inloneliness--to the flickering of a lamp in atomb--to a star reflected on quicksilver--tothe flash of a sword cutting through a hostof foes--and to the light of genius illumingscenes of poverty and distress.Thompson made his appearance, andannounced the supper as being ready."This," said George, good-naturedly, "is anodd place, is it not, Thompson? Is itanything like the Lincolnshire Fens?""Not exactly, your honour!" replied thedomestic, with perfect gravity, "but thereought to be capital snipe shooting here.""Ah! che vero Inglese!" said the laughingAcm�
    • They retraced their steps to the inn, andwere ushered into the supper room, whichwas neither more nor less than the kitchen,although formerly, perhaps, the showroom of the mansion. Around the deep-setfireplace, watching the simmering of thecauldron, were grouped some peasants.The supper table was laid in one corner ofthe room; and although neither theaccommodation nor the viands were verytempting, there was such a disposition tobe happy, that the meal was as muchenjoyed as if served up in a palace.The repast concluded, Acm�rose; andobserving a countryman with his armbound up, enquired if he had met with anaccident; and patiently listened to theprosy narrative of age.
    • An old bronzed husbandman, too, wassmoking his short earthen pipe, near thewindow sill."What a study for Lanfranc!" said the happywife, as she took up a burnt stick, andsketched his dried visage to the life.The old man regarded his portrait on thewall, with intense satisfaction; andcommenced dilating on what he had beenin youth.How different, thought Sir Henry, is all thisfrom the conduct of a well bred Englishgirl! yet how natural and amiable does itappear in Acm� With what an endearingmanner--with what sweet frankness--doesthis young foreigner wile away--whatwould otherwise have been--a tediousevening in an uncomfortable inn!
    • As the night advanced, George broughtout the guitar; and Acm�warbled to itsaccompaniment like a fairy bird.It was a late hour, before Delm�venturedto remind the songstress, that they mustprosecute their journey early on thefollowing morning."I will take your hint," said Acm� as sheshook his hand, and tripped out of theroom; "buona sera! miei Signori.""She is a dear creature!" said Delm�"She is indeed!" replied his brother, "and Iam a fortunate man. Henry! I think I shallbe jealous of you, one of these days. I dobelieve she loves you as well as she doesme!"The brothers retired.
    • Sir Henrys repose was unbroken, untilmorning dawned; when George enteredhis room in the greatest agitation, and witha face as pale as death, told him Acm�wasill.Delm�arose immediately; and at Georgesearnest solicitation, entered the room.Her left cheek, suffused with hectic, restedon one small hand. The other arm wasthrown over the bed-clothes. Her eyessparkled like diamonds. Her lipsmurmured indistinctly--the mind wasevidently wandering.A man and horse were sent express toNaples. The whole of that weary day,George Delm�was by Acm�s side,preparing cooling drinks, and vainlyendeavouring to be calm.
    • As the delirium continued, she seemed tobe transported to the scenes of her earlyyouth,As night wore on, the fever, if it were such,gradually increased.Georges state of mind bordered ondistraction. Sir Henry became exceedinglyalarmed, and anxious for the presence ofthe medical attendant.At about four oclock the followingmorning, Doctor Pormont was announced,Cold and forbidding as was his aspect,George hailed him as his tutelary angel,and burst into tears, as he implored him toexert his skill to the uttermost.The physician approached the invalid, and
    • in a moment saw that the case was acritical one.His patient was bled twice during the day,and strong opiates administered.Towards evening, she slept; and awokewith restored consciousness, but withfeelings keenly alive to her own danger.The following night and day she lingeredon, speaking but little.During the whole of that time, even, whenshe slept, Georges hand remained lockedin hers. On this, her tears wouldsometimes fall, but these she strove torestrain.To the others around her, she spokegratefully, and with feminine softness; buther whole heart seemed to be with
    • George.Doctor Pormont, to do him justice, wasunremitting in his exertions, and hardlytook rest.All his professional skill was called to heraid; but from the second day, he saw it wasin vain.The strength of the invalid failed her moreand more.Doctor Pormont at length called Sir Henryon one side, and informed him that heentertained no doubt of a fatal result; andrecommended his at once procuring suchreligious consolation as might be in hispower.No Protestant clergyman was near at hand,even had Delm�thought it adviseable to
    • procure one.But he was well aware, that however Acmemight have sympathised with George, herearlier religious impressions would now inall probability be revived.A Catholic priest was sent for, and arrivedquickly. He was habited in the brown garbof his order, his waist girt with a knottedcord. He bore in his hand the sainted pyx,and commenced to shrive the dying girl.It was the soft hour of sunset, and theprospect in rear of the mansion, presenteda wide sea of rich coloured splendour.Over the window, had been placed asheet, in order to exclude the light fromthe invalids chamber. The priest knelt byher bedside; and folding his handstogether, began to pray.
    • The rays of the setting sun, fitfully flickeredon the sheet, over whose surface, lightshadows swiftly played, ever and anonglancing on the shorn head of the kneelingfriar.His intelligent face was expressive of firmbelief.His eye turned reverentially to heaven, asin deep and sonorous accents, heimplored forgiveness for the sufferer, forthe sins committed during her mortal coil.Acm�sat up in her bed. On hercountenance, calm devotion seemed tousurp the place of earthly affections, andearthly passions.The soul was preparing for its upwardflight. Delm�led away the sorrowing
    • husband, and the minister of Christ wasleft alone, to hear the contrite outpouringsof a weak departing sinner.The priest left the chamber, but spoke not,either to the physician, or the expectingbrothers. His impassioned glancebelonged to another and a higher world.He made one low obeisance--his robesswept the passage quickly--and theFranciscan friar sought his lonely cell toreflect on death.The brothers re-entered. They foundAcm�in the attitude in which they had lefther--her features wearing an expression atonce radiant and resigned.But--as her eye met Georges--as she sawthe havoc grief had already made--thefeelings of the woman resumed the
    • mastery.She extended her arms--she brought hislip to hers--as if she would have made_that_ its resting place for ever.Alas! an inward pang told her to be brief.She drew away her face, crimsoned withher passions flush--tremblingly graspedhis hand---and, with voice choked byemotion, gave her last farewell."Giorgio, my dearest! my own! I shall soonjoin my parents. I feel this--and mymothers words, as she met me by the olivetree, ring in my ear."She told me I should die thus; but she toldme, too, that I should kill the one dearest tome on earth. Thank God! this cannotbe--for I know my life to be ebbing fast.
    • "Dearest I do not mourn for me too much.You may find another Acm�-as true. But,oh! sometimes--yes! even when yourhearts cling fondly together, as ours werewont to do--think of your own Acm�-wholoved you first--and only--and does it now!oh! how well! Giorgio! dear! dearest!adieu! My feet are _so, so_ cold--and iceseems"--A change shadowed the face, as fromsome corporeal pang.She tried to raise an ebony cross hunground her neck.In the effort, her features becameconvulsed--and George heard a lowgurgling in the throat, as from suffocation.Ah! that awful precursor of "the first darkhour of nothingness."
    • George Delm�sprang to his feet, and wassupporting her head, when the physiciangrasped his arm."Stop! stop! you are preventing"----The lower lip quivered--anddrooped--slightly! very slightly!The head fell back.One long deep drawn sigh shook theexhausted frame.The face seemed to become fixed.Doctor Pormont extended his hand, andsilently closed those dark fringed lids.The cold finger, with its harsh touch, oncemore brought consciousness.
    • Once more the lid trembled! there was anupward glance that looked reproachful!Another short sigh! Another!Lustreless and glaring was that once brighteye!Again the physician extended his hand."Assuredly, gentlemen! vitality hathdeparted!"A deep--solemn--awful silence--which nota breath disturbed--came over thatchamber of death.It seemed as if the insects had ceased theirhum--that twilight had suddenly turned tonight--that an odour, as of clay, wasfloating around them, and impregnating
    • the very atmosphere.George took the guitar, whose chordswere never more to be woke to harmonyby that loved hand, and dashed it to theground.Ere Delm�could clasp him, he hadstaggered to the bedside--and fallen overAcm�s still form.And did her frame thrill with rapture? didshe bound to his caress? did her lip falterfrom her grateful emotion?--did she buryhis cheek in her raven tresses?No, no! still--still--still were all these! stillas death!
    • Chapter IV.Rome.
    • "Woe unto us, not her; for she sleeps well." * * * * * "The Niobe of nations! there she stands,Childless and crownless, in her voicelesswoe; An empty urn within her witherdhands, Whose holy dust was scatterdlong ago. The Scipios tomb contains noashes now; The very sepulchres lietenantless Of their heroic dwellers; dostthou flow, Old Tiber! through a marblewilderness? Rise, with thy yellow waves,and mantle her distress."Undertakers! not one word shallhenceforth pass our lips in your dispraise!An useful and meritorious tribe are you!What! though sleek and rosy cheeked, you
    • seem to have little in common with thewreck of our hopes?What! if our ears be shocked by profanejests on the weight of your burden, as youbear away from the accustomed mansion,what _was_ its light and its load star--butwhat _is_--pent up in your dark, narrowtenement, but-- "A heap, To make mentremble, that never weep."What! if our swimming eye--as we followthose dear--dear remains to their last loneresting place--glance on the heartlessmyrmidons, who salute the passer by withnods of recognition, and smiles ofindifference?What! if, returning homewards--chokedwith bitter recollections, which rise
    • fantastic, quick, and ill-defined--the veryghosts of departed scenes and years--whatif we start as we then perceiveyou--lightsome of heart, and glib ofspeech--clustered and smirking, on thatroof of nodding plumes--neath which, oneshort hour since--lay what was dearest tous on earth?Let us not heed these things! for--light as isthe task to traders in deaths darktrappings; painful and soul-subduing arethose withering details to the grieving andheart-struck mourner!We left George lying half insensible by theside of his dead wife.Sir Henry and Thompson carried him to theapartment of the former, and whileThompson hung over his master,attempting to restore
    • consciousness--Delm�had a shortconference with Doctor Pormont as to theirulterior proceedings.Doctor Pormont--as might beexpected--enjoined the greatestpromptitude, and recommended that poorAcm�s remains, should be consigned tothe burial place of the hamlet.Georges objections to this, however, assoon as he was well enough tocomprehend what was going forward,seemed quite insurmountable; and afterSir Henry had sought the place bymoonlight, and found it wild and open,with goats browsing on the unpicturesquegraves, and with nothing to mark thesanctity of the spot, save a glaring paintedpicture of the Virgin, his own prejudicesbecame enlisted, and he consented toproceed to Rome.
    • After this decision was made, he found itutterly impossible, to procure a separateconveyance for the corpse; and wasequally unsuccessful in his attempt toprocure that--which from being a commonwant, he had been disposed to consider ofevery day attainment--a coffin.While his brother made whatarrangements he best might, poor Georgereturned to the chamber of death, andgazed long and fixedly--with the despair ofthe widower--on those hushed familiarfeatures.Her hair was now turned back, and wasbound with white ribbon, and festoonedwith some of the very water lilies thatAcm�had admired. A snow-white wreathbound her brow. It was formed of the whiteconvolvulus. We have said the features
    • were familiar; but oh! how different! Theyellow waxen hue--the heavy stiffenedlid--how they affected George Delm� whohad never looked on death before!First he would gaze with stupid awe--thenturn to the window, and attempt to represshis sobs--return again--and refuse to credithis bereavement. Surely the hand moved?No! of its free will shall it never movemore! The eye! was there not a slightconvulsion in that long dark lash?No! over it may crawl the busy fly, andcreep the destructive worm, without let,and without hindrance!No finger shall be raised in its behalf--thatlid shall remain closed and passive!The insect and the reptile shall extendtheir wanderings over the smooth cheek,
    • and revel on the lips, whose red oncerivalled that of the Indian shell.Moveless! moveless shall all be!The long--long night wore on.An Italian sunrise was gilding the heavens.Acm�was never to see a sunrise more; andeven this reflection--trite as it may seem,occurring to one, who had watchedthrough the night, by the side of thedead--even this reflection, convulsedagain the haggard features of the mourner.Delm�had made the requisitearrangements during the night, for theirearly departure.Just previous to the carriage beingannounced, he led George out of the room;
    • whilst the physician, aided by the women,took such precautions as the heat of theclimate rendered necessary.Linen cloths, steeped in a solution ofchlorate of lime, were closely woundround the body--a rude couch was placedin the inside of the carriage, which wassupported by the two seats--and thecarriage itself was darkened.These preparations concluded--andhaving parted with DoctorPormont---whose attentions, in spite of hisfreezing manner, had been very great--thebrothers commenced their painful task.George knelt at the head of thecorpse--ejaculated one short ferventprayer--and then, assisted by his brother,bore it in his arms to the vehicle.
    • The Italian peasants, with rare delicacy,witnessed the scene from the windows ofthe inn, but did not intrude their presence.The body was placed crosswise in thecarriage. George sat next the corpse.Delm�sat opposite, regarding his brotherwith anxious eye.Most distressing was that silent journey! Itmade an impression on Sir Henrys mind,that no after events could ever efface; andyet it had already been his lot, to witnessmany scenes of horror, and ride overfields of blood.We have said it was a silent journey.Georges despair was too deep for words.The first motion of the carriage affected theposition of the corpse. George put one armround it, and kept it immoveable.
    • Sometimes, his scalding tears would fall onthat cold face, whose outline yet preservedits beautiful roundness.It appeared to Sir Henry, that he had neverseen life and death, so closely andpainfully contrasted. There sat his brother,in the full energies of manhood anddespair; his features convulsed--his framequivering--his sobs frequent--his pulsequick and disturbed.There lay extended hismistress--cold--colourless--silent--unimpassioned. There was life in the breeze thatplayed on her raven tresses--grim deathwas enthroned on the face those tressesswept.Not that decays finger had yet reallyassailed it; but one of the peculiarproperties of the preservative used by
    • Doctor Pormont, is its pervadingsepulchral odour.They reached Rome; and theconsummation of their task drew nigh.Pass we over the husbands last earthlyfarewell. Pass we over that subduingscene, in which Henry assisted George tosever long ringlets, and rob the coldfinger, of affections dearest pledge.Alas! these might be retained as the legacyof love.They were useless as loves memento.Memory, the faithful mirror, forbade therelic gatherer ever to forget!Would you know where Acm�reposes?A beautiful burial ground looks towards
    • Rome. It is on a gentle declivity leaning tothe south-east, and situated betweenMount Aventine and the Monte Testaccio.Its avenue is lined with high bushes ofmarsh roses; and the cemetery itself, isdivided into three rude and impressiveterraces._There_ sleeps--in a modest nook,surmounted by the wall-flower, and bycreeping ivy, and by many-colouredshrubs, and by one simple yellow flower,of very peculiar and rare fragrance; atype, as the author of these pages deemed,of the wonderful etherialised genius of theman--_there_ sleeps, as posterity willjudge him, the first of the poets of the agewe live in--Percy Bysshe Shelley! Theretoo, moulders that wonderful boyauthor--John Keats.
    • Who can pass his grave, and read thatbitter inscription, dictated on hisdeathbed, by the heart-broken enthusiast,without the liveliest emotion? "Here lies one, whose name was writ inwater. February 4th, 1821."The ancient wall of Rome, crowns the ridgeof the slope we have described. Above it,stands the pyramid of Caius C�tius,constructed some twenty centuries since.Immediately beneath it, in a line with around tower buried with ivy, and near thevault of our beautiful countrywoman, MissBathurst, who was thrown from her horseand drowned in the Tiber, may be seen asarcophagus of rough granite, surmountedby a black marble slab.Luxuriant with wild flowers, and studded
    • even in the winter season, with daisies andviolets, the sides of the tomb are nowalmost concealed. Over the slab, one rosetree gracefully droops.When seen in the dew of the morning,when the cups of the roses are full, andcrystal drops, distilling from leaves andflowers, are slowly trickling on the darkstone, you might think that inanimatenature was weeping for the doom ofbeauty.Only one word is engraved on that slab.Should you visit Rome, and read it,recollect this story.That word is--"Acm�" * * * * *Sir Henry and his brother remained at
    • Rome nearly a month.The former, with hopes that the exertionmight be useful, in distracting Georgefrom the constant contemplation of his loss,plunged at once into the sight-seeing of"the eternal city."Their days were busily passed--in visitingthe classic sites of Rome and itsneighbourhood--in wandering through thechurches and convents--and loiteringthrough the long galleries of the Vatican.Delm� fearfully looking back on thescenes that had occurred in Malta, wasapprehensive, that Georges despair mightlead to some violent outbreak of feeling;and that mind and body might sinksimultaneously.It was not so.
    • That heavy infliction appeared to bear withit a torpedo-like power. The first blow,abrupt and stunning, had paralysed.Afterwards, it seemed to carry with it abenumbing faculty, which repressedexternal display. We say _seemed_; forthere were not wanting indications, evento Sir Henrys partial eye, that the woundhad sunk very deep,The mourner _might_ sink, although he didnot writhe.In the mornings, George, followed byThompson, would find his way to theProtestant burial ground; and weep overthe spot where his wife lay interred.During the day, he was Sir Henrysconstant and gentle companion; givingvent to no passionate display, and uttering
    • few unavailing complaints. Yet it was now,that a symptom of disease first showeditself, which Delm�could not account for.George would suddenly lean back, andcomplain of a spasm on the left side of thechest. This would occasionally, but rarely,affect the circulation. Georges sleep too,was disturbed, and he frequently had torise from his bed, and pace the apartment;but this last circumstance, perhaps, wasthe mere result of anxiety of mind.Sir Henry, without informing George,consulted a medical gentleman, who waswell known to him, and who happened tobe at Rome at the time, regarding thesenovel symptoms.He was reassured by being informed, thatthese pains were probably of a neuralgiccharacter, and not at all likely to proceed
    • from any organic affection.George Delm�s mind was perfectly clearand collected; with the exception, that hewould occasionally allude to his loss, inconnection with some scene or subject ofinterest before them; and in a tone, andwith language, that, appeared to hisbrother eccentric, but inexpressiblytouching.For instance, they were at Tivoli, and in theSyrens grotto, looking up to the foamingfall, which dashes down a rude cleft,formed of fantastically shaped rocks.Immediately below this, the waters make asemicircular bend.On their surface, a mimic rainbow wasdepicted in vivid colours.
    • "Not for me!" burst forth the mourner, "notfor me! does the arc of promise wear thoseradiant hues. Prismatic rays once gildedmy existence. With Acm�they are for everfled. But look! how the stream dashes on!Thus have the waters of bitterness passedover my soul!"In the gallery of the Vatican, too, the verystatues seemed to speak to him of his loss."I like not," would he exclaim, "thatdisdainful Apollo. Thus cold, callous, andtriumphing in the work of destruction, mustbe the angel of death, who winged theshaft at my bright Acm�"May the launching of his arrow, havebeen but the signal, for her translation to asphere, more pure than this."Let us believe her the habitant of some
    • bright planet, such as she pointed out to usin the Bay of Naples--a seraph with agolden lyre--and shrouded in a whitecymar! No, no!" would he continue, turninghis footsteps towards the adjacent room,where the suffering pangs of Apollos highpriest are painfully told in marble, "let letme rather contemplate the Laocoon! Hisagony seems to sympathise with mine--butwas his fate as hard? _He_ saw his sonsdying before him; could a son, or sons, beas the wife of ones bosom? The serpenttwines around him, too, awaking exquisitecorporeal pangs, but would it not havebeen luxury to have died with my Acm�"Can the body suffer as the mind?"At night, reposing from the fatigues of theday, might the brothers frequently be seenat the fountain of Trevi; George listlesslyswinging on the chains near it, and
    • steadfastly watching the water, as itgurgled over the fantastic devicesbeneath--while his mind wandered back toMalta, and to Acm�Sir Henrys conduct during this tryingperiod was most exemplary. Like themother, who lavishes her tenderestendearments on her sickliest child, did henow endeavour to support his brother inhis afflictions.As the bleak night wind came on, he wouldarouse George from his reverie--wouldmake him lean his tall form on his--wouldwrap closely the folds of his cloak aroundhim--would speak _so_ softly--and soothe_so_ tenderly.And gratefully did Georges heart respondto his kindness. He knew that the sorrowwhich bowed _him_ to the earth, was also
    • blanching the cheek of his brother, and heloved him doubly for his solicitude.Ah! few brothers have thus made sweet thefraternal tie!
    • Chapter V.The East Indian.
    • "Would I not stem A tide of suffering,rather than forego Such feelings for thehard and worldly phlegm Of those whosethoughts are only turnd below, Gazingupon the ground, with thoughts that darenot glow?"From Rome and our care-worn travellers,let us turn to Mrs. Vernons drawing-roomat Leamington.An unforeseen event suddenly made aconsiderable change in the hopes andprospects of our fair friend Julia.One warm summers morning--it was onthe very day, that the brothers, with Acm�were sailing close to the Calabrianmountains, and the latter was telling herghost story, within view of the sweetvillage of Capo del Marte--one balmy
    • summers morning, the Miss Vernons wereseated in a room, furnished like mostEnglish drawing-rooms; that is to say, ithad tables for trinkets--a superb mirror--aBroadwood piano--an Erard harp--areclining sofa--and a woolly rug, on whichslept, dreamt, and snored, a smallBlenheim spaniel.Julia had a mahogany frame before her,and was thoughtfully working a beadedpurse.The hue of health had left her cheek. Itscomplexion was akin to that of translucentalabaster. The features wore a more fixedand regular aspect, and their play was lessbuoyant and quick changing thanheretofore.Deep thought! thus has been thy warfarefor ever. First, thou stealest from the
    • rotund face its joyous dimples; then, dostthou gradually imprint remorselessfurrows on the anxious brow.A servant entered the room, and bore on asalver a letter addressed to Miss Vernon.Its deep black binding--its large coat ofarms--bespoke it deaths officialmessenger.Julias cheek blanched as she glanced overits first page.Her sisters laid down their work, andlooked towards her with some curiosity.Julia burst into tears."Poor uncle Vernon!"Her sisters seemed surprised at the
    • announcement, but not to participate inJulias feelings on the occasion.One of them took up the letter, which hadfallen to the ground, and the two read itscontents."How very odd!" said they together, "unclehas left you Hornby, and Catesfield, andalmost all the property!""Has he?" replied Julia, "I could not read itall, for however he may have behaved tomamma, I ever found him good and kind;and had always hoped, that we might haveyet seen him with us once more. Poor oldman! and the letter says a lingeringillness--how sad to think that we were notwith him to soothe his pillow, and cheer hisdeath bed!""Well!" said one of the sisters reddening, "I
    • must say it was his own fault. He would notlive with his nearest relations, who lovedhim, and tried to make his a happyhome--but showed his caprice _then_, ashe has _now_. But I will go up stairs, andbreak it to mamma, and will tell her youare an heiress.""An heiress!" replied Julia, withheart-broken tone! "an heiress!" The tearquivered in her eye; but before themoisture had formed its liquid bead, tocourse down her pallid cheek; a thoughtflashed across her, which had almost thepower to recal it to its cell.That thought comprised the fervency andtimidity--the hopes and fears of womansfirst love. She thought of her last meetingwith Sir Henry Delm� of the objectionswhich might now be removed.
    • A new vista of happiness seemed to openbefore her.It was but for a moment.The blush which that thought called up,faded away--the tear trickled on--herfeatures recovered their serenity--and sheturned with a sweet smile to her sisters."My dear--dear sisters! it is long since wehave seen my poor uncle."Affections ties may have been somewhatloosened. They cannot--I am sure--havebeen dissolved."Do not think me selfish enough to retainthis generous bequest."It may yet be in my power, and it nodoubt is, to amend its too partial
    • provisions."Let us be sisters still--sisters inequality--sisters in love and affection."Julia Vernon was a very noble girl. Shelived to become of age, and she acted upto this her resolve.And, now, a few words as to the individual,by whose death the Miss Vernons acquiredsuch an accession of property.The Miss Vernons father had an only and ayounger brother, who at an early age hadembarked for the East, in the civil service.He had acquired great wealth, and, after aresidence of twenty-five years in theBengal Presidency, had returned toEngland a confirmed bachelor, and awealthy nabob. His brother died, while Mr.Benjamin Vernon was on his passage
    • home. He arrived in England, and foundhimself a stranger in his native land.He shouldered his cane through RegentStreet, and wandered in the Quadrantsshade;--and in spite of the novelties thatevery where met him--in spite of cabs andplated glass--felt perfectly isolated andmiserable.It is true, his Indian friends found him outat the Burlington, and their cards adornedhis mantelpiece--for Mr. Benjamin Vernonwas said to be worth a plum, and to be onthe look out for a vacancy in the Directory.But although these were indisputably hisIndian friends, it appeared to Mr. Vernon,that they were no longer his friends ofIndia. They seemed to him to live in aconstant state of unnatural excitement.
    • _Some_ prided themselves on being starsin fashions gayest circle--others, whom hehad hardly known, _were_ fathers--fortheir families were educating inEngland---he now found surrounded bychildren, on whose provision they werewholly intent.These were off at a tangent, "to see PeterAuber, at the India House," or, "could notwait an instant; they were to meet Josh:Alexander precisely at two."And then their flippant sons! taking winewith him, forsooth--adjusting theirneckcloths--and asking "whether he hadmet their father at Madras or Calcutta?"This to a true Bengalee!Nor was this all!
    • The young renegades ate their curry witha knife!Others, from whom he had parted yearsbefore, shook hands with him at theOriental, as if his presence there was amatter of course; and then asked him"what he thought of Stanleys speech?"Now, there are few men breathing, whohave their sympathies so keenlyalive--who show and who look for, suchwarmth of heart---who are so chilled andhurt by indifference--as your bachelor EastIndian.The married one may solace himself forcoldness abroad, by sunny smiles athome;--but the friendless bachelor is sickat heart, unless he encounter a heartypressure of the hand--an eye that sparkles,as it catches his--an interested listener to
    • his thousand and one tales of Orientalscenes, and of Oriental good fellowship.Mr. Benjamin Vernon soon found thisLondon solitude--it was worse thansolitude--quite insupportable.He determined to visit his brothers widow,and left town for Leamington. Thebrother-in-law felt more than gratified atthe cordial welcome that there met him.His heart responded to their tones ofkindness, and the old Indian, in the warmthof his gratitude, thought he had at lengthdiscovered a congenial home. He plungedinto the extreme of dangerous intimacy;and was soon domiciled in Mrs. Vernonssmall mansion.It is absurd what trifles can extinguishfriendships, and estrange affection. Mr.
    • Vernon had always had the controul of hishours--loved his hookah, and hisafter-dinner dose.His brothers widow was an amiableperson, but a great deal too independent,to humour any persons foibles.She liked activity, and disliked smoking;and was too matter-of-fact in her ideas, toconceive that these indulgences, merelyfrom force of habit, might have nowbecome absolute necessities.Mrs. Vernon first used arguments; whichwere listened to very patiently, and assystematically disregarded.As she thought she knew her groundbetter, she would occasionally secrete thehookah, and indulge in eloquentdiscourse, on the injurious effects, and
    • waste of time, that the said hookahentailed.Nor could the old man enjoy in peace, hisevening slumber.One of his nieces was always ready toshake him by the elbow, and address himwith an expostulatory "Oh! dear uncle!"which, though delivered with silveryvoice, seemed to him deuced provoking.For some time, the old Indiangood-naturedly acquiesced in thesearrangements; and was far too polite at anytime to scold, or hazard a scene.Mrs. Vernon was all complacency, andimagined her triumph assured.Suddenly the tempest gathered to a head.Bachelor habits regained their
    • ascendancy; and Mrs. Vernon wasthunderstruck, when it was one morningduly announced to her, that herbrother-in-law had purchased a largeestate in Monmouthshire, and that heintended permanently to reside there.Mrs. Vernon was deeply chagrined.She thought him ungrateful, and told himso.At the outset, our East Indian was anxiousthat his niece Julia, who had been by farthe most tolerant of his bachelor vices,should preside over his newestablishment; but the feelings of themother and daughter were alike opposedto this arrangement.This was the last rock on which he and hisbrothers widow split; and it was decisive.
    • From that hour, all correspondencebetween them ceased.Arrived in Wales, our nabob endeavouredto attach himself to countrypursuits--purchased adjoiningestates--employed many labourers--andgreatly improved his property. But hisrural occupations were quite at variancewith his acquired habits.He pined away--becamehypochondriacal--and died, just threeyears after leaving Mrs. Vernon, for wantof an Eastern sun, and something to love.
    • Chapter VI.Veil"The seal is set."On the day fixed for the departure of SirHenry Delm�and his brother, theytogether visited once more the sumptuouspile of St. Peters, and heard the voices ofthe practised choristers swell through themighty dome, as the impressive service ofthe Catholic Church was performed by thePope and his conclave.The morning dawn had seen George, aswas his daily custom in Rome, kneelingbeside the grave of Acm� and breathing aprayer for their blissful reunion in heaven.As the widower staggered from that spot,
    • the thought crossed him, and bitterlypoignant was that thought, that now mighthe bid a second earthly farewell, to whathad been his pride, and household solace.Now, indeed, "was the last link broken."Each hour--each traversed league--was tobear him away from even the remains ofhis hearts treasure.Their bones must moulder in a differentsoil.It was Sir Henrys choice that they shouldon that day visit Saint Peters; and wellmight the travellers leave Rome with sounequalled an object fresh in the mindseye.Whether we gaze on its exterior of faultlessproportions--or on the internalarrangement, where perfect symmetry
    • reigns;--whether we consider the glowingcanvas--or the inspired marble,--or therich mosaics;--whether with theenthusiasm of the devotee, we bendbefore those gorgeous shrines; or with thecomparative apathy of a cosmopolite,reflect on the historical recollections withwhich that edifice--the focus of the rays ofCatholicism--teems and must teemforever;--we must in truth acknowledge,that _there_ alone is the one matchlesstemple, in strict and perfect harmony withImperial Rome.Gazing there--or recalling in after years itsunclouded majesty--the delighted pilgrimknows neither shade ofdisappointment--nor doth he harbour onethought of decay.Where is the other building in the "eternalcity," of which we can say thus much?
    • Sir Henry Delm�had engaged a vettura,which was to convey them with the samehorses as far as Florence.This arrangement made them masters oftheir own time, and was perhaps in theircase, the best that could be adopted; forslowness of progress, which is its greatestobjection, was rather desirable inGeorges then state of health.As is customary, Delm�made an advanceto the vetturino, who usually binds himselfto defray all the expenses at the inns onthe road.The travellers dined early--left Rome in theafternoon--and proposed pushing on toNeppi during the night.When about four miles on their journey,
    • Delm�observed a mausoleum on the sideof the road, which appeared of ancientdate, and rather curious construction.On consulting his guide-book, he found itdesignated as the tomb of Nero.On examining its inscription, he saw that itwas erected to the memory of a Prefect ofSardinia; and he inwardly determined todistrust his guide-book on all futureoccasions.The moon was up as they reached thepost-house of Storta.The inn, or rather tavern, was a smallwretched looking building, with a largecourtyard attached, but the stablesappeared nearly--if not quite--untenanted.Sir Henrys surprise and anger were great,
    • when the driver, coolly stopping hishorses, commenced taking off theirharness;--and informed the travellers, that_there_ must they remain, until he hadreceived some instructions from hisowner, which he expected by a vetturaleaving Rome at a later hour.It was in vain that the brothersexpostulated, and reminded him of hisagreement to stop when they pleased,expressing their determination toproceed.The driver was dogged and unmoved; andthe travellers had neglected to draw up awritten bargain, which is a precautionabsolutely necessary in Italy.They soon found they had no alternativebut to submit. It was with a very bad gracethey did so, for Englishmen have a due
    • abhorrence of imposition.They at length stepped from thevehicle--indulged in some vehementremonstrances--smiled at Thompsonsvoluble execrations, which they foundwere equally unavailing--and were finallyobliged to give up the point.They were shown into a small room. Thechief inmates were some Papal soldiers ofruffianly air, engaged in the clamorousgame of moro. Unlike the close shornEnglishmen, their beards and mustachios,were allowed to grow to such length, as tohide the greater part of the face.Their animated gestures and savagecountenances, would have accorded wellwith a bandit group by Salvator.The landlord, an obsequious little man,
    • with face pregnant with mischievouscunning, was watching with interest, theturns of the game; and assisting his guests,to quaff his vino ordinario, which Sir Henryafterwards found was ordinary enough.Delm�s equanimity of temper was alreadyconsiderably disturbed.The scanty accommodation afforded them,by no means diminished his choler; whichhe began to expend on the obstinatedriver, who had followed them into theroom, and was busily placing chairs roundone of the tables."See what you can get for supper, yourascal!""Signore! there are some excellent fowls,and the very best wine of Velletri."
    • The wine was produced and provedvinegar.The host bustled away loud in its praise,and a few seconds afterwards, the dyingshriek of a veteran tenant of the poultryyard, warned them that supper waspreparing."Thompson!" said George, ratherlanguidly, "do, like a good fellow, see thatthey put no garlic with the fowl!""I will, Sir," replied the domestic; "and thewine, Mr. George, seems none of the best.I have a flask of brandy in the rumble.""Just the thing!" said Sir Henry.To their surprise, the landlord profferedsugar and lemons.
    • Sir Henrys countenance somewhatbrightened, and he declared he wouldmake punch.Punch! thou just type of matrimony! thyingredients of sweets and bitters so artfullyblended, that we know not whichpredominate,--so deceptive, too, that weimbibe long and potent draughts, norawake to a consciousness of thy power, tillawoke by headache.Hail to thee! all hail!Thy very name, eked out by thineappropriate receptacle, recals rapturespast--bids us appreciate joys present--andenjoins us duly to reverence thee, if wehope for joys in futurity.A bowl of punch! each merry bacchanalrises at the call!
    • Moderate bacchanals all! for where is theabandoned sot, who would not rather doleout his filthy lucre, on an increase of themere alchohol--than expend it on thosegrateful adjuncts, which, throwing agraceful veil over that spirits grossness,impart to it its chief and its best attraction.Up rises then each hearty bacchanal!thrice waving the clear tinkling crystal, erehe emits that joyful burst, fresh from theheart, which from his uncontrolledemotion, meets the ear husky andindistinct.Delm�squeezed the lemons into not a badsubstitute for a bowl, viz. a red earthenvase of rough workmanship, but elegantshape, somewhat resembling a modernwine cooler.
    • George stood at the inn door, wistfullylooking upward; when he remarked anintelligent boy of fourteen, with darkpiercing eyes, observing him somewhatearnestly.On finding he was noticed, he approachedwith an air of ingenuousembarrassment--pulled off his cap--andsaid in a tone of enquiry,"Un Signore Inglese?""Yes! my fine fellow! Do you knowanything of me or the English?""Oh yes!" replied the boy with vivacity,replacing his cap, "I have travelled inEngland, and like London very much."George conversed with him for some time;and found him to be one of that class,
    • whose numbers make us unmindful of theirwants or their loneliness; who eke out amiserable pittance, by carrying busts ofplaster-of-Paris--grinding on an organ--ordisplaying through Europe, the tricks ofsome poodle dog, or the eccentricities of amonkey disguised in scarlet.It is rare that these come from a part ofItaly so far south; but it appeared in thisinstance, that Giuseppes father being acarrier, had taken him with him toMilan--had there met a friend, rich in anorgan and porcupine--and had entrustedthe boy to his care, in order that he mightsee the world, and make his fortune.Giuseppe gave a narrative of some littleevents, that had occurred to him during hiswanderings, which greatly interestedGeorge; and he finally concluded, bysaying that his father had now retired to his
    • native place at Barberini, where manystrangers came to see the "antichit�"George, on referring to the guide book,found that this was indeed the case; andthat Isola Barberini is marked as the site ofancient Veii, the rival of young Rome."And when do you go there, youngster,and how far is it from this?""I am going now, Signore, to be in time forsupper. It is only a piccolo giro across thefields; and looks as well by moonlight as atany other time.""Ah!" replied George, "I would be glad toaccompany you. Henry," said he, as heentered the room of the inn, "I am away ona classic excursion to Veii. The night islovely--I have an excellent guide--andshall be back before you have finishedyour punch making.
    • "_Do_ let me go!" and he lowered hisvoice, and the tears swam in his eyes, "Icannot endure these rude sounds ofmerriment, and a moonlight walk will atleast afford nothing that can _thus_ painme."Sir Henry looked out. The night wasperfectly fine. The young peasant, allwillingness, had already shouldered hisbundle, and was preparing to moveforward."You must not be late, George," said hisbrother, assenting to his proposal. "Do notstay too long about the ruins. Rememberthat you are still delicate, and that I shallwait supper for you."As the boy led on, George followed him ina foot path, which led through fields of
    • meadow land, corn, and rye.The fire-flies--mimic meteors--weregiddily winging their way from bush tobush,--illuming the atmosphere, andimparting to the scene a glittering beauty,which a summer night in a northern climecannot boast.As they approached somewhat nearer tothe hamlet, their course was over groundmore rugged; and the disjointed fragmentsof rocks strewed, and at intervalsobstructed, the path.The cottages were soon reached.The villagers were all in front of theirdwellings, taking their last meal for theday, in the open air.The young guide stopped in front of a
    • cottage, a little apart from the rest. Thefamily party were seated round a rudetable, on which were plates and napkins.Before the master of the house--a wrinkledold man, with long grey hair--was asmoking tureen of bread soup, over whichhe was in the act of sprinkling some gratedParmesan cheese.A plate of green figs, and a large watermelon--the cocomero--made up the repast."Giuseppe! you are late for supper," saidthe old patriarch, as the boy approachedto whisper his introduction of the stranger.The old man waved his handcourteously--made a short apology for thehumble viands--and pointed to a vacantseat.
    • "Many thanks," said George, "but mysupper already awaits me. I will not,however, interfere with my young guide.Show me the ruins, Giuseppe, and I willtrouble you no further."The boy moved on towards what wereindeed ruins, or rather the vestige of such.Here a misshapen stone--there a shatteredcolumn--decaying walls, overgrown withnettles--arches and caves, choked up withrank vegetation--bespoke remainsunheeded, and but rarely visited.George threw the boy a piece ofsilver--heard his repeated cautions as tohis way to Storta--and wished him goodnight, as he hurried back to the cottage.George Delm�sat on the shaft of a brokenpillar, his face almost buried in his hands,
    • as he looked around him on a scene onceso famous.But with him classic feelings were notupper-most. The widowed heart mournedits loneliness; and in that calm hour foundthe full relief of tears.The mourner rose, and turned his facehomeward, slowly--sadly--but resignedly.The heavens had become moreovercast--and clouds occasionally werehiding the moon.It was with some difficulty that Georgeavoided the pieces of rock whichobstructed the path.The road seemed longer, and wilder, thanhe had previously thought it.
    • Suddenly the loud bay of dogs was borneto his ear; and almost, before he had timeto turn from the path, two large houndsbrushed past him, followed by a rider--hisgun slung before his saddle--and his horsefearlessly clattering over the loose stones.The horseman seemed a young Romanfarmer. He did not salute, and probablydid not observe our traveller. As the soundfrom the horse receded, and the clamourof the dogs died away, a feeling almostakin to alarm crossed Georges mind.George was one, however, who rarelygave way to vague fears.It so happened that he was armed.Delancey had made him a present of abrace of pocket pistols, during the days oftheir friendship; and, very much to Sir
    • Henrys annoyance, George had been inthe habit, since leaving Malta, of constantlycarrying these about him.He strode on without adventure, untilentering the field of rye.The pathway became very narrow--so thaton either side him, he grazed against thebearded ears.Suddenly he heard a rustling sound. Themoon at the moment broke from a darkcloud, and he fancied he discerned afigure near him half hid by the rye.Again the moon was shrouded.A rustling again ensued.George felt a ponderous blow, which,aimed at the left shoulder, struck his left
    • arm.The collar of his coat was instantaneouslygrasped.For a moment, George Delm�feltirresolute--then drew a pistol from hispocket and fired.The hold was loosened--a man fell at hisfeet.The pistols flash revealed another figure,which diving into the corn--fledprecipitately.Let us turn to Sir Henry Delm�and toThompson.For some time after Georges departure,they were busily engaged in preparingsupper.
    • While they were thus occupied, theynoticed that the Papal soldiers whisperedmuch together--but this gave rise to nosuspicion on their part.One by one the soldiers strolled out, andthe landlord betook himself to the kitchen.The punch was duly made, and Sir Henry,leaving the room, paced thoughtfully infront of the inn.At length it struck him, that it was almosttime for his brother to return.He was entering the inn, for the purpose ofmaking some enquiries; when he saw oneof the soldiers cross the road hurriedly,and go into the courtyard, where he wasimmediately joined by the vetturino.
    • Delm�turned in to the house, and calledfor the landlord.Before the latter could appear, Georgerushed into the room.His hat was off--his eyes glared wildly--hislong hair streamed back, wet with thedews of night. He dragged with him thebody of one of the soldiers; and threw itwith supernatural strength into the verycentre of the room."Supper!" said he, "ha, ha, ha! _I_ havebrought you supper!"The man was quite dead.The bullet had pierced his neck and throat.The blood was yet flowing, and haddabbled the white vest. His beard and hairwere clotted with gore.
    • Shocked as Sir Henry was, the truth flashedon him. He lost not a moment in beckoningto Thompson, and rushing towards thestable. The driver was still there,conversing with the soldier.As Sir Henry approached, they evincedinvoluntary confusion; and thevetturino---at once unmanned--fell on hisknees, and commenced a confession.They were dragged into the inn, and theofficers of justice were sent for.Sir Henry Delm�s anxious regards werenow directed to his brother.George had taken a seat near the corpse;and was sternly regarding it with fixed,steady, and unflinching gaze.
    • It is certainly very fearful to mark thedead--with pallid complexion--glazedeye--limbs fast stiffening--and gouts ofblood--standing from out the face, likecrimson excrescences on a diseased leaf.But it is far more fearful than even this, tolook on one, who is bound to us by thenearest and most cherished ties--withcheek yet glowing--expressions flushmantling still--and yet to doubt whetherthe intellect, which adorned thatframe--the jewel in the casket--hath not forever left its earthly tenement.
    • Chapter VII.The Vetturini. "Far other scene is Thrasymene now." * * * * * "Fair Florence! at thy days declineWhen came the shade from Appennine,And suddenly on blade and bower Thefire-flies shed the sparkling shower, As ifall heaven to earth had sent Each star thatgems the firmament; Twas sweet at thatenchanting hour, To bathe in fragrance ofthe Italian clime, By Arnos stream."The brothers were detained a few days atStorta; while the Roman police, who, to dothem justice, were active on the occasion,
    • and showed every anxiety to give thetravellers as little trouble aspossible--were investigating theoccurrences we have described. Itappeared that some suspicion hadpreviously attached itself to VittoreSantado, and that the eyes of the policehad been on him for some time.It now became evident, both from his ownconfession, and subsequent discoveries,that this man had for years trafficked in thelives and property of others;--and that thecharge connected with George, was one ofthe least grave, that would be broughtagainst him.It was shown that he was an active agent, inaiding the infamous designs of that inn, onthe Italian frontier, whose enormities havegiven rise to more than one thrilling tale offiction, far out-done by the reality--that
    • inn--where the traveller retired to rest--butrose not refreshed to prosecute hisjourney:--where--if he slumbered butonce, that sleep was his last.Until now, his career had been more thanusually successful.The crafty vetturino had had the art toglean a fair reputation even from hiscrimes.More than once, had he induced a solitarytraveller to leave the high road and hiscarriage, for the purpose of visiting someruin, or viewing some famous prospect.On such occasions, Vittores accompliceswere in waiting; and the unsuspectingstranger--pillaged and alarmed, wouldreturn to the vettura penniless.
    • Vittore would be foremost in hiscommiseration; and with an air of bluntsincerity, would proffer the use of hispurse; such conduct ensuring thegratitude, and the after recommendationsof his dupe.It is supposed that the vetturino hadcontemplated rifling the carriage in the innyard; but some suspicion as to theservants not leaving the luggage, and thesort of dog fidelity displayed by Thompsontowards the brothers; had induced himrather to sanction an attempt on Georgeduring his imprudent excursion toBarberini.Vittore Santado was executed near thePiazza del Popolo, and to this day, over thechimney-piece of many a Roman peasant,may be seen the tale of his crimes--hisconfessions--and his death; which perused
    • by casual neighbour guests--calls up manya sign of the cross--and devout look ofrustic terror.After the incident we have related in thelast chapter, George Delm� contrary to SirHenrys previous misgivings, enjoyed agood nights rest, and arose tolerably calmand refreshed.The following night he was attacked withpalpitation of the heart.His brother and Thompson felt greatlyalarmed; but after an hours severesuffering, the paroxysm left him.Nothing further occurred at Storta, toinduce them to attach very greatimportance to the shock Georges nerveshad experienced; but in after life, SirHenry always thought, he could date many
    • fatal symptoms from that hour of intenseexcitement.Delm�was in Rome two days; during whichperiod, his depositions, as connected withSantado, were taken down; and he wasinformed that his presence during the trialwould not be insisted on.Delm�took that opportunity again toconsult his medical friend; whoaccompanied him to Storta, to visitGeorge; and prescribed a regimencalculated to invigorate the generalsystem.He directed Delm�not to be alarmed,should the paroxysm return; andrecommended, that during the attack,George should lie down quietly--and taketwenty drops of Battleys solution of opiumin a wine glass of water.
    • As his friend did not appear alarmed,Delm�s mind was once more assured; andhe prepared to continue their journey toFlorence, by the way of Perugia.Punctual to his time, the new vetturino--asto whose selection Sir Henry had beenvery particular--arrived at Storta; and thewhole party, with great willingness left thewretched inn, and its suspicious inmates.There certainly could not be a greatercontrast, than between the two Vetturini.Vittore Santado was a Roman;young--inclined to corpulency---oilyfaced--plausible--and a most consummaterascal.Pietro Molini was aMilanese;--elderly--with hardly an ounce
    • of flesh on his body--with face scored andfurrowed like the surface of the hedgepippin--rough in his manners--and themost honest of his tribe.Poor Pietro Molini! never did driver givemore cheering halloo to four-footed beast!or with spirit more elate, deliver in thedrawling patois of his native paesi, someditty commemorative of Northern liberty!Honest Pietro! thy wishes were containedwithin a small compass! thy little browncur, snarling and bandy-legged--thyraw-boned steeds--these were thy firstcare;--the safety of thy conveyance, and itsvarious inmates, the second.To thee--the most delightful melody in thiswide world, was the jingling of thy horsesbells, as all cautiously and slowly theyjogged on their way:--the most discordantsound in nature, the short husky cough,
    • emitted from the carcase of one of these,as disease and continued fatigue madetheir sure inroads.Poor simple Pietro! his only pride wasencased in his breeches pocket, and it layin a few scraps of paper--remembrances ofhis passengers.One and all lavished praise on Pietro!Yes! we have him again before us as wewrite--his ill-looking, but easycarriage--his three steeds--the rudeharness, eked out with clustering knots ofrope--and the happy driver, seated on anarrow bench, jutting over the backs of hiswheelers, as he contentedly whiffs from hissmall red clay pipe--at intervals droppingoff in a dose, with his cur on his lap. Atsuch a time, with what perfect nonchalancewould he open his large grey eyes, when
    • recalled to the sense of his duties, by thevolubly breathed execration of some rivalwhip--and with what a silent look ofineffable contempt, would he direct hishorses to the side of the road, and againsteep his senses in quiescent repose.At night, Pietros importance wouldsensibly increase, as after rubbing downthe hides of his favourites, and droppinginto the capacious manger the variegatedoats; he would wait on his passengers toarrange the hour of departure--wouldaccept the proffered glass of wine, andgive utterance to his ready joke.A King might have envied Pietro Molini,as---the straw rustling beneath him--helaid down in his hairy capote, almostbetween the legs of his favourite horse.To do so will be to anticipate some years!
    • Yet we would fain relate the end of theVetturino.Crossing from Basle to Strasbourg, in thedepth of winter, and descending anundulated valley, Pietro slept as usual.Implicitly relying on the sure footedness ofhis horses, a fond dream of German beer,German tobacco, and German sauerkraut,soothed his slumbers.A fragment of rock had been loosenedfrom its ancient bed, and lay across theroad.Against this the leader tripped and fell.The shock threw Pietro and his dog fromtheir exalted station.
    • The pipe, which--whether he weresleeping or waking--had long decked thecheek of the honest driver, now fell from it,and was dashed into a thousand pieces.It was an evil omen.When the carriage was stopped, PietroMolini was found quite lifeless. He hadreceived a kick from the ungrateful heel ofhis friend Bruno, and the wheel of thecarriage, it had been his delight to clean,had passed over the body of the haplessvetturino.Ah! as that news spread! many an ostler ofmany a nation, shook his head mournfully,and with saddened voice, wondered thatthe same thing had not occurred yearsbefore.At the time, however, to which we
    • allude--viz., the commencement of theacquaintance between our Englishtravellers, and Pietro; the latter thought ofanything rather than of leaving a world forwhich he had an uncommon affection.He and Thompson soon became staunchallies; and the want of a common languageseemed only to cement their union.Not Noblet, in her inimitable performanceof the Muette, threw more expression intoher sweet face--than did Pietro, into thefurrowed lines of his bronzed visage, as heendeavoured to explain to his friend someItalian custom, or the reason why he hadselected another dish, or other wine;rather than that, to which they had donesuch justice the previous day.Thompsons gestures and countenance inreply, partook of a more stoical character;
    • but he was never found wanting, when acompanion was needed for a bottle or apipe.Their friendship was not an uninstructiveone.It would have edified him, who prideshimself on his deep knowledge of humannature, or who seizes with avidity on theminuter traits of a nation, to note with whatattention the English valet, would listen toa Milanese arietta; whose love notes,delivered by the unmusical Pietro, wereabout as effectively pathetic as the croak ofthe bull frog in a marsh, or screech of owlsentimentalising in ivied ruin; and to markwith what gravity, the Italian driver wouldbeat his hand against the table; in tune to"Ben Baxter," or "The British Grenadiers,"roared out more Anglico.
    • There are two grand routes from Home toFlorence:--the one is by Perugia, the otherpasses through Sienna. The former, whichis the one Sir Henry selected, is the mostattractive to the ordinary traveller; who isenabled to visit the fall of Terni,Thrasymene, and the temple of ClitumnussThe first, despite its being artificial, isequal in our opinion, to the vauntedSchaffhausen;--the second is hallowed instory;--and the third has been illustratedby Byron. "Pass not unblest the genius of the place!If through the air a zephyr more sereneWin to the brow, tis his; and if ye traceAlong the margin a more eloquent green,If on the heart, the freshness of the sceneSprinkle its coolness, and from the drydust Of weary life a moment lave it cleanWith natures baptism,--tis to him ye mustPay orisons for this suspension of disgust."
    • Poor George Delm�showed little interestin anything connected with this journey.Sir Henry embarked on the lake above, inorder to see the cascade of Terni in everypoint of view; and afterwards took hisstation with George, on various ledges ofrock below the fall--whence the eye looksupward, on that mystic scene of havoc,turbulence, and mighty rush of water.But the cataract fell in snowy sheet--thewaves hissed round the sable rocks--andthe rainbow played on the torrentsfoam;--but these possessed not a charm, torouse to a sense of their beauty, the sadheart of the invalid.Near the lake of Thrasymene, they passedsome hours; allowing Pietro to put up hishorses at Casa di Piano. Sir Henry, with aLivy in his hand, first proceeded to the
    • small eminence, looking down on theround tower of Borghetto; and on thatinsidious pass, which his fancy peopledonce more, with the advancing troops ofthe Consul.The soldier felt much interested, andattempted to impart that interest toGeorge; but the widowed husband shookhis head mournfully; and it was evident,that his thoughts were not with Flaminiusand his entrapped soldiers, but with thegentle Acm� mouldering in her lonelygrave.From Borghetto, they proceeded to thevillage of Torre, where Delm�was glad toaccept the hospitable offer of its Priest,and procure seats for himself and George,in the balcony of his little cottage. Fromthis point, they looked down on the arenaof war.
    • There it lay, serene and basking in therays of the meridian sun.On either side, were the purple summits ofthe Gualandra hills.Beneath flowed the little rivulet, oncechoked by the bodies of the combatants;but which now sparkled gaily through thevalley, although at intervals, almost driedup by the fierce heat of summer.The lake was tranquil and unruffled--all onits margin, hushed and moveless. What acontrast to that exciting hour, which SirHenry was conjuring up again; when theclang of arms, and crash of squadrons,commingled with the exulting shout, thatbespoke the confident hope of the wilyCarthaginian; and with that sternerresponse, which hurled back the
    • indomitable spirit of the unyielding, butdespairing Roman!Our travellers quitted the Papal territories;and entering Tuscany, passed throughArezzo, the birth-place of Petrarch;arriving at Florence just previous tosunset.As they reached the Lung Arno, Pietro puthis horses to a fast trot, and rattling overthe flagged road, drew up in front ofSchneidorffs with an air of greaterimportance, than his sorry vehicle seemedto warrant.The following morning, George Delm�wastaken by his brother, to visit the Englishphysician resident at Florence; and againwas Delm�informed, that change of scene,quiet, and peace of mind, were what hisbrother most required.
    • George was thinner perhaps, than when atRome, and his lip had lost its lustrous red;but he concealed his physical sufferings,and always met Henry with the same softundeviating smile.On their first visit to the Tribune, Georgewas struck with the Samian Sibyl ofGuercino.In the glowing lip--the silken cheek--theivory temple--the eye of inspiration--thebereaved mourner thought he could trace,some faint resemblance to the lost Acm�Henceforward, it was his greatestpleasure, to remain with eyes fixed on thatmasterpiece of art.Sir Henry Delm� accompanied by thecustode, would make himself acquaintedwith the wonders of the Florentine gallery;
    • and every now and then, return to whispersome sentence, in the soothing tones ofbrotherly kindness. At night, their usualhaunt was the public square--where theloggio of Andrea Orcagna presents somuch, that may claim attention.There stands the David! in the freshness ofhis youth! proudly regarding hisadversary--ere he overthrow, with theweapon of the herdsman, the haughtygiant.The inimitable Perseus, too! the idol of thatversatile genius, Benvenuto Cellini:--anauthor! a goldsmith! a cunning artificer injewels! a founder in bronze! a sculptor inmarble! the prince of good fellows! thefavored of princes! the warm friend anddaring lover! as we gaze on his gloriousperformance, and see beside it theHercules, and Cacus of his rival Baccio
    • Bandanelli,--we seem to live again in thosedays, with which Cellini has made us sofamiliar:--and almost naturally regard theback of the bending figure, to note if itsmuscles warrant the stinging sarcasm ofCellini, which we are told at oncedispelled the pride of the aspiringartist--"that they resembled cucumbers!"The rape of the Sabines, too! the whitemarble glistening in the obscurity, untilthe rounded shape of the maiden seems toelude the strong grasp of the Roman!Will she ever fly from him thus? will thehome of her childhood be ever as dear?No! the husbands love shall replace thefathers blessing; and the affections of thedaughter, shall yield to the tenderyearnings of the mothers bosom.We marvel not that Georges footsteps
    • lingered there!How often have _we_--martyrs to ahopeless nympholepsy--strayed throughthat piazza, at the self same hour--theredeemed that the heart would break--butnever thought that it might slowly wither.How often have _we_ gleaned from thosebeauteous objects around, but aliment toour morbid griefs;--and turning towardsthe gurgling fountain of Ammonati, andgazing on its trickling waters, have vainlytried to arrest our trickling tears!
    • Chapter VIII.Argu�
    • "There is a tomb in Arqu� reard in air,Pillard in their sarcophagus, repose Thebones of Lauras lover." * * * * * "I stood in Venice on the Bridge of Sighs."How glorious is the thrill, which shootsthrough our frame, as we first wake to theconsciousness of our intellectual power; aswe feel the spirit--the undyingspirit--ready to burst the gross bonds offlesh, and soar triumphant, over the sneersof others, and our own mistrust.How does each thought seem to swell inour bosom, as if impatient of the confinedtenement--how do the floating ideascongregate--how does each impassionedfeeling subdue us in turn, and long for a
    • worthy utterance!This is a very bright moment in the historyof our lives. It is one in which wefeel--indubitably feel--that we are of thefashioning of God;--that the light whichintellect darts around us, is not the result ofeducation--of maxims inculcated--or ofprinciples instilled;--but that it is a raycaught from the brightness of eternity--thatwhen our wavering pulse has ceased tobeat, and the etherialised elements haveleft the baser and the useless dust--that rayshall not be quenched; but shall again beabsorbed in the full effulgence from whichit emanated.Surely then, if such a glorious moment asthis, be accorded to even the inferiorvotaries of knowledge--to the meanerpilgrims, struggling on towards theresplendent shrines of science:--how must
    • _he_--the divine Petrarch, who could soexquisitely delineate loves hopes andstory, as to clothe an earthly passion, withhalf the attributes of an immortalaffection:--how must _he_ have revelled inthe proud sensations called forth at such amoment!It is the curse of the poet, that he mustperforce leave the golden atmosphere ofloftiest aspirations--step from the magiccircle, where all is pure and etherial--andfind himself the impotent denizen, of asombre and an earthly world,It was in the early part of September, thatthe brothers turned their backs on theEtrurian Athens. Their destination wasVenice, and their route lay throughBologna and Arqu�They had been so satisfied, under the
    • guidance of their old vetturino, that SirHenry made an arrangement, whichinduced him to be at Florence, at the timeof their departure;--and Pietro andThompson were once more seated besideeach other.Before commencing the ascent of theAppennines, our travellers visited thecountry seat of the Archduke; saw thegigantic statue executed by John ofBologna, which frowns over the lake; andat Fonte-buona, cast a farewell glance onFlorence, and the ancient Fiesole.As they advanced towards Caravigliojo,the mountains began to be moreformidable, and the scenery to lose itssmiling character.Each step seemed to add to thebarrenness of the landscape.
    • The wind came howling down from theblack volcanic looking ridges--then swepttempestuously through some deep ravine.On either side the road, tall red polespresented themselves, a guide to thetraveller during winters snows; while, inone exposed gully, were built large stoneembankments for his protection--as a Latininscription intimated--from the violence ofthe gales.Few signs of life appeared.Here and there, her white kerchief shadinga sun-burnt face, a young Bologneseshepherd girl might be seen on somegrassy ledge, waving her handcoquettishly; while her neglected flock,with tinkling bell, browsed on the edge ofthe precipice. As they neared Bologna,
    • however, the scenery changed.Festoons of grapes, trained to leafy elms,began to appear--white villas chequeredthe suburbs--and it was with a pleasurablefeeling, that they neared the peculiarlooking city, with its leaning towers, andold fa�des. It is the only one, where theEnglishman recals Mrs, Ratcliffesharrowing tales; and half expects to see aSchedoni, advancing from some coveredportico.The next day found them in the Bolognesegallery, which is the first which dulyimpresses the traveller, coming from thenorth, with the full powers of the art.The soul of music seems to dwell in theface of the St. Cecilia; and the cup ofmaternal anguish to be filled to the brim,as in Guides Murder of the Innocents, the
    • mother clasps to her arms the terrifiedbabe, and strives to flee from the ruthlessdestroyer.It was on the fourth morning from theirarrival in Bologna, that they approachedthe poets "mansion and his sepulchre."As they threaded the green windings ofvine covered hills, these graduallyassumed a bolder outline, and, rising inseparate cones, formed a sylvanamphitheatre round the lovely village ofArqu�The road made an abrupt ascent to theFontana Petrarca. A large ruined archspanned a fine spring, that rushes downthe green slope.In the church-yard, on the right, is thetomb of Petrarch.
    • Its peculiarly bold elevation--thenumberless thrilling associationsconnected with the poet--gave a tone andcharacter to the whole scene. Thechiaro-scuro of the landscape, was fromthe light of his genius--the shade of histomb.The day was lovely--warm, but notoppressive. The soft green of the hills andfoliage, checked the glare of the flauntingsunbeams.The brothers left the carriage to gaze onthe sarcophagus of red marble, raised onpilasters; and could not help deemingeven the indifferent bronze bust ofPetrarch, which surmounts this, to be asuperfluous ornament in such a scene.The surrounding landscape--the dwelling
    • place of the poet--his tomb facing theheavens, and disdaining even the shadowof trees--the half-effaced inscription of thathallowed shrine--all these seemedappropriate, and melted the gazers heart.How useless! how intrusive! are thesuperfluous decorations of art, amid thesimpler scenes of nature.Ornament is here misplaced. The feelingheart regrets its presence at the time, andattempts, albeit in vain, to banish it fromafter recollections.George could not restrain his tears, for hethought of the dead; and they silentlyfollowed their guide to Petrarchs house,now partly used as a granary. Passingthrough two or three unfinished rooms,whose walls were adorned with rudefrescoes of the lover and his mistress, they
    • were shown into Petrarchs chamber,damp and untenanted.In the closet adjoining, were the chair andtable consecrated by the poet.There did he sit--and write--andmuse--and die!George turned to a tall narrow window,and looked out on a scene, fair andluxuriant as the garden of Eden.The rich fig trees, with their peculiar small,high scented fruit, mixed with the vinesthat clustered round the lattice.The round heads of the full bearing peachtrees, dipped down in a leafy slopebeneath a grassy walk;--and this thicket offruit was charmingly enlivened, bybunches of the scarlet pomegranate, now
    • in the pride of their blossom.The poets garden alone wasneglected--rank herbage choking up itsuncultivated flowers.A thousand thoughts filled the mind ofGeorge Delm�He thought of Laura! of his own Acm�With swimming glance, he looked roundthe chamber.It was almost without furniture, and withoutornament. In a niche, and within a glasscase, was placed the skeleton of a dumbfavourite of Petrarchs.Suddenly George Delm�felt a faintnessstealing over him:--and he turned to barehis forehead, to catch the slight breeze
    • from below redolent of sweets.This did not relieve him.A sharp pain across the chest, and afluttering at the heart, as of a birdstruggling to be free, succeeded thisfaintness.Another rush of blood to the head:--and asnap, as of some tendon, was distinctly feltby the sufferer.His mouth filled with blood.A small blood-vessel had burst, andtemporary insensibility ensued.Sir Henry was wholly unprepared for thisscene.Assisted by Thompson, he bore him to the
    • carriage--sprinkled his face withwater--and administered cordials.Georges recovery was speedy; and italmost seemed, as if the rupture of thevessel had been caused by the irregularcirculation, for no further bad effects werefelt at the time.The loss of blood, however, evidentlyweakened him; and his spasmshenceforward were more frequent.He became less able to undergo fatigue;and his mind, probably in connection withthe nervous system, became more thanordinarily excited.There was no longer wildness in hisactions; but in his thoughts and language,was developed a poetical eccentricity--amorbid sympathy with surrounding scenes
    • and impressions, which kept Sir HenryDelm�in a constant state of alarm,--andwhich was very remarkable. * * * * *"What! at Mestr�already, Pietro?" said SirHenry."Even so, Signore! and here is the gondolato take you on to Venice.""Well, Pietro! you must not fail to come andsee us at the inn."The vetturino touched his hat, with the airof a man who would be very sorry _not_ tosee them.It was not long ere the glittering prow ofthe gondola pointed to Venice.
    • Before the travellers, rose oceans Cybele;springing from the waters, like some fairycity, described to youthful ear by aged lip.The fantastic dome of St. Mark--thePalladian churches--the columnedpalaces--the sable gondolas shootingthrough the canals--made its aspect, as isits reality, unique in the world."Beautiful, beautiful city!" said George, hiseye lighting up as he spoke, "thou dostindeed look a city of the heart--a restingplace for a wearied spirit. And ourgondola, Henry, should be of burnishedsilver; and those afar--so noiselesslycutting their way through the glassysurface--those should be angels withgolden wings; and, instead of an oarflashing freely, a snowy wand of mercyshould beat back the kissing billows.
    • "And Acm� with her George, should sit onthe crystal cushion of glory--and we wouldwait expectant for you a long longtime--and then you should join us, Henry,with dear Emily."And Thompson should be with us, too,and recline on the steps of our bark as hedoes now."And together we would sail loving andhappy through an amethystine sea."During their stay in Venice, George, inspite of his increasing languor, continuedto accompany his brother, in his visits tothe various objects of interest which thecity can boast.The motion of the gondola appeared tohave a soothing influence on the mind ofthe invalid.
    • He would recline on the cushions, and thefast flowing tears would course down hiswan cheeks.These, however, were far from being aproof of suffering;--they were evidently arelief to the surcharged spirit.One evening, a little before sunset, theyfound themselves in the crowded piazza ofSaint Mark. The caf� were thronged withnoble Venetians, come to witness theevening parade of an Austrian regiment.The sounds of martial music, swelledabove the hum of the multitude; and fewcould listen to those strains, withoutparticipating in some degree, in themilitary enthusiasm of the hour.But the brothers turned from the pageantryof war, as their eyes fell on the emblems of
    • Venice free--the minarets of St. Mark, withthe horses of Lysippus, a spoil fromByzantium--the flagless poles that oncebore the banners of three tributarystates--the highly adorned azure clock--thepalaces of the proud Doges--where Falieroreigned--where Faliero suffered:--thesewere before them.Their steps mechanically turned to thebeautiful Campanile.George, leaning heavily on Sir Henrysarm, succeeded in gaining the summit:and they looked down from thence, on thatwonderful city.They saw the parade dismissed--theyheard the bugles fitful blast proclaim thehour of sunset. The richest hues of crimsonand of gold, tinted the opposite heavens;while on those waters, over which the
    • gondolas were swiftly gliding, quiveredanother city, the magic reflection of theone beneath them.They gazed on the scene in silence, till thegrey twilight came on."Now, George! it is getting late," said SirHenry. "I wonder whether we could findsome old mariner, who could give us achaunt from Tasso?"Descending from the Campanile, Sir Henrymade enquiries on the quay, and withsome difficulty found gondoliers, whocould still recite from their favourite bard.Engaging a couple of boats, and placing asinger in each, the brothers were roweddown the Canale Giudecca--skirted manyof the small islands, studding the lagoons;and proceeded towards the Adriatic.
    • Gradually the boats parted company, andjust as Sir Henry was about to speak,thinking there might be a mistake as to thedirections; the gondolier in the other boatcommenced his song,--its deep bassmellowed by distance, and the interveningwaves. The sound was electric.It was so exquisitely appropriate to thescene, and harmonised so admirably, withthe associations which Venice is apt toawaken, that one longed to be able toembody that fleeting sound--to renew itsmagic influence in after years. The penmay depict mans stormy feelings: thesensitive caprice of woman:--the mostvivid tints may be imitated on the glowingcanvas:--the inspired marble may realiseour every idea of the beauty of form:--ascroll may give us at will, the divineinspiration, of Handel:--but there are
    • sounds, as there are subtle thoughts,which, away from the scenes, where theyhave charmed us, can never delight usmore.It was not until the second boatmananswered the song, that the brothers felthow little the charm lay, in the voice of thegondolier, and that, heard nearer, thesounds were harsh and inharmonious.They recited the death of Clorinda; the onerenewing the stanza, whenever there was amomentary forgetfulness on the part of theother.The clock of St. Mark had struck twelve,before the travellers had reached thehotel. George had not complained offatigue, during a day which even Sir Henrythought a trying one; and the latter waswilling to hope that his strength was now
    • increasing.Their first design had been to proceedthough Switzerland, resting for some timeat Geneva. Their plans were now changed,and Sir Henry Belme determined, that theirhomeward route should be through theTyrol and Bavaria, and eventually downthe Rhine.He considered that the water carriage, andthe very scenes themselves, might provebeneficial to the invalid.Thompson was sent over to Mestr� toinform Pietro; and they prepared to taketheir departure."You have been better in Venice," said SirHenry, as they entered the gondola, thatwas to bear them from the city. "God grantthat you may long remain so!"
    • George shook his head doubtingly."My illness, Henry, is not of the framealone, although that is fragile andshattered."The body lingers on without suffering; butthe mind--a very bright sword in aworthless sheath--is forcing its waythrough. Some feelings must remain to thelast--gratitude to you--love to dear Emily!Acm� wife of my bosom! when may I joinyou?"
    • Chapter IX.Inspruck.
    • "Oh there is sweetness in the mountain air, And life, that bloated ease can neverhope to share."Inspruck! a thousand recollections flashacross us, as we pronounce the word!We were there at a memorable period;when the body of the hero of the Tyrol--thebrave, the simple-minded AnderlHofer--was removed from Mantua, wherehe so nobly met a patriots death, to thecapital of the country, which he had sogallantly defended.The event was one, that could not fail to beimpressive; and to us it was doubly so, forthat very period formed an epoch in ourlives.We had lost! we had suffered! we had
    • mourned! Our minds strength was shook.Ordinary remedies were worse than futile.We threw ourselves into the heart of theTyrol, and became resigned if not happy.Romantic country! did not duty whisperotherwise, how would we fly to thy ruggedmountains, and find in the kindly virtues ofthine inhabitants, wherewithal to banishmisanthropy, and it may be purchaseoblivion.Noble land! where the chief in his hall--thepeasant in his hut--alike open their armswith sheltering hospitality, to welcome thestranger--where kindness springs from theheart, and dreams not of sordidgain--where courtesy attends superiorrank, without question, but withoutdebasement--where the men are valiant,the women virtuous--where it needed but a
    • few home-spun heroes--an innkeeper anda friar--to rouse up to arms an entirepopulation, and in a brief space to driveback the Gallic foeman! Oh! how do werevert with choking sense of gratitude, tothe years we have spent in thy bosom!Oh! would that we were again treading themountains summit--the rifle ourcomrade--and a rude countryman, ourguide and our companion.In vain! in vain! the net of circumstance isover us!We may struggle! but cannot escape fromits close meshes.We have said that we were at Inspruck atthis period.It was our purpose, on the following
    • morning, to take our departure.With renewed health, and nervesrebraced, we hoped to combatsuccessfully, a world that had alreadystung us.There was a group near the golden-roofedpalace, that attracted our attention. Itconsisted of a father and his five sons.They were dressed in the costume of thecountry; wearing a tapering hat, with blackribbons and feather--a short greenjerkin--a red vest surmounted by broadgreen braces--and short boots tightlylaced to the ancle.They formed a picture of freemountaineers.We left our lodging, and passed them
    • irresolutely twice or thrice.The old man took off his hat to thestranger."Sir! I am of Sand, in Passeyer."Anderl Hofer was my schoolfellow; andthese are my boys, whom I have broughtto see all that remains of him. Oh! Sir! theydid not conquer him, although themurderers shot him on the bastion; but, ashe wrote to Pulher--_his_ friend andmine--it was indeed in the name, and bythe help of the Lord, that he undertook thevoyage,"We paced through the city sorrowfully. Itwas night, as we passed by the church ofthe Holy Cross.Solemn music there arrested our footsteps;
    • and we remembered, that high masswould that night be performed, for the soulof the deceased patriot.We entered, and drew near themausoleum of Maximilian theFirst:--leaning against a colossal statue inbronze, and fixing our eyes on a bas reliefon the tomb: one of twenty-four tablets,wrought from Carraras whitest marble, bythe unrivalled hand of Colin of Malines!One blaze of glory enveloped the grandaltar:--vapours of incense floatedabove:--and the music! oh it went to thesoul!Down! down knelt the assembled throng!Our mind had been previously attuned tomelancholy; it now reeled under itsoppression.
    • We looked around with tearful eye. OldTheodoric of the Goths seemed to frownfrom his pedestal.We turned to the statue against which wehad leant.It was that of a youthful and sinewywarrior.We read its inscription.Artur, Konig Von England"Ah! hast _thou_ too thy representative, mycountry?"We looked around once more.The congregation were prostrate beforethe mysterious Host; and we alone stood
    • up, gazing with profound awe andreverence on the mystic rite.The rough caps of the women almost hidtheir fair brows. In the upturned features ofthe men, what a manly, yet what a devoutexpression reigned!Melodiously did the strains proceed fromthe brazen-balustraded orchestra; whilesweet young girls smiled in the chapel ofsilver, as they turned to Heaven theirdeeply-fringed eyes, and invoked pardonfor their sins.Alas! alas! that such as these _should_ err,even in thought! that our feelings should sooften mislead us,--that our veryrefinement, should bring temptation in itstrain,--and our fervent enthusiasm, but toofrequently terminate in vice and crime!
    • Our whole soul was unmanned! and welldo we remember the morbid prayer, thatwe that night offered to the throne ofmercy."Pity us! pity us! Creator of all!"With thousands around, who love--whoreverence--whose hearts, in unison withours, tremble at death, yet sigh foreternity;--who gaze with eye aspiring,although dazzled--as, the curtain of futurityuplifted, fancy revels in the gloriousvisions of beatitude:--even here, oh God!hear our prayer and pity us!"We are moulded, though faintly, in anangels form. Endow us with an angelsprinciples. For ever hush the impureswellings of passion! lull the stormy tide ofcontending emotions! let notcircumstances overwhelm!
    • "Receive our past griefs: the griefs ofmanhood, engrafted on youth; acceptthese tears, falling fast and bitterly! takethem as past atonement,--as mutewitnesses that we feel:--that reasonslumbers not, although passion maymislead:--that gilded temptation mayovercome, and gorgeous pleasureintoxicate:--but that sincere repentance,and bitter remorse, are visitants too."Oh guide and pity us!"A cheerless dawn was breaking, and athick damp mist was lazily hanging on thewaters surface, as our travellers waved thehand to Venice."Fare thee well!" said George, as he rosein the gondola to catch a last glimpse ofthe Piazzetta, "sea girt city! decayed
    • memorial of patrician splendour, andplebeian debasement! of national glory,blended with individualdegradation!--fallen art thou, but fair! Itwas not with freshness of heart, I reachedthee:--I dwelt not in thee, with that jocundspirit, whose every working or gives thelip a smile, or moistens the eye of feelingwith a tear."Sad were my emotions! but sadder still, asI recede from thy shores, bound on adistant pilgrimage. Acm� dear Acm�would I were with thee!"Passing through Treviso, they stopped atCastel Franco, which presents one of thebest specimens of an Italian town, andItalian peasantry, that a stranger can meetwith.At Bassano, they failed not to visit the
    • Municipal Hall, where are the principalpictures of Giacomo da Ponte, called afterhis native town.His style is peculiar.His pictures are dark to an excess, withhere and there a vivid light, introducedwith wonderful effect.From this town, the ascent of the mountainstowards Ospedale is commenced; and theroute is one full of interest.On the right, lay a low range of country,adorned with vineyards; beyond which,the mountains rose in a precipitous ridge,and closed the scene magnificently.The Brenta was then reached, andcontinued to flow parallel with the road, asfar as eye could extend.
    • Farther advanced, the mountainspresented a landscape morevaried:--_here_ chequered with hamlets,whose church hells re-echoed in mellowharmony: there--the only break to theirmajesty, being the rush of the river, as itformed rolling cascades in its rapid route;or beat in sparkling foam, against the largejagged rocks, which opposed its progress.At one while, came shooting down thestream, some large raft of timber, mannedby adventurous navigators, who, withgraceful dexterity, guided their roughbark, clear of the steep banks, andfrequent fragments of rock;--at another--asif to mark a road little frequented, a sharpturn would bring them on some sandalleddamsel, sitting by the road side, adjustingher ringlets. Detected in her toilet, therewas a mixture of frankness and modesty, in
    • the way in which she would turn away ablushing face, yet neglect not, with nativecourtesy, to incline the head, and wave thesun-burnt hand.From Ospedale, nearing the bold castle ofPergini, which effectually commands thepass; the travellers descended throughregions of beauty, to the ancient Tridentumof Council celebrity.The metal roof of its Duomo was glitteringin the sunshine; and the Adige was swiftlysweeping by its fortified walls.Leaving Trent, they reached San Michele,nominally the last Italian town on thefrontier; but the German language hadalready prepared them for a change ofcountry.The road continued to wind by the Adige,
    • and passing through Lavis, and Bronzoli,the brothers halted for the night at Botzen,a clean German town, watered by theEisach.The following days journey, was one thatfew can take, and deem their timemisspent.Mossy cliffs--flowing cascades--"chieflesscastles breaking stern farewells"--all thesewere met, and met again, as throughBrixen, they reached the village of M�lks.They had intended to have continued theirroute; but on drawing up at the post-house,were so struck with the gaiety of the scene,that they determined to remain for thenight.Immediately in rear of the small garden ofthe inn, and with a gentle slope upwards, a
    • wide piece of meadow land extended. Onits brow, was pitched a tent, or rather, amany-coloured awning; and, beside it, apole adorned with flags. This was thestation for expert riflemen, who aimed insuccession at a fluttering bird, held by asilken cord.The sloping bank of the hill was coveredwith spectators.Age looked on with sadness, and mournedfor departed manhood--youth with envy,and sighed for its arrival.After seeing their bedrooms, George leanton Henrys arm, and, crossing the garden,they took a by-path, which led towards thetent.The strangers were received with respectand cordiality.
    • Seats were brought, and placed near thescene of contest.The trial of skill over, the victor tookadvantage, of his right, and selected hispartner from the fairest of the peasantgirls.Shrill pipes struck up a waltz--a little blindboy accompanied these on amandolin--and in a brief space, the hillsflat summit was swarming with laughingdancers.Nor was youth alone enlisted inTerpsichores service.The mother joined in the same dance withthe daughter; and not unfrequently trippedwith foot as light.
    • Twilight came on, and the patriarchs of thevillage, and with them our travellers,adjourned to the inn.The matrons led away their reluctantcharges, and the youth of the village aloneprotracted the revels.The brothers seated themselves at aseparate table, and watched the villagesupper party, with some interest.Bowls of thick soup, with fish swimming inbutter, and fruit floating in cream, weresuccessively placed in the middle of thetable.Each old man produced his family spoon,and helped himself with primitivesimplicity:--then lighted his pipe, and toldhis long tale, till he had exhausted himselfand his hearers.
    • Nor must we forget the comely waiter.A bunch of keys hanging on one side,--alarge leathern purse on the other--with along boddice, and something like ahoop--she really resembled, save that hercostume was more homely, one of theportraits of Vandyke.The brothers left M�lks by sunrise, andwere not long, ere they reached thesummit of the Brenner, the loftiest point ofthe Tyrol.From the beautiful town of Gries,embosomed in the deep valley, until theytrod the steep Steinach, the mountainscenery at each step become moreinteresting. The road was cut on the face ofa mountain. On one side, frowned themountains dark slope; on the other, lay a
    • deep precipice, down which the eyefearfully gazed, and saw naught but thedark fir trees far far beneath. Dividing thatdense wood, a small stream, entangled inthe dark ravine, glided on in gracefulwindings, and looked more silvery from itscontrast with the sombre forest.At the Steinach Pietro pulled up, to showthe travellers the capital of the Tyrol, andto point in the distance to Hall, famous forits salt works.Casting a hasty glance, on the romanticvale beneath them:--the fairest and mostextensive in the northern recesses of theAlps, Sir Henry desired his driver tocontinue his journey.They rapidly descended, and passing bythe column, commemorative of the repulseof the French and Bavarian armies, soon
    • found themselves the inmates of an hotel inInspruck.
    • Chapter X.The Students Stories.
    • "The lilacs, where the robins built, Andwhere my brother set The laburnum onhis birth-day-- _The tree_ is living yet."At Inspruck, Delm�had the advantage of azealous, if not an appropriate guide, in thered-faced landlord of the hotel, whoseyouth had been passed in stirring times,which had more than once, required theaid of his arm, and which promised to taxhis tongue, to the last day of his life.He knew all the heroes of the Tyroleserevolution--if revolution it can becalled--and had his tale to tell of each.He had got drunk with Hofer,--had visitedJoseph Speckbacker, when hid in his ownstable,--and had confessed more than onceto Haspinger, the fighting Capuchin.
    • His stories were very characteristic; and, ifthey did not breathe all the poetry ofpatriotism, were at least honest versions,of exploits performed in as pure anddisinterested a spirit, as any that have evergraced the sacred name of Liberty.After seeing all its sights, and making anexcursion to some glaciers in itsneighbourhood, Delm�and George left thecapital of the Tyrol, to proceed by easystages to Munich.In the first days route, they made thepassage of the Zirl, which has justly beenlauded; and Pietro failed not to point to acrucifix, placed on a jutting rock, whichserves to mark the site of Maximilianscave.The travellers took a somewhat latebreakfast, at the guitar-making Mittelwald,
    • where chance detained them later thanusual. They were still at some distancefrom their sleeping place, the hamlet ofWallensee, when the rich hues of sunsetwarned Pietro, that if he would not bebenighted, he must urge on his jadedhorses.The suns decline was glorious. For a time,vivid streaks of crimson and of gold,crowned the summits of the heavingpurple mountains. Gradually, these streaksbecame fainter, and died away, androlling, slate-coloured clouds, hungheavily in the west.The scene and the air seemed to turn on asudden, both cold and grey; and, as theroad wound through umbrageous forestsof pine, night came abruptly upon them;and it was a relief to the eye, to note themany bright stars, as they shone above the
    • tops of the lofty trees.A boding stillness reigned, on which thesound of their carriage wheels ungratefullybroke. The rustling of each individualbough had an intonation of its own; and thedeep notes of the woodman, endeavouringto forget the thrilling legends of his land,mingled fitfully with the hollow gusts,which came moaning through the leaflessbranches below.Hist! can it be the boisterous revel of the_forst geister_, that meets his ear? or is itbut the chirp of insects, replying frombrake to underwood?Woodman! stay not thy carol!Yon sound _may_ be the wild laugh of theHolz K�ig! Better for thee, to deem it thewhine of thine own dog, looking from the
    • cottage door, and awaiting but thypresence, to share in the homely meal.Arrived on the summit of the hill, the lightsof the hamlet at length glistened beneaththem. The tired steeds, as if aware of thenear termination of their labours, shooktheir rough manes, and jingled their bellsin gladness.An abrupt descent--and they halted, at theinn facing the lake.And here may we notice, that it has been asource of wonder to us, that Englishtourists, whose ubiquity is great, have notoftener been seen straying, by the side ofthe lake of Wallensee.A sweeter spot exists not;--whether werove by its margin, and perpetrate asonnet; limn some graceful tree, hanging
    • over its waters; or gaze on its unruffledsurface, and, noting its aspect so serene,preach from that placid text, peace to thewearied breast.They were shown into a room in the inn,already thronged with strangers. Thesewere students on their way to Heidelberg.They were sitting round a table, almostenveloped in smoke; and were hymningpraises to their loved companion--beer.As being in harmony with the moustaches,beard, and bandit propensities--whichtrue b�rschen delight to cultivate--theyreceived the strangers with an unfriendlystare, and continued to vociferate theirchorus.Sir Henry, a little dismayed at the prospectbefore them, called for the landlord and
    • his bill of fare; and had the pleasure ofdiscovering, that the provisions had beenconsumed, and that two hours wouldelapse, before more could be procured.At this announcement, Delm�lookedsomewhat blank. One of the students,observing this, approached, andapologising, in English, for their voracity,commenced conversing with the landlord,as to the best course to be pursuedtowards obtaining supper.His comrades, seeing one of their numberspeaking with the travellers, threw offsome part of their reserve, and made wayfor them at the table.George and Henry accepted the profferedseats, although they declined joining thedrinking party.
    • The students, however, did not appear atease. As if to relieve their embarrassment,one of them addressed the young man,with whom Sir Henry had conversed."Carl! it is your turn now! if you have not asong, we must have an original story."Carl at once complied, and related thefollowing.
    • The First Story.Perhaps some of you remember FritzHartmann and his friend Leichtberg. Theywere the founders of the last new libertyclub, and were famous at _renowning_.These patriots became officers of theImperial Guard, and at Vienna were soonknown for their friendship and theirgallantries.Fritz had much sentiment and imagination;but some how or other, this did notpreserve him from inconstancy.If he was always kind and gentle, he wasnot always faithful.His old college chums had the privilege ofjoking him on these subjects; and we
    • always did so without mercy. Fritz wouldsometimes combat our assertions, but theyordinarily made him laugh so much, that astranger would have deemed he assentedto their truth.One night after the opera, the friendssupped together at Fritzs.I was of the party, and brought for myshare a few bottles of Johannisberg, thathad been sent me by my uncle from thelast vintage. Over these we got more thanusually merry, and sang all the songs andchoruses of Mother Heidelberg, till thesmall hours arrived. The sitting room wewere in, communicated on one side withthe bedroom;--on the other, with a littlecloset, containing nothing but some oldtrunks.This last was closed, but there was a small
    • aperture in the door, over which was aslight iron lattice work.The officer who had last tenanted Fritzsquarters, had kept pheasants there, andhad had this made on purpose.After one of our songs, Leichtbergattacked Fritz on the old score."Fritz! you very Werter of sentiment! I wasamazed to see you with no loves to-night atthe opera. Where is the widow with sandyhair? or the actress who gave your_kirschenwasser_ such a benefit? whereour sallow-faced friend? or more than all,where may the fair Pole be who sells suchcharming fruit? Fritz! Fritz! your suddenattachment to grapes is too ominous.""Come, Leichtberg!" said Hartmann,laughing, "this is really not fair. Do you
    • know I think myself very constant, and asto the Pole, I have thought of little else forthese three months.""Not so fast! not so fast! Master Hartmann.Was it not on Wednesday week I met youarm in arm with the actress? Were you notwaltzing with the widow at the Tivoli? haveyou not"--"Come, come!" said Fritz, reddening, "letus say no more. I confess to having made afool of myself with the actress, but shebegged and prayed to see me once more,ere we parted for ever. With thisexception----""Yes, yes!" interrupted Leichtberg, "I knowyou, Master Fritz, and all your evil doings.Have you heard of our Polish affaire decoeur, Carl?", and he turned to me.
    • "No!" replied I, "let me hear it.""Well, you must know that a certain friendof ours is very economical, and markets forhimself. He bargains for fruit and flowerswith the peasant girls, and the prettiestalways get his orders, and bring up theirbaskets, and--we will say no more. Well!our friend meets a foreign face, darkeye--Greek contour--and figureindescribable. She brings him home herwell arranged bouquets. He swears herlips are redder than her roses--her browwhiter than lilies--and her breath--whichhe stoops to inhale--far sweeter than herjasmines. To his amazement, the youngflower girl sees no such great attractions inthe Imperial Guardsman; leaves hernosegays,--throws his Napoleon, which hehad asked her to change, in his face,--andmakes her indignant exit. Our sentimentalfriend finds out her home, and half her
    • history;--renews his flattering tales--piquesher pride,--rouses her jealousy;--andmakes her love him, bon gr�-mal gr�better than either fruit or flowers."Fritz swears eternal constancy, and keepsit, as I have already told you, with theactress and the sandy haired widow."Leichtberg told this story inimitably, andFritz laughed as much as I did. At lengthwe rose to wish him good night, and sawhim turn to his bedroom door, followed bya Swiss dog, which always slept under hisbed. The rest of the story we heard fromhis dying lips.It was as near as he could guess, betweentwo and three in the morning, that heawoke with the impression that some onewas near him. For a time he lay restlessand ill at ease; with the vague helpless
    • feeling, that often attacks one, after a goodsupper.Fritz had just made up his mind to ascribeto this cause, all his nervousness; whensomething seemed to drop in the adjoiningroom; and his dog, starting to its feet,commenced barking furiously.Again all was still.He got up for a moment, but fancying heheard a footstep on the stair, concludedthat the noise proceeded from one of theinmates of the house, who was come homelater than usual.But Fritz could not sleep; and his dogseemed to share his feelings; for he turnedon his side restlessly, and occasionallygave a quick solitary bark.
    • Suddenly a conviction flashed acrossHartmann, that there was indeed some onein the chamber.His curtain stirred.He sprang from his bed, and reached histinder box. As the steel struck sparks fromthe flint, these revealed the face of theintruder.It was the young Polish girl.A fur cloak was closely folded aroundher;--her face was deadly pale;--with onehand she drew back her long dark hair,while she silently uplifted the other.Our friends last impression was his fallingback, at the moment his dog made aspring at the girl.
    • The inmates of the house were alarmed.His friends were all sent for.I arrived among the earliest. What a sightmet me!The members of the household were sostupefied that they had done nothing. FritzHartmann lay on the floor insensible:--hisnight shirt steeped in blood, still flowingfrom a mortal wound in his breast.At his feet, moaning bitterly, its fangs andmouth filled with mingled fur and gore, laythe Swiss dog, with two or three deepgashes across the throat. In the adjoiningroom, thrown near the door, was theinstrument of Fritzs death--one of theknives we had used the evening before.Beside it, lay a womans cloak, the furliterally dripping with blood.
    • Fritz lingered for five hours. Before death,he was sensible, and told us what I havestated:--and acknowledged that he hadloved the girl, more than her station in lifemight seem to warrant.Of course, the young Pole had beenconcealed in the closet, and heardLeichtbergs sallies. Love and jealousyeffected the rest.We never caught her, although we had allthe Vienna police at our beck; andaccurate descriptions of her person wereforwarded to the frontiers.We were not quite certain as to her fate,but we rather suppose her to haveescaped by a back garden; in which caseshe must have made a most dangerousleap; and then to have passed as a courier,
    • riding as such into Livonia.Where she obtained the money or meansto effect this, God knows. She must havebeen a heroine in her way, for this dog isnot easily overpowered, and yet--lookhere! these scars were given him by thatyoung girl.The student whistled to a dog at his feet,which came and licked his hand, while heshowed the wounds in his throat."I call him Hartmann," continued he, "aftermy old friend. His father sent him to mejust after the funeral, and Leichtberg hasgot his meershaum." * * * * *The students listened attentively to thestory, refilling their pipes during its
    • progress, with becoming gravity. Carlturned towards his right hand neighbour."Wilhelm! I call on you!"The student, whom he addressed, passedhis hand through his long heard, and thuscommenced.
    • The Second Story.My fathers brother married at Lausanne, inthe Canton de Vaud, and resided there. Hedied early, and left one son; who, as youmay suppose, was half a Frenchman. Inspite of that, I thought Caspar vonHazenfeldt a very handsome fellow. Hischestnut hair knotted in curls over hisshoulders. His eyes, the veins of histemples, and I would almost say, his veryteeth, had a blueish tint, that I have noticedin few men; and which must, I think, be thepeculiar characteristic of his complexion.When engaged in pleasure parties, eitherpic-nicing at the signal, or promenading inthe evening on Mont Benon, or sittingt�e-�t�e at Languedoc, he had no eyes orears but for Caroline de Werner.He waltzed with her--he talked with
    • her--and he walked with her--until he hadfairly talked, walked, and waltzed himselfinto love.She was the daughter of a rich old colonelof the Empire:--he was the poor son of apoorer widow. What could he do? Casparvon Hazenfeldt could gaze on the house ofthe old soldier; but the avenue of elms, thewaving corn-fields, and the luxuriantgardens, told him that the heiress ofBeau-S�our could never he his.He was one evening sitting on a stone, in alittle ruined chapel, near the house of hisbeloved; ruminating as usual on his ill fate,and considering which would be the betterplan, to mend his fortunes by travel, ormar them by suicide;--when an elderlygentleman, dressed in a plain suit of black,appeared hat in hand before him.
    • After the usual compliments, they enteredinto conversation, and at last, havingwalked for some distance, towardsHazenfeldts house, agreed to meet againat the chapel on the next evening.Suffice it to say that they often met, and asoften parted, on the margin of the littlestream, that ran before the door ofCaspars mothers house:--that theybecame great friends;--and that the youngman confided the tale of his love, hopes,and miseries, to the sympathising senior.At last _the old gentleman_, for such hereally was, told Caspar that he would helphim in a trice, through all his difficulties."There is one condition, Caspar!" said he,"but that is a mere trifle. You are young,and would be quite happy, were it not forthis love affair of yours:--you sleep
    • soundly, you seek and quit your bed early,and you care not for night-roving.Henceforth, lend me your body from ten atnight, until two in the morning, and Ipromise that Caroline de Werner shall beyours. Here she is!" continued he, as heopened his snuff box, and showed the lidto Caspar, "here she is!"And sure enough, there she was on theinside of the lid, apparently reading to thegouty old colonel, as he sat in his easychair in the petit salon of Beau-Sejour.One evening, the old gentleman delightedCaspar, by telling him that he hadauthority from Colonel de Werner, tobring a guest to a ball at Beau-S�our, andby begging Caspar to be his shade--to useour Continental expression--on theoccasion.
    • Caspar von Hazenfeldt and he becamegreater friends than ever, since theirsingular contract had been made; formade it was in a thoughtless unguardedmoment.Hazenfeldt was introduced to Caroline indue form, and engaged her for the firstdance.Before the quadrille began, his friend inblack came to present his compliments,and to say that he had never seen a morebeautiful pair."Caspar!" continued he, "when your danceis over, give me a few minutes in the nextroom. We will chat together, and sip ournegus."Caspar _did_ so, and _did_ sip his negus.The little gentleman in black, was very
    • facetious, and very affable."Are you not going to dance again,Caspar? Look at all those pretty girls,waiting for partners! Why do you not leadone to the country dance?"As he ended speaking, a sylph-like figure,with long golden ringlets, floated pastthem."I can, and I will," replied Caspar,laughing, as he took the fair-haired girl bythe hand, and led her to the dance.He turned to address his friend in triumph,but he had disappeared.The dance was over, and Caspar led thestranger towards a silken ottoman."Will you not try one waltz?" said the
    • beautiful girl, as she shook her ringlets,over his flushed cheek; "but I must not askyou, if you are tired.""How can I refuse?" rejoined Caspar.Caroline was forgotten, as his partnersgolden hair floated on his shoulders, andher soft white arms were twined aroundhim, as they danced the mazy coquettishwaltz, which was then the fashion inLausanne."How warm these rooms are!" sheexclaimed at last. "The moon is up: let uswalk in the avenue."Caspar assented; for he grew fonder of hisnew partner, and more forgetful ofCaroline. She pressed closer and closer tohis side. A distant clock struck ten.Entwined in her tresses, encircled in her
    • arms, he sunk senseless to the ground.When Caspar recovered from the trance,into which he had fallen, the cold morningbreeze, that precedes the dawn, wasfreshening his cheek; a few faint streaks onthe horizon, reflected the colours of thecoming sun; and the night birds werereturning tired to the woods, as the daybirds were merrily preparing for theirflight. He was not where he had fallen: hewas sitting on a rustic bench, beneath amoss-grown rock.Caroline de Werner was beside him.Her white frock was torn; her hair washanging in Bacchante curls, twined withthe ivy that had wreathed it; her eyesglared wildly, and blood bubbled fromher mouth. Her hand was fast locked in thatof Hazenfeldt.
    • "Caroline!" he exclaimed, in a tone ofwonderment, as one who awakes from adeep sleep, "Caroline! why are we here?what means this disorder?""You now speak," said she, "as did myCaspar,"Caroline de Werner is in a mad-housenear Vevay:--the man in black has notbeen seen since he disappeared from theball room of Beau-S�our:--my cousin,Caspar von Hazenfeldt, took to wanderingalone over the Swiss mountains; andbefore three months had elapsed, from thetime he met _the old gentleman_, wasburied in the fall of an avalanche, near thepass of the Gemmi. * * * * *
    • Supper was not ready as the studentfinished this story; and George proposed astroll. The change from the heated room tothe margin of the lake, was a mostrefreshing one. As the brothers silentlygazed upwards, a young lad approached,and accosted them."Gentlemen! I have seen the horses fed,and they are now lying down.""Have you?" said Delm� drily."A very fine night! gentlemen! Perhaps youhave heard of the famous echo, on theother side of the lake. It will be a goodhour, I am sure, before your supper isready. My boat lies under that old tree. Ifyou like it, I will loose the chain, and rowyou over."The brothers acquiesced. They were just
    • in the frame of mind for an unforeseenexcursion. The motion of the boat, too,would be easy for George, and he mightthere unrestrainedly give way to hisexcited feelings, or commune ungazed on,with the current of his thoughts.A thin crescent of a moon had risen. It wassilvering the tops of the overhangingboughs, and was quiveringly mirrored onthe light ripple. George leant against theside of the boat, and listened to the liquidmusic, as the broad paddle threw back theresisting waters.How soothing is the hour of night to thewounded spirit!The obscurity which shrouds nature,seems to veil even mans woes--the harshoutline of his sufferings is discerned nomore. Grief takes the place of
    • despair--pensive melancholy of sorrow.As we gaze around, and feel the chill airdamp each ringlet on the pallid brow;know that _that_ hour hath cast a shade oneach inanimate thing around us; we feelresigned to our bereavements, andconfess, in our hearts humility, that nochanges _should_ overwhelm, and that nogrief _should_ awaken repinings.To many a bruised and stricken spirit,night imparts a grateful balm.In the morning, the feelings are toofresh;--oblivion is exchanged for conscioussuffering;--the merriment of the featheredsongsters seems to us as a taunt;--oursympathies are not with waking nature.The glare and splendour of noon, bid usrecal _our_ hopes, and their signaloverthrow. The zenith of days lustre meets
    • us as a wilful mockery.Eve may bring rest, but on her breast ismemory. But at night! when the mental andbodily energies are alike worn out by theinternal struggle;--when hushed is eachsound--softened each feature--dimmedeach glaring hue;--a calm which is notdeceptive, steals over us, and we regardour woes as the exacted penalty of ourerring humanity.Calumniated night! to one revelling in thefull noon-tide of hope and gladness:--to theone, to whom a guilty conscienceincessantly whispers, "Think! but sleepnot!"--to such as these, horrors may appearto bound thy reign!--but to him who hathloved, and who hath lost,--to many a gentlebut tried spirit, thou comest in the guise ofa sober, and true friend.
    • The boat for some time, kept by the steepbank, under the shadows of the trees. As itemerged from this, towards where themoon-beams cast their light on the water,the night breeze rustled through thefoliage, and swept a yet green leaf fromone of the drooping boughs.It fell on the surface of the lake, andGeorges eye quickly followed it."Look at that unfaded leaf! Henry. What agentle breeze it was, that parted it from itsfellows! To me it resembles a youthful soul,cut off in its prime, and wanderingmateless in eternity."Sir Henry only sighed.The young rower silently pursued hiscourse across the lake; running his boataground, on a small pebbly strand near a
    • white cottage.Jumping nimbly from his seat, andfastening the boat to a large stone, theguide, followed by the brothers, shoutedto the inmates of the cottage, and violentlykicked at its frail door.An upper window was opened, and theguardian of the echo--a valorous divine ina black night-cap--demanded theirbusiness. This was soon told. The priestdescended--struck a light--unbarred thedoor--and with the prospect of gain beforehim, fairly forgot that he had been arousedfrom a deep slumber.They were soon ushered into the kitchen.An aged crone descended, and raking thecharcoal embers, kindled a flame, bywhich the rower was enabled to light hispipe.
    • The young gentleman threw himself intoan arm chair, and puffed away with trueGerman phlegm. The old man bustledabout, in order to obtain the necessarymaterials for loading an ancient cannon;and occupied himself for some minutes, indriving the charge into the barrel.This business arranged, he led the waytowards the beach; and aided by the oldwoman, pointed his warlike weapon. Ashort pause--it was fired! Rebounding fromhill to hill, the echo took its course,startling the peasant from his couch, andthe wolf from his lair.Again all was still;--then came its distantreverberation--a tone deep andsubdued--dying away mournfully on theear.
    • "How wonderfully fine!" said George, "butlet us embark, for I feel quite chilled.""I will run for the youngster," replied hisbrother. As he moved towards the cottage,the priest seized him by the collar of thecoat, and held up the torch, by which hehad fired the cannon."This echo is indeed a wonderful one! Ithas nineteen distinct repetitions; the firsttwelve being heard from _this_ side of avalley, which, were it day, I would pointout; the other seven, on the opposite side.Tradition tells us, that nineteen castles inancient times, stood near the spot; thateach of these laid claim to the echo; andthat, as it passes the ruin, where oncedwelt Sigismund of the Bloody Hand, thechief springs from the round iviedtower--waves his sword thrice, the dropsof blood falling from its hilt as he does
    • so--and proclaims aloud, that whosoeverdare gainsay"--"I am sorry to leave you," interrupted SirHenry, as he shook him off, "particularly atthis interesting part of the story; but it islate, and my brother feels unwell, and Iwish to go to the cottage to call our guide."Delm�was pursued by the echoselucidator, who being duly remunerated,allowed Sir Henry to accompany the guidetowards the boat. George was not standingwhere he had left him. Delm�steppedforward, and nearly fell over a prostratebody.It was the motionless one of his brother.He gave a shriek of anguish; flew towardsthe house, and in a moment, was again onthe spot, bearing the priests torch. He
    • raised his brothers head. One hand wasextended over the body, and fell to theearth like a clod of clay as it was.He gazed on that loved face. In that gaze,how much was there to arrest his attention.On those features, death had stamped hisseal.But there was a thought, which bore theascendancy over this in Delm�s mind. Itwas a thought which roseinvoluntarily,--one for which he could not_then_ account, and cannot now. For someseconds, it swayed his every emotion. Hefelt the conviction--deep, undefinable--thatthere was indeed a soul, to "shame thedoctrine of the Sadducee."He deemed that on those lineaments, thiswas the language forcibly engraven! The
    • features were still and fixed:--the browalone revealed a dying sense of pain.The lips! how purple were they! and theeye, that erst flashed so freely:--the yellowfilm of death had dimmed its lustre.The legs were apart, and one of the feetwas in the lake. Henry tried to chafe hisbrothers forehead.In vain! in vain! he knew it was in vain!He let the head fall, and buried his face inhis hands.He turned reproachfully, to gaze on thatcloudless Heaven, where the moon, andthe brilliant stars, and the falling meteor,seemed to hold a bright and giddy festival.He clasped his hands in mute agony. For a
    • brief moment--his dark eye seeming toinvite His wrath--he dared to arraign themercy of God, who had taken what he hadmade.It was but for a moment he thus thought.He had watched that light of life, until itsexistence was almost identified with hisown. He had seen it flicker--had viewed itreillumed--blaze with increasedbrilliancy--fade--glimmer--and fade. Now!where was it?A bitter cry escaped! his limbs trembledconvulsively, and could no longer supporthim.He fell senseless beside his brother.
    • Chapter XIThe Student
    • "What is my being? _thou_ hast ceased tobe."Carl Obers was as enthusiastic a being asever Germany sent forth. Brought up in alone recess in the Hartz mountains, withneither superiors nor equals to communewith, he first entered the miniature world,as a student at Heidelberg.His education had been miserablyneglected. He had read much; but hisreading had been without order andwithout system.The deepest metaphysics, and the wildestromances had been devoured insuccession; until the young man hardlyknew which was the real, or which was thevisionary world:--the one he actually livedin, or the one he was always brooding
    • over:--where souls are bound together bymysterious and hidden links, and wheremen sell themselves to Satan;--the penaltymerely being:--to walk through life, andthrow no shadow.Enrolled amongst a select corps ofbr�schen, warm and true; his ear wascaught by the imposing jargon ofpatriotism; and his imagination dwelt onthose high sounding words, "the rights ofman;"--until he became the staunchadvocate and unflinching votary of a stateof things, which, for aught we know, _may_exist in one of the planets, but which nevercan, and which never will exist on thisearth of ours."What!" would exclaim our enthusiast,"have we not all our bodily and our mental,energies? Doth not dame Nature, in ourbirth, as in our death, deal out impartial
    • justice? She may endow me with strongerlimbs, than another:--our feelings as wegrow up, may not be chained down to oneservile monotony;--the lip of theprecocious cynic"--this was addressed to ayoung matter of fact Englishman--"whosneers at my present animation, may notcurl with a smile as often as my own; butlet our powers of acting be equal,--ourprerogatives the same."Carl Obers, with his youth and his vivacity,carried his auditors--a little knot of beerdrinking liberty-mongers--_with_ him, and_for_ him, in all he said; and the oratorwould look round, with conscious power,and considerable satisfaction; and flatterhimself, that his specious arguments wereas unanswerable, as they were thenunanswered.Many of our generation may remember
    • the unparalleled enthusiasm, which, likean electric flash, spread over the civilisedworld; as Greece armed herself, to shakeoff her Moslem ruler.It was one that few could help sharing.To almost all, is Greece a magic word. Herromantic history--the legacies she has leftus--our early recollections, identifyingwith her existence as a nation, all that isgood and glorious;--no wonder thesethings should have shed a bright haloaround her,--and have made each breastdeeply sympathise with her in herunwonted struggle for freedom.Carl Obers did not hear of this strugglewith indifference. He at once determinedto give Greece the benefit of hisco-operation, and the aid of his slendermeans. He immediately commenced an
    • active canvass amongst his personalfriends, in order to form a band ofvolunteers, who might be efficient, andworthy of the cause on which his heart wasset.He now first read an useful lesson fromlifes unrolled volume.Many a voice, that had rung triumphantlythe changes on liberty, was silent now, ordeprecated the active attempt to establishit.The hands that waved freely in thedebating room, were not the readiest tograsp the swords hilt. Many who hadpoetically expatiated on the splendours ofmodern Greece; on reflection preferredthe sunny views of the Neckar, to theprospect of eating honey on Hymettus.
    • Youth, however, is the season forenterprise; and Carl, with twenty-threecomrades, was at length on his way toTrieste.He had been offered the command of thelittle band, but had declined it, with thesage remark, that "as they were about tofight for equality, it was their business topreserve it amongst themselves."A slight delay in procuring a vessel, tookplace at Trieste. This delay caused adefection of eight of the party.The remaining students embarked in amiserable Greek brigantine, and afterencountering some storms in the Adriatic,thought themselves amply repaid, as thepurple hills of Greece rose before them.On their landing, they felt disappointed.
    • No plaudits met them; no vivas rung in theair: but a Greek soldier filched Carlsvalise, and on repairing to thecommandant of the town, they were toldthat no redress could be afforded them.Willing to hope that the scum of theirregular troops was left behind, and thatbetter feeling, and stricter discipline,existed nearer the main body; our studentsleft on the morrow;--placed themselvesunder the command of one of the notedleaders of the Revolution:--and had shortlythe satisfaction of crossing swords with theTurk.For some months, the party went throughextraordinary hardships;--engaged in aseries of desultory but sanguinaryexpeditions;--and gradually learnt todespise the nation, in whose behalf they
    • were zealously combating.At the end of these few months, what achange in the hopes and prospects of thelittle band! Some had rotted in battle field,food for vultures; others had died ofmalaria in Greek hamlets, without onefriend to close their eyes, or one hand toproffer the cooling draught to quench thedying thirst;--two were missing--hadperhaps been murdered by thepeasants;--and five only remained, greatlydisheartened, cursing the nation, and theirown individual folly.Four of the five turned homewards.Carl was left alone, but fought on.Now there was a Greek, Achilles Metax�byname, who had attached himself to Carlsfortunes. In person, he was the very model
    • of an ancient hero. He had the capaciousbrow, the eye of fire, and the full blackbeard, descending in wavy curls to hischest.The man was brave, too, for Carl and hehad fought together.It so happened, that they slept one night ina retired convent. Their hardships latterlyhad been great, and the complaints ofAchilles had been unceasing inconsequence. In the morning Carl rose,and found that his clothes and arms hadvanished, and that his friend was absentalso.Carl remained long enough to satisfyhimself, that his friend was the culprit; andthen turned towards the sea coast,determined at all hazards to leave Greece.
    • He succeeded in reaching Missolonghi, inthe early part of 1823, shortly after thedeath of Marco Botzaris--being then in astate of perfect destitution, and his mentalsufferings greatly aggravated by theconsciousness, that he had induced somany of his comrades to sacrifice theirlives and prospects in an unworthy cause.At Missolonghi, where Mavrocordatoreigned supreme, he was grudged thepaltry ration of a Suliote soldier, and mighthave died of starvation, had it not been forthe timely interposition of a stranger.Moved by that strangers persuasion, Carlconsented to form one of a contemplatedexpedition against Lepanto; and, had hisillustrious benefactor lived, might havefound a steady friend.As it was, he waited not to hear the funeral
    • oration, delivered by Spiridion Tricoupi;but was on the deck of the vessel that wasto bear him homewards, and shed tears ofmingled grief, admiration, and gratitude,as thirty-seven minute guns, fired from thebattery, told Greece and Carl Obers, thatthey had lost Byron, their best friend.Carl reached Germany, a wiser man thanwhen he left it.He found his father dead, and he came intopossession of his small patrimony; but feltgreatly, as all men do who are suddenlyremoved from active pursuits, the want ofregular and constant employment.He was glad to renew his intercourse withhis old University; and found himselfgreatly looked up to by the students, whowere never wearied with listening to hisaccounts of the Morea, and of the
    • privations he had there encountered.We need hardly inform our readers, thatCarl Obers was one of the pedestrianstudents at Wallensee, and was indeed theidentical narrator of the Vienna story.We left George and his brother, on theshore below the priests cottage. The onewas laid cold and motionless--the otherwished that _he_ also were so.Immediately on Delm�s falling, the youngguide alarmed the priest--brought himdown to the spot--pointed to thebrothers--threw himself into the boat--andpaddled swiftly across the lake, to alarmthe guests at the inn.It was with feelings of deepcommiseration, that Carl looked on the twobrothers. He was the only person present,
    • whose time was comparatively his own; hespoke English, although imperfectly; andhe owed a deep debt of gratitude to anEnglishman.These circumstances seemed to point himout, as the proper person to attend to thewants of the unfortunate traveller; and CarlObers mentally determined, that he wouldnot leave Delm� as long as he had it in hispower to befriend him, Sir HenryDelm�was completely unmanned by hisbereavement. He had been little preparedfor such a severe loss; although it is morethan probable, that Georges life had longbeen hanging on a thread, which a singlemoment might snap.The medical men had been singularlysanguine in his case, for it is rarely thatdisease of the heart attacks one so young;but it now seemed evident, that even had
    • not anxiety of mind, and greatconstitutional irritability, hastened the fatalresult, that poor George could never havehoped to have survived to a ripe old age.There was much in his character at anytime, to endear him to an only brother. Asit was, Delm�had seen George under suchtrying circumstances--had entered so fullyinto his feelings and sufferings--that thisabrupt termination to his brotherssorrows, appeared to Sir Henry Delm� tobring with it a sable pall, that enveloped indarkness his own future life and prospects.The remains of poor George were placedin a small room, communicating with oneintended for Sir Henry.Here Delm�shut himself up, brooding overhis loss, and permitting no one to intrudeon his privacy.
    • Carl had offered his services, which weregratefully accepted, in making thenecessary arrangements for his brothersobsequies; and Sir Henry, in the solitude ofthe dead mans chamber, could give freescope to a flood of bitter recollections.It may be, that those silent hours of agony,when the brother looked fixedly on thatmoveless face, and implored the departedspirit to breathe its dread and awful secret,were not without their improvingtendency; for haggard and wan as was themourners aspect, there was no outwardsign of quivering, even as he saw the rudecoffin lowered, and as fell on his ear, thecreaking of cords, and that harsh jarringsound, to which there is nothing parallelon earth, the heavy clods falling on thecoffin lid.
    • The general arrangements had beensimple; but Carls directions had beengiven in such a sympathising spirit, thatthey could not be otherwise thanacceptable.About the church-yard itself, there isnothing very striking. It is formed round asmall knoll, on the summit of which standsa sarcophagus literally buried in ivy.Beneath this, is the vault of the baronialfamily, that for centuries swayed thedestinies of the little hamlet; but whichfamily has been extinct for some years.Round it are grouped the humbler osieredgraves; over which, in lieu of tomb stones,are placed large black iron crosses,ornamented with brass, and bearing thesimple initials of the bygone dead.
    • Even Delm� with all his ancestral pride,felt that George "slept well."It is true no leaden coffin enclosed hisrelics, nor did the murky vault of hisancestors, open with creaking hinge toreceive another of the race. No escutcheondarkened the porch whence they borehim; and no long train of mournersfollowed his remains to their last home.But there was something in the quiet of thespot, that seemed to Delm�in harmonywith his history; and to promise, that asorrowless world had already opened, onone who had loved so truly, and felt sodeeply in this.Sir Henry returned to the inn, anddarkened his chamber.He had not the heart to prosecute his
    • journey, nor to leave the spot, which heldwhat was to him so dear.Carl Obers attempted to combat hisdespondency; but observing how uselesswere his arguments, wisely allowed hisgrief to take its course.There was one point, in which Delm�wasdecidedly wrong.He could not bring himself, tocommunicate their loss to his sister.Carl pressed this duty frequently on him,but was always met by the same reply."No! no! how can I inflict such a pang?"It is possible the intelligence might havebeen very long in reaching England, had itnot been for a providential circumstance,
    • that occurred shortly after Georgesfuneral.A carriage, whose style and appointmentsbespoke it English, changed horses at theinn at Wallensee. The courier, whileordering the relays, had heard Georgesstory; and touching his hat to the inmatesof the vehicle, retailed it with naturalpathos.On hearing the name of Delm� the ladywas visibly affected. She was an old friendof the family; and as Melicent Dashwood,had known George as a boy.It was not without emotion, that she heardof one so young, and to her so familiar,being thus prematurely called to his lastaccount.The lady and her husband alighted, and
    • sending up their cards, begged to see themourner.The message was delivered; but Delm�without comment or enquiry, at oncedeclined the offer; and it was thoughtbetter not to persist. They were too deeplyinterested, however, not to attempt to beof use. They saw Carl andThompson,--satisfied themselves that SirHenry was in friendly hands; and thankingthe student with warmth and sincerity, forhis attention to the sufferer, exacted apromise, that he would not leave him, aslong as he could in any way be useful.The husband and wife prepared tocontinue their journey; but not before theformer had left his address in Florence,with directions to Carl to writeimmediately, in case he required theassistance of a friend; and the latter had
    • written a long letter to Mrs. Glenallan, inwhich she broke as delicately as shecould, the melancholy and unlooked-fortidings.
    • Chapter XIIThe Letter.
    • "And from a foreign shore Well to thatheart might _hers_ these absent greetingspour."Three weeks had elapsed since Georgesdeath.It would be difficult to depict satisfactorily,the state of Sir Henry Delm�s mind duringthat period. The pride of life appearedcrushed within him. He rarely tookexercise, and when he did, his step wasslow, and his gait tottering.That one terrible loss was ever present tohis mind; and yet his imagination, as ifdisconnected with his feelings, or hismemory, was constantly running riot overvarying scenes of death, and conjuring uprevolting pictures of putrescence anddecay.
    • A black pall, and an odour of corruption,seemed to commingle with eachquick-springing fantasy; and Delm�wouldstart with affright from his own morbidconceptions, as he found himselfinvoluntarily dwelling on the waxenrigidity of death,--following the whiteworm in its unseemly wanderings,--andfinally stripping the frail and disgustingcoat from the disjointed skeleton.Sir Henry Delm�had in truth gone througharduous and trying scenes.The very circumstance that he had toconceal his own feelings, and supportGeorge through his deeper trials, madethe present reaction the more to bedreaded.Certain are we, that trials such as his, are
    • frequently the prevailing causes, of moraland intellectual insanity. Fortunately, SirHenry was endued with a firm mind, andwith nerves of great power of endurance.One morning, at an early hour, Thompsonbrought in a letter.It was from Emily Delm� and as Sir Henrynoted the familiar address, and the broadblack edge, which told that the news of hisbrothers death had reached his sister, hecast it from him with a feeling akin to pain.The next moment, however, he sprangfrom the bed, threw open the shutters, andcommenced reading its contents.
    • EMILYS LETTER.My own dear brother,My heart bleeds for you! But yesterday, wereceived the sad, sad letter. To-day,although blinded with tears, I implore youto remember, that you have not lost yourall! Our bereavement has been great! ourloss heavy indeed. But if a link in the familylove-chain be broken--shall not theremaining ones cling to each other thecloser?My aunt is heart-broken. Clarendon, kindas he is, did not know our George! Alas!that he should be ours no more!My only brother! dwell not with strangers!A sisters arms are ready to clasp you:--asisters sympathy must lighten the load of
    • your sufferings.Think of your conduct! your devotedness!Should not these comfort you?Did you not love and cherish him? did younot--happier than I--soothe his last days?were you not present to the end?From this moment, I shall count each hourthat divides us.On my knees both night and morning, willI pray the Almighty God, who haschastened us, to protect my brother in histravels by sea and land.May we be spared, my dearest Henry, topray together, that HE may bestow on uspresent resignation, and make us dulythankful for blessings which still are ours.
    • Your affectionate sister,EMILY.Delm�read the letter with tearless eye. Forsome time he leant his head on his hand,and thought of his sister, and of the dead.He shook, and laughed wildly, as he beathis hand convulsively against the wall.Carl Obers and Thompson held him down,while this strong paroxysm lasted.His sobs became fainter, and he sunk intoa placid slumber. The student watchedanxiously by his side. He awoke; called forEmilys letter; and as he read it once more,the tears coursed down his sunken cheeks.Ah! what a relief to the excited man, is thefall of tears.
    • It would seem as if the very feelings,benumbed and congealed as they mayhitherto have been, were suddenlydissolving under some happier influence,and that,--with the external sign--theweakness and pliability of childhood--wewere magically regaining its singleness offeeling, and its gentleness of heart.Sir Henry swerved no more from the pathof manly duty. He saw the vetturino, andarranged his departure for the morrow. Onthat evening, he took Carls arm, andsauntered through the village church-yard.Already seemed it, that the sods had takenroot over Georges grave.The interstices of the turf were hidden;--awhite paper basket, which still held someflowers, had been suspended by some
    • kind stranger hand over the grave;--from ithad dropped a wreath of yellowamaranths.There was great repose in the scene. Thebirds appeared to chirp softly andcautiously;--the tufts of grass, as theybowed their heads against themonumental crosses, seemed careful notto rustle too drearily.Sir Henrys sleep was more placid, on_that_, his last night at Wallensee, than ithad been for many a night before. * * * * *Acting up to his original design,Delm�passed through the capitals ofBavaria and Wurtemburg; and quicklytraversing the picturesque country roundHeilbron, reached the romantic
    • Heidelberg, washed by the Neckar.The student, as might be expected, did notarrive at his old University, with feelings ofindifference; but he insisted, previous tovisiting his college companions, onshowing Sir Henry the objects of interest.The two friends, for such they might nowbe styled, walked towards the castle, armin arm; and stood on the terrace, adornedwith headless statues, and backed by apart of the mouldering ruin, half hid by thethick ivy.They looked down on the many windingriver, murmuringly gliding through its vinecovered banks.Beyond this, stretched a wide expanse ofcountry; while beneath them lay the townof Heidelberg--the blue smoke hanging
    • over it like a magic diadem."Here, here!" said Carl Obers, as he gazedon the scene, with mournful sensations,"_here _ were my youthful visionsconceived and embodied--_here_ did Iform vows, to break the bonds of enslavedmankind--_here_ did I dream of gratefulthousands, standing erect for the first timeas free men--_here_ did I brood over, thepossible happiness of my fellow men, andin attempting to realise it, have wreckedmy own.""My kind friend!" replied Delm� "yourerror, if it be such, has been of the head,and not the heart. It is one, natural to yourage and your country. Far from beingirreparable, it is possible it may havetaught you a lesson, that may ultimatelygreatly benefit you. This is the first time wehave conversed regarding your prospects.
    • What are your present views?""I have none. My friends regard me as one,who has improvidently thrown away hischance of advancement. My knowledge ofany _one_ branch of science is sosuperficial, that this precludes my everhoping to succeed in a learned profession.I cannot enter the military service in myown country, without commencing in thelowest grade. This I can hardly bring mymind to.""What would you say to the Hanoverianarmy?" replied Delm�"I would say," rejoined Carl: "for I seethrough your kind motive in asking, that Iesteem myself fortunate, if I have been inany way useful to you; but that I cannot,and ought not, to think, of accepting afavour at your hands."
    • Sir Henry said no more at that time: andthey reached the inn in silence.Delm�retired for the night. Carl Oberssought his old chums; and, exhilarated byhis meershaum, and the excellentbeer--rivalling the famous Lubeck beer,sent to Martin Luther, during his trial, bythe Elector of Saxony--triumphantly placed"young Germany" at the head of nations.Early the following morning, they wereagain en route.They passed through Manheim, where theRhine and Neckar meet,--throughErpach,--through Darmstadt, that cleanestof Continental towns,--and finally reachedFrankfort-on-the-Maine, where it wasagreed that Sir Henry and Thompson wereto part from their travelling companions.
    • Sir Henry in his distress of mind, felt thattheirs was not a casual farewell. Onreaching the quay, he pressed thestudents hand with grateful warmth, butdared not trust to words.On the deck of the steamer, assistingThompson to arrange the portmanteaux,stood Pietro Molini.The natural gaiety of the old driver hadreceived a considerable check at Georgesdeath.He could not now meet Sir Henry, withoutan embarrassment of manner; and even inhis intercourse with Thompson, his formerjocularity seemed to have deserted him."Good bye, Pietro!" said Delm� extendinghis hand. "I trust we may one day or other
    • meet again."The vetturino grasped it,--his colour wentand came,--he looked down at hiswhip,--then felt in his vest for his pipe, Ashe saw Delm�turn towards the poop, andas Thompson warned him it was time toleave the vessel,--his feelings fairly gaveway.He threw his arms round the Englishmansneck and blubbered like a child.We have elsewhere detailed the lucklessend of the vetturino.As for Carl Obers, that zealous patriot; thelast we heard of him, was that he washolding a commission in the HanoverianJ�ers, obtained for him by Sir Henrysintervention. He was at that period, in highfavour with that liberal monarch, King
    • Ernest.
    • Chapter XIII.Home.
    • "Tis sweet to hear the watchdogs honestbark Bay deep-mouthd welcome as wedraw near home, Tis sweet to know thereis an eye will mark Our coming, and lookbrighter when we come."Embarking on its tributary stream,Delm�reached the Rhine--passed throughthe land of snug Treckschut, andwooden-shoed housemaid--and arrived atRotterdam, whence he purposed sailingfor England.To that river, pay we no passing tribute!The Rhine--with breast of pride--lavingfertile vineyards, cities of picturesquebeauty, beetling crags, and majestic ruins;hath found its bard to hymn an eulogy, inmatchless strains, which will beco-existent, with the language they adorn.
    • Sir Henry was once more on the wide sea.Where were they who were hiscompanions when his vessel last rode it?where the young bride breathing herdevotion? where the youthful husbandwhispering his love?The sea yet glistened like a chrysolite; thewaves yet laughed in the playfulsunbeams--the bright-eyed gull yetdipped his wing in the billow, fearless asheretofore;--where was the one, who fromthat text had deduced so fair a moral?Sir Henry wished not to dwell on thethought, but as it flashed across him, hisfeatures quivered, and his brow darkened.He threw himself into the chaise which wasto bear him to his home, with alternateemotions of bitterness and despair!
    • Hurrah for merry England! Click, clack!click, clack! thus cheerily let us roll!Great are the joys of an English valet,freshly emancipated from sauerkraut, andthe horrors of silence!Sweet is purl, and sonorous is an Englishoath. Bright is the steel, arming eachclattering hoof! Leather strap and shiningbuckle, replace musty rope andponderous knot! The carriage is easierthan a Landgravines,--the horses moresleek,--the driver as civil,--the road is likea bowling green,--the axletree andunder-spring, of Collinges latest patent.But the heart! the heart! _that_ may be sadstill.Delm�s voyage and journey were alike ablank. On the ocean, breeze followedcalm;--on the river, ship succeeded
    • ship;--on the road, house and tree werepassed, and house and tree againpresented themselves. He drew his capover his eyes, and his arms continuedfolded.His first moment of full consciousness, wasas a sharp turn, followed by a suddenpause, brought him in front of the lodge atDelm�On the two moss-grown pillars, reposedthe well known crest of his family. Theporters daughter, Georges friend, issuedfrom the lodge, and threw open the irongates.She was dressed in black. How thisrecalled his loss."My dear--dear--dear brother!"
    • Emily bounded to his embrace, and hercheek fell on his shoulder. He felt thewarm tear trickle on his cheek. He claspedher waist,--gazed on her pallid brow,--andheld her lip to his.How it trembled from her emotion!"My own brother! how pale--how ill youlook!""Emily! my sister! I have something yet leftme on earth! and my worthy kind aunt,too!"He kissed Mrs. Glenallans forehead, andtried to soothe her. She pressed herhandkerchief to her eyes, and checked hertears; but continued to sob, with the deepmeasured sob of age.How mournful, yet how consoling, is the
    • first family meeting, after death has sweptaway one of its members! How thepresence of each, calls up sorrow, and yetassists to repress it,--awakesremembrances full of grief, yet brings tolife indefinable hopes, that rob that grief ofits most poignant sting! The very garb ofwoe, whose mournful effect is felt to thefull, only when each one sees it worn bythe other--the very garb paralyses, andbrings impressively before us, the awfultruth, that for our loss, in this world, thereis no remedy. How holy, how chaste is theaffection, which we feel disposed to lavish,on those who are left us.Surely if there be a guardian spirit, whichdeigns to flit through this wayward world,to cheer the stricken breast, and purifyfeelings, whose every chord vibrates tothe touch of woe; surely such presides,and throws a sunny halo, on the group, that
    • blood has united--on which family love hasshed its genial influence--and of which,each member, albeit bowed down bysympathetic grief, attempts to lift hisdrooping head, and to others open somesource of comfort, which to the kindspeaker, is inefficient and valuelessindeed!For many months, Sir Henry continued toreside with his family. Clarendon Gagewas a constant visitor, and companion tothe brother and sister in their daily walksand rides.He had never met poor George, but lovedEmily so well, that he could not butsympathise in their heavy loss; and asDelm�noted this quiet sympathy, he feltdeeply thankful to Providence, for the fairprospect of the happiness, that awaited hissister.
    • Winter passed away. The fragilesnowdrop, offspring of a night--the muteherald of a coming and welcomeguest--might be seen peering beneath thegnarled oak, or enlivening the emeraldcircle beneath the wide-spreading elm.Spring too glided by, and anothermessenger came. The migratory swallow,returned from foreign travel, sought theancient gable, and rejoicing in safety,commenced building a home. At twilightshour might she be seen, unscared by thetruants stone, repairing to the placidpool--skimming over its glassy surface, inrapid circle and with humid wing--andreturning in triumph, bearing wherewithalto build her nest.Summer too went by; and as the leaves ofAutumn rustled at his feet, Delm�started,
    • as he felt that the sting and poignancy ofhis grief was gone. It was with somethinglike reproach, that he did so. There is adignity in grief--a pride in perpetuatingit--and his had been no common affliction.It is a trite, but true remark, that timescatters our sorrows, as it scatters our joys.The heat of fever and the delirium of love,have their gradations; and so has grief.The impetuous throbbing of the pulseabates;--the influence of years makes usremember the extravagance of passion,with something approaching to asmile;--and Time--mysteriousTime--wounding, but healing all, leads usto look at past bereavements, as through adarkened glass.We do not forget; but our memory is as adream, which awoke us in terror, but over
    • which we have slept. The outline is stillpresent, but the fearful details, which inthe darkness of the hour, and the freshnessof conception, so scared and alarmedus,--these have vanished with the night.Emilys wedding day drew nigh, and thefaces of the household once more lookedbright and cheerful.
    • Chapter XIV.A Wedding.
    • "Tis time this heart should be unmoved,Since others it has ceased to move, Butthough I may not be beloved, Still let melove!" "I saw her but a moment, Yet methinks Isee her now, With a wreath of orangeblossoms Upon her beauteous brow."Spring of life! whither art thou flown?A few hot sighs--and scaldingtears--fleeting raptures and still fadinghopes--and then--thou art gone for ever.Lovelorn we look on beauty: no blush nowanswers to our glance; for cold is our gaze,as the deadened emotions of our heart.Fresh garlands bedeck the lap of Spring.Faded as the shrivelled flowers, thatwithering sink beneath her rosy feet: yet
    • we exclaim:--Spring of life! how andwhither art thou flown?Clarendon Gage was a happy man. He hadentered upon the world with very brightprospects. The glorious visions of his youthwere still unclouded, and his heart beat ashigh with hope as ever.Experience had not yet instilled that sobertruth, that Time will darken the sunniest, aswell as the least inviting anticipations; andthat the visions of his youth wereunclouded, because they were undimmedby the reflections of age.Clarendon Gage was happy and grateful;and so might he well be! Few of us arethere, who, on our first loving, have metwith a love, fervent, confiding, andunsuspecting as our own,--fewer are there,who in reflections calm hour, have
    • recognised in the form that has captivatedthe eye, the mind on which their own canfully and unhesitatingly rely,--and fewestof all are they, who having encounteredsuch a treasure, can control adversecircumstances--can overcome obstaclesthat oppose--and finally call it their own.Passionate, imaginative, and fickle as manmay be, this is a living treasure beyond aprice: than which this world has none morepure--none as enduring, to offer.Ah! say and act as wemay--money-making--worldly--ambitiousas we may become--who among us thatwill not allow, that in the success of hishonest suit--that in his possession of theone first loved--and which first truly lovedhim--a kind ray from heaven, seems lent tothis changeful world. Such affection as this,lends a new charm to mans existence. It
    • lulls him in his anger--it soothes him in hissorrow--calms him in his fears--cheers himin his hopes--it deadens his grief--itenlivens his joy.It was a lovely morning in May--the first ofthe month. Not a cloud veiled the sunssplendour--the birds strained their throatsin praise of day--and the rural May-pole,which was in the broad avenue of walnuttrees, immediately at the foot of the lawn,was already encircled with flowers. Halfway up this, was the station of the rusticorchestra--a green bower, whicheffectually concealed them from the viewof the dancers.On the lawn itself, tents were pitched in aline facing the house. Behind these,between the tents and the May-pole,extended a long range of tables, for thecoming village feast.
    • Emily Delm�looked out on the fair sunrise,and noted the gay preparations with somedismay. Her eye fell on her favourite bedof roses, the rarest and most costly thatwealth and extreme care could produce;and she mournfully thought, that ere thosebuds were blown, a very great changewould have taken place in her futureprospects. She thought of all she was toleave.Will _he_ be this, and more to me?How many a poor girl, when it is all toolate, has fearfully asked herself the samequestion, and how deeply must the answerwhich time alone can give, affect thehappiness of after years!Emily took her mothers miniature, andgazing on that face, of which her own
    • appeared a beautiful transcript; sheprayed to God to support him who was stillpresent to her every thought.The family chapel of the Delm� was abeautiful and picturesque place ofworship. With the exception of onemassive door-way, whose circular archand peculiar zig-zag ornament bespoke itco-eval with, or of an earlier date than, thereign of Stephen--and said to havebelonged to a ruin apart from the chapel,whose foundations an antiquary couldhardly trace--Delm�chapel might beconsidered a well preserved specimen ofthe florid Gothic, of the fifteenth andsixteenth centuries.The progress of the edifice, had beengreatly retarded during the wars of theRoses; but it was fortunately completed,before, the doctrine of the
    • Cinquecentists--who saw no beauty save inthe revived dogmas of Vitruvius--had sofar gained ground, as to make obsoleteand unfashionable, the most captivatingand harmonious style of Architecture, thathas yet flourished in England.Its outer appearance was comparativelysimple--it had neither spire, lantern, ortransepts--and its ivy-hidden belfry was adetached tower.The walls of the aisles were supported bymassive buttresses, and surmounted bycarved pinnacles; and from them sprungflying buttresses, ornamented with tracedmachicolations, to bear the weight of theembattled roof of the nave.The interior was more striking. As thestranger entered by the western door, andproceeded up the nave, each step was
    • re-echoed from the crypt below:--as hetrod on strange images, and inscriptions inbrass; commemorative of the dead, whosebones were mouldering in thesubterranean chapel. On them, manycoloured tints fantastically played, throughgorgeously stained panes--theworkmanship of the Middle Ages.The richly carved oaken confessional--nowa reading desk--first attracted theattention.In the very centre of the chapel, stood awhite marble font, whose chaplet of theflower of the Tudors, encircled by a fillet,sufficiently bespoke its date. Between thealtar and this font was a tomb, which meritsspecial attention. It was the chantry of SirReginald Delm� the chief of his house inthe reign of Harry Monmouth. It was amimic chapel, raised on three massive
    • steps of grey stone. The clusteredcolumns, that bore the light and frettedroof, were divided by mullions, rosettes,and trefoils in open work; except wherethe interstices were filled up below, tobear the sculptured, and once emblazonedshields of the Delm�, and their cognatefamilies. The entrance to the chantry, wasthrough a little turret at its north-easterncorner, the oaken door of which, studdedwith quarrel-headed nails, was at one timenever opened, but when the priestsascended the six steep and spiral steps,and stood around the tomb to chantmasses for the dead.The diminutive font, and the sarcophagusitself, had once been painted. On this, laythe figure of Sir Reginald Delm�On a stone cushion--once red--supportedby figures of angels in the attitude of
    • prayer, veiling their eyes with their wings,reposed the unarmed head of thewarrior:--his feet uncrossed rested on theimage of a dog, crouching on a brokenhorn, seeming faithfully to gaze at the faceof his master.The arms were not crossed--the handswere not clasped; but were joined as inprayer. Sir Reginald had not died in battle.Above the head of the sleeping warrior,hung his gorget, and his helmet, with itsbeaver, and vizor open; and the banner hehimself had won, on the field ofShrewsbury, heavily shook its thick foldsin the air. The fading colours on thesurcoat of the recumbent knight, stillfaintly showed the lilies and leopards ofEngland;--and Sir Henry himself waswilling to believe, that the jagged marksmade in that banner by the tooth of Time,were but cuts, left by the sword of the
    • Herald, as at the royal Henrys command,he curtailed the pennon of the knight; andagain restored it to Sir Reginald Delm�-abanner.The altar, which extended the whole widthof the chapel, was enclosed by a marblescreen, and was still flanked by thehallowed niche, built to receive thedrainings of the sacred cup.The aisles were divided from the nave, bylancet arches, springing from clusteredcolumns. But how describe the expansivewindows, with their rich mullions, andricher rosettes--their deeply mouldedlabels, following the form of the arch, andresting for support on the quaintestmasks--how describe the matchless huesof the glass--valued mementoes of abygone age, and of an art that hasperished?
    • The walls of the chapel were profuselyornamented with the richest carving; andthe oaken panels of the chancel, wereadorned with those exquisite festoons offruit and flowers, so peculiarly English.The very ceiling exacted admiration. Itclosed no lantern--it obstructed noview--and its light ribs, springing fromvoluted corbels, bore at each intersection,an emblazoned escutcheon, or paintedheraldic device. The intricate fan-liketracery of the roof--the enriched bosses ateach meeting of the gilded ribs--gave anairy charm and lightness to the whole,which well accorded with the floridArchitecture, and with the chivalrousassociations, with which it is identified.And here, beneath this spangled canopy,in this ancient shrine, whose everyornament was as a memory of her
    • ancestors; stood Emily Delm� as fair as thefairest of her race, changeful andtrembling, a faint smile on her lip, and aquivering tear in her eye.Clarendon Gage took her hand in his, andplaced on her finger the golden pledge oftruth, and as he did so, an approvingsunbeam burst through thecrimson-stained pane, and beforelightening the tomb of Sir Reginald, fell onher silvery veil--her snowy robe--herbeautiful face.There was a very gay scene on the lawn, asthey returned from the chapel.The dancing had alreadycommenced--strains of music were heardfrom on high--the ever moving circlebecame one moment contracted, thenexpanded to the full length of the arms of
    • the dancers, as they actively footed itround the garlanded May-pole.At the first sight of the leading carriage,however, a signal was given--the musicsuddenly ceased--and the whole partybelow, with the exception of oneindividual, proceeded in great statetowards an arch, composed of flowers andwhite thorn, which oercanopied the road.The carriage stopped to greet theprocession.On came the blushing May-Queen, andMaid Marian--both armed with wandswreathed with cowslips--followed by ajovial retinue of morrice dancers withdrawn swords--guisers in many-colouredribbons--and a full train of simplepeasants, in white smock-frocks.
    • The May Queen advanced to the carriage,followed by the peasant girls, and timidlydropped a choice wreath into the lap of thebride. Loud hurras rung in the air, as SirHenry gave his steward some welcomeinstructions as to the village feast; and thecavalcade continued its route.We have said that one individual lingerednear the May-pole. As he was especiallyactive, we may describe him and hisemployment. He was apparently aboutfifteen. He had coarse straight whitehair--a face that denoted stupidity--butwith a cunning leer, which seemed to beliehis other features.He was taking advantage of the cessationof dancing, to supply the aspiringmusicians with sundry articles of goodcheer. A rope, armed with a hook, wasdropped from their lofty a�ie, and
    • promptly drawn up, on the youngstersobtaining from the neighbouring tents,wherewithal to fill satisfactorily the basketwhich he attached.Sir Henry Delm�and George had been somuch abroad, and Emilys attachment toClarendon was of so early a date, that ithappened that the members of theDelm�family had mixed little in thefestivities of the county in which theyresided; and were not intimately known,nor perhaps fully appreciated, in theneighbourhood.But the family was one of high standing,and had ever been remarkable for itskind-heartedness; and what _was_ knownof its individuals, was so much to theircredit, that it kept alive the respect andconsideration that these circumstancesmight of themselves warrant.
    • Sir Henry, on the other hand, regarded hissisters marriage as an event, at which itmight be proper to show, that neitherhauteur nor want of sociability, hadprecluded their friendly intercourse withthe neighbouring magnates; andconsequently, most of the principalfamilies were present at Emilys wedding.While this large assemblage increased thegaiety of the scene, it was somewhatwearisome to Delm� who was too trulyattached to his sister, to be otherwise thanthoughtful during the ceremony, and thebreakfast that succeeded it.At length the time came when Emily couldescape from the gay throng; andendeavour, in the quiet of her own room,to be once more calm, before sheprepared to leave her much-loved home.
    • The preparations made, a note wasdespatched to her brother, begging him tomeet her in the library. As he did so, afresh pang shot through Delm�s heart.As he looked on Emilys flushed face--herdewy cheek--and noted her agitatedmanner; he for the first time perceived,her very strong resemblance to poorGeorge, and wondered that he had neverobserved this before.Clarendon announced the carriage."God bless you! dear Henry!""God bless and preserve you! my sweet!Clarendon! good bye! I am sure you willtake every care of her!"In another moment, the carriage was
    • whirling past the library window; and SirHenry felt little inclined, to join the formalparty in the drawing-room. Sendingtherefore a brief message to Mrs.Glenallan, he threw open the librarywindow, and with hurried steps reached asummer-house, half hidden in theshrubbery. He there fell into a deepreverie, which was by no means apleasurable one.He thought of Emily--of George--ofAcm�--and felt that he was becoming anisolated being.And had _he_ not loved too? As thisthought crossed him, his ambitious dreamswere almost forgotten.Sir Henry Delm�was aroused by the soundof voices. A loving couple, too muchengaged to observe _him_, passed close
    • to the summer-house.It was the "Queen of the May," the prettiestand one of the poorest girls in the parish,walking arm in arm with her rural swain.They had left the "roasted beeves," and the"broached casks," for one half-hoursdelicious converse.There was some little coquettish resistanceon the part of the girl, as they sat downtogether at the foot of a fir tree.Her lover put his arm round her waist."Oh! Mary! if father would but give us acow or so!"This little incident decided the matter.Delm�at once resolved that Mary Smith_should_ have a cow or so; and also thathis own health would be greatly benefited,
    • by a short sojourn at Leamington.
    • Chapter XV.The Meeting.
    • "Oh ever loving, lovely, and beloved!How selfish sorrow ponders on the past,And clings to thoughts now better farremoved, But Time shall tear thy shadowfrom me last."We know not whether our readers havefollowed us with due attention, as we haveincidentally, and at various intervals, madeour brief allusion to the gradual change ofcharacter, wrought on Delm� by theeventful scenes in which he so latelyplayed a prominent part.When we first introduced him to ourreaders notice, we endeavoured to depicthim as he then really was,--a man of strongprinciples, warm heart, and many noblequalities; but one, prone to over-estimatethe value of birth and fortune--with a largeproportion of pride and reserve--and with
    • ideas greatly tinctured with the absurdfallacies of the mere man of the world.But there was much in the family events wehave described, to shake Delm�s previousconvictions, and to induce him to recalmany of his former opinions.He had seen his brother form a connection,which set at naught all those convenances,which _he_ had been accustomed toregard as essential to, and as indeedforming the very ingredient of, domestichappiness.And yet Sir Henry Delm�could not disguisefrom himself, that if, in Georgesshort-lived career, there had been much ofpain and sorrow, they were chieflyengendered by Georges mental struggle,to uphold those very opinions to which hehimself was wedded; and that to this alone,
    • might be traced much of the suffering hehad undergone. This was it that had soweakened mind and body, as to renderchange of scene necessary;--this was it thatexposed Acm�to the air of the pestiferousmarshes, and which left George himself--abroken hearted man--totally incapable ofbearing his bereavement.On the other hand, the sunny happiness hisbrother had basked in,--and it was verygreat,--had sprung from the naturalout-pourings of an affection,which,--unfettered as it had been byprudential considerations,--had yet thepower to make earth a heaven whileAcm�shared it with him, and the darkgrave an object of bright promise, whenhailed as the portal, through which _he_must pass, ere he gazed once more on theload-star of his hopes.
    • In the case, too, of Emily and Clarendon,although their union was far more inaccordance with his earlier theories, yethe could not but note, how little theirhappiness seemed to rest on their positionin society, and how greatly was it based ontheir love for each other.These considerations were strengthened,by a growing feeling of isolation, which thedeath of George and of Acm�--themarriage of his sister,--and probably thetime of life he had arrived at, were allcalculated to awaken.With the knowledge of his disease, sprungup the hope of an antidote; and it may be,that the little episode of the May Queen inour last chapter, came but as a runningcomment, to reflections that had long beencherished and indulged.
    • The thoughts of Sir Henry Delm�anxiouslycentred in Julia Vernon; and as he recalledher graceful emotion when they lastparted, the unfrequent blush,--it might beof shame, it might be ofconsciousness,--coloured his sun-burntcheek.At length,--the guests being dismissed,Delm�was at leisure to renew anacquaintance, which had already provedan eventful one to him. He had heard littleof Miss Vernon since his return to England.His sister had thought it better to letmatters take their own course; and Julia,who knew that in the eyes of the world, hercircumstances were very different to whatthey had been previous to her unclesdeath; had from motives of delicacy,shunned any intercourse that might lead toa renewed intimacy with the family.
    • Her health, too, had been precarious, andher elasticity of mind was gone. Slowlywasting from day to day, she had sought tobanish all thoughts that were not of a worldless vain than this--and her very languor ofbody--while it gave her an apology fordeclining all gaieties, induced a resignedspirit, and a quiet frame of mind.When Sir Henry Delm�was announced,Julia was alone in the drawing-room. Atthat name, she attempted to rise from thesofa; but she was weak, and her head fellback on the white pillow.Delm�stood for a moment irresolute,--aprey to the deepest pangs of remorse.Well might he be shocked at that alteredform!Her figure was greatly attenuated,--her
    • cheeks sunken,--her eyes bright andlarge; while over the forehead anddrooping eyelid branched the sapphireveins, with their intricate windings soclearly marked, that Delm�almost thought,that he could trace the motion of the bloodbeneath. That momentary pause, and theone mutual glance of recognition, told amore accurate tale than words couldconvey.As Sir Henry pressed that smalltransparent hand, Julias thin lip quiveredconvulsively. She attempted to speak, butthe exertion of utterance was too great,and she burst into a flood of tears."Julia! my own Julia! forgive me! we willnever part more!"After this interview, it is needless to saythat there was little else to be explained.
    • Mrs. Vernon was delighted at Julias happyprospects, and it was settled that theirmarriage should take place in the ensuingAugust. Such arrangements as could bemade on the spot to facilitate this, were atonce entered on.At the end of two months, it becamenecessary that Delm�should proceed totown, for the purpose of seeing theCommander-in-Chief, in order to withdrawa previous application to be employed onactive service. He was anxious also toconsult a friend, whom he proposedappointing one of the trustees for hismarriage settlement; and Clarendon andEmily had exacted a promise, that hewould pay them a visit on his way toDelm�Park; which he had determined totake on his route to town, that he mightpersonally inspect some alterations he hadlately planned there.
    • It was with bright prospects before him,that Delm�kissed off the big tear thatcoursed down Julias cheek; as she badehim farewell, with as much earnestness, asif years, instead of a short fortnight, wereto elapse before they met again.Miss Vernons health had decidedlyimproved. She was capable of muchgreater exertion; and her spirits weresometimes as buoyant as in other days.When Sir Henry first reached Leamington,the only exercise that Julia could take wasin a wheel chair; and great was her delightat seeing a hand present itself over itsside, and know that it was _his_. Latterly,however, she had been able to lean on hisarm, and take a few turns on the lawn, andhad on one occasion even reached thepublic gardens.
    • Mrs. Vernon, with the deceptive hopecommon to those, who watch day by dayby the side of an invalids couch, and in thevery gradual loss of strength, lose sight ofthe real extent of danger, had never beendesponding as to her daughters ultimaterecovery; and was now quite satisfied thata few weeks more would restore hercompletely to health.Sir Henry Delm� with the gaze of a lover,would note each flush of animation, andmistake it for the hue of health; while Juliaherself _felt her love, and thought itstrength_.There was only one person who lookedsomewhat grave at these joyouspreparations. This was Dr. Jephson, whonoticed that Julias voice continued veryweak, and that she could not get rid of a
    • low hollow cough, that had long distressedher.Clarendon and his wife were resident at abeautiful cottage near Malvern, on theroad to Eastnor Castle. The cottage itselfwas small, and half hidden with fragranthoney-suckles, but had well appointedextensive grounds behind it. _They_ werenot of the very many, who after the firstfortnight of a forced seclusion,--the treaclemoon, as some one has called it,--find theirown society, both wearisome andunprofitable. _Theirs_ was a lover felt butby superior and congenial minds--a love,neither sensual nor transient--a love onwhich affection and reflection shed theirglow,--which could bear the test ofscrutiny,--and which owed its chief charmto the presence of truth.Delm�passed a week at Malvern, and then
    • proceeded towards town, with thepleasing conviction that his sistershappiness was assured.Twenty-four hours at Delm�sufficed toinspect the alterations, and to give ordersas to Lady Delm�s rooms.Sir Henry had received two letters fromJulia, while at Malvern, and both werewritten in great spirits. At his club inLondon another awaited him, which statedthat she had not been quite so well, andthat she was writing from her room. Apostscript from Mrs. Vernon quite didaway with any alarm that Sir Henry mightotherwise have felt.Delm�attended Lord Hills levee; andimmediately afterwards proceeded to hisfriends office. To his disappointment, hewas informed that his friend had left for
    • Bath; and thinking it essential that heshould see him; he went thither at an earlyhour the following day.At Bath he was again doomed to bedisappointed, for his friend had gone toClifton. Sir Henry dined that day with Mr.Belliston Gr�e; and on returning to thehotel, had the interview with OliverDelancey, that has been described in thethirteenth chapter of our first volume.On the succeeding morning, Delm�waswith the future trustee; and finallyarranged the affair to his entiresatisfaction. His absence from Leamington,had been a day or two more protractedthan he had anticipated, and his notfinding his friend in London, hadprevented his hearing from Miss Vernonso lately as he could have wished.
    • Sir Henry had posted all night, and it wasten in the morning when he reachedLeamington. He directed the postilion todrive to his hotel, but it happened that onhis way he had to pass Mrs. Vernons door.As the carriage turned a corner, which wasdistant some hundred yards from Mrs.Vernons house, Sir Henry was surprisedby a momentary check on the part of hisdriver.It had rained heavily during the early partof the day. The glasses were up, and sobespattered with the mud and rain, that itwas impossible to see through them. SirHenry let them down; saw a confused massof carriages; and could clearly discern amourning coach.He did not give himself time to breathe hismisgivings; but flung the door open, and
    • sprang from his seat into the road. It wasstill three or four doors from Mrs. Vernonshouse, and he prayed to God that his fearsmight be groundless.As he approached nearer, it was evidentthat there was unusual bustle about _that_house. Delm�grasped the iron railing, andclung to it for support; but with everysense keenly alive to aught that mightdispel, or confirm that horrible suspicion.Two old women, dressed in thecharacteristic red cloak of the Englishpeasant, were earnestly conversingtogether--their baskets of eggs andflowers being laid on a step of one of theadjacent houses."So you knowed her, Betsy Farmer?""Lord a mercy!" responded the other, "I ha
    • knowed Miss July since she wa the heightof my basket. Ay! and manys the bunch offlowers she ha had from me. That wasafore the family went to the sea side. Well!its a matter o five year, sin she comed upto me one morning--so grown as Id neverha known her. But she knowed me, andasked all about me. And I just told her allmy troubles, and how I had lost my goodman. And sure enough sin that day she hastood my friend, and gived me soup andflannels for the little uns, and put my Bessto service, and took me through all the badChristmas. Poor dear soul! she ha gonenow! and may the Lord bless her and all asgood as she!"The poor woman, who felt the loss of herbenefactress, put the corner of her apronto her eyes.Sir Henry strode forward.
    • Mutes were on each side of the front step.A servant threw open the door of thebreakfast room, and Delm�mechanicallyentered it. It was filled with strangers; onsome of these the spruce undertaker wasfitting silk scarfs; while others were busy atthe breakfast table.An ominous whisper ran through theapartment."Sir Henry Delm�" said the rosy-cheekedclergyman, enquiringly, as he laid downhis egg spoon, and turned towards him."I trust you received my letter. Women areso utterly helpless in these matters; andpoor Mrs. Vernon was quiteoverpowered."Delm�turned away to master his emotion.
    • At this moment, a friendly hand was laid onhis shoulder, and Mrs. Vernons maid, withher eyes red from weeping, beckoned himup stairs.He mechanically obeyed her--reeled intoan inner drawing room--and stood in thepresence of the bereaved mother.Mrs. Vernon was ordinarily the verypicture of neatness. _Now_ she sat with herfeet on a footstool--her head almosttouching her lap--her silver hair all looseand dishevelled. It seemed to Delm�as ifage had suddenly come upon her.She rose as he entered, and with wildhysterical sobs, threw herself into hisarms."My son I my son! that _should_ have been.
    • Our angel is gone--gone!"Delm�tried to speak, but his tongue cloveto his mouth, and the hysteric globe roseto his throat.Suddenly he heard the sound of wheels,and of heavy footsteps on the stairs.He imprinted a kiss on the old womansforehead--it was his farewell forever!--gave her to the care of the maidservant--and rushed from the room.He was stopped on the landing of thestaircase by the coffin of her he loved sowell. The bearers stopped for an instant;they felt that this was no common greeting.Part of the pall was already turned back.Delm�removed its head with tremblinghand.
    • "Julia Vernon. �ate 22."He dropped the velvet with a groan, andwas only saved from falling by the timelyaid of the old butler, whose face was assorrowful as his own.But there was a duty yet to be performed,and Delm�followed the corpse.The first mourning coach was just drawnup. An intended occupant had already hisfoot on the step."This place is mine!" said Sir Henry in ahollow voice.The cortege proceeded; and Delm� giddyand confused, heard solemn words spokenover his affianced one, and he waited, tilleven the coffin could he discerned nomore.
    • Thompson, who had followed his master,assisted him into his carriage, placedhimself beside him, and ordered thedriver to proceed to the hotel. ButDelm�gave a quick impetuous motion ofthe hand, which the domestic understoodwell; and the horses heads were turnedtowards the metropolis.The mourner tarried not, even to bid hissister farewell; but sought once more hisbrothers grave. Some friendly hand hadkept its turf smooth; no footsteps, save theinnocent ones of children, had pressed itsgrassy mound. It was clothed with softdaisies and drooping harebells. The sunseemed to shine on that spot, to bid thewanderer be contented and at rest.But as yet there was no rest for Delm� Andhe stood beside the marble slab, beneath
    • which lay Acm�Frascati. The downymoss--soft as herself--was luxuriatingthere; and the cry of the cicalas waspleasant to the ear; and the image of theyoung Greek girl, as in a vivid picture,rose to his minds eye. She was not attiredin her white cymar; nor was her headwreathed with monumentalamaranths;--health was on her cheek, fondsmiles on her pouting lip, and tender loveswimming in her melting glance.His own griefs came back on Delm� hegroaned aloud. He traversed the deserts,he crossed lofty mountains, he knew thirstand privations. He was scoffed at and spatupon in an infidel country--he was tossedon the ocean--he shook hands with danger.He visited our wide Oriental possessions;and sojourned amid the spicy islands ofthe Indian Archipelago, where vegetation
    • attains a magnificence unknownelsewhere, and animal life partakes of thisunexampled exuberance,--where flowersof the most exquisite colours andfragrance charm the senses by day, anddelicious plants saturate the air with theirodours by night.Delm�extended his wanderings to therarely visited "many isles," which stud thevast Pacific, and found that there too werefruitful and smiling regions.But not on the desert--nor on themountains--nor in the land of theMoslem---nor on tempestuous seas--nor inthose verdant islets, which seem tobreathe of Paradise, to greet the weariedtraveller; could Delm�s restless spirit findan abiding place, his thirst for foreigntravel be slaked, or his heart know peace.
    • He madly sought oblivion, which could notbe accorded him.
    • Chapter XVI.The Wanderer.
    • "Then I considerd life in all its forms, Ofvegetables first, next zoophytes, Thetribe that dwells upon the confine strangeTwixt plants and fish; some are there fromtheir mouth Spit out their progeny, andsome that breed, By suckers from theirbase or tubercles, Sea-hedgehog,madrepore, sea-ruff, or pad, Fungus, orsponge, or that gelatinous fish, That takenfrom its element at once Stinks, melts, anddies a fluid; so from these, Through manya tribe of less equivocal life, Dividual orinsect, up I ranged, From sentient topercipient, small advance, Next tointelligent, to rational next, So to halfspiritual human kind, And what is more, ismore than man may know. Last came thetroublesome question--What am I?" * * * * * "And vain were the hat, the staff, and
    • stole, And all outward signs were asnare, Unless the pilgrims endangerdsoul Were inwardly clothed with prayer. "But the pilgrim prays--and then trials arelight-- For prayer to him on his way,Resembles the pillar of fire by night,And the guiding cloud by day. "And salvations helm the pilgrim wears, Or vain were all other dress; And theshield of faith the pilgrim bears, With thebreastplate of righteousness. "At length his tears all wiped away; Heenters the City of Light; And how gladlyhe changes his gown of grey, For Zionsrobe of white."It was on the 22nd of October, 1836, that anemissary from his sister, sought Sir Henry
    • Delm� It was at the antipodes to hisancestral home; in Australia, thatwonderful country, which--belied andcalumniated, as she has hithertobeen--presents some anomalous andcreditable features.For her population, she is the wealthiest,the most enterprising, the most orderlyand loyal, of our British possessions.There, is the aristocracy of wealth, to anunprecedented degree, subservient to thearistocracy of virtue. While she isstigmatised as the cloac�of Britain, thephilosopher looks into the future, andalready beholds a nation, perpetuating thelanguage of the brave and free; when theparent stock has perhaps ceased to be anempire; or is lingering on, like modernGreece, in the hopeless languor of decayand decrepitude.
    • This agent had arrived from England, avery short period before; and, accreditedwith a packet, containing variouscommunications from Emily andClarendon, accompanied by theminiatures of their children, with little silkycurls attached to each, proceeded anexpectant guest, to Sir Henry Delm�stemporary residence. Early dawn saw himpacing the deck of a steam vessel; andregarding with great surprise, theopposite banks of Hunters River, up whichthe vessel was gliding.A rich dark soil, of great depth, bespokeuncommon fertility; while the varieties ofthe gum tree--then quite new to him--withtheir bark of every diversity of colour,gave a primeval grandeur to the scene.Each moment brought in sight the locationof some enterprising settler, which, ever
    • varying in appearance, in importance, andin extent yet told the same tale ofdifficulties overcome, and successensuing.On his reaching the township, near thehead of the navigation, this agent foundhorses waiting for him:--he was addressedby a well-appointed groom--our old friendThompson--who touched his hatrespectfully, and mentioned the name, hewas already prepared for by his Sydneyadvices.Suffice it, that Sir Henry was no longer theBaronet, and that the name of Delm�was astrange one in his household.Their route skirted the banks of one ofthose rivers, which, diverging from thatmine of wealth, the Hunter, wind into thebowels of the land, like a vein of gold.
    • That emissary will not soon forget hislovely ride. His eye, wearied with gazingon the wide expanse of ocean, feasted onthe rich and novel landscape. They rodealternately, through cleared lands,studded with rich farms, waving withluxuriant crops of wheat and rye; andagain, through regions, where the axe hadnever resounded, but where eucalypti,and bastard box, and forest oak with itsrough acorn, towered above beauteouswild flowers, whose forms and varietieswere associated in the mind of thestranger, with some of the most preciousand valued flowers which adorn Britishconservatories.The russet Certhia, with outspreadfluttering wing, pecked at the smoothbark, and preying on some destructiveinsect, really preserved what it seemed to
    • injure. The larger parrots, travelling inpairs, screamed their passing salutation,as they displayed their bright plumage tothe sun; while hundreds, of a smaller kind,with crimson shoulder, were concealedamid the green leaves; and, as they rodebeneath them, babbled--like frolicsomechildren of the forest--a rude, but tothemselves a not unmeaning dialogue.The superb warblers, ornaments alike tothe bush or the garden, flitted cheerilyfrom bough to bough. Strangely mated arethey! The male, in suit of black velvet,trimmed with sky blue, looks like a knight,attired for a palace festival:--while hislady-love--she resembles some peasantgirl, silent and grateful, clothed in modestkirtle of sober brown.As he reined in his horse, to examine theseat leisure, how melodiously came on his
    • ear, the clear, ceaseless, silver tinkle ofthe bell-bird; this sound ever and anonchequered by the bold chock-ee-chock! ofthe bald-headed friar. They hadproceeded very leisurely, and the sun wasalready declining, when Thompson,pointing to an abrupt path, motioned himto descend, and at the same time, gave thepeculiar cry, known in the colony as thecoo� a cry which was as promptlyanswered. It was not until he was close tothe edge of the river, that the strangerunderstood its purport.A punt was rapidly approaching from theopposite bank. An athletic aboriginalnative, in an attitude that seemed studiedlygraceful, was bending to the stout rope,which, attached to either side of the river,served to propel the punt. He had beenspearing fish; for his wife, or gin, orqueen--for she was born such, and
    • contradicted in her person the old adage, "Theres a difference between A beggarand a queen"--was drawing the barb of a spear from thebleeding side of a struggling mullet. Shesat at the bottom of the boat, with a blanketclosely wound round her. She was young,and her looks were not unpleasing. Herthickly-matted hair was ornamented withkangaroo teeth; and to her shoulder,closely clung a native tailless bear, whoseappearance could not do otherwise thanexcite a smile. With convex staringeyes--hairless nose--and white ruff of furround his face--he very closely resembledin physiognomy, some grey-whiskeredguzzling citizen. The well-trained horsesgave no trouble, as they entered the punt;and the smiling boatman, displaying histeeth to Thompson, but without speaking,
    • commenced warping the punt to theopposite side of the river. They were halfway across, ere the guest observed themansion of the friend he sought. It stood onthe summit of the hill, on the left; beneathwhich the river made a very abrupt bend.The house itself resembled the commonweather-boarded cottage of the earlysettler,--wide verandah was over the frontentrance,--and two small rooms, the exactwidth of this, jutted out on either side of it.Its site however was commanding. Thehouse stood on an eminence, and from thewindows, a long reach of the river wasvisible. At the top of the brow of the hill,extended a range of English rose trees, infull flower. The bank, which might beabout thirty yards in front of these, wasclothed with foliage to the waters edge.There might be seen the fragrant
    • mimosa--the abundant acacia--the swampoak, which would have been styled a fir,had not the first exiles to Australia foundtwined round its boughs, the misletoe, withits many home associations--the elegantcedar--the close-growing mangrove--andstrange parasitical plants, pushing throughhuge fungi, and clasping with theremorseless strength of the wrestler, andwith the round crunching folds of the boa,the trees they were gradually to supplantand destroy.Suddenly, the quick finger of the blackpointed to an object close beside the punt.A bill, as of a bird, and apparently of theduck tribe, protruded above the surface ofthe water. For an instant, small, black,piercing eyes peered towards them: but asthe quadruped, for such it was, preparedto dive in affright, the unerring shot of arifle splashed the water on the cheek of the
    • stranger--the body rolled slowly over--thelegs stiffened--a sluggish stream of darkblood tainted the surrounding wave--andthe ferryman, extending his careless hand,threw the victim to his companion, at thesame time addressing a few words to herin their native language.The guest had little difficulty, inrecognising the uncouth form of theornithorhynchus, or water-mole; but heturned with yet more eagerness, towardsthe spot, whence that shot had proceeded.On the summit of the steep bank, leaningon his rifle, stood Sir Henry Delm�His form was still commanding--there wassomething in the air with which the capwas worn--and in the strap round his Swissblouse--that bespoke the soldier and thegentleman: but his face was sadlyattenuated--the lower jaw appeared to
    • have fallen in--and his hair was very grey.He received his guest with a cordial andsincere welcome. While the latterdelivered his packet the native who hadwarped the punt over, came up with thedead platypus,"Well, Boomeroo! is it a female?""No, massa! full grown--with large spur!"Sir Henry saw that his guest was puzzledby this dialogue, and good-naturedlyshowed him the distinguishingcharacteristic of the maleornithorhynchus--the spur on the hinderfoot, which is hollow, and transmits anenvenomed liquid, secreted by a gland onthe inner surface of the thigh.In November, of the year preceding, a
    • burrow of the animal had been opened onthe bank of the river, which contained thedam, and three live young ones;--therewere many points, yet to be determinedrelative to its interior organization; and itwas on this account, that Sir Henry wasanxious to obtain a female specimen at thisparticular period. As he spoke,Delm�introduced the stranger to his study,which might more aptly be styled amuseum;--applied some spirits of wine tothe platypus, and placing it under abell-glass for the morrows examination,left him turning over his collection of birds,while he perused his valued home letters.It was with unmixed pleasure, knowing ashe did his melancholy history, that thestranger found Sir Henry Delm�engagedin pursuits, which it was evident he wasfollowing up with no common enthusiasm.In truth, a mere accidental
    • circumstance,--the difficulty of obtaining avessel at one of the Indian Islands for anyport,--had at first brought him to Australia,a country regarding which he had felt littlecuriosity. The strange varieties, however,of its animal kingdom, had interestedhim;--he was struck with the rapid stridesthat that country has made in half acentury--and he continued from month tomonth to occupy the house where hisfriend had now found him.To the strangers eye, the eye of a novice,the well arranged specimens of birds ofthe most beautiful plumage--of animals,chiefly marsupial, of the most singulardevelopement--of glittering insects--and ofdeep coloured shells; were attractivewonders enough; but from the skeletonsbeside these, it was quite clear, thatDelm�had acquired considerableknowledge as to the internal construction
    • of the animals themselves--that he hadstudied the subsisting relations, betweenthe mechanism and the movements--thestructure, and its varied functions.After dinner, Sir Henry Delm� whoappeared to think that the bearer of hisdespatches had conferred on him a lastingfavour, threw off his habitual reserve, anddelighted and interested him with his talesof foreign travel.As the night wore on, the conversationreverted to his sister and his home. It wasevident, that what remained for the livingof that crushed heart, was with Emily andClarendon, and their children; perhapsmore than all, with his young heir andgod-son, Henry Delm�Gage. The verycolour of that sunny lock of hair, gave riseto much speculation: and it seemed as if hewould never be wearied, of listening to the
    • minutest description of the dawning ofintellect, in a precocious little fellow ofbarely five years of age.Encouraged by his evident feeling, andobserving many more comforts about him,than he had been led to expect from hisprevious errant habits; his guest venturedto express his hope, that Sir Henry mightyet return to England."My good friend!" replied he, "for I mustcall you such now, for I know not when Ihave experienced such unalloyedsatisfaction, as you have conferred on methis night, by conversing so freely of thoseI love; I certainly never can forget that I amthe last male of an ancient race, and thatthose who are nearest and dearest to me,are divided from me by a wide waste ofwaters. I have learnt to suffer with morepatience than I had ever hoped for; and, it
    • may be,--although I have hardly breathedthe thought to myself--it may yet beaccorded me to revisit that ancient chapel,and to dwell once more in that familiarmansion."His guest was overcome by his emotion,and pressed his hand with warmth, as hemade his days journey the excuse for anearly retirement.Sleep soon visited his eyelids, for the ride,to one fresh from a sea voyage, hadbrought with it a wholesome weariness. Hewas aroused from his slumbers, by thedeep sonorous accents as of a man readingSpanish.The light streamed from an adjacent room,through the chinks of a partition. Hestarted up alike forgetful of Delm� his ride,and his arrival in Australia; conceiving that
    • he was again at the mercy of the waves, inhis narrow comfortless cabin.That light, however, brought the strangerback to the wanderer, and his griefs.Beside a small table, strewn with his latelyreceived English letters, knelt Sir HenryDelm� The stranger had seen condemnedcriminals pray with becoming fervour; anddevotees of many a creed lift up theirhearts to heaven; but never had hewitnessed a more contrite or a humblerspirit imprinted on the features of mortalman, than then shed its radiance on thatsorrowful, but noble face.Strange as it may appear, he knew notwhether the words themselves reallycaught his ear, or whether the motion ofthe lips expressed them--but this he _did_know, that every syllable seemed to reach
    • his heart, and impress him with a mysticthrill,"OR EVER THE SILVER CORD BE LOOSED,OR THE GOLDEN BOWL BE BROKEN, ORTHE PITCHER BE BROKEN AT THEFOUNTAIN, OR THE WHEEL BROKEN ATTHE CISTERN. THEN SHALL THE DUSTRETURN TO THE EARTH AS IT WAS: ANDTHE SPIRIT SHALL RETURN UNTO GODWHO GAVE IT."
    • Chapter XVIIThe Wanderers Return.
    • "And he had learnd to love--I know notwhy, For this in such as him seemsstrange of mood,-- The helpless looks ofblooming infancy, Even in its earliestnurture; what subdued, To change likethis, a mind so far imbued With scorn ofman, it little boots to know; But thus itwas; and though in solitude Small powerthe nippd affections have to grow, In himthis glowd when all beside had ceased toglow."Within a period of two months, from theinterview we have described, the strangerfound that his arguments had not beenthrown away; as he shook Sir Henrys handon the deck of a vessel bound forValparaiso. His love of travel and ofexcitement, had induced such an habitualrestlessness, that Delm�was not preparedat once to embark for England. He crossed
    • the Cordillera de los Andes--traversed thePampas of Buenos Ayres--and finallyembarked for his native land.It was the height of summer, when thecarriage which bore the long absentowner to his ancestral home, neared theancient moss-grown lodge.Fanny Porter, who was now married, andhad a thriving babe at her breast, startedwith surprise; as, throwing open the gate,she recognised in the care-worn man withbronzed face and silver hair, her wellknown and beloved master. As thecarriage neared the chapel, it struck SirHenry, that it would be but prudent, toinform Clarendon of his near approach; inorder that he might prepare Emily for themeeting. He ordered the postilion to pullup--tore a leaf from his memorandumbook--and wrote a few lines to Clarendon,
    • despatching Thompson in advance. Heturned into the chapel, and as heapproached its altar, the bridal scene,enacted there nearly seven years back,seemed to rise palpably before him.But the tomb of Sir Reginald Delm� with itsvelvet dusty banner--the marblemonument of his mother, with the bustabove it, whose naked eye seemed turnedtowards him--his withered heart and hopessoon darkened his recollections of thatbright hour. With agitated emotions, SirHenry left the chapel; and in a spirit ofimpatience, strode towards the mansion,intending to meet the returning domestic.His feelings were strange, various, and noteasily defined.He was awakened from his day-dream bythe sound of childrens voices, whichsound he instinctively followed, until he
    • reached the old orchard. It was such anorchard, as might be planted by an oldDelm� ere any Linnean or Loudoneanhorticulturist had decided that slopes arebest for the sun, that terraces are aneconomical saving of ground, that valleysmust be swamps, and that blights arevulgar errors. The orchard at Delm�wasstrikingly unscientific; but the old stockcontrived to bear good fruit. The pippins,golden and russet--the pears, jargonelleand good-christian--the cherries, bothblack and white heart--still thrived; whileunder their shade, grew hips, haws, crabs,sloes, and blackberries, happy to beshaded from rain, dews, and fiercesun-shine, and unenvious of roses,cherries, apples, damsons, andmulberries; their self-defended, and morearistocratic cousins.Sir Henry stopped unseen at the gate of the
    • orchard, and for some minutes looked onthe almost fairy group, whose voices hadled him thither.Lying on the bank, which enclosed theorchard, was a blue-eyed rosy-cheekedlittle girl;--the ground ashes had been cutdown; and her laughing face was pillowedon the violets and oxlips, that burst frombetween the roots. She was preparing totake another roll into the clayey ditchbelow. Another little girl was gazing at thechild from within the orchard; half doubtfulwhether she should encourage or checkher. One pale-blue slipper and her littlesock were half sunk in the clay, while theveiny and pink-soled foot, the large lidshalf closed over her deep blue eyes, thefinger thrust between her red and poutinglips, her bonnet thrown back and hangingby the strings round her swelling throat,her hair dishevelled and stuck with oxlips,
    • primroses, cowslips, violets, and daisies;and wreathed with the spring-holly, orbutchers-broom--made her a perfectpicture of English beauty, and of childishanxiety and indecision.Beside her stood a boy older than herself,and evidently as perplexed. There wasJulia perched cock-horse on thebank--there was Emily, her hair undone,her bonnet crashed, with one shoe andstocking lost--and yet he had promisedMamma, that if she would but once trust hissisters to him, that he would bring themhome, "with such a pretty basket ofspring-flowers."The beautiful blossoms of the cherry hungaround the boy--the bees buzzed in itsbells--the apple and pear blossoms shooktheir fragrance in the warm air--and theshadows of the flying clouds hurried like
    • wings over the bright green grass. Theboy had dropped his basket offresh-blown flowers at his feet--tears weretrembling in his eye-lids, as he gazed onhis sisters. His look was that of George."Childhood too has its sorrows," said SirHenry, half aloud, "even when seeking joyon a bank of primroses. Why should _I_then repine?"The boy started as he heard and saw thestranger:--he involuntarily put one footforward in an attitude of childish defiance:but children are keen physiognomists, andthere was nothing but affection beamingfrom that mournful face."My boy!" said Delm� and his eyes weremoist, "did you ever hear of your UncleHenry?"
    • "Emily! Emily! Julia!" exclaimed the littlefellow, as he rushed into Sir Henrys arms,"here is Uncle Henry, my god-papa, andhe will help us to reach the blackberries."We need follow the wanderer no further. Itis true that in his youth he had not knownsympathy; in his manhood he hadexperienced sorrow; but it is a pleasure tous to reflect, that despair is not thecompanion of his old age.
    • The End.
    • End of the Project Gutenberg EBook of ALove Story, by A Bushman
    • www.mybebook.com Imagination.makes.creation