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bility of Macedonia, Greece, and Per- unrivalled steed was led by the grooms sia, awaiting his appearance. Innu- of the Monarch. He mounted it with merable varieties of dress and arms, a careless bound, and while he gallopof language and countenance, were ed from the spot, followed by the glithere assembled ; and every province tering whirlwind of officers, feudatohe ruled over had sent its noblest and ries, and kings, he talked to those most splendid inhabitants to swell the around him of the battle, the chase, court of Alexander. All were mount- the banquet, the philosophy of ed on the fleetest and most beautiful Aristotle, and the charms of Pancoursers of Thessaly and Asia, and an caste.
The day had died in storm; and I presented myself at the iron gates, the chamber of Alexander was closed and that they opened to admit me. I and lighted. He lay on his couch in proceeded down a long and dark flight the restlessness and pain of a fever of steps, then through a passage, then from which he was never to recover. down other steps, and had at last adHe was attended only by a young vanced to an immense distance through Persian girl, who watched his lightest the rock. I thought for a moment of word and sign with far more than the returning, but I went on, and travelled, carefulness of servility. There was as it seemed, league after league. At all the intensity of passionate affec- length I reached an iron grating, tion in that pale cheek, those tearful which with some difficulty I pushed eyes, and that quivering forehead. open, and found myself in a large She moved silently through the splen- chamber. On the opposite wall there did room at the least hint of the pa- appeared to be a faint glimmer of tient's want, and, when it was satisfi- light, and to it I proceeded. I touched, she would sit down and weep in ed the spot, and it felt like the side of silence. It was early in the evening a tent, and, in truth, I found that it when he said, “ Abra, I would speak was a curtain, covering an aperture. I with Perdiccas.” She flew from the pulled it aside, and a broad pale light chamber, and in a few moments re- burst upon me through the opening, turned with the person named, and which also gave me a view of another, then retired to the ante-chamber, and far larger chamber than that in where, among slaves, guards, attend- which I stood. ants, and physicians, she hid her face “ The room into which I looked in her hands, and sobbed bitterly, was a vast gallery, which stretched its while she thought that the man she dreary vista almost beyond the sight. loved would so soon breathe his The floor was of black marble, and last.
the sides of polished porphyry. Along Perdiccas entered the room silently the walls thrones were ranged at equal and slowly, and sat beside the bed. spaces, to an interminable distance. After a few moments of heavy breath- Those on one side were all occupied, ing, the King turned towards his except the nearest, which bore the friend, and told him to move the lamp name of ZAMOR, but which his late so that it might throw no light upon the penitence and imperfect reparation couch. He then proceeded thus : had saved the ancient conqueror from
“ Perdiccas, you will remember occupying. The throne opposite to having once found me in India, at the this—the first in the vacant line-was tomb of ZAMOR. I have revealed to inscribed · Alexander.' And, O Perno man what I saw there ; but I will diccas! could I speak with the tongue now disclose it to you. The circum- of one of those Athenian poets whose stances which led me thither are of renown will be as great as mine, I but little importance. Suffice it that should yet be unable to express the tithe of that horror which seized me est, the most beautiful, the bravest, when I looked upon the tenants of the most unhappy, the demi-god those other thrones, and saw that a Achilles. His eyes still sbone like similar one was destined for me! It stars amid the burning halo wherewith is not that they had an aged or a bar- his head was of old encircled by Mibaric appearance,-though their hairs nerva, and which still beamed around were white, and their brows haggard, him, as if in mockery of those white and their dresses were those of the lips compressed and agitated with a East and of the North,—but their paroxysm of affliction too mighty for faces were marked with a still despe- even the slayer of Hector to master it. ration, and their bodies settled in a In the shield which leant against his calm agony, of which I had no pre- knees, I saw not the images of the barvious conception. I have often looked vest and the dance, but the reflection upon death ; but no pangs from the of the hero's immeasurable pain. sword, nor from the torture, ever “ The feet of each of these terrible seemed to me more than a slight dis- shadows were placed upon an image comfort compared to the sufferings of of the world; and before my throne I those mighty and glorious warriors. saw a similar attribute. My empire They sat motionless as the rocks on seemed to clasp with its boundary an the banks of Phlegethon; but it was enormous portion of the earth; but the tranquillity of an endurance which its limits were faint and wavering, and feels that it would be hopeless to at- methought at every instant they tempt escape. The eyes of some of shrank and broke asunder. Above them were nearly closed, and there the thrones were trophies; but in the seemed no light in their countenances, midst of each of them, that grey, stera but a dull dead glare which escaped Destiny, who, from its iron cave, in from beneath their shadowing eyelids. some distant planet, sends forth the There was one hoary head and swar- silent blasts that sway the universe, thy cheek, with a diadem of jewels, had fixed some emblem of mockery, and the Egyptian beetle on his breast, shame, and evil : the mowing ape, the , and I knew the presence of Sesostris. crawling worm, the foulness of the And there was ancient Belus, with the harpy, the envenomed slime of the serstar of the Babylonian wizards on his pent, showed themselves among the brow, and leaning his awful head up- spoils, weapons, crowns, and banners on his hand. And there was the of royalty and conquest. And ofer warrior-deity of those Scythians all this a ghastly light was shed from whom in my boyhood I subdued, the eyeless sockets of skeleton warclothed in wolf-skins, but with a cui- ders, who waited upon the enthroned rass on his breast, and a crown of iron victims. around his scarred forehead. Hercu- « Can you wonder, my friend, that les, too, whom we have dreamed a god, I felt a horror which swords, and leaned upon his club in anguish, which, flames, and menacing millions could though silent, was more horrible than not inspire, when I gazed upon the 'the pangs he endured from the robe of agonies of those beings, so dead to all Nessus; and a greater than he, or than but misery? My eyes almost failed all the rest, showed the writhen fea- to see, and my feet to stand, when I tures and sunken cheeks of long-sus- turned from them to mark the throne tained suffering beneath those emblems which bore so deeply engraven on its of mysterious strength, the moonlike granite pedestal, the name of "Alexhorns of Ammon. There was one ander.' From that hour my nature spirit, and but one, in whom the fiery has changed. I have not had the reenergy of his nature was not repressed solution to yield up my conquests, and by the tremendous fate to which he disrobe myself of my greatness ; but I was subjected,-the Greek who in his have sought to lose the memory of my youth was victor over Asia, the feet- former deeds and future doom in re
velries and intoxications, which, at His voice had grown hoarse and brolast, have brought me death, though ken; and he proceeded slowly and they have never bestowed forgetfulness. feebly : “ Though I have failed to I shall soon be among those dreary profit by the lesson, thus much I have and tormented shadows of departed been taught by ZAMOR." power and dearly-bought renown. He never spoke again. He left for Take you this ring,” (and he gave his generals, the slavery of Greece him the emblematic signet,) “and and the distraction of the world ; to when you look upon it, remember, that Perdiccas, a counsel by which he had not the image you see upon it, of im- not profited himself; to Abra, a desomortal life and unbroken happiness, late existence and a broken heart. will dwell with the remains of kings And so did he perish at Babylon, and conquerors, but the polluting whose boyhood had sped so blithely earth-worm and the stinging scorpion.” among the hills of Macedonia.
PHILOSOPHERs and divines have made liant assemblage like some « fairy" many fruitless efforts to remove that vision of the “element.” She had general perversity in mankind, which no jewels about her person, which was leads it to despise simple pleasures, but of the middle stature. A single and eagerly search out those that pos- flower alone decorated her fine head sess no value but in their rarity, or the of light brown hair. Her dress was estimation of a senseless fashion. Ages white with little of flounce or furbewill, I fear, elapse before the world low, but her gait was elegant and can be amended in this respect, and graceful. There were other ladies individuals be taught to calculate the present, as young and beautiful as she worth of a thing by its intrinsic, or its was, but they did not seem to attract relative merits, without borrowing half so much admiration, for they had their opinions from others. Many too many of the “ adulteries of art” will not enjoy what would afford them about them; she reigned queen “ of great pleasure, because such enjoy- the ascendant.” This, I am convincment is not sanctioned by usage. This ed, arose solely from the simplicity of is particularly the case as respects her attire, where there was so much cheap and simple pleasures. Simpli- artificial decoration. There is somecity is but little followed, and yet it thing of propriety in our natural feelalways obtains admiration. I went ings that inforins us what is true taste, the other day to a fashionable ball, and gives us an intuitive knowledge of where unwieldy dowagers and rich the really elegant. Let this illustrate nabobesses promenaded the rooms, the value of simplicity in everything, adorned with costly pearls, and glit- in the fine arts, in pleasure, and in our tering in jewels, the spoils of every domestic enjoyments. Of the latter, climate under the sun. Even the it is astonishing how many that are younger and more beautiful part of highly tasteful are within the reach of the company were attired in the ex- all, but for that reason deemed too treme of the ton, and in an exube-' cheap to be practicable, notwithstandrance of ornament. There was one ing their value. lovely girl amongst them who attract- When summer's delightful season ed every eye, and far eclipsed those arrives, rarely in this country too warm who had exhausted the decorative art to be enjoyed throughout the day in of half the milliners and tirewomen of the open air, there is nothing more St. James's. Every heart did her grateful than a profusion of choice homage, and she moved in the bril- flowers around and within our dwell
ings. The humblest apartinents or- Nothing, in my view, is half so denamented with these beautiful pro- lightful as a library set off with these ductions of nature have, in my view, beautiful productions of the earth dura more delightful effect than the proud- ing summer, or, indeed, any other est saloons with gilded ceilings and season of the year. A library or hangings of Genoa velvet. The rich- study, opening on green turf, and harness of the latter, indeed, would be ing the view of a distant rugged courheightened, and their elegance in- try, with a peep at the ocean between creased, by the judicious introduction hills, a small fertile space forming the of flowers and foliage into them. The nearest ground, and an easy chair and odor of flowers, the cool appearance books, is just as much of local enjoyof the dark green leaves of some spe- ment as a thinking man can desire, cies, and the beautiful tints and varied I reck not if under a thatched or a forms of others, are singularly grateful slated roof, to me it is the same thing. to the sight, and refreshing at the same A favorite author on my table, in the time. Vases of Etruscan mould, con- midst of my bouquets, and I speedily taining plants of the commonest kind, forget how the rest of the world wags. offer those lines of beauty which the I fancy I am enjoying nature and art eye delights in following ; and vari- together, a consummation of luxury form leaves hanging festooned over that never palls upon the appetitethem, and shading them if they be of dessert of uncloying sweets. a light color, with a soft grateful hue, Madame Roland seems to have felt add much to their pleasing effect. very strongly the union of mental pleaThese decorations are simple and sure with that afforded to the senses cheap. They offer to every class by flowers. She somewhere says, their redundant variety of beauty, at “La vûe d'une fleur carresse mon the price of a little labor to him who imagination et flatte mes sens à un is disposed to rear them for himself, point inexprimable ; elle réveille avec and at a very trifling expense in a volupté le sentiment de mon existence, large city to those who choose to pur- Sous le tranquil abri du toit paternal, chase them. It is true the apartments j'étois heureuse des enfance avec des of some few persons are always adorn- fleurs et des livres ; dans l'étroite ened with them, and their aid is called ceinte d'une prison, au milieu des fers in somewhat incongruously to set off imposés par la tyrannie la plus revoltthe midnight ball-room, but they are ante, j'oublie l'injustice des hommes, not half as common in dwelling-houses leurs sottises, et mes maux, avec des as they should be. They offer their livres et des fleurs.” These pleararer varieties to the wealthy, and sures, however, are, like the unjewelthose not blessed by fortune have a led girl at the ball, too simple to be profusion of a cheaper kind at com- universally felt. mand, they being among those bless- There is something delightful in ings bestowed upon us by our com- the use which the eastern poets, parmon mother which are within the ticularly the Persian, make of flowers reach of all. Lord Bacon, whose in their poetry. Their allusions are magnificence of mind exempts him not casual, and in the way of meta-. from every objection as a model for phor and simile only; they seem rethe rest of mankind, (in all but the ally to hold them in high admiration. unfortunate error to which perhaps I am not aware that the flowers of his sordid pursuit in life led him, to Persia, except the rose, are more the degradation of his nobler intellect,) beautiful or more various than those was enthusiastically attached to flow- of other countries. Perhaps England, ers, and kept a succession of them including her gardens, green-houses, about him in his study and at his ta- and fields, having introduced a vast ble. Now the union of books and variety from every climate, may exflowers is more particularly agreeable. hibit a list unrivalled, as a whole, in
odor and beauty. Yet flowers are not decay; those who have not, and yet with us held in such high estimation have space to afford them light and as among the Orientals, if we are to occasionally air, may rear most of judge from their poets. For whate- those kinds under their own roof, ver belongs to nature, and is prized which may be applied for ornament in nationally, is sure to be prominently summer. Vases of plaster, modelled introduced into that department of from the antique, may be stained any literature which belongs to imagina- color most agreeable to the fancy, and, tion. Bowers of roses and flowers fitted with tin cases to contain the are perpetually alluded to in the writ- earthen pots of flowers, to prevent the ings of eastern poets. The Turks, damp from acting on them, will look and indeed the Orientals in general, exceedingly well. have few images of voluptuousness There is a great advantage, in fawithout the richest flowers contribut- milies, in keeping the most pleasing ing towards them. The noblest pa- and correct images of every kind of laces, where gilding, damask, and fine object before the eyes of youth. It carpeting abound, would be essential- causes, almost insensibly, an affinity ly wanting in luxury without flowers. between the objects so familiarized to It cannot be from their odor alone them and the symmetry of thought (if that they are thus identified with plea- I may so express myself), independ sure; it is from their union of exqui- ently of forming a correct taste. The site hues, fragrance, and beautiful region of fancy will be filled with forms, that they raise a sentiment of more correct images; and a distorted voluptuousness in the mind; for what- or ill-proportioned object will be more ever unites these qualities can scarce- immediately perceived by those who ly do otherwise.
have been always accustomed to have Whoever virtuously despises the the beautiful before them. In this opinion that simple and cheap plea- sense, natural flowers are far better sures, not only good, but in the very than embroidery, and the tapestry best taste, are of no value because roses of our starched ancestors.
fill their apartments with a succession cluding the Guelder Rose; the Rhoof our better garden flowers. It has dodendron, and other plants of similar been said that flowers placed in bed growth, are fitted for the saloon, but rooms are not wholesome. This can- they please best in the library. They not be meant of such as are in a state should be intermingled with the bookof vegetation. Plucked and put into cases, and stands filled with them water, they quickly decay, and, doubt- should be placed wherever practicaless, give out a putrescent air; when ble. They are a wonderful relief to alive and growing, there need not be the student. There is always about any danger apprehended from them, them a something that infuses a senprovided fresh air is frequently intro- sation of placid joy, cheering and reduced. For spacious rooms, the bet- freshing. Perhaps they were first inter kinds, during warm weather, are troduced at festivals, in consequence those which have a large leaf and of their possessing this quality. A bossy flower. Large leaves have a flower-garden is the scene of pleasurvery agreeable effect on the senses; able feelings of innocence and ele. their rich green is grateful to the gance. The introduction of flowers sight: of this kind, the Hydrangæa is into our rooms infuses the same senremarkably well adapted for apart- sations, but intermingles them more ments, but it requires plenty of water. with our domestic comforts ; so that Those who have a green-house con- we feel, as it were, in closer contact nected with their dwellings, have the with them. The succession might be convenience, by management, of kept up for the greater part of the changing their plants as the flowers year; and even in winter, evergreens
27 ATHENEUM, VOL. 1, 3d series.