Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

whistle had sounded, emerging from calm steady eyes—a head uncoverthe ledge of rock on my left, and ed, and of fine formation, and a visage moving slowly along. I could see the which gave you the idea of one who flash of the oars, but could not distin- was beyond fear and beyond surprise. guish the sound they made in the wa. A countenance of this nature, even on ter. Now I thought I had a justifiable common occasions, has great power cause for disturbing my companions' over you. You offer an involuntary repose—at least Godfrey's, whose post homage to one whom you believe to it was to watch ; but, strange as it may

have attained that height of philososeem, my efforts were to no purpose, phic security where nothing can agiand the moment I ceased to shake him, tate or amaze. Whether this height he relapsed into slumber again. I did is ever attained through any passage not wish to call out aloud, not from a but the grave, I will not now conjecdisinclination to molest the sleepers, ture, but leave you to imagine how I but somehow silence itself at such an felt, quelled and controlled by such hour insists on being respected, and an appearance as I beheld, and by the you cannot invade it rudely. I had awfulness with which

my imaginaalmost determined to try whether I tion invested it-Suppose it only ima. could not succeed better with the oc- gination which caused me to believe cupiers of the couch than with God. that I saw no inhabitant of the earthfrey; but as, if there were to be any I did not, however, give myself up to forbearance, they were entitled to it, Í this imagination. I strove to think proceeded again to the window, pure that I was looking on a being mortal posing to be decided by what I should and sensible to injury as myself, and behold The boat was still in sight, I prevailed. I remembered the sucbut not nearing the little cove at the cession of sounds before his appear. bottom of the lawn. It seemed rather ance-the whistle from withoutputting out to sea, and had soon pass- that prompting whisper, the terri. ed beyond the hill on my right, and ble Now'-the rustle which attend. became lost to my view. I saw now ed the coming of this new guest to no necessity for giving an alarm. I our chamber, and I concluded that had carefully examined the arms with all indicated human contrivance and a which we were provided-looked to mortal visitant. Then for the first the fastenings of windows and doors, time I looked eagerly to the arms, and, now that the menace from with- but he stood at the table on which out had passed away, and that my they were laid, and I felt convinced fancy, wearied or exhausted, ceased it's that he was prepared to baffle any persecutions, I drew my chair towards attempt I could make to procure them. the fire, and patiently waited for the I cast an eye on my companionsmorning.

they were sleeping with an indiffere “ And in due course I am to believe ence which provoked my anger, and morning came, but before it, came to I stamped on the floor and uttered me a more up welcome visitant. Lite some passionate exclamation. Still my tle time was given me for reflection. persecutor looked on unmoved—and Few and short notices were afforded my poor friends, after an inarticulate of the coming dread. Only one whistle, murmur from Godfrey, continued in low, but near to the house, followed deep and silent slumber. Could our by a whispered monosyllable; the word wine bave been drugged?-I had drunk was ' Now,' in my chamber or its only water. Had my companions taken immediate neighbourhood—whisper. unconsciously an opiate, and were we ed, but dreadfully audible—then a all now to pay the penalties-I of my slight rustle, which was only not siabstinence, and they of indiscretion? lence, and when I started and looked The instant this thought presented it. round, at two paces distant-not self to my mind, I became desperate; more—the dreaded being confronted I dashed my hand violently against my me. In his form or aspect there was head, and in another moment I would nothing of that horrid nature which I have been, if I had persisted in the had been led to expect -no stain of attempt, engaged in a struggle for life blood-no countenance of despair. I or death with my adversary. He saw have the appearance fully before me what was passing in my mind, and at this moment-a figure rather tall, with the saine composed manner which and quite enveloped in a large cloak uever deserted hiin, he moved his

head, mournfully, I thought, and said, notice that my proposal was accepted ; in a rapid whisper, · Forbear— be and in the next moment was passing temperate and discreet, and no evil through the wall of the chamber, shall befall you or your companions, which seemed to open to give him ad. —if you are violent, nothing can save mission. In the state of mind in which you.

His words and manner re- I was, things very strange appear. called me to reason. Surely, even ed natural; and, without a pause, I though bis intents were evil, he was followed my mysterious conductor, not without adherents to uphold him I pursued the rustling of his cloak, in them. Some subtile agency must and soon found myself descending a have contrived the plot to which my narrow staircase. I groped my way friends were victims,-the whistle in in darkness for a few minutes, and af. the neighbourhood of the house must ter proceeding for some paces along a have signified the approach of parti- passage to which the staircase led, sans-and, as we were circumstanced, found myself in a little square apartresistance (in all probability) to arm- ment, without furniture of any kind, ed numbers, was not to be thought of the floor of which was flagged, and You will not then be surprised that which was lighted by a lamp suspende my resolution gave way, nor perhaps ed from the ceiling. Here my conat my subsequent conduct. He spoke ductor paused, and seemed to reflect again—not in a whisper, but in a tone for a moment. * That door,' said he, so low, although without apparent ef- directing his eyes towards a door co. fort or restraint, that his voice scarcely vered with black cloth at a corner of sounded louder. 'Your intrusion the room, 'it should not be closed here was rash and culpable. You came

-pray open it.' to indulge your curiosity; have you • What did he mean by this comcourage to pursue the adventure, and mand? Was I to be precipitated upon have the mystery disclosed ?' I looked some sudden destruction ? Why was to the arms, and for the first time he I to be thus thrust upon an unseen smiled. • They are not necessary,' danger, and to lead the way, where I said he. 'Are you willing,' he con- bad promised only to follow? Although tinued, 'to learn what you have ex- unarmed, I had hitherto held myself posed yourself to untried peril that prepared, in case of treachery, to exert you might know? Will you,' he con- my strength to the utmost, and was tinued, ' accompany me?'

determined, if my guide betrayed me, “ I hesitated for a moment, an l to seize upon him, and make him feel he proceeded – You are not safer here the energy of a dying grasp ; but here than outside this chamber ; your best I was to be taken at vantage; enemies, security is to contide in me.- Are you perhaps, suddenly to start up before, ready to follow me--unarmed ?' a perfidious instigator of them behind,

“' I ran rapidly over all the cir- - I was to suffer without an effort at cumstances of my situation. I was, I revenge. ' I will not do it-I will might say, alone and defenceless, sur- sell my life dear,' and I looked round rounded, I had no doubt, if my ad. for some weapon to second my despeversaries were mortal, by numbers, rate intent. which it was absurd to think of with- "Your life—What puts your life standing. What should it avail me in peril? You are safe as in your fa. to manifest distrust? The love of ad- ther's house. I felt strangely'assured venture, too, awoke in me. Why might by the tones of his singular voice, so I not have the fortune to witness passionless, but so impressive. Still, things worthy of remembrance? Why however, I shrunk from the office he might I not be a means of extrica- would assign me, and said, with full ting our entire party from danger. determination of purpose, – I will 'I will confide in you,' said I ; ' lead not go before you ; I promised to fol.

low where you led-Go you on-open “I looked, with all the anxiety na- that door, and still I follow.' tural in my situation, to see how my “ He was silent for a moment; and, communication would be received; for the first time since I saw him, but the face remained quite unmoved appeared disturbed ; he even smiled a —no malignant satisfaction-no plea. scornful and bitter smile, and replied, sure-no surprise-he simply, by a repeating my words in a tone suitable slight inclination of his head, gave to his altered appearance — Open that door-open that door-Behold !' and wiped away. Do you remember? he cast off the cloak which had his but no, perhaps you do not,-few retherto concealed his figure, and stretch collect better than you what they have ed out towards me, arms from which read, but few forget faster what they the hands had been lopped off, and have invented. I can refresh your me. horrid from recent mutilation ;– Bemory, however; and I quote from my hold !' he repeated, in a voice of commonplace book, Article,‘Dreams, thunder. It was a ghastly sight to my accusation against you :-Phesee the stern and inflamed aspect, nomena in dreaming. Identity and the naked, mangled arms, vividly be- diversity-conversation with O'Brien fore me; and all other parts of the on the subject, who related the fol. figure, whether from my visual weake lowing dream, and described it as ness, or from some more fearful cause, having resulted from our conversaindistinct and dim, as if a vapour sur- tions on the above sụbjects, and from rounded the form—and the angry his engagement in the study of opcountenance, and the mutilated limbs, tics.' were protrudi d from it.

on.'

“I dreamed,' said he,' that I was “I was horror-struck; at one mo- walking on the shore, near Bray, and ment I felt a tear in my eye-but I was looking towards the Welsh moun. not relieved by weeping. When I re- tains, which appeared distinctly visicovered power of motion, I walked ble. As I was endeavouring to make with the submissiveness of a child to my fancy act as a magnifier, and shew do his bidding. A glove had been left me the plains and valleys they enon the handle of the door, and I re. closed, I found myself amongst them, member fearing to displace it, although but now, strange to say, they seemed it was damp from what seemed like less lofty than when I saw them at so blood. I proceeded to do my work. considerable a distance. Also I had I turned the handle-but it was with ceased to be alone, and to my comdifficulty. I felt even as if some motion panion, who, though unknown to me, in the door resisted me, as I attempts seemed yet familiar, and in some sort ed to open it; but I now became des- connected with my former life, I spoke perate ; and although a struggling of the wonder with which I regarded resistance was made to my efforts, and the very strange phenomenon presente although sounds, as of the murmur ed to me. lle endeavoured to explain of human voices, were uttered to deter why the mountains diminished as I me, I persevered, until at one effort, approached them, spoke of the effects more violent than the rest, I seemed of mist and distance ; but I was not to have succeeded, and the door was satisfied.-No,' said I, “ the laws of about to fly open, when I heard a optics are violated, and either these voice indistinc:ly, but which I could laws are unsound, or some strange deperfectly understand; it said,-lly ception is practised on us. Oh,' said nose !—my nose !--unhand my nose!' 1, delighted at my discovery, 'all is I awoke, and found that I had made delusion--these are not vales or moun. free with that feature of poor God- tains--it is a dream.'-No,' replied frey's face, and that he and I were my companion,' that cannot be ; you bathed in the blood which was issue may be dreaming, but I am waking ing copiously from it.

- What absurdity can be imagined " Pause, dear O'Brien, for an in, greater, than that two persons shall stant; do not avenge yourself on my become involved in the same dream, poor packet. It has not done you wrong, and shall converse in it? I was pernor has its author; and if you recol- plexed-but at length extricated mylect yourself, you inust remember self. There are no two persons—I that, by anticipation, you have amply am the only person concerned-you had your revenge. Noi-do not think are the mere creature of my dream.' it-in your late communication. Far – That,' said my pertinacious opbe it from me to insinuate that your ponent, ' that I deny. If either be adventures are to terminate as mine ideal, I insist you are the shadow. I has ended. No, it never entered into feel my existence too strong in me to my mind thus to disparage your re- imagine that I am the shade of a cital ; but I find an old score against dream, or the dream of a shade, in you, and I know you are too just to any other sense than that in which be angry at the manner in which it is the old philosopher applies that figure

7

to the life of all mankind. I certain. ed to enjoy my distress, and to dally ly will not resign my claim to my with delight of the vengeance he was own separate identity.'

-How was tbis to indulge in. He raised his arm, question to be decided? We had both and strained his muscles for the blow become satisfied that one of us was the by which I was to be proved nothing; shadow of a dream, but neither would but my dread of annihilation became acquiesce in the notion that he was to too severe, and before the blow deshave his portion only in so fleeting an cended, I awoke in ecstasies that I had existence. How was the matter to be not been pronounced a vision.' decided ? My tormentor proposed a ". This is Mr O'Brien's recital, and contrivance. We should each give I find two lines drawn across it, and the other a cuff on the ear, and as- the following comment:-'N.B.-0'. certain thus the shadow and the sub- Brien has told me that he invented stance. I was to strike first, and I de- the above story merely for his own livered my buffet with hearty good- and my amusement.' Now, confess, will; my hand fell noiseless upon his have you been punished beyond your cheek, but to my mortification, there deserts ? I have merely had my rehe stood still, with a malicious grin venge; but I promise, that, without upon his countenance, and ready to provocation, I will not again assail repay my blow with interest. Now

you, ' Hic victor cæstus artemque came my trial and my alarm. I dread. repono.' Let me hear soon that you ed what the effects of the blow might bear no malice in your heart, and that be ; sure I was that I had real lite; you believe me no shadow,or delusion, but not sure, that the issue of the or tormentor, but most sincerely your trial might not adju licate me a sha- friend, dow, and banish me for ever to the

Charles Hastings." land of dreams. My persecutor seem

THE FRANCISCAN AND THE BROTHERHOOD.

From the Latin of Buchanan.

INTRODUCTION.

At the time when the great Scot- despotic in its enactments, intolerant tish reformer John Knox, through the in its exactions, and bloody and perinstrumentality of an overruling Pro- securing in its spirit. It has always vidence, made his appearance, the Ro- set its face against every improvement man Catholic religion in Scotland had and innovation; and has looked with arrived at that pitch of corruption the scowl of disapprobation on every and abuse to which, froin its very na- art and science which did not minister ture, it must always incline. Being to the promotion and advancement of founded on the evil passions of the its own superstitious rites and cerehuman mind, in so far as it differs monies. Every thing that tended to from the pure doctrines and precepts expand and strengthen the intellect of Christianity, such evil passions it of man, it has ever opposed ; and if it must always subserve; and as, in ma- has been the friend and foster-mother of ny cases, it has substituted the dog- Painting, Architecture, Statuary, and mas of fallible and sinful beings, in Music, -and of this there can be no the place of the infallible oracles of doubt,-it was because it perceived in God, its tendency is to enslave, to these most glorious arts, the most darken, and degrade, the human un- powerful auxiliaries to enslave the spiderstanding. To the full exercise of rit of man, by working on his imagithe mind it must be, and always has nation, and to darken him through been, the declared enemy: it shrinks the medium of his senses and his feel. from the light of reason, as the phan- ings. In this respect it has put in toms and fiends of darkness flee the practice the devices of ancient heaapproach of the day-spring: it can thenism, which also was indebted to only reign and domineer amid igno- the fine arts for much of its power and rance and the prostration of the powers efficiency. It also appealed to the of the human understanding: it is senses and the imagination; it embo. died, in pictured and sculptured forms, priests, are scarcely credible. Some of the abstract conceptions and the tra- our ancient kings had been devotees of ditionary lore of the human mind- the sternest cast, who had lavished on the virtues and the vices of the deified the church both lands and treasures, hero and legislator—the power of all, in order to lay up for themselves treapervading love-the principles, real sures in heaven. Others of them, the or supposed, that regulate the air, the slaves of every evil passion, and the earth, and the water and, in fine, the perpetrators of the foulest crimes, whole being of man, as he has been, were taught by their ghostly counsela as he is, and as he hopes or fears to lors, that gold and lands, and the be.

church's prayers, alone could purchase Popery is Christianity engrafted on for them the forgiveness of the past, the Paganism of Greece and Rome, immunity for the future, and bliss and its fruits have the flavour, and eternal. The prince, the peer, and have always partaken much of the na- peasant, the religious enthusiast and ture, of the parent stock. The statue the dissipated profligate, all were ex of the Thunderer required but little cellent subjects for the crafty minisalteration to be a fit representation of ters of this polluted system, who rethe Fisherman of Galilee: the soror velled and rioted, flourished and fate atque conjux Jovis was but another tened, amid the ignorance and the expression for the mother of God, and crimes of a priest-enslaved people. the queen of heaven ;-and from the Vice, in all its bideous shapes, started Mythologic Tartarus, the cunning up from amidst this rank hotbed, this priesthood could easily borrow all the superfetation, of wealth and luxury: grim and horrific imagery of their pur. The priests, like Jeshurun of the old gatory. The resemblance between the Testament, “ waxed fat, and kicked. two is, in various particulars, remark. They provoked God to jealousy with ably complete ; but the priest of St strange gods, with abominations proPeter was unlike the priest of Poly- voked they him to anger. They satheism in the article of toleration. crificed unto devils, not to God; to These rejected not the gods of others, gods whom they knew not, to new nor persecuted the worshippers of gods that came newly up. And when strange gods, if so be that Jupiter and the Lord saw it, he abhorred them, all his tribe were treated with due re. because of the provoking of his sons spect, and not spoken against. The Po- and of his daughters. And he said, I lytheist never asserted that all without will hide my face from them, I will the pale of his church are accursed see what their end shall be ; for they now and for ever; he was the most are a very froward generation, child accommodating of religionists. Your ren in whom there is no faith."god was his god, for whom indeed he (Deut. 32, 15.) exacted from you a decent degree of The greater, and that, too, the more reverence; and with a quocunque fertile part of the kingdom, was in the alio nomine voceris," he lifted up the hands of the churchmen, who squanvoice of supplication and of adoration dered away their immense wealih by to the gods of foreign lands, whose indulging in every luxury, and riotpower, and whose attributes, and ing in every extravagant pleasure. Prewhose very names, he did not and cared vented by the laws of their church not to know. The Athenian had an from marrying, and persecuting with altar dedicated to the unknown god relentless fury every one of their order like an hospitable landlord who keeps who transgressed such laws, but at a place vacant for an unexpected guest the same time winking at the abomi-even although he had thousands of nations to which this unnatural rehis own to worship; and in the Ro- striction gave rise, they lived in open man Pantheon, there was a niche for profligacy with courtezans, whom they the statue of every new divinity that maintained in the greatest pomp and might happen to make his appearance. luxury, and with whose offspring even

Among a rude and warlike people the great and the noble did not dissuch as the Scots, Popery flourished dain an alliance, because of the splenlong and prevailed; and at the time did fortunes which thereby accrued to of the Reformation, its corruptions and them. Tbey disregarded all secular impostures, and the profligacy of its jurisdiction, and held every enactment

« AnteriorContinuar »