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his inspiration and reward But no, she destroys the happiness of both, and marries the Earl of Erpingham. This done, she is described as pursuing the even tenor of her way, calm and unmoved; plunging into state intrigues, she devotes herself to revenge and ambition, and yet she is all the while represented as preserving the memory of her first and only disininterested attachment to Godolphin.
Such a woman, in real life, would indeed, be a lusus naturæ. Having once surmounted her love for Godolphin, she would not have preserved even its remembrance with interest; but granting her capability to have done this, how different would have been the results; to ascertain which we must have recourse to the pages of L.E.L. That writer would have pictured disappointment in the midst of completed hopes; anxiety, and fear, in the midst of success; sorrow in the hours of joy; and a frightful, exciting, and delusive joy, even in moments of distress : there would have been a broken heart, or despair and madness, as a final catastrophe. The intellectual powers of Constance could but have served to augment the misery of her situation, and expose the hollowness of her motives. Like Lady Marchmont, she was irreligious; it was excessive pride, and not principle, that preserved Constance from immorality, in that only sense of the word in which the world condemns a woman as immoral; it was an excess of disappointed vanity, and not love, that caused Lady Marchmont to fall. In fine, terrific and revolting as is the catastrophe in the case of Lady Marchmont, we are of opinion that it is more true to nature than any of the latter part of Lady Erpingham's career.
Bulwer, with justice, observes, “ What luxury so dear to a woman as the sense of dependence ?” but to Constance that luxury would have been dearer than to Lucilla. Look around society. Is it not the weak, or the vain, or frivolous, who are most tyrannical and capricious to their lovers ? A sceptre being to them so novel a plaything, that in their delight at obtaining one, they wield it untiringly.
In conclusion, we must express a hope that these remarks may be received with the same good-humoured spirit in which they have been penned ; and of the powerful writer of whose works we have made the most frequent mention, we would particularly ask, will he not forgive us for having an opinion ? “ The want of which," he somewhere declares to be “the most general want in the world.”
I stood beside the sunny sea,
Again I stood the waves to view ;
Time passed — my bitter doom I bore.
PONTIUS PILATE'S DAUGHTER.
BY NICHOLAS MICHELL,
AUTHOR OF “RUINS OF MANY LANDS," ETC.
Feared and hated throughout his reign, the Emperor Tiberius was no more, and Rome rejoiced. His soul, write the Latin chroniclers, had crossed the Stygian river, but, unpurified from the stains of earth, and loaded with crimes, was excluded from Elysium. Caligula had assumed the imperial purple-a prince at first apparently just and merciful, but who soon, in riot, profligacy, and cruelty, surpassed even his predecessor.
On the banks of the classic Anio, about twenty miles northeast of Rome, a man of a stern and melancholy countenance was pacing to and fro. The sun was setting over the Sabine hills, and the yellow light tinged with glory the tall columns of the Temple of Neptune, the marble villas lately occupied by Mecænas and Horace, and other splendid edifices which Rome's wealthy sons had erected in that enchanting region ; but neither flowing river, architectural beauty, nor that sky where the golden clouds seemed to form a radiant vista through which happy souls might glide into heaven, had power to charm away the anxious thoughts, or soften the gloom, of the pensive meditator. He was stricken with years, yet his figure was stately, and his hair, untouched by the frosty hand of Time, was black as jet. He wore a patrician tunic, and the thongs of his sandals were fastened with clasps of gold. His eyes had lost nothing of their fire, but, unlike the eyes of youth, they wandered not from object to object, but where they settled there they remained, in still reverie and unmitigated sadness.
And this was he who had governed Judæa under Tiberius,this was Pontius Pilate.
Little, in an historical point of view, is known of Pilate after his recall from the East and the death of Tiberius : we learn, however, from Josephus, that having incurred the displeasure of that emperor a short time before he died, he was banished from Rome. He was an avaricious and wealthy man; and, like many other statesmen and generals in a similar position, though exiled from the Capitol, he might have been permitted to enjoy his riches. Pilate now occupied a villa in the neighbourhood of Tibur; he was surrounded by choice spirits, for here the warrior, the poet, and the sage—and many others whose finances allowed, and who were not enamoured of the dust of the city-luxuriated during the warm summer months.
The villa of the ex-governor of Judæa, in beauty and in splendour, outshone most of its rivals. As his late imperial master had done, he endeavoured to drown thought in the fascination of the senses; but vainly did he put into practice all the theories of Epicurus : wine flowed, woman smiled, and music breathed its witching spells, to no purpose. The joys that ravish others found no echo in his breast; the light without only added to the gloom within. He bore a brand on his brow more black than that of Cain; and the serpent which once twined its envenomed folds around the limbs of the Laocoon, was more sparing in the torments it inflicted than that black snake of remorse which, in tumult and in quiet, in cities or in solitude, coiled around his heart, poisoning all the springs of joy.
Pilate seated himself beneath the plane-trees, and gazed on the Anio; it glided softly between its wooded and templecrowned banks, laughing in the sun; the flowers along the margin stooped to moisten their thirsty lips in the limpid