« VorigeDoorgaan »
and swung himself from the scafTRUTH AND FICTION.
fold, with his neck hung on the (Concluded from page 69.)
right side, and his feet flourishing It was the night previous to the in imitation of one executed. day of execution, one of those calm The heart of Richard was sick autumnal nights when the leaf within him at this brutal jest; but drops noiseless from the tree, as if when the first pain of the shock it were a shadow. A thin clear was over, it left behind a kind and white fog mantled the earth, gentle effect: the over-wrought through which the moon seemed mind sunk into a deep slumwalking like a spirit, so little had ber, and fortunately for him, the it dimmed her brightness ; and, indolence, or the drowsiness of as the prisoner lay in his dungeon, the jailor, let him remain undishe could see the carpenters at turbed by the usual hourly visiwork on his scaffold. He even tations. His dreams too were heard the coarse jokes of the happier than his waking reality; workmen, their taunts against each to his sleeping fancy he was no other, and their calculations of the longer in a dungeon, but stood probable pain of hanging, mixed proudly at the helm of his little now and then with a word of self- brig, with every sail set to the congratulation that they were not, wind, and lying gunnel to amidst as they expressed it, in the shoes the dark-green waves that splashof the prisoner. Not a syllable ed half-way up her mast. There escaped him.
was reason, however, for this pe• A few more screws in the up-rilous speed; Lucy was traversright,' said the master carpenter, ing the shore on her way to the or our work may chance to give church with a bridegroom, forced way before the time.'
on her by old Ellis, who, whether • If it does I'll give you leave sleeping or waking, seemed to be to hang me,' said one of his assist- an everlasting torment to poor ants. • But suppose we try it Richard. The first of the party first on Sim here: if it bears his had already crossed the style fat sides, it will bear any thing.' which defended the church-yard,
• You had better try it on your- while there was still a space of self,' replied the object of the three miles at the least, lying betaunt, "Your neck was made for a tween his vessel and the Minister. hempen neckcloth,'
Reckless of the consequence, he • With all my heart,' said the shouted to his men; Out with first speaker, and, dexterously every reef in her mainsheet, my flinging a rope over the top beam lads ; sink or swim, no matter for he sprung up so as to catch a the upshot !!—This was no sooner grasp of it as high as possible, I said than done and the mast be
gan to grown and quiver, while -and the organ too increasing in the water rose half over the lee- speed—till at last it seemed like ward side of the deck ; but the the jubilee of madness. But the purpose was answered; the vessel vision soon melted away into anoflew with this fresh stimulus to ther shape, more pleasing and its speed ; and, just as the priest less fantastic, than this dance of was challenging the bystanders to the living dead. The grey aisles produce any impediment to the of the church were succeeded by union, he was at the altar, and the humble mansion of his father, exclaimed: 'I do--the bride's even to the minutest article that husband - mine!- mine by an lived in his waking memory, and
mine by this token !' | 20 years were struck off from the -and he lifted up their infant, account of time; he was a boy that now, by another flight of again, in holyday freedom from fancy, lay cradled in his arms. school, playing at the feet of his • Mine! Mine!' replied Lucy; mother; and, by one of the Mine! Mine!' echoed a thou- strange incongruities so familiar sand voices from below, and the to dreams, that mother was Lucy. organ began to play, and the If a state of sleep can be deemed stones to heave up from the vaults, life, this was with him the hapand all those, who had been buri- piest moment of life; he hung on ed for centuries, arose from their her lips, like a young bee on the long sleep, not as shrouded skele- rose; and the very air, in which tons, but as things of life, each in he breathed, seemed a perfume : the costume of his own time. It it was a full and perfect consciwas in fact the masquerade of ousness of bliss that belongs only ages; the thin, tight-laced beau to the imagination, and can thereof modery days, gave his hand to fore be tasted by none but the the furbelowed antique, with hoop sleeper or the maniac; a glimpse of monstrous dimensions, and a of reason would destroy it; like turret of caps on her head; the the figures of the phantasmagoria, gauntletted warrior stretched out it is visible only in the dark. his arm of brass to the half clad Such a position of mind and fair one, who returned his formal body, however, could not, and courtesy with the slight nod of did not, last long, and with every a modern fashionable ; lawyers, minute his slumber lost something priests, soldiers, statesmen, men, of its soundness. He began to be women, and children, in grotesque half conscious that he was only in assemblage, ranged along each a dream; and in this middle state, side of the chancel. And now between sleeping and waking, the waltz began--at first, slow-struggled hard to keep it, by then, quicker-quicker---quickerl giving himself up, as much as
possible, to the illusion. He had He was now within a few yards even partially succeeded, when a of the scaffold, that stood on the rude voice, in breaking up this cliff before the Light-house, when slumber, awoke him to a full sense a young woman made her way to of his misery. It was the jailor him in spite of all opposition, and with the blacksmith, who came to fung herself, sobbing, on his knock off his fetters previous to neck : it, was Lucy. The shehis appearance on the scaffold. The riff's officers would fain have transition was anguish unuttera- forced her from him, but, at the ble. The inind, too, by this short earnest prayer of Richard, the respite from pain, had acquired clergyman interposed, notwithfresh capabilities of sufferance; standing the irregularity of the and, by the time he was led out proceeding, and obtained for her from his prison, he was in a state a momentary respite, which she of mental agony far more severe was not slow to employ. Why than the worst inflictions of the is this, she exclaimed ; I will hangman. He had seen many suf- not have it so. The old man was fer the same form of death, but my father, and I forgive the deed, now that he was called on to en- you surely may. What was he to dure it in his own person, it seem- any of you. By God's light, you ed as a thing beyond all possible make much more ado about the calculation—as an event that had dead man than you ever did about never happened till then. He gaz- the living one.' ed on the crowd that were collect- •We can stay no longer,' said ed to witness his death, as he had the sheriff's officer who little exoften witnessed the death of others, pected such an address. . You and could hardly believe that he can't ?' exclaimed Lucy; and himself was the victim of the pre- who are you?' Then addressing sent hour; or if his eye by acci, herself to the clergyman, she adddent glanced on a face of more ed, in a tone of peculiar bitterthan usual hardness, he turned a- ness, Turn over your book, my way instinctively in horror. It bonny man, and let them know was even a relief to his suffering that they shall do no murder; and to dwell on any countenance that what do they call hanging a man expressed sympathy with his con- on yonder cross sticks till he's dition; there was a vague idea of black in the face? Isn't that mursaft ty connected with it-an indi- der think ye?', finite feeling of support and friend- For the first time since his boyship; and yet the same man who hood a tear stood in Richard's eye, yielded to this weakness, would have but he did not utter a syllable. faced a cannon without shrinking. Lucy stretched out her hand to
wards him, like a father question
To the Editor of the Oxford Entering his child.
taining Miscellany. • Answer me, Richard ? do
you believe there is another world ?'
SIR, • Most fervently!' ejaculated
Should you think this the prisoner; and it was evident worthy a place in your Entertainthat the reply was an involuntary ing Miscellany, the insertion
thereof will oblige, • Then give us both your bless
Your's, &c. ing, reverend sir,'exclaimed Lucy,
Αλφα. . çasting herself on her knees before the clergyman.
THE LAST OF THE ALCHYMISTS. The pale cheek of the venera- Mrs. Manly, the fair author ble’old man was suffused with a of the “ Atlantis” published in slight glow, and his hand trem- 1709, records a singular delusion bled as he laid it on the suppli- of alchymy, which so late as that cant's head, saying, in a voice day was practised. It appears scarcely intelligible from emotion, that a lady, an infatuated lover of May God of his infinite mercy this delusive science, met with a forgive the young man the wrong person who pretended to have the he has done to thee and thine, and power of transmuting lead into take ye both unto himself in a gold. This hermetic philosopher world where there is neither sin required only the materials and nor suffering!
time to perform his golden opera• Amen!' responded Lucy; and tions. He was taken to the rethe Amen was solemnly echoed sidence of his patroness; a large back by the whole assemblage. laboratory was built. His door
She now rose from her knees, was contrived to turn round on a kissed her lover tenderly between spring, so that unseeing and unthe eyes, and exclaiming ‘fure- seen, his meals were conveyed 10 well !' she dashed him suddenly him without distracting the subfrom the cliff. So unexpected was lime contemplations of the sağe. the action that no hand was quick During a residence of two or three enough to stay it; and before the years his mistress was seldom perwaters had well closed over his mitted to enter into the laboratory,. body, she flung herself headlong she saw with pleasing astonishafter him. One cry of the falling ment stills, immense cauldrons, victim--one plash of the waves and three or four Vulcanian fires below--and all was over.
blazing at different corners of the G. S. inagical mine; nor did ste behold
with less reverence the venerable
figure of the Philosopher. Pale (ter. Once when he was on the and emaciated with daily operations point of completing the grand opeand nightly vigils, he revealed in ration, his work unhappily fell unintelligible jargon, his process into the fire. This, says Mr. és, he sometimes condescended to D'Israeli, “is a misfortune which explain the mysteries of the arcana; I observe has happened to all Alwhen she beheld or seemed to be- chymists.” hold streams of Auid, and heaps of solid ore scattered around the laboratory. Sometimes he required a new still, and sometimes vast
Travele. quantities of lead. · Already this unfortunate lady had expended balf of her fortune in supplying An Abridgement of the Travels of a the demands of the sage.
She Gentleman through France, Italy, now began to lower her imagina
Turkey in Europe, the Holy Land, tion to the standard of reason.
Arabia, Egypt, &c. She disclosed her sentiments to
(Continued from page 75.) the philosopher, who confessed that he was himself surprized at “It is also adorned with cartridges his tardy progress; but that now and gildings, remarkable both he would exert himself to the for their richness and their eleutmost, and that he would venture gance. The chapel is perfectly to perform a laborious operation, answerable to the magnificence which he had hitherto hoped he of the rest of the palace, havshould not be under the necessity ing a ceiling enriched with of employing. His patroness re- most exquisite paintings, and tired, and the golden visions of supported by noble pillars of expectation resumed their lustre. a white stone as beautiful as mar
One day as they sat at dinner a ble. The gardens of Versailles terrible report followed by succes- may be reckoned among the mosive cracks assailed their ears. dern wonders; all the curious They hastened to the laboratory- models of Italy, or rather of two of the great stills were burst; Europe, having been considered, the laboratory was in flames and the in order to render them the most deluded Alchymist was schorched perfect of any thing of that kind. to death.
The water-works are certainly inFuller relates that one Thomas imitable, and cannot fail of deCharnock, in pursuance of the lighting the spectator; the founphilosophers' stone, which so tain of the Pyramid, the cascades, many do touch, few catch, and the water-parterre, the pavilionDoue keep, met a very sad disas- fountain, the triumphal arch, the