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A LOVE STORY: Volume 2

William Harvey Christie A Love Story /by a Bushman Sydney G.W.Evans 1841 A LOVE STORY: Volume 2


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CHAPTER I. NAPLES

“And be it mine to muse there, mine to glide
From day-break when the mountain pales his fire,
Yet more and more, and from the mountain top,
Till then invisible, a smoke ascends,
Solemn and slow.”


“Vedi Napoli! e poi muori!”

MEMORY! beloved memory! to us thou art as hope to other men. The present—solitary, unexciting—where are its charms? The future hath no joys in store for us; and may bereave us of some of the few faint pleasures that still are ours.

What then is left us—old before our time—but to banquet on the past?


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Memory! thou art in us, as the basil of the enamoured Florentine.*note Thy blossoms, thy leaves,—green, fresh, and fragrant,—draw their nurture, receive their every colouting, from what was dearest to us on earth. And are they not watered by our tears?

The poet tells us— “Nessun maggior dolore
Che ricordarsi del tempo felice
Nella miseria.”

But it is not so. Where is he of the tribe of the unfortunate, who would not gladly barter the contemplation of present wretchedness, for the remembrance, dogged as it is by a thousand woes, of a time when joyous visions flitted across life's path?

Yes! though the contrast, the succeeding moment, should cut him to the soul. But “Joy's recollection is no longer joy,
Whilst sorrow's memory is a sorrow still.”

Ah! there's the rub! yet, better to think it was joy, than gaze unveiled on the cold reality around;


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than view the wreck—the grievous wreck—a few short years have made.

We care not,—and, alas! to such as we have in our mind' s eye, these are the only cases allowed,—we care not! whether rapture has been succeeded by apathy, or whether the feelings continue as deeply enlisted—the thoughts as intensely concentrated;—but—in the servitude of despair!

And again we say—gentle memory! let us dream over our past joys! ay! and brood over our sorrows—undeserved—as in this hour of solitude, we may justly deem them.

Yes! let us again live over our days of suffering, and deem it wiser to steep our soul in tears, than let it freeze with an iced coating of cynic miscalled philosophy.

And shall adversity—that touchstone—softened as our hearts shall thus be—shall it pass over us, and improve us not?

No! it has purifying and cleansing qualities; and for us, it has them not in vain.

We are not dust, to be more defiled by water; nor are we as the turbid stream, which passing


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over driven snow, becomes more impure by the close contact.

Thee, Mnemosyne! let us still adore: content rather to droop, fade, and die—martyrs to thee! than linger on as beasts of the forest, that know thee not. No hope may be ours to animate the future: let us still cling to thee, though thine influence sadden the past.

Away! we are on the placid sea! and Naples lies before us.

The sun had just risen from ocean's bed, attired in his robe of gold; as our travellers watched from the deck of their Sparonara, to catch the first view of the "garden of the world," as the Neapolitans fondly style their city.

A dim haze was abroad, the mists were slowly stealing up the mountains, as their vessel glided on; a light breeze anon filling its canvas, then dying away, and leaving the sails to flap against the loosened cordage.

On their left, extended the charming heights of Posilipo—the classic site of Baia—Pozzuoli—Nisida—and Ischia, to be reverenced for its wine.


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On their right, Capra's isle and Portici—and Vesuvius wreathed in vapour, presented themselves.

As their vessel held on her way, Naples became visible—its turrets capt by a solitary cloud, which had not yet acknowledged the supremacy of the rising deity.

The effulgence of the city was dimmed, but it was lovely still, as a diamond, obscured by a passing breath; or woman's eye, humid from pity's tear.

“And this,” said Sir Henry, for it happened that his travels in Italy had not extended so far south, “this is Naples! and this sea view the second finest in the world!”

“Which is the first?” said Acmé, laughing, “not in England, I trust; for we foreigners do not invest your island with beauty's attributes.”

“My dear Acmé!” replied Sir Henry, somewhat gravely, “I trust the day may arrive, when you will deem Delmé Park, with its mansion bronzed by time—its many hillocks studded with ancient trees—its glistening brook, and hoary gateways—its wooded avenue, where the rooks


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have built for generations—its verdant glades, where the deer have long found a home:—when you will consider all these, as forming as fair a prospect, as ever eye reposed on. But I did not allude at the time to England; but to the Turkish capital. George! I remember your glowing description of your trip in Mildmay's frigate, up the Dardanelles. What comparison would you make between the two scenes?”

“I confess to have been much disappointed,” replied George, “in my first view of Stamboul; and even the beauty of the passage to the Dardanelles, seemed to me to have been exaggerated. But what really did strike me, as being the most varied, the most interesting scenery I had ever 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 of Oriental luxury, and of Moslem pomp, were more than realised.

“The elegant kiosks—the ornamented gardens—the pinnacled harems, the entrance to which lofty


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barriers jealously guarded—the number of the tombs in their silent cities—gave an intense interest to the Turkish coast; -while sumptuous barges, filled with veiled women, swept by us, and gave a fairy charm to the sea. On our return, we were nearly lost from our ignorance of the current, which is rapid and dangerous.”

“Well! I am glad to hear such a smiling account of Stamboul,” rejoined Acmé. “My feelings regarding it have been quite Grecian. It has always been to me a sort of Ogre city.”

The breeze began to freshen, and the vessel made way fast.

As they neared the termination of their voyage, some church, or casino bedecked with statues, or fertile glen, whose sides blushed with the luscious grape, opened at every instant, and drew forth their admiration.

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-failing Neapolitan processions, was borne on-the breeze.


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The whole party embarked for the quarantine office, and—once authorised to join the throng of Naples—soon found themselves in the Strada Toledo, moving towards the Santa Lucia.

Their hotel was near the mole; its windows commanding an extensive view of the purple sea, beyond which the eye took in the changeful volcano; and many a vista—sunny, smiling, and beauteous enough, for the exacting fancy of an Englishman, who conjures up for an Italian landscape, marble-like villas—and porticoes, where grapes cluster, in festoons of the vine-heaving mountains—a purple sky—faces bronzed, but oh how fair!—and song, revelry, and grace.

But what struck Acmé, 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, there was an incessant bustle from morning until midnight. Each passer by wore an air of importance, almost amounting to a consciousness of happiness. There was fire in the glance—speech in the action—on the lip a ready smile.


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In no city of Italy, does care seem more misplaced. The noble rolls on in his vehicle on the Corso, with features gay and self-possessed; while the merry laugh of the beggar—as he feasts on the lengthened honors of his Macaroni—greets the ear at every turn. Stray not there! oh thou with brow furrowed by anguish!

If thy young affections have been blighted—if hope fondly indulged, be replaced by despair—if feelings that lent their roseate hue, to the commonest occurrences of life, now darken every scene—if thou knowest thyself the accessory to this, thy misery, stray not in Naples, all too joyous for thee!

Rather haunt the shrines of the world's ancient mistress! Perchance the sunken pillar and the marble torso—and the moss-grown edifice—and the sepulchre, with the owl as tenant—and the thought that the great, the good, and the talented, who reared these fading monuments—are silent and mouldering below: mayhap these things will speak to thy heart, and repress the full gush of a sorrow that may not be controlled! And if—the


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martyr to o'er-sicklied refinement—to sentiment too etherialised for the world, where God hath placed thee—ideal woes have stamped a wrinkle on the brow, and ideal dreams now constitute thy pleasure and thy bane: for such as thou art! living on feeling's excess—soaring to rapture's heights—or sinking to despair's abyss—Naples is not fitting!

Visit the city of the sea! there indulge thy shapeless imaginings—with no sound to break thy day dreams—save the shrill cry of the gondolier, and the splash of his busy oar.

The young Greek, Delmé, and George, were soon immersed in the round of sight seeing.

Visits to the ancient palace of Queen Joanna—to the modern villa of the Margravine—to the Sibyl's Cave, and to Maro's Tomb—to some sites that owed their interest to classic associations—to others that claimed it from present beauty—wiled away days swiftly and pleasurably.

What with youth, change of scene, and an Italian sky, George was no longer an invalid. His eye wore neither the film of apathy, nor the unnatural


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flush of delirium; but smiled its happiness on all, and beamed its love on Acmé. One night they were at the Fondo, and after listening delightedly to Lalande, and following with quick glance, the rapid movements of the agile ballerina, and after George had been honoured by a bow—which greatly amused Acmé—from the beautiful princess; who, poor girl! then felt a penchant for Englishmen, which she failed not to avow from her opera box—the party agreed to walk home to the hotel. On their way, they turned into a coffee-room to take ice.

The fluent waiter prattled over his catalogue; and Acmé selected his "sorbetto Maltese," because the name reminded her of the loved island.

Leaving the coffee-room, they were accosted by a driver of one of the public coaches. “Now, Signore! just in time for Vesuvius! See the sun rise, superb sight, elegant carriage !”

Do let us go!”said Acmé, clapping her hands with youthful enthusiasm.

“No, no! my dear!” said Sir Henry, “we must not think of it! you would be so tired.”


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“No, no! you do not know how strong I am; and I intend sleeping on George's shoulder all the way—and we are all in such high spirits—and these improvised excursions you yourself granted were always best—and besides, you know we must always start at this hour, if we expect to see the sunrise from the mountain. What do you say, Giorgio?”

The discussion ended, by the driver taking the direction of the hotel; whence, after making arrangements as to provisions and change of dress, the party started for the mountain.

The warm cheek of Acmé was reposing on that of her husband's and the wanton night air was disporting with her wavy tresses, as the loud halloo of the driver, warned them that they were in Portici, and in the act of arousing Salvador, the guide to the mountain. After some short delay, they procured mules. Each brother armed himself with a long staff, and leaving the carriage, they wended their way towards the Hermitage.

It was a clear night. The moon was majestically gliding on her path, vassalled by myriads of stars.


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There was something in the hour—and the scene—and the novelty of the excursion—that enjoined silence.

Arrived at the Hermitage, the party dismounted. Acmé clung to the strap, fastened round their guide, and they commenced the ascent. In a short time, they had manifest proofs of their vicinity to the volcano. The ashy lava gave way at each footstep, and it was only by taking short and quick steps, and perseveringly toiling on, that they were enabled to make any progress.

More than once, was Acmé inclined to stop, and take breath, but the guide assured them they were already late, and that they would only just be in time for the sunrise.

As the last of the party reached the summit, the sun became perceptible -and rose in glory indescribable. The scene afar how gorgeous! around them how grand!

Panting from their exertions, they sat on a cloak of Salvador's, and gazed with astonishment at the novelties bursting on the eye.


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Each succeeding moment, gusts of flame issued forth from the crater.

They looked down on the bason, above which they were. From a conica1 pyramid of lava, were emitted volumes of smoke, which rolled up to heaven in rounded and fantastic shapes of beauty. Below, a deep azure—above, of a clear amber hue—the clouds wreathed and ascended majestically, as if in time to the rumbling thunder—the accompaniments of nature's subterraneous throes.

Their fatigues were amply repaid. Sir Henry's curiosity was aroused, and he descended with the guide to the crater. George and Acmé, delighted with the excursion, remained on the summit, partaking of Salvador's provisions.

The descent they found easy and rapid; the lava now assisting, as much as it had formerly impeded them.

At Portici, Salvador introduced them to his apartment, embellished with specimens of lava. They purchased some memorials of their visit—partook of some fruit—and, after rewarding the guide, they returned to Naples.

Another of their excursions, and it is one than


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which there are few more interesting, was to that city—which, like the fabulous one of the eastern tale, rears its temples, but there are none to worship; its theatres, but there are none to applaud; its marble statues, where are the eyes that should dwell on them with pride? Its mansions are many—its walls and tesselated pavements, show colours of vivid hue, and describe tales familiar from our boyhood. The priest is at his altar—the soldiers in their guard-room—the citizen in his bath. It is indeed difficult, as our step re-echoes through the silent streets, to divest ourselves of the impression, that we are wandering where the enchanter's wand has been all powerful, that he has waved it, and lo! the city sleeps for a season, until some event shall have been fulfilled.

Our party were in the Via Appia of Pompeii, when Acmé turned aside, to remark one tomb more particularly. It was an extensive one, surrounded with a species of iron net work, through which might be seen ranges of red earthen vases. Acmé turned to the custode, and asked if this was the burial place of some noble family.


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“No! Signora! this is where the ashes of the gladiators are preserved.”

From the Appian Way, they entered through the public gate; and passing many shops, whose signs yet draw notice, if they no longer attract custom, they came to the private houses, and entered one—that called Sallust's—for the purpose of a more minute inspection.

“Nothing appears to be more strange,”said George, “on looking at these frescoed paintings, and on such mosaics as we have yet seen; than the extraordinary familiarity of their subjects.

“There are many depicted on these walls, and I do not think, Henry, we are first rate classics;—and yet it would be difficult to puzzle us, in naming the story whence these frescoes have their birth. Look at this Latona—and Leda—and the Ariadne abbandonata—and this must certainly be the blooming Hebe. Ah! and look at this little niche! This grinning little deity—the facsimile of an Indian idol—must express their idea of the Penates. Strange! is it not?”

“But are you not,” rejoined Sir Henry, "somewhat


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disappointed in the dwelling-houses? This seems one of the most extensive, and yet, how diminutive the rooms! and how little of attraction in the whole arrangement, if we except this classic fountain.

“This I think is a proof, that the ancient Romans must have chiefly passed their day abroad—in the temples—the forum—or the baths—and have left as home tenants none but women, and those unadorned with the toga virilis.

“These habits may have tended to engender a manlier independence; and to impart to their designs a loftier spirit of enterprise. What say you, Acmé?”

“I might perhaps answer,” replied Acmé, “that the happiness gained, is well worth the glory lost. But I must not fail to remind you, that—grand as this nation must have been—my poor fallen one was its precursor—its tutor—and its model.”

Hence they wandered to the theatre—the forum—the pantheon—and amphitheatre:—which last, from their converse in the earlier part of the day—fancy failed not to fill with daring combatants.


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As the guide pointed out the dens for the wild beasts—the passages through which they came—and the arena for the combat—Sir Henry, like most British travellers, recalled the inimitable story of Thraso, and his lion fight.*note

The following day was devoted to the Studio, and to the inspection of the relics of Pompeii. These relics, interesting as they are, yet convey a melancholy lesson to the contemplative mind. Each modern vanity here has its parallel—each luxury its archetype. Here may be found the cameoed ring—and the signet seal—and the bodkin—and paint for the frail one's check—a cuirass, that a life guardsman might envy—weights—whose elegance of shape charm the eye. Not an article of modern convenience or of domestic comfort, that has not its representative. They teach us the trite French lesson. “L'histoire se repete.”

With the exception of these two excursions, and one to Poestum; our travellers passed their mornings sight-seeing in Naples, and chiefly at the


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Studio, whose grand attraction is the thrilling group of the Taureau Farnese.

In the cool of the evening, until twilight's hour was past, they drove into the country, or promenaded in the gardens of the Villa Reale, to the sound of the military band.

Each night they turned their footsteps towards the Mole; where they embarked on the unruffled bay. To a young and loving heart—the heart of a bride—no pleasure can equal that, of being next the one loved best on earth at night's still witching hour. The peculiar scenery of Naples, yet more enhances such pleasure.

Elsewhere night may boast its azure vault and its silver stars. Cynthia may ride the heavens in majesty—the water may be serene—and the heart attuned to the night's beauty:—but from the land, if discernible—we can rarely expect much addition to the charms of the scene, and can never expect it to form its chief attraction. At Naples it is otherwise.

Our eyes turn to the Volcano, whose flame, crowning the mountain's summit, crimsons the sky.


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We watch with undiminished interest, its fitful action—now bursting out brilliantly—now fading, as if about to be extinguished for ever. Seated beside George, and thus gazing, what pleasure was Acmé's! We need not say time flew swiftly. Never did happiness meet with more ardent votary than in that young bride—or find a more ready mirror, on which to reflect her beaming attributes—than on the features of that bride's husband.

Their swimming eyes would fill with tears—and their voices sink to the lowest whisper.

Sir Henry rarely interrupted their converse; but leant his head on the boat's side, and thoughtfully gazed on the placid waters, till he almost deemed he saw reflected on its surface, the face of one, in whose society he felt he too might be blest.

But these fancies would not endure long. Delmé would quickly arouse himself; and, warned by the lateness of the hour, and feeling the necessity that existed, for his thinking for the all-engrossed pair, would order the rowers to direct the boat's course homewards.


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Returned to their hotel, it may be that orisons more heavenward, have issued from hearts more pure.

Few prayers more full of gratitude, have been whispered by earthly lips, than were breathed by George and his young wife in the solitude of their chamber.

How often is such uncommon happiness as this the precursor of evil!




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CHAPTER II. THE DOCTOR.

“Son port, son air de suffisance,
Marquent dans son savoir sa noble confiance.
Dans les doctes debats ferme et rempli de coeur,
Meme apres sa defaite il tient tete au vainqueur.
Voyez, pour gagner temps, quelles lenteurs savantes,
Prolongent de ses mots les syllabes trainantes!
Tout le monde l'admire, et ne peut concevoir
Que dans un cerveau seul loge tant de savoir.”


IT was soon after the excursion to Poestum, that a packet of letters reached the travellers from Malta. These letters had been forwarded from England, on the intelligence reaching Emily, of George's intended marriage. They had been redirected to Naples, by Colonel Vavasour, and were accompanied by a few lines from himself. In Sir Henry's communication with his sister,


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he had prudently thrown a veil, over the distressing part of George's story, and had dwelt warmly, on the beauty and sweetness of temper of Acmé Frascati. He could hardly hope that the proposed marriage, would meet with the entire approval of those, to whom he addressed himself.

The letters in reply, however, only breathed the affectionate overflowings of kind hearts. Mrs. Glenallan sent her motherly blessing to George; and Emily, in addition to a long communication to her brother, wrote to Acmé as to a beloved sister; begging her to hasten George's return to England, that they might meet one, in whom they must henceforward feel the liveliest interest.

“How kind they all are,” said George. “I only wish we were with them.”

“And so do I,” said Acmé. “How dearly I shall love them all.”

“George!” said Sir Henry, abruptly, "do you know, I think it is quite time we should move farther north. The weather is getting most oppressive; and we have nearly exhausted the lions of Naples."


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“With all my heart,” replied George. “I am ready to leave it whenever you please.”

On Sir Henry's considering the best mode of conveyance, it occurred to him, that some danger might arise from the malaria of the Pontine marshes; and indeed, Rome and its environs were represented, at that time, as being by no means free from this unwelcome visitant.

Sir Henry enquired if there were any English physicians resident in Naples; and having heard a high eulogium passed by the waiter, on a Doctor Pormont, “who attended the noble Consul, and my Lord Rimington,” ventured to enclose his card, with a note, stating that he would be glad of five minutes' conversation with that gentleman.

In a short time, Doctor Pormont was introduced.

He was a tall man, with very marked features, and a deeply furrowed brow; whose longitudinal folds, however, seemed rather the result of thought or of study, than of age. The length of his nose was rivalled by the width of his mouth. When he spoke, he displayed two rows of very clean and very regular teeth, but which individually


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narrowed to a sharp point, and gave his whole features a peculiarly unpleasing expression. His voice was husky—his manners chilling—his converse that of a pedant.

Doctor Pormont was in many respects a singular man. From childhood, he had been remarkable for stoicism of character. He possessed none of the weak frailties, or gentle sympathies, which ordinarily belong to human nature. His blood ran cold, like that of a fish. Never had he been known to lose his equanimity of deportment.

A species of stern principle, however, governed his conduct; and his very absence of feeling, made him an impartial physician, and one of the most successful anatomists of the day. What brought him to bustling, sunny Naples, was an unfathomed mystery. Once there, he acquired wealth without anxiety, and patients without friends. Amongst the many anecdotes, current amongst his professional brethren, as to the blunted feelings of Doctor Pormont, was one,—related of him when he was lecturer at a popular London institution. VOL. II.


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A subject had been placed on the anatomist's table, for the purpose of allowing the lecturer, to elucidate to the young students, the advantages of a post mortem examination, in the determination of diseases. The lecturer dissected as he proceeded, and was particularly clear and luminous. He even threw light on the previous habits of the deceased, and showed at which period of life, the germ decay was probably forming.

A friend casually enquired, as they left the lecture room, whether the subject had been a patient of his own.

“No!” replied the learned lecturer, “the body is that of my cousin and schoolfellow, Harry Welborne. I attended his funeral, at some little distance from town, a couple of days ago. My servant must have given information to the exhumer. It is clear the body was removed from the vault on the same evening.”

Sir Henry Delmé briefly explained to Doctor Pormont, his purpose in sending for him. He stated that he was anxious to take his advice, as to the best mode of proceeding to Rome, and also as


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to the best sleeping place for the party; that he had a wholsome dread of malaria, but that one of his party being a female, and another an invalid, he thought it might be as well to sleep one night on the road. Regarding all this, he deferred to the advice and superior judgment of the physician.

“Judgment,”said Doctor Pormont, “is two-fold. It may be defined, either as the faculty of arriving at the knowledge of things, which may be effected by the synthetic or analytic method; or it may be considered as the just perception of them, when they are fully indagated.

“Our problem seems to resolve itself into two cases.

“First: does malaria exist to an unusual and alarming extent, on the route you purpose taking?

“Secondly: the existence conceded—what is the best method to escape the evil effects that might attend its inhibition into the human system?

“Let us apply the synthetic method to our first case.”

The Doctor prefaced his arguments, by a long


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statement, as to the gradual commencement and progress of malaria;—showed how the atmosphere, polluted by exhalations of water, impregnated with decaying and putrified vegetable matter, gave forth miasmata; which he described as being particles of poison in a volatile state.

He alluded to the opinion held by many, that the disease owed its origin to the ravages of the barbarians, who destroying the 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 dominion of the Popes, whose legislative enactments to arrest the malady, he failed not to comment on at length.

He explained the uncertainty which continued to exist, as to the boundaries of the tract of country, in which the disease was rife; and then plunged into his argument.

George, at this crisis, quietly took the opportunity of gliding from the room. Sir Henry stretched his legs on an ottoman, and appeared immersed in the study of a print—the Europa of Paul Veronese—which hung over the mantel-piece.


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“The Diario di Roma,” continued the Doctor, “received this day, decidedly states that malaria is fearfully raging on the Neapolitan road. Pray forgive me, if I occasionally glide into the vulgar error, of confounding the disease itself, with the causes of that disease.

“On the other hand, a young collegian, who arrived in Naples from Rome yesterday evening, states that he smoked and slept the whole journey, and suffered no inconvenience whatever.

“Here two considerations present themselves. While sleep has been considered by the best authorities, as predisposing the human frame to infection, by opening the pores, relaxing the integuments, and retarding the circulation of the blood; I cannot overlook the virtues of tobacco, narcotic—aromatic—disinfecting—as we must grant them to be.

“Here then may I place in juxta-position, the testimony of the Diario, and that of a young gentleman, half of his time asleep—the other half, under the influence of the fumes of tobacco.

“Synthetically, I opine, that we may conclude


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that malaria does exist, and to a great degree, in the Campagna di Roma. Will you now allow me, to submit the question under dispute, to the analytic process? By many, in the present age, though not by me, it is considered the more 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 synthetic structure so admirably, that I think that in this instance we may dispense with your analysis. Pray proceed!”

“Having already shown, then—although your kindness has allowed me to do so but partially—that malaria does indeed exist, it becomes me to show, which is the best mode of avoiding its baneful effects.

“Injurious as are the miasmata in general, and fatal as are the effects of that peculiar form in this country, termed malaria; the diseases they engender, I apprehend to be rather endemic than epidemic.

“It would be difficult to determine, to what part of the Campagna, the disease is at present confined;


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but I should certainly not advise you, to sleep within the bounds of contagion, for the predisposing effects of sleep I have already hinted at.

“Rapid travelling is, in my opinion, the best prophylactic I can prescribe, as besides a certain exhilarating effect on the spirits, the swift passage through the air, will remove any spiculae of the marsh miasmata, which may be hovering near your persons. Air, cheerfulness, and exercise, however, predispose to, and are the results of sleep: and to an invalid especially, sleep is indispensable.

“In Mr. Delmé's case, therefore, I would recommend a temporary halt.”

Dr. Pormont then gave an account of the length of the stages, the nature of the post-house accommodations, and the probable degree of danger attached to each site.

From all this, Delmé gathered, that malaria existed to some extent, on the line of road they were to travel—that sleep would be necessary for George—and that, on the whole, it would be most desirable to sleep at an inn, situated at a hamlet


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between Molo di Gaeta and Terracina, somewhat removed from the central point of danger.

But the truth is, that Sir Henry Delmé was disposed to consider Dr. Pormont, with his pomposity, and wordy arguments, as a mere superficial thinker; and he half laughed at himself, for having ever thought it necessary to consult him. This class of men influence less than they ought. Sensible persons are apt to set them down, as either fools or pedants. Their very magniloquence condemns them; for, in the present day, it seems an axiom, that simplicity and genius are invariably allied.

This rule, like most others, has its exceptions; and it would be well for all of us, if we thought less of the manner, in which advice may be delivered, and more of the matter which it may contain.

The Doctor rose to take leave,—Sir Henry witnessed his departure with lively satisfaction; and, with the exception of enjoying a hearty laugh, at his expense, with George and Acmé, ceased to recollect that such a personage existed.


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Delmé, however, had cause to remember that Doctor Pormont.

Were it not so, he would not have figured in these pages.

The last evening they were at Naples, they proceeded, as was their custom, to the Mole; and there engaging a boat, directed it to be rowed across the bay.

The volcano was more than usually brilliant, and the villages at its base, appeared as clear as at noonday.

The water's surface was not ruffled by a ripple. A bridal party was following in the wake of their boat—and nuptial music was floating past them in subdued cadence.

A nameless regret filled their minds, as they thought of the journey on the coming morrow. They had been so happy in Naples. Could they hope to be happier elsewhere?

It was midnight, when they returned to the hotel. As they neared its portico, the round cold moon fell on the forms of the lazzaroni, who were lying in groups round the pillars.


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One of the party sprang to his feet, alarming the slumberers. The whole of them rose with admirable cheerfulness—took off their hats respectfully—and made way for the forestieri.

During the momentary pause that ensued, Acmé turned to the volcano, and playfully waved her hand in token of farewell.

Her eyes filled with tears, and she clung heavily to George's arm.

She was doomed never to look on that scene again.




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CHAPTER III. THE BEGINNING OF THE END.

“Thou too, art gone! thou loved and lovely one,
Whom youth and youth's affections bound to me.”


AT an early hour, rich aureate hues yet streaking the east, our party were duly seated in a roomy carriage of Angrasani's, on their way to Rome.

They had hopes of arriving at the capital in time to witness that unique sight, the illumination of Saint Peter's; a sight which few can remember, without deeming its anticipation well worthy, to urge on the jaded traveller, to his journey's termination.

Who can forget the play of the fountains in front of the Vatican, the music of whose descending


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water is most distinctly audible, although crowds throng the wide and noble space. Breathless—silent all -is the assembled multitude, as the clock of Saint Peter's gives its long expected signal.

Away! darkness is light! a fairy palace springs before us! its beautiful proportions starting into life, until the giddy brain reels, from the excess of that splendour, on which the eye suddenly and delightedly feasts!

With the exception of a short halt, which afforded the travellers time for an early dinner at the Albergo di Cicerone, which is about half a mile from the Molo di Gaeta, they prosecuted their journey without intermission, till arrived within sight of their resting place.

This bore the aspect of an extensive, but dilapidated mansion, evidently designed for some other purpose.

Its proprietor had erected it, at a period, when malaria was either less prevalent or less dreaded; and his descendants had quitted it, for some more salubrious site.


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The albergo itself, occupied but a small portion of the building, immediately on the right and left of the porch.

The other apartments, which formed the wings, were either wholly tenantless, or were fitted up as hay-lofts, granaries, or receptacles for farming utensils.

In the upper rooms, the panes of glass were broken; and the whole aspect of the place be-tokened desolation and decay.

As they drove to the door, a throng of mendicants and squalid peasants came forth. Their faces had a cadaverous hue, which could not but be remarked. Their eyes, too, seemed heavy, and deep set in the head; while many had their throats bandaged, from the effects of glandular swellings, brought on by the marshy exhalations.

Acmé threw some small pieces of Neapolitan money amongst them; and their gratitude in consequence was boundless.

She sprang from the carriage like a young fawn.

“Come, come, Giorgio! look at that sweet sunset—and at the blue clouds edged with burnished


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gold! Would it not be a sin to remain in-doors on such an evening? and besides,” added she, in a whisper—“is it not a pleasure to leave behind us these sickly faces, to muse on an Italian landscape, and admire an Italian sky? Driver! will you order supper? We will take a stroll while it is preparing.

“Come! Henry! come away! do not look so grave, or you will make me think of your amusing friend—Dr. Pormont.”

“Thompson!” said George, as the smiling bride bore off the brothers in triumph, “do not forget your mistress' guitar case!”

The travellers passed a paved court, in rear of the building; whence a wicket gate admitted them to a kitchen garden, well stocked with the requisites for an Italian salad.

Behind this, enclosed with embankments, was a small vineyard. The vines twined round long poles, these again being connected with thin cords, which the tendrils were already clasping.

Thus far, there was nothing that seemed indicative of an unwholesome situation. As they


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extended their walk, however, pursuing the continuation of the path, that had led them through the vineyard, they arrived at the edge of a dark sluggish stream, whose surface was nearly on a level with them; and which, gradually becoming broader, at length emptied itself into what might be styled a wide and luxuriant marsh, which abounded with water-fowl. This was studded with small round lakes, and with islets of an emerald verdure.

From the bosom of the marsh itself, rose bulrushes and pollard willows, towered over by gigantic noisy reeds.

The stream was thickly strewn with the pure honours of the water lily.

If—as Eastern poets tell us—these snowy flowers bathe their charms, when the sun is absent, but lift up their virgin heads, when he looks down approvingly:—but that, sometimes deceived, on some peerless damsel's approaching, they mistake her eye for their loved luminary, and pay to her beauty an abrupt and involuntary homage:—now might they indeed gaze upward, to greet as fair a face as ever looked down on the water they bedecked.


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They approached the edge of the marsh, and discovered a rural arbour of faded boughs—the work of children—placed around a couple of willow trees.

Within it, was a rude seat; and some parasitical plant with a deep red flower, had twined round the withered boughs, and mingled fantastically with the dead leaves.

Below the arbour, was a small stone embankment, which prevented the waters from encroaching, and made the immediate site comparatively free from dampness.

Acmé arranged her cloak—took one hand of each of the brothers in hers—and in the exuberance of health and youth—commenced prattling in that charming domestic strain, which only household intimacy can beget or justify. George leant back in silence, but could have clasped her to his heart.

Memory! memory! who that hath a soul, cannot conjure up one such gentle being,—while the blood for one moment responds to thy call, and rolls through the veins with the tide of earlier and of happier days?


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At the extremity of the horizon, was a more extensive lake, than any near them. Over this, the sun was setting; tinting its waters with a clear rich amber, save in its centre, where, the lake serving as a halo to its glory, a blood-red sun was vividly reflected.

As the sun descended, one slender ray of light, came quivering and trembling through the leaves of the arbour.

This little incident gave rise to a thousand fanciful illustrations on the part of Acmé. Her spirits were as buoyant as a child's; and her playful mood soon communicated itself to her travelling companions.

They compared the solitary ray to virtue in loneliness—to the flickering of a lamp in a tomb—to a star reflected on quicksilver—to the flash of a sword cutting through a host of foes—and to the light of genius illuming scenes of poverty and distress.

Thompson made his appearance, and announced the supper as being ready.

“This,” said George, good-naturedly, “is an


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odd place, is it not, Thompson? Is it anything like the Lincolnshire Fens?”

“Not exactly, your honour!” replied the domestic, with perfect gravity, “but there ought to be capital snipe shooting here.”

“Ah! che vero Inglese!” said the laughing Acmé.

They retraced their steps to the inn, and were ushered into the supper room, which was neither more nor less than the kitchen, although formerly, perhaps, the show room of the mansion. Around the deep-set fireplace, watching the simmering of the cauldron, were grouped some peasants.

The supper table was laid in one corner of the room; and although neither the accommodation nor the viands were very tempting, there was such a disposition to be happy, that the meal was as much enjoyed as if served up in a palace.

The repast concluded, Acmé rose; and observing a countryman with his arm bound up, enquired if he had met with an accident; and patiently listened to the prosy narrative of age.


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An old bronzed husbandman, too, was smoking his short earthen pipe, near the window sill.

“What a study for Lanfranc!” said the happy wife, as she took up a burnt stick, and sketched his dried visage to the life.

The old man regarded his portrait on the wall, with intense satisfaction; and commenced dilating on what he had been in youth.

How different, thought Sir Henry, is all this from the conduct of a well bred English girl! yet how natural and amiable does it appear in Acmé! With what an endearing manner—with what sweet frankness—does this young foreigner wile away—what would otherwise have been—a tedious evening in an uncomfortable inn!

As the night advanced, George brought out the guitar; and Acmé warbled to its accompaniment like a fairy bird.

It was a late hour, before Delmé ventured to remind the songstress, that they must prosecute their journey early on the following morning.

“I will take your hint,” said Acmé, as she


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shook his hand, and tripped out of the room; “buona sera! miei Signori.”

“She is a dear creature!” said Delmé.

“She is indeed!” replied his brother,“and I am a fortunate man. Henry! I think I shall be jealous of you, one of these days. I do believe she loves you as well as she does me!”

The brothers retired.

Sir Henry's repose was unbroken, until morning dawned; when George entered his room in the greatest agitation, and with a face as pale as death, told him Acmé was ill.

Delmé arose immediately; and at George's earnest solicitation, entered the room.

Her left cheek, suffused with hectic, rested on one small hand. The other arm was thrown over the bed-clothes. Her eyes sparkled like diamonds. Her lips murmured indistinctly—the mind was evidently wandering.

A man and horse were sent express to Naples. The whole of that weary day, George Delmé was by Acmé's side, preparing cooling drinks, and vainly endeavouring to be calm.


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As the delirium continued; she seemed to be transported to the scenes of her early youth.

As night wore on, the fever, if it were such, gradually increased.

George's state of mind bordered on distraction. Sir Henry became exceedingly alarmed, and anxious for the presence of the medical attendant.

At about four o'clock the following morning, 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 to exert his skill to the uttermost.

The physician approached the invalid, and in a moment saw that the case was a critical one.

His patient was bled twice during the day, and strong opiates administered.

Towards evening, she slept; and awoke with restored consciousness, but with feelings keenly alive to her own danger.

The following night and day she lingered on, speaking but little.

During the whole of that time, even when she


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slept, George's hand remained locked in hers. On this, her tears would sometimes fall, but these she strove to restrain.

To the others around her, she spoke gratefully, and with feminine softness; but her whole heart seemed to be with George.

Doctor Pormont, to do him justice, was unremitting in his exertions, and hardly took rest.

All his professional skill was called to her aid; but from the second day, he saw it was in vain.

The strength of the invalid failed her more and more.

Doctor Pormont at length called Sir Henry on one side, and informed him that he entertained no doubt of a fatal result; and recommended his at once procuring such religious consolation as might be in his power.

No Protestant clergyman was near at hand, even had Delmé thought it adviseable to procure one.

But he was well aware, that however Acmé might have sympathised with George, her earlier religious impressions would now in all probability be revived.


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A Catholic priest was sent for, and arrived quickly. He was habited in the brown garb of his order, his waist girt with a knotted cord. He bore in his hand the sainted pyx, and commenced to shrive the dying girl..

It was the soft hour of sunset, and the prospect in rear of the mansion, presented a wide sea of rich coloured splendour.

Over the window, had been placed a sheet, in order to exclude the light from the invalid's chamber. The priest knelt by her bedside; and folding his hands together, began to pray.

The rays of the setting sun, fitfully flickered on the sheet, over whose surface, light shadows swiftly played, ever and anon glancing on the shorn head of the kneeling friar.

His intelligent face was expressive of firm belief.

His eye turned reverentially to heaven, as in deep and sonorous accents, he implored forgiveness for the sufferer, for the sins committed during her mortal coil.

Acmé sat up in her bed. On her countenance,


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calm devotion seemed to usurp the place of earthly affections, and earthly passions.

The soul was preparing for its upward flight. Delmé led away the sorrowing husband, and the minister of Christ was left alone, to hear the contrite outpourings of a weak departing sinner.

The priest left the chamber, but spoke not, either to the physician, or the expecting brothers. His impassioned glance belonged to another and a higher world.

He made one low obeisance—his robes swept the passage quickly—and the Franciscan friar sought his lonely cell to reflect on death.

The brothers re-entered. They found Acmé in the attitude in which they had left her—her features wearing an expression at once radiant and resigned.

But -as her eye met George's—as she saw the havoc grief had already made—the feelings of the woman resumed the mastery.

She extended her arms—she brought his lip to hers—as if she would have made that its resting place forever.


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Alas! an inward pang told her to be brief. She drew away her face, crimsoned with her passion's flush—tremblingly grasped his hand—and, with voice choked by emotion, gave her last farewell.

“Giorgio, my dearest! my own! I shall soon join my parents. I feel this—and my mother's words, as she met me by the olive tree, ring in my ear.

“She told me I should die thus; but she told me, too, that I should kill the one dearest to me on earth. Thank God! this cannot be—for I know my life to be ebbing fast.

“Dearest! do not mourn for me too much. You may find another Acmé—as true. But, oh! sometimes—yes! even when your hearts cling fondly together, as ours were wont to do—think of your own Acmé—who loved you first and only—and does it now! oh! how well! Giorgio! dear! dearest! adieu! My feet are so, so cold—and ice seems" ------

A change shadowed the face, as from some corporeal pang. VOL. II.


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She tried to raise an ebony cross hung round her neck.

In the effort, her features became convulsed—and George heard a low gurgling in the throat, as from suffocation.

Ah! that awful precursor of “the first dark hour of nothingness.”

George Delmé sprang to his feet, and was supporting her head, when the physician grasped his arm.

“Stop! stop! you are preventing” ----

The lower lip quivered—and drooped—slightly! very slightly!

The head fell back.

One long deep drawn sigh shook the exhausted frame.

The face seemed to become fixed.

Doctor Pormont extended his hand, and silently closed those dark fringed lids.

The cold finger, with its harsh touch, once more brought consciousness.

Once more the lid trembled! there was an upward glance that looked reproachful!

Another short sigh! Another!




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Lustreless and glaring was that once bright eye!

Again the physician extended his hand. “Assuredly, gentlemen! vitality hath departed!”

A deep—solemn—awful silence—which not a breath disturbed—came over that chamber of death.

It seemed as if the insects had ceased their hum—that twilight had suddenly turned to night—that an odour, as of clay, was floating around them, and impregnating the very atmosphere.

George took the guitar, whose chords were never more to be woke to harmony by that loved hand, and dashed it to the ground.

Ere Delmé could clasp him, he had staggered to the bedside—and fallen over Acmé's still form.

And did her frame thrill with rapture? did she bound to his caress? did her lip falter from her grateful emotion?—did she bury his cheek in her raven tresses?

No, no! still—still—still were all these! still as death!




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CHAPTER IV. ROME.

“Woe unto us, not her; for she sleeps well.”

“The Niobe of nations! there she stands,
Childless and crownless, in her voiceless woe;
An empty urn within her wither'd hands,
Whose holy dust was scatter'd long ago.
The Scipios' tomb contains no ashes now;
The very sepulchres lie tenantless
Of their heroic dwellers; dost thou flow,
Old Tiber! through a marble wilderness?
Rise, with thy yellow waves, and mantle her distress.”


UNDERTAKERS! not one word shall henceforth 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 the wreck of our hopes?


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What! if our ears be shocked by profane jests on the weight of your burden, as you bear away from the accustomed mansion, what was its light and its load star—but what is—pent up in your dark, narrow tenement, but—“A heap, To make men tremble, that never weep.”

What! if our swimming eye—as we follow those dear—dear remains to their last lone resting place—glance on the heartless myrmidons, who salute the passer by with nods of recognition, and smiles of indifference?

What! if, returning homewards—choked with bitter recollections, which rise fantastic, quick, and ill-defined -the very ghosts of departed scenes and years—what if we start as we then perceive you—lightsome of heart, and glib of speech—clustered and smirking, on that roof of nodding plumes—neath which, one short hour since—lay what was dearest to us on earth?

Let us not heed these things! for—light as is the task to traders in death's dark trappings; painful and soul-subduing are those


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withering details to the grieving and heart-struck mourner!

We left George lying half insensible by the side of his dead wife.

Sir Henry and Thompson carried him to the apartment of the former, and while Thompson hung over his master, attempting to restore consciousness—Delmé had a short conference with Doctor Pormont as to their ulterior proceedings.

Doctor Pormont—as might be expected—enjoined the greatest promptitude, and recommended that poor Acmé's remains, should be consigned to the burial place of the hamlet.

George's objections to this, however, as soon as he was well enough to comprehend what was going forward, seemed quite insurmountable; and after Sir Henry had sought the place by moonlight, and found it wild and open, with goats browsing on the unpicturesque graves, and with nothing to mark the sanctity of the spot, save a glaring painted picture of the Virgin, his own prejudices became enlisted, and he consented to proceed to Rome. After this decision was made, he found it utterly


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impossible, to procure a separate conveyance for the corpse; and was equally unsuccessful in his attempt to procure that—which from being a common want, he had been disposed to consider of every day attainment—a coffin.

While his brother made what arrangements he best might, poor George returned to the chamber of death, and gazed long and fixedly—with the despair of the widower—on those hushed familiar features.

Her hair was now turned back, and was bound with white ribbon, and festooned with some of the very water lilies that Acmé had admired. A snow-white wreath bound her brow. It was formed of the white convolvulus. We have said the features were familiar; but oh! how different! The yellow waxen hue—the heavy stiffened lid—how they affected George Delmé, who had never looked on death before!

First he would gaze with stupid awe—then turn to the window, and attempt to repress his sobs—return again—and refuse to credit his bereavement. Surely the hand moved? No! of its free will


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shall it never move more! The eye! was there not a slight convulsion in that long dark lash?

No! over it may crawl the busy fly, and creep the destructive worm, without let, and without hindrance!

No finger shall be raised in its behalf—that lid shall remain closed and passive!

The insect and the reptile shall extend their wanderings over the smooth cheek, and revel on the lips, whose red once rivalled that of the Indian shell.

Moveless! moveless shall all be!

The long—long night wore on.

An Italian sunrise was gilding the heavens.

Acmé was never to see a sunrise more; and even this reflection—trite as it may seem, occurring to one, who had watched through the night, by the side of the dead -even this reflection, convulsed again the haggard features of the mourner.

Delmé had made the requisite arrangements during the night, for their early departure.

Just previous to the carriage being announced, he led George out of the room; whilst the physician,


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aided by the women, took such precautions as the heat of the climate rendered necessary.

Linen cloths, steeped in a solution of chlorate of lime, were closely wound round the body—a rude couch was placed in the inside of the carriage, which was supported by the two seats—and the carriage itself was darkened.

These preparations concluded—and having parted with Doctor Pormont—whose attentions, in spite of his freezing manner, had been very great—the brothers commenced their painful task.

George knelt at the head of the corpse—ejaculated one short fervent prayer—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 of the inn, but did not intrude their presence.

The body was placed crosswise in the carriage. George sat next the corpse. Delmé sat opposite, regarding his brother with anxious eye.

Most distressing was that silent journey! It made an impression on Sir Henry's mind, that no after events could ever efface; and yet it had already


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been his lot, to witness many scenes of horror, and ride over fields of blood.

We have said it was a silent journey. George's despair was too deep for words.

The first motion of the carriage affected the position of the corpse. George put one arm round it, and kept it immoveable. Sometimes, his scalding tears would fall on that cold face, whose outline yet preserved its beautiful roundness.

It appeared to Sir Henry, that he had never seen life and death, so closely and painfully contrasted. There sat his brother, in the full energies of manhood and despair; his features convulsed—his frame quivering—his sobs frequent—his pulse quick and disturbed.

There lay extended his mistress—cold—colourless—silent—unimpassioned. There was life in the breeze that played on her raven tresses—grim death was enthroned on the face those tresses swept.

Not that decay's finger had yet really assailed it; but one of the peculiar properties of the preservative used by Doctor Pormont, is its pervading sepulchral odour.


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They reached Rome; and the consummation of their task drew nigh.

Pass we over the husband's last earthly farewell. Pass we over that subduing scene, in which Henry assisted George to sever long ringlets, and rob the cold finger, of affection's dearest pledge.

Alas! these might be retained as the legacy of love.

They were useless as love's memento. Memory, the faithful mirror, forbade the relic gatherer ever to forget!

Would you know where Acmé reposes?

A beautiful burial ground looks towards Rome. It is on a gentle declivity leaning to the south-east, and situated between Mount Aventine and the Monte Testaccio.

Its avenue, is lined with high bushes of marsh roses; and the cemetery itself, is divided into three rude and impressive terraces.

There sleeps—in a modest nook, surmounted by the wall-flower, and by creeping ivy, and by many-coloured shrubs, and by one simple yellow flower, of very peculiar and rare fragrance; a type,


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as the author of these pages deemed, of the wonderful etherialised genius of the man—there sleeps, as posterity will judge him, the first of the poets of the age we live in—Percy Bysshe Shelley! There too, moulders that wonderful boy author—John Keats.

Who can pass his grave, and read that bitter inscription, dictated on his deathbed, by the heart-broken enthusiast, without the liveliest emotion? “Here lies one, whose name was writ in water. February 4th, 1821.”

The ancient wall of Rome, crowns the ridge of the slope we have described. Above it, stands the pyramid of Caius Caestius, constructed some twenty centuries since.

Immediately beneath it, in a line with a round tower buried with ivy, and near the vault of our beautiful countrywoman, Miss Bathurst, who was thrown from her horse and drowned in the Tiber, may be seen a sarcophagus of rough granite, surmounted by a black marble slab.

Luxuriant with wild flowers, and studded even in the winter season, with daisies and violets, the


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sides of the tomb are now almost concealed. Over the slab, one rose tree gracefully droops.

When seen in the dew of the morning, when the cups of the roses are full, and crystal drops, distilling from leaves and flowers, are slowly trickling on the dark stone, you might think that inanimate nature was weeping for the doom of beauty.

Only one word is engraved on that slab. Should you visit Rome, and read it, recollect this story.

That word is—"Acmé!"

Sir Henry and his brother remained at Rome nearly a month.

The former, with hopes that the exertion might be useful, in distracting George from the constant contemplation of his loss, plunged at once into the sight-seeing of "the eternal city.”

Their days were busily passed—in visiting the classic sites of Rome and its neighbourhood—in wandering through the churches and convents—and loitering through the long galleries of the Vatican.

Delmé, fearfully looking back on the scenes that had occurred in Malta, was apprehensive, that


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George's despair might lead to some violent outbreak of feeling; and that mind and body might sink simultaneously.

It was not so.

That heavy infliction appeared to bear with it a torpedo-like power. The first blow, abrupt and stunning, had paralysed. Afterwards, it seemed to carry, with it a benumbing faculty, which repressed external display. We say seemed; for there were not wanting indications, even to Sir Henry's partial eye, that the wound had sunk very deep.

The mourner might sink, although he did not writhe.

In the mornings, George, followed by Thompson, would find his way to the Protestant burial ground; and weep over the spot where his wife lay interred.

During the day, he was Sir Henry's constant and gentle companion; giving vent to no passionate display, and uttering few unavailing complaints. Yet it was now, that a symptom of disease first showed itself, which Delmé could not account for.


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George would suddenly lean back, and complain of a spasm on the left side of the chest. This would occasionally, but rarely, affect the circulation. George's sleep too, was disturbed, and he frequently had to rise from his bed, and pace the apartment; but this last circumstance, perhaps, was the mere result of anxiety of mind.

Sir Henry, without informing George, consulted a medical gentleman, who was well known to him, and who happened to be at Rome at the time, regarding these novel symptoms.

He was reassured by being informed, that these pains were probably of a neuralgic character, and not at all likely to proceed from any organic affection.

George Delmé's mind was perfectly clear and collected; with the exception, that he would occasionally allude to his loss, in connection with some scene or subject of interest before them; and in a tone, and with language, that appeared to his brother eccentric, but inexpressibly touching.

For instance, they were at Tivoli, and in the Syren's grotto, looking up to the foaming fall,


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which dashes down a rude cleft, formed of fantastically shaped rocks.

Immediately below this, the waters make a semicircular bend.

On their surface, a mimic rainbow was depicted in vivid colours.

“Not for me!” burst forth the mourner, “not for me! does the arc of promise wear those radiant hues. Prismatic rays once gilded my existence. With Acmé they are for ever fled. But look! how the stream dashes on! Thus have the waters of bitterness passed over my soul!”

In the gallery of the Vatican, too, the very statues seemed to speak to him of his loss.

“I like not,” would he exclaim, “that disdainful Apollo. Thus cold, callous, and triumphing in the work of destruction, must be the angel of death, who winged the shaft at my bright Acmé.

“May the launching of his arrow, have been but the signal, for her translation to a sphere, more pure than this.

“Let us believe her the habitant of some bright planet, such as she pointed out to us in the Bay


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of Naples—a seraph with a golden lyre—and shrouded in a white cymar! No, no!” would he continue, turning his footsteps towards the adjacent room, where the suffering pangs of Apollo's high priest are painfully told in marble, “let me rather contemplate the Laocoon! His agony seems to sympathise with mine—but was his fate as hard? He saw his sons dying before him; could a son, or sons, be as the wife of one's bosom? The serpent twines around him, too, awaking exquisite corporeal pangs, but would it not have been luxury to have died with my Acmé? Can the body suffer as the mind?”

At night, reposing from the fatigues of the day, might the brothers frequently be seen at the fountain of Trevi; George listlessly swinging on the chains near it, and steadfastly watching the water, as it gurgled over the fantastic devices beneath—while his mind wandered back to Malta, and to Acmé.

Sir Henry's conduct during this trying period was most exemplary. Like the mother, who lavishes her tenderest endearments on her sickliest


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child, did he now endeavour to support his brother in his afflictions.

As the bleak night wind came on, he would arouse George from his reverie—would make him lean his tall form on his—would wrap closely the folds of his cloak around him—would speak so softly—and soothe so tenderly.

And gratefully did George's heart respond to his kindness. He knew that the sorrow which bowed him to the earth, was also blanching the cheek of his brother, and he loved him doubly for his solicitude.

Ah! few brothers have thus made sweet the fraternal tie!




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CHAPTER V. THE EAST INDIAN.

“Would I not stem
A tide of suffering, rather than forego
Such feelings for the hard and worldly phlegm
Of those whose thoughts are only turn'd below,
Gazing upon the ground, with thoughts that dare not
glow ?”


FROM Rome and our care-worn travellers, let us turn to Mrs. Vernon's drawing-room at Leamington.

An unforeseen event suddenly made a considerable change in the hopes and prospects of our fair friend Julia.

One warm summer's morning—it was on the very day, that the brothers, with Acmé, were sailing close to the Calabrian mountains, and the


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latter was telling her ghost story, within view of the sweet village of Capo del Marte—one balmy summer's morning, the Miss Vernons were seated in a room, furnished like most English drawing-rooms; that is to say, it had tables for trinkets—a superb mirror—a Broadwood piano—an Erard harp—a reclining sofa—and a woolly rug, on which slept, dreamt, and snored, a small Blenheim spaniel.

Julia had a mahogany frame before her, and was thoughtfully working a beaded purse.

The hue of health had left her cheek. Its complexion was akin to that of translucent alabaster. The features wore a more fixed and regular aspect, and their play was less buoyant and quick changing than heretofore.

Deep thought! thus has been thy warfare for ever: First, thou stealest from the rotund face its joyous dimples; then, dost thou gradually imprint remorseless furrows on the anxious brow.

A servant entered the room, and bore on a salver a letter addressed to Miss Vernon.


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Its deep black binding—its large coat of arms—bespoke it death's official messenger. Julia's cheek blanched as she glanced over its first page.

Her sisters laid down their work, and looked towards her with some curiosity.

Julia burst into tears.

“Poor uncle Vernon!”

Her sisters seemed surprised at the announcement, but not to participate in Julia's feelings on the occasion.

One of them took up the letter, which had fallen to the ground, and the two read its contents.

“How very odd!” said they together, “uncle has left you Hornby, and Catesfield, and almost all the property!”

“Has he?” replied Julia, “I could not read it all, for however he may have behaved to mamma, I ever found him good and kind; and had always hoped, that we might have yet seen him with us once more. Poor old man! and the letter says a lingering illness—how sad to think that we were


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not with him to soothe his pillow, and cheer his death bed!”“Well!” said one of the sisters reddening, “I must say it was his own fault. He would not live with his nearest relations, who loved him, and tried to make his a happy home—but showed his caprice then, as he has now. But I will go up stairs, and break it to mamma, and will tell her you are an heiress.”

“An heiress!” replied Julia, with heart-broken tone! “an heiress!” The tear quivered in her eye; but before the moisture had formed its liquid bead, to course down her pallid cheek; a thought flashed across her, which had almost the power to recal it to its cell.

That thought comprised the fervency and timidity—the hopes and fears of woman's first love. She thought of her last meeting with Sir Henry Delmé: of the objections which might now be removed.

A new vista of happiness seemed to open before her.

It was but for a moment.


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The blush which that thought called up, faded away—the tear trickled on—her features recovered their serenity—and she turned with a sweet smile to her sisters.

“My dear—dear sisters! it is long since we have seen my poor uncle.

“Affection's ties may have been somewhat loosened. They cannot—I am sure—have been dissolved.

“Do not think me selfish enough to retain this generous bequest.

“It may yet be in my power, and it no doubt is, to amend its too partial provisions. Let us be sisters still—sisters in equality—sisters in love and affection.”

Julia Vernon was a very noble girl. She lived to become of age, and she acted up to this her resolve.

And, now, a few words as to the individual, by whose death the Miss Vernons acquired such an accession of property.

The Miss Vernons' father had an only and a younger brother, who at an early age had embarked


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for the East, in the civil service. He had acquired great wealth, and, after a residence of twenty-five years in the Bengal Presidency, had returned to England a confirmed bachelor, and a wealthy nabob. His brother died, while Mr. Benjamin Vernon was on his passage home. He arrived in England, and found himself a stranger in his native land.

He shouldered his cane through Regent Street, and wandered in the Quadrant's shade;—and in spite of the novelties that every where met him—in spite of cabs and plated glass—felt perfectly isolated and miserable.

It is true, his Indian friends found him out at the Burlington, and their cards adorned his mantelpiece—for Mr. Benjamin Yernon was said to be worth a plum, and to be on the look out for a vacancy in the Directory.

But although these were indisputably his Indian friends, it appeared to Mr. Vernon, that they were no longer his friends of India. They seemed to him to live in a constant state of unnatural excitement.


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Some prided themselves on being stars in fashion's gayest circle—others, whom he had hardly known, were fathers—for their families were educating in England—he now found surrounded by children, on whose provision they were wholly intent.

These were off at a tangent, “to see Peter Auber, at the India House,” or, “could not wait an instant; they were to meet Josh: Alexander precisely at two.”

And then their flippant sons! taking wine with him, forsooth -adjusting their neckcloths—and asking “whether he had met their father at Madras or Calcutta?”

This to a true Bengalee!

Nor was this all!

The young renegades ate their curry with a knife!

Others, from whom he had parted years before, shook hands with him at the Oriental, as if his presence there was a matter of course; and then asked him “what he thought of Stanley's speech?” VOL. II.


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Now, there are few men breathing, who have their sympathies so keenly alive -who show and who look for, such warmth of heart—who are so chilled and hurt by indifference—as your bachelor East Indian.

The married one may solace himself for coldness abroad, by sunny smiles at home;—but the friendless bachelor is sick at heart, unless he encounter a hearty pressure of the hand—an eye that sparkles, as it catches his—an interested listener to his thousand and one tales of Oriental scenes, and of Oriental good fellowship.

Mr. Benjamin Vernon soon found this London solitude—it was worse than solitude—quite insupportable.

He determined to visit his brother's widow, and left town for Leamington. The brother-in-law felt more than gratified at the cordial welcome that there met him.

His heart responded to their tones of kindness, and the old Indian, in the warmth of his gratitude, thought he had at length discovered a congenial home. He plunged into the extreme of dangerous


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intimacy; and was soon domiciled in Mrs. Vernon's small mansion.

It is absurd what trifles can extinguish friendships, and estrange affection. Mr. Vernon had always had the controul of his hours—loved his hookah, and his after-dinner dose.

His brother's widow was an amiable person, but a great deal too independent, to humour any person's foibles.

She liked activity, and disliked smoking; and was too matter-of-fact in her ideas, to conceive that these indulgences, merely from force of habit, might have now become absolute necessities.

Mrs. Vernon first used arguments; which were listened to very patiently, and as systematically disregarded.

As she thought she knew her ground better, she would occasionally secrete the hookah, and indulge in eloquent discourse, on the injurious effects, and waste of time, that the said hookah entailed.

Nor could the old man enjoy in peace, his evening slumber.

One of his nieces was always ready to shake him


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by the elbow, and address him with an expostulatory “Oh! dear uncle!” which, though delivered with silvery voice, seemed to him deuced provoking.

For some time, the old Indian good-naturedly acquiesced in these arrangements; and was far too polite at any time to scold, or hazard a scene.

Mrs. Vernon was all complacency, and imagined her triumph assured.

Suddenly the tempest gathered to a head. Bachelor habits regained their ascendancy; and Mrs. Vernon was thunderstruck, when it was one morning duly announced to her, that her brother-in-law had purchased a large estate in Monmouthshire, and that he intended permanently to reside there.

Mrs. Vernon was deeply chagrined.

She thought him ungrateful, and told him so. At the outset, our East Indian was anxious that his niece Julia, who had been by far the most tolerant of his bachelor vices, should preside over his new establishment; but the feelings of the mother and daughter were alike opposed to this arrangement.


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This was the last rock on which he and his brother's widow split; and it was decisive.

From that hour, all correspondence between them ceased.

Arrived in Wales, our nabob endeavoured to attach himself to country pursuits—purchased adjoining estates—employed many labourers—and greatly improved his property. But his rural occupations were quite at variance with his acquired habits.

He pined away—became hypochondriacal—and died, just three years after leaving Mrs. Vernon, for want of an Eastern sun, and something to love.




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CHAPTER VI. VEII.

“The seal is set.”

ON the day fixed for the departure of Sir Henry Delmé and his brother, they together visited once more the sumptuous pile of St. Peter's, and heard the voices of the practised choristers swell through the mighty dome, as the impressive service of the Catholic Church was performed by the Pope and his conclave.

The morning dawn had seen George, as was his daily custom in Rome, kneeling beside the grave of Acmé, and breathing a prayer for their blissful reunion in heaven.

As the widower staggered from that spot, the thought crossed him, and bitterly poignant was


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that thought, that now might he bid a second earthly farewell, to what had been his pride, and household solace.

Now, indeed, “was the last link broken.”Each hour—each traversed league—was to bear him away from even the remains of his heart's treasure.

Their bones must moulder in a different soil.

It was Sir Henry's choice that they should on that day visit Saint Peter's; and well might the travellers leave Rome with so unequalled an object fresh in the mind's eye.

Whether we gaze on its exterior of faultless proportions—or on the internal arrangement, where perfect symmetry reigns;—whether we consider the glowing canvas or the inspired marble, -or the rich mosaics;—whether with the enthusiasm of the devotee, we bend before those gorgeous shrines; or with the comparative apathy of a cosmopolite, reflect on the historical recollections with which that edifice—the focus of the rays of Catholicism—teems and must teem forever;—we must in truth acknowledge, that there


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alone is the one matchless temple, in strict and perfect harmony with Imperial Rome.

Gazing there—or recalling in after years its unclouded majesty—the delighted pilgrim knows neither shade of disappointment nor doth he harbour one thought of decay.

Where is the other building in the “eternal city,” of which we can say thus much?

Sir Henry Delmé had engaged a vettura, which was to convey them with the same horses as far as Florence.

This arrangement made them masters of their own time, and was perhaps in their case, the best that could be adopted; for slowness of progress, which is its greatest objection, was rather desirable in George's then state of health.

As is customary, Delmé made an advance to the vetturino, who usually binds himself to defray all the expenses at the inns on the road.

The travellers dined early—left Rome in the afternoon—and proposed pushing on to Neppi during the night.

When about four miles on their journey, Delmé


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observed a mausoleum on the side of the road, which appeared of ancient date, and rather curious construction.

On consulting his guide-book, he found it designated as the tomb of Nero.

On examining its inscription, he saw that it was erected to the memory of a Prefect of Sardinia; and he inwardly determined to distrust his guidebook on all future occasions.

The moon was up as they reached the post-house of Storta.

The inn, or rather tavern, was a small wretched looking building, with a large courtyard attached, but the stables appeared nearly—if not quite—untenanted.

Sir Henry's surprise and anger were great, when the driver, coolly stopping his horses, commenced taking off their harness; and informed the travellers, that there must they remain, until he had received some instructions from his owner, which he expected by a vettura leaving Rome at a later hour.

It was in vain that the brothers expostulated,


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and reminded him of his agreement to stop when they pleased, expressing their determination to proceed.

The driver was dogged and unmoved; and the travellers had neglected to draw up a written bargain, which is a precaution absolutely necessary in Italy.

They soon found they had no alternative but to submit. It was with a very bad grace they did so, for Englishmen have a due abhorrence of imposition.

They at length stepped from the vehicle—indulged in some vehement remonstrances—smiled at Thompson's voluble execrations, which they found were equally unavailing—and were finally obliged to give up the point.

They were shown into a small room. The chief inmates were some Papal soldiers of ruffianly air, engaged in the clamorous game of moro. Unlike the close shorn Englishmen, their beards and mustachios, were allowed to grow to such length, as to hide the greater part of the face.

Their animated gestures and savage countenances,


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would have accorded well with a bandit group by Salvator.

The landlord, an obsequious little man, with face pregnant with mischievous cunning, was watching with interest, the turns of the game; and assisting his guests, to quaff his vino ordinario, which Sir Henry afterwards found was ordinary enough.

Delmé's equanimity of temper was already considerably disturbed.

The scanty accommodation afforded them, by no means diminished his choler; which he began to expend on the obstinate driver, who had followed them into the room, and was busily placing chairs round one of the tables.

“See what you can get for supper, you rascal!”

“Signore! there are some excellent fowls, and the very best wine of Velletri.”

The wine was produced and proved vinegar.

The host bustled away loud in its praise, and a few seconds afterwards, the dying shriek of a veteran tenant of the poultry yard, warned them that supper was preparing.

“Thompson!” said George, rather languidly,


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“do, like a good fellow, see that they put no garlic with the fowl!”

“I will, Sir,” replied the domestic;“and the wine, 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 proffered sugar and lemons.

Sir Henry's countenance somewhat brightened, and he declared he would make punch.

Punch! thou just type of matrimony! thy ingredients of sweets and bitters so artfully blended, that we know not which predominate,—so deceptive, too, that we imbibe long and potent draughts, nor awake to a consciousness of thy power, till awoke by headache.

Hail to thee! all hail!

Thy very name, eked out by thine appropriate receptacle, recals raptures past—bids us appreciate joys present—and enjoins us duly to reverence thee, if we hope for joys in futurity.

A bowl of punch! each merry bacchanal rises at the call !


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Moderate bacchanals all! for where is the abandoned sot, who would not rather dole out his filthy lucre, on an increase of the mere alchohol—than expend it on those grateful adjuncts, which, throwing a graceful veil over that spirit's grossness, impart to it its chief and its best attraction.

Up rises then each hearty bacchanal! thrice waving the dear tinkling crystal, ere he emits that joyful burst, fresh from the heart, which from his uncontrolled emotion, meets the ear husky and indistinct.

Delmé squeezed the lemons into not a bad substitute for a bowl, viz. a red earthen vase of rough workmanship, but elegant shape, somewhat resembling a modern wine cooler.

George stood at the inn-door, wistfully looking upward; when he remarked an intelligent boy of fourteen, with dark piercing eyes, observing him somewhat earnestly.

On finding he was noticed, he approached with an air of ingenuous embarrassment—pulled off his cap—and said in a tone of enquiry, “Un Signore Inglese?”


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“Yes! my fine fellow! Do you know anything of me or the English?”

“Oh yes!” replied the boy with vivacity, replacing his cap, “I have travelled in England, 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 their wants or their loneliness; who eke out a miserable pittance, by carrying busts of plaster-of-Paris—grinding on an organ—or displaying through Europe, the tricks of some poodle dog, or the eccentricities of a monkey disguised in scarlet.

It is rare that these come from a part of Italy so far south; but it appeared in this instance, that Giuseppe's father being a carrier, had taken him with him to Milan—had there met a friend, rich in an organ and porcupine—and had entrusted the boy to his care, in order that he might see the world, and make his fortune.

Giuseppe gave a narrative of some little events, that had occurred to him during his wanderings, which greatly interested George; and he finally


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concluded, by saying that his father had now retired to his native place at Barberini, where many strangers came to see the "antichita." George, on referring to the guide book, found that this was indeed the case; and that Isola Barberini is marked as the site of ancient 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 for supper. It is only a ‘piccolo giro’ across the fields; and looks as well by moonlight as at any other time.”

“Ah!” replied George, “I would be glad to accompany you. Henry” said he, as he entered the room of the inn, “I am away on a classic excursion to Veii. The night is lovely—I have an excellent guide—and shall be back before you have finished your punch making.

Do let me go!” and he lowered his voice, and the tears swam in his eyes, “I cannot endure these rude sounds of merriment, and a moonlight walk will at least afford nothing that can thus pain me.”

Sir Henry looked out. The night was perfectly


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fine. The young peasant, all willingness, had already shouldered his bundle, and was preparing to move forward.

“You must not be late, George," said his brother, assenting to his proposal. “Do not stay too long about the ruins. Remember that you are still delicate, and that I shall wait supper for you.”

As the boy led on, George followed him in a foot path, which led through fields of meadow land, corn, and rye.

The fire-flies—mimic meteors—were giddily winging their way from bush to bush,—illuming the atmosphere, and imparting to the scene a glittering beauty, which a summer night in a northern clime cannot boast.

As they approached somewhat nearer to the hamlet, their course was over ground more rugged; and the disjointed fragments of rocks strewed, and at intervals obstructed, the path.

The cottages were soon reached.

The villagers were all in front of their dwellings, taking their last meal for the day, in the open air.

The young guide stopped in front of a cottage,


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a little apart from the rest. The family party were seated round a rude table, on which were plates and napkins.

Before the master of the house—a wrinkled old man, with long grey hair—was a smoking tureen of bread soup, over which he was in the act of sprinkling some grated Parmesan cheese.

A plate of green figs, and a large water melon—the cocomero—made up the repast.

“Giuseppe! you are late for supper,” said the old patriarch, as the boy approached to whisper his introduction of the stranger.

The old man waved his hand courteously—made a short apology for the humble viands—and pointed to a vacant seat.

“Many thanks,” said George, “but my supper already awaits me. I will not, however, interfere with my young guide. Show me the ruins, Giuseppe, and I will trouble you no further.”

The boy moved on towards what were indeed ruins, or rather the vestige of such.

Here a misshapen stone—there a shattered column—decaying walls, overgrown with nettles—


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arches and caves, choked up with rank vegetation—bespoke remains unheeded, and but rarely visited.

George threw the boy a piece of silver—heard his repeated cautions as to his way to Storta—and wished him good night, as he hurried back to the cottage.

George Delmé sat on the shaft of a broken pillar, his face almost buried in his hands, as he looked around him on a scene once so famous.

But with him classic feelings were not uppermost. The widowed heart mourned its loneliness; and in that calm hour found the full relief of tears.

The mourner rose, and turned his face homeward, slowly—sadly—but resignedly.

The heavens had become more overcast—and clouds occasionally were hiding the moon.

It was with some difficulty that George avoided the pieces of rock which obstructed the path.

The road seemed longer, and wilder, than he had previously thought it.

Suddenly the loud bay of dogs was borne to his ear; and almost before he had time to turn from the path, two large hounds brushed past him, followed


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by a rider—his gun slung before his saddle—and his horse fearlessly clattering over the loose stones.

The horseman seemed a young Roman farmer. He did not salute, and probably did not observe our traveller. As the sound from the horse receded, and the clamour of the dogs died away, a feeling almost akin to alarm crossed George's mind.

George was one, however, who rarely gave way to vague fears.

It so happened that he was armed.

Delancey had made him a present of a brace of pocket pistols, during the days of their friendship; and, very much to Sir Henry's annoyance, George had been in the habit, since leaving Malta, of constantly carrying these about him.

He strode on without adventure, until entering the field of rye.

The pathway became very narrow—so that on either side him, he grazed against the bearded ears.

Suddenly he heard a rustling sound. The moon at the moment broke from a dark cloud, and he


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fancied he discerned a figure 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 instantaneously grasped.

For a moment, George Delmé felt irresolute—then drew a pistol from his pocket and fired.

The hold was loosened—a man fell at his feet.

The pistol's flash revealed another figure, which diving into the corn—fled precipitately.

Let us turn to Sir Henry Delmé and to Thompson.

For some time after George's departure, they were busily engaged in preparing supper.

While they were thus occupied, they noticed that the Papal soldiers whispered much together—but this gave rise to no suspicion on their part.

One by one the soldiers strolled out, and the landlord betook himself to the kitchen.

The punch was duly made, and Sir Henry,


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leaving the room, paced thoughtfully in front of the inn.

At length it struck him, that it was almost time for his brother to return.

He was entering the inn, for the purpose of making some enquiries; when he saw one of the soldiers cross the road hurriedly, and go into the courtyard, where he was immediately joined by the vetturino.

Delmé turned in to the house, and called for the landlord.

Before the latter could appear, George rushed into the room.

His hat was off—his eyes glared wildly—his long hair streamed back, wet with the dews of night. He dragged with him the body of one of the soldiers; and threw it with supernatural strength into the very centre of the room.

“Supper!” said he,“ha, ha, ha! I have brought you supper!”

The man was quite dead.

The bullet had pierced his neck and throat.

The blood was yet flowing, and had dabbled the


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white vest. His beard and hair were clotted with gore.

Shocked as Sir Henry was, the truth flashed on him. He lost not a moment in beckoning to Thompson, and rushing towards the stable. The driver was still there, conversing with the soldier.

As Sir Henry approached, they evinced involuntary confusion; and the vetturino—at once unmanned -fell on his knees, and commenced a confession.

They were dragged into the inn, and the officers of justice were sent for.

Sir Henry Delmé's anxious regards were now 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 the dead—with pallid complexion—glazed eye—limbs fast stiffening—and gouts of blood—standing from out the face, like crimson excrescences on a diseased leaf.

But it is far more fearful than even this, to look


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on one, who is bound to us by the nearest and most cherished ties—with cheek yet glowing—expression's flush mantling still—and yet to doubt whether the intellect, which adorned that frame—the jewel in the casket—hath not for ever left its earthly tenement.




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CHAPTER VII. THE VETTURINI.

“Far other scene is Thrasymene now.”

“Fair Florence! at thy day's decline
When came the shade from Appennine,
And suddenly on blade and bower
The fire-flies shed the sparkling shower,
As if all heaven to earth had sent
Each star that gems the firmament;
'Twas sweet at that enchanting hour,
To bathe in fragrance of the Italian clime,
By Arno's stream.”


THE brothers were detained a few days at Storta; while the Roman police, who, to do them justice, were active on the occasion, and showed every anxiety to give the travellers as little trouble as possible—were investigating the occurrences we have described. It appeared that some suspicion


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had previously attached itself to Vittore Santado, and that the eyes of the police had been on him for some time.

It now became evident, both from his own confession, and subsequent discoveries, that this man had for years trafficked in the lives and property of others;—and that the charge connected with George, was one of the least grave, that would be brought against him.

It was shown that he was an active agent, in aiding the infamous designs of that inn, on the Italian frontier, whose enormities have given rise to more than one thrilling tale of fiction, far outdone by the reality—that inn—where the traveller retired to rest—but rose not refreshed to prosecute his journey:—where—if he slumbered but once, that sleep was his last.

Until now, his career had been more than usually successful.

The crafty vetturino had had the art to glean a fair reputation even from his crimes. More than once, had he induced a solitary traveller to leave the high road and his carriage, for VOL. II.


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the purpose of visiting some ruin, or viewing some famous prospect.

On such occasions, Vittore's accomplices were in waiting; and the unsuspecting stranger—pillaged and alarmed, would return to the vettura penniless.

Vittore would be foremost in his commiseration; and with an air of blunt sincerity, would proffer the use of his purse; such conduct ensuring the gratitude, and the after recommendations of his dupe.

It is supposed that the vetturino had contemplated rifling the carriage in the inn yard; but some suspicion as to the servant's not leaving the luggage, and the sort of dog fidelity, displayed by Thompson towards the brothers; had induced him rather to sanction an attempt on George during his imprudent excursion to Barberini.

Vittore Santado was executed near the Piazza del Popolo, and to this day, over the chimney-piece of many a Roman peasant, may be seen the tale of his crimes—his confessions—and his death; which perused by casual neighbour guests—calls


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up many a sign of the cross—and devout look of rustic terror.

After the incident we have related in the last chapter, George Delmé, contrary to Sir Henry's previous misgivings, enjoyed a good night's rest, and arose tolerably calm and refreshed.

The following night he was attacked with palpitation of the heart.

His brother and Thompson felt greatly alarmed; but after an hour's severe suffering, the paroxysm left him.

Nothing further occurred at Storta, to induce them to attach very great importance to the shock George's nerves had experienced; but in after life, Sir Henry always thought, he could date many fatal symptoms from that hour of intense excitement.

Delmé was in Rome two days; during which period, his depositions, as connected with Santado, were taken down; and he was informed that his presence during the trial would not be insisted on.

Delmé took that opportunity again to consult his medical friend; who accompanied him to


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Storta, to visit George; and prescribed a regimen calculated to invigorate the general system.

He directed Delmé not to be alarmed, should the paroxysm return; and recommended, that during the attack, George should lie down quietly—and take twenty drops of Battley's solution of opium in a wine glass of water.

As his friend did not appear alarmed, Delmé's mind was once more assured; and he prepared to continue their journey to Florence, by the way of Perugia.

Punctual to his time, the new vetturino—as to whose selection Sir Henry had been very particular—arrived at Storta; and the whole party, with great willingness left the wretched inn, and its suspicious inmates.

There certainly could not be a greater contrast, than between the two Vetturini.

Vittore Santado was a Roman; young—inclined to corpulency—oily faced—plausible—and a most consummate rascal.

Pietro Molini was a Milanese;—elderly—with hardly an ounce of flesh on his body—with face


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scored and furrowed like the surface of the hedge-pippin—rough in his manners—and the most honest of his tribe.

Poor Pietro Molini! never did driver give more cheering halloo to four-footed beast! or with spirit more elate, deliver in the drawling patois of his native paesi, some ditty commemorative of Northern liberty! Honest Pietro! thy wishes were contained within a small compass! thy little brown cur, snarling and bandy-legged—thy raw-boned steeds—these were thy first care;—the safety of thy conveyance, and its various inmates, the second.

To thee—the most delightful melody in this wide world, was the jingling of thy horses' bells, as all cautiously and slowly they jogged on their way:—the most discordant sound in nature, the short husky cough, emitted from the carcase of one of these, as disease and continued fatigue made their sure inroads.

Poor simple Pietro! his only pride was encased in his breeches pocket, and it lay in a few scraps of paper—remembrances of his passengers.


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One and all lavished praise on Pietro!

Yes! we have him again before us as we write—his ill-looking, but easy carriage—his three steeds—the rude harness, eked out with clustering knots of rope—and the happy driver, seated on a narrow bench, jutting over the backs of his wheelers, as he contentedly whiffs from his small red clay pipe—at intervals dropping off in a dose, with his cur on his lap. At such a time, with what perfect nonchalance would he open his large grey eyes, when recalled to the sense of his duties, by the volubly breathed execration of some rival whip—and with what a silent look of ineffable contempt, would he direct his horses to the side of the road, and again steep his senses in quiescent repose.

At night, Pietro's importance would sensibly increase, as after rubbing down the hides of his favourites, and dropping into the capacious manger the variegated oats; he would wait on his passengers to arrange the hour of departure—would accept the proffered glass of wine, and give utterance to his ready joke.


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A King might have envied Pietro Molini, as—the straw rustling beneath him—he laid down in his hairy capote, almost between the legs of his favourite horse.

To do so will be to anticipate some years! Yet we would fain relate the end of the Vetturino. Crossing from Basle to Strasbourg, in the depth of winter, and descending an undulated valley, Pietro slept as usual.

Implicitly relying on the sure footedness of his horses, a fond dream of German beer, German tobacco, and German sauerkraut, soothed his slumbers.

A fragment of rock had been loosened from its ancient bed, and lay across the road.

Against this the leader tripped and fell.

The shock threw Pietro and his dog from their exalted station.

The pipe, which—whether he were sleeping or waking—had long decked the cheek of the honest driver, now fell from it, and was dashed into a thousand pieces.

It was an evil omen.


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When the carriage was stopped, Pietro Molini was found quite lifeless. He had received a kick from the ungrateful heel of his friend Bruno, and the wheel of the carriage, it had been his delight to clean, had passed over the body of the hapless vetturino.

Ah! as that news spread! many an ostler of many a nation, shook his head mournfully, and with saddened voice, wondered that the same thing had not occurred years before.

At the time, however, to which we allude—viz., the commencement of the acquaintance between our English travellers, and Pietro; the latter thought of anything rather than of leaving a world for which he had an uncommon affection.

He and Thompson soon became staunch allies; and the want of a common language seemed only to cement their union.

Not Noblet, in her inimitable performance of the Muette, threw more expression into her sweet face—than did Pietro, into the furrowed lines of his bronzed visage, as he endeavoured to explain to his friend some Italian custom, or the reason


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why he had selected another dish, or other wine; rather than that, to which they had done such justice the previous day.

Thompson's gestures and countenance in reply, partook of a more stoical character; but he was never found wanting, when a companion was needed for a bottle or a pipe.

Their friendship was not an uninstructive one. It would have edified him, who prides himself on his deep knowledge of human nature, or who seizes with avidity on the minuter traits of a nation, to note with what attention the English valet, would listen to a Milanese arietta; whose love notes, delivered by the unmusical Pietro, were about as effectively pathetic as the croak of the bull frog in a marsh, or screech of owl sentimentalising in ivied ruin; and to mark with what gravity, the Italian driver would beat his hand against the table; in tune to "Ben Baxter," or "The British Grenadiers," roared out more Anglico.

There are two grand routes from Rome to Florence:—the one is by Perugia, the other passes


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through Sienna. The former, which is the one Sir Henry selected, is the most attractive to the ordinary traveller; who is enabled to visit the fall of Terni, Thrasymene, and the temple of Clitumnus.

The first, despite its being artificial, is equal in our opinion, to the vaunted Schaffhausen;—the second is hallowed in story;—and the third has been illustrated by Byron. “Pass not unblest the genius of the place!
If through the air a zephyr more serene
Win to the brow, 'tis his; and if ye trace
Along the margin a more eloquent green,
If on the heart, the freshness of the scene
Sprinkle its coolness, and from the dry dust
Of weary life a moment lave it clean
With nature's baptism,—'tis to him ye must
Pay orisons for this suspension of disgust.”

Poor George Delmé showed little interest in anything connected with this journey. Sir Henry embarked on the lake above, in order to see the cascade of Terni in every point of view; and afterwards took his station with George, on various ledges of rock below the fall—whence the eye looks upward, on that mystic scene of havoc, turbulence, and mighty rush of water.


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But the cataract fell in snowy sheet—the waves hissed round the sable rocks—and the rainbow played on the torrent's foam;—but these possessed not a charm, to rouse to a sense of their beauty, the sad heart of the invalid.

Near the lake of Thrasymene, they passed some hours; allowing Pietro to put up his horses at Casa di Piano. Sir Henry, with a Livy in his hand, first proceeded to the small eminence, looking down on the round tower of Borghetto; and on that insidious pass, which his fancy peopled once more, with the advancing troops of the Consul.

The soldier felt much interested, and attempted to impart that interest to George; but the widowed husband shook his head mournfully; and it was evident, that his thoughts were not with Flaminius and his entrapped soldiers, but with the gentle Acmé, mouldering in her lonely grave.

From Borghetto, they proceeded to the village of Torre, where Delmé was glad to accept the hospitable offer of its Priest, and procure seats for himself and George, in the balcony of his little


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cottage. From this point, they looked down on the arena of war.

There it lay, serene and basking in the rays of the meridian sun.

On either side, were the purple summits of the Gualandra hills.

Beneath flowed the little rivulet, once choked by the bodies of the combatants; but which now sparkled gaily through the valley, although at intervals, almost dried up by the fierce heat of summer.

The lake was tranquil and unruffled—all on its margin, hushed and moveless. What a contrast to that exciting hour, which Sir Henry was conjuring up again; when the clang of arms, and crash of squadrons, commingled with the exulting shout, that bespoke the confident hope of the wily Carthaginian; and with that sterner response, which hurled back the indomitable spirit of the unyielding, but despairing Roman!

Our travellers quitted the Papal territories; and entering Tuscany, passed through Arezzo, the birth-place of Petrarch; arriving at Florence just previous to sunset.


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As they reached the Lung Arno, Pietro put his horses to a fast trot, and rattling over the flagged road, drew up in front of Schneidorff's with an air of greater importance, than his sorry vehicle seemed to warrant.

The following morning, George Delmé was taken by his brother, to visit the English physician resident at Florence; and again was Delmé informed, that change of scene, quiet, and peace of mind, were what his brother most required.

George was thinner perhaps, than when at Rome, and his lip had lost its lustrous red; but he concealed his physical sufferings, and always met Henry with the same soft undeviating smile.

On their first visit to the Tribune, George was struck with the Samian Sibyl of Guercino. In the glowing lip—the silken cheek—the ivory temple—the eye of inspiration—the bereaved mourner thought he could trace, some faint resemblance to the lost Acmé. Henceforward, it was his greatest pleasure, to remain with eyes fixed on that masterpiece of art.


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Sir Henry Delmé, accompanied by the custode, would make himself acquainted with the wonders of the Florentine gallery; and every now and then, return to whisper some sentence, in the soothing tones of brotherly kindness. At night, their usual haunt was the public square—where the loggio of Andrea Orcagna presents so much, that may claim attention.

There stands the David! in the freshness of his youth! proudly regarding his adversary—ere he overthrow, with the weapon of the herdsman, the haughty giant.

The inimitable Perseus, too! the idol of that versatile genius, Benvenuto Cellini :—an author! a goldsmith! a cunning artificer in jewels! a founder in bronze! a sculptor in marble! the prince of good fellows! the favored of princes! the warm friend and daring lover! as we gaze on his glorious performance, and see beside it the Hercules, and Cacus of his rival Baccio Bandanelli,—we seem to live again in those days, with which Cellini has made us so familiar:—and almost naturally regard the back of the bending figure, to


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note if its muscles warrant the stinging sarcasm of Cellini, which we are told at once dispelled the pride of the aspiring artist—“that they resembled cucumbers!”

The rape of the Sabines, too! the white marble glistening in the obscurity, until the rounded shape of the maiden seems to elude the strong grasp of the Roman!

Will she ever fly from him thus? will the home of her childhood be ever as dear? No! the husband's love shall replace the father's blessing; and the affections of the daughter, shall yield to the tender yearnings of the mother's bosom.

We marvel not that George's footsteps lingered there!

How often have we—martyrs to a hopeless nympholepsy—strayed through that piazza, at the self same hour -there deemed that the heart would break—but never thought that it might slowly wither.

How often have we gleaned from those beauteous objects around, but aliment to our


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morbid griefs; -and turning towards the gurgling fountain of Ammonati, and gazing on its trickling waters, have vainly tried to arrest our trickling tears!




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CHAPTER VIII. ARQUÀ.

“There is a tomb in Arquà: rear'd in air,
Pillar'd in their sarcophagus, repose
The bones of Laura's lover.”


“I stood in Venice on the Bridge of Sighs.”

HOW glorious is the thrill, which shoots through our frame, as we first wake to the consciousness of our intellectual power; as we feel the spirit—the undying spirit—ready to burst the gross bonds of flesh, and soar triumphant, over the sneers of others, and our own mistrust.

How does each thought seem to swell in our bosom, as if impatient of the confined tenement—how do the floating ideas congregate—how does each impassioned feeling subdue us in turn, and long for a worthy utterance!


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This is a very bright moment in the history of our lives. It is one in which we feel—indubitably feel—that we are of the fashioning of God;—that the light which intellect darts around us, is not the result of education—of maxims inculcated—or of principles instilled;—but that it is a ray caught from the brightness of eternity—that when our wavering pulse has ceased to beat, and the etherialised elements have left the baser and the useless dust—that ray shall not be quenched; but shall again be absorbed in the full effulgence from which it emanated.

Surely then, if such a glorious moment as this, be accorded to even the inferior votaries of knowledge—to the meaner pilgrims, struggling on towards the resplendent shrines of science:—how must he—the divine Petrarch, who could so exquisitely delineate love's hopes and story, as to clothe an earthly passion, with half the attributes of an immortal affection:—how must he have revelled in the proud sensations called forth at such a moment!

It is the curse of the poet, that he must perforce


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leave the golden atmosphere of loftiest aspirations—step from the magic circle, where all is pure and etherial—and find himself the impotent denizen, of a sombre and an earthly world.

It was in the early part of September, that the brothers turned their backs on the Etrurian Athens. Their destination was Venice, and their route lay through Bologna and Arquà.

They had been so satisfied, under the guidance of their old vetturino, that Sir Henry made an arrangement, which induced him to be at Florence, at the time of their departure; and Pietro and Thompson were once more seated beside each other.

Before commencing the ascent of the Appennines, our travellers visited the country seat of the Archduke; saw the gigantic statue executed by John of Bologna, which frowns over the lake; and at Fonte-buona, cast a farewell glance on Florence, and the ancient Fiesole.

As they advanced towards Caravigliojo, the mountains began to be more formidable, and the scenery to lose its smiling character.


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Each step seemed to add to the barrenness of the landscape.

The wind came howling down from the black volcanic looking ridges—then swept tempestuously through some deep ravine.

On either side the road, tall red poles presented themselves, a guide to the traveller during winter's snows; while, in one exposed gully, were built large stone embankments for his protection—as a Latin inscription intimated—from the violence of the gales.

Few signs of life appeared.

Here and there, her white kerchief shading a sun-burnt face, a young Bolognese shepherd girl might be seen on some grassy ledge, waving her hand coquettishly; while her neglected flock, with tinkling bell, browsed on the edge of the precipice. As they neared Bologna, however, the scenery changed.

Festoons of grapes, trained to leafy elms, began to appear—white villas chequered the suburbs and it was with a pleasurable feeling, that they neared the peculiar looking city, with its leaning


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towers, and old facades. It is the only one, where the Englishman recals Mrs. Ratcliffe's harrowing tales; and half expects to see a Schedoni, advancing from some covered portico.

The next day found them in the Bolognese gallery, which is the first which duly impresses the traveller, coming from the north, with the full powers of the art.

The soul of music seems to dwell in the face of the St. Cecilia; and the cup of maternal anguish to be filled to the brim, as in Guido's Murder of the Innocents, the mother clasps to her arms the terrified babe, and strives to flee from the ruthless destroyer.

It was on the fourth morning from their arrival in Bologna, that they approached the poet's “mansion and his sepulchre.”

As they threaded the green windings of vine covered hills, these gradually assumed a bolder outline, and, rising in separate cones, formed a sylvan amphitheatre round the lovely village of Arquà.

The road made an abrupt ascent to the Fontana


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Petrarca. A large ruined arch spanned a fine spring, that rushes down the green slope.

In the church-yard, on the right, is the tomb of Petrarch.

Its peculiarly bold elevation—the numberless thrilling associations connected with the poet—gave a tone and character to the whole scene. The chiaro-scuro of the landscape, was from the light of his genius—the shade of his tomb.

The day was lovely warm, but not oppressive. The soft green of the hills and foliage, checked the glare of the flaunting sunbeams.

The brothers left the carriage to gaze on the sarcophagus of red marble, raised on pilasters; and could not help deeming even the indifferent bronze bust of Petrarch, which surmounts this, to be a superfluous ornament in such a scene.

The surrounding landscape—the dwelling place of the poet—his tomb facing the heavens, and disdaining even the shadow of trees—the half-effaced inscription of that hallowed shrine—all these seemed appropriate, and melted the gazer's heart. How useless! how intrusive! are the superfluous


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decorations of art, amid the simpler scenes of nature.

Ornament is here misplaced. The feeling heart regrets its presence at the time, and attempts, albeit in vain, to banish it from after recollections.

George could not restrain his tears, for he thought of the dead; and they silently followed their guide to Petrarch's house, now partly used as a granary. Passing through two or three unfinished rooms, whose walls were adorned with rude frescoes of the lover and his mistress, they were shown into Petrarch's chamber, damp and untenanted.

In the closet adjoining, were the chair and table consecrated by the poet.

There did he sit—and write—and muse—and die!

George turned to a tall narrow window, and looked out on a scene, fair and luxuriant as the garden of Eden.

The rich fig trees, with their peculiar small, high scented fruit, mixed with the vines that clustered round the lattice.


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The round heads of the full bearing peach trees, dipped down in a leafy slope beneath a grassy walk;—and this thicket of fruit was charmingly enlivened, by bunches of the scarlet pomegranate, now in the pride of their blossom.

The poet's garden alone was neglected—rank herbage choking up its uncultivated flowers.

A thousand thoughts filled the mind of George Delmé.

He thought of Laura! of his own Acmé!

With swimming glance, he looked round the chamber.

It was almost without furniture, and without ornament. In a niche, and within a glass case, was placed the skeleton of a dumb favourite of Petrarch's.

Suddenly George Delmé felt a faintness stealing over him:—and he turned to bare his forehead, to catch the slight breeze from below redolent of sweets.

This did not relieve him.

A sharp pain across the chest, and a fluttering at the heart, as of a bird struggling to be free, succeeded this faintness.


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Another rush of blood to the head:—and a snap, as of some tendon, was distinctly felt by the sufferer.

His mouth filled with blood.

A small blood-vessel had burst, and temporary insensibility ensued.

Sir Henry was wholly unprepared for this scene.

Assisted by Thompson, he bore him to the carriage—sprinkled his face with water—and administered cordials.

George's recovery was speedy; and it almost seemed, as if the rupture of the vessel had been caused by the irregular circulation, for no further bad effects were felt at the time.

The loss of blood, however, evidently weakened him; and his spasms henceforward were more frequent.

He became less able to undergo fatigue; and his mind, probably in connection with the nervous system, became more than ordinarily excited.

There was no longer wildness in his actions; but in his thoughts and language, was developed a poetical eccentricity—a morbid sympathy with VOL. II.


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surrounding scenes and impressions, which kept Sir Henry Delmé in a constant state of alarm,—and which was very remarkable.

“What? at Mestré already, Pietro?” said Sir Henry.

“Even so, Signore! and here is the gondola to take you on to Venice.”

“Well, Pietro! you must not fail to come and see us at the inn.”

The vetturino touched his hat, with the air of a man who would be very sorry not to see them.

It was not long ere the glittering prow of the gondola pointed to Venice.

Before the travellers, rose ocean's Cybele; springing from the waters, like some fairy city, described to youthful ear by aged lip.

The fantastic dome of St. Mark—the Palladian churches—the columned palaces—the sable gondolas shooting through the canals—made its aspect, as is its reality, unique in the world.

“Beautiful, beautiful city!” said George, his eye lighting up as he spoke, “thou dost indeed


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look a city of the heart—a resting place for a wearied spirit. And our gondola, Henry, should be of burnished silver; and those afar—so noiselessly cutting their way through the glassy surface—those should be angels with golden wings; and, instead of an oar flashing freely, a snowy wand of mercy should beat back the kissing billows.

“And Acmé, with her George, should sit on the crystal cushion of glory—and we would wait expectant for you a long long time—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 he does now.

“And together we would sail loving and happy through an amethystine sea.”

During their stay in Venice, George, in spite of his increasing languor, continued to accompany his brother, in his visits to the various objects of interest which the city can boast.

The motion of the gondola appeared to have a soothing influence on the mind of the invalid.

He would recline on the cushions, and the fast flowing tears would course down his wan cheeks.


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These, however, were far from being a proof of suflering;—they were evidently a relief to the surcharged spirit.

One evening, a little before sunset, they found themselves in the crowded piazza of Saint Mark. The cafes were thronged with noble Venetians, come to witness the evening parade of an Austrian regiment. The sounds of martial music, swelled above the hum of the multitude; and few could listen to those strains, without participating in some degree, in the military enthusiasm of the hour.

But the brothers turned from the pageantry of war, as their eyes fell on the emblems of Venice free—the minarets of St. Mark, with the horses of Lysippus, a spoil from Byzantium—the flagless poles that once bore the banners of three tributary states—the highly adorned azure clock—the palaces of the proud Doges—where Faliero reigned—where Faliero suffered:—these were before them.

Their steps mechanically turned to the beautiful Campanile.


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George, leaning heavily on Sir Henry's arm, succeeded in gaining the summit: and they looked down from thence, on that wonderful city.

They saw the parade dismissed—they heard the bugle's fitful blast proclaim the hour of sunset. The richest hues of crimson and of gold, tinted the opposite heavens; while on those waters, over which the gondolas were swiftly gliding, quivered another city, the magic reflection of the one beneath them.

They gazed on the scene in silence, till the grey twilight came on.

“Now, George! it is getting late,” said Sir Henry.“I wonder whether we could find some old mariner, who could give us a chaunt from Tasso?”

Descending from the Campanile, Sir Henry made enquiries on the quay, and with some difficulty found gondoliers, who could still recite from their favourite bard.

Engaging a couple of boats, and placing a singer in each, the brothers were rowed down the Canale Giudecca—skirted many of the small


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islands, studding the lagoons; and proceeded towards the Adriatic.

Gradually the boats parted company, and just as Sir Henry was about to speak, thinking there might be a mistake as to the directions; the gondolier in the other boat commenced his song,—its deep bass mellowed by distance, and the intervening waves. The sound was electric.

It was so exquisitely appropriate to the scene, and harmonised so admirably, with the associations which Venice is apt to awaken, that one longed to be able to embody that fleeting sound—to renew its magic influence in after years. The pen may depict man's stormy feelings: the sensitive caprice of woman: -the most vivid tints may be imitated on the glowing canvas:—the inspired marble may realise our every idea of the beauty of form:—a scroll may give us at will, the divine inspiration of Handel:—but there are sounds, as there are subtle thoughts, which, away from the scenes, where they have charmed us, can never delight us more.

It was not until the second boatman answered


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the song, that the brothers felt how little the charm lay, in the voice of the gondolier, and that, heard nearer, the sounds were harsh and inharmonious.

They recited the death of Clorinda; the one renewing the stanza, whenever there was a momentary forgetfulness on the part of the other.

The clock of St. Mark had struck twelve, before the travellers had reached the hotel. George had not complained of fatigue, during a day which even Sir Henry thought a trying one; and the latter was willing to hope that his strength was now increasing.

Their first design had been to proceed though Switzerland, resting for some time at Geneva. Their plans were now changed, and Sir Henry Delmé determined, that their homeward route should be through the Tyrol and Bavaria, and eventually down the Rhine.

He considered that the water carriage, and the very scenes themselves, might prove beneficial to the invalid.

Thompson was sent over to Mestré, to inform Pietro; and they prepared to take their departure.


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“You have been better in Venice,”said Sir Henry, as they entered the gondola, that was to bear them from the city. “God grant that you may long remain so!”

George shook his head doubtingly.

“My illness, Henry, is not of the frame alone, although that is fragile and shattered.

“The body lingers on without suffering; but the mind—a very bright sword in a worthless sheath—is forcing its way through. Some feelings must remain to the last—gratitude to you—love to dear Emily! Acmé, wife of my bosom! when may I join you?”




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CHAPTER IX. INSPRUCK.

“Oh there is sweetness in the mountain air,
And life, that bloated ease can never hope to share.”


INSPRUCK! a thousand recollections flash across us, as we pronounce the word!

We were there at a memorable period; when the body of the hero of the Tyrol—the brave, the simple-minded Anderl Hofer -was removed from Mantua, where he so nobly met a patriot's death, to the capital of the country, which he had so gallantly defended.

The event was one, that could not fail to be impressive; and to us it was doubly so, for that very period formed an epoch in our lives.

We had lost! we had suffered! we had mourned!


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Our mind's strength was shook. Ordinary remedies were worse than futile.

We threw ourselves into the heart of the Tyrol, and became resigned if not happy.

Romantic country! did not duty whisper otherwise, how would we fly to thy rugged mountains, and find in the kindly virtues of thine inhabitants, wherewithal to banish misanthropy, and it may be purchase oblivion.

Noble land! where the chief in his hall—the peasant in his hut -alike open their arms with sheltering hospitality, to welcome the stranger—where kindness springs from the heart, and dreams not of sordid gain—where courtesy attends superior rank, without question, but without debasement—where the men are valiant, the women virtuous—where it needed but a few home-spun heroes—an innkeeper and a friar—to rouse up to arms an entire population, and in a brief space to drive back the Gallic foeman! 0h! how do we revert with choking sense of gratitude, to the years we have spent in thy bosom!

0h! would that we were again treading the


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mountain's summit—the rifle our comrade—and a rude countryman, our guide and our companion. In vain! in vain! the net of circumstance is over us! We may struggle! but cannot escape from its close meshes.

We have said that we were at Inspruck at this period.

It was our purpose, on the following morning, to take our departure.

With renewed health, and nerves rebraced, we hoped to combat successfully, a world that had already stung us.

There was a group near the golden-roofed palace, that attracted our attention. It consisted of a father and his five sons.

They were dressed in the costume of the country; wearing a tapering hat, with black ribbons and feather—a short green jerkin -a red vest surmounted by broad green braces—and short boots tightly laced to the ancle.

They formed a picture of free mountaineers.

We left our lodging, and passed them irresolutely twice or thrice.


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The old man took off his hat to the stranger.

“Sir! I am of Sand, in Passeyer.

“Anderl Hofer was my schoolfellow; and these are my boys, whom I have brought to see all that remains of him. Oh! Sir! they did not conquer him, although the murderers shot him on the bastion; but, as he wrote to Pulher—his friend and mine—it was indeed ‘in the name, and by the help of the Lord, that he undertook the voyage.’”

We paced through the city sorrowfully. It was night, as we passed by the church of the Holy Cross.

Solemn music there arrested our footsteps; and we remembered, that high mass would that night be performed, for the soul of the deceased patriot.

We entered, and drew near the mausoleum of Maximilian the First:—leaning against a colossal statue in bronze, and fixing our eyes on a bas relief on the tomb: one of twenty-four tablets, wrought from Carrara's whitest marble, by the unrivalled hand of Colin of Malines!

One blaze of glory enveloped the grand altar:—


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vapours of incense floated above:—and the music! oh it went to the soul!

Down! down knelt the assembled throng!

Our mind had been previously attuned to melancholy; it now reeled under its oppression.

We looked around with tearful eye. Old Theodoric of the Goths seemed to frown from his pedestal.

We turned to the statue against which we had leant.

It was that of a youthful and sinewy warrior.

We read its inscription.

image

“Ah! hast thou too thy representative, my country?”

We looked around once more.

The congregation were prostrate before the mysterious Host; and we alone stood up, gazing with profound awe and reverence on the mystic rite. The rough caps of the women almost hid their fair brows. In the upturned features of the men, what a manly, yet what a devout expression reigned!


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Melodiously did the strains proceed from the brazen-balustraded orchestra; while sweet young girls smiled in the chapel of silver, as they turned to Heaven their deeply-fringed eyes, and invoked pardon for their sins.

Alas! alas! that such as these should err, even in thought! that our feelings should so often mislead us,—that our very refinement, should bring temptation in its train,—and our fervent enthusiasm, but too frequently terminate in vice and crime!

Our whole soul was unmanned! and well do we remember the morbid prayer, that we that night offered to the throne of mercy.

“Pity us! pity us! Creator of all!

“With thousands around, who love—who reverence—whose hearts, in unison with ours, tremble at death, yet sigh for eternity;—who gaze with eye aspiring, although dazzled -as, the curtain of futurity uplifted, fancy revels in the glorious visions of beatitude: -even here, oh God! hear our prayer and pity us!

“We are moulded, though faintly, in an angel's


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form. Endow us with an angel's principles. For ever hush the impure swellings of passion! lull the stormy tide of contending emotions! let not circumstances overwhelm!

“Receive our past griefs: the griefs of manhood, engrafted on youth; accept these tears, falling fast and bitterly! take them as past atonement,—as mute witnesses that we feel:—that reason slumbers not, although passion may mislead:—that gilded temptation may overcome, and gorgeous pleasure intoxicate:—but that sincere repentance, and bitter remorse, are visitants too.

“Oh guide and pity us!”

A cheerless dawn was breaking, and a thick damp mist was lazily hanging on the water's surface, as our travellers waved the hand to Venice.

“Fare thee well!” said George, as he rose in the gondola to catch a last glimpse of the Piazzetta,“sea girt city! decayed memorial of patrician splendour, and plebeian debasement! of national glory, blended with individual degradation! fallen art thou, but fair! It was not with freshness of heart, I reached thee:—I dwelt not in thee, with


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that jocund spirit, whose every working or gives the lip a smile, or moistens the eye of feeling with a tear.

“Sad were my emotions! but sadder still, as I recede from thy shores, bound on a distant pilgrimage. Acmé! dear Acmé! would I were with thee!”

Passing through Treviso, they stopped at Castel Franco, which presents one of the best specimens of an Italian town, and Italian peasantry, that a stranger can meet with.

At Bassano, they failed not to visit the Municipal Hall, where are the principal pictures of Giacomo da Ponte, called after his native town.

His style is peculiar.

His pictures are dark to an excess, with here and there a vivid light, introduced with wonderful effect.

From this town, the ascent of the mountains towards Ospedale is commenced; and the route is one full of interest.

On the right, lay a low range of country, adorned with vineyards; beyond which, the mountains rose


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in a precipitous ridge, and closed the scene magnificently.

The Brenta was then reached, and continued to flow parallel with the road, as far as eye could extend.

Farther advanced, the mountains presented a landscape more varied:—here chequered with hamlets, whose church bells re-echoed in mellow harmony: there—the only break to their majesty, being the rush of the river, as it formed rolling cascades in its rapid route; or beat in sparkling foam, against the large jagged rocks, which opposed its progress.

At one while, came shooting down the stream, some large raft of timber, manned by adventurous navigators, who, with graceful dexterity, guided their rough bark, clear of the steep banks, and frequent fragments of rock;—at another—as if to mark a road little frequented, a sharp turn would bring them on some sandalled damsel, sitting by the road side, adjusting her ringlets. Detected in her toilet, there was a mixture of frankness and modesty, in the way in which she would turn away a blushing face, yet neglect not, with native


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courtesy, to incline the head, and wave the sunburnt hand.

From Ospedale, nearing the bold castle of Pergini, which effectually commands the pass; the travellers descended through regions of beauty, to the ancient Tridentum of Council celebrity.

The metal roof of its Duomo was glittering in the sunshine; and the Adige was swiftly sweeping by its fortified walls.

Leaving Trent, they reached San Michele, nominally the last Italian town on the frontier; but the German language had already prepared them for a change of country.

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 the Eisach.

The following day's journey, was one that few can take, and deem their time misspent. Mossy cliffs—flowing cascades—“chiefless castles breaking stern farewells”—all these were met, and met again, as through Brixen, they reached the village of Mülks.


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They had intended to have continued their route; but on drawing up at the post-house, were so struck with the gaiety of the scene, that they determined to remain for the night.

Immediately in rear of the small garden of the inn, and with a gentle slope upwards, a wide piece of meadow land extended. On its brow, was pitched a tent, or rather, a many-coloured awning; and, beside it, a pole adorned with flags. This was the station for expert riflemen, who aimed in succession at a fluttering bird, held by a silken cord.

The sloping bank of the hill was covered with spectators.

Age looked on with sadness, and mourned for departed manhood—youth with envy, and sighed for its arrival.

After seeing their bedrooms, George leant on Henry's arm, and, crossing the garden, they took a by-path, which led towards the tent.

The strangers were received with respect and cordiality.

Seats were brought, and placed near the scene of contest.


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The trial of skill over, the victor took advantage of his right, and selected his partner from the fairest of the peasant girls.

Shrill pipes struck up a waltz—a little blind boy accompanied these on a mandolin—and in a brief space, the hill's flat summit was swarming with laughing dancers.

Nor was youth alone enlisted in Terpsichore's service.

The mother joined in the same dance with the daughter; and not unfrequently tripped with foot as light.

Twilight came on, and the patriarchs of the village, and with them our travellers, adjourned to the inn.

The matrons led away their reluctant charges, and the youth of the village alone protracted the revels.

The brothers seated themselves at a separate table, and watched the village supper party, with some interest.

Bowls of thick soup, with fish swimming in butter, and fruit floating in cream, were successively placed in the middle of the table.


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Each old man produced his family spoon, and helped himself with primitive simplicity: then lighted his pipe, and told his long tale, till he had exhausted himself and his hearers.

Nor must we forget the comely waiter.

A bunch of keys hanging on one side,—a large leathern purse on the other—with a long boddice, and something like a hoop—she really resembled, save that her costume was more homely, one of the portraits of Vandyke.

The brothers left Mülks by sunrise, and were not long, ere they reached the summit of the Brenner, the loftiest point of the Tyrol.

From the beautiful town of Gries, embosomed in the deep valley, until they trod the steep Steinach, the mountain scenery at each step become more interesting. The road was cut on the face of a mountain. On one side, frowned the mountain's dark slope; on the other, lay a deep precipice, down which the eye fearfully gazed, and saw naught but the dark fir trees far far beneath. Dividing that dense wood, a small stream, entangled in the dark ravine, glided on in graceful


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windings, and looked more silvery from its contrast with the sombre forest.

At the Steinach Pietro pulled up, to show the travellers the capital of the Tyrol, and to point in the distance to Hall, famous for its salt works.

Casting a hasty glance, on the romantic vale beneath them:—the fairest and most extensive in the northern recesses of the Alps, Sir Henry desired his driver to continue his journey.

They rapidly descended, and passing by the column, commemorative of the repulse of the French and Bavarian armies, soon found themselves the inmates of an hotel in Inspruck.




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CHAPTER X. THE STUDENTS' STORIES.

“The lilacs, where the robins built,
And where my brother set
The laburnum on his birth-day -
The tree is living yet.”


AT Inspruck, Delmé had the advantage of a zealous, if not an appropriate guide, in the red-faced landlord of the hotel, whose youth had been passed in stirring times, which had more than once, required the aid of his arm, and which promised to tax his tongue, to the last day of his life.

He knew all the heroes of the Tyrolese revolution—if revolution it can be called—and had his tale to tell of each.

He had got drunk with Hofer,—had visited Joseph Speckbacker, when hid in his own stable,—


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and had confessed more than once to Haspinger, the fighting Capuchin.

His stories were very characteristic; and, if they did not breathe all the poetry of patriotism, were at least honest versions, of exploits performed in as pure and disinterested a spirit, as any that have ever graced the sacred name of Liberty.

After seeing all its sights, and making an excursion to some glaciers in its neighbourhood, Delmé and George left the capital of the Tyrol, to proceed by easy stages to Munich.

In the first day's route, they made the passage of the Zirl, which has justly been lauded; and Pietro failed not to point to a crucifix, placed on a jutting rock, which serves to mark the site of Maximilian's cave.

The travellers took a somewhat late breakfast, at the guitar-making Mittelwald, where chance detained them later than usual. They were still at some distance from their sleeping place, the hamlet of Wallensee, when the rich hues of sunset warned Pietro, that if he would not be benighted, he must urge on his jaded horses.


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The sun's decline was glorious. For a time, vivid streaks of crimson and of gold, crowned the summits of the heaving purple mountains. Gradually, these streaks became fainter, and died away, and rolling, slate-coloured clouds, hung heavily in the west.

The scene and the air seemed to turn on a sudden, both cold and grey; and, as the road wound through umbrageous forests of pine, night came abruptly upon them; and it was a relief to the eye, to note the many bright stars, as they shone above the tops of the lofty trees.

A boding stillness reigned, on which the sound of their carriage wheels ungratefully broke. The rustling of each individual bough had an intonation of its own; and the deep notes of the woodman, endeavouring to forget the thrilling legends of his land, mingled fitfully with the hollow gusts, which came moaning through the leafless branches below.

Hist! can it be the boisterous revel of the forstgeister that meets his ear? or is it but the chirp of insects, replying from brake to underwood? Woodman! stay not thy carol! VOL. II.


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Yon sound may be the wild laugh of the HolzKönig! Better for thee, to deem it the whine of thine own dog, looking from the cottage door, and awaiting but thy presence, to share in the homely meal.

Arrived on the summit of the hill, the lights of the hamlet at length glistened beneath them. The tired steeds, as if aware of the near termination of their labours, shook their rough manes, and jingled their bells in gladness.

An abrupt descent—and they halted, at the inn facing the lake.

And here may we notice, that it has been a source of wonder to us, that English tourists, whose ubiquity is great, have not oftener been seen straying, by the side of the lake of Wallensee.

A sweeter spot exists not;—whether we rove by its margin, and perpetrate a sonnet; limn some graceful tree, hanging over its waters; or gaze on its unruffled surface, and, noting its aspect so serene, preach from that placid text, peace to the wearied breast.

They were shown into a room in the inn, already


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thronged with strangers. These were students on their way to Heidelberg.

They were sitting round a table, almost enveloped in smoke; and were hymning praises to their loved companion—beer.

As being in harmony with the moustaches, beard, and bandit propensities—which true bürschen delight to cultivate—they received the strangers with an unfriendly stare, and continued to vociferate their chorus.

Sir Henry, a little dismayed at the prospect before them, called for the landlord and his bill of fare; and had the pleasure of discovering, that the provisions had been consumed, and that two hours would elapse, before more could be procured.

At this announcement, Delmé looked somewhat blank. One of the students, observing this, approached, and apologising, in English, for their voracity, commenced conversing with the landlord, as to the best course to be pursued towards obtaining supper.

His comrades, seeing one of their number speaking with the travellers, threw off some part of


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their reserve, and made way for them at the table.

George and Henry accepted the proffered seats, although they declined joining the drinking party.

The students, however, did not appear at ease. 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 a song, we must have an original story.”

Carl at once complied, and related the following.

THE FIRST STORY.

Perhaps some of you remember Fritz Hartmann and his friend Leichtberg. They were the founders of the last new liberty club, and were famous atrenowning.

These patriots became officers of the Imperial Guard, and at Vienna were soon known for their friendship and their gallantries.

Fritz had much sentiment and imagination ; but some how or other, this did not preserve him from inconstancy.


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If he was always kind and gentle, he was not always faithful.

His old college chums had the privilege of joking him on these subjects; and we always did so without mercy. Fritz would sometimes combat our assertions, but they ordinarily made him laugh so much, that a stranger would have deemed he assented to their truth.

One night after the opera, the friends supped together at Fritz's.

I was of the party, and brought for my share a few bottles of Johannisberg, that had been sent me by my uncle from the last vintage. Over these we got more than usually merry, and sang all the songs and choruses of Mother Heidelberg, till the small hours arrived. The sitting room we were in, communicated on one side with the bedroom; on the other, with a little closet, containing nothing but some old trunks.

This last was closed, but there was a small aperture in the door, over which was a slight iron lattice work.

The officer who had last tenanted Fritz's quarters,


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had kept pheasants there, and had had this made on purpose.

After one of our songs, Leichtberg attacked Fritz on the old score.

“Fritz! you very Werter of sentiment! I was amazed to see you with no loves to-night at the opera. Where is the widow with sandy hair? or the actress who gave your kirschenwasser such a benefit? where our sallow-faced friend? or more than all, where may the fair Pole be who sells such charming fruit? Fritz! Fritz! your sudden attachment to grapes is too ominous.”

“Come, Leichtberg!” said Hartmann, laughing,“this is really not fair. Do you know I think myself very constant, and as to the Pole, I have thought of little else for these three months.”

“Not so fast! not so fast! Master Hartmann. Was it not on Wednesday week I met you arm in arm with the actress? Were you not waltzing with the widow at the Tivoli? have you not” -

“Come, come!” said Fritz, reddening, “let us say no more. I confess to having made a fool of myself with the actress, but she begged and prayed


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to see me once more, ere we parted for ever. With this exception ----”

“Yes, yes!” interrupted Leichtberg,“I know you, Master Fritz, and all your evil doings. Have you heard of our Polish affaire de coeur, Carl?” and he turned to me.

“No!” replied I,“let me hear it.”

“Well, you must know that a certain friend of ours is very economical, and markets for himself. He bargains for fruit and flowers with the peasant girls, and the prettiest always get his orders, and bring up their baskets, and—we will say no more. Well! our friend meets a foreign face, dark eye—Greek contour—and figure indescribable. She brings him home her well arranged bouquets. He swears her lips are redder than her roses—her brow whiter than lilies—and her breath—which he stoops to inhale—far sweeter than her jasmines. To his amazement, the young flower girl sees no such great attractions in the Imperial Guardsman; leaves her nosegays, -throws his Napoleon, which he had asked her to change, in his face,—and makes her indignant exit. Our


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sentimental friend finds out her home, and half her history;—renews his flattering tales—piques her pride,—rouses her jealousy;—and makes her love him, bon gré—mal gré, better than either fruit or flowers.

“Fritz swears eternal constancy, and keeps it, as I have already told you, with the actress and the sandy haired widow.”

Leichtberg told this story inimitably, and Fritz laughed as much as I did. At length we rose to wish him good night, and saw him turn to his bedroom door, followed by a Swiss dog, which always slept under his bed. The rest of the story we heard from his dying lips.

It was as near as he could guess, between two and three in the morning, that he awoke with the impression that some one was near him. For a time he lay restless and ill at ease; with the vague helpless feeling, that often attacks one, after a good supper.

Fritz had just made up his mind to ascribe to this cause, all his nervousness; when something seemed to drop in the adjoining room; and his


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dog, starting to its feet, commenced barking furiously.

Again all was still.

He got up for a moment, but fancying he heard a footstep on the stair, concluded that the noise proceeded from one of the inmates of the house, who was come home later than usual.

But Fritz could not sleep; and his dog seemed to share his feelings; for he turned on his side restlessly, and occasionally gave a quick solitary bark.

Suddenly a conviction flashed across Hartmann, that there was indeed some one in the chamber.

His curtain stirred.

He sprang from his bed, and reached his tinder box. As the steel struck sparks from the flint, these revealed the face of the intruder.

It was the young Polish girl.

A far cloak was closely folded around her;—her face was deadly pale;—with one hand she drew back her long dark hair, while she silently uplifted the other.

Our friend's last impression was his falling back, at the moment his dog made a spring at the girl.


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The inmates of the house were alarmed. His friends were all sent for.

I arrived among the earliest. What a sight met me!

The members of the household were so stupefied, that they had done nothing. Fritz Hartmann lay on the floor insensible:—his night shirt steeped in blood, still flowing from a mortal wound in his breast.

At his feet, moaning bitterly, its fangs and mouth filled with mingled fur and gore, lay the Swiss dog, with two or three deep gashes across the throat. In the adjoining room, thrown near the door, was the instrument of Fritz's death—one of the knives we had used the evening before.

Beside it, lay a woman's cloak, the fur literally dripping with blood.

Fritz lingered for five hours. Before death, he was sensible, and told us what I have stated:—and acknowledged that he had loved the girl, more than her station in life might seem to warrant.

Of course, the young Pole had been concealed in the closet, and heard Leichtberg's sallies. Love and jealousy effected the rest.


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We never caught her, although we had all the Vienna police at our beck; and accurate descriptions of her person were forwarded to the frontiers.

We were not quite certain as to her fate, but we rather suppose her to have escaped by a back garden; in which case she must have made a most dangerous leap; and then to have passed as a courier, riding as such into Livonia.

Where she obtained the money or means to effect this, God knows. She must have been a heroine in her way, for this dog is not easily over-powered, and yet -- look here! these scars were given him by that young girl.

The student whistled to a dog at his feet, which came and licked his hand, while he showed the wounds in his throat.

“I call him Hartmann,” continued he, “after my old friend. His father sent him to me just after the funeral, and Leichtberg has got his meershaum.”

---

The students listened attentively to the story, refilling their pipes during its progress, with becoming


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gravity. Carl turned towards his right hand neighhour. “Wilhelm! I call on you!”

The student, whom he addressed, passed his hand through his long beard, and thus commenced.

THE SECOND STORY.

My father's brother married at Lausanne, in the Canton de Vaud, and resided there. He died early, and left one son; who, as you may suppose, was half a Frenchman. In spite of that, I thought Caspar von Hazenfeldt a very handsome fellow. His chestnut hair knotted in curls over his shoulders. His eyes, the veins of his temples, and I would almost say, his very teeth, had a blueish tint, that I have noticed in few men; and which must, I think, be the peculiar characteristic of his complexion. When engaged in pleasure parties, either pic-nicing at the signal, or promenading in the evening on Mont Benon, or sitting tete-a-tete at Languedoc, he had no eyes or ears but for Caroline de Werner. He waltzed with her—he talked with her—and he walked with her—until he had fairly talked, walked, and waltzed himself into love.


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She was the daughter of a rich old colonel of the Empire:—he was the poor son of a poorer widow. What could he do? Caspar von Hazenfeldt could gaze on the house of the old soldier; but the avenue of elms, the waving corn-fields, and the luxuriant gardens, told him that the heiress of Beau-Séjour could never be his.

He was one evening sitting on a stone, in a little ruined chapel, near the house of his beloved; ruminating as usual on his ill fate, and considering which would be the better plan, to mend his fortunes by travel, or mar them by suicide;—when an elderly gentleman, dressed in a plain suit of black, appeared hat in hand before him.

After the usual compliments, they entered into conversation, and at last, having walked for some distance, towards Hazenfeldt's house, agreed to meet again at the chapel on the next evening.

Suffice it to say that they often met, and as often parted, on the margin of the little stream, that ran before the door of Caspar's mother's house:—that they became great friends;—and that the young


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man confided the tale of his love, hopes, and miseries, to the sympathising senior.

At last the old gentleman, for such he really was, told Caspar that he would help him 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 for this 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 at night, until two in the morning, and I promise that Caroline de Werner shall be yours. Here she is!” continued he, as he opened his snuff box, and showed the lid to Caspar, “here she is!”

And sure enough, there she was on the inside of the lid, apparently reading to the gouty old colonel, as he sat in his easy chair in the petit salon of Beau-Séjour.

One evening, the old gentleman delighted Caspar, by telling him that he had authority from Colonel de Werner, to bring a guest to a ball at Beau-Séjour, and by begging Caspar to be his shade—


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to use our Continental expression—on the occasion.

Caspar von Hazenfeldt and he became greater friends than ever, since their singular contract had been made; for made it was in a thoughtless unguarded moment.

Hazenfeldt was introduced to Caroline in due form, and engaged her for the first dance.

Before the quadrille began, his friend in black came to present his compliments, and to say that he had never seen a more beautiful pair.

“Caspar!” continued he, “when your dance is over, give me a few minutes in the next room. We will chat together, and sip our negus.”

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 lead one to the country dance?”

As he ended speaking, a sylph-like figure, with long golden ringlets, floated past them.

“I can, and I will,” replied Caspar, laughing,


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as he took the fair-haired girl by the 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 the stranger 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 ask you, if you are tired.”

“How can I refuse?” rejoined Caspar.

Caroline was forgotten, as his partner's golden hair floated on his shoulders, and her soft white arms were twined around him, as they danced the mazy coquettish waltz, which was then the fashion in Lausanne.

“How warm these rooms are!” she exclaimed at last. “The moon is up: let us walk in the avenue.”

Caspar assented; for he grew fonder of his new partner, and more forgetful of Caroline. She pressed closer and closer to his 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


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which he had fallen, the cold morning breeze, that precedes the dawn, was freshening his cheek; a few faint streaks on the horizon, reflected the colours of the coming sun; and the night birds were returning tired to the woods, as the day birds were merrily preparing for their flight. He was not where he had fallen: he was sitting on a rustic bench, beneath a moss-grown rock.

Caroline de Werner was beside him.

Her white frock was torn; her hair was hanging in Bacchante curls, twined with the ivy that had wreathed it; her eyes glared wildly, and blood bubbled from her mouth. Her hand was fast locked in that of Hazenfeldt.

“Caroline!” he exclaimed, in a tone of wonderment, as one who awakes from a deep sleep, “Caroline! why are we here? what means this disorder?”

“You now speak,” said she, “as did my Caspar.” Caroline de Werner is in a mad-house near Vevay:—the man in black has not been seen since he disappeared from the ball room of Beau-Séjour:—my cousin, Caspar yon Hazenfeldt, took to wandering alone over the Swiss mountains; and before


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three months had elapsed, from the time he metthe old gentleman, was buried in the fall of an avalanche, near the pass of the Gemmi.

Supper was not ready as the student finished this story; and George proposed a stroll. The change from the heated room to the margin of the lake, was a most refreshing one. As the brothers silently gazed upwards, a young lad approached, and accosted them.

“Gentlemen! I have seen the horses fed, and they are now lying down.”

“Have you?” said Delmé, drily.

“A very fine night! gentlemen! Perhaps you have heard of the famous echo, on the other side of the lake. It will be a good hour, I am sure, before your supper is ready. My boat lies under that old tree. If you like it, I will loose the chain, and row you over.”

The brothers acquiesced. They were just in the frame of mind for an unforeseen excursion. The motion of the boat, too, would be easy for George, and he might there unrestrainedly give way to his


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excited feelings, or commune ungazed on, with the current of his thoughts.

A thin crescent of a moon had risen. It was silvering the tops of the overhanging boughs, and was quiveringly mirrored on the light ripple. George leant against the side of the boat, and listened to the liquid music, as the broad paddle threw back the resisting waters.

How soothing is the hour of night to the wounded spirit!

The obscurity which shrouds nature, seems to veil even man's woes -the harsh outline of his sufferings is discerned no more. Grief takes the place of despair—pensive melancholy of sorrow.

As we gaze around, and feel the chill air damp each ringlet on the pallid brow; know that that hour hath cast a shade on each inanimate thing around us; we feel resigned to our bereavements, and confess, in our heart's humility, that no changes should overwhelm, and that no grief should awaken repinings.

To many a bruised and stricken spirit, night imparts a grateful balm.


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In the morning, the feelings are too fresh;—oblivion is exchanged for conscious suffering;—the merriment of the feathered songsters seems to us as a taunt;—our sympathies are not with waking nature. The glare and splendour of noon, bid us recal our hopes, and their signal overthrow. The zenith of day's lustre meets us as a wilful mockery.

Eve may bring rest, but on her breast is memory. But at night! when the mental and bodily energies are alike worn out by the internal struggle;—when hushed is each sound—softened each feature—dimmed each glaring hue;—a calm which is not deceptive, steals over us, and we regard our woes as the exacted penalty of our erring humanity.

Calumniated night! to one revelling in the full noon-tide of hope and gladness:—to the one, to whom a guilty conscience incessantly whispers, “Think! but sleep not!”—to such as these, horrors may appear to bound thy reign!—but to him who hath loved, and who hath lost,—to many a gentle but tried spirit, thou comest in the guise of a sober, and true friend.

The boat for some time, kept by the steep bank,


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under the shadows of the trees. As it emerged from this, towards where the moon-beams cast their light on the water, the night breeze rustled through the foliage, and swept a yet green leaf from one of the drooping boughs.

It fell on the surface of the lake, and George's eye quickly followed it.

“Look at that unfaded leaf! Henry. What a gentle breeze it was, that parted it from its fellows! To me it resembles a youthful soul, cut off in its prime, and wandering mateless in eternity."

Sir Henry only sighed.

The young rower silently pursued his course across the lake; running his boat aground, on a small pebbly strand near a white cottage.

Jumping nimbly from his seat, and fastening the boat to a large stone, the guide, followed by the brothers, shouted to the inmates of the cottage, and violently kicked at its frail door.

An upper window was opened, and the guardian of the echo—a valorous divine in a black night-cap—demanded their business. This was soon


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told. The priest descended—struck a light—unbarred the door—and with the prospect of gain before him, fairly forgot that he had been aroused from a deep slumber.

They were soon ushered into the kitchen. An aged crone descended, and raking the charcoal embers, kindled a flame, by which the rower was enabled to light his pipe.

The young gentleman threw himself into an arm chair, and puffed away with true German phlegm. The old man bustled about, in order to obtain the necessary materials for loading an ancient cannon; and occupied himself for some minutes, in driving the charge into the barrel.

This business arranged, he led the way towards the beach; and aided by the old woman, pointed his warlike weapon. A short pause—it was fired! Rebounding from hill to hill, the echo took its course, startling the peasant from his couch, and the wolf from his lair.

Again all was still;—then came its distant reverberation—a tone deep and subdued—dying away mournfully on the ear.


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“How wonderfully fine!” said George, “but let us embark, for I feel quite chilled.”

“I will run for the youngster,” replied his brother. As he moved towards the cottage, the priest seized him by the collar of the coat, and held up the torch, by which he had fired the cannon.

“This echo is indeed a wonderful one! It has nineteen distinct repetitions; the first twelve being heard from this side of a valley, which, were it day, I would point out; the other seven, on the opposite side. Tradition tells us, that nineteen castles in ancient times, stood near the spot; that each of these laid claim to the echo; and that, as it passes the ruin, where once dwelt Sigismund of the Bloody Hand, the chief springs from the round ivied tower—waves his sword thrice, the drops of blood falling from its hilt as he does so—and proclaims aloud, that whosoever dare gainsay” -

“I am sorry to leave you,” interrupted Sir Henry, as he shook him off, “particularly at this interesting part of the story; but it is late, and my brother feels unwell, and I wish to go to the cottage to call our guide. "


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Delmé was pursued by the echo' s elucidator, who being duly remunerated, allowed Sir Henry to accompany the guide towards the boat. George was not standing where he had left him. Delmé stepped forward, and nearly fell over a prostrate body.

It was the motionless one of his brother.

He gave a shriek of anguish; flew towards the house, and in a moment, was again on the spot, bearing the priest's torch. He raised his brother's head. One hand was extended over the body, and fell to the earth 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 his seal. But there was a thought, which bore the ascendancy over this in Delmé's mind. It was a thought which rose involuntarily,—one for which he could not then account, and cannot now. For some seconds, it swayed his every emotion. He felt the conviction—deep, undefinable—that there was indeed a soul, to “shame the doctrine of the Sadducee.”

He deemed that on those lineaments, this was


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the language forcibly engraven! The features were still and fixed:—the brow alone revealed a dying sense of pain.

The lips! how purple were they! and the eye, that erst flashed so freely:—the yellow film of death had dimmed its lustre.

The legs were apart, and one of the feet was in the lake. Henry tried to chafe his brother's forehead.

In vain! in vain! he knew it was in vain!

He let the head fall, and buried his face in his hands.

He turned reproachfully, to gaze on that cloudless Heaven, where the moon, and the 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 to invite His wrath—he dared to arraign the mercy of God, who had taken what he had made.

It was but for a moment he thus thought.

He had watched that light of life, until its existence was almost identified with his own. He had VOL. II.


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seen it flicker—had viewed it reillumed—blaze with increased brilliancy—fade—glimmer—and fade. Now! where was it?

A bitter cry escaped! his limbs trembled convulsively, and could no longer support him. He fell senseless beside his brother.




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CHAPTER XI. THE STUDENT.

“What is my being? thou hast ceased to be.”

CARL OBERS was as enthusiastic a being as ever Germany sent forth. Brought up in a lone recess in the Hartz mountains, with neither superiors nor equals to commune with, he first entered the miniature world, as a student at Heidelberg.

His education had been miserably neglected. He had read much; but his reading had been without order and without system.

The deepest metaphysics, and the wildest romances had been devoured in succession; until the young man hardly knew which was the real, or which was the visionary world:—the one he actually lived in, or the one he was always brooding


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over -where souls are bound together by mysterious and hidden links, and where men sell themselves to Satan;—the penalty merely being:—to walk through life, and throw no shadow.

Enrolled amongst a select corps of bürschen, warm and true; his ear was caught by the imposing jargon of patriotism; and his imagination dwelt on those high sounding words, “the rights of man;”—until he became the staunch advocate and unflinching votary of a state of things, which, for aught we know, may exist in one of the planets, but which never can, and which never will exist on this earth of ours.

“What!” would exclaim our enthusiast, “have we not all our bodily and our mental energies? Doth not dame Nature, in our birth, as in our death, deal out impartial justice? She may endow me with stronger limbs, than another:—our feelings as we grow up, may not be chained down to one servile monotony;—the lip of the precocious cynic” -- this was addressed to a young matter of fact Englishman -“who sneers at my present animation, may not curl with a smile as often as my


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own; but let our powers of acting be equal,—our prerogatives the same.”

Carl Obers, with his youth and his vivacity, carried his auditors—a little knot of beer drinking liberty-mongers—with him, and for him, in all he said; and the orator would look round, with conscious power, and considerable satisfaction; and flatter himself, that his specious arguments were as unanswerable, as they were then unanswered.

Many of our generation may remember the unparalleled enthusiasm, which, like an electric flash, spread over the civilised world; as Greece armed herself, to shake off her Moslem ruler.

It was one that few could help sharing.

To almost all, is Greece a magic word. Her romantic history—the legacies she has left us—our early recollections, identifying with her existence as a nation, all that is good and glorious;—no wonder these things should have shed a bright halo around her, -and have made each breast deeply sympathise with her in her unwonted struggle for freedom.

Carl Obers did not hear of this struggle with


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indifference. He at once determined to give Greece the benefit of his co-operation, and the aid of his slender means. He immediately commenced an active canvass amongst his personal friends, in order to form a band of volunteers, who might be efficient, and worthy of the cause on which his heart was set.

He now first read an useful lesson from life's unrolled volume.

Many a voice, that had rung triumphantly the changes on liberty, was silent now, or deprecated the active attempt to establish it.

The hands that waved freely in the debating room, were not the readiest to grasp the sword's hilt. Many who had poetically expatiated on the splendours of modern Greece; on reflection preferred the sunny views of the Neckar, to the prospect of eating honey on Hymettus.

Youth, however, is the season for enterprise; and Carl, with twenty-three comrades, was at length on his way to Trieste.

He had been offered the command of the little band, but had declined it, with the sage remark,


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that "as they were about to fight for equality, it was their business to preserve it amongst themselves.”

A slight delay in procuring a vessel took place at Trieste. This delay caused a defection of eight of the party.

The remaining students embarked in a miserable Greek brigantine, and after encountering some storms in the Adriatic, thought themselves amply repaid, as the purple hills of Greece rose before them.

On their landing, they felt disappointed.

No plaudits met them; no vivas rung in the air: but a Greek soldier filched Carl's valise, and on repairing to the commandant of the town, they were told that no redress could be afforded them.

Willing to hope that the scum of the irregular troops was left behind, and that better feeling, and stricter discipline, existed nearer the main body; our students left on the morrow;—placed themselves under the command of one of the noted leaders of the Revolution:—and had shortly the satisfaction of crossing swords with the Turk.


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For some months, the party went through extraordinary hardships;—engaged in a series of desultory but sanguinary expeditions;—and gradually learnt to despise the nation, in whose behalf they were zealously combating.

At the end of these few months, what a change in the hopes and prospects of the little band! Some had rotted in battle field, food for vultures; others had died of malaria in Greek hamlets, without one friend to close their eyes, or one hand to proffer the cooling draught to quench the dying thirst;—two were missing—had perhaps been murdered by the peasants;—and five only remained, greatly disheartened, cursing the nation, and their own individual folly.

Four of the five turned homewards.

Carl was left alone, but fought on.

Now there was a Greek, Achilles Metaxà by name, who had attached himself to Carl's fortunes. In person, he was the very model of an ancient hero. He had the capacious brow, the eye of fire, and the full black beard, descending in wavy curls to his chest.


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The man was brave, too, for Carl and he had fought together.

It so happened, that they slept one night in a retired convent. Their hardships latterly had been great, and the complaints of Achilles had been unceasing in consequence. In the morning Carl rose, and found that his clothes and arms had vanished, and that his friend was absent also.

Carl remained long enough to satisfy himself, that his friend was the culprit; and then turned towards the sea coast, determined at all hazards to leave Greece.

He succeeded in reaching Missolonghi, in the early part of 1823, shortly after the death of Marco Botzaris—being then in a state of perfect destitution, and his mental sufferings greatly aggravated by the consciousness, that he had induced so many of his comrades to sacrifice their lives and prospects in an unworthy cause.

At Missolonghi, where Mavrocordato reigned supreme, he was grudged the paltry ration of a Suliote soldier, and might have died of starvation, had it not been for the timely interposition of a stranger.


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Moved by that stranger's persuasion, Carl consented to form one of a contemplated expedition against Lepanto; and, had his illustrious benefactor lived, might have found 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 was to bear him homewards, and shed tears of mingled grief, admiration, and gratitude, as thirty-seven minute guns, fired from the battery, told Greece and Carl Obers, that they had lost Byron, their best friend.

Carl reached Germany, a wiser man than when he left it.

He found his father dead, and he came into possession of his small patrimony; but felt greatly, as all men do who are suddenly removed from active pursuits, the want of regular and constant employment.

He was glad to renew his intercourse with his old University; and found himself greatly looked up to by the students, who were never wearied with listening to his accounts of the Morea, and of the privations he had there encountered.


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We need hardly inform our readers, that Carl Obers was one of the pedestrian students at Wallensee, and was indeed the identical narrator of the Vienna story.

We left George and his brother, on the shore below the priest's cottage. The one was laid cold and motionless—the other wished that he also were so.

Immediately on Delmé's falling, the young guide alarmed the priest—brought him down to the spot—pointed to the brothers—threw himself into the boat—and paddled swiftly across the lake, to alarm the guests at the inn.

It was with feelings of deep commiseration, that Carl looked on the two brothers. He was the only person present, whose time was comparatively his own; he spoke English, although imperfectly; and he owed a deep debt of gratitude to an Englishman.

These circumstances seemed to point him out, as the proper person to attend to the wants of the unfortunate traveller; and Carl Obers mentally determined, that he would not leave Delmé, as long as he had it in his power to befriend him.


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Sir Henry Delmé was completely unmanned by his bereavement. He had been little prepared for such a severe loss; although it is more than probable, that George's life had long been hanging on a thread, which a single moment might snap.

The medical men had been singularly sanguine in his case, for it is rarely that disease of the heart attacks one so young; but it now seemed evident, that even had not anxiety of mind, and great constitutional irritability, hastened the fatal result, that poor George could never have hoped to have survived to a ripe old age.

There was much in his character at any time, to endear him to an only brother. As it was, Delmé had seen George under such trying circumstances—had entered so fully into his feelings and sufferings—that this abrupt termination to his brother's sorrows, appeared to Sir Henry Delmé, to bring with it a sable pall, that enveloped in darkness his own future life and prospects.

The remains of poor George were placed in a small room, communicating with one intended for Sir Henry.


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Here Delmé shut himself up, brooding over his loss, and permitting no one to intrude on his privacy.

Carl had offered his services, which were gratefully accepted, in making the necessary arrangements for his brother's obsequies; and Sir Henry, in the solitude of the dead man's chamber, could give free scope to a flood of bitter recollections.

It may be, that those silent hours of agony, when the brother looked fixedly on that moveless face, and implored the departed spirit to breathe its dread and awful secret, were not without their improving tendency; for haggard and wan as was the mourner's aspect, there was no outward sign of quivering, even as he saw the rude coffin lowered, and as fell on his ear, the creaking of cords, and that harsh jarring sound, to which there is nothing parallel on earth, the heavy clods falling on the coffin lid.

The general arrangements had been simple; but Carl's directions had been given in such a sympathising spirit, that they could not be otherwise than acceptable.


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About the church-yard itself, there is nothing very striking. It is formed round a small knoll, on the summit of which stands a sarcophagus literally buried in ivy.

Beneath this, is the vault of the baronial family, that for centuries swayed the destinies of the little hamlet; but which family has been extinct for some years.

Round it are grouped the humbler osiered graves; over which, in lieu of tomb stones, are placed large black iron crosses, ornamented with brass, and bearing the simple initials of the bygone dead.

Even Delmé, with all his ancestral pride, felt that George “slept well.”

It is true no leaden coffin enclosed his relics, nor did the murky vault of his ancestors, open with creaking hinge to receive another of the race. No escutcheon darkened the porch whence they bore him; and no long train of mourners followed his remains to their last home.

But there was something in the quiet of the spot, that seemed to Delmé in harmony with his history; and to promise, that a sorrowless world


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had already opened, on one who had loved so truly, and felt so deeply in this.

Sir Henry returned to the inn, and darkened his chamber.

He had not the heart to prosecute his journey, nor to leave the spot, which held what was to him so dear.

Carl Obers attempted to combat his despondency; but observing how useless were his arguments, wisely allowed his grief to take its course.

There was one point, in which Delmé was decidedly wrong.

He could not bring himself, to communicate 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 have been very long in reaching England, had it not been for a providential circumstance, that occurred shortly after George's funeral.

A carriage, whose style and appointments bespoke it English, changed horses at the inn at


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Wallensee. The courier, while ordering the relays, had heard George's story; and touching his hat to the inmates of the vehicle, retailed it with natural pathos.

On hearing the name of Delmé, the lady was visibly affected. She was an old friend of the family; and as Melicent Dashwood, had known George as a boy.

It was not without emotion, that she heard of one so young, and to her so familiar, being thus prematurely called to his last account.

The lady and her husband alighted, and sending up their cards, begged to see the mourner.

The message was delivered; but Delmé, without comment or enquiry, at once declined the offer; and it was thought better not to persist. They were too deeply interested, however, not to attempt to be of use. They saw Carl and Thompson,—satisfied themselves that Sir Henry was in friendly hands; and thanking the student with warmth and sincerity, for his attention to the sufferer, exacted a promise, that he would not leave him, as long as he could in any way be useful.


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The husband and wife prepared to continue their journey; but not before the former had left his address in Florence, with directions to Carl to write immediately, in case he required the assistance of a friend; and the latter had written a long letter to Mrs. Glenallan, in which she broke as delicately as she could, the melancholy and unlooked-for tidings.




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CHAPTER XII. THE LETTER.

"And from a foreign shore
Well to that heart might hers these absent greetings
pour.”


THREE weeks had elaped since George's death.

It would be difficult to depict satisfactorily the state of Sir Henry Delmé's mind during that period. The pride of life appeared crushed within him. He rarely took exercise, and when he did, his step was slow, and his gait tottering.

That one terrible loss was ever present to his mind; and yet his imagination, as if disconnected with his feelings, or his memory, was constantly running riot over varying scenes of death, and conjuring up revolting pictures of putrescence and decay.


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A black pall, and an odour of corruption, seemed to commingle with each quick-springing fantasy; and Delmé would start with affright from his own morbid conceptions, as he found himself involuntarily dwelling on the waxen rigidity of death,—following the white worm in its unseemly wanderings,—and finally stripping the frail and disgusting coat from the disjointed skeleton.

Sir Henry Delmé had in truth gone through arduous and trying scenes.

The very circumstance that he had to conceal his own feelings, and support George through his deeper trials, made the present reaction the more to be dreaded.

Certain are we, that trials such as his, are frequently the prevailing causes, of moral and intellectual insanity. Fortunately, Sir Henry was endued with a firm mind, and with nerves of great power of endurance.

One morning, at an early hour, Thompson brought in a letter.

It was from Emily Delmé; and as Sir Henry noted the familiar address, and the broad black


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edge, which told that the news of his brother's death had reached his sister, he cast it from him with a feeling akin to pain.

The next moment, however, he sprang from the bed, threw open the shutters, and commenced reading its contents.

EMILY'S LETTER.

My own dear brother,

My heart bleeds for you! But yesterday, we received the sad, sad letter. To-day, although blinded with tears, I implore you to remember, that you have not lost your all! Our bereavement has been great! our loss heavy indeed. But if a link in the family love-chain be broken—shall not the remaining ones cling to each other the closer?

My aunt is heart-broken. Clarendon, kind as he is, did not know our George! Alas! that he should be ours no more!

My only brother! dwell not with strangers! A sister's arms are ready to clasp you:—a sister's sympathy must lighten the load of your sufferings.


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Think of your conduct! your devotedness! Should not these comfort you?

Did you not love and cherish him? did you not—happier than I—soothe his last days? were you not present to the end?

From this moment, I shall count each hour that divides us.

On my knees both night and morning, will I pray the Almighty God, who has chastened us, to protect my brother in his travels by sea and land.

May we be spared, my dearest Henry, to pray together, that HE may bestow on us present resignation, and make us duly thankful for blessings which still are ours.

Your affectionate sister,

EMILY.

Delmé read the letter with tearless eye. For some time he leant his head on his hand, and thought of his sister, and of the dead.

He shook, and laughed wildly, as he beat his hand convulsively against the wall.

Carl Obers and Thompson held him down, while this strong paroxysm lasted.


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His sobs became fainter, and he sunk into a placid slumber. The student watched anxiously by his side. He awoke; called for Emily's letter; and as he read it once more, the tears coursed down his sunken cheeks.

Ah! what a relief to the excited man, is the fall of tears.

It would seem as if the very feelings, benumbed and congealed as they may hitherto have been, were suddenly dissolving under some happier influence, and that,—with the external sign -the weakness and pliability of childhood—we were magically regaining its singleness of feeling, and its gentleness of heart.

Sir Henry swerved no more from the path of manly duty. He saw the vetturino, and arranged his departure for the morrow. On that evening, he took Carl's arm, and sauntered through the village church-yard.

Already seemed it, that the sods had taken root over George's grave. The interstices of the turf were hidden;—a white paper basket, which still held some flowers, had


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been suspended by some kind stranger hand over the grave; -from it had dropped a wreath of yellow amaranths.

There was great repose in the scene. The birds appeared to chirp softly and cautiously;—the tufts of grass, as they bowed their heads against the monumental crosses, seemed careful not to rustle too drearily.

Sir Henry's sleep was more placid, on that, his last night at Wallensee, than it had been for many a night before.

Acting up to his original design, Delmé passed through the capitals of Bavaria and Wurtemburg; and quickly traversing the picturesque country round Heilbron, reached the romantic Heidelberg, washed by the Neckar.

The student, as might be expected, did not arrive at his old University, with feelings of indifference; but he insisted, previous to visiting his college companions, on showing Sir Henry the objects of interest.

The two friends, for such they might now be


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styled, walked towards the castle, arm in arm; and stood on the terrace, adorned with headless statues, and backed by a part of the mouldering ruin, half hid by the thick ivy.

They looked down on the many winding river, murmuringly gliding through its vine covered banks.

Beyond this, stretched a wide expanse of country; while beneath them lay the town of Heidelberg—the blue smoke hanging over it like a magic diadem.

“Here, here!” said Carl Obers, as he gazed on the scene, with mournful sensations, “here were my youthful visions conceived and embodied—here did I form vows, to break the bonds of enslaved mankind—here did I dream of grateful thousands, standing erect for the first time as free men—here did I brood over, the possible happiness of my fellow men, and in attempting to realise it, have wrecked my own.”

“My kind friend!” replied Delmé, “your error, if it be such, has been of the head, and not the heart. It is one, natural to your age and your


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country. Far from being irreparable, it is possible it may have taught you a lesson, that may ultimately greatly benefit you. This is the first time we have conversed regarding your prospects. What are your present views?”

“I have none. My friends regard me as one, who has improvidently thrown away his chance of advancement. My knowledge of any one branch of science is so superficial, that this precludes my ever hoping to succeed in a learned profession. I cannot enter the military service in my own country, without commencing in the lowest grade. This I can hardly bring my mind to.”

“What would you say to the Hanoverian army?” replied Delmé.

“I would say," rejoined Carl: “for I see through your kind motive in asking, that I esteem myself fortunate, if I have been in any way useful to you; but that I cannot, and ought not, to think of accepting a favour at your hands.”

Sir Henry said no more at that time: and they reached the inn in silence.

Delmé retired for the night. Carl Obers sought VOL. II.


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his old chums; and, exhilarated by his meershaum, and the excellent beer—rivalling the famous Lubeck beer, sent to Martin Luther, during his trial, by the Elector of Saxony—triumphantly placed "young Germany" at the head of nations.

Early the following morning, they were again en route.

They passed through Manheim, where the Rhine and Neckar meet,—through Erpach,—through Darmstadt, that cleanest of Continental towns,—and finally reached Frankfort-on-the-Maine, where it was agreed that Sir Henry and Thompson were to part from their travelling companions.

Sir Henry in his distress of mind, felt that theirs was not a casual farewell. On reaching the quay, he pressed the student's hand with grateful warmth, but dared not trust to words.

On the deck of the steamer, assisting Thompson to arrange the portmanteaux, stood Pietro Molini.

The natural gaiety of the old driver had received a considerable check at George's death.

He could not now meet Sir Henry, without an


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embarrassment of manner; and even in his intercourse with Thompson, his former jocularity seemed to have deserted him.

“Good bye, Pietro!” said Delmé, extending his hand. “I trust we may one day or other meet again.”

The vetturino grasped it,—his colour went and came,—he looked down at his whip,—then felt in his vest for his pipe. As he saw Delmé turn towards the poop, and as Thompson warned him it was time to leave the vessel, -his feelings fairly gave way.

He threw his arms round the Englishman's neck and blubbered like a child.

We have elsewhere detailed the luckless end of the vetturino.

As for Carl Obers, that zealous patriot; the last we heard of him, was that he was holding a commission in the Hanoverian Jägers, obtained for him by Sir Henry's intervention. He was at that period, in high favour with that liberal monarch, King Ernest.




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CHAPTER XIII. HOME.

“'Tis sweet to hear the watchdog's honest bark Bay deep-
mouth'd welcome as we draw near home, 'Tis sweet to
know there is an eye will mark Our coming, and look
brighter when we come.”


EMBARKING on its tributary stream, Delmé reached the Rhine—passed through the land of snug Treckschut, and wooden-shoed housemaid—and arrived at Rotterdam, whence he purposed sailing for England.

To that river, pay we no passing tribute! The Rhine—with breast of pride—laving fertile vineyards, cities of picturesque beauty, beetling crags, and majestic ruins; hath found its bard to hymn an eulogy, in matchless strains, which will be coexistent, with the language they adorn.


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Sir Henry was once more on the wide sea. Where were they who were his companions when his vessel last rode it? where the young bride breathing her devotion? where the youthful hus-band whispering his love?

The sea yet glistened like a chrysolite; the waves yet laughed in the playful sunbeams—the bright-eyed gull yet dipped his wing in the billow, fearless as heretofore;—where was the one, who from that text had deduced so fair a moral?

Sir Henry wished not to dwell on the thought, but as it flashed across him, his features quivered, and his brow darkened.

He threw himself into the chaise which was to bear him to his home, with alternate emotions 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, and the horrors of silence!

Sweet is purl, and sonorous is an English oath. Bright is the steel, arming each clattering hoof!


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Leather strap and shining buckle, replace musty rope and ponderous knot! The carriage is easier than a Landgravine's,—the horses more sleek,—the driver as civil, -the road is like a bowling green,—the axletree and under-spring, of Collinge's latest patent. But the heart! the heart! that may be sad still.

Delmé's voyage and journey were alike a blank. On the ocean, breeze followed calm;—on the river, ship succeeded ship;—on the road, house and tree were passed, and house and tree again presented themselves. He drew his cap over his eyes, and his arms continued folded.

His first moment of full consciousness, was as a sharp turn, followed by a sudden pause, brought him in front of the lodge at Delmé.

On the two moss-grown pillars, reposed the well known crest of his family. The porter's daughter, George's friend, issued from the lodge, and threw open the iron gates.

She was dressed in black. How this recalled his loss.

“My dear—dear—dear brother!”


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Emily bounded to his embrace, and her cheek fell on his shoulder. He felt the warm tear trickle on his cheek. He clasped her waist,—gazed on her pallid brow,—and held her lip to his.

How it trembled from her emotion!

“My own brother! how pale—how ill you look!”

“Emily! my sister! I have something yet left me on earth! and my worthy kind aunt, too!”

He kissed Mrs. Glenallan's forehead, and tried to soothe her. She pressed her handkerchief to her eyes, and checked her tears; but continued to sob, with the deep measured sob of age.

How mournful, yet how consoling, is the first family meeting, after death has swept away one of its members! How the presence of each, calls up sorrow, and yet assists to repress it,—awakes remembrances full of grief, yet brings to life indefinable hopes, that rob that grief of its most poignant sting! The very garb of woe, whose mournful effect is felt to the full, only when each one sees it worn by the other—the very garb paralyses, and brings impressively before us, the


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awful truth, that for our loss, in this world, there is no remedy. How holy, how chaste is the affection, which we feel disposed to lavish, on those who are left us.

Surely if there be a guardian spirit, which deigns to flit through this wayward world, to cheer the stricken breast, and purify feelings, whose every chord vibrates to the touch of woe; surely such presides, and throws a sunny halo, on the group, that blood has united—on which family love has shed its genial influence—and of which, each member, albeit bowed down by sympathetic grief, attempts to lift his drooping head, and to others open some source of comfort, which to the kind speaker, is inefficient and valueless indeed!

For many months, Sir Henry continued to reside with his family. Clarendon Gage was a constant visitor, and companion to the brother and sister in their daily walks and rides.

He had never met poor George, but loved Emily so well, that he could not but sympathise in their heavy loss; and as Delmé noted this quiet sympathy, he felt deeply thankful to Providence, for


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the fair prospect of the happiness, that awaited his sister.

Winter passed away. The fragile snowdrop, offspring of a night—the mute herald of a coming and welcome guest—might be seen peering beneath the gnarled oak, or enlivening the emerald circle beneath the wide-spreading elm.

Spring too glided by, and another messenger came. The migratory swallow, returned from foreign travel, sought the ancient gable, and rejoicing in safety, commenced building a home. At twilight's hour might she be seen, unscared by the truant's stone, repairing to the placid pool—skimming over its glassy surface, in rapid circle and with humid wing—and returning in triumph, bearing wherewithal to build her nest.

Summer too went by; and as the leaves of Autumn rustled at his feet, Delmé started, as he felt that the sting and poignancy of his grief was gone. It was with something like reproach, that he did so. There is a dignity in grief—a pride in perpetuating it—and his had been no common affliction.


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It is a trite, but true remark, that time scatters 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 pulse abates;—the influence of years makes us remember the extravagance of passion, with something approaching to a smile;—and Time—mysterious Time—wounding, but healing all, leads us to look at past bereavements, as through a darkened glass.

We do not forget; but our memory is as a dream, which awoke us in terror, but over which we have slept. The outline is still present, but the fearful details, which in the darkness of the hour, and the freshness of conception, so scared and alarmed us,—these have vanished with the night.

Emily's wedding day drew nigh, and the faces of the household once more looked bright and cheerful.




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CHAPTER XIV. A WEDDING.

“ 'Tis time this heart should be unmoved,
Since others it has ceased to move,
But though I may not be beloved,
Still let me love!”


“ I saw her but a moment,
Yet methinks I see her now,
With a wreath of orange blossoms
Upon her beauteous brow.”


SPRING of life! whither art thou flown?

A few hot sighs—and scalding tears—fleeting raptures and still fading hopes—and then—thou art gone for ever. Lovelorn we look on beauty: no blush now answers 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, that withering sink beneath


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her rosy feet: yet we exclaim:—Spring of life! how and whither art thou flown?

Clarendon Gage was a happy man. He had entered upon the world with very bright prospects. The glorious visions of his youth were still unclouded, and his heart beat as high with hope as ever.

Experience had not yet instilled that sober truth, that Time will darken the sunniest, as well as the least inviting anticipations; and that the visions of his youth were unclouded, because they were undimmed by the reflections of age.

Clarendon Gage was happy and grateful; and so might he well be! Few of us are there, who, on our first loving, have met with a love, fervent, confiding, and unsuspecting as our own,—fewer are there, who in reflection's calm hour, have recognised in the form that has captivated the eye, the mind on which their own can fully and unhesitatingly rely,—and fewest of all are they, who having encountered such a treasure, can control adverse circumstances—can overcome obstacles that oppose—and finally call it their own.


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Passionate, imaginative, and fickle as man may be, this is a living treasure beyond a price: than which this world has none more pure—none as enduring, to offer.

Ah! say and act as we may—money-making—worldly—ambitious as we may become—who among us that will not allow, that in the success of his honest suit—that in his possession of the the one first loved—and which first truly loved him—a kind ray from heaven, seems lent to this changeful world. Such affection as this, lends a new charm to man's existence. It lulls him in his anger—it soothes him in his sorrow—calms him in his fears—cheers him in his hopes—it deadens his grief—it enlivens his joy.

It was a lovely morning in May—the first of the month. Not a cloud veiled the sun's splendour—the birds strained their throats in praise of day—and the rural May-pole, which was in the broad avenue of walnut trees, immediately at the foot of the lawn, was already encircled with flowers. Half way up this, was the station of the rustic orchestra—a green bower, which effectually


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concealed them from the view of the dancers.

On the lawn itself, tents were pitched in a line facing the house. Behind these, between the tents and the May-pole, extended a long range of tables, for the coming village feast.

Emily Delmé looked out on the fair sunrise, and noted the gay preparations with some dismay. Her eye fell on her favourite bed of roses, the rarest and most costly that wealth and extreme care could produce; and she mournfully thought, that ere those buds were blown, a very great change would have taken place in her future prospects. She thought of all she was to leave.

Will he be this, and more to me?

How many a poor girl, when it is all too late, has fearfully asked herself the same question, and how deeply must the answer which time alone can give, affect the happiness of after years!

Emily took her mother's miniature, and gazing on that face, of which her own appeared a beautiful transcript; she prayed to God to support him who was still present to her every thought.


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The family chapel of the Delmés was a beautiful and picturesque place of worship. With the exception of one massive door-way, whose circular arch and peculiar zig-zag ornament bespoke it coeval with, or of an earlier date than, the reign of Stephen—and said to have belonged to a ruin apart from the chapel, whose foundations an antiquary could hardly trace—Delmé chapel might be considered a well preserved specimen of the florid Gothic, of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.

The progress of the edifice, had been greatly retarded during the wars of the Roses; but it was fortunately completed, before the doctrine of the Cinquecentists—who saw no beauty save in the revived dogmas of Vitruvius—had so far gained ground, as to make obsolete and unfashionable, the most captivating and harmonious style of Architecture, that has yet flourished in England.

Its outer appearance was comparatively simple—it had neither spire, lantern, or transepts—and its ivy-hidden belfry was a detached tower.

The walls of the aisles were supported by massive


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buttresses, and surmounted by carved pinnacles; and from them sprung flying buttresses, ornamented with traced machicolations, to bear the weight of the embattled roof of the nave.

The interior was more striking. As the stranger entered by the western door, and proceeded up the nave, each step was re-echoed from the crypt below:—as he trod on strange images, and inscriptions in brass; commemorative of the dead, whose bones were mouldering in the subterranean chapel. On them, many coloured tints fantastically played, through gorgeously stained panes—the workmanship of the Middle Ages.

The richly carved oaken confessional—now a reading desk—first attracted the attention.

In the very centre of the chapel stood a white marble font, whose chaplet of the flower of the Tudors, encircled by a fillet, sufficiently bespoke its date. Between the altar and this font was a tomb, which merits special attention. It was the chantry of Sir Reginald Delmé, the chief of his house in the reign of Harry Monmouth. It was a mimic chapel, raised on three massive steps of


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grey stone. The clustered columns, that bore the light and fretted roof, were divided by mullions, rosettes, and trefoils in open work; except where the interstices were filled up below, to bear the sculptured, and once emblazoned shields of the Delmés, and their cognate families. The entrance to the chantry, was through a little turret at its north-eastern corner, the oaken door of which, studded with quarrel-headed nails, was at one time never opened, but when the priests ascended the six steep and spiral steps, and stood around the tomb to chant masses for the dead.

The diminutive font, and the sarcophagus itself had once been painted. On this, lay the figure of Sir Reginald Delmé.

On a stone cushion—once red—supported by figures of angels in the attitude of prayer, veiling their eyes with their wings, reposed the unarmed head of the warrior:—his feet uncrossed rested on the image of a dog, crouching on a broken horn, seeming faithfully to gaze at the face of his master.

The arms were not crossed—the hands were


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not clasped; but were joined as in prayer. Sir Reginald had not died in battle. Above the head of the sleeping warrior, hung his gorget, and his helmet, with its beaver, and vizor open; and the banner he himself had won, on the field of Shrewsbury, heavily shook its thick folds in the air. The fading colours on the surcoat of the recumbent knight, still faintly showed the lilies and leopards of England;—and Sir Henry himself was willing to believe, that the jagged marks made in that banner by the tooth of Time, were but cuts, left by the sword of the Herald, as at the royal Henry's command, he curtailed the pennon of the knight; and again restored it to Sir Reginald Delmé -a banner.

The altar, which extended the whole width of the chapel, was enclosed by a marble screen, and was still flanked by the hallowed niche, built to receive the drainings of the sacred cup.

The aisles were divided from the nave, by lancet arches, springing from clustered columns. But how describe the expansive windows, with their rich mullions, and richer rosettes—their deeply


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moulded labels, following the form of the arch, and resting for support on the quaintest masks—how describe the matchless hues of the glass—valued mementoes of a bygone age, and of an art that has perished?

The walls of the chapel were profusely ornamented with the richest carving; and the oaken panels of the chancel, were adorned with those exquisite festoons of fruit and flowers, so peculiarly English. The very ceiling exacted admiration. It closed no lantern—it obstructed no view—and its light ribs, springing from voluted corbels, bore at each intersection, an emblazoned escutcheon, or painted heraldic device. The intricate fan-like tracery of the roof—the enriched bosses at each meeting of the gilded ribs -gave an airy charm and lightness to the whole, which well accorded with the florid Architecture, and with the chivalrous associations, with which it is identified.

And here, beneath this spangled canopy, in this ancient shrine, whose every ornament was as a memory of her ancestors; stood Emily Delmé, as fair as the fairest of her race, changeful and


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trembling, a faint smile on her lip, and a quivering tear in her eye.

Clarendon Gage took her hand in his, and placed on her finger the golden pledge of truth, and as he did so, an approving sunbeam burst through the crimson-stained pane, and before lightening the tomb of Sir Reginald, fell on her silvery veil—her snowy robe—her beautiful face.

There was a very gay scene on the lawn, as they returned from the chapel.

The dancing had already commenced -strains of music were heard from on high—the ever moving circle became one moment contracted, then expanded to the full length of the arms of the dancers, as they actively looted it round the garlanded May-pole.

At the first sight of the leading carriage, however, a signal was given—the music suddenly ceased—and the whole party below, with the exception of one individual, proceeded in great state towards an arch, composed of flowers and white thorn, which o'ercanopied the road.

The carriage stopped to greet the procession.


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On came the blushing May-Queen, and Maid Marian—both armed with wands wreathed with cowslips—followed by a jovial retinue of morrice dancers with drawn swords—guisers in many-coloured ribbons—and a full train of simple peasants, in white smock-frocks.

The May Queen advanced to the carriage, followed by the peasant girls, and timidly dropped a choice wreath into the lap of the bride. Loud hurras rung in the air, as Sir Henry gave his steward some welcome instructions as to the village feast; and the cavalcade continued its route.

We have said that one individual lingered near the May-pole. As he was especially active, we may describe him and his employment. He was apparently about fifteen. He had coarse straight white hair—a face that denoted stupidity—but with a cunning leer, which seemed to belie his other features.

He was taking advantage of the cessation of dancing, to supply the aspiring musicians with sundry articles of good cheer. A rope, armed with a hook, was dropped from their lofty aërie, and


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promptly drawn up, on the youngster's obtaining from the neighbouring tents, wherewithal to fill satisfactorily the basket which he attached.

Sir Henry Delmé and George had been so much abroad, and Emily's attachment to Clarendon was of so early a date, that it happened that the members of the Delmé family had mixed little in the festivities of the county in which they resided; and were not intimately known, nor perhaps fully appreciated, in the neighbourhood.

But the family was one of high standing, and had ever been remarkable for its kind-heartedness; and what was known of its individuals, was so much to their credit, that it kept alive the respect and consideration that these circumstances might of themselves warrant.

Sir Henry, on the other hand, regarded his sister's marriage as an event, at which it might be proper to show, that neither hauteur nor want of sociability, had precluded their friendly intercourse with the neighbouring magnates; and consequently, most of the principal families were present at Emily's wedding.


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While this large assemblage increased the gaiety of the scene, it was somewhat wearisome to Delmé, who was too truly attached to his sister, to be otherwise than thoughtful during the ceremony, and the breakfast that succeeded it.

At length the time came when Emily could escape from the gay throng; and endeavour, in the quiet of her own room, to be once more calm, before she prepared to leave her much-loved home.

The preparations made, a note was despatched to her brother, begging him to meet her in the library.

As he did so, a fresh pang shot through Delmé's heart.

As he looked on Emily's flushed face—her dewy cheek—and noted her agitated manner; he for the first time perceived, her very strong resemblance to poor George, and wondered that he had never observed 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 will take every care of her!”


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In another moment, the carriage was whirling past the library window; and Sir Henry felt little inclined, to join the formal party in the drawing-room. Sending therefore a brief message to Mrs. Glenallan, he threw open the library window, and with hurried steps reached a summer-house, half hidden in the shrubbery. He there fell into a deep reverie, which was by no means a pleasurable one.

He thought of Emily—of George—of Acmé,—and felt that he was becoming an isolated being.

And had he not loved too? As this thought crossed him, his ambitious dreams were almost forgotten.

Sir Henry Delmé was aroused by the sound of voices. A loving couple, too much engaged to observe him, passed close to the summer-house.

It was the "Queen of the May," the prettiest and 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-hour's delicious converse.

There was some little coquettish resistance on


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the part of the girl, as they sat down together at the foot of a fir tree.

Her lover put his arm round her waist.

“Oh! Mary! if father would but give us a cow or so!”

This little incident decided the matter. Delmé at once resolved that Mary Smith should have a cow or so; and also that his own health would be greatly benefited, by a short sojourn at Leamington. VOL. II.




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CHAPTER XV. THE MEETING.

“ Oh ever loving, lovely, and beloved!
How selfish sorrow ponders on the past,
And clings to thoughts now better far removed,
But Time shall tear thy shadow from me last.”


We know not whether our readers have followed us with due attention, as we have incidentally, and at various intervals, made our brief allusion to the gradual change of character, wrought on Delmé, by the eventful scenes in which he so lately played a prominent part.

When we first introduced him to our reader's notice, we endeavoured to depict him as he then really was,—a man of strong principles, warm heart, and many noble qualities; but one, prone to over-estimate the value of birth and fortune—


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with a large proportion of pride and reserve—and with ideas greatly tinctured with the absurd fallacies of the mere man of the world.

But there was much in the family events we have described, to shake Delmé's previous convictions, and to induce him to recal many of his former opinions.

He had seen his brother form a connection, which set at naught all those convenances, which he had been accustomed to regard as essential to, and as indeed forming the very ingredient of, domestic happiness.

And yet Sir Henry Delmé could not disguise from himself, that if, in George's short-lived career, there had been much of pain and sorrow, they were chiefly engendered by George's mental struggle, to uphold those very opinions to which he himself was wedded; and that to this alone, might be traced much of the suffering he had undergone. This was it that had so weakened mind and body, as to render change of scene necessary;—this was it that exposed Acmé to the air of the pestiferous marshes, and which left George himself—a broken


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hearted man—totally incapable of bearing his bereavement.

On the other hand, the sunny happiness his brother had basked in,—and it was very great,—had sprung from the natural out-pourings of an affection, which,—unfettered as it had been by prudential considerations,—had yet the power to make earth a heaven while Acmé shared it with him, and the dark grave an object of bright promise, when hailed as the portal, through which he must pass, ere he gazed once more on the load-star of his hopes.

In the case, too, of Emily and Clarendon, although their union was far more in accordance with his earlier theories, yet he could not but note, how little their happiness seemed to rest on their position in society, and how greatly was it based on their love for each other.

These considerations were strengthened, by a growing feeling of isolation, which the death of George and of Acmé,—the marriage of his sister,—and probably the time of life he had arrived at, were all calculated to awaken.


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With the knowledge of his disease, sprung up the hope of an antidote; and it may be, that the little episode of the May Queen in our last chapter, came but as a running comment, to reflections that had long been cherished and indulged.

The thoughts of Sir Henry Delmé anxiously centred in Julia Vernon; and as he recalled her graceful emotion when they last parted, the unfrequent blush,—it might be of shame, it might be of consciousness,—coloured his sun-burnt cheek.

At length,—the guests being dismissed, Delmé was at leisure to renew an acquaintance, which had already proved an eventful one to him. He had heard little of Miss Vernon since his return to England. His sister had thought it better to let matters take their own course; and Julia, who knew that in the eyes of the world, her circumstances were very different to what they had been previous to her uncle's death; had from motives of delicacy, shunned any intercourse that might lead to a renewed intimacy with the family.

Her health, too, had been precarious, and her elasticity of mind was gone. Slowly wasting from


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day to day, she had sought to banish all thoughts that were not of a world less vain than this;—and her very languor of body—while it gave her an apology for declining all gaieties, induced a resigned spirit, and a quiet frame of mind.

When Sir Henry Delmé was announced, Julia was alone in the drawing-room. At that name, she attempted to rise from the sofa; but she was weak, and her head fell back on the white pillow.

Delmé stood for a moment irresolute,—a prey to the deepest pangs of remorse.

Well might he be shocked at that altered form!

Her figure was greatly attenuated,—her cheeks sunken,—her eyes bright and large; while over the forehead and drooping eyelid branched the sapphire veins, with their intricate windings so dearly marked, that Delmé almost thought, that he could trace the motion of the blood beneath. That momentary pause, and the one mutual glance of recognition, told a more accurate tale than words could convey.

As Sir Henry pressed that small transparent hand, Julia's thin lip quivered convulsively. She


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attempted to speak, but the exertion of utterance was too great, and she burst into a flood of tears.

“Julia! my own Julia! forgive me! we will never part more!”

After this interview, it is needless to say that there was little else to be explained. Mrs. Vernon was delighted at Julia's happy prospects, and it was settled that their marriage should take place in the ensuing August. Such arrangements as could be made on the spot to facilitate this, were at once entered on.

At the end of two months, it became necessary that Delmé should proceed to town, for the purpose of seeing the Commander-in-Chief, in order to withdraw a previous application to be employed on active service. He was anxious also to consult a friend, whom he proposed appointing one of the trustees for his marriage settlement; and Clarendon and Emily had exacted a promise, that he would pay them a visit on his way to Delmé Park; which he had determined to take on his route to town, that he might personally inspect some alterations he had lately planned there.


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It was with bright prospects before him, that Delmé kissed off the big tear that coursed down Julia's cheek; as she bade him farewell, with as much earnestness, as if years, instead of a short fortnight, were to elapse before they met again.

Miss Vernon's health had decidedly improved. She was capable of much greater exertion; and her spirits were sometimes as buoyant as in other days.

When Sir Henry first reached Leamington, the only exercise that Julia could take was in a wheel chair; and great was her delight at seeing a hand present itself over its side, and know that it was his. Latterly, however, she had been able to lean on his arm, and take a few turns on the lawn, and had on one occasion even reached the public gardens.

Mrs. Vernon, with the deceptive hope common to those, who watch day by day by the side of an invalid's couch, and in the very gradual loss of strength, lose sight of the real extent of danger, had never been desponding as to her daughter's ultimate recovery; and was now quite satisfied that


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a few weeks more would restore her completely to health.

Sir Henry Delmé, with the gaze of a lover, would note each flush of animation, and mistake it for the hue of health; while Julia herself felt her love, and thought it strength.

There was only one person who looked somewhat grave at these joyous preparations. This was Dr. Jephson, who noticed that Julia's voice continued very weak, and that she could not get rid of a low hollow cough, that had long distressed her.

Clarendon and his wife were resident at a beautiful cottage near Malvern, on the road to Eastnor Castle. The cottage itself was small, and half hidden with fragrant honey-suckles: but had well appointed extensive grounds behind it. They were not of the very many, who after the first fortnight. of a forced seclusion,—the treacle moon, as some one has called it,—find their own society, both wearisome and unprofitable. Theirs was a love, felt but by superior and congenial minds—a love, neither sensual nor transient—a love on which affection


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and reflection shed their glow,—which could bear the test of scrutiny,—and which owed its chief charm to the presence of truth.

Delmé passed a week at Malvern, and then proceeded towards town, with the pleasing conviction that his sister's happiness was assured.

Twenty-four hours at Delmé sufficed to inspect the alterations, and to give orders as to Lady Delmé's rooms.

Sir Henry had received two letters from Julia, while at Malvern, and both were written in great spirits. At his club in London another awaited him, which stated that she had not been quite so well and that she was writing from her room. A postscript from Mrs. Vernon quite did away with any alarm that Sir Henry might otherwise have felt.

Delmé attended Lord Hill's levee; and immediately afterwards proceeded to his friend's office. To his disappointment, he was informed that his friend had left for Bath; and thinking it essential that he should see him; he went thither at an early hour the following day.


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At Bath he was again doomed to be disappointed, for his friend had gone to Clifton. Sir Henry dined that day with Mr. Belliston Graeme; and on returning to the hotel, had the interview with Oliver Delancey, that has been described in the thirteenth chapter of our first volume.

On the succeeding morning, Delmé was with the future trustee; and finally arranged the affair to his entire satisfaction. His absence from Leamington, had been a day or two more protracted than he had anticipated, and his not finding his friend in London, had prevented his hearing from Miss Vernon so lately as he could have wished.

Sir Henry had posted all night, and it was ten in the morning when he reached Learnington. He directed the postilion to drive to his hotel, but it happened that on his way he had to pass Mrs. Vernon' s door.

As the carriage turned a corner, which was distant some hundred yards from Mrs. Vernon's house, Sir Henry was surprised by a momentary check on the part of his driver.


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It had rained heavily during the early part of the day. The glasses were up, and so bespattered with the mud and rain, that it was impossible to see through them. Sir Henry let them down; saw a confused mass of carriages; and could clearly discern a mourning coach.

He did not give himself time to breathe his misgivings; but flung the door open, and sprang from his seat into the road. It was still three or four doors from Mrs. Vernon's house, and he prayed to God that his fears might be groundless.

As he approached nearer, it was evident that there was unusual bustle about that house. Delmé grasped the iron railing, and clung to it for support; but with every sense keenly alive to aught that might dispel, or confirm that horrible suspicion.

Two old women, dressed in the characteristic red cloak of the English peasant, were earnestly conversing together—their baskets of eggs and flowers being laid on a step of one of the adjacent houses.

“So you knowed her, Betsy Farmer?”

“Lord a mercy!” responded the other, “I ha'


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knowed Miss July since she wa' the height of my basket. Ay! and many's the bunch of flowers she ha' had from me. That was afore the family went to the sea side. Well! it's a matter o' five year, sin' she comed up to me one morning—so grown as I'd never ha' known her. But she knowed me, and asked all about me. And I just told her all my troubles, and how I had lost my good man. And sure enough sin' that day she ha' stood my friend, and gived me soup and flannels for the little uns, and put my Bess to service, and took me through all the bad Christmas. Poor dear soul! she ha' gone now! and may the Lord bless her and all as good as she!”

The poor woman, who felt the loss of her benefactress, put the corner of her apron to her eyes.

Sir Henry strode forward.

Mutes were on each side of the front step. A servant threw open the door of the breakfast room, and Delmé mechanically entered it. It was filled with strangers; on some of these the spruce undertaker was fitting silk scarfs; while others were busy at the breakfast table.


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An ominous whisper ran through the apartment.

“Sir Henry Delmé?” said the rosy-cheeked clergyman, enquiringly, as he laid down his egg spoon, and turned towards him.

“I trust you received my letter. Women are so utterly helpless in these matters; and poor Mrs. Vernon was quite overpowered.”

Delmé turned away to master his emotion.

At this moment, a friendly hand was laid on his shoulder, and Mrs. Vernon's maid, with her eyes red from weeping, beckoned him up stairs.

He mechanically obeyed her—reeled into an inner drawing room—and stood in the presence of the bereaved mother.

Mrs. Vernon was ordinarily the very picture of neatness. Now she sat with her feet on a footstool—her head almost touching her lap—her silver hair all loose and dishevelled. It seemed to Delmé as if age had suddenly come upon her.

She rose as he entered, and with wild hysterical sobs, threw herself into his arms.


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“My son! my son! that should have been. Our angel is gone—gone!”

Delmé tried to speak, but his tongue clove to his mouth, and the hysteric globe rose to his throat.

Suddenly he heard the sound of wheels, and of heavy footsteps on the stairs.

He imprinted a kiss on the old woman's forehead—it was his farewell for ever!—gave her to the care of the maid servant—and rushed from the room.

He was stopped on the landing of the staircase by the coffin of her he loved so well. The bearers stopped for an instant; they felt that this was no common greeting. Part of the pall was already turned back. Delmé removed its head with trembling hand. “Julia Vernon. aetate 22.”

He dropped the velvet with a groan, and was only saved from falling by the timely aid of the old butler, whose face was as sorrowful as his own.

But there was a duty yet to be performed, and Delmé followed the corpse.


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The first mourning coach was just drawn up. An intended occupant had already his foot on the step.

“This place is mine!” said Sir Henry in a hollow voice.

The cortege proceeded; and Delmé, giddy and confused, heard solemn words spoken over his affianced one, and he waited, till even the coffin could be discerned no more.

Thompson, who had followed his master, assisted him into his carriage, placed himself beside him, and ordered the driver to proceed to the hotel. But Delmé gave a quick impetuous motion of the hand, which the domestic understood well; and the horses' heads were turned towards the metropolis.

The mourner tarried not, even to bid his sister farewell; but sought once more his brother's grave. Some friendly hand had kept its turf smooth; no footsteps, save the innocent ones of children, had pressed its grassy mound. It was clothed with soft daisies and drooping harebells. The sun seemed to shine on that spot, to bid the wanderer be contented and at rest.


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But as yet there was no rest for Delmé. And he stood beside the marble slab, beneath which lay Acmé Frascati. The downy moss—soft as herself—was luxuriating there; and the cry of the cicalas was pleasant to the ear; and the image of the young Greek girl, as in a vivid picture, rose to his mind's eye. She was not attired in her white cymar; nor was her head wreathed with monumental amaranths;—health was on her cheek, fond smiles on her pouting lip, and tender love swimming in her melting glance.

His own griefs came back on Delmé; he groaned aloud. He traversed the deserts, he crossed lofty mountains, he knew thirst and privations. He was scoffed at and spat upon in an infidel country—he was tossed on the ocean—he shook hands with danger.

He visited our wide Oriental possessions; and sojourned amid the spicy islands of the Indian Archipelago, where vegetation attains a magnificence unknown elsewhere, and animal life partakes of this unexampled exuberance,—where flowers of the most exquisite colours and fragrance charm the


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senses by day, and delicious plants saturate the air with their odours by night.

Delmé extended his wanderings to the rarely visited "many isles," which stud the vast Pacific, and found that there too were fruitful and smiling regions.

But not on the desert—nor on the mountains—nor in the land of the Moslem—nor on tempestuous seas—nor in those verdant islets, which seem to breathe of Paradise, to greet the wearied traveller; could Delmé's restless spirit find an abiding place, his thirst for foreign travel be slaked, or his heart know peace.

He madly sought oblivion, which could not be accorded him.




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CHAPTER XVI. THE WANDERER.

“Then I consider'd life in all its forms,
Of vegetables first, next zoophytes,
The tribe that dwells upon the confine strange
'Twixt plants and fish; some are there from their mouth
Spit out their progeny, and some that breed,
By suckers from their base or tubercles,
Sea-hedgehog, madrepore, sea-ruff, or pad,
Fungus, or sponge, or that gelatinous fish,
That taken from its element at once
Stinks, melts, and dies a fluid; so from these,
Through many a tribe of less equivocal life,
Dividual or insect, up I ranged,
From sentient to percipient, small advance,
Next to intelligent, to rational next,
So to half spiritual human kind,
And what is more, is more than man may know.
Last came the troublesome question—What am I?”


“And vain were the hat, the staff, and stole,
And all outward signs were a snare,
Unless the pilgrim's endanger'd soul
Were inwardly clothed with prayer.



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But the pilgrim prays—and then trials are light—
For prayer to him on his way,
Resembles the pillar of fire by night,
And the guiding cloud by day.
And salvation's helm the pilgrim wears,
Or vain were all other dress;
And the shield of faith the pilgrim bears,
With the breastplate of righteousness.
At length his tears all wiped away;
He enters the City of Light;
And how gladly he changes his gown of grey,
For Zion's robe of white.”


IT was on the 22nd of October, 1836, that an emissary from his sister, sought Sir Henry Delmé. It was at the antipodes to his ancestral home; in Australia, that wonderful country, which—belied and calumniated, as she has hitherto been—presents some anomalous and creditable features.

For her population, she is the wealthiest, the most enterprising, the most orderly and loyal, of our British possessions. There, is the aristocracy of wealth, to an unprecedented degree, subservient to the aristocracy of virtue. While she is stigmatised as the cloacae of Britain, the philosopher looks into the future, and already beholds a nation, perpetuating the language of the brave and free; when


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the parent stock has perhaps ceased to be an empire; or is lingering on, like modern Greece, in the hopeless languor of decay and decrepitude.

This agent had arrived from England, a very short period before; and, accredited with a packet, containing various communications from Emily and Clarendon, accompanied by the miniatures of their children, with little silky curls attached to each, proceeded an expectant guest, to Sir Henry Delmé's temporary residence. Early dawn saw him pacing the deck of a steam vessel; and regarding with great surprise, the opposite banks of Hunter's River, up which the vessel was gliding.

A rich dark soil, of great depth, bespoke uncommon fertility; while the varieties of the gum tree—then quite new to him—with their bark of every diversity of colour, gave a primeval grandeur to the scene.

Each moment brought in sight the location of some enterprising settler, which, ever varying in appearance, in importance, and in extent yet told the same tale of difficulties overcome, and success ensuing.


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On his reaching the township, near the head of the navigation, this agent found horses waiting for him:—he was addressed by a well-appointed groom—our old friend Thompson—who touched his hat respectfully, and mentioned the name, he was already prepared for by his Sydney advices.

Suffice it, that Sir Henry was no longer the Baronet, and that the name of Delmé was a strange one in his household.

Their route skirted the banks of one of those rivers, which, diverging from that mine of wealth, the Hunter, wind into the bowels of the land, like a vein of gold.

That emissary will not soon forget his lovely ride. His eye, wearied with gazing on the wide expanse of ocean, feasted on the rich and novel landscape. They rode alternately, through cleared lands, studded with rich farms, waving with luxuriant crops of wheat and rye; and again, through regions, where the axe had never resounded, but where eucalypti, and bastard box, and forest oak with its rough acorn, towered above beauteous wild flowers, whose forms and varieties were associated


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in the mind of the stranger, with some of the most precious and valued flowers which adorn British conservatories.

The russet Certhia, with outspread fluttering wing, peeked at the smooth bark, and preying on some destructive insect, really preserved what it seemed to injure. The larger parrots, travelling in pairs, screamed their passing salutation, as they displayed their bright plumage to the sun; while hundreds, of a smaller kind, with crimson shoulder, were concealed amid the green leaves; and, as they rode beneath them, babbled—like frolicsome children of the forest—a rude, but to themselves a not unmeaning dialogue.

The superb warblers, ornaments alike to the bush or the garden, flitted cheerily from bough to bough. Strangely mated are they! The male, in suit of black velvet, trimmed with sky blue, looks like a knight, attired for a palace festival—while his lady-love—she resembles some peasant girl, silent and grateful, clothed in modest kirtle of sober brown.

As he reined in his horse, to examine these at


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leisure, how melodiously came on his ear, the clear, ceaseless, silver tinkle of the bell-bird; this sound ever and anon chequered by the bold chock-ee-chock! of the bald-headed friar. They had proceeded very leisurely, and the sun was already declining, when Thompson, pointing to an abrupt path, motioned him to descend, and at the same time, gave the peculiar cry, known in the colony as the cooi; a cry which was as promptly answered. It was not until he was close to the edge of the river, that the stranger understood its purport.

A punt was rapidly approaching from the opposite bank. An athletic aboriginal native, in an attitude that seemed studiedly graceful, was bending to the stout rope, which, attached to either side of the river, served to propel the punt. He had been spearing fish; for his wife, or gin, or queen—for she was born such, and contradicted in her person the old adage,

“There's a difference between
A beggar and a queen" -

was drawing the barb of a spear from the bleeding side of a struggling mullet. She sat at the bottom


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of the boat, with a blanket closely wound round her. She was young, and her looks were not unpleasing. Her thickly-matted hair was ornamented with kangaroo teeth; and to her shoulder, closely clung a native tailless bear, whose appearance could not do otherwise than excite a smile. With convex staring eyes—hairless nose—and white ruff of fur round his face—he very closely resembled in physiognomy, some grey-whiskered guzzling citizen. The well-trained horses gave no trouble, as they entered the punt; and the smiling boatman, displaying his teeth to Thompson, but without speaking, commenced warping the punt to the opposite side of the river. They were half way across, ere the guest observed the mansion of the friend he sought. It stood on the summit of the hill, on the left; beneath which the river made a very abrupt bend. The house itself resembled the common weather-boarded cottage of the early settler,—a wide verandah was over the front entrance, and two small rooms, the exact width of this, jutted out on either side of it.

Its site however was commanding. The house


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stood on an eminence, and from the windows, a long reach of the river was visible. At the top of the brow of the hill, extended a range of English rose trees, in full flower. The bank, which might be about thirty yards in front of these, was clothed with foliage to the water's edge.

There might be seen the fragrant mimosa—the abundant acacia—the swamp oak, which would have been styled a fir, had not the first exiles to Australia found twined round its boughs, the misletoe, with its many home associations—the elegant cedar—the close-growing mangrove—and strange parasitical plants, pushing through huge fungi, and clasping with the remorseless strength of the wrestler, and with the round crunching folds of the boa, the trees they were gradually to supplant and destroy.

Suddenly, the quick finger of the black pointed to an object close beside the punt. A bill, as of a bird, and apparently of the duck tribe, protruded above the surface of the water. For an instant, small, black, piercing eyes peered towards them: but as the quadruped, for such it was, prepared to


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dive in affright, the unerring shot of a rifle splashed the water on the cheek of the stranger—the body rolled slowly over—the legs stiffened—a sluggish stream of dark blood tainted the surrounding wave—and the ferryman, extending his careless hand, threw the victim to his companion, at the same time addressing a few words to her in their native language.

The guest had little difficulty, in recognising the uncouth form of the ornithorhynchus, or water-mole; but he turned with yet more eagerness, towards the spot, whence that shot had proceeded. On the sumnit of the steep bank, leaning on his rifle, stood Sir Henry Delmé.

His form was still commanding—there was something in the air with which the cap was worn—and in the strap round his Swiss blouse—that bespoke the soldier and the gentleman: but his face was sadly attenuated—the lower jaw appeared to have fallen in -and his hair was very grey.

He received his guest with a cordial and sincere welcome. While the latter delivered his packet,


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the native who had warped the punt over, came up with the dead platypus.

“Well, Boomeroo! is it a female?”

“No, massa! full grown—with large spur!”

Sir Henry saw that his guest was puzzled by this dialogue, and good-naturedly showed him the distinguishing characteristic of the male ornithorhynchus—the spur on the hinder foot, which is hollow, and transmits an envenomed liquid, secreted by a gland on the inner surface of the thigh.

In November, of the year preceding, a burrow of the animal had been opened on the bank of the river, which contained the dam, and three live young ones;—there were many points, yet to be determined relative to its interior organization; and it was on this account, that Sir Henry was anxious to obtain a female specimen at this particular period. As he spoke, Delmé introduced the stranger to his study, which might more aptly be styled a museum;—applied some spirits of wine to the platypus, and placing it under a bell-glass for the morrow's examination, left him turning


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over his collection of birds, while he perused his valued home letters.

It was with unmixed pleasure, knowing as he did his melancholy history, that the stranger found Sir Henry Delmé engaged in pursuits, which it was evident he was following up with no common enthusiasm. In truth, a mere accidental circumstance,—the difficulty of obtaining a vessel at one of the Indian Islands for any port, had at first brought him to Australia, a country regarding which he had felt little curiosity. The strange varieties, however, of its animal kingdom, had interested him;—he was struck with the rapid strides that that country has made in half a century—and he continued from month to month to occupy the house where his friend had now found him.

To the stranger's eye, the eye of a novice, the well arranged specimens of birds of the most beautiful plumage—of animals, chiefly marsupial, of the most singular developement—of glittering insects—and of deep coloured shells; were attractive wonders enough; but from the skeletons


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beside these, it was quite clear, that Delmé had acquired considerable knowledge as to the internal construction of the animals themselves—that he had studied the subsisting relations, between the mechanism and the movements—the structure, and its varied functions.

After dinner, Sir Henry Delmé, who appeared to think that the bearer of his despatches had conferred on him a lasting favour, threw off his habitual reserve, and delighted and interested him with his tales of foreign travel.

As the night wore on, the conversation reverted to his sister and his home. It was evident, that what remained for the living of that crushed heart, was with Emily and Clarendon, and their children; perhaps more than all, with his young heir and god-son, Henry Delmé Gage. The very colour of that sunny lock of hair, gave rise to much speculation: and it seemed as if he would never be wearied, of listening to the minutest description of the dawning of intellect, in a precocious little fellow of barely five years of age.

Encouraged by his evident feeling, and observing


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many more comforts about him, than he had been led to expect from his previous errant habits; his guest ventured to express his hope, that Sir Henry might yet return to England.

“My good friend!” replied he, “for I must call you such now, for I know not when I have experienced such unalloyed satisfaction, as you have conferred on me this night, by conversing so freely of those I love; I certainly never can forget that I am the last male of an ancient race, and that those who are nearest and dearest to me, are divided from me by a wide waste of waters. I have learnt to suffer with more patience than I had ever hoped for; and, it may be,—although I have hardly breathed the thought to myself—it may yet be accorded me to revisit that ancient chapel, and to dwell once more in that familiar mansion.”

His guest was overcome by his emotion, and pressed his hand with warmth, as he made his day's journey the excuse for an early retirement.

Sleep soon visited his eyelids, for the ride, to one fresh from a sea voyage, had brought with it


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a wholesome weariness. He was aroused from his slumbers, by the deep sonorous accents as of a man reading Spanish.

The light streamed from an adjacent room, through the chinks of a partition. He started up alike forgetful of Delmé, his ride, and his arrival in Australia; conceiving that he was again at the mercy of the waves, in his narrow comfortless cabin.

That light, however, brought the stranger back to the wanderer, and his griefs.

Beside a small table, strewn with his lately received English letters, knelt Sir Henry Delmé. The stranger had seen condemned criminals pray with becoming fervour; and devotees of many a creed lift up their hearts to heaven; but never had he witnessed a more contrite or a humbler spirit imprinted on the features of mortal man, than then shed its radiance on that sorrowful, but noble face.

Strange as it may appear, he knew not whether the words themselves really caught his ear, or whether the motion of the lips expressed them—


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but this he did know, that every syllable seemed to reach his heart, and impress him with a mystic thrill.

“OR EVER THE SILVER CORD BE LOOSED, OR THE GOLDEN-BOWL BE BROKEN, OR THE PITCHER BE BROKEN AT THE FOUNTAIN, OR THE WHEEL BROKEN AT THE CISTERN, THEN SHALL THE DUST RETURN TO THE EARTH AS IT WAS: AND THE SPIRIT SHALL RETURN UNTO GOD WHO GAVE IT.”




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CHAPTER XVII. THE WANDERER'S RETURN.

“And he had learn'd to love—I know not why,
For this in such as him seems strange of mood, -
The helpless looks of blooming infancy,
Even in its earliest nurture; what subdued,
To change like this, a mind so far imbued
With scorn of man, it little boots to know;
But thus it was; and though in solitude
Small power the nipp'd affections have to grow,
In him this glow'd when all beside had ceased to glow.”


WITHIN a period of two months, from the interview we have described, the stranger found that his arguments had not been thrown away; as he shook Sir Henry's hand on the deck of a vessel bound for Valparaiso. His love of travel and of excitement, had induced such an habitual restlessness, that Delmé was not prepared at once to embark for England. He crossed the Cordillera


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de los Andes—traversed the Pampas of Buenos Ayres—and finally embarked for his native land.

It was the height of summer, when the carriage which bore the long absent owner to his ancestral home, neared the ancient moss-grown lodge.

Fanny Porter, who was now married, and had a thriving babe at her breast, started with surprise; as, throwing open the gate, she recognised in the care-worn man with bronzed face and silver hair, her well known and beloved master. As the carriage neared the chapel, it struck Sir Henry, that it would be but prudent, to inform Clarendon of his near approach; in order that he might prepare Emily for the meeting. He ordered the postilion to pull up—tore a leaf from his memorandum book—and wrote a few lines to Clarendon, despatching Thompson in advance. He turned into the chapel, and as he approached its altar, the bridal scene, enacted there nearly seven years back, seemed to rise palpably before him.

But the tomb of Sir Reginald Delmé, with its velvet dusty banner—the marble monument of his mother, with the bust above it, whose naked


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eye seemed turned towards him -his withered heart and hopes soon darkened his recollections of that bright hour. With agitated emotions, Sir Henry left the chapel; and in a spirit of impatience, strode towards the mansion, intending to meet the returning domestic. His feelings were strange, various, and not easily defined.

He was awakened from his day-dream by the sound of children's voices, which sound he instinctively followed, until he reached the old orchard. It was such an orchard, as might be planted by an old Delmé, ere any Linnean or Loudonean horticulturist had decided that slopes are best for the sun, that terraces are an economical saving of ground, that valleys must be swamps, and that blights are vulgar errors. The orchard at Delmé was strikingly unscientific; but the old stock contrived to bear good fruit. The pippins, golden and russet—the pears, jargonelle and good-christian—the cherries, both black and white heart—still thrived; while under their shade, grew hips, haws, crabs, sloes, and blackberries, happy to be shaded from rain, dews, and


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fierce sun-shine, and unenvious of roses, cherries, apples, damsons, and mulberries; their self-defended, and more aristocratic cousins.

Sir Henry stopped unseen at the gate of the orchard, and for some minutes looked on the almost fairy group, whose voices had led him thither.

Lying on the bank, which enclosed the orchard, was a blue-eyed rosy-cheeked little girl;—the ground ashes had been cut down; and her laughing face was pillowed on the violets and oxlips, that burst from between the roots. She was preparing to take another roll into the clayey ditch below. Another little girl was gazing at the child from within the orchard; half doubtful whether she should encourage or check her. One pale-blue slipper and her little sock were half sunk in the clay, while the veiny and pink-soled foot, the large lids half closed over her deep blue eyes, the finger thrust between her red and pouting lips, her bonnet thrown back and hanging by the strings round her swelling throat, her hair dishevelled and stuck with oxlips, primroses, cowslips, violets, and daisies; and wreathed with the spring-holly, or


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butcher's-broom—made her a perfect picture of English beauty, and of childish anxiety and indecision.

Beside her stood a boy older than herself, and evidently as perplexed. There was Julia perched cock-horse on the bank—there was Emily, her hair undone, her bonnet crushed, with one shoe and stocking lost—and yet he had promised Mamma, that if she would but once trust his sisters to him, that he would bring them home, “with such a pretty basket of spring-flowers.”

The beautiful blossoms of the cherry hung around the boy—the bees buzzed in its bells—the apple and pear blossoms shook their fragrance in the warm air—and the shadows of the flying clouds hurried like wings over the bright green grass. The boy had dropped his basket of fresh-blown flowers at his feet—tears were trembling in his eye-lids, as he gazed on his sisters. His look was that of George.

“Childhood too has its sorrows," said Sir Henry, half aloud, “even when seeking joy on a bank of primroses. Why should I then repine?”


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The boy started as he heard and saw the stranger:—he involuntarily put one foot forward in an attitude of childish defiance: but children are keen physiognomists, and there was nothing but affection beaming from that mournful face.

“My boy!” said Delmé, and his eyes were moist, “did you ever hear of your Uncle Henry?”

“Emily! Emily! Julia!” exclaimed the little fellow, as he rushed into Sir Henry's arms, “here is Uncle Henry, my god-papa, and he will help us to reach the blackberries.”

We need follow the wanderer no further. It is true that in his youth he had not known sympathy; in his manhood he had experienced sorrow; but it is a pleasure to us to reflect, that despair is not the companion of his old age.

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