Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

with her demon! The alarm was im. me and conduct himself as if he was bemediately given, and Mrs. Eyers, who witched; and then, too, because an exhappened to be visiting in the neighbour- cellent friend taught me Latin, and I hood, was one of the first to hear the had the wit to catch a little smattering horrible story. It may well be supposed of Dutch, I was supposed to be possessthat she was in great agitation and im. ed of an evil spirit.

But the good peomediately hastened home, but, before ple were not so much to blame as they she arrived, people had collected and sur- might appear, continued she, “and I rounded the house. Mrs. Eyers immedi- freely forgive them their persecution, for ately proposed that all the outside shut- it must be confessed there were some ters should be closed, the door fastened suspicious appearances.' and the key holes stopped, lest Ann and So I have understood,' said the clerher familiar should escape.

This was

gyman, gravely. done with the greatest expedition by • You did not know, then,' said she, some, while others went for a warrant to that I was employed as an agent by apprehend the girl. It was said that Mrs. Eyers, and our good minister, Mr. some were absurd enough to suppose Davenport, to carry food to a poor man that even Beelzebub might be laid fast who lived in a cave on West Rock?' hold of and brought to trial. Strict • No,' replied the gentleman, 'nor how watch was kept upon the roof and the you escaped from your persecutors.' chimneys, for it was thought an easy thing It is a simple story,' said she, ‘marvelfor them to escape in this clandestine lous as it seems. Mrs. Eyers had a closet manner. At length the warrant arrived. made behind one of the panels of her Expectation and curiosity were wound kitchen, so exactly fitted and covered up to their highest pitch, the door was

with kitchen utensils that no one ever carefully opened, when to the horror and suspected it was there. With this secure astonishment of everybody present not a retreat in case of danger, the poor gentleliving soul was to be seen! The strict- man could sometimes quit his cave and est investigation was made; they searched live like a Christian, and, in return for in every corner and every closet; up my services, he taught me many useful chimneyand down cellar; no traces could branches of knowledge. When the alarm be found, and, it was clear, Beelzebub had was given and the shutters closed, we claimed his wife !

retreated to the closet and escaped disMonths and years passed away, and covery. But my friends began to think nothing was heard of Ann Jones. Her it was best for me to quit New Haven mother could not endure the disgrace of before I was hung or drowned, and so, having such a son-in-law, and very soon added she, • I came to this spot with my after this discovery disappeared from husband. My mother joined me, and New Haven. Mrs. Eyers never could here we have lived for fifteen years. I be prevailed on to mention her name; have a healthy family of children, and and young Hall, who had been Ann's keep up a constant correspondence with fast friend, removed to a distant part of Mrs. Eyers, who has never ceased to shew the country.

me kindness for the little service I did It was not till many years after, that her friend.' a worthy clergyman was travelling in • May I ask,' said the clergyman, “who Vermont, and made inquiries for a Mrs. was the gentleman you so essentially Hall, for whom he had a letter. When served ?' he was introduced to her, he was struck You may,' said she, "for he has now by former recollections.

gone to his account. He is beyond the • You don't know me?' said she, reach of friends or enemies.

He sleeps smiling,

under the clod of the valley. It was • Not exactly,' he replied, and yet I GoFFE, the regicide judge.' think I have seen you before.'

The Legendary. • You don't remember the little witch, Ann Jones?' said she.

NOTICE OF NEW BOOKS. • Indeed I do,' he exclaimed, starting up and taking her hand, and I have The Beauties of Beaumont and Fletcher, now a letter for you from our worthy by Horace Guilford. Birmingham : friend Mrs. Eyers.'

Wrightson and Webb; and Simpkin • I had a hard time of it,' replied Ann, and Marshall, London. • at New Haven. You know how long “ANOTHER batch of beauties!” exclaims I was accused as a sorceress, because my some sour-featured critic, “there is no husband there chose to fall in love with end to these mutilations of our best

ور

were

A FACT.

authors !" True, there have been many had I not been irresistibly impressed by attempts to cull for the use of the indo- the conviction, that there was by far too lent, or those who cannot read much for vast a preponderance of good to be overwant of leisure, the beauties which a- come of evil. bound in the works of our poets and “ That conviction was the sole origin dramatists. But by whom has this been of this little publication; whether the performed ? Generally by those whose cause was adequate or not, those who read reason and judgment are far below the must decide. There were rubies, and standard of those for whom they presume emeralds, and diamonds thick sown upon to select. It is not so with the compiler a cloth of frieze; I have ventured to of this little tome : his writings shew pluck them away, with little care for him to be a gentleman of much good their uncomely ground-work, and to taste and sound judgment; and in this wreath them into a carcanet, which may selection he has given additional evidence sparkle before the purest eyes that ever of the possession of both these qualities; shone in kindred rays.” but hear what he says for himself, and Our readers will not hesitate to acthe motives which induced him to turn knowledge, that he who could write thus compiler.

was well qualified for the task he has so “ It was in the depth of the last winter ably performed. “ Horace Guilford” night, when November and December has, indeed—to borrow the motto from

ling by in all their paraphernalia his title-page-heap together of gloom, and rain, and wind,—when the “ Infinite riches in a little room.”* fire-place surpasses the sun in warmth, and the clean hearth the meadows in THE NUPTIALS OF COUNT beauty,—that I took up Beaumont and RIZZARI OF SICILY. Fletcher in the evenings, deeming their volumes no incongruous accompaniments to the roaring of the storm, and the Ar La Bruca, a romantic village situated chuckling flame that went merrily up between the cities of Syracuse and Cathe old chimney.

tania, stands the baronial residence of “ At first I contented myself with the Dukes of La Bruca, a magnificent noting in pencil lines the parts that old edifice, which about fifty years since struck me by their grandeur, their pa- was the scene of the tragic event I am thos, and their wit, or by the fidelity and about to relate. The duke, its proprietor force with which they illustrated the tone at the time, had an only daughter, of and colouring of that gorgeous pageant about eighteen years of age, possessed of of society, the Elizabethan and Stuart unusual beauty and accomplishments; periods.

these, and the large property to which “ These and similar passages, however, she was heiress, made her hand eagerly grew so rapidly on my hands, that I had sought after by almost all the young men recourse to a common-place book, and of family whose birth and fortune could began right earnestly to transcribe each entitle them to the honour of so high an passage as it pleased me.

alliance. From amongst these her father Then it was, and while kindling would gladly have permitted her to select with the splendid and endless procession a suitable companion. But her affecof fine things which appeared and passed tions were inalienably engaged by the by, that. I began to notice with disgust second son of Count Rizzari, of Catania, the foul unsightly creatures that mingled an intimate friend of the duke. The with them, and, in many places, almost favoured lover was about the same age obscured them,

as the young lady, and had, ever since “ The most deliberate outrages upon her recollection, been the companion of delicacy, the most wanton exuberance of her childhood. A cadet with little or obscenity, unutterable abominations of no fortune, was a match to which, if there language and conception, and an absolute had been no other obstacle, the pride of wallowing in the sty of impurity, are all the duke would never have consented ; so interwoven with the several Plays, as there was, moreover, the further impedito defy even the skill of a Bowdler him- ment, that the young man was intended self, and must ever render the produc- for the church, and consequently destined tions of Beaumont and Fletcher a sealed to celibacy. The cause of the lady's book, such as ng father of a family could aversion to her other suitors was soon conscientiously put into the hands of his evident to both families, who were equally children.

“ Such it might have remained for me, * Marlowe's Jew of Malta.

anxious to put a period to inclinations, with the anecdote, I suppress his name, likely, if unchecked, to terminate in the that of a noble family at present existing misery of both parties. The count re- in splendour in Catania) who did not solved to remove his son from a spot participate in the joy and satisfaction where, enchained by early associations, manifested by others. This individual, and excited by the continual presence of who was remarkable for his wealth, his the beloved object, there seemed but accomplishments, and his handsome perlittle probability of his overcoming his son, though still in the flower of life, misplaced passion.

was of an age which doubled that of the Young Rizzari was accordingly sent intended bride of the young count. One to Rome, in order at once to finish his of her most impassioned admirers, he studies, and obtain the advantage of an had, during the residence of Rizzari at introduction to individuals of rank and Rome, made proposals to her father. influence in the church. An ecclesiasti- His family and wealth sufficiently recal life was not Rizzari's natural voca- commended him to the duke, but having tion, and he resolved internally not to prevented his daughter from choosing embrace it, trusting to chance and time the object of her affections, he resolved for the birth of some event favourable to at least not to force on her a match dishis hopes and passion. Indeed, it soon agreeable to herself; and, therefore, proved so, beyond what his most san- whilst he testified his own readiness to guine expectations had led him to an- accept the offer, referred the cavaliere to ticipate. His elder brother, who had his daughter for a final answer. She at married subsequently to his departure, once gave him a negative so decided, as died, unexpectedly, without issue, a few to have extinguished hope in any bosom months after. Though really attached smitten by a passion less consuming and to his brother, the vast change in his uncontrollable than that of the cavaliere. circumstances and prospects prevented Undeterred by refusal, he continued to his feeling the loss so acutely as would press his suit with an importunity, and otherwise have been natural.

On re

even violence, which instead of removing ceiving a summons to attend his afflicted difficulties, soon heightened indifference parents, he lost not a moment, as may into aversion ; yet, calculating on the be imagined, in returning to Sicily. apparent impossibility of her being unitThe heirs of families of distinction are ed to the object of her early fame, he never permitted to enter either the mili- relied on time and absence for obliterattary or ecclesiastical professions, and in ing from her heart the impression made event of the younger brother's succeed- on it by young Rizzari, and assiduously ing to the prospect of the paternal inhe- persevered in his unwelcome attentions. ritance, the vows, if taken, are usually Great then was his rage and disappointdispensed with by the court of Rome. ment at the death of the elder Rizzari; The young count thus saw in an instant and the arrival, proposal, and acceptance both impediments to his marriage un. of the younger as the husband of the expectedly removed. His father, at his lady, whom self-love had persuaded him solicitation, soon proposed to his friend was sooner or later destined to be his the duke, the union of the two families, own. Tortured at once by all the pangs in the persons of their respective heirs; of an unrequited passion, and by a dean offer which was accepted with plea- vouring jealousy, proud and vindictive sure by the duke, and with delight by by nature, even beyond the wont of Sihis daughter.

cilians of rank, the favoured lover became An early day was appointed for the the object of a hatred too deadly to be nuptial ceremony, which the duke deter- depicted by language, and the cavaliere mined should be celebrated at his feudal was heard to threaten a vengeance as residence at La Bruca. Invitations terrible as were the bad passions which were issued to all the nobility of the raged with such irresistible sway in his neighbourhood for many miles round. own guilty breast. Of such extent were the preparations, Soon after the acceptance of Rizzari that a fête so magnificent as that intend- the cavaliere disappeared from Catania; ed had not been heard of for many years.

some said he had retired to one of his The whole country was in motion. Con- villas in the neighbourhood, others that gratulations poured in from every quar- he had gone abroad; in fact, no ter, and all seemed interested in the happi- knew whither he had betaken himself. ness of the young couple. But there was The happiness of the lovers left them one person, the Cavaliere [at the little time to think of the cavaliere, and request of the friend who favoured me their fancied security did not permit

one

them, for a moment, to fear, or even to remark that the ball was not in mask, dream of, the effects of his disappoint and that it is customary in Italy and ment or resentment.

Sicily for masks, when they join a comThe happy day at length came: the pany, to make themselves known to the marriage was celebrated in the village master of the house, as a security against chapel, which was thronged to excess by the introduction of improper or unwelrich and poor, noble and peasant. At comed persons. This etiquette was not the very moment when the enraptured observed on the present occasion, but bridegroom placed the emblematic circle the masks entering with gestures exon the slender finger of his lovely bride, pressive of a request for admission, they a contemptuous and discordant laugh, were received without difficulty, it beso loud, so long, and so strange in its ing probably looked upon as some deexpression, that it resembled rather that vice for adding to the amusement of the of a fiend than that of a human being, party. Their performance exciting the was heard far above the hum and mur- admiration of the company, the grace mur of the assemblage in the chapel. and ease of their movements became Such extraordinary rudeness instantly the subject of conversation. It then drew the attention of all present; but to appearing that they were unknown, some their atonishment, although the omin- of the guests, curious to discover them, ous peal still continued, it was impossi- hinted that it was time that they should ble to ascertain the individual from whom unmask in order to take some refreshit proceeded. When it at length ceased, ment: this, they, with signs—for they the ceremony continued, and the affront, spoke not—at first declined, but being if it was meant for one, was soon forgot- pressed, signified in the same manner ten in the succession of circumstances that they would only discover themof a more agreeable nature.

selves to the master of the house. The Every room in the superb old man- bridegroom was accordingly called from sion, the bridal chamber excepted, was the side of his bride for the purpose : thrown open to the assembled hundreds: good humouredly joining his friends in neither expense nor labour had been soliciting the strangers to make themspared, that could in any way add to the selves known, they gave him to underluxury and magnificence of the occasion. stand, always in pantomime, that since The tables groaned beneath the innu- such was his desire, they were willing to merable delicacies placed before the gratify him, and that if he would retire noble company, who were entertained with them for a moment, they would in the vast hall of the chateau; and unmask to him, but to him alone, as ample supplies gladdened the peasants they wished to preserve their incognito and dependants of both houses, who were from the rest of the company. feasted on the lawns and gardens before The count and the masks withdrew the palace. The banqueting at length together. In the meantime, the music, ceased. The villa and the grounds were the dancing, and all the pleasures of the alike splendidly illuminated, and soon joyous scene went on. The absence of after nightfall dancing commenced both the bridegroom was scarcely noticed by within and without the building. any one except the bride, who, with eyes

The bride, whose present felicity was wandering in search of him, more than so greatly in contrast with her late ex- once testified her surprise at his stay. pectations, was observed to be in remark- In about twenty minutes, the same two ably high spirits, making no affectation persons, as was evident from their figure, of concealing the happiness which per- lately masked as peasants, re-entered the vaded her. After the ball had continu- ball-room, but their dress was changed; ed for some time, and all breathed satis- they were now in complete mourning. faction and pleasure, two persons, masked Between them, one supporting the head, and dressed in the costume of peasants the other the feet, they carried a third of the country, entered the principal so carefully and entirely enveloped in a saloon and instantly began dancing, large black vest, that neither his form throwing themselves, with garlands which nor features were distinguishable. As they held in their hands, into a variety they moved slowly on with measured of attitudes : it was observed that they pace, they pretended by signs to express both acquitted themselves surprisingly their grief for the death of the person well, but one, from the contour of figure they carried. An appearance so ominous and lightness of movement, was suspect- on a nuptial night, excited sensations of ed, though both were dressed in male an unpleasing nature; but no one thought attire, to be a woman. It is requisite proper to interfere in a pantomime which, strange and ill.chosen as it was, they swords—this inquiring the cause of the conceived permitted by the master of sudden disturbance — that denouncing the house. The masks having reached vengeance on the murderers ;-all was the middle of the room, deposited their distraction and confusion ! Her terriburthen there, and began to dance round fied friends instantly hurried away the it in a variety of grotesque attitudes, trembling bride, anticipating some horricaricaturing sorrow. At this ill-boding ble event, as yet unconscious of the and unaccountable scene, the high spirits whole extent of her misfortune. As of the bride instantaneously forsook her, they bore her off, the name of her husand were succeeded by an almost pre- band, dead, murdered, strangled, fell on ternatural sensation of dejection and her ears; insensibility for a few moments horror. Looking anxiously round, she relieved her from the exquisite agony of again, in a faltering voice, iuquired for her situation. They carried her to the her husband. The sister of Rizzari, one bridal chamber-in that chamber had of the bridesmaids, struck by her sudden the accursed deed been perpetrated; the paleness and ill - suppressed agitation, disordered furniture shewed signs of a asked if she was indisposed. She replied, struggle ; the instruments of death lay that she felt oppressed by a sense of on the floor, and on the nuptial couch the anxiety and alarm, of which she could infernal assassins had cast a branch of not conceive the origin. Her sister-in- funeral cypress, the token of their prelaw told her, thas it was nothing but the meditated and accomplished vengeance. evaporation of her late unusual high The duke, in whose bosom rage and spirits, which, as is often the case, were anguish predominated by turns, stationsucceeded by a causeless depression. ed himself with a party of friends, with Just then, the masks having finished drawn swords, at the doors of the palace, their feigned funeral dance, advanced to whilst a strict but ineffectual search was the bride ; and one of them, the male, carried on within. In a few minutes, drawing her by the sleeve, spoke for the the party, late so joyous, broke up in first time loud enough to be heard by consternation ; hundreds instantly went those around,“ Venite a piangere le nostre off by different roads in search of the e le vostre miserie”—(“ Come and weep murderers, but all pursuit was unavailfor your own misery and ours.”) ing. The police subsequently lent its

A chill went to the heart of the bride aid : every angle of the country, for at these ill-omened words. She drew leagues round, was explored in vain. shudderingly back, and fell almost insen- The perpetrators of the atrocious crime sible in the arms of her sister-in-law. had escaped ; nor, indeed, were they ever A murmur ran round; it was manifest satisfactorily discovered. the cause of the bride's alarm was owing Suspicion fell on the cavaliere; but to the extraordinary proceeding of the though the most rigid search was made, persons in mask, who, perceiving the he was not to be found. Some time impression they had excited, hastily with after, it was discovered that he had left drew. In an instant they had disap- Sicily, to which he never returned, and peared; but whither they went, or what was residing at Vienna. became of them afterwards, was known It was rumoured, but the truth was

never clearly ascertained, that he subIn the meantime, the bystanders re- sequently confessed himself the author marked in surprise how well the person and actor of this horrid tragedy, and lying on the floor performed his part of gloried in the daring and fiend-like straa dead man: not a limb stirred, not a tagem by which he had so signally acmuscle moved, nor was he perceived to complished it. breathe. Curiosity prompted them to The widowed bride never recovered the touch him, and lift his arms; they fell shock. Her life was for a time despaired heavy and motionless by his side; his of. As soon as her strength enabled her, hand too was cold to the touch-cold as she retired into a convent, where death, that of a corpse. Surprise led them the best friend of the wretched, ere long farther — they uncovered his face-o put an end to her sufferings. God! it was that of a corpse, and that corpse was the bridegroom!

* In the year 1832, Don Luigi Nani, Who shall paint the dreadful scene a Catanese priest, was imprisoned by the that ensued ? Exclamations of surprise, orders of government on a complaint of sbrieks of horror, cries for the masks one of the

families concerned, for having here females swooning in terror-there related this event to the public from the men running to and fro with drawn pulpit.-Metropolitan Magazine.

to no one.

« ForrigeFortsæt »