« ForrigeFortsæt »
ever, returned to him, together with a
valuable snuff-box set with diamonds, as a Ar a grand fête once given at Potsdam, present from the king.-Le Caméléon, all the court of Prussia assembled and paraded before the king. Among all the NOTICE OF NEW BOOKS. embroidered courtiers, one man particularly attracted the attention of his majesty THE ANGLER IN WALES; OR DAYS AND -he was a tall, bony old man, dressed NightS OF SPORTSMEN. By Thomas in black, with a remarkably shaped head. Medwin, Esq. Frederick, who did not know him, in- The perusal of these volumes has quired of the lord in waiting, “Who is afforded us much amusement, notwiththat man in black at the window with standing the conceit which is manifest our learned chancellor ?” “Sire, it is in every page. The gallant captain Dr. Gall, the celebrated physician.” takes especial care to remind us that he " Gall! ah, I should like to satisfy my- was once intimate with one “ Byron," self whether what I have heard of that and gives us an account of his own man is exaggerated or not-go and in- youthful days, in which self-love is vite him to our table on the morrow." equally conspicuous: still the book is
At the time appointed, a splendid ban- amusing, as the following extract will quet brought together the king, the doc- shew :tor, and a dozen other personages bedecked with crosses and orders, but of "We were now in the last ten of the uncourtly aspect and manners. “ Doc- thirty miles, and in sight of the frontier, tor,” said Frederick, at the end of the when we observed our courier galloping repast, “ will you have the kindness to back at full speed. inform these gentlemen what are the “ Before reaching the carriage he propensities which their craniological beckoned with his whip to the boy to developement indicates.” Gall arose, stop, and was so much out of breath for the request of the king was of course with hard riding and fright when he law, and began to examine the head of came up, that he could not speak for his neighbour, a tall dark man, who had some seconds, but at last related, that been addressed as general. The doctor about a mile a-head he had been fired at appeared embarrassed. “ Speak frankly," by two out of a band of ruffians, who had said the king. “His excellency seems suddenly risen up a short distance from to be fond of hunting and boisterous the road, from behind some logs of pleasures, and would certainly be most wood, which had been omitted to be at home in a field of battle. His incli. removed when the trees were cut down nations are warlike, and temperament that they might not give shelter to the sanguine.” The king smiled. The doc- bandits. tor passed on to the next. He was a “ The question was, how to act. To young man with a quick eye and daring go forward, in the teeth of the gang, look. “ This gentleman,” said Gall, with so unequal a force, would have rather disconcerted, “excels in gym- been the extreme of madness, and to nastic exercises, is a great runner, and pass the night at the wretched post-house skilful in all bodily exercises."
in our rear, was a scarcely less preferable will do, my dear doctor,” interrupted the alternative. My friend proposed returnking, “ I see that I have not been de- ing to Mola di Gaeta, but this course ceived with regard to you, and will now was speedily rejected. Whilst still divulge, what you through politeness doubtful what steps to pursue, Pietro palliated. The general next you is an suggested that we had better drive to assassin, condemned to chains for life; the nearest military station, about two and your skilful friend is the cleverest miles in the rear; and this counsel was pickpocket in Prussia.” Having said finally adopted. thus, the king struck the table thrice, “On arriving at the guard-house, we at which signal the guards entered from summoned the commandant, who speedily all sides of the room. “Reconduct these mustered his men, consisting of ten or gentlemen to their dungeon,” said the twelve poor, emaciated, yellow, halfking, and then turning towards the stu- starved, fever-stricken wretches, who pefied doctor, added, “ you have been had not been relieved for several months, dining with some of the greatest crimi- and proved what the effect of breathing nals of my kingdom. Search your long the pestilential air of those marshes pockets !” Gall obeyed; he had lost his must be. By dint of persuasion, in the handkerchief, his purse, and snuff-box. shape of a few ducats, we overcame his The next day these articles were, how scruples about quitting the post ; and
putting ourselves at the head of these Homer to pray for day. Superstition Falstaff men, commenced our march apart ; indistinctness of objects, a sense towards Cisterna, the carriage following. of danger, accompanied by an ignorance
“The sun was sinking fast, and, to of its extent or in what shape it may save the light, it was necessary to move come, has power to unnerve the bravest. on at double-quick. With a pair of This may be, as Burke says, very subpistols, one in each hand, I gave the lime; as doubtless poets are when they step, and the courier brandished firmly envelope in obscurity their want of his stiletto, which was the only weapon meaning, but is anything rather than he possessed. A tremendous show of agreeable. I mean this by way of prewar we made ! Show only it was; for lude to a situation' in which I was I felt convinced that our allies would once placed, and the recital of it shall have right-about-faced, to a man, at the close our noctes. first click of a musket. Armed, how- “ In that desert in dust, and wilderever, they were to the teeth, that chat- ness in size, Cawnpore, I had been dining tered, one of them told me, from the one evening with the fourteenthague. In about half an hour we came King's, and did not leave the table till a near the spot where the courier had late, or rather an early hour. The been attacked; and I counselled the mess-room was four miles from our lines, general-in-chief to throw out videttes on and for expedition's sake I made use of the side of the forest ; but being, of my buggy. The horse I drove at that course, more experienced in strategies, time had been originally in the ranks; a he declined the proposition. Perhaps powerful northern animal he was, with a his Jack-Straw soldiers thought of the crest that would have almost covered his fable ofThe Bundle of Sticks,' for they rider, but full of such tricks as troopers stuck close together, and their visages purposely teach their chargers. He had reminded me of the assassins in the been cast solely for a sand-crack, of • Cenci, one of whom reproached the which I soon cured him. He was the other with being pallid; to which his fastest trotter in the cantonment, but a comrade replied — Then it is the re- restive devil; always started at a rear, flection of your fear !'
and once off, had a mouth so callous “ At this moment I clearly distin- that a Chiffney bit might have broken guished, winding among the columns of his jaw, but I defy it to have stopped the trees, about four hundred yards to him. You will think all this prelimiour right, the party of brigands, easily nary history of my grey superfluous, distinguished as such by their fantastic perhaps not. The night was tempestucostumes and their hats ornamented with ous, and the road only visible by lightflowers and lofty plumes.
ning, that rendered the darkness more “ Whether it was that they did not black during the absence of its glare. like our martial appearance, or that they There were so many windings and thought the promise of plunder did not turnings that I was soon out of my warrant the risk of an engagment, they latitude, and thinking the horse knew gradually disappeared, when our troops the way to the stables better than I did, were loud in their per Baccos,' and gave him his head. On he went for other equally energetic displays of cou- some time at his own spanking pace, at rage: and just as the night was closing least twelve miles an hour, when I felt in, we found ourselves in the unlighted from the roughness of the vehicle that square of Cisterna.
Pietro here or- we were out of the track. Well was it dered fresh horses, but neither bribes for me that he had been well manège'd, nor entreaties could induce the post. for on a sudden he made a halt as though master to give them, and we were forced he had heard the word of command, and to pass the night at the execrable albergo trembled so convulsively that I felt the in that most miserable of miserable whole machine shake over him. I Italian “paesi,' where no English tra- imagine I shook too, and well I might, veller had ever slept, except ourselves. instinctively, for a vivid flash revealed You may judge of our fare; it being my situation. He was standing susFriday, nothing could be got to eat but pended over the edge of a ravine sixty or • Baccala, and then the beds— Dio mi eighty feet in depth ; one step more guardi !' I almost wished we had fallen would have plunged me into eternity! into the hands of the brigands, which -And why not into eternity? what is but for the circumstance of our having a life that I should cling to it?-why have courier, we most inevitably should.” I escaped all these snares of death, that
“ Lord Wellington is said to have have been so often laid for me ?— To die wished for night, and Ajax is made by ingloriously-alone; without a friend
to close my eyes, to shed a tear over my the star, but, on hearing this, he started remains.”
up and ordered them to be instantly adWe shall probably renew our mitted to his study below, and to tell quaintance with “ The Angler in them that as soon as the phenomenon Wales.''
was over he would be with them.
Gules retired; and the astrologer, ANCESTRESS OF FRANKLIN.
without resuming his contemplation of the figure, as it appeared on the plate of
quicksilver in which it was mirrored, Mary Morriel, the great-grandmother walked hastily about, agitated with emoof Dr. Benjamin Franklin, was maid- tions greatly at variance with the solemn servant in the family of the Rev. Hugh and contemplative mood from which the Peters, one of the chaplains of Crom- message had roused him. After remainwell, who fled from England in the year ing some time thus disturbed, he at last 1662. Peter Folger, the first of the composed himself, and went down to the name that came to Nantucket, was pas- chamber where the strangers were sitting. senger on board the same vessel, and On entering the room, he was surbecame enamoured of the maid, who was prised by the remarkable contrast in the a buxom, sensible lass, and won the heart appearance of his visitors. Humanity of Peter by laughing at his sea-sickness, could not be more uncouth than the aged and betraying no fear of bilge-water. Barrah. She was more like an EgypPeter admired the cheerful endurance of tian mummy, who had stepped out of a Mary Morriel so much upon the voyage, catacomb, than a breathing old woman. that he proffered his hand to the maid, She had but one eye, and where the and bargained for her with the greedy other should have been there was a blind old hunks, her master, and counted out blue blob, like a turquois. It could not to him the enormous sum of twenty be said she had any complexion, for her pounds sterling, all his worldly store, for wrinkled skin was like shrivelled leather, the remaining term of her servitude. and she had but two teeth in her upper He forthwith married the lass, and ap- gum, and they resembled splinters of parently had no cause of repentance; yellow cane—long they were, and seemfor he always boasted afterwards of hav- ingly of little use, but her voice was ing “made a good bargain.” The value soft and pleasing, and all she said was and scarcity of money at Nantucket at so discreet and wise, that when she bethe time, may be estimated from the gan to speak, her forbidding countefact, that when King Philip, as he was nance and deformities were forgotten. called, pursued an offending and fugi- Gazelle, the girl whom she had tive Indian to Nantucket, in 1665, about brought with her, was as beautiful as three years after Peter Folger and his she herself was the reverse.
She was wife, Mary Morriel that was, had settled not only fair and young, but adorned on the island, the Indian king consented with an innocency of look and manner to bury the hatchet, and let the offender uncommon and fascinating.
Astrolab go free, for the consideration of a pre- was at once surprised and interested at sent of a wampum composed of a string the combined simplicity and splendour of coins, in value nineteen shillings ster- of her extraordinary charms. lings, which was all that could be found After some interchange of civilities, in possession of the twenty original pro- being seated on his sofa beside the two prietors of the island, and Peter Folger ladies, he inquired to what circumstance to boot.
Miriam Coffin. he owed the felicity and honour of their
visit at such a time; “for,” said he, ASTROLAB;
“ no doubt you are aware that a great
configuration is at this time going on in OR, THE SOOTHSAYER OF BAGDAD,
the heavens, and that all things done
and undertaken under it have influences One evening, while Astrolab the Chal- that reach beyond their proper sphere, dean was sitting on the flat roof of his and affect the destinies of others. observatory in Bagdad, watching an oc- Barrah replied, that really they had cultation of Aldiboran with the moon, not heard any thing of it. Gules, his servant, obtruded herself be- said she, “simple folk, and have only fore him, and said that an old woman come into Bagdad this evening to have with a beautiful young maiden was the fortune of Gazelle cast. eagerly desirous to speak with him. At grand-daughter – her mother is dead, that moment Astrolab was studiously and a great man has been more than engaged in examining the immersion of once at my house, and has offered a
" We are,
She is my
handsome price if I would sell her; When Astrolab heard her say so, he now, as she is very beautiful, which you became as much agitated as when Barmay well see, I would not wish to part rah and Gazelle were announced; neverwith her until I had some assurance theless he ordered the new visitors to be from your knowledge, as to what her fu- respectfully admitted, and that Gules ture fortunes will be: for her mother should take care not to let them perceive had a dream in the night before she was that she knew who they were, or susborn, in which she was told by the vision pected their rank. of an old man with a crown of gold on Hossain and the young prince Motashis head, that the child she was to bring ser having come into the chamber, the forth would be a dragon, and rule the former presented the astrologer with five fate of kings; therefore we have come pieces of gold, in all respects so similar to you to have her horoscope drawn, and to those which he had received from the I have brought with me five pieces of old woman, and which he had just put gold to pay you for the trouble.” into his purse, that he was exceedingly
While Barrah was thus talking, the surprised. rose faded from the complexion of the Hossain then told him that he wished gentle Gazelle, and her face grew pale the horoscope of the lad he had brought and so bright, that it almost seemed to with him raised, and related the natal glow with the lustre of an alabaster circumstances, while Astrolab took them image in the moonshine, while her eyes down in the same manner as he had became more radiant than ever, Astro done those of the birth of Gazelle. He lab was awed as he looked on her, think- then asked the self-same questions, and ing that a form so strangely lovely could received the self-same answers. hardly be of human parentage; and Concealing the astonishment which when he looked at Barrah, and observed the singularity of these coincidences the shocking contrast which she pre- produced, he preserved a steady counsented, he could not but dread that tenance, and requesting time for his there was some undivulged mystery in arithmetic, agreed with Hossain to delitheir visit at such a time; and he had a ver the horoscope exactly at the same fearful reminiscence concerning the good crisis of time which he had fixed with and evil genii that govern the fortunes the old woman to come for that of her
Moreover he was grievously beautiful grand-daughter. perplexed at the value of the fee, it was When Hossain and the prince were so much beyond the gift he commonly gone away from him, he resumed the received for calculating nativities. consideration of what he had inscribed
However, notwithstanding his fears on his tablets, and saw, without casting and his dread, he accepted the money, a single calculation, that the fate of and taking his tablets began to question Gazelle was in every planetary aspect the old woman respecting the astrologi- exactly similar to that of the prince. In cal particulars necessary to enable him musing on the singularity both of this to construct the horoscope of Gazelle; and their visit, his astronomy was forand when he had noted the answers, he gotten, and the remainder of the night requested them to give him time to was spent in the consultation of his make his calculations, and to consult the science. stars and their aspects. This was readily Early in the morning he called up acceded to, and the ladies departed, hav- Gules, and directed her to go in quest ing agreed to revisit him at the same of Barrah, and to bring her to him, as hour of the same day of the same moon, there was an important question omitin the year following.
ted, without the answer to which he When they had left the sage, and he could not develope his inferences. Gules was on the point of remounting to his observed, that as she might be detained observatory, he happened to cast his eyes in the search through the bazars, it would a little curiously on the notes on his ta- be as well for her to bring home someblets, and beheld with amazement that thing for dinner, and begged him to they did indeed indicate no ordinary give her some money. This recalled the destiny.
attention of. Astrolab to the rich fees he While he was thus looking at the por- had received, and putting his hand into tents, Gules again came in and said, his purse, to take out a piece of the gold, “ Hossain, whom I know by sight, an bade Gules buy the nicest fish she could old officer of the palace, is at the door find; but, instead of the ten pieces of gold, with a stripling, whom I am persuaded he found only five, and five worms! A is no other than Motasser, the son of transformation so hideous, revived the Mollawakkel, the Caliph.”
dread which he had felt during the visit
of Barrah and Gazelle ; and he was now negligence, she ran immediately towards convinced that there was something them to execute her errand; but before about them unearthly, and wondered if she reached the place where she had seen they could indeed be of the good and them, Gazelle and Barrah were gone, evil demons that sway the mutations of and she found Hossain talking to Mohuman fortune. Thus impressed with tasser of Gazelle's extraordinary beauty; mystery, and convinced that some ex- for it was Hossain who had been bartraordinary event was to come out of the gaining with the old woman for her adventure, he threw the five worms from grand-daughter, to be the first ornament him, with an exclamation of abhorrence, for the harem of the young prince. and trod them to death, and five spots of Gules lost no time, for she had already blood remained on the floor : at the same lost too much, in delivering her messtime he expressed his wonder to Gules, age; on receiving which, Hossain left how the odious creatures could have Motasser amidst the flowers, and went found their way into his purse. From straight to the house of Astrolab. this incident it occurred to him, that Motasser being thus left alone, strayGules was not likely to fall in with Bar- ed along the plats and walks of the parrah, or her companion, so instead of de- terre, till he came to a fight of yellow siring Gules to go in quest of Barrah, he marble steps, which ascended to a lofty directed her to proceed to the Almanzor, terrace, that overlooked the crystalline or the palace of thirty thousand cham- current of the Tigris. The platform of bers, and inquire there for Hossain, and this terrace was adorned with the rarest deliver to him the message he had in- shrubs and flowers, the seeds of which tended for the old sorceress, for such were collected from all parts of the world, he deemed Barrah now to be.
at a vast expense, by Almanzor, the Gules being thus instructed, proceed. founder of the palace and city. The ed on her errand; and when she reached terrace itself was called the garden of the the great gate of the palace, she went seven fountains, on account of seven into the interior court, and was permit. prodigious basins of rock crystal, which ted to enter at freedom into all the stood in a row under a wall, from the public halls; for it was one of the Caliph top of which seven lions, of red EgypMollawakkel's grand days, when he re- tian granite, discharged into the basins ceived on the throne of the hundred copious streams of limpid water, pergolden lions, the petitions of his sub- fumed with lemons, the fragrance of jects.
which spread a delicious freshness in the On every side her eyes were enriched air. These limpid fountains afforded with his grandeur. She gazed with un- a supply of sherbet, by merely dipping speakable delight on his innumerable certain curious shells, which stood around guards, in radiant armour,—the gorge. the basins, incrusted by the skill of the ous officers that surrounded his throne, adepts of the palace, with a preparation -the thousands of slaves and eunuchs, of candied honey, pure as the sun-dried covered with cloth of gold and purple, salt of the ocean, and which was every and studded with gems,—the living ta- morning renewed. pestry which adorned the walls, — the Motasser beheld at the most remote golden fountains, which spouted not fountain from the top of the stairs the water, but quicksilver, perfumed with light and elegant form of Gazelle, and the rarest odours,— and the silver floors, hastened towards her. He was greatly enamelled with flowers more precious delighted with her graceful innocence, than gold, and which were justly es- and began in a gay and playful manner teemed scarcely splendid enough for the to converse with her on the beauties of glory of the walls and the ceiling. Such the gardens, and the pleasing spirit that vast magnificence seduced the innocent breathed in that calm and balmy afterGules from all remembrance of her er- noon. He was charmed with the simplirand, and of the nice fish she was to buy city of her answers, and led her to for dinner; and she roamed from hall to another terrace which communicated gallery, and tripped along the marble with the garden of the seven fountains, terraces in an ecstasy of pleasure, until by a gateway of such proportions, that the crowd and guards assembled in the none ever passed through it without excourts and gardens, began to disperse pressing their admiration of the skill Suddenly passing into a colonnade, she and tastefulness of the architect. In the beheld Barrah and Gazelle walking in a middle of this garden stood a platform, flowery parterre of the garden below, about the height of a table. It was fifty and immediately behind them Hossain cubits square, and covered with one enand Motasser. Thus reminded of her tire sheet of malachite, as perfect in the