Obrázky na stránke

My supper, my quarrel with the Princess, and my pipe afterwards, had occupied a couple of hours of my time. The Princess returned from her quest, and brought with her the box, containing valuables to the amount of about three millions sterling (I was cheated of them afterwards, but have the box still, a plain deal one). I was just about to take my departure, when a tremendous knocking, shouting, and screaming was heard at the entrance of the tent. It was Holkar himself, accompanied by that cursed Loll Mahommed, who, after his punishment, found his master restored to good humour, and had communicated to him his firm conviction that I was an impostor.

Ho, Begum !” shouted he, in the ante-room (for he and his people could not enter the women's apartments), “ speak, O my daughter! is your husband returned ?"

“Speak, Madam,” said I,“ or remember the roasting." “ He is, Papa,” said the Begum. “Are you sure?-ho! ho! ho! (the old ruffian was laughing outside) -are you sure it is-ha! ha! ha!-he-e-e!

“Indeed it is he, and no other. I pray you, father, to go, and to pass no more such shameless jests on your daughter. Have I ever seen the face of any other man ?" And hereat she began to weep as if her heart would break—the deceitful minx !

Holkar's laugh was instantly turned to fury. “O, you liar and eternal thief!” said he, turning round (as I presume, for I could only hear) to Loll Mahommed,“ to make your Prince eat such monstrous dirt as this!

Furoshes, seize this man. I dismiss him from my service, I degrade him from his rank, I appropriate to myself all his property; and, hark ye, Furoshes, GIVE HIM A HUNDRED DOZEN MORE!”

Again I heard the whacks of the bamboos, and peace Howed into

my soul.

[ocr errors]

Just as morn began to break two figures were seen to approach the little fortress of Futtyghur; one was a woman wrapped closely in a veil, the other a warrior, remarkable for the size and manly beauty of his form, who carried in his hand a deal box of considerable size. The warrior at the gate gave the word and was admitted ; the woman returned slowly to the Indian camp. Her name was Puttee Rooge; his was

G. O'G. G., M. H. E. I.C.S. C. I. H.A.



KNOWEST thou the land, where the lime-trees bloom,

And the ripening oranges glow,
Where, 'mid thickets green, under skies serene,

The flowers of the myrtle blow ?
In that genial clime, from verdant boughs

The laurel-buds peep forth,
And, unshaken smile, all safe the while

From ice-winds of the North:
Knowest thou that land ?

Away! away!
'Tis there, my love, I fain would go with thee!
Knowest thou the old ancestral hall,

Borne up by many a stately column, Where statues grim stand looking on

In vast saloons, with aspect solemn ? Pursuing me with mute regard

Through gallery dim, and colonnade,
In Fancy's ear their voice is heard

To ask of me “ What ails thee, maid ?".
Knowest thou that hall ?

Away! away!
'Tis there, my love, I fain would dwell with thee !
Knowest thou the rugged mountain brow, !

By winding pathway crost
Where the passing mule, scarce seen below,'

Is in clouds sublimely lost?
Like the dragon's roar from his cavern d haunt,

The torrent hoarse is raving,
And rivals the noise of the tempest's voice

Aloft through the pine-tops waving :
Knowest thou that path ?

Away! away!
'Tis there, my love, I fain would climb with thee!
Knowest thou the spot where cypress-boughs wave,

And wild tall grasses grow,
Where rich and poor find a common grave

The hallow'd turf below ?
My mother sleeps there! Her voice invites,

And asks me why I stay:
Through the solemn shade of the cypress glade

She beckons me away!
Knowest thou that spot?

Away! away!
'Tis there, my love, I fain would weep with thee!




CHAP. X. “ Save ye, most worthy Sir,” cried the Marquis to the gibbet functionary; " save ye, most excellent Jacques.”

Jacques Tenebræ bent his good-tempered eyes upon the Marquis with a look of distrust. It was but for a moment; he instantly understood the courteous banter of De la Jonquille, and met it with a like spirit. “ Save your excellency,” cried Jacques Tenebræ, doffing his cap, and bowing ceremoniously.

“ What is he?" asked Belleville, in a whisper, of the Marquis.

“A most worthy and conscientious professor," answered De la Jonquille ; “ one whom you must know, my dear Belleville. A man of highest public trust."

“ And here!” cried the Chevalier.

“ Hush,” cried De la Jonquille, and then stepping forward, he begged of Tenebræ to be permitted to introduce to him a friend who nourished the profoundest admiration of his professional talents. “Ha! my dear Jacques,” cried the Marquis, “ thou shouldst hear-even though at the risk of some foolish blushing—yet thou shouldst hear the praises he has lavished upon

thee.” The hangman, with a look of wary humour, bowed towards the Chevalier, somewhat perplexed by the words of his tormenting companion. Belleville, however, coldly returned the civility of Jacques.

“ And he is a man, most excellent Sir, whose opinions are worthworth-ay, worth diamonds,” continued the Marquis, leering at Belleville. A man who has travelled the world, and in cities, blessed with the highest civilisation, has attended the lectures of thy brother professors-has witnessed a hundred demonstrations of their skill in the highest as in the simplest branch of the philanthropic art. In Vienna, now, the far-famed—what's his name ?” asked the Marquis of the staring Chevalier.

“Katz, as I have heard,” said Jacques.

True; the great Katz--after thy adroitness, my friend deems him the veriest bungler. Pity it is, my dear, good Sir," cried the Marquis, laying his hand upon the shoulder of the complacent Tenebræ, “ pity it is, that in this wise and noble city of Paris, thy profession gains so little from the veneration, so little from the pockets of men.”

“We might be better paid," observed Jacques, seriously; "but as for the veneration, as thou callest it, for myself—I am willing to compound for the love of the world, for a little more of that which the world loves best."

“Thou hast the wisdom of a whole college," said the Marquis. 6. Yet I would have thy function-being as it is of the first importance to the state


• Continued from No. ccxiii. p. 86.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

“And the last,” interrupted Jacques Tenebræ, with a suspicious glance at the Marquis.

And the last,” repeated the phlegmatic De la Jonquille ; “I would have it dignified by outward trappings, as it is doubtless sustained and illumined by inward light. Look at thy brother at Hamburgh

“I have no brother-oh! I understand,” cried Jacques. “You mean the

“True,” said the Marquis. “Wert thou not, Jacques, a philosopher of the sublimest class thoudst wither, rot with envy to think of his salary, his perquisites, his gallant suits. Hath he not fees from the vaults of the city-does an ox, or horse die that he does not inherit its coat?-does he not sometimes banquet with the lords of the hall, with men who quarter arms from the ark itself, all of whom do rightful reverence to his useful calling? And, then, for his outward gear! As I am a Frenchman, Jacques, I blush and burn with sorrow for my countrymen to look at thy humble weed.”

'Tis well enough,” cried Jacques, carelessly brushing his sleeve. “Well enough, in thy estimation, philosopher as thou art," continued De la Jonquille; “but thou knowest this world is half made up of eyes, and they must be dazzled. Hence, I would have thee, like the Hamburgher, dressed in satins and velvet, thy legs in silk shining like glass, thy garters spangled, crimson roses in thy shoes, and on thy wise and solemn head a Spanish hat with streaming feather. Nor shouldst thou stir abroad without six lacqueys at least to clear the way and follow thee."

Nay, nay, 'twould be too much,” cried Jacques Tenebræ, modestly. “ Not a whit-not more than thy reverend and venerable office demands and justifies. Didst thou ever contemplate the origin of thy serious calling ?” asked Belleville.

“Never,” answered Jacques.

“ 'Tis worth the labour,” said De la Jonquille ; " albeit, the study might confuse thy simple brains among the lumber of antiquity. Trust me, Jacques, and I have pondered on the theme, thy sect hath had great beginnings-great beginnings."

“No doubt-no doubt,” observed Jacques, gradually interested by the fascinating earnestness of De la Jonquille.

“ Thou hast been the chosen instrument of kingly wrath-the minister of imperial vengeance: thou wert great in Egypt, Jacques—ay, mighty in the days of Pharaoh ; and, alas ! how from the state with which barbarians—as, in our effeminate conceit, we call them-were wise and just enough to surround thee, how art thou shrunk and fallen ! Thou who hast been the prop of thrones, how art thou dwindled from thy greatness! Once, Jacques, thou wert terrible in thy mysteriesawful by the companionship of the mighty of the earth ; now, I speak it in all tenderness, yet must the truth be said, now art thou by the new wisdom of this foolish age, plucked of thy useful terrors, and pulled from the footstools of kings, who may not, as in the olden time, send thee as it pleased them on their hasty crrands; but must be content to take some counsel, ere they bid thee speed. Thou who, by the mute consent of men, wert held the only true chastiser of all mortal crimes thou art questioned, despitefully libelled, nay, all thy solemn functions called to account, and, in the hardy ignorance of a self-willed gene

ration, condemned as—that I should live to speak it !--worse than needless. Is it not so, Jacques ?" asked De la Jonquille.

“ Humph! The Capuchins, at least, are on our side,” said Jacques, remembering the zeal of Father George.

“Oh! and more-authority is still with thee; and so, with tolerable fortune, thy great-grandson may inherit thy office. Meanwhile, comfort thee with the thoughts of thy past glories-sooth the spirit, good Jacques, in these evil times, with recollections of what thou hast been.”

“What—what is he?” whispered Belleville impatiently to the Marquis.

“Cast thine eyes back to the days of wisdom, and live in the past," said De la Jonquille.

“ And are we become so despised—are we thought so useless?” asked Jacques Tenebræ. “All this, good Sir, is news to me. By my faith! I thought my trade still well spoken of-still considered, as I may say, the best security of good lives and good manners.'

“And so it is, save by a few; but they, unhappily for thee and all that, in their strong malignity, they spit at,—though the object of their malice last for a time, nay, though it seem untouched by the venom of its foes, from the first moment that they fling their poison, it begins to fade and wither, and at the last must surely die. At this moment, the poison is eating the very heart of thy gallows-tree," cried De la Jonquille.

“ Gallows !” exclaimed Belleville, starting back, and for the first moment apprehending the employment of Jacques.

“What poison ?” asked Tenebræ.
“ Ink !" answered De la Jonquille.
“Ink !” echoed Tenebræ, with a look of laughing wonderment.

“Ink,” continued De la Jonquille, " flung it may be from garrets, is now eating at the heart of the gibbet-slowly, yet surely, crumbling the fetters of the slave-yea, consuming walls of fint."

Tenebræ gazed earnestly in the face of De la Jonquille; then laughing loudly, cried—“I hope, your Excellency, a poor fellow may be an honest hangman, yet have no head for riddles. If the gibbet stand till it be pricked down by goose-quills, why, 'twill serve my time, I think, and when I am gone, whether there be gallows or no gallows, shall I, think ye, sleep the worse for’t? Say I not west, and please your Excellency ?" cried the executioner.

Wisely and well,” replied De la Jonquille ; “ wert thou the Cardinal himself, thou couldst not speak with finer sense of official morals. Butter thy bread, friend Tenebræ, and a fico for posterity."

“The girl—the maiden,” whispered the Chevalier to De la Jonquille, as he was about to turn away.

"I had forgotten,” cried the Marquis, and he again addressed the hangman, “There was a goddess here, she vanished as you came

“A woman ?” asked Tenebræ, knitting his brows. “An angel!” exclaimed Belleville, impatiently.

"Likely :” replied the hangman. “I have heard the prisoners say that such things sometimes come here. Let us hope so," and Jacques abruptly turned to depart.

“Ï'arry, Jacques, and tell us," cried De la Jonquille, “ who this bright divinity may be. At this moment, her eyes are burning the

« PredošláPokračovať »