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cottage; a sunny breeze was blowing was not indeed until the lighthouse and from the sea, and a slight haziness in the evening star were mingling their the air rather whitened than obscured beams on the glittering waters, that I the azure of the heavens. The waves thought of returning home. were breaking on the shore, but neither He walked with me to the gate, where hoarsely nor heavily ; and the hissing of Mrs Ormond was standing, alarmed at the grass, and the rustling of the leaves, my absence, and anxiously looking for had more of life than of sadness in their the servants whom she had sent out in sounds.
quest of me. Immediately above the cottage was a . The old lady, on seeing us, came eager. path which meandered down among the ly forward, and while affectionately emrocks towards the hamlet; and as it bracing me, began to chide at my having shortened my distance from home I turn. staid abroad to so late an hour. I had ed into it, and had descended about fifty then hold of Mr Oakdale by the finger, yards, when I discovered him sitting on and felt him start at the first sound of a rock with his chin resting on his hand. her voice; in the same moment he I knew him again at the first glance, so snatched his hand away, and hastily vividly had his image been impressed withdrew. upon my young remembrance; and I Surprised by his abruptness, Mrs Or. felt as if I had known him in a previous mond raised herself from the posture into state of existence, which had long, long which she had stood to caress me, and ceased to be.
enquired with emotion who the stranger I looked at him for a moment, and was. Before I had time to answer, he then softly turned to retrace my steps ; turned with a wild and strange haste, but he heard me, and raising himself and seizing her by the hand, endeavoured from the ruminating posture in which he to remove her to a distance from me. was sitting, he beckoned to me, and in- She demanded to know why he treated vited me with such encouraging accents her so rudely. He said something in an to come to him, that in the ready confi. emphatic whisper which I did not overdence of boy hood I soon obeyed the sum hear, but it stunned her for an instant ; mons.
and when she recovered, instead of mak. At first he spoke playfully, as the ing him any reply, she led me away, and gentle-hearted ever address themselves to without speaking closed the gate. children; but all at once he gazed at me As we ascended the steps of the halle with a wild and startled eye, and brush- door I looked back, and saw Mr Oakdale ing up the curls from my forehead with standing on the spot where we had left bis hand, perused my features with an him. Mrs Ormond also looked back, alarming eagerness, and suddenly burst and said with an accent which the echoes into tears.
of memory have never ceased to repeat, When this paroxysm of incomprehen “ Miserable, miserable man !” She then sible sorrow had subsided, he tried to re hurried me before her into the parlour, gain my confidence by those familiar ci. and sunk down upon a sofa, overwhelmed vilities which so soon allay the fears and with agitation and grief. appease the anxieties of the young heart. The servants having returned, she en. Still there was a cast of grief and passion quired if the gentleman who brought me in his countenance, and ever and anon home was still at the gate, but none of he fell into momentary fits of abstraction, them had seen him. during which, his tears, though with less Being by this time somewhat compos. violence, flowed again.
ed, she began to question me again conHe enquired my name, but it was one cerning him. of which he had never heard ; and he Though I told her all I knew, and questioned me about many things, but I that he was the same person whom we was ignorant of them all. More than bad seen so long before sitting forlornly once he regarded me with a look so fierce on the rock, still my information appear. and suspicious, that it made me quake, ed to afford no satisfaction, but only to and I was fain to flee from him, but call forth her wonder that he should have he held me firmly by the wrist. Never been so long so near us, and all the time theless, in the midst of all that way ward so perfectly unknown ;-by which, young and fantastical treatment, there was much as I then was, and incapable of penetra. gentleness; and I enjoyed on my heart ting the mystery with which I was surthe occasional breathings of a spirit fram rounded, I yet, nevertheless, could dised of the kindliest elements, and rich in cern that I was doomed to experience the softest affections of pity, and charity, some ill-omened sympathy with the disand love.
astrous fate and fortunes of that unhappy, " I remained with him a long time. It solitary man.
This meeting with Mr Oakdale is woe, the voluntary victim of those made the spring of much mysterious anxieties and gloomy forebodings and ominous matter generated in which attend the believer in dreams. the course of the narrative. The We insert the chapter, intimating, result of his discovery of the boy is that it is one of the most moderate the removal of the latter to Beech of the kind contained in the volume, endale-Hall, while the former also for, ever and anon we are favoured left his lonely dwelling on the rock, with an entire one of the same uninand went no one could tell whither. telligible species. As Henry travelled towards Beech
Why are we so averse to confess to one endale-Hall, along with his venerable
another how much we in secret acknow. conductress, the objects which he
ledge to ourselves, that we believe the passed on the road gradually re
mind to be endowed with other faculties minded him of his first journey. of perception than those of the corporeal He became more and more certain senses? We deride, with worldly laughter, that he had seen them before, till the fine enthusiasm of the conscious spi. the spell of forgetfulness was broken, rit that gives heed and credence to the and he retraced, as in a vision, the metaphorical intimations of prophetic eventful incidents of that day, on reverie, and we condemn as superstition which he had been hurried from his the faith which consults the omens and paternal home, and taken to his oracles of dreams; and yet, who is it grandmother's. He alarms Mrs Or.
that has not, in the inscrutable abysses of mond by taking of these things his own bosom, an awful worshipper, bow. She, strangely as it then seemed to
ing the head and covering the counte.
nance, as the dark harbingers of destiny, him, inquired if the gentleman of
like the mute and slow precursors of the the rock nad described then to him ; hearse marshal the advent of a coming and on learning that this was not
woe? the case, she tried to persuade him
It may be that the soul never sleeps, that he had dreamt the things of and what we call dreams are but the enwhich he was speaking. But her deavours which it makes, during the endeavours only served more closely trance of the senses, to reason by the ideas to concentrate his attention : they of things associated with the forms and caused him to probe more keenly the qualities of those whereof it then thinks. recesses of his memory, and to trace Are not indeed the visions of our impres. retrogradely the clue of events, till sive dreams often but the metaphors with at last the truth burst upon him with which the eloquence of the poet would the full blaze of convincing reality,
invest the cares and ansieties of our and he could no longer refuse to be.
waking circumstances and rational fears? lieve what he had at first doubted ;
But still the spirit sometimes receives or, as in the inflated language of the
marvellous warnings; and have we not
experienced an unaccountable persuasion, author, “ mere child as he was, he
that something of good or of evil follows could not but believe, that what he
the visits of certain persons, who, when had at first described as a dream,
the thing comes to pass, are found to was the memorial uliment on which
have had neither affinity with the circum. his spirit had been long and secretly stances, nor influence on the event ? nourished.”
The hand of the horologe indexes the At this stage of the narrative, we movements of the planetary universe; are favoured with an entire chapter but where is the reciprocal enginery be. on the “ metaphorical intimations of tween them? prophetic reverie, and the oracles of These reflections, into which I am dreams and omens." We really are perhaps too prone to fall, partake somesuch matter-of-fact sort of beings,
what of distemperature and disease, but that we put no faith in these things,
they are not therefore the less deserving notwithstanding the absurd palaver
of solemn consideration. The hectical with which we have introduced our
flush, the palsied hand, and the frenzy of selves on this occasion. Much do
delirium, are as valid, and as efficacious we pity the poor devil who, in ad.
in nature, to the fulfilment of providendition to the real ills of life, inflicts
tial intents, as the glow of health, the upon himself imaginary ones, --who
inasculine arm, and the sober inductions
of philosophy. Nor is it wise, in copsirashly disturbs his equanimity, by
dering the state and frame of man, to melancholy anticipations of future overlook how much the universal elemento
of disease affects the evolutions of fortune. all his companions were gayer than Madness often babbles truths which himself. The ominous fate which make wisdom wonder.
the author had in store for him reI have fallen into these thoughts by quired a pensive mood, and brooding the remembrance of the emotions with
contemplation. After having been which I was affected during the journey
about two years at this school, he is with Mrs Ormond. During that journey,
introduced to a new companion, in I first experienced the foretaste of mis
the person of Alfred Sydenham. fortune, and heard, as it were afar off,
The moment he and Henry saw the groaning wheels of an unknown re
each other, they felt they had been tribution coming heavily towards me.
destined to be friends. Mrs Ormond and Henry terminate Alfred regularly spent the holitheir journey, on their arrival at a days with his father; and Henry, stately mansion situated in the cene when in his twelfth year, was invite tre of a magnificent park. During ed to accompany him to B- Cas-, their short abode at this place, which tle. While the youths were here was no other than Beechendale-Hall, amusing themselves, the current of some objects which Henry saw in Henry's thoughts was suddenly the house arrested his attention, and turned, by the arrival of a cluster of brought upon him a train of thought, guests, among whom he discovered which ultimately settled in the con. the undivulged stranger of the rock, viction, that he was once more in Mr Oakdale. He knew him again that mansion in which he had wit- at first sight, though his own now nessed the “ hideous scene" which taller figure disguised hiin from the bad so long haunted him as a vision. stranger. Having communicated to He no longer doubted that he was Alfred the circumstances of their under the same roof in which he former meeting on the rock, which once had beheld such dismay and led to his hurried departure from sorrow; and though “ the talisman Mrs Ormond's house, the young of memory was shattered, yet dis- men resolved to search, by all possitorted lineaments could be seen of ble means, into the secret of Oakthe solemn geni, who rose at the dale's story. An opportunity was summons of the charm, and shewed soon taken by Sydenham to put some him the distracted lady, and the questions to the stranger ; but the wounded gentleman, whose blood emotions which they excited in him still stained the alabaster purity of were visible, not only to the young the pavement on which he was again inquisitor, but also to his father. standing." Here, accordingly, thé From that day, Alfred and Henry, first cycle of the boy's life is com, though, in the eyes of all who knew pleted. His identity is retraced to them, companions of singular conthe point of his earliest reminiscen- stancy, never held communion as ces; and in Beechendale-Hall he now friends. Something had been comrecognises the reality of those scenes municated to Sydenham by his which had hung so heavily about father, which “invoked a spell upon him, but which previously he had his frankness," and withered the ties regarded as little else than the which had bound them together. sketches of an imaginative existence. In due time Henry was removed
After having resided a few days to Eton, and afterwards to Oxford. at Beechendale-Hall, still unknown During one of his occasional excurto Henry as his paternal mansion, sions to London with Sydenham, he is placed at school, under Dr they happened to go to Drury-Lane Bosville's charge, whose select semi
Theatre, when Hamlet was performnary received but a limited number ing. Like inost University-men, of pupils, “the unacknowledged off- Henry had read none of that author's spring of splendid misery, or the works, though prepared, through the children of parents who had some influence of report, to admire his sad tragedy of the hearth to conceal.” genius without knowing his merits. Select as it was, however, it proved the opening of Hamlet is pitched to young Oglethorpe, accustomed to to a key with which I was almost cona matronly education, a busy, noisy, stantly in unison. of the story I had over-reaching little world, in which never heard, though the name of the hero was as familiar to me as to most unbook that any thing in so heavy a drama as ish students.
Hamlet could have moved you to such a As the performance proceeded, I soon degree;" and then he began to descant felt that the tale it told was shadowed in as a critic on the talents of the author. the conception I had formed of the cir. What he said, or what he meant to cumstances of my own fortunes.
have impressed me with, sounded in my The cunning of the scene at one time ear unheeded, and I cried abruptly, so overcame me, that I laid hold of Sy “ Cease; you know nothing of his genius: denham by the arm, and breathed with he has told me to-night what I had besuch trepidation, that he enquired in alarm fore but, as it were, dreaint of.” if I was unwell. This was when the “ Well! what has he told you ?" ghost related in what manner he had “ That my father has been murdered." been murdered. From that moment I Sydenham grew pale, and lay back in looked forward to see Hamlet in the cha. his chair in astonishinent. racter of an avenger,-terrific, magnifie « Nay more," cried I ; " he has told cent, and resolved: but when I saw him me that the crime was caused by my so soon after become a puling and pur- mother." poseless misanthrope, I was, for a time, Sydenham trembled and rose from his discontented with the whole piece. There seat, exclaiming, “ Is this possible !" was, however, so much of philosophical “ Yes; and you have known it for ingenuity in the plot and stratagem of years, and that Mr Oakdale is the adul. the players' play, that my attention was terous assassin!" again arrested, and I watched with an
And in this manner ends Epoch ardour and earnestness for the result,
the Second in the life of Henry equal almost to what the Prince of Den. mark himself might have felt. At the Oglethorpe. We are not disposed to moment when Ilamlet is satisfied of his be hypercritical ; but really our creuncle's guilt, I started from my seat, and dulity is taxed too much, in many the first object that caught my eye was of the incidents of this story. That, Mr Oakdale in the adjoining box, startled in real life, revelations of the past or by my emotion.
veracious visions of the future should He looked at me for an instant with be drawn from the representation of the unrecognising cye of a stranger ; he a play, by a young man of three or évidently did not then recollect me; but four lustres, is so wildly extravagant when I had resumed my seat, and he had as to exceed altogether our powers looked again towards the stage for about of belief. the space of a minute, he suddenly threw Henry, on returning to College, his eyes towards me, as with apprehen- finds a letter from a General Oglesion and dread. My agitation at that
thorpe, who intimated a desire to see
the moment was too great to give utterance
him. This General, a man of preto my feelings. I rose and hurried from the box, followed by Sydenham, who,
cise, erect, and professional appearalarmed at my extravagance, came with
ance, proves to be his uncle ; and me out of the theatre.
by him Henry is made acquaintI said nothing. As we moved on, he ea.
ed with those family circumstances often entreated me to tell him what was which have been already mentioned. the matter ; but there was a flashing of He also learnt from him that Mr recollections and imaginations overwhelm. Oakdale fled from Beechendale-Hall, ing my reason; and it was not until we after the quarrel with his father, were by ourselves, in a private parlour in and was not heard of for many years one of the neighbouring taverns, that I mit being during this period that he was in any condition to hear or to an. resided in the cottage on the rock. swer his questions.
The injured Oglethorpe, a man of I placed my elbows on the table, and
singular delicacy, though he recoverclasped my temples in my hands, remain. ed from his wound, yet did not long ing in that position silent for some four or five minutes.
survive the humiliation of disho“Now, Sydenham,” said I at last,
noured affection. But the General “ I can believe what I have heard of the
obstinately refused to gratify Henry's genius of Shakspeare."
curiosity regarding the unfortunate " Is that all ” said he with a smile, lady whose frailty had clouded the intended, doubtless, to allay the pertur. fair horizon of his father's house : bation, which he ascribed to the poetry he even exacted a promise that he and the performance; and he added, “ í should not enquire into her fate. never should have conceived, however, It was at this period resolved that Henry, instead of returning to Ox ed by a mysterious and indescribable ford, should spend a few years on tie to her mother, Mrs Purcel, the continent. During his voyage whose voice and smile never failed thither,
to throw him into a delightful Auto -As the ship, with all her canvass ter, and towards whom he felt as if spread, held her course before the wind, he could have leaped into her arms, I retired from the railing against which I and fondled in her bosom." had been leaning, and stretched myself One day, before the departure of on the coops, with my hands beneath my the Purcels for England, as Henry, head, looking to the star of the zenith, in a “ tremulous condition of admiand giving to the fleecy clouds, as they ration and tenderness," was saun. changed their forms, the lineaments of tering carelessly through the streets shrouded spirits in solemn transit from of Hamburgh, he happened to enter the earth to another world. In this state
a church, an old edifice, the cream of superstitious rumination I beheld a small dense black cloud, on the verge of
tion of the gorgeous pageantries of a hazy mass of vapour, which obscured,
Popery : but did not entirely conceal the moon.
I sat down on a rush-bottomed I watched its progress, till I fancied I
chair under the organ-loft.
I heard the could discern the dim form of two vast
sound of several voices speaking softly, hands bearing that sarcophagus-thing be.
and in whispers, around the instrument. tween them.
The organist, who had been rehearsing My blood grew cold, and my flesh be
the symphony to an anthem, soon after gan to crawl on my bones as I continued
paused. There was nothing in his exeto trace the developement of that pheno
cution, nor in the subject, to arrest ata menon ; for at last I distinctly discover.
tention ; but still the genius of the place ed the whole figure to which those
rendered the performance profoundly mighty hands belonged, and beheld, as
solemn, and I felt that he would have it were, the Ancient of days, garmented
deepened my enjoyment had he continued in shadows : his beard flowing over his
to play. A considerable interval of silence breast, with the hoary affluence of priestly
and of whispering, however, ensued, and antiquity.
I rose; when, suddenly, as I was on the Suddenly the casket he held appeared
point of quitting the church, the organ to open ; in the same moment a deep,
was awakened with a touch of such en. low whisper of dread and wonder rose
chanting power, that it made me thrill in from all on board the ship
every fibre, and after a light, but fanciful I started up, shuddering with horror
prelude, the new performer began an air at the hideous portent; and the ship-dog,
which came upon me with a delicious a black and sullen cur, came running
and magical influence. A thousand beau. coweringly and terrified towards me.
tiful phantoms of smiles beamed upon His eye glanced at the omen, as if he
me, the pressure of delightful caresses said to me, “ Look !" and, gazing in my
fondly embraced me, and my heart was, face, he began to howl, with fearful
as it were, filled with the indescribable pauses between, in which the seamen
laughter of titilation and ecstacy. thought they heard voices afar off, an.
Surely, said I to myself, I have heard swering from the clouds and the waves ;
that air before ; and while I tried to red and they boded no less than of sbipwreck
collect when and where, the musician 10 themselves, and a watery winding
changed the tune, and played another, sheet to me.
which brought the saloon of Beechendalea Henry bad scarcely been landed Hall, with all its crimson grandeur, the at Hamburgh, when he accidentally
talismanic table, and the mystical French made the acquaintance of General clock, as plainly around me as if I had Purcel and his wife, and of Maria
been seated on the carpet, playing with their daughter.' They were waiting an orange in the wonderment of child. for a fair wind to pass over to Eng. .
bood. land. Maria is the heroine of the
I continued musing and marvelling at tale. Henry at once lost his heart
so singular a power, in melodies which to ber-éperdument pris,-yet, with
were really deserving of no particular at.
tention, till I was roused by the hand of all his passion for this interesting a stranger on my shoulder. It was Ge. and amiable young lady, there was neral Purcel, who, in consequence of his something more of sadness than de- lady complaining of a slight indisposition, light in his feelings of love for her. bad strolled out with Maria, and had, At the same time, Henry was attache like myself, accidentally : entered the FOL. XVIII.