Зображення сторінки
PDF

the church. Yes; it was her gentle fin. recurred upon me, and I began to ponder gers, by which those old and simple airs on the inconvenience, as I then bat were summoned from the organ, endow. thought it, of having interested the mo. ed with such metaphysical power as to ther so much in my favour. I laughed charm back the forgotten feelings and at what I was disposed to regard as an emotions of my fondled and happy infan awkward dilemma. In that moment a cy. Alas, alas! I ascribed to the parti. knocking at the door roused me from my cular interest with which she had inspired reverie, and Mrs Purcel was herself ap. me an influence that belonged only to the nounced. notes she had so exquisitely played ;-a Her eyes were sparkling with a wild ruder touch and a meaver hand would, and insane brilliancy, and the moment perhaps, have made the same stops dis. the door was shut, she cried, course altogether as persuasively.

“ If General Purcel will not forbid

your visits, I will. I have come to do so : Thus terminates the Third Epoch

I can endure them no longer - wretches !" in the life of Henry. A connection In saying these words, her articula. had now been conjured up between tion became choked with passion, and she Maria's music and the gorgeous sunk upon a sofa, overwhelmed with agi. room, in which, while an infant, he tation. had played with the oranges.

I was myself for the space of several The piece now hurries to a con- minutes unable to speak : I stood beside clusion. Henry wandered about her : when I recovered sufficient compofour years on the continent; but the sure, I entreated her to moderate her distreasuries of Switzerland and Italy pleasure. dislodged not the image of the fair

“ Displeasure !” said she, with an acMaria from his mind. On his re

cent of Siddonian pathos, and looked at turn to England, bis intimacy with

me with an expression which could never her was renewed; but in proportion

be forgotten, while she snatched my hand,

and bathed it with tears. as Henry increased his attentions

" Merciful Heaven ! Madam!" I *. toward her, the behaviour of Mrs

claimed, equivocating with myself, “what underwent an embarrassing does all this mean ? Am I not in birth change. This lady, on whose mind and fortune the equal of your daughter some suspicions had flashed at their “O yes, o yes,” was her wild reply; first meeting abroad, had ascertained and she added, “ too much her equal. since her return home, that in the Oh, miserable me! and you love her too person of Henry Oglethorpe she saw well.” her first-born, the son of her disho. “Why do you say so ?” cried I, noured husband. With the know. alarmed and amazed ; " such a declaraledge of this, and of the nature of tion becomes not a mother and a wife." Henry's increasing intimacy with

"A mother ! a wife !--if you could Maria, every repetition of his visits

imagine the scorpions which these words sent pangs to her heart; at the same

exasperate here ;" and she smote her time, she regarded him with no com

heart as she rose from the sofa, and walk

ed hurriedly across the room, tossing her mon affection. Henry could not fail to remark this, and he marvelled at

arms aloft, an appalling spectacle of frenzy

and despair. the familiar and tender manner

In this terrific state of perturbation in which she sometimes addressed

she continued for some time. I was over

whelmed with amazement, and stood like On one occasion, as we were standing a statue. Suddenly she appeared to subdue together at a window in the drawing her emotion, and came towards me with room, she laid her hand fondly and fa. an air of resolute calmness, intending to miliarly on my shoulder. I started at address me; but in the same moment she the touch, and she instantly rushed from burst into such a frantic fit of hysterical the room in tears. Could I doubt she re. laughter, that I became alarmed, and garded me with no common affection ? rushed towards the door to call for as.

But even this impassioned extravagance sistance, believing she was indeed mad. was lost in the all-absorbing influence She observed my intention, and with a of Maria, who happened immediately grasp as dreadful and effective as a fiat, after to come from an adjoining apart. she seized me by the arm. ment.

" Hear me," she exclaimed; “ hear In the evening, when I was reading me, oh, Henry, Henry !" in my lodgings, for this took place in I shuddered at being so familiarly and London, the recollection of it suddenly so tenderly addressed; but I replied,

[ocr errors]

somewhat more self-possessed than I had ment's paused added ; " But it is im. bitherto been, “ Madam, I can be at no possible that the interest you appear to loss to understand the cause of this vehe, feel for Maria can be a disguise to conmence."

ceal_” The flash of her eyes withered me for He paused again, and I replied, “ Gea moment: I paused while she replied : neral Purcel-I will not affect to misun.

“ No, no ; you do not, you cannot un. derstand you ; but I am a man of hoderstand it. Sit down on the sofa ; sit nour, and a word may appease all suspibeside me: I have worked myself to this, cions. Will you give me Maria ?" and it shall now be done."

“ It must then be without her moIn saying these words, she bent her ther's consent.” head upon my shoulder, and wept bitterly. " With yours I shall be satisfied, if At that moment the sound of a loud knock Maria will." ing reminded me that Sydenham was then " It must then be managed secretly ; to call.

for Mrs Purcel, when once her feelings “ Is it for you ?" said she in alarm; or her passions are engaged, though in and scarcely had I answered in the affir. her milder moments seemingly of a far mative, when she darted out of the room, different order of temper, is deaf to reaand run up the second flight of stairs. In son, and blind to danger ; nothing can the same moment the voice of the hus. repress her vehemence nor rule her wilband, at the hall-door, enquiring if I was fulness ; she either loves or hates you ; at home, overwhelmed me, if possible, whichever is the source of her opposition, with still greater consternation. His ac- is equally beyond reason." cent was precise and emphatic; his tread “But,” said I, “ that can be only on the stairs, as he ascended, sounded while the feeling lasts." heavily ; and when he entered the room, “ Till it is gratified," was his solemn his face was pale, and his dark eyes vi. and emphatic reply. vidly fierce.

“ Then, if to expect any mitigation of ." Is Mrs Purcel here ?" said he, as he ber opposition be so hopeless, and you are approached towards the table on which willing, may I presume to ask the hand lay the book I had been reading when she of Maria ?" came in. His tone was arrogant, and I “You have her heart, I think, and could not brook the menace of the aspect you have my consent ; but be wary, and with which it was delivered.

let me be no more seen in it than is ab" Is she ?” was all the answer I gave solutely necessary;" and he smiled, as he him : at the same moment I walked to added, “ such things will happen in the wards the fire, and stood on the hearth best-regulated families." rug, eyeing him, I must, however, say, At that moment I heard a rustling on with feelings more defensive and com. the landing-place, and expected to see passionate than those with which he ap. Mrs Purcel burst into the room; but she peared to be animated

descended in the dark, and escaped from Somewhat surprised by the manner the house. with which I regarded him, he paused, It is not required of me to mention and looked around much perplexed. what farther passed with the General,

"General Purcel," said I, faintly, “I and I dare no longer trust my pen with am at no loss to discover the cause of any reflections. Facts are all I may now this singular visit. My devotion to your venture to record. The fetters of perdi. daughter is not acceptable to her mo. tion were rivetted; the spells that were ther, nor to you: I think you cannot be to burst in horror had taken effect--the offended if I enquire the cause on your victims were now fastened to the stake

but they had no sense of their condition ; "On mine there is none,” he replied, they were happy in a flowery, an arboin a calmer voice ; " but Mrs Purcel, rous Sicilian garden : the volcano was who has always been a woman of uncon. below, and the giant earthquake only trollable caprice, has fallen into frenzy on asleep. the subject; and though I am well

The nuptials are delayed-orraaware Maria can hardly hope for a more advantageous match, yet her mother is

ther ought to have been 80—by the $0 vehemently opposed to your attach

sudden death of General Oglethorpe, ment, which we have both long remarked, who had come to town to be present that she will listen to no argument on the at their celebration. This event, subject. She insisted to-night in such a though calculated to fill Henry with manner I should forbid you my house, sorrow, had the contrary effect of that I almost suspect she has herself— " dispelling his superstitious apprehen

He hesitated, and then after a mo. sions. Feeling impatient of any

part."

occurrence impeding the consumma I made no answer, but rose, for I had tion of his fate, he caused Sydenham not been undressed, and followed him to to procure a license, before the old the carriage. General was committed to the earth,

Ten years have passed since that dread. and the day of the funeral was ap

ful morning, and I have never opened pointed for the celebration of the

my lips to enquire the issues of the event ; wedding. It was resolved that it

but one day, about two years ago, in visitshould take place in Westminster

ing the English cemetery at Lisbon, I saw Abbey, where the remains of his

on a marble slab, which the weather or

accident had already partly defaced, the uncle were to be interred, and im

epitaph of Maria. The remainder of my mediately after the funeral. By this

own story is but a tissue of aimless and arrangement it was hoped at once to

objectless wanderings and moody medi. soothe the impatience of Henry, and tations, under the anguish of the inheritelude the interference of Mrs Purcel, ed curse. But all will soon be over :whose opposition to the step, as may a tedious hectic, that has long been conbe supposed, continued unabated. suming me, reluctantly and slowly, bath

at last, within these few days, so aug. The funeral procession moved towards mented its fires, that I am conseious, the Abbey as the clock was striking from a sentiment within, I cannot survive seven the service was read, and the another month ; I have, indeed, had my burial completed. The friends of my warning. Twice hath a sound like the uncle, who had come to pay the last tri. voice of my sister startled iny unrefresh bute of their regard, had retired, and Ge ing sleep ; when it rouses me for the neral Purcel and myself also left the third time, then I shall awake to die. church ; but instead of going back to the coach which had brought us, we walked

The copious extracts which we into the cloisters.

have introduced into the foregoing Sydenham was not at the funeral analysis will enable our readers to Maria, with a young friend and her maid, judge in some measure of the Omeb. were under his charge in a house in For ourselves, we are disposed to Abingdon-Street ; and as soon as the be scanty of its commendation. The hearse and the remains of the pageantry subject of the piece is the reverse of left the Abbey, they entered the church attractive, and, had it been pushed by Poets' Corner.

a step beyond those limits within Except the clergymen, and the ser.

which the author has confined it, vants of the Cathedral, there were no would have proved disgusting. Of spectators. By some inexplicable influ.

all the lives which we ever read, ence, however, my valet, of his own accord, remained at the door to prevent in.

none is more horrible in its circumterruption, and the ceremony proceeded ;

stances than that of Edipus. We but just in the moment when I was in

insinuate not that the author has the act of putting on the ring, he came

had the case of Edipus in view rushing towards us with such an expres.

when he framed the Omen; but, sion of consternation in his countenance,

in both, the vein of thought is made that I was startled and alarmed before to flow in the same direction. The he had power to tell his fear. In the point at which the progress of the same moment Maria screamed, for her plot is arrested prevents the consummother entered the church, pale, dis. mation of crime ; but this very cirshevelled, and frantic, crying, " I forbid cumstance, so felicitous to the actors, the bans-brother and sister-brother renders the story imperfect as the and sister!" I heard no more : the vast vehicle of a moral-its only useful edifice reeled, as it were, around me, and object. The mother's infidelity pro

duces no infliction of the inherited they were tumbling upon my head ; and menalty on her offsnring, so much then there is a hiatus in my remem

foreboded in the course of the narbrance, a chasm in my life. When I recovered from the shock, un

rative. There is even coin parativeder which I had fallen senseless on the

ly little interest excited by the exhipavement, I found myself at home in

bition of that lady's agitation and my own chamber, and Sydenham stand despair at the idea of her canareus ing mournfully at my bed-side.--I asked marriage ; for she is introduced to no questions, but pressed his hand. us at a late stage of the proceedings,

“The carriage,” said he, " is at the and displays only one ebullition of door, and I will go with you."

terror at the prospect of their union;

are and monuments seemed as if

and even then, by the interruption The title of the piece to which we which occurs, we are left in doubt as refer is the “ Mysterious Mother." to the real cause of her turbulent Perhaps young Henry Oglethorpe is emotion. The interest of the piece, her mysterious son. In the story too, would have been promoted, and alluded to, the incidents are darker, the sympathies of the reader more and involve a deeper guilt, but the engaged, had the author revealed, moral is precisely the same. at an earlier stage, the attachment of As to the style of language in Maria and Henry; taking care, while the Omen to which, if dissatisfied be disclosed the relationship of these with the story, we naturally turn parties, to keep them in ignorance of for reliefit is as inflated and hythe insuperable bar thence arising to perbolical as the things which it retheir marriage. In the absence of cords are visionary and extravagant, these sources of heightened interest, The composition throughout is osthe attention is left to fix itself chief. tentatiously gaudy; but it is monly on the absurd exhibition of omens strously corrupt; it is calculated to and oracles, which so much abound dazzle by epithetical trappings, but in the volume ; for beyond these these are of meretricious texture. It there is nothing very attractive, has harmony; but this is obtained Even those incidents which the au, by, an intumescence intolerably ofthor uses as the means of prophetic fensive to chastened taste. In readintimations, are often of highly im. ing the Omen, we have fine-soundprobable occurrence in life, and we ing and well-marshalled words; but can figure no imaginable reason for sentences, alas ! which have no dethe introduction of the absurd epic finite meaning, but seem only to sode of the German flute-player, un convey indistinct conceptions, and to less it be thrust in to further the intimate the presence of unrevealed substantiation of the truth of those mysteries. We compassionate those ominous doctrines which the whole men of letters whose works require volume seems framed to inculcate. a mystagogue for their interpretation.

We have mentioned Edipus, We wish, however, to part with our whose miserable life suggests the author on better terms than these. same train of thought with the If we dream truly who he is—and Omen, We acquit the author of can we now doubt our powers of di. being indebted to that source in the vination ?-the Omen proceeds from way of invention ; but unless we a pen which can at once delight and are much mistaken, the subject he instruct, and among whose produchas chosen is, nevertheless, not ori tions it is unworthy of being ranked. ginal. The prototype we have as Let the author renounce his Belfast suredly seen, either in one of our turn to prognostication, and consort own venerable Numbers born of the no more with preternatural things, last century, or in that ancient and and his lucubrations will then be courtly affair, the Gentleman's Ma- read without censure, if they be not gazine--more probably in the latter. entitled to praise.

Ao; WIl not stay.
No; I'll not stay to see it wither,

Yon golden streak in the dim west;
'Twas freshly bright when I came hither,

And it has lull'd my pain to rest.
I know that it must die at last;

But, if I look not on its end,
No mindfulness that it is past

Need with the lov'd remembrance blend.
Mary! the time when Hope itself

Shall vanish from my heart is near;
And I must fly the fickle elf,

Or 'twill soon leave me lonely here.

NOTICES OF THE SYSTEM OF EDUCATION PURSUED IN THE UX VERSITY

OF EDINBURGH, WITII VARIOUS HINTS FOR ITS IMPROVEMENT.

The number of Students who fre- Edinburgh to rival, if not to surpass, quent this Seminary has of late the most ancient and magnificent greatly increased. Between the years academical institutions of Europe. 1790 and 1800, the average nun ber The Establishment is divided into of matriculations of Students in the four Faculties,--the Literary Faculdifferent Faculties of Law, Medi- ty, the Medical Faculty, the Faculty cine, and Divinity, was 1287; for of Law, and the Faculty of Theolothe next ten years it was 1593; and gy. Under these are comprehended between 1810 and 1820 it was a twenty-seven Professors. The Towntrifle more than 1988. Since that Council possesses the patronage of time the number of tickets issued the office of Principal, and seventeen has been generally somewhat less, Professorships ; besides, they apo which has probably been owing to point the Librarian, Janitor, and the decrease of Medical Students, in University Printer. Nine Professorconsequence of the Peace. The ce- sbips are in the gift of the Crown, lebrity of this University has kept and Sir F. G. Johnston is patron of pace with the great increase in the that of Agriculture. number of its cives;" or rather I have said that the Institution the latter has been the necessary comprises four Faculties. From each consequence of the former, and is of these Faculties a certain number the best possible proof of the very of members must be sent to constihigh reputation which the Univer- tute a “ Senatus Academicus." The sity of Edinburgh possesses. Per- Senatus has, it seems, been of late haps a good deal of the success which trenching on the prerogatives of the has attended it is attributable to its College Patrons, namely, the Townpeculiar constitution, which is totally Council; or, at least, these prerogadifferent from that of any other simi tives are a subject of dispute, and lar establishment in Scotland ; in are in the fair way of being more deed it is completely different from definitely and accurately settled in a any other institution at home or court of law than they have been abroad,-a circumstance which fol- heretofore. lows necessarily from its differing in It is obvious enough, that though constitution from the other and older the Senatus may be considered the Universities of this country, which party better qualified of the two to were all organized upon the model of settle the course of education necesthose on the continent of Europe. sary to attain the different degrees, The Universities of St. Andrew's, yet a most material objection exists Glasgow, and Old Aberdeen, which as to their possessing so extensive were founded between the years powers. To leave, at the discretion 1412 and 1494, or, in other words, of any class of men, (be their situain the fifteenth century, were at first tion however respectable,) the sole Roman Catholic establishments, and liberty of determining to what ex. long retained, and do to this day, in tent they shall draw upon the purses some measure, retain the trammels of their scholars, for admitting them of the dark ages of the Church. The to the privileges of their profession, University of Edinburgh, on the con- would be to consider such persons trary, is the daughter of the Refor- absolutely of a different order of beination, and seems to glory in the ings from the common race of morprinciples of her parent, namely, un tals: and, on the other hand, there limited liberty. She justifies her is no great hazard run in the Patrons illustrious descent, by teaching the being personally incompetent to degrand principle of the subjection of termine the affair with perfect justice reason to conscience alone, and her and equity to all parties, since the consequent freedom from every hu. Council consists of Medical as well man yoke. This has enabled the as other professional men, who either unendowed and recent University of are, or ought to be, disinterested un

« НазадПродовжити »