Зображення сторінки
PDF
ePub

lips to his, and uttered a sigh so heart-rending and so deep, that it seemed to shake the souls of those who heard it. A flood of tears then came to his relief ; and these were followed by loud and piercing lamentations, such as might be expected from the tongues of women, but are seldom heard from those of men. The confusion of this scene, from which the judge, unable to control his emotion, was glad to escape, in order to indulge his secret grief alone, continued for some time. At length, however, the first burst of sorrow subsided into a calm and settled despair, when only sobs and moans were heard from the unhappy pair. Even these soon ceased, as Ben David fixed his tearful eyes upon the ghastly features of his father, and seemed to count the moments he had yet to live. The old man now began to murmur forth a prayer, in which his son joined. When this was over, he sorrowfully addressed a few words to the dying man. “ Raaf, wilt thou give me thy blessing ere thou departest hence, or wilt thou not rather curse my name! From thee I received the breath of life; in return I have devoted thee to death. Alas! it is too true, and well hast thou anticipated our fate. For here thou art dying in Edomitish bonds, and I am the unhappy cause; yes, here thou diest an exile, far from the land of Israel and the tents of Jacob."

"“Son, replied the old man, mildly, “ had you even administered poison unto me, I would yet forgive. Now I die with you, and we shall together meet again in the paradise appointed for our lost children, since we are forbidden to leave them the inheritance of this world. But thou hast not been a bad son; and though the Lord hath chosen to smite me with weakness and affliction, yet hath be granted unto me strength and resolution to meet my fate. I do not depart hence, my son, with mourning, but with joy; since I feel that the holiness of Israel hath triumphed, and our innocence been made manifest. This makes it a joyful departure to me, and I thank thee for it.” David gratefully pressed his father's hand to his lips.“ We have indeed suffered much,” continued the dying father, with a still weaker voice; but joy is stronger than grief. My hand is powerless as a child's, and I am not able to lay it upon thy head as a father should ; but I can speak the blessing wbich I pray may guide thee to the paths of eternal life, whither I am going before thee. May fortune pave thy way with gold, and the Lord strengthen thy hands and thy countenance to enable thee to recover thy lost wealth. May the holy of holies keep thy steps from falling, and make thee ever the companion of the righteous, and thy poor daughter, our beloved Esther, not the less 50.—Amen, amen.”

• Ben David sighed deeply-the old man felt it, and again essayed to speak. “ Promise me, my dear son, when you shall again have found the lost child, that you will preserve ber in the good faith and the pure."

Alas !" replied David,“ how can I promise what I have no power to perform? I cannot put bonds upon her heart; cannot undo what hath passed, or even, perhaps, what may still exist.”

““ But promise me," proceeded Joachim, in a more earnest tone, “ that you will not permit her to give herself to that abominable ceremony of baptism, and what they call the new birth ; keep thou a keen and steady ege upon her, that she forsake and renounce not, before the people, the heritage of faith which we brought with us from Canaan. Swear!" He the more warinly insisted, as he saw Ben David's hesitation and delay. “Swear, I say, before the angel of death at my feet raises for the last time his hand to summon me away.”

· Half unconsciously, Ben David promised what his father asked ; after which he became perfectly calm, and said, “ A blessing be upon this oath, and

upon the child ; she is indeed called by the name of the foster-child of Mordecai. And now, my son, bind up my head; for I feel more and more weak, even in my very bones.”

• The old Jew's eyes grew dim, his voice failed

““ The soul is about to depart,” he murmured, under the certainty of bis speedy end; “it trembles at the command of the messenger of doom, who stands before me, and whose flaming eye seems to fill the apartment, from the ceiling to the floor.” His mind evidently wandered; “ Take care,” he cried, “ my David; take care you do not fall under the sword of the heathen, who is plunging and stabbing like a fiery fencer. Hold fast by me, for that is Samuel, who catches the souls of those who die far away from the Holy Land. Help me, my son! Give me the Lord's own earth which thou carriest on thy breast; that so I may die in possession of my native soil, and the angel Gabriel be ready to receive my soul.” Ben David took the packet from his bosom, and placed it under the head of his dying parent, whose looks evidently betokened the mournful pleasure he derived from it.

“God is great—he is Lord of all," he muttered," known in Judah, and his name worshipped in Israel. His dwelling is in Zion; let us give praises to the only one true God." Here the eyes of the dying Jew closed, and they were the last words; for as he opened his lips the angel of death, from the point of his sword, poured into them the gall-drops that still hung there; his face grew more deadly pale, and, with a long-drawn sigh, he expired. But surely some good angel must have interposed to lighten his last dark hour, for the countenance of the dead still beamed with the rays of joy and peace. Ben David then took the cushion from under the bead of the corpse, upset the water-jug, in which the messenger of destruction had, perhaps, cleansed his sword, tore his robe, and flung himself upon the ground, where he lamented in silence, alternately praying and humbling himself, in his utter affliction, to the dust.'— The Jew, pp. 24–39.

If the reader be fond of mysteries, crowding one upon another, and each more perplexing until it is solved, he will find ample food for his curiosity in the Algerines.' A Neapolitan prince, Vicenza, is the father of twin girls, one of whom he vows to dedicate to a religious life, by way of atonement for injurious suspicions which he had entertained against his lady's honour-suspicions which brought her to a premature grave. The younger of the daughters is forth with conveyed to a convent, and the elder, remaining with her father, absorbs all his affection. When arrived at the age of love, an age that quickly arrives in the climate of Sicily, she becomes too sensible of the captivating person and mien of Don Cæsario, who happens to be the son of her father's most hated enemy. He resorts to many expedients for the purpose of preventing an intercourse between Victoria and this dangerous youth ; but finding him invulnerable, even to the dagger of the assassin, he resolves on shutting up Victoria in the convent, in place of his younger daughter, Alphonsine,

and to give the latter in marriage to the Marquis Lioni, whose hand Victoria had obstinately refused. The sisters were so like each other, that Lioni had no difficulty in at once transferring his allegiance to Alphonsine; but Cæsario again unconsciously becomes his rival, and sundry mistakes arise in consequence of the difficulty of distinguishing between Alphonsine and Victoria. The latter, though immured in a convent, stoutly refuses to take the habit. Her perseverance is crowned with success, and eventually she is restored to society and to her faithful Cæsario. The reader must suppose this outline to be filled up with the usual quantum of underplots, assassinations, and perils of every kind familiar to Neapolitan stories. The Algerines play but a secondary part in the drama. A wine-loving Mahometan, named Abdallah, who resides at Naples for the purpose of enjoying all its luxuries, is now and then made use of as the protector of the distressed, and as a ludicrous rival of the more fortunate lovers. He finds out, moreover, that the foundress of the convent, in which the twins were successively placed, is no other than his own mother, who for her sins had been formerly a slave at Algiers, and had been compelled to accept the honour of being fourth wife to Abdallah's father. Having effected her escape, she hoped to expiate her guilt, by bestowing her wealth upon the convent of St. Rosalie, of which she was the first prioress.

ART. VII.-A Treatise on the Progressive Improvement and Present

State of the Manufactures in Metal. (Dr. Lardner's Cabinet Cyclopedia.) Vol. I.-Iron and Steel. London: Longman and Co., and J.

Taylor. 1831. In the history of the human mind, there is no chapter more interesting, instructive, and consoling, than that which displays the progress of man's ingenuity in modifying the rudest, and, apparently, the most intractable materials, for the accommodation of his wants, and the gratification of his tastes. Who, for instance, can look at a piece of iron ore, just disinterred from the rugged soil in which it lay, and contemplate the successive processes through which it is made to pașs, in order to be employed in ten thousand different contrivances connected with the necessities and conveniences of society: who that yields a proper degree of consideration to such phenomena, but must be inclined to confess, that for the power which can produce such wonders, there remains an ultimate duty in another sphere of higher and nobler import?

The object of the admirable treatise before us, is to develope the history of the uses to which iron and steel have been applied, from the earliest period at which we have any knowledge of those metals, to the present time. The writer accordingly refers to the remote eras of the Jewish, Grecian, and Roman power, tracing, with

learned accuracy, the information which was possessed, and the use which was made of the metals in each period. He then makes a transition to our own country, and presents us with a very pleasing description of the first establishment of iron works in England. It is to the frequency of war in these kingdoms, that we are principally indebted for the high repute in which our iron manufactures stood, during the reigns of the Saxon and Norman kings. A constant and extensive demand for

weapons,

which were mostly fabricated of iron, rendered the business of the blacksmith in those days, one of profit, and even of credit; for we are told, by undoubted authority, that in the courts of the Welsh kings, the royal blacksmith sat next to the domestic chaplain, and had a right to a draught of any kind of liquor that was brought into the hall.

A very curious portion of this work consists of an inquiry into the ancient seats of the iron works of this country, and into the causes which induced the removal of them to those places, where now they exclusively exist. Much valuable information respecting the condition of particular counties, at given periods, is incidentally brought forth by this investigation, and, as varying the monotony of a continued narrative, is by no means unacceptable.

To each of the multifarious processes for changing the form and shape of iron—such as smelting, casting, rolling, &c., a chapter is devoted ; and numerous details connected with the origin, progress, and practical success of each process are added, so as to communicate a great degree of liveliness to matters, which essentially belong to a very different category. Thus we have curious anecdotes relating to anchors and anvils, chain bridges, and cables. One of the most amusing of these incidental digressions, has for its subject the various purposes to which sheet iron has been applied. It has been long manufactured into small waggons at the collieries; and lately it has been employed as a substitute for timber, in the construction of vessels for canal navigation. But this is not all. An ingenious gentleman of Birmingham proposed, in the year 1809, to substitute iron for mahogany, or other wood, as the material of household furniture. Though he did not succeed in carrying the public with him the whole extent of his suggestion, it is still the truth, that iron bedsteads are increasing very much in demand ; and what is infinitely more strange, an iron mattrass is, in not a few instances, used as preferable to one composed of feathers. But the proposition of Mr. Bridgman, in 1819, to make coffins of sheet iron, was perhaps one of the boldest to which the capabilities of this metal ever gave rise. The proposal, however, was reduced to practice, and inconvenient as the use of such a material must necessarily prove in church yards, still the law solemnly ratified its use on such an occasion. * It would be tedious to enumerate the pur

* See the elegant and erudite judgment of the present Lord Stowell, in the case of Bridgman against the parish of St. Andrew's, Holborn.

poses to which rolled iron is made applicable. After a very instructive chapter on iron plating, and rail roads, the author proceeds to consider, in all their details, the formation of the numerous articles which properly constitute the manufactures of the blacksmith. The nine last chapters are devoted to the subject of steel.

The history of this article is detailed in the same engaging manner as that of iron, and the importance to this country of the trade in that metal, is duly estimated by the writer. The experiments which have been repeated on steel, form a very singular and attractive subject of study to the artizan ; who will further find in this part of the volume, an accurate and very intelligible account of the various important purposes in the arts to which steel has been found applicable. It is in despair of being able to give an adequate idea of the vast quantity of authentic and curious details contained in this volume, that we abstain from making any extracts. A close perusal of its contents ought alone to satisfy any person, who has the least curiosity in tracing the mysterious history of our nature.

ART. VIII.-Lecture, Introductory to the Course of Anatomy and

Physiology, delivered at the Opening of the Session 1831-1832, at the University of London. By Jones Quain, M.D., Professor of Anatomy and Physiology. London: Taylor. 1831. History, ancient or modern, presents us with no example of impolitic legislation, more absurd in itself, or more fraught with mischief, than that system of laws which has been applied to the science of the healing art in this country. The subject, we confess, has been treated with as much ignorance and want of providence in other kingdoms, as well as in ours; but no where bas so obstinate a spirit of error been so long and so firmly maintained, as amongst ourselves. According to the law of the land at this moment,

a right of action is given to any patient, who can shew that he has suffered in consequence of the want of professional knowledge and skill in his medical attendant. Indeed, many cases of this kind have been introduced into our Courts of late, and, in not a few instances, the defendants have been fined in heavy damages. Now, it can be proved to demonstration, that the degree of professional knowledge and skill which the law requires in such cases, cannot possibly be obtained by a medical practitioner, unless by repeated and patient observation of the dead human body. We do not deny, that a great deal of anatomical information may be gleane by a student of active mind, and industrious habits, from books, plates, models, and devices of the like character—but what we wish to impress on the public is, that all such expedients, let them be employed under circumstances the most favourable for

« НазадПродовжити »