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sist,“ do we require any thing more than this dark-blue sky, this balmy air, those lovely stars that glitter like islands of light in an immeasurable ocean, and point out our destination amid its bright and boundless infinity, to tell us that God is Love?' Why must we learn it in the close and heated air of a conventicle, with all its repulsive accompaniments of gloomy looks, sombre habits, dim lights, nasal hymns ? Are these the interpreters the Deity employs as the intimations of his love? "-" They are, said Eva, awakened to an answer, but never thus awakened for more than a moment“ they are. For to the poor the gospel is preached, and they seldom feel any thing of the atmosphere but its inclemency,--to the sick, and they cannot encounter it,—to the unhappy, and they cannot enjoy
it. p. 142–144. It was scarce possible that this conflict should have long continued, without the lover becoming colder, and more sensible to the various disagreeable points of his situation, or the beloved condescending to descend a few steps towards earth from the point of quietism which she occupied. De Courcy began to relax. Ball-rooms, billiard-tables, and theatres disputed the charms even of Eva's society, since he could only enjoy it in the gloomy conventicle, or scarce less gloomy mansion of the Wentworths; and then, alternately repulsed by her coldness, and exasperated by the officious zeal of Wentworth, or the more studied insults of Macowen, who looked upon his addresses to Eva as an interference with his own views. At the moment when the irreconcileable difference between his sentiments and habits, and those of all in Dominic Street, became less capable of disguise, and just as the good man Wentworth was triumphing in an approaching controversy, in which a Socinian, a Catholic, an Arian, and an Arminian were, in knightly phrase, to keep the barriers against twelve resolute Catholics, De Courcy discovers in the papers the arrival of Madame Dalmatiani, the first singer, as well as the first tragic actress in Europe. This lady was pronounced, by the general report of Europe, to be a Siddons, a Catalani, a La Tiranna, with all the terrible Medea graces, all the Muses in short, and all the Graces embodied in the form of a female of exquisite beauty. To De Courcy's ill-timed eulogium on this celebrated performer, Wentworth answered in a strain of triumph, 'Every histriomastrix, from Tertullian down to Prynne and Collier, might have been raised from the dead with joy. He cursed stages, stage-plays, stage-players, frequenters and abetters, from Thespis down to Mr Harris and the committee of Drury-Lane, lamp-lighters, scene-shifters, and candle-snuffers inclusive, not forgetting a by-blow at De Courcy for visiting those tents of Kedar.' The votary of the drama and its abominator parted in mutual wrath, and De Courcy had an additional motive, besides those of curiosity and interest, to go to the theatre: he desired to show his independence, and his sense of Wentworth's illiberal prejudices.
To the theatre, accordingly, he went, and the appearance and effect produced by this celebrated actress, is thus vividly described.
• A brilliant audience, lights, music, and the murinur of delighted expectation, prepared Charles for a far different object from Éva: What a contrast, in the very introduction, between the dark babits, pale lights, solemn music, and awful language of a conventicle, and the gaiety and splendour of a theatre! He felt already disposed to look with delight on one who was so brightly harbingered, though it was amid a scene so different his first impressions of passion had been received and felt. The curtain rose; and, in a few moments after, Madaine Dalmatiani entered. She rushed so rapidly on the stage, and burst with such an overwhelming cataract of sound on the ear, in a bravura that seemed composed apparently not to task, but to defy the human voice, that all eyes were dazzled, and all ears stunned; and several minutes elapsed before a thunder of applause testified the astonishment from which the audience appeared scarcely then to respire. . She was in the character of a princess, alternately reproaching and supplicating a tyrant for the fate of her lover ; and such was her perfect self-possession, or rather the force with which she entered into the character, that she no more noticed the applauses that thundered round her, than if she had been the indivia dual she represented ; and such was the illusion of her figure, her costume, her voice, and her attitudes, that in a few moments the inspiration with which she was agitated was communicated to every spectator. The sublime and sculpture-like perfection of her form, the classical, yet unstudied undulation of her attitudes, almost conveying the idea of a sybil or a prophetess under the force of ancient inspiration,--the resplendent and almost overpowering lustre of her beauty, her sun-like eyes, her snowy arms, her drapery blazing with diamonds, yet falling round her figure in folds as light as if the zephyrs had Aung it there, and delighted to sport among its wavings: her imperial loveliness, at once attractive and commanding, and her voice developing all that nature could give, or art could teach, maddening the ignorant with the discovery of a new sense, and daring the scientific beyond the bounds of expectation or of experience, mocking their amazement, and leaving the ear breathless-All these burst at once on Charles, whose heart, and senses, and mind, reel. ed in intoxication, and felt pleasure annihilated by its own excess.' – • It was for the last scene she had reserved her
powers,—those astonishing powers that could blend the most exquisite tones of inelody with the fiercest agitations of passion, that could delight the car, while they shook the soul. She came forward, after having stabbed the tyrant to avenge the fate of her lover. Her dress was deranged, her long black hair floated on her shoulders,—the flowers and diamonds that bound it were flung back,—and her bare arms, her dark fixed eyes, the unconscious look with which she grasped the dagger, and the unfelt motion with which from time to time she raised her hand to wipe off the trace of blood from her pale forehead, made the spectators almost tremble for the next victim of one who seemed armed with the beauty, the passions, and the terrors of an avenging goddess. Applauses that shook the house had marked every scene but the last. When the curtain dropt, a dead silence pervaded the whole theatre, and a deep sigh proclaimed relief from oppression no longer supportable.' I. p. 160-164.
It cannot have escaped the intelligent reader, that this superb Queen of terror and sorrow, this mistress of all the movements of the human heart, is the highly accomplished, brilliant, and fascinating Zaira, the mother of the simple, retired, and evangelical Eva; and it can as little escape his penetration, that she is about to become the unconscious rival of her unfortunate child, in the affections of the fickle De Courcy. The death of her wretched husband had left Zaira possessed of the wealth which her talents had acquired, and she was now come to Ireland, with the hope of obtaining from her father, some lights concerning the destiny of her infant child. By his stern injunction, she retained her borrowed name and public character.
De Courcy had a nominal guardian, a silly man of fortune, called Sir Richard Longwood, whose silly wife had presented him with two daughters, whom we must pronounce rather too silly for the rank which they are represented as holding in good society. At the house and the parties of Ladly Longwood, De Courcy is thrown into the society of Zaira, rendered doubly dangerous by her various talents and extent of cultivation, as well as her brilliancy of taste, feeling, mind, and manners, forming so strong a contrast with the uniform simplicity and limited character of poor Eva. Yet it was Eva whom he visited after the first evening spent in the fascinating society of Zaira, ere yet he paid his respects to the syren whose image had begun to eclipse her in his bosom.
* Eva and her aunt were at work; the room was large; the darkbrown paper, two candles dimly burning on the work-table, the silent quiet figures that sat beside it, the shelves loaded with volumes of divinity, the still sombrous air of every thing; no musical instrument, no flowers, no paintings; what a contrast to the scene he had last witnessed, and to the scene he was hastening to!' p. 199.
Here he asked for books, and had his choice of Sandeman's Letters, Boston's Fourfold State, Gill on Isaiah, or Owen on the Hebrews. Milton was the only author of genius permitted to
hold a place on these well-purged shelves. Milton De Courcy began to read, but was soon silenced by Mrs Wentworth's se vere remarks on the lapse of that great poet into the tenets of Baxterianism. The dulness of the party was disturbed, not enlivened by the arrival of old Wentworth, full primed for controversy, and his pockets stuffed with evangelical pamphlets. His violence and prejudices again hurry the fickle lover to the house of Madame Dalmatiani, where all was light and music, garlands and colours, beauty and genius. The mistress passed through apartments filled with groupes of the gay and the learned, where speech was without effort, and silence without ennui; where rare volumes, rich ornaments, classical statues and pictures, as well as the number of the attendants and splendour of the establishment, showed that the proprietor was the favourite of fortune, as well as of nature. But her own presence was the principal charm. Her beauty, her musical talents, her taste, were alternately taxed for their share of the festival. She conversed with the various professors of the arts of poetry and of general literature, in a style various,
style various, as suited their different pursuits, like Cleopatra, giving audience to each ambassador at her court in his own native language.
A friend, by name Montgomery, the same who first conducted De Courcy to a methodist meeting-house, and who himself nourished a hopeless, but most generous passion for Eva, saw with alarm, that De Courcy preferred the dangerous mansion of Madame Dalmatiani, and endeavoured, more zealously than wisely, to reclaim the wanderer. What had Dominic Street to present, that could be opposed to Zaira's palace of enchanted enjoyments? At one time a fierce controversy betwixt Macowen and one of his pupils, a 'babe in grace' as his spiritual guide termed him, 'to be fed with milk.
• He was a man turned of fifty, six feet two inches high, broad and bulky in proportion, with an atrabilious complexion, a voice of thunder, and a tread that shook the room. The contrast was un. speakably ridiculous.“ “ Babe !” murmured De Courcy ; “ Babe!" echocd Montgomery, and both had some difficulty in subduing their rebellious muscles to the placid stagnation that overspread the faces around them. But the calm was of short continuance. This Quinbus Flestrin, this man-mountain of a catechumen, came, not to sit with lowly docility at the feet of his teachers, but to prove that he was able to teach them. If he was a babe, as De Courcy said, " tetchy and wayward was his infancy;” no ill-nursed, ill-tempered, captious, squalling brat, was ever a greater terror and torment in the nursery. He resisted, he retorted, he evaded, he parried, be contradicted, carped, and “ cavilled on the ninth part of a hair
Macowen lost his ground; then he lost his breath ; then he lost his temper; scintillating eyes, quivering lips, and streaks of stormy red marking their brown cheeks, gave signal of fierce debate. All the weapons of fleshly warfare were soon drawn in the combat, and certain words that would have led to a different termination of the dispute among men of this world, passed quick and high between them. Struck with shame, they paused-a dreary pause of sullen anger and reluctant shame.“ Now, shan't we have a word of prayer, said Mr Wentworth, who had been watching them with as much deliberate enjoyment as an ancient Roman would a spectacle of gladiators. p. 239—241.
A more edifying scene was that of Eva herself engaged in teaching a school of little orphans, whom she maintained out of her allowance, and educated from her own lips. Yet, even amíd this most laudable employment, could the fantastic delicacy of De Courcy, rendered more punctilious by the society of Žaira, find matter of offence. The dulness of the children, their blunders, their mingled brogues, their dirt, and all else that was unpleasing to the sense and the imagination, rendered the task even of clothing the naked, and instructing the ignorant and fatherless, disgusting in the eyes of a delicate and somewhat selfish lover of the fine arts.
These and similar scenes of contrast succeed to each other with great effect; and the feeble and vacillating mind of De Courcy is alternately agitated by returning affection for Eva, aided by compassion and by a sense of the cruelty and dishonour of de serting her, and by the superior force of character of her more accomplished rival. It becomes daily more and more plain, that the weaker feeling must give way to that which was more strong and energetic, especially when Žaira, after one or two trying interviews, agrees to banish the name of love from their intimacy, and to term it only an intimate friendship, resolves herself to adopt the task of preceptress to the bride of De Courcy, and transfer to her those accomplishments which too visibly enchanted the heart of her susceptible friend. This specious arrangement is well ridiculed by Zaira's correspondent, a French lady of fashion, having all the friyolity, the good nature, the tact and perception of character proper to one who filled a high place in the Parisian beau monde; and Zaira's eyes became opened to the real state of her affections. Meanwhile, the continued operation of contrast alienates De Courcy still further from the gentle Eva, and attaches him more firmly to her brilliant rival. A thunder-storm frightens Eva into a state of insensibility. Another thunder-storm surprising a party of pleasure, amid the romantic region of the Wicklow mountains, gives Zaira the opportunity of exhibiting courage at once heroic and philosophical. All circumstances combine to show