« AnteriorContinuar »
in the opening of the cave, with the one or the other of its guardians. The rest, and I among them, pressed on, till we reached an ample chamber, that seemed the centre of the rock. The climate of the place was unnaturally cold.
In the furthest distance of the chamber sate an old dim-eyed man, poring with a microscope over the torso of a statue which had neither basis, nor feet, nor head; but on its breast was carved Nature! To this he continually applied his glass, and seemed enraptured with the various inequalities which it rendered visible on the seemingly polished surface of the marble.-Yet evermore was this delight and triumph followed by expressions of hatred, and vehement railing against a Being, who yet, he assured us, had no existence. This mystery suddenly recalled to me what I had read in the holiest recess of the temple of Superstition. The old man spake in divers tongues, and continued to utter other and most strange mysteries. Among the rest he talked much and vehemently concerning an infinite series of causes and effects, which he explained to be—a string of blind men, the last of whom caught hold of the skirt of the one before him, he of the next, and so on, till they were all out of sight; and that they all walked infallibly straight, without making one false step, though all were alike blind. Methought I borrowed courage from surprise, and asked him—Who then is at the head to guide them? He looked at me with ineffable contempt, not unmixed with an angry suspicion, and then replied, " No one.”
The string of blind men went on for ever without any beginning; for although one blind man could not move without stumbling, yet
infinite blindness supplied the want of sight. I burst into laughter, which instantly turned to terror --for as he started forward in rage, I caught a glimpse of him from behind; and lo! I beheld a monster bi-form and Janus-headed, in the hinder face and shape of which I instantly recognised the dread countenance of Superstition--and in the terror I awoke.
JOHN ANDERSON, MY JO, JOHN."
Katharine. WHAT are the words ?
Eliza. Ask our friend, the Improvisatore; here ne comes.
Kate has a favor to ask of you, Sir; it is that you will repeat the ballad that Mr.
sang so sweetly. Friend. It is in Moore's Irish Melodies; but I do not recollect the words distinctly. The moral of them, however, I take to be this :
Love would remain the same if true,
By the same proofs would show itself the same. Eliz. What are the lines you repeated from Beaumont and Fletcher, which my mother admired so much ? It begins with something about two vines so close that their tendrils intermingle.
Fri. You mean Charles' speech to Angelina, in « The Elder Brother."
Clap on the extinguisher, pull up the blinds,
OW seldom, Friend ! a good great man inherits
Honor or wealth, with all his worth and pains ! It sounds like stories from the land of spirits, If any man obtain that which he merits, Or any
merit that which he obtains.
For shame, dear Friend ! renounce this canting
strain ! What would'st thou have a good great man obtain ? Place-titles-salary-a gilded chainOr throne of corses which his sword hath slain ?Greatness and goodness are not means, but ends! Hath he not always treasures, always friends, The good great man ?—three treasures, love and
light, And calm thoughts, regular as infant's breath;And three firm friends, more sure than day and
nightHimself, his Maker, and the angel Death.
ship, on the one hand, and from the passion that too often usurps its name, on the other
Lucius (Eliza's brother, who had just joined the trio, in a whisper to the Friend). But is not Love the union of both ?
Fri. (aside to Lucius). He never loved who thinks
Eliz. Brother, we don't want you. There ! Mrs. H. cannot arrange the flower-vase without you. Thank
Mrs. Hartman. Luc. I'll have my revenge! I know what I will say!
Eliz. Off! off! Now, dear sir,-Love, you were saying—
Fri. Hush ! Preaching, you mean, Eliza.
Fri. Well, then, I was saying that love, truly such, is itself not the most common thing in the world : and mutual love still less so. But that enduring personal attachment, so beautifully delineated by Erin's sweet melodist, and still more touchingly, perhaps, in the well-known ballad, “ John Anderson, my Jo, John,” in addition to depth and constancy of character of no every-day occurrence, supposes a peculiar sensibility and tenderness of nature; a constitutional communicativeness and utterancy of heart and soul ; a delight in the detail of sympathy, in the outward and visible signs of the sacrament within—to count, as it were, the pulses of the life of love. But above all, it supposes a soul which, even in the pride and summer-tide of life —even in the lustihood of health and strength, had felt oftenest and prized highest, that which age cannot take away, and which, in all our lovings, is the
EPITAPH. . STOP, Christian Passer-by !—Stop, child of God,
And read with gentle breast. Beneath this sod A poet lies, or that which once seemed he.O, lift one thought in prayer for S. T. C.; That he who many a year with toil of breath Found death in life, may here find life in death! Mercy for praise—to be forgiven for fame He asked, and hoped, through Christ. Do thou
the same! 9th November, 1833.