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with strange and stirring thoughts, ness outside we could not find our and I felt as if we knew each other way, and if we remain we may be in. better than I should ever otherwise jured by the flames and ruins." have believed.”
They looked again, and saw that the “Dear friend!” he answered gently flames had spread wider among the and sadly—“ such hours as these set old wood-work, though the rain hissed afloat much that was aground, and on them loudly. Walsingham gazed open much that was closed. What for a minute fixedly upward, and then wonder, when such blasts are beating said,-“ We are in no danger. You on the gates of our caverns, that they must continue here in this recess, where should burst open, and apparitions of nothing falling from above can hurt long-hidden truth come out, and leap you; and there are, I think, means of with inspired frenzy in the wide com. obtaining help. See here! and he motion? When the storm passes, the pointed out to her the rope of the dark gates close anew, and the shapes church-bell still hanging near them. sink back into their cells, perhaps for This he seized, and began to ring it ever. To-morrow we shall wake as with all his strength. The loud alarm inhabitants of calm day-light; the in. boomed out through the storm, while voluntary and painful disturbance will the crackling flames blazed and smokhave ceased ; and the sense of what ed around the spire, but had not yet has been will remain as lasting joy and reached the bell-rope.” strength.”
He paused in his work after a time, Quiet passed into her bosom with and said," I wonder how it happens his words, and she took his hand again, that this bell is left here, when the but scarcely had he received and re- building is otherwise so entirely aban. turned this token of good-will, when doned." they both were smitten by a fearful “I think I have heard,” replied shock. Their eyes seemed seared and Maria, “ that the parish to which the blinded, and their ears filled with an church belongs, but which has now a overwhelming noise. The air they more modern place of worship nearer breathed was thick with dust, and tasted the village, holds some lands on consulphureous. For some seconds the dition of having this bell rung for an monstrous clamour continued and the hour every St Peter's day, and that it racking bewilderment, till Walsing. is never sounded at any other time of ham exclaimed_“ Are you hurt?" the year."
« No_no," she answered,“ What He now began to ring again, till at is it?"
last the rope caught fire and was di• The lightning 'has struck the vided; and soon after, the bell became church ; but we are now probably heated, and cracked. “ So much,” he safe."
said, “ for the parish tenure of its They were still nearly stified by the lands." He now placed himself be. dust, but they could see imperfectly, side her, and in a few moments they for they were no longer in total dark. heard, through the abating storm and ness. He looked up and saw a blaze the increasing sound of the fire, a hu. high in the spire ; Maria, too, per. man voice and tread, and then a man ceived the fact; but she became at carrying a lantern appeared amid the once calm and steady, and said, smoky gloom. • What are we to do? In the dark.
" What friend,” cried the voice, voice, and when close to them, held up “are you that have taken possession his lantern to see their faces, thus, at of the old tower ? A pretty beacon the same time, partly showing his and clamour you have raised!"
own. “O! Mr Collins," said Maria, " We were driven here," replied “this is a strange scene that you find Walsingham, “ by the storm, and the us in." lightning has struck the building. It was the friend she had spoken of There is a lady here who wants your to Walsingham who now stood before help."
them, bis hat dripping with rain, which Ibe man came on, guided by the fell over his long and loose grey hair.
o What?"_he answered," Maria and was hardly perceptible, except Lascelles ! Why you are even a from a dull discoloration above it in gayer creature of the elements than the sky, and from the light through a any complimentary young gentle small window in the lower part of the man could have supposed, if you tower. have chosen such an evening for a In a few minutes more they arrived pleasant ride. And who is this with at the house of Collins, which, before you?"
he came to it, had been that of a mere « Mr Walsingham, whose name labourer. It consisted of only three you must have often heard.”
rooms, two below and one above. The Collins looked at him with a sharp upper one was usually his bedroom, glance of cold curiosity, and said, the outer of the lower ones his parlour “ Well, you are as odd a pair of wild. and kitchen, and the other the chamducks as ever took wing through a ber of the old woman who was his storm. But what must be done now?" only servant. Walsingham secured He looked up at the burning spire, the horse in a shed, while Collins and said, “ We shall have half that showed Maria into his cottage. He wood-work and stuff up there down drew a seat for her beside the fire-place, about our heads in three minutes; but and busied himself in kindling a fire, the rain must be near over now; it was while he sent the old woman up stairs clearing off fast when I came in here. to prepare his room for her use. WalUnless you want to be found by half singham soon came in, and the three the village, whom that clatter you were sat round the fire. making with the bell will set swarm- Collins was a man hardly of middle ing, to say nothing of the bonfire, you age, and of rather low stature. That had best be off with me to my house. which struck you at first as most reI can manage to shelter you for the markable in his appearance was the night, and I suppose you can provide bright glow of his complexion, and for yourselves in the morning.” They the silver grey of his long and floating thanked him for his offer, and Maria hair. He had rather small and dark said she would not accept it, but that eyes, which did not fix with keenness, she really felt weak and ill, and feared but seemed most frequently averted in she should not be able to ride home. abstraction. There was, however, an They placed her on her horse, which air of quietness and resolution about Collins led, carrying the lantern, and all his actions. His head always lookWalsingham beside her leading his, ed firmly set; his hands tense, as if to and ready to support her had she re, gripe or clench. His feet seemed quired it.
rooted where he set them down. III The house to which Collins took health, or grief, or natural character, his guests was about half a mile from had added a strong cast of sadness, the church, and he led them there by and even of harshness to his counte. steep paths and over ground soaked nance; and there was something so with the heavy rain. But the sky was earnest and vigorous about the whole now fast opening, and the moon shone aspect, as to give the notion of a catabright. Maria looked silently at the pult kept ever loaded to discharge its sea, but no ship was to be seen upon weighty missile. This often came in its broken and shifting surface. Before the shape of some rude and sudden they reached the place of their desti. phrase, violent and picturesque, but nation they passed a cottage, where also luminous as a burning arrow. A they procured a man to go on Wal- broad and rough kindliness, and an singham's horse and tell Mrs Nugent adamantine honesty, were apparent at of her niece's safety. Turning away first sight, and gained increased value from this spot, they had the church in on better knowledge. He had lived view. The spire, a mass of red and in educated society, had travelled, and yellow flame, sent up a column of read much. But, two or three years black smoke into the clear sky, and before the present time, he had come the moonbeams now fell upon that to the spot where he now lived, hired dark aerial structure. While they a cottage with a tolerable garden, and gazed, the building fell with an audible there established a great number of crash. An explosion of flame, sparks, bee-hives, the inhabitants of which and smoke flew upwards, and then the drew their fragrant honey chiefly from conflagration gradually sank down, the heathy surface of their neighbour. ing hills. He attended to them him. wood-work; and when Mr Collins self, and appeared to derive from them and a crowd of country people came his principal, if not his only support. to see what was the matter, he burst Many of his hours he spent in wan- out at the top of the spire in an erup, dering alone over the hills. But it tion of flame and smoke, gave a laugh. was a pleasure to him to meet with any ing yell as he vanished, and, at the casual strangers, however squalid their same moment, the building fell in, and wretchedness. He also spoke without all the inhabitants of the old churchreluctance to persons of the highest yard were heard to groan in their class of society who happened to fall graves, while Miss Lascelles was obwithin his reach. But if he found liged, by the smell of sulphur, to use them barren and worthless he swung her smelling-bottle. But after all, Mr them off impatiently, often with some Collins, I doubt whether any appari. grim jest, and, shaking his bent brows, tion you might have found and invited went upon his way sullen and thought home with you, would have enjoyed ful.
your supper as much as we.” On the present occasion the wolf. " No; I suppose not. And, in fact, man, as he might himself have said, my surprise and disappointment were as had on his sheep's clothing, and seem- foolish as that of a farmer, some miles ed cheerful and hospitable. He de- from this, who received an anonymous sired his ancient helpmate to prepare letter, telling him that in the middle of a tea, and fry some slices of bacon; and, certain wood, on such a day, he would with this, and bread and honey from find something far more strange and Collins's hives, they had a meal which precious than the crown jewels-a spesufficed to refresh them.
cimen, indeed, of the most wonderful " What can have taken you," said thing on earth. He went, expecting Collins, “ to the old church at such an a bushel of diamonds, or Fortunatus's hour of such an evening ? Did you purse, or something equally unlike wait till it wàs pitch dark in order to turnips and clover, and was much astosee the view the better?”.
nished and puzzled at seeing only a « Darkness," answered Walsing poor little chubby baby. Yet the let. ham, “ is sometimes well worth see. ter-writer said true enough. I do not ing. We, however, wanted only to know that even I have much right to view the sunset from the church, and complain on the present occasion." proposed to return by twilight and " Then I am sure we have not,'' moonlight. But the storm overtook said Maria ; " but I am afraid you are us, and, no doubt, also detained Mrs very wet- and she glanced at his hat, Nugent at the farm-house, where she which lay on the floor beside him." had stopped behind us for a few mo. “ Oh i my old hat is soaked a little. ments. We were, of course, glad of So many queer mists and vapours must the shelter afforded by the ruin. What rise up in it from one's brains, espewe should have done at last, but for cially when one has happened to look you, I cannot imagine."
into a newspaper or a fashionable no. - Oh! the darkness would not have vel, that it need not flinch from a few ate you; and a night in the old church aerial clouds descending on it. It is a in such weather would have been a sort of temporary firmament between foretaste of a kind of dim and bleak the storms and clatter of one's head ghostland, much like, I suppose, to below, and the other capricious meteorthat which we shall all one day visit. ology up above. And so Metaphysics As it is, no doubt the ringing of the are only the Moore's Almanac of our bell will be attributed to an evil spirit brain-weather. Many a system, inby half the county. I myself was ra- deed, in the Almanac of a past year is ther in hopes of finding some huge falsified by the event, and reprinted skeleton, or demon, hard at work pull. with a fresh date, as if it would be va- · ing the rope, and was rather disap. fid for the next twelvemonth." pointed at seeing only you."
He laughed a short sardonic laugh, " Ay," said Walsingham, " it and then fixed his eyes upon the fire, as would make no bad tale. Suppose we if he had uttered his oracle and was spread the rumour:- A nameless fiend content. amused himself with ringing the bell Walsingham smiled, and said—“ It till his burning hands set the rope on would be amusing to have a complete fire, which communicated with the history of coverings for the head writ
ten on that principle. Their pictu- integuments are concealed the extreme resque varieties and diverse uses have boundaries of his Being, which, though often been noticed by travellers, artists, certainly finite, philosophers aver to and so forth. But the relation of the be all but infinite." head-garment to the thoughts would “ Or," said Walsingham, “as we give a new point of view."
may express it in Orphic song :oo Well,” said Collins, with a tone Oh! wondrous powers, ye shoes and hat, between defiance and jesting, “ there
That bound our human span,
that are many odd facts to be noted on that How idi.
dd facts to be noted on inat How idly sages puzzle at matter. As the land-shells of Ma- . The limits set to man! deira are altogether different from
Thus does the conversation of poets those of the neighbouring island of Porto Santo, so the Portuguese popu.
and moralists, when they have not the lation of the one place wear a small
fear of a pompous public before them, funnel-shaped, or unicorn cap, and
often become mere doggrel and absurthe same race in the other adorn them
dity, and yet suits for the time both
the men and the occasion. Such talk selves with a flat bonnet.” o Ah!” said Walsingham, with
helped on the hour till Maria bade bland seriousness, “ remarks of that
them good-night, and thanking them
both, and especially Collins, for his depth and originality recall the famous
kindness, left them to themselves. She Pythian verses of Nathaniel Lee, the
retired to think, to remember Arthur, Trophonian prophet :
to shudder at the image of the lost • Methinks I see a hieroglyphic bat vessel, to pray, and then to sleep. In Skim o'er the zenith in a slip-shod hat.”” the mean-time Collins made more tea
Both Collins and Maria now laugh- for himself, Walsingham having had ed loud and merrily; and the Recluse enough, and drank it by bowlsful, said, “ Well, no one can deny that the without milk, and sweetened with his whole of man is included between his own honey. hat and shoes. In these mysterious
« That,” said Walsingham to Col. nishing through the tempestuous and lins, “ was a striking event of which fiery air.” we have been witnesses at the church. " Why," answered Collins, “ do But I should like to have observed, any thing of the kind ? It might be unseen, the demeanour of the people worth while to know what really hapwhen they reached the burning edifice, pened. But what we should gain by as I suppose a crowd of them soon did. taking the mere name of the real event There is much to attract and awaken and appending a fiction to it, I do not one in the thought of a living world see. When I am not in a very ferostartled by the conflagration of a cious humour I do not mind seeing a neighbouring world of graves and soldier, for I know what he and his ghosts. But it ought to be painted dress are, and mean. But some lord on both sides. I mean both from the or linendraper coxcomb, in the maspoint of view of the actual beings re- querade dress of a soldier, is a thing to garding this convulsion in the realm be drifted, as soon as possible, down of the past, and from that of the ruin the great sewer of perdition. The and its graves impersonated and spirits uniform, on such shoulders, is but a ualized, and brought face to face with red rag thrown into the kennel ; and bodily mortals. One might round the the biped is but the fleshly effigy of a whole into a little Grecian tragedy, man a good deal more offensive than a the action consisting of the efforts of wax one at a puppet-show. Now so the men to save the buildings, and I hold it to be with your supposed their lamentations over memorials of poem. By all means give us as much their ancestors, and the Chorus being truth as possible, even though the dose a band of spectres, with the grey old is ever so bitter. But lies, whether in founder of the church, clothed in his verse or prose, are an abomination pall of lead and years, leading the under the sun, and above it too, if grisly troop, and wailing and admo- such pests are known there, which for the sake of the super-solars, I hope is But herein is the difference, that the not the case. Truth, man! truth is poem is not meant to convey knowthe only true poetry, if the business of ledge or produce conviction, but to poetry is to move the feelings, which, excite a state of feeling at once lively for aught I see, might as well be left and harmonious. That the feelings unmoved. But bread and meat, which may be lively, the poem must have we do want daily, are facts. Ambrosia energy, distinctness, glow; that they is doubtless a fact too_for the gods. may be harmonious, it must have But for me, a man, it is a fiction. consistency and completeness, and Bread and truth are all man wants ; must lead to the apprehension of a and a loaf is only an eatable lump of peaceful order supreme over all contruth fitted for the body, as truth is the fusion. But it may have all these reinvisible, but no less substantial, bread quisites, and therefore be a good of the spirit. Tea, too, is truth in its poem, and yet be far from a literal way, and very good for a thirsty throat. representation of the fact, event, Talk to me of nectar by the hour, but thought, or emblem, which supplies my mouth would still be dry, and I the pretext for it. If you rightly should wish you drinking it at Olym. weigh all these conditions of a poem's pus, or any where away from me. existence, you will see, I think, that it
or What is truth?' said jesting Pi. may and often must admit free and late, and would not wait for an answer. marvellous displays of fancy, legend, But I stand in his shoes, and wait in. superstition, and symbolic necromanstead of him."
cy. In a word, it must boldly say" Truth is every thing that is. To produce an impression equivalent Every thing is truth; and every no. to that which this actual, but superthing is lie. Destiny for ever spins abundant, overwhelming world would things-realities. But man is the only produce in a mind capable of embrabeast I know of that spins nothings- cing it as a whole, I will shape a fictions – poems. So he tries to world of my own, no less vivid and swindle destiny and his own fellow. coherent, but rounded in a smaller beasts. But destiny spins on un- circle, readily intelligible to man, and swindled, and leaves him to die like a delightful to him, as free from the starved spider in his own cobweb. baflling, confounding immensity of Honesty is the only true religion ; all that in which he lives. Every thing, else is mere superstition, more or less therefore, which we borrow from the poetic—that is, more or less false,” actual for the uses of poetry, must be
“ A compendious creed, and that translated not transferred, its form sounds as if it would have saved Aris- and colouring modified, from that totle, Quintilian, Strada, and the consistent with and dependent on the Schlegels a good deal of trouble. But appearances of the actual world, to look closer. All that I, too, want is those required by the unity of the Truth, but Truth made intelligible and imaginary creation. Such seem to effectual for man. In order to this, me the laws required by the slightest what is essential and characteristic in song ; and yet adequate to explain an image or feeling must be separated the Odyssey, Hamlet, and Herman from what is accidental or fútile-I and Dorothea." mean, from what must seem so to us- - Well, a very pretty scheme. But for, doubtless, nothing really is so,- in my notion a mere jugglery. The must be divided from the endless, un moment you separate a part of human manageable All, which would only be- existence from the great All it bewilder us. That is, it must be mark- longs to, and seek to shape it into a ed out as a distinct Whole by itself, minor, dependent, and analogous, but with its own beginning, progress, and distinct world, which, as I understand, conclusion. Now, if this be rightly is your notion, that moment you lose done, we shall have the essential all law and measure of truth and Thought filling its own circle, exclud- falsehood. A feeling, an image, an ing all that is extraneous to itself, and event is true that is real, genuine, not taking in and embodying from with. when detached, but only when conout whatever is necessary to its own nected with its original circumstances completeness and evidence. All this, and atmosphere. Suppose, while the however, is quite as true of a history, clay of nature is yet soft and plastic, or a theory, or a speech, as of a poem. I break off a finger or an ear from VOL. XLIV, NO. CCLXXVIII.