Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

Coleraine. I am obliged to you both.

fluities, then might you well exclaim, “O Death ! Bloombury. Well may you be. You have led where is thy sting ?" as wild and wicked a life as one could wish. Coleraine. I should not venture : he might show Repent! repent!

it me. Coleraine. Of what? For, faith! there are so Bloombury. He could not; I defy him. many things, I cannot see which to take hold on. Coleraine. You are braver: he is one too much

Bloombury. If I could suggest any other, I would for me : he has got me down. do it in preference. I know but one.

Bloombury. If your lordship would take courage Coleraine. Speak out: don't be modest. and resolve, it is not even yet too late for the

Bloombury. You had formerly a strange itch for labour of lore. gaming.

Coleraine. It would be a labour indeed for me. Coleraine. Not I indeed: but one can game Bloombury. Try, strive. when one can not do the pleasanter thing. Coleraine. I am no more up to it than I am

Bloombury. You led me into, or at least you to the labours of Hercules. Ah, my dear Captain countenanced me in, that vice.

Bloombury, you are much more capable of such Coleraine. Which?

feats : I wish you joy of them : I have bidden Bloombury. Gaming.

them farewell. I begin to think that the world Coleraine. Pardon me, my worthy friend ; we is a very bad world, and that everything goes amiss never were intimate, till now. Charmed as I cer- in it. tainly should have been by your acquaintance, it Bloombury. Excellent thought ! if it had but can not be more than once that we met before : come earlier. We should think so all our lives : for in good society no one forgets names or faces, it would prepare us for heaven. Let us remove unless of tradespeople and Jews.

from the sick room all that ever gave you unBloombury. On that one evening I lost fifty easiness by feeding your vices. I would tear off guineas to you.

the old man from you. Coleraine. Express no uneasiness; do not trouble Coleraine. The vagabond ! what! is he here? yourself, Captain Bloombury ; lay it upon the Who let him in while I was sleeping ? Tear him table. If it had escaped your recollection, I off, with a vengeance, the old thief! Down stairs assure you it has escaped mine too. Do not, I with him . . I paid the rogue fifteen per cent. entreat you, make yourself at all uncomfortable Bloombury. Be tranquillised, my lord ; you about it. I never said a word upon your leaving misunderstood me. I would do as much for your town and forgetting me.

Lordship, as my brother in Christ, the reverend Bloombury. Forgetting you, my lord ! I paid the Christopher Rawbottom, a rooting man, did in money down in five rouleaux. I wish I had kept regard to your deceased brother.

Coleraine. What did he? Coleraine. Pooh! another fifty is just as good Bloombury. Being in prison, a sufferer from false as that. What do the poor care whether it is witnesses, he begat him, as Paul begat Onesimus, packed in rouleaux or not? It is unpacked, I will in his chains. answer for it, long before they touch it.

Coleraine. I don't believe it; I never heard it Bloombury. If I had either that or another to whispered or hinted. My mother was a very give the broken in spirit, the sick and weary ... different sort of woman, and would hardly run

Coleraine. O! I now understand you. Upon after a fusty old goat, tied by the leg in a court
my soul, you have a most compassionate and sig- of the Fleet.
nificant eye. Give me your hand, my good fellow! Bloombury. O my lord ! how little are you
don't distress yourself. Yes, my dear Bloombury, accustomed to the language of the Holy Scriptures !
times have been hard with me heretofore ; but I I speak figuratively.
never was broken in spirit; and now I want Coleraine. Egad did you, Bloombury?'
nothing

Bloombury. I can not bring your lordship to
Bloombury. Many whom I have visited in their think seriously upon death.
last hours have lent money to the Lord, unasked. Coleraine. Excuse me, Captain Bloombury, it is
Coleraine. Impudent dogs !

you who think the least seriously. It is you who
Bloombury. I part with mine willingly: it is would ask him where his sting lies, and who would
only a snare of Satan. Yet those who have no challenge him outright.
families have thought of me.

Bloombury. My lord, if I am so unfortunate Coleraine. And those who have families too; that I can not be of use to your lordship in your for, I warrant, one of the flock (to say the least) interests, should there be remaining any slight reminded them. You are still a fine stout fellow. matter in the temporal and personal, wherein my

Bloombury. I do not understand your lordship: humble abilities could be serviceable to you, I I am, as the Lord made me, a sinner!

entreat you to command me .. He meditates ! Coleraine. The deuce you are! I wish I could who knows what he may do yet! . . It would be be! Do not groan ; do not be uncomfortable ; but just. I am no worse, though I sighed a little.

Coleraine. Have you a pencil ? Bloombury. Ah my Lord Coleraine ! If you could Bloombury. Yes, my lord, yes . . but pen-andrightly dispose of your soul and of your super- ink would be better .. let me run and find one.

it for the poor.

Coleraine. No, no, no.

learned doctor would undertake it, your lordship Bloombury. O yes, my lord . . Gentlemen, pray might sign it .. and indeed might sign first. walk in again : his lordship is most clear in his Coleraine. Well, then, doctor, write; will you ? intellects . . he has a short codicil to add. I carry Physician. I am ready, my lord. the ink .. Is this pen a good one could he write Coleraine. legibly with it?

Death! We don't halt then! march I must, . Physician. Perfectly. I wrote with it early in

Mortally as I hate the dust.

I should have been in rare high glee the morning.

To make an April fool of thee. * Bloombury. My lord, the gentlemen have returned ; they are waiting; here are pen, ink, and Bloombury. Worldly-minded man! There are paper.

no hopes then ! Coleraine. Favour me, Captain Bloombury; Physician. I told you so, sir; but although he write.

knew it, you might have spoken lower. Bloombury. It would not do, my lord : if the

MARCELLUS AND HANNIBAL.

Hannibal. Could a Numidian horseman ride no Gaulish Chieftain. Hear me, O Hannibal. faster ? Marcellus ! ho! Marcellus! He moves Hannibal. What! when Marcellus lies before not, . he is dead. Did he not stir his fingers ? me? when his life may perhaps be recalled ? Stand wide, soldiers . . wide, forty paces . . give when I may lead him in triumph to Carthage ? him air . . bring water .. halt! Gather those when Italy, Sicily, Greece, Asia, wait to obey me! broad leaves, and all the rest, growing under the Content thee ! I will give thee mine own bridle, brushwood unbrace his armour. Loose the worth ten such. helmet first .. his breast rises. I fancied his eyes Gaulish Chieftain. For myself? were fixed on me . . they have rolled back again. Hannibal. For thyself. Who presumed to touch my shoulder? This Gaulish Chieftain. And these rubies and emeralds horse ?

It was surely the horse of Marcellus ! and that scarlet .. Let no man mount him. Ha ! ha! the Romans Hannibal. Yes, yes. too sink into luxury : here is gold about the Gaulish Chieftain. O glorious Hannibal! unconcharger.

querable hero! O my happy country! to have Gaulish Chieftain. Execrable thief! The golden such an ally and defender. I swear eternal grachain of our king under a beast's grinders ! The titude . . yes, gratitude, love, devotion, beyond vengeance of the gods has overtaken the impure.. eternity. Hannibal. We will talk about vengeance when

Hannibal. In all treaties we fix the time : I we have entered Rome, and about purity among could hardly ask a longer. Go back to thy stathe priests, if they will hear us. Sound for the tion . . I would see what the surgeon is about, surgeon. That arrow may be extracted from the and hear what he thinks. The life of Marcellus ; side, deep as it is ... The conqueror of Syracuse the triumph of Hannibal! What else has the world lies before me Send a vessel off to Carthage. in it! only Rome and Carthage. These follow. Say Hannibal is at the gates of Rome : Surgeon. Hardly an hour of life is left. Marcellus, who stood alone between us, fallen. Marcellus. I must die then! The gods be Brave man! I would rejoice and can not ... praised! The commander of a Roman army is How awfully serene a countenance ! Such as we no captive. hear are in the islands of the Blessed. And how Hannibal (to the Surgeon). Could not he bear a glorious a form and stature ! Such too was theirs ! sea-voyage? Extract the arrow. They also once lay thus upon the earth wet with Surgeon. He expires that moment. their blood . . few other enter there. And what Marcellus. It pains me: extract it. plain armour !

Hannibal. Marcellus, I see no expression of pain Gaulish Chieftain. My party slew him .. indeed on your countenance : and never will I consent to I think I slew him myself

. I claim the chain : it hasten the death of an enemy in my power. Since belongs to my king : the glory of Gaul requires your recovery is hopeless, you say truly you are it. Never will she endure to see another take it : no captive. rather would she lose her last man. We swear ! (To the Surgeon.) Is there nothing, man, that we swear!

can assuage the mortal pain ? for, suppress the Hannibal. My friend, the glory of Marcellus did signs of it as he may, he must feel it. Is there not require him to wear it. When he suspended nothing to alleviate and allay it ? the arms of your brave king in the temple, he Marcellus. Hannibal, give me thy hand . . thou thought such a trinket unworthy of himself and of hast found it and brought it me, compassion. Jupiter. The shield he battered down, the breast- ( To the Surgeon.) Go, friend; others want thy plate he pierced with his sword, these he showed aid ; several fell around me. to the people and to the gods ; hardly his wife and little children saw this, ere his horse wore it.

* He died on the 1st of April, 1824.

Hannibal. Recommend to your country, 0 when thou (and the gods alone know whether as Marcellus, while time permits it, reconciliation conqueror or conquered) mayest sit under the roof and peace with me, informing the Senate of my of my children, and in either case it shall serve superiority in force, and the impossibility of resist- thee. In thy adverse fortune, they will remem. ance. The tablet is ready : let me take off this ber on whose pillow their father breathed his last; ring . . try to write, to sign it at least. Oh what in thy prosperous (heaven grant it may shine upon satisfaction I feel at seeing you able to rest upon thee in some other country) it will rejoice thee to the elbow, and even to smile!

protect them. We feel ourselves the most exempt Marcellus. Within an hour or less, with how from affliction when we relieve it, although we severe a brow would Minos say to me, “ Marcellus, are then the most conscious that it may befall us. is this thy writing ?"

There is one thing here which is not at the Rome loses one man : she hath lost many such, disposal of either. and she still hath many left.

Hannibal. What? Hannibal. Afraid as you are of falsehood, say Marcellus. This body. you this? I confess in shame the ferocity of my Hannibal. Whither would you be lifted ? Men countrymen. Unfortunately too the nearer posts are ready. are occupied by Gauls, infinitely more cruel. The Marcellus. I meant not so. My strength is Numidians are so in revenge ; the Gauls both in failing. I seem to hear rather what is within than revenge and in sport. My presence is required what is without. My sight and my other senses are at a distance, and I apprehend the barbarity of in confusion. I would have said, This body, when one or other, learning, as they must do, your refusal a few bubbles of air shall have left it, is no more to execute my wishes for the common good, and worthy of thy notice than of mine ; but thy feeling that by this refusal you deprive them of glory will not let thee refuse it to the piety of my their country, after so long an absence.

family. Marcellus. Hannibal, thou art not dying. Hannibal. You would ask something else. I Hannibal. What then? What mean you ? perceive an inquietude not visible till now.

Marcellus. That thou mayest, and very justly, Marcellus. Duty and Death make us think of have many things yet to apprehend : I can have home sometimes.

The barbarity of thy soldiers is nothing to Hannibal. Thitherward the thoughts of the me : mine would not dare be cruel. Hannibal is conqueror and of the conquered fly together. forced to be absent; and his authority goes away Marcellus. Hast thou any prisoners from my with his horse. On this turf lies defaced the sem- escort ? blance of a general ; but Marcellus is yet the regu- Hannibal. A few dying lie about . . and let lator of his army. Dost thou abdicate a power them lie . . they are Tuscans. The remainder I conferred on thee by thy nation? Or wouldst thou saw at a distance, fiying, and but one brave man acknowledge it to have become, by thy own sole among them .. he appeared a Roman .. a youth fault, less plenary than thy adversary's ?

who turned back, though wounded. They surI have spoken too much : let me rest : this rounded and dragged him away, spurring his horse mantle oppresses me.

with their swords. These Etrurians measure their Hannibal. I placed my mantle on your head courage carefully, and tack it well together before when the helmet was first removed, and while you they put it on, but throw it off again with lordly were lying in the sun. Let me fold it under, and ease. then replace the ring.

Marcellus, why think about them? or does aught Marcellus. Take it, Hannibal. It was given me else disquiet your thoughts ? by a poor woman who flew to me at Syracuse, and Marcellus. I have suppressed it long enough. who covered it with her hair, torn off in despera- My son .. my beloved son. tion that she had no other gift to offer. Little Hannibal. Where is he? Can it be? Was he thought I that her gift and her words should be with you ? mine. How suddenly may the most powerful be Marcellus. He would have shared my fate .. in the situation of the most helpless! Let that and has not. Gods of my country! beneficent ring and the mantle under my head be the exchange throughout life to me, in death surpassingly beneof guests at parting. The time may come, Hannibal, ficent, I render you, for the last time, thanks.

none.

DUKE DE RICHELIEU, SIR FIREBRACE COTES, LADY GLENGRIN,

AND MR. NORMANBY. When the Duke de Richelieu had retired from those are much to be pitied, although not in the office, ill health, which is usually the cause of least to be blamed (God forbid !) who gave the key retirement, was the consequence of it. Not that for that purpose to some dark designer, at the ministers ever care about loss of place; privation instant when such conceptions had arrived at their of dignity and emolument is nothing to them; and maturity. if they are excluded from the only area grand He went to Genoa. The narrowness and obscuenough for the development of their conceptions, rity of the streets incommoded him, and eighty stairs, which must always be mounted to reach the agreed at last that the expression, to a man not best apartments, were too many for an invalid. very acute, might require an explanation. “I He went to Nice: the bise was troublesome. Here meant," said he, “a friend's; at dinner or over a however he was amused a little at the sight of bottle; for in my mind, whatever others may well-dressed strangers, and was not insensible of think, that would be very base.” pleasure in being looked at, and in hearing his You must come among us, duke," said her name perpetually mentioned in the same low tone ladyship. of voice as he passed.

“I must indeed," answered he. Do you doubt this weakness? Call it as you “Sir Firebrace, you are witness to the promise." please and doubt it as you may . . it was this low “I am,” said Sir Firebrace. tone of voice which the manly hearts of a Marius There is no person in the world upon whom and a Cromwell panted for. Vanity and agiotage idleness bangs so heavily as upon a minister of are to a Parisian the oxygen and hydrogen of life. state dismissed. Reprehended for sighing when Richelieu, as honest a man as he was an ill-requited he only yawned, and ashamed of being thought to minister, had little of the latter ; of the former as yawn when he really sighed, he accepted the invimuch as was requisite.

tation, on condition that he should live privately. There were at Nice, at the same time, Sir Fire- " For," said he smiling, “ your government would brace Cotes, an Irish general, and the Countess of watch me; and I should be sorry to be under Glengrin, an Irish lady inconsolable for her hus- martial law in Ireland, my skin being none of the band. I do not mean the one she had just lost, toughest, and suspicious as my character must be, but the one she feared never to have.

both as a catholic and a minister out of place. I The general thought it his duty to pay his re- will be colonel . . . colonel ... I wish I could spects to the minister, as none in place was there, think of some colonel among my old friends who and as he had a rich uniform which he never could would consent to lend me his name.” 80 well show before, and indeed had never put on. Oh," said Lady Glengrin, “if you want a name Lady Glengrin too left her card.

and are resolved to be a colonel, I have one for you, That is contrary to etiquette.

now you are so good and tractable : you shall be One among the many reasons why she did it: Colonel Le Doux.” Confident in her beauty, for she really had been “On receiving our commissions we kiss hands,' pretty in her youth, and possessing in an eminent said he ; and by the gracefulness of his action, if degree that facility of reply, which, if delivered Madame de Genlis had been present, she would with sharpness, is called repartee, and claims rela- have fancied herself in the Louvre some years tionship, by a left-hand connexion, with wit, she before the last century. never lost an opportunity of passing into the com- They embarked. Of all the coasts in the unipany of distinguished personages. She was of all verse of the same extent, those of France for nearly politics ; so that when rank failed her, nobody was their totality in three seas, are the least beautiful, surprised to hear that she had headed a deputation and those which the eye tires the worst upon are of fishwomen at Paris. Related to one of those who in the vicinity of Marseilles. When you are at preserve the peace by cocking the pistol, and the sea, the hills above the town appear like little gradations of social order by trampling on their mounds which some children have been just equals, she associated and assimilated with the whitewashing. Here the party was becalmed two worst in the polar circle of both vulgars. days. The regular beating of time by the waves

Her petulance and liveliness amused the duke, against the sides of the vessel; the regular creaking and mostly when she talked about her country. as she moved slowly on, heaving and nodding like He had not been accustomed to Irish society, some bulky churl half-asleep; the flapping of the though he had known some of Irish extraction, sail against the mast; the monotonous and weariand a few born and educated in Ireland. He had some song (there was only one) of the sailors, who found them decorous and graceful, frank, and full being Englishmen could neither dance nor fiddle, of humour, not much addicted to study, but re- and had not even a monkey nor a cat among them spectful to those who were, until some peculiarity for the strangers to joke about and play with ; caught them, and they exploded in loud laughter. rendered the colonel and his companions sad and He considered them particularly delicate in affairs silent. Sir Firebrace was flat and smooth as a of love and friendship. One of them, suspected (as billiard-table. Lady Glengrin having no object it appears most wrongfully) of many amorous in- to attack or defend, at least no person known to trigues, swore he never had and never would have Le Doux, turned, as we read of scorpions, upon one with a man's wife or daughter. Richelieu ad- herself, and her features and conversation lanmired his primitive chastity. Among his friends, guished equally. To relieve her listlessness, she however, was an elderly gentleman, who had medi- sometimes made a spring at some friend of Sir tated long upon the declaration, and felt certain Firebrace: but alas! she really had lost her elasthere was some blunder in it. At supper he found ticity. Le Doux smiled when he should have been it out; and when they were alone, “Faith!” said serious, and was serious when he should have he,“ Marcus, your mischief will lie then in a mighty smiled. “One would think he hardly could have narrow compass." Being locked up in logic, and been attentive, though he seemed so," said her unable to put his head through the grating, he I ladyship to herself. Sir Firebrace often beg

leave to set her ladyship right upon the character bable that they may have partially occurred in of very good fellows, if she knew them thoroughly, others.” and worthy women enough . . at least he always “Sir," said the sailor, “your observation, I perbelieved so. He never went beyond in word or ceive, is but a delicate and discreet inquiry. There thought; excepting that, if he was mistaken, as is nothing romantic in my history : I never was any man might be, he was certain from her good. what you call noble : I never was better than a ness of heart that her ladyship would pardon him. schoolmaster in a small market-town. My edu

There was not a book belonging to the party: cation has taught me to reprove any open disreshe asked the captain whether he had any inte spect to the Bible. If the lady had spoken where resting one: he brought her the log-book. Toss-only her equals were present, I should have gone ing it aside, “O that we had a book! though it away quietly; but sailors may be corrupted.” were the Bible or the Peerage,” said the countess : “Without doubt there are good things in the and observed for the first time a young man whom Bible,” said Le Doux. “ Bossuet has quoted it in the duke had noticed before, and whom he had the place about the white cemetery. Then you taken for a runaway barber, his beard being always read Latin!” close-shaven, and his linen and face quite clean. “No, sir !” He smiled with somewhat of concern and sarcasm. “How ! 0! I forgot: you have a translation of "Well, my friend,” said she, “let us hear the joke." it.. have you not? A little . it does not quite

“ Really, madam,” he replied, “I have no joke correspond with the original ?” This he spoke, worth hearing."

not so much in his own character as in his coun. Favour us, at least," added she maliciously, try's. One would have supposed that he under“with the fruits of your reflection.”

stood Greek and Hebrew, yet he did not understand Sir Firebrace now began to brighten. “ They a sentence even of Latin. One would have supposed might not please you, madam,” replied the sailor. that he had collated the original with the English

“Oyes they would: I insist upon having version, yet it was by an old and obscure report them.”

that he knew of its existence. “In that case, madam, there is no denial. I "I was zealous for my Bible," said the sailor. was thinking it strange that, of all the books in “I love my country and am proud of my language: the world, you should pitch upon either of those. the Bible is the best thing in both. Often have On the contrary, I wonder that petitions are not I thought of those who translated it, what they laid before parliament to suppress them, and signed were, what their fathers were, what were their by every person of the first distinction.”

friends and teachers. Sir, I would have given my “Why so ?”

life, when it was a life of hope and happiness, to “ Because the one shows us their vices, and the make by such holy means as this book the English other does worse."

language known through the world. And yet my “ What does the other ?"

love of it has done me for a time some harm." “ It shows us their ages."

Le Doux was desirous of hearing what it could “The fellow would be witty,” said Sir Firebrace, be : indeed there are few who are not so of hearing “as all ignorant people would.”

any harm : some from sympathy, some from ma“All ?" said the man submissively. “I think lignity, some from curiosity, the rest from a wish I have seen some too modest; but one can not of excitement. Lady Glengrin beckoned him judge of character in a couple of days.”

away. “Favour me another time," said he to the “Sir Firebrace,” said the captain,“ you would sailor; “I am deeply penetrated.” better let that chap alone : he is too much for Lady Glengrin nodded again, and asked him you and me I have no power over him; seaman how he could be so ill-natured, when he had a he is and a right good one ; but though he lends musician with him, as not to call forth his talent. a hand at any time, he takes nothing, not a can “Oracles are obscure,” replied he. “Mac Arthur of grog. The lemon he puts into his water is to tells me,” she rejoined, “that Michael showed blame. He is the quietest and silentest man in the him a flute, made out of a broken cane which he world, but if an oath escapes, you would fancy it picked up in Genoa.” We will have a dance was a leak, so quickly is he upon the plank. He then, please God !” cried he. “Life is at stake, has been a scholar not long ago, I mistrust, though general ! You and I must draw lots for the lady, he has dollars and better things in his box. As since I dare not leave it to her choice, and she for madam, clever as she is, I would not have would not make mortal enemies.” This he spoke, her fish for sting-rays.”

bowing in turn to each, appealing to her soliciFrom his calmness and self possession, Le Doux tously, and awaiting with deference her deternow imagined there was something in the man mination. announcing high birth, and thought him, for an The proposal was sanctioned : the three stood Englishman, well-bred, though satirical. He ap- up: the Russian was commanded to bring out proached him; and first expressed his sorrow his flute : the seal-skin that contained his clothes that a person of an appearance so prepossessing and his treasure, was unstrapped : he ran upon should put forth so much strength where homage deck with it in his hand : but this and the is best becoming. “ The changes in my own other too were raised upon his head and tearcountry, sir,” added he, “make me think it pro-ling his black bear-like hair : tears ran down

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »