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John-Mary. Among the many causes of exulta- John-Mary. Sad alternative ! tion ..
Ferdinand. Sad enough for them : but show me Ferdinand. Well, well! go on.. why the devil another king, in our times, whom God and his do you stop?
blessed Mother, and those about them, have John-Mury. It would be difficult to hit upon the thought worthy of a special prophecy. The most precise one. Perhaps by your majesty being the favoured of my ancestors never had in their domiMost Catholic.
nions more than half the number, of those who Ferdinand. That only led to it. Surely you held such tickets of admission to the kingdom of know well enough I am the object of a particular heaven. All orders of monks, all ranks of reliprophecy in the Holy Bible. I have a whole pro- gionists, cry“ Beati pauperes !” What a number phecy to myself.
of people have I made eternally happy, without First I must inform you, what I understand is any care or trouble about 'em! And the very best believed by every sect of Christians . . if indeed in my dominions . . I mean of laymen. Priests any are to be called Christians who refuse to obey and monks do not require a similar state of prothe vicar of Christ .
bation. They are ready for martyrdom, when John-Mary. No, no, no. There may be Pela- their Lord calls them, but would fare reasonably gians, Arians, Protestants, Freemasons; but Holy well seven days in the week, in order to work Mother Church, as Canon Bento Pinto da Cunha the better in his vineyard. The rest I have made preached to us in my chapel, is no Amphisbæna. light for the long journey, and almost as ready to Ferdinand. Who is Amphisbæna ?
undertake it as their spiritual guides. Have I John-Mary. I could not rightly understand him, not reason then to be superlatively joyful ! whether it was really a single beast with two heads, John-Mary. Certainly, my brother, God hath tugging two ways, one of them where the tail anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy should be
fellows. Ferdinand. Nonsense! nonsense !
Ferdinand. Hold! Have you a dispensation, John-Mary. He seemed to explain it in this my brother and cousin, for using the words of the manner; but I fancy he must have meant two Bible ? I would not venture to go beyond Saint creatures of the canine race, pelted in the street Isidore or Saint Augustin. for immorality.
John-Mary. They may always be used toward Ferdinand. Ay, ay; there is sense in that. But crowned heads. It is generally thought by theolowhat has it to do with the prophecy ?
gians that the best of them were made expressly John-Mary. Your majesty was about to mention for us. a tenet of the Church that every man adhered to. Ferdinand. Not unlikely. You are deep, my
Ferdinand. Right! right! Whatever the pro- brother, in the dogmatists. phets, and doctors, and evangelists, and disciples John-Mary. Discreetly ; sufficiently; not much said to people, the people took as if it was said to amiss : but I began to doubt whether the said oil them.
of gladness . . John-Mary. Certainly.
Ferdinand. The devil you did ! to doubt Ferdinand. The more fools they for their pains. about it! Nothing was meant as it was spoken : and if it was John-Mary. Whether it is an oil that is likely said to one it was intended for another. The pro- to keep, though it has been in great demand of phets had a sort of squint in their tongues. If late among the champions of legitimacy.
I am they promised anything good to anyone, the sim- afraid some hot weather may affect it. pleton was sure to be disappointed in it : and if Ferdinand. And now, Don John-Mary, my they threatened a rogue or a city, the threat fell brother and cousin, I must come to the point with on other folks a thousand miles off. Now you are you, in the most amicable way possible, on your prepared in some sort for my prophecy. Many at invasion of my territories. the time believed our Lord was talking to some John-Mary. Mayit please your majesty to inform people who grudged him a little essence of vanilla, me, what portion of your majesty's territory has and who pretended they would have given the been rashly entered by my troops, without my three “ reals” (the price of it in those days) to the knowledge ? poor, rather than perfume his stockings and pan- Ferdinand. I know not whether your forces, my taloon with it, much as they might want it in brother and cousin, have invaded it; but you style that hot country. They did not observe him yourself King of India. How can this be, when I looking over his shoulder toward me, who was myself am King of both the Indies ! Your majesty not then born; nor understand him, saying, “ The is legitimately (inasmuch as what is founded on poor ye have always with you.”
usurpation can be legitimate) King of Portugal,
Algarve, Brazil, Guinea, Ethiopia, Arabia, and Habetis pauperes semper vobiscum.
Persia. John-Mary. Gloria Deo in excelsis !
John-Mary. Certainly, my brother, and of India; Ferdinand. Now I have, in Spain alone, not not of both Indies. counting the Americas and Indies, above eight Ferdinand. No, by the Mother of God! nor hundred thousand mouths, that must either be of one. filled by alms or stor by halters.
John-Mary. Pardon me there, Don Ferdinand ! this gold piece will prove it. (Aside.) He pockets Under the administration of Canning, who, threatening it! No matter !
to establish at one time absolutism, at another time reFerdinand. Will you resign it, my dear brother? publicanism, was abjured by both parties, it was per
mitted Louis XVIII. to undo all that our armies, from the John-Mary. Willingly, willingly! five hundred. time of Peterborough to the time of Wellesley, had been
Ferdinand. What do you mean, my brother and fighting for in the Peninsula, and ultimately bad aicousin ?
tained. French influence was restored. After a long John-Mary. The crusado.
series of cruelties, judicial and extra-judicial, and after Ferdinand. What crusado?
the death of Ferdinand, Spain turned on her side again,
but never could rise up. However, there was one bonest John-Mary. That upon which I exhibited to man still left in public life ; and, singular enough, he was your majesty my arms and rights.
placed at the head of the nation. Louis Philippe saw this, Ferdinand. Blood of the martyrs ! belly and and thought it a personal affront. To supplant Espartero, backbone of the confessors ! you never showed me
he sent across the Pyrenees small sums, but sufficient to
make the nearest of the military stumble and fall; und one such in the whole course of your life.
they were prepared to receive that person of his family John-Mary. I intended it then, and will at any who united most of harlotry and bigotry. She disbursed time.
more largely, from what had been deposited by her in Ferdinand. No shuffling, my brother and cousin ! France, both during her husband's reign, and after his
decease. Spain was instantly prostrate before her. Sucha Will you resign my kingdom ?
is the result of a long and sanguinary war against the John-Mary. I will never resign the kingdoms Intruder : here lie her constitutions, every chapter of that the Holy Trinity hath placed under my every one : even their title-pages, indexes, and covers: sceptre. My good people of India shall not be here lie the laurels of Wellesley, withered, weightless, deprived of a father by an unworthy cession.
and bestrewing the path of Narvaez. What misery will
not kings inflict on nations for the aggrandisement of a Ferdinand. Then God and my right! I will family? But what misery, what degradation, what infight for it to the last drop of my blood.
famy, ever equalled those inflicted upon Spain, in thrustJohn-Mary. By proxy, as usual, I hope, my ing back against her, first a pensioner, then an outcast; brother Ferdinand. Your majesty has already and constraining her, with traitors and assassins at her spilt in this manner the best belonging to you, more be questioned that Louis-Philippe is a genuine
throat, to lick up again those two vomits! Let it never enough to float more than your fleets, and never branch of the Bourbons, whatever may be soiled frill nor ruffle . . though you once (to do blance he bears in person and demeanour to the catchyou justice) had your stocking down at heel pole at the Stinca in Florence. from it.
MAHOMET AND SERGIUS. Mahomet. Thou knowest, my dear Sergius, that to put my muzzle quite so near her crupper, in heretofore the bishops of Rome have conferred her state of probation, as the faithful do now she and counselled on the necessity of depriving the is canonised. I introduced oil of amomum, s priesthood of marriage, that the brethren may be perfume unknown among the Italians, into both devoted to them entirely, and insulated from the bones. The first, like a fool, I sold for three hunpeople.
dred gold pieces : the remaining one shall bring Sergius. Such a scheme indeed hath been agi. me, with God's help, five hundred : proving its tated more than once; yet I suspect it can never authenticity by identity of odour, and thus conbe carried into execution. If the Roman pontiff founding the sceptic and scoffer. If men are should succeed in his intentions, would the Greek wilfully blind, let them remain so: they shall fall follow?
into the ditch when there is none to help them. Mahomet. There hath always been jealousy be- In vain does the cresset shine from the tower, if tween them, of each other's weight and authority. the perverse will run upon the shoals and rocks
Sergius. It began about dresses and jewels, then In vain does the cryer's voice cry“God is great," flamed forth again on the comparative number of if we hang back and budge, and will not lend rich widows and holy virgins, in the convents of him even our little finger, to try a portion of his East and West. As beauty and embroidery, strength thereon. But he saith, “ I am a sword music and mutilation, are matters of taste and to the wicked, and a shield to the good, and a opinion, they looked for something to split upon mountain-encampment fed with living waters, to decorously. An iota served : this iota clove many him and him only who placeth his trust in me." thousand skulls, and found nothing. Latterly they Thus saith the strong and merciful, whose name have fought upon surer ground, over the relics of be praised evermore, through his servant, the dust confessors and martyrs, and, in time of truce, have of his feet. “Did I not,” saith he, “hide the bidden high against each other for the best odour prophet Jonas three days and three nights in the of sanctity any Jew or Arab would bring them. whale's belly? But my prophet Mahomet, whom
Mahomet. I myself keep in reserve the thigh. I have chosen to be cover and clasp, pumice-stone bone of an honest jade of a mule ; the fellow of and thong, to the book of prophecy, hath lain which thigh-bone is inclosed in a glass case at three times three in a locust's." Ancona, as belonging to Saint Eufemia. My saint Sergius. Quiet! quiet! never say that! The was rather a wincing one. I should not have liked Catholics will think either that thou mockest or
that thou surpassest their impudence, and will rites of Cybele. An excellent regimen for priests ! stone thee.
but it would ruin monachism. Mahomet. I will preach where there are no stones Mahomet. So far is the Greek church from big enough.
a desire to imitate the Roman, that I am well Sergius. They will crucify thee.
convinced she would, for contradiction, inMahomet. I will preach where there are no trees stantly order both priests and monks to marry. high enough.
On this principle, in my institutions I am resolved Sergius. They will burn thee alive.
to allow four wives to every man.
In order to Mahomet. I will preach where they shall be strengthen the oriental church against the occiburnt alive themselves if they come near me, and dental, and that you never may suppose I would without a faggot, a wisp of straw, or a match. take an undue advantage of you, I recommend Men are very humane in the desert : it is only that you should prove from the Scriptures how where there are meadows and corn-fields, and every tenth girl belongs to the religious, as young nuns and choristers, that the gadily of clearly as every tenth lamb and wheat-sheaf, and persecution pricks them.
that monks are more religious than priests. Sergius. Thou talkest reasonably again, drop- Sergius. Thou canst not prove the former. ping in thy phraseology from the third heaven of Mahomet. Nor thou? orientalism.
Sergius. No. Mahomet. Leave me my third heaven: we agreed Mahomet. Nor both together? upon it.
Sergius. I question it. Sergius. We will pick the mule's thigh-bone Mahomet. O thou infidel! the Scriptures contogether.
tain everything Mahomet. My mule, I promise thee, Sergius, Sergius. I have no mind, friend Mahomet, they shall carry both of us the first stage on our should contain this. I will never have ten wives, journey.
nor four, nor any: and, if the (Ecumenical bishop Again to business.
orders those under his authority to repudiate If my introduction is somewhat long, it is only theirs, certain I am that our church will exhort that I may smoothen the path to arrangements of and command every priest, and perhaps every great advantage to thee, unoffered and unpreme- monk, to take one. ditated in any former conversation. Although Mahomet. Well! what harm? the Greeks had the earliest and best claim to Sergius. Short-sighted mortal! what harm insupremacy, if indeed the Christian dispensation deed! If she bids us have wives of our own, she could admit any (which the first Roman bishops will shortly come to such a pass that she will bid denied), the Emperor Mauritius wished the us have none but our own : a grievous detriment patriarch of Constantinople to possess it, that to the vital interests of the faith. something like order might at length be esta- Mahomet, thou art the heartiest laugher under blished in his extensive and loose dominions, and heaven. Prythee let thy beard cover thy throat that the lust of ecclesiastical power might be con- again. There now! thy turban has fallen behind trolled by the presence of the imperial. This thee. Art thou in fits? By my soul, I will lay cost him his life from the pope, who himself did this thong across thy loins, if thou tossest and not live long enough to gather the fruits he had screamest in such a manner, to the scandal of the engrafted with so skilful and sharp a knife. monastery. Popes trip up one another, like children on the Mahomet. Words are magical. The blindest icy streets of Cyzicus. Gregory and Sabinian and tenderest young saintling that ever was followed in rapid march : then came Bonifacius, whelped, could not have whined so pathetically, who found on the throne Phocas, the murderer of “A grievous detriment to the vital interests of his emperor and patron. Never were two such the faith!' men so well met; they upheld one another; and Sergius. There is a time for all things. Now a Rome from that time forward hath preserved the serious word with thee. authority she usurped. She hath always been an Mahomet. Let me hear it. auxiliary of the audacious and the unjust, knowing Sergius. Brother Pemphix, a worthy priest, hath that they pay best and promise most, and that espoused a beautiful creature. O the charms of right and equity, peace and honour, want nothing such a friendship as mine with Pemphix ! I am and expect nothing at her hands. Her thunders the confessor of the fair Anatolis. Ah, Mahomet! are composed from chaos ; her light from the Mahomet ! The delight of authority! the diviner fragments of civilisation and the flames of war. power of persuasion! the glory of hearing the We will take advantage of the weakness that appeal, ‘Now ought I, sweet Sergius ?' wickedness leaves behind it, and of the hatred Mahomet. I discover all her beauty at those and contempt in which papal ambition is holden words. through Greece and Asia.
Sergius. Perish then those words for ever! Her Sergius. I hope the Roman pontiff may at least beauty ought to rest upon my heart, veiled and order the priests to observe celibacy, if he does sacred : no thought should dwell with it, no idea not subject them to another ceremony, taken, like rise from it, but mine. the greater part of their worship, from the ancient Mahomet. Is she so very beauteous ? Why
sighest thou and maddenest and starest? Is Mahomet. I will have them unbought, pure, there anything strange in the question? I never sincere, steadfast. Heat an Arab, and he keeps saw her nor heard of her.
hot for life. But, my dear Sergius, thou hast Sergius. Anatolis is a star.
lived thy early days in Rome : art thou not fond Mahomet. Bad !
of that city, so full of allurements! Sergius. Heaven itself ...
Sergius. I was very fond of it. Mahomet. Worse and worse. She must be too Mahomet. Could nothing induce thee to return! much for thee.
Sergius. Not now : thou knowest the reason. Sergius. Peace, profane one! Anatolis is a Mahomet. The patriarchate of Constantinople is
unworthy of thy ambition, now the Roman pontiff Mahomet. Psha! they all are. God made the takes the precedency. rose out of what was left of woman at the creation. Sergius. He shall take it no longer when I am The great difference is, we feel the rose's thorns patriarch. when we gather it; and the other's when we have Mahomet. I should rather like, if convenient to had it some time.
Sergius, to extend my empire over the plains of Sergius. The gales of Paradise breathe from this Damascus; chiefly because this empire must be opening bud.
extended by the sword, which is tempered no Mahomet. Gales never were given for one only. where in such perfection as by the waters of
Sergius. The mild even-tempered Anatolis is Abbana and Pharphar. the coyest and most difficult young creature ; and Sergius. I demur to this. Pemphix complained to me about it, a few days Mahomet. I would engage to give thee in after their union.
exchange the whole of Europe. “Canst thou do nothing with her, brother Ser- Sergius. Mahomet, thou art ambitious. gius? Try, for the love of God! Rouse thyself! Mahomet. To serve my friend ; otherwise, no rouse thyself! Be resolute! be brotherly. Medi- mortal was ever so far removed from it. I have tation is an excellent thing, but man was also many other faults; none however which a friend made for action."
can suffer from, or ought to see. Mahomet. In the plains of Damascus I myself Sergius. Although I little doubt that any placam fain to take exercise. Many gales of Paradise sible new religion would subvert the old rottenness blow about these gardens, and over the banks of that lies accumulated around us, now that people these little streams. We have some pleasant spots find the priests of Christ assuming the garb and in Arabia, more in Idumea; but he who possesseth language of despots, with the temper and trade Syria may hold in contempt the possessors of all of executioners, yet it may be the labour of years the earth beside. Love, and enjoy for ever, Ana- to penetrate with an army from the centre of tolis : retain to thy last breath the pleasure of Arabia into this country. discoursing on her in confidence, and of forbidding Mahomet. Of two or three at most. I have had thy friend to think about her! Chide him if he visions that promise me Syria. mention her; hate him if he ask nothing concern- Sergius. Mahomet, the system I laid down for ing her. If he smile, detest his impudence ; if he thee contains no visions. look grave, abhor his insensibility.
Mahomet. Many spring from it. Sergius! mayest thou long do thus ! Earth can tergius. Thou wouldst alter it, I see. afford thee, Heaven can promise thee, nothing more. Mahomet. It was too pure : people have fed
Sergius. Yet, Mahomet, on cooler thoughts, dear upon prodigies : they must have them still. Sitato me as is Anatolis, I am not disposed to resign ate the native of a watery plain upon the moonthe power and authority we should participate, tain, and he will regret the warm comfortable and which I am weary of expecting.
fogs and the low fleeting lights of his marsh. Mahomet. Wait but a little while. Everything I would continue on the best terms with my is most promising in Arabia. It is a difficult adviser and guide ; but verily my entrails yeara matter in my country to persuade the hearers for the good people of Damascus. even of our wildest stories that they are but fic- Sergius. Leave them to me; and, if thy entrails tion. Where there is such a thirst for the mar- yearn, take a goble: of cyprus. vellous, it is easier to equip a new religion than Mahomet. I dare not drink wine : it aggravates 1 a new camel. We must be daring. In spite of my maladly, the only one to which I am subject. thy advice, I am resolved to prove that I have Another inspiration here comes over me. I will been up in heaven.
forbid the use of this beverage. Why should Sergius. Take heed ! take heed! they can not others enjoy what I can not? believe that.
Sergius. True religionist! But, Mahomet! Mahomet. They will not believe a word of truth, Mahomet ! will vision upon vision, revelation until they believe many a falsehood. I must have upon revelation, supersede this delicious habit! witnesses.
Relinquish such an impracticable conceit. Forbid Sergius. Here lies the difficulty. Let me send wine indeed! God himself, if he descended on to Rome for them .. indeed to any part of Italy : earth, and commanded it in a louder and clearer it would ruin thee to purchase them here; the voice than that at which the creation sprang rogues are so exorbitant.
forth, unless first he altered the composition both
of body and soul, would utterly fail in this com- Mahomet. I can divine better than thou canst. mandment.
Sergius. Contentment is better than divination Mahomet. I will order it: I will see it executed: or visions. Thou wert born and educated in for now thou urgest me. Yea, Sergius ! men shall Arabia : and nothing can transcend the descripabstain from wine in all those regions of the earth tion thou hast given me of thy native country. where wine hath fragrance and captivation : and Mahomet. All native countries are most beautithey shall continue to drink it and be damned ful; yet we want something from them which they where it is nauseous and fiery and Æthiopian in will not give us. Our first quarrels of any sericomplexion: and the priests in those regions shall ousness are with them; as the first screams and drink the most of it. Thus saith the Lord. struggles of infants, the first tearing of robes and
Sergius. He hath said many things which no- sobs of anger, are against their mothers. body minds. If whole nations abstain from wine, Delightful is it to bathe in the moonsea on the by any ordinance, prophetic or angelic, and from sands, and to listen to tales of genii in the tent : such wine as Syria and Cyprus and Chios and but then in Arabia the anxious heart is thrown Crete afford us, there will be a miracle not resem- into fierce and desperate commotion, by the acbling most others; no miracle of a moment, wit- cursed veil that separates beauty from us. There nessed by the ignorant and run away with by the we never see the blade of that sweet herbage rise impostor, a sacrilege to examine ; but a miracle day after day into light and loveliness, never see to be touched and interrogated, as long, as atten- the blossom expand ; but receive it unselected, untively, as intrinsically, as the most incredulous solicited, and unwon. Happy the land where the could require, and such as all the world must youthful are without veils, the aged without acknowledge to be irresistible, and must bend suspicion; where the antelope may look to what before its divinity.
resting-place she listeth, and bend her slender Mahomet. I do not desire all the world : let me foot to the fountain that most invites her. have but Asia, if I can win it over to the faith. Odoriferous gales! whether of Deban or of
Sergius. Win it over and welcome, if thou canst. Dafar, if ye bring only fragrance with you, carry
Mahomet. Faith is so strong in me, I can do it to the thoughtless and light-hearted ! carry it to all things.
the drinker of wine, to the feaster and the dancer Sergius. Do them : leave me Anatolis and the at the feast. If ye never have played about the patriarchate, just as they both are now.
beloved of my youth, if ye bring me no intelliMahomet. I begin to imagine and believe that gence of her, pass on ! away with you ! many of those things which I would have commu- Sergius. We may be with the girl we love in nicated as visions, are realities.
many places; so many, that we lose the recolSergius. Thou wilt succeed the better for lection. thinking it.
Mahomet. Is that possible? Then you do not Mahomet. God guides us mysteriously and sit very near her. changes us miraculously.
Sergius. Yes, and touch her. Sergius. He doth indeed, if he hath made a Mahomet. A young girl ? beautiful ? affectionreligionist of thee.
ate? before marriage? Do not nod, but tell me Mahomet. “God, he is God, and Mahomet is unequivocally. his prophet.” By the Eternal ! those words are Sergius. I say it. divine.
Mahomet. Sergius! thy whole religion, in all Sergius. They will be, by the Eternal ! if they its incredibilities, containeth none like this. only win thee some three or four stout cities in Sergius. Believe me; I am not preaching. CerArabia, and deliver into thy hands, with some tainly we have much the advantage here; but rich caravan, about as many (or rather more) thou mayest order things after our manner. unbelieving girls, ready and ripe for conversion Mahomet. I shall grow old before this change and ablution, with faces a whit nearer in colour can take place : beside, I must have a revelation to the snow than to the sands; such as Paphla- for it. gonia and Armenia send us, by the blessing of the Sergius. And why not? Lord.
Mahomet. Alas! it is not worth my while. Mahomet. Hitherto, when I dreamed that thou However, I am hale enough yet to make another madest to me any cession of territory for the visit to Damascus. plantation of the faith, thou didst give me thy Sergius. As a preacher, I hope, not as a prophet. blessing and cede it.
Mahomet. God's will be done. Sergius. And thou didst to me in like manner. Sergius. If thou, in spite of thy faith, shouldst But now thy dreams cover nation after nation; let yet happen to fail in thy enterprise, come into our us agree, my friend Mahomet, to dream no more. brotherhood : if, in despite of thy rashness, thou Lie on thy left side, man, on thy noble camel-hair shouldst succeed in it, thy friend Sergius follows couch, white and black like a zebra (as thou thy standard, and brings over to thee nine-tenths boastest in thy poetry), and never turn thy face of the church-establishment. But do not omit again toward Syria.
the Houris. Quote Solomon ; celebrate his wisdom Mahomet. This seems, my friend, like a threat. and concubines ; damn his idolatry of wood and Sergius. Say rather, like divination.
stone when he had flesh and blood to idolize;