« AnteriorContinuar »
FROM THE GERMAN OF M. VON MESSING.
FAMILY affairs obliged me to undertake a cloth, and upon it lay a human skull. “Jacob, journey to the mountainous region of Bohemii, suid my companion to a man with a frightful and I arrived without the slightest accident at the ! physiognomy, make a fire in the chimney, and estate of my uncle in that kingdom. There I bring provision for my guest. In a few moments used generally to spend the evening in walking a fire blazed on the hearth; he took me by the In one of these perambulations night overtook hand, and we seated ourselves before it. me in a wond bordering on my uncle's domain, I had now for the first time an opportunity of and extending on the contrary side to a chain of examining this extraordinary man. I must can. mountains. My imagination was so occupied didly confess that I never beheld a more perfect with the idea of my native land, and the dear model of manly beauty, but never were the chaobjects I had left behind, that I wandered un racters of the most profound sorrow and affliction consciously from the path. On awaking from so legibly inscribed on any brow. this delicious dream, I found that I had totally No sooner did our conversation commence than lost my way; all my endeavours to regain the esteem and astonishment took possession of my right track were unavailing, and such was my soul; never had I met with a man who combined situation, when I heard a sudden rustling near such a variety of attainments; he passed with me in the thicket. On raising my eyes, a man perfect ease from one subject to another, and it stood by my side, and enquired whither I was appeared as though he had devoted a whole life going? I replied that I had lost my way, and to the study of eacn. Meanwhile a clock that at the same time mentioned the name of my stood in the next room struck twelve, and at the uncle's mansion, requesting him to conduct me same time I heard the report of a gun from withthe nearest road to it. He paused for a few out. I started. “That is the signal for dinner, seconds, and then answered :-"'Tis a great said my host; we turn day into night, and night way, and I cannot possibly conduct you now; into day. You will sit down with the refuse of but if you will accept of a night's lodging in my mankind, with a band of robbers, but you have house, follow me.”
notluing to fear. At the table of kings you may I hesitated not a moment to accept this pro- often eat with greater villains, and the rights of posal. He walked along by my side in profound hospitality are with us sacred and inviolable." silence, answered none of my questions, and ap He took me by the hand; a table was spread peared to be quite absorbed in thought. Al beneath a moss-grey oak in the front of the hut. length he said, "You have not been long in 1 seated myself beside my host; eighteen other this king loin.” No, replied I, but who made | persons partook of the simple repast, seasoned you acquainted with my situation?"
"Your-only by the narratives of the leader. All listened self.” I stood still, and looked at him with the attentively to him; there was nothing that could utmost astonishment. “Myself,” cried I, in be construed into the slightest breach of de. amaze. “Yes, yourself; this wood is frequented corum, but the conversation was such as you by robbers, and you seem not to be afraid." | scarcely expect to find in the most polished
Why should I be afraid, I have nothing about private houses. me that can be of any value to robbers." He The repast being finished, I returned with my now grasped my hand with eageruess. “Young former companion alone to the apartment we man, said he, you have nothing to fear; the had quitted. Our conversation was renewed, robbers in this wood never commit murder." but not with the same vivacity. My host had
Amidst this conversation we arrived at the become more grave, and all that he now said bore door of a habitation concealed in a deep recess of the character of gloomy misanthropy. the wood. My companion knocked three times; struck with the unusual colour of his room, and a rough voice cried from within,-" Who is at leng:n asked, "Why did you chuse black, there?” “A son of nighi," was the reply of my that colour makes one sad, and it is our duty to conductor. The door opened; I saw myself, by be cheerful ” “ You are right,” replied he, in the light of a lamp, in a spacious apartment, a sarcastic, but by no means offensive tone. painted black; the walls were decorated with “You are right if you speak of yourself, but as arins; a few chairs, and two tables, composed for me, I know joy only by name; to me that the whole of the furniture. One of then stood sensation has long been a stranger. You look at heneath a looking-glass, was covered with a white these walls; their black colour excites your sur
prize. It is the colour of my fate, and Oh! versation was of considerable length. It was that it were also the colour of my heart !-An about seven o'clock when I prepared to depart; extraordinary wish!- It only appears so to you. for I would not for the wealth of both the Indies With a black heart I had perhaps been happy, I have reminded him of a promise which seemed now I ain wretched, inexpressibly wretched ! all to give hiin so much pain. “ Then you are my riches consist in yonder skull (at the same going,” said he. “I must, replied I; at home time pointing to it with a terrific look and dis all my friends will be under apprehensions on my torted features). It is my all, continued he; account." “You are right; for they know that when in the hours of serious meditation I stand this is the retreat of robbers; but wait a few before it, and the thought that I tou shall cease moments.” He then ordered a couple of horses to exist arises in my soul, then alone am I rich, to be saddled, and led me back to my seat. Ticher than your princes, or the greatest of for Young man, said he, in a grave and solemn tune's favourites. "They lose, I gain; to them tone, I will keep the promise I gave you, and death is terrible, to me it is a blessing. To die you shall know the history of my life. I am never to wake more, what a delightful thought, the only son of a man of high rank in this kingon which I can never contemplate enough! I dom; my father, who was very rich, expended shall once sleep, and those serpents with me that large sums on my education, and I flatter myself prey upon my vitals! Whoever shakes my faith that they were not thrown away. I shall pass in annihilation, robs me of felicity! Oh, there over the early years of my life, which cannot are moments in which it would be happiness 10 have any interest for you, and shall begin my be deprived of reason, a fearful truth, which in narrative with my leaving the academy. On my the days of prosperity I could not have believed. return I received promotion, and in a few years Sorrow and anguish impress deeper wrinkles on had the fairest prospect of being called to conduct the brow than the tooth of time; but they are
the helm of the state. Insatiable pride swayed not mortal."
the bosomn of my father; he loved me only be. The clock now struck two. My host shud cause my progressive elevation was flattering to dered. “ Already so late ?" • said he, and added that passion. Such was my situation ; surrounded in a milder tone :-" Pardon me, stranger, for
with brilliant prospects,l, arrogant boy, imagined having so long cheated you of your rest; in that
that I could read the book of futurity, forgetful roon my bed is prepared for you; sieep and be
that the wisest of men cannot predict with cernot afraid.”
tainty the events of the next minute. I saw a I cordially grasped his right hand. “ You | young female belonging to the lower class of have told me too much, said l; you have ex the people. That inexplicable passion which cited ny curiosity; may I intreat you to com has precipitated many a useful statesman, many municate to me your history?” But heavens ! a valiant warrior, from the pinnacle of glory, what request had I made! his features assumed took entire possession of my heart. At first I a terrific appearance; his look was that of de- | employed every possible expedient to subdue her spair.
virtue. She repulsed me with contempt, and “My history, replied he, with a ghastly smile, the fire burned still more fiercely. I'threw my. would not lull you to pleasing dreams; it would self at the feet of my father, and implored him make the hair of your head stand on end, it consent to our union. ' Are you mad' thunwould cause you to repent your request, and
dered he, spurning me from him, a drab, from never will I violate the rights of hospitality. I the scum of the people, my daughter-in-law ! wish my guests to sleep in peace beneath my
rather could I see you and her on the gallows roof. But to-morrow, before you depart, you
than at the altar. What room had I now for shall hear the history of my life,--short, but not hope? Half a year passed away; I saw her agreeable as a moment of pleasure.”
seldom, but my passion daily increased in vioI went and threw myself upon the bed, but
lence. In more iranquil hours, I certainly adwas unable to sleep. From time to time I heard vanced every possible objection that could be a noise in the hut, and then again profound | made agarist such an union; but what influence silence. At last the clock struck five; I could has cold reason over a heart replete with glowing restrain myself no longer, sprung up from the passions? Vanquished at length in this conbed, and opened the door of the chamber. My | Aict, I fed with her to one of the remotest prohost was still seated before the chimney, with his vinces of the kingdom, where the liand of the eyes fixed on the extinguished ashes.
priest united us. With the little money I had have not slept, said he: is this dwelling doomed | taken with me I purchased a small farm. Here to chase sleep from every eye?” He then made
Rosalia and myself lived by the labour of our me sit down beside him, and a simple rustic
hands. These, these were the halcyon days of breakfast soon made its appearance. Our con
my life! Beneath the lowly roof of my cottage
I enjoyed greater happiness than the prince with He pressed my hand at parting; the copious his diadem, or the hero crowned with laurels. tears trickled from his large blue eyes, and at. But let us hasten over these scenes. At the tested the truth of his narrative. “Adieu ! that expiration of a year I pressed a pledge of our was the skull of my wife." I departed ; at the love to my bosom, and for iwo more blissful door I stopped, and once more urned towards years, continued to taste the delights of con. him. “ Will you never rerurn again to the jugal and paternal love, out of the cup of human society of men?"_“Never; all that could impart felicity. One evening, on my return from the || felicity is consigned to the grave; and, besides, chase, 1 found my father at home with my wife. I am more serviceable here than I should be This spectacle excited sensations which it is im- | among you. I am the Captain of a band of possible to express. Rosalia, penetrated with robbers; now they only venture to plunder, gratitude, was embracing his knees, my little boy whereas were it not for me they would assuredly was bathing his hand with tcars of infantine love. murder too." Joy threw me senseless on his bosom, for his I left him, and accompanied by his servant, consent was alone wanting to complete the mea arrived at the skirt of the wood, whence I easily sure of my happiness. In a word, it was the found my way back to the mansion of my uncle. greatest festival.that filial love and gratitude ever Most certainly there are men, guilty of the celebrated. But pardon me, stranger, I scarcely I greatest crimes, who are proudly condemned by know how to proceed. In three days my wife | the multitude, but who, were we acquainted and child died of poison, given them by my fa. with their history, would not only be found ther; and on the fourth dient that father by the deserving of indulgence but perhaps of esteem. dagger of his son! Adieu, stranger.”
A PARTICULAR ACCOUNT OF THE LAST ERUPTION.
This account is dated 15 h July, 1806, from a light, that at a league's distance, one might Resina, which is four miles distant from Naples, easily have read a letter. I endeavoured to conat the foot of the mountain leading to the bot- ljecture in what other part of the mountain it was tom of the cone that forms the volcano.
probable another eru tion would take place; On May 31, about ten o'clock in the evening, when at four o'clock precisely, the volcano began as I was retiring to bed, I heard a noise something to discharge inflamed matter through three new like a violent gust of wind; at which I was so mouths, without the discharge having been premuch the more surprised, as a moment before I ceded by an earthquake. These mouths, or had observed that the sky was fine and clear. || issues, were near one another, at about one hunHowever, I would not take the trouble of en dred toises from the top of the mountain The quiring into the cause of this unexpected change, || lava issued from the side of the Torre del Greco, but a person whom I had sent to Naples return. and l'Annunziata, near Portici, on the road from ing a quarter of an hour after, I got up to speak | Naples to Pompeia. I went in the evi ning to with him. Asl passed near the stair-case, 1 the foot of Vesuvius, to examine a torrent of lava could see through the trees of a grove, a blaze that had already reached to a distance from the issuing from Mount Vesuvius, in height about mountain. Although it was the most inconsider100 toises. This Aame alternately rose and sunk, able branch, yet it was at least, 12 or 13 feet and resembled those beautiful sheaves which are
wide, and 8 deep; a very torrent of fire. so greatly admired in well executed fire-works. June 2, between six and seven o'clock in the It was a confused mixture of stones and inflam morning, the smoke began to rise with greater mable inaiter, thrown up from the crater of the violence thari on the preceding day; it was also volcano, and which, as they fell, seemed to be thicker. During the whole day a hollow sound fluid. We were then threatened with two dread prevailed, similar to that of two armies engaged, ful calamities, an earthquake which generally whose artillery and musketry are well served. precedes the eruption, and the eruption itself, | Towards night I approached the great torrent of on that side where the lava would flow. I spent lava, which was rather slow in its progress. 1 esthe whole night in observing this sheaf of fire timated it 200 feet long, and 15 deep. The whole which continually increased, and diffused such mass resembled a wall of glass in the act of meltu
ing; sometimes I could see Aashes of lightning || We then proceeded, and were ob.g.d to climb shooting from it, and these were followed by a rather than to walk ; however by half after one report as loud as that of guy of a large calibre. | o'clock, we arrived at the summit. We found Whatever happened to impede the course of the the ascent very difficult, as the eruption had lava, vines, trees, houses, &c. was instantly melt destroyed the former pail-way. We were under ed or devoured. I arrived at the moment when
a necessity of proceeding up a new one on the the lava was sapping the foundations of a wall in opposite side, which was almost perpendicular, front of which was the bed of a torrent from This path-way was composed of ashes and s’ones, thirty to forty feet deep. I saw the wall givell in which we sunk up to our knees. We found way, and the lava precipitate itselt like a cataract the mountain totally altered Those parts which of fire, nearly perpendicular, into the bed of the had formerly been filled with the lava and pebe torrent. This kind of sea of fire, which covers bles, and over which it was equally dilficult and three miles of a most fruitful country, and forms, dangerous to proceed, are now become a plain, but one mass from the mouth whence it issued to and so levelled, that an army might manauvre the point where it stops, is a sight, at there. If the volcano were but extinguished, amazingly grand and dreadful. June 3, the lava cert in hillocks here and there might be culran very slowly, and through a single opening. tivated; but no doubt it is far from that state. The matter which on the 2d ran from the other The former cra er has disappeared, it is filled two apertures, hał stopped at the foot of Vesuvius. up with ashes and lava, but a new one has been At night the whole mass had ceased to advance, il formed at the eastern part of the mountain, which the borders were already cool, although the inid- || is about one hundered fathoms deep, and nearly dle was burning A few detonations were heard, as wide at its opening. We descended about but not so frequently as on the preceding day. half way, but dared not proceed any farther. We The mountain continued to emit clouds of were already close to the flames, and felt a most smoke.
violent heat. In this position we continued half On the 4th and 5th the hollow noise from the an hour, admiring the spectacle offered by the interior of the moun:ain became much louder, | liquid lava bubbling at the bottom of the crater; and continued during much longer periods than which resembles the melted matter in the boiler before. The bellowing was distinctly heard both of a glass-house. The stones that we threw into at Naples and at Portici, notwithstanding they it were insiantly melted. The mountain is conare two leagues distant from one another. A siderably lowered, and has two large clefis, one thick smoke continued to issue from every part | facing la Torre del Greco, the other fronting of the crater. Soon after, clonds of ashes rose, Resina. A new eruption is very much appreand orerspread the country around; the lava hended, on account of the large quantity of meited next followed. It issued from the same chası, mat'er which remins in the cra'er, and of the as the most considerable torrent had ran in the clefts observed in the mountain. These clefts same direction. On the 6th and 7th the volcano are not in the crater, some are a mile distant from vomited a large quantity of ashes: Portici, Resina, || it; the most considerable hardly reaches the and la Torre del Greco, were entirely covered with top. them, but the internal noise had subsided. It The damage occasioned by this eruption is imwas renewed with still greater violence on the
The governor of la Torre del Greco, has 8th and Ith, over Portici and Resina, and poured | reported the great distress of so many families, a sable and thick sain, consisting of mud and sul and of niost of the coun'ry people, whose whole phurenus particles. On the following days, the harves, has been desiroyed. The first step towards noise from the interior rolled at long intervals their relief has been exempting from all taxes the only; the smoke, though not so thick, conti property that had suff-red A resolution has also nued to rise from the mountain ; a small quantity | passed :bat the Benevolent Commission should of ashes also rose, but fell back into the crater. in future raise a fund to indemnify such land
July 1, as I -upposed the eruption to be ter owners or faners in the neighbourhood of Vesu. minated, although the mountain continued to viu, as might become sufferers by eruptions of sinoke, I set off with a few friends to visit Vesu the volcano; a su scriprion wili be opened for vius. At 10 o'clock in the evening we reached the imınediate relief of the unfortunate sufferers. the hermitage, where we stopped till midnight.
THE GOLDEN MIRROR;
A TRUE HISTORY, TRANSLATED FROM THE SHESHIANESE.
[Continned from Vol. I. Page 478.]
The good king of Sheshian, proceeded Nur- 1) number of the happy increased around him. To mahal in her narrative, who gave occaion 10 this conclude, it would be unnecessary to enumerate laudable remark of a great inonarch, whatever to your highness all ihe good effects of the taste may have been his nanl , deserves at least the and the arts, of which you yourself are so great praise of a good taste in the choice of his fa a judge and promoter. Here and there were 'vourites; for the beautiful Lili, his favourite, was some splenetic people, become unfit for frienda compound of all that can render a person of our ship and the superior joys of life, who raised' a sex amiable. And even should the poets,
lamentable cry against those innovations. What painters, statuaries, and medalists of her time horror! exclaimed they, shaking their uncombed have flattered her, yet it is not to be denied, that || heads with portentous looks. What will be the the nation had cause to bless her memory. Never fruit of all this? This fondness for conveniency was there a greater patroness of the arts than the and pleasure, this resined taste, this reigning inbeautiful Lili, She introduced the culture of clination to sensuality will be the ruin of the na. silk into Sheshian, and drew thither a multitude tion. Pompous festivals will dissipate the profits of Persian, Chinese, and Indian urtists, who, by of the days of labour, and luxurious expence her encouragement, bronght the several arts and consume the superfluiry of parsimony and tempermanufactures to a high degree of excellence. ance; pleasure will introduce idleness, and idleThe Sheshianese, under her government--this is ness the whole corrupt brood of vices. The rich the very expression of the his an--became ac will become insatiable, and with all the refine quainted with the conveniences and the luxuries / ing of their sentiment, will make no scruple to of life, of which the generality had hitherto had draw as much as they can from the property of no notion. They thought themselves indebted the poor to swell their hoards. The poor will be to her for the enjoyment of a new and an infinitely not a whit more consciencious in doing and more pleasing existence. She brought the public | suffering any thing, however unjust and distreasure into an animating circulation, which | graceful, so it may but afford the means of raishad been buried in useless state in the exchequering them to the envied condition of the vich. of the former kings, like the bodies of the Monstrous vices, unnatural excesses, treasoils, Pharaohs in their pompous pyramids. Her ex plots, and parricides will, from their frequency, ample allured the great and opulent to imitation. lose the horrors they present to the uncorrupted The capital modeled itself after the court, and the mind; and not till the nation is irrecoverably provincial towns adopted the manners of the capi. lost, will it be perceived that the beautiful tal. Genius and industry vied with each other Lili was the fascinating and beloved authoross to pat the whole kingdom in a lively and bene- of our ruin. ficial activity ; for ingenuity and diligence were Some old people who had lived so prudently the direct methods to attain conveniency and for sixty or seventy years, as not yet to be obliged abundance, and who is not desirous to pass his to give up all share in the joys of life, saw the life as agreeably as possible? The beneficent affair in another light. Our splenetic and enerLili even brought the inhabitants of Sheshian to vated brethren, are not altogether in the wrong, an acquaintance with the charms of music and said they ; dissipations and amusements, as the the drama ; and however prejudicial these pre seasoning of life, may, by immoderate enjoyment, sents were in the sequel to their welfare, it is become certainly pejudicial. Nature intended nevertheless undeniable, that at first they had a them as the recompence of labour, not as the very wholesome effect. In proportion as the sen solace of idleness. Yet it is undeniable, that not timents of the Sheshianese became inore re the beautiful Lili, but Nature herself, is the fined, their manners visibly increased in eie enchantress who presents us with this celestial gance. They becaine more companionable, more nectar, which she has prepared for us with her mild and tractable, they were more pleasant in own hands, and of which a few drops are suffi. their behaviour to each other, their social enjoy- || cient to make us forget all the troubles of life. ments were heightened, and each felt his own Or, is it not Nature who conducts mankind from portion of happiness augmented as he saw the one step of improvenient to another, and by