Imatges de pàgina
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Allustrated Article.

stopping every passenger from the prince

to the bargeman, and demanding sali, THE PROPHECY.*

an Etonian synonyme for money, under pain of summary castigation.

As Morley was traversing a retired

road on his return from a most profil. He was brought to tbis

able predatory excursion, he observed By a vain propbecy.-HENRY THE EIGHTH.

a very extraordinary figure standing in

the centre of his path. He appeared It was the morning of the montem.

to be a man upwards of fifty, upon Eton was a scene of the busiest prepa- whose brow, however, suffering rather ration. Clavering was senior colleger, than years seemed to have indented and was therefore to be the chief actor friend and cousin, was to be one of the rather than amenity. His eyes were in the pageant of the day. Morley, his many deep lines, which imparted to his

countenance an expression of sternness runners, for which he had provided a splendid fancy dress, that bid fair to ing that in spite of wrinkles, which

dark, prominent, and full of fire, showeclipse every other in the procession. traversed his forehead in broad and At the appointed hour, the merry col. clearly defined ridges, the spirit was legers proceeded in regular array to yet unsubdued by the great conqueror Salthill, where the captain of the aca

Time; and that though he had passed demic band, ascending a certain emi- into the " yellow leaf,” his faculties nence, flourished a flag as preliminary were still green. His hair was short, 10 the busy proceedings of the morning. thick, and grizzled ; his eyebrows exAfter this ceremony had been duly per- ceedingly bushy and prominent, while formed, the runners set out upon their the flowing beard, which almost coverusual expedition of authorised robbery, ed his expansive chest, was nearly Court Mag.

white, except that portion of it which Vol. X.


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grew high upon the cheek and upper lip. “ I tell thee again thon art too fine for This was quite black, and blending a beggar. Go to-go 10-silly dog!” with the exuberant growth beneath his I beg not, but exact.” chin, gave him an appearance, though “ And suppose I should refuse thy by no means repulsive, yet somewhat demand-thou art not a very formidable approaching to the superhuman. He assessor." had evidently been handsome. The " Then force should compel it.". wreck of beauty was indeed upon his The stranger smiled scornfully:-lineaments, but they were nevertheless Come, disburse; a sixpence will noble in ruins. Though the hand of purchase your security from any further time had begun to crumble the fabric, molestation : we take anything but still the grandeur of the present was copper." enhanced by associations of the past. “ If a sixpence could be divided into The stranger's figure was tall, and of intangible atoms, I'd rather blow them fine proportions. He wore a sort of to the winds than give thee one.

Fie tunic, confined by a thin silk girdle, upon your custom.

You rob!-ay, you which showed it to great advantage. It may frown, young bully, and strut like was evident that he affected singularity, a peacock round a well-I say it at all and he certainly had attained his object. risks, and in good current English,Upon bis head he had an undress hussar you rob in order to make a gentleman cap, and from his shoulders hung a of your school-fellow, and purchase an mantle of purple cloth, edged with tar- honourable title with the fruits of nished silver. His hose were of grey knavery. Beware of him, young man ! cotton, carefully gartered with white He will be a serpent in your path, and ribbons, and he was shod with a short sting the hand that fosters him. Take buskin which reached just above the heed, I say; he will repay thy legalised ankle. He seemed fully to have sub- larceny in his behalf with the devil's scribed to the court fool's maxim, that requital. A word to the wise-if thou’rt “motley's the only wear.” Though, a fool, why thou wert born no better however, there was something fantastic than thy kind, and wert therefore born in his dress, it was by no means un

to be fooled.” becoming. There was an odd sort of - What mean you ?" elegance about it, which arose perhaps “ I mean, in the first place, that I more from the fine symmetry of the will not give the value of a rush to figure which it covered, than from any help to mature an embryo villain. I harmonious combination of the colours mean, in the next place, that this which composed it. Morley rensember. Clavering, for whom thou art graceless ed to have heard that a person had been enough to pillage the poor passenger, frequently seen in the neighbourhood is that villain.” who was supposed to be mad, and who Morley was staggered. He felt his it now occurred to him precisely an- heart throb with indignation, but was swered to the description of the figure absolutely overawed by the manner of before him. He nevertheless advanced the mysterious person who addressed boldly towards the stranger, and de- him. There was a something in it at manded salt

once so commanding and uncommon, Salt !- what mean you ?"

associating, too, with it, as Morley did, Money."

an idea of insanity, that he could nei« Go to the rich."

ther summon resolution to exact a con“Weexact from rich and poor alike.” tribution from him, nor divest himself

Exact ! thou art then both publican of an apprehension that there was a and sinner."

prophetic spirit in his words; for im“Come, wilt thou deposit thy tri- pressions often get the better of our bule ?” and he extended the mouth of judgments, and force us to believe, in a richly embroidered bag. “Let me spite of the contradictions of our reason. beg, venerable sir, that I may not be Belief is independent of our wills, and detained."

we are frequently conscious of a creBeg ? Thou art too fine for a beggar; dulity which we should be extremely thy livery belies thy calling. I should reluctant to avow, and of which our have taken thee for some knave's serv very consciences make us feel ashamed. ing man, who had robbed a theatre to Morley tried to shake off the impression apparel thee ; but that I am more cha- which had so suddenly overcast his ritably disposed to think thou art some spirits, but no appeal to his better ape's serving monkey.” The blood sense could overcome its influence. He rushed to Morley's cheek in a torrent. felt unaccountably depressed; never

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theless, affecting to laugh at the omi- bent his head, and left the astonished nous prediction, with a smiling coun- Morley almost transfixed to the spot. tenance, but a throbbing heart, he said A sudden thrill passed through his to his mysterious interlocutor, in a tone whole frame. His brain began to whirl, of assumed pomposity,“ How long hast and his heart to sicken. It passed, howthou been a prophet, sage sir? I cry ever, in a few moments, but was sucthee mercy; I thought the season of ceeded by a depression which fell like prophecy had gone by. Art thou another a paralysis upon his hitherto buoyant Cornelius Agrippa, or a male Mother spirit. He was ashamed of his want of Shipton, whose vaticinal, like the sibyl energy, still he found it impossible to leaves, contained prophecies that never baffle the despondency which was stealcame to pass, except when some kind ing upon him. He felt as if he was soul was sottish enough to do a silly about to be the victim of some indefinthing, merely for the sake of realising able visitation. He was conscious, it the prophecy. Nay, tell me, thou mo- is true, of the utter absurdity of such an dern Archimago, can’st thou really look apprehension, yet he could not stifle it; behind the curtain of the present, down he could not get rid of the awful imthe dark vista of the future, and tell of pression which the words, and especial. things to be ?- Thou art beside thy- ly the last words, of the stranger had self, as the Roman said to the Apostle left upon him. It seemed as if his inof Tarsas, too much learning has most soul had been laid bare to the made thee mad.'"

scrutiny of that inysterious man, for he “ It is well, boy; thou art a cun was evidently acquainted with the emoning simpleton, but a mole would have tion which his warning had excited perception enough to discover how within him, and which Morley used his poorly that smirk and flippant wagging best endeavours to disguise. of the tongue hides the tremour within. ““ Is it possible,” he thought, “that There's lie written upon thy face ; 'tis lcan have anything to dread from Clamarked as legibly as coward upon thy vering ? We have been reared toheart; for while the one assumes the gether. We have been attached from smile of incredulity, which is unblush- infancy, and he has never wronged me. ingly contradicted by the pallid cheek Why then should I suspect him ? It and quivering lip, the throb of appre- were unjust-nay, it were base to queshension disturbs the other.” Morley tion his intregity or to doubt his love." was struck dumb. He felt this to be

Morley was extremely distressed, and too true, and his awe of the stranger joined his companions in no very enincreased. The latter continued—“Re- viable frame of mind. It was some days member, I have warned thee. Thou art before he entirely recovered his spi. young, and hast not yet tasted the rits; and even when he had recovered bitters of disappointinent. I have them, the recollection of that myste

wrung them out. They are prepared rious being who had cast such a dark for thy speedy quaffing, and they shall shadow before his future path, would be as the gall of asps' within thee. frequently intrude to perplex and disAgain, I bid thee beware of Clavering. quiet him. He had no absolute faith Farewell !"

in the gift of vaticination. In all apHe was about to depart, when Morley, peals to his reason upon this question, impelled by a superstitious excitement, the answer was brief and unequivocal. which he had never before felt, but Nevertheless, whatever might be the could not now controul, exclaimed suggestions of his reason to the con

“Stay; one question more before we trary, he could not, against the direct part. As I am to he unhappy, is my bias of his feelings, shake off the imlife to be long or short!”

pression so emphatically forced upon " Let me see thy palm." He took his mind, by the prophetic caution Morley's hand, and after having atten- which he had received to beware of tively surveyed it for several moments, Clavering. Time, and a change of said, in a tone of most painful and al- scene, however, at length weakened in most appalling solemnity,“ Thou wilt his mind the freshness of this strange not count the midnight hour of thy event; and the remembrance of it eventhirty-fourth birti-day; death will take tually became no longer painful. thee with the bloom upon thy cheek-To account for the bitterness of the the worm will feed daintily upon it stranger's expressions against Claverbut we must all die ; what matters it ing, it will soffice to state that the latter when?"

had seduced, and heartlessly abandonSaying this he slowly turned, slightly ed, a poor, but amiable girl in the

neighbourhood. This Morley knew; though not indeed without a very paryet such is the force of that happy li- row escape, honourably acquitted. berality of principle inculcated among Clavering was found guilty and exethe better born of the land, when in cuted. statu pupillari at those great fountains For a considerable period after this of learning, our public schools, that he tragical event, the warning and predicnever allowed it for a moment to engen- tion of the stranger were constantly der a thought, that such a trifling ac- recurring, with the most painful intencident could in any way operate upon sity, to Morley's mind. He had been Clavering's friendship for him. He warned by that extraordinary man to therefore could not make up his mind beware of Clavering, and by neglecting 10 suspect his cousin's integrity of feel the warning his life had been placed in ing towards himself; and, in spite of jeopardy. He remembered ihe predicthe stranger's warning, treated him, as tion which limited his life to bis thirtyhe had ever done, with confidence and fourth birth-day. He was now scarcely regard.

three-and-twenty, but eleven years Four years soon passed, and the seemed so short a term to one who had friendship of the cousins had not aba a strong desire of life, that he became ted. Clavering bad passed through his melancholy as he looked forward to its academic ordeal, and taken his degree, terminating so speedily. In spite of though his character at college had himself he could not bring his mind to been anything but unblemished. He feel, though he could easily bring bis had acquired some equivocal propen- reason to admit, the absurdity of a presities, and had been suspected of some diction of which no human creature very questionable acts, which had could have a divine assurance, because nearly been the cause of his expulsion such divine communications have long from the university. This was not un- since ceased to be made ; and he seemed known to Morley; and occasionally to grow daily more and more convinced the warning of the stranger shot like a that the hour of his death was written scathing flash across bis memory, leave in the lines of his palm, and had been ing a momentary pang at his heart; but read by the mysterious stranger. He that regard which had been nurtured in knew the idea was weak-that it was infancy and matured in manhood, was superstitious, but he could not controul too deeply rooted within him to be it. It was a sort of mental calenture, staggered by what might after all be presenting to his mind what his reason nothing more than a whimsical caution. readily detected to be a figment, but the mere chance ebullition of madness. which his morbid apprehensions subShortly, however, after Clavering quit- stantiated into a reality. He became ted the university, he associated him- so extremely depressed, that his mother, self with a set of men whose characters his now only surviving parent, began were at the best doubtful, and Morley to be exceedingly alarmed. Seeing her was earnestly advised to break off all anxiety, he fully stated to her the cause intercourse with a man, who was evi: of his unusual depression. She argued dently declining every day in the good with him upon the folly, nay, the criopinion of all who knew him. Mor- minality of giving way to an apprehenley, however, could not make up his sion which, in the very nature of things, mind to relinquish the society of his must be perfectly groundless ; since kinsman, for whom he had so long felt even the sacred scriptures represent the a very sincere attachment, because hour of death as a matter hidden amongst some few rumoured deviations from the mysteries of Providence, and therestrict propriety of conduct were laid to fore beyond the penetration of man. his charge, but which had not been sub- The caution which the stranger had stantiated even by the shadow of a given him to beware of Clavering afproof. His eyes, however, were unex- forded no proof of extraordinary penepectedly opened to the baseness of his tration, since one who had shown himkinsman's character. To Morley's self to be so wantonly profligate in consternation, Clavering was suddenly youth, as Clavering had done, was a taken up on a charge of forgery to a very fit object of warning; and surely very considerable amount, and upon it could be no evidence of supernatural his examination he had the atrocious endowment, or the gift of more than audacity to implicate his relative, who ordinary foresight, to bid a person bewas in consequence apprehended as

ware of a bad man. These representaan accomplice, put upon his trial, but, tions were not without their effect; yet



as the clouds of despondency dispersed well as in eternity, since he had pai but tardily, his mother persuaded him his successful addresses to a very beauto go abroad with some sprightly tiful girl, and the period was appointed friends, hoping that change of scene for their union. It was fixed for the might restore his mind to its wonted day after the lady should attain her repose. Nor was she deceived ; after one-and-twentieth year, which would an absence of three years he returned carry Morley nearly to his thirty-fifth ; quite an altered man. The impression so that it was clear he anticipated no left by the prophecy of the stranger intervening evil ; on the contrary, he seemed to have entirely passed from his talked of the consummation of his hapmemory. He had formed new friend- piness with a fluency and earnestness, ships, marked out new prospects, and which clearly showed that he fully exappeared to look forward without any pected to see it realised. His mother withering apprehensions of evil. His was much pleased to observe that he no mother was delighted to observe the longer clung to those old recollections, change, though even she, as he ad- which she even now feared to revive, vanced towards his thirty-fourth birth- and to which she could not herself reday, could not help entertaining certain vert without a strong but indefinite apmisgivings, when she thought upon that prehension of danger. melancholy prediction, which had so To be concluded in our next. long cast a shadow across the course of her son's peace.

JOHNNY FRY. Year after year, however, rolled on without any event happening to interropt the uniformity of a very unche

He was a compound of the simple quered life, until Morley entered upon and good-natured; the suspicious and the thirty-fourth year of his age. The irritable ; the gentleman and the dupe. impression originally left by the strang: His father dying when Johnny was a er's prediction had been entirely effaced, and as he never mentioned the young man, and leaving him a decent circumstance, his mother justly surmised competency, he entered the world on that he had forgotten it altogether. She taste this decided his own peculiar

his own ground and formed his own had not, however. She watched the character. He soon felt a penchant for days, weeks, and months roll on, with acquiring a superiority over his kind the most painful anxiety; not that she but uneducated neighbours, and be. believed the stranger's prophecy was

came (as he thought) a cinder-heated about to be accomplished, but because

convert to the loquacious harangues of she longed to be assured of its fallacy. Geoffry Wildgoose, the spiritual Anxiety and belief clashed, and the latter was shaken by the perpetual cole Quixote, and trudged like a true enthulision. The possibility of its fulfilment Gloucestershire and over the chalky

siast through the limb-tiring wolds of was ever present to her mind, and this hills of Wilts, considering himself as possibility, however apparently remote at first, was brought nearer and nearer by predetermination to open communi,

a 'new light' sprung up and destined every time it recurred to her thoughts, cations with perishing creatures,' and until at length it appeared before her establish his opinions in their minds to with all the vividness and amplitude of their inestimable good. Much to his reality. The death of her only son was mortification, however, his labours an idea continually presented to her

were vain, he lost much of his money waking thoughts, as well as to her slum- and all his time. To counteract this bering faculties ; that however strongly her reason might argue against mental aberration, a friend took him by

misled propensity, and save him from its probability, still the phantoms of the fand and became treasurer to the thought would arise without any formal modicum left, which, unfortunately for evocation, and they addressed them- him, was inadequate, as Fry had a selves more potently to the mind's eye, most unconscionable and ungovernable than the wiser suggestions of reason to appetite. He was not a glutton only, the understanding. So manifest was Morley's emancipation from the fetters of the bottle and barrel, and would de

but a temporal thirster after the liquids of that moody apprehension which had

vour more at a table in both characters .formerly enslaved his mind, that not than any other man in the county: His only was his spirit buoyant, and his fellow, indeed, was not known in the peace undisturbed, but he evidently looked forward to happiness in time as

memory of his cotemporaries for "home consumption.' Surely his throat was

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