Imatges de pàgina
PDF
EPUB

nothing saw she of life, save the merry flies that danced in circles beneath the painted ceiling.

“ Emmelina !” said the voice, “ dost thou love me? Dost thou hold to thy plighted troth ?”

" Who art thou, mysterious voice?-I know thee, Fitz-Arnley-my own Fitz-Arnley; these are the dulcet tones that won my virgin soul; yet that noble form of thine that won mine affection first, where, where, oh where is that?"

“I,” replied Fitz-Arnley, for he it was, who, as a spirit, was present, I am now potential, I am as a spirit,- I love thee still! I can fetch thee diamonds from Golcondine mines, ere thou canst ask them! I can bring pearls from the depths of ocean, ere thou hast space to desire them !-I can make thee rich! I can make thee powerful- "

O Fitz-Arnley !” replied Emmelina, “this, this is very true; but unless thou assumest manly form, thou canst not make me happy! think'st thou I can wed a voice, or a film of spirit-holding air! Not I, dearest-not I-can love aught that hath not substance !"

Fitz-Arnley stood before her.

“Come, dear one, come with me to the realms of space! Come," cried he, “ come to visit with me all the corners of the earth! come

Suddenly the door was thrown open wide, and the father of Emmelina was present. Loudly had Fitz-Arnley spoken; 'twas a man's voice in the chamber of beauty : the father heard the adjuration “Come!” and lo! he came!, Swiftly Fitz-Arnley put his arm around the maiden, and through the window Aed ;--the father grasped his daughter's dress, seeking where with to detain her, in vain; the frail fabric rent in his grasp, and, unconscious of posterior barrenness of covering, his hapless daughter fled!

Then came despair as a black veil over the heart of the venerable parent.

“My child ! my child! Hence bears her some genius evil!-My child ! 'My child 1-0!-destitute I am!"

Meanwhile throughout aërial realms, till evening shadows came, the lovers flying filed! Then cold, by Emmeline first felt there where, through the father's zeal, least covering now there was, afflicted them ; and to the setting sun, now near the water's edge, to warm themselves they flew,-and, there arrived, they basked in the hot rays, and he, potential, the new spirit-made Fitz-Arnley, numb his hands from bearing her, his Emmelina, for so long a time, forgetful, close to the red fiery orb, as to some parlour stove, extended wide his palms,forgot his grasp of her till now he had supported, and, O, misery!0, Fates !-0, Furies !-0, Forgetfulness !-she fell, down, down, five hundred fathoms down,-down, down,-into the sea! Fitz-Arnley in aoguish looked, awhile entranced, then followed her to rescue! Down she plunged into the tide-she lived, but, -Horror, (!-a greedy shark was near, and with remorseless bite snapped off one of her legs !—To rescue this Fitz-Arnley followed; battled with the fish, forgetting that it would more prudent be to save the body than that part,-meanwhile an arm became another monster's prey,-enraged, the lover darted after it,-another leg was gone,-ubiquitous Fitz-Arnley was N.S.-VOL. IV.

2 B

not,--next the head was snapped from off her lily neck,—the body gone,-and Emmelina was distributed among six fishes!

For an hundred years, the fated lover strove to find again the parts thus lost. He slew and opened sharks unnumbered; found a head at length, and then, in time, an arm,—and so till all he had regainedall, save one leg, and that he could not find !

In a cool grot he buried her (except the missing leg); and there he stood, beneath the waves, and watched her! All the fairest sea weeds grew about her shell-formed tomb, and passing fishes dropped compassion's tear;-Fitz-Arnley stood unmoved !

The sea wafted o'er him her stony deposit-yet still he stood, soon to become a living monument ;--years fled on-and a hard case of petrifaction enclosed his soul !

“Alas! a hard case his !” murmured Tom Briton ; but, by the excited author of the tale, his wretched pun passed unheeded.

“ Is not that fine!" cried Walter Pump; “I Aatter myself that is my master-piece! The fate of my hero and heroine is quite unparalleled, and the style in the best sentimental fashion."

“Sir," said Tom, “I congratulate you on your powers; they have reached the ears of Miss Jones, who esteems you as you deserve ;should you but read to her that little composition, she would be charmed.”

“D'ye think so ?" cried Walter Pump, with the vanity peculiar to great men, eagerly catching at the bait, -" D'ye think so? I'll put it in my pocket this evening, and, when I take the milk, will try its effect on the simplicity of nature.”

Tom, having now gained his end, made his exit as soon as possible, and we adjourned to the dwelling-house of the Misses Tabitha and Dorothea Jones.

My aunts kept one of those miscellaneous store shops, in the windows of which the admiring eye of childhood gloats over peg-tops, and marbles, and kites,-hard-bake, rock, bull's eyes, and other preparations with mysterious names, designed for juvenile delectation ;here they were, in the act of using their persuasive voices to assure a customer, half the height of the counter, that stick peppermint could not possibly be manufactured cheaper than at the rate of two sticks a penny, or, to those who bought it wholesale, at a reduction of thirteen for sixpence, when their unexpected visiters made their appearance.

Tabitha groaned aloud ; Dorothea stared.

“Good morning, Tabitha,” said my father; “ Dolly, my girl, how are you?”

“Mr. Pike,” stuttered Tabitha, giving her customer, by mechanical mistake, three sticks of peppermint, with which he scampered off in delight; “Mr. Pike, may 1-I ask to what we—what is the- " Here she came to a full stop.

“ Meaning," suggested Dorothy.

Don't interrupt!" cried Tabitha, sharply,"the meaning—what is the meaning of your coming here to insult two lone females ?”

“My dear Tabitha- "commenced my father.

“ Get along, you brute !" said Dorothy. “ Leave this house directly,” cried Tabitha; “go, or I'll call in the

police.

“We're ugly and disagreeable old tabbies !” said Dorothy, in a tone of spiteful sarcasm.

“I only called to say ".

"You've said enough! You've said too much! You've said you only wants our money!

"No, I don't want it,” said my father, grinning.

“Oh no, of course not,” said Dorothy, still bitterly sarcastic ; "only you'd like it for the sake of your famerly!"

“No, nor my famerly don't want it,-does it, Fitzroy?". “ No,” said I.

"Fitzroy !” cried Dorothy,“is that your odious son ?-Eugh! what a creature it is! Young man, if your father had been a gentleman, your name would have been Jerusalem !"

“Fitzroy!” cried Tabitha in disgust, and, in silence, looked unutterable things on the bearer of the detested name.

"Well, my dears, good morning,” said my father, “since you won't let me speak. I only called to say that I've got a fortune left me."

“What!” cried Dorothy.
" It can't be true!" muttered Tabitha.

"My brother, that I never saw since he was a child, when he went to the Hinges, has died-and left me money without end !"

“ La! now,” said Dorothy, quickly, “ that just proves what I said, -It couldn't be you as wished us dead; and of course, if you've got this money, there was no need, and it's all a mistake.”

“No," said Tabitha, “it was I wouldn't believe it; didn't I cry my eyes out all last night, and declare I loved you, and I knew it was all a delusion "

Do walk in, Mr. Pike,” said Dorothy; “ Fitzroy, walk in !"and she positively kissed me! O Mammon! Mammon !

(To be continued.)

A CRITICAL INTRODUCTION TO FOURIER'S THEORY OF
ATTRACTIVE INDUSTRY AND MORAL HARMONY.

BY HUGH DOHERTY.
Of the Slowness of Human Progress, and the Influence

of Chance, in Useful Discoveries. Those who are not familiar with history, are apt to think that the present state of science and industry is hardly different or superior to that of former ages; and even the erudite are but little accustomed to draw the natural inference of future improvement rendering society as much superior to its present condition, as this is to the enslaved ignorance of antiquity; and yet, nothing is more rational than such an inference, if we examine the progression of scientific discoveries, and the consequent advancement of civilization,

When we read in the histories of Athens and Rome the picturesque descriptions of their conquests and their splendour, our imagination heightens the colouring of eloquence so as to dazzle the eye of reflection, and conceal from its view the monstrous contours of reality; but, when we close the classic page, and abandon ourselves to sober thought, the fascinating power subsides, and with it vanishes the shadow of magnificence which masked the brutal forms of ignorance and oppression,

The triumphal cars of Pericles, Alcibiades, the Great Pompey, and Julius Cæsar, were hardly superior to common donkey carts or painted wheelbarrows; and in many other branches of industry, the Greeks and the Romans were as little advanced as they were in the art of coach-building. They were ignorant of the use of the stirrup; and for want of this simple contrivance, they contracted ruptures and other dangerous maladies, resulting from the excessive fatigue of sitting constantly on horseback. The tribulations of military service, and the infirmities of old age, were thus increased beyond the ordinary bounds of violent exercise and declining nature. The simple contrivance of the stirrup, and the application of springs in suspending carriages, are inventions of modern date ; nor were these eminently useful discoveries made before the comparatively recent date of the twelfth century; and even then, they were made by mere grooms or stable-boys, and not by men of science : in fact, all the most useful inventions are of modera date, and many of them are due to chance rather than to science. The first notion of the telescope, the principal instrument of modern astronomy, was discovered a few centuries ago, by two peasant children of Middleburg, who happened to put the glasses of an old pair of spectacles at each end of a tube; and though this instrument has been greatly improved by science, still chance claims the merit of the discovery. · But these are mere trifes compared to other modern acquisitions of art and science. The simple invention of printing has done more to facilitate the progress of civilization and generalize its effects, during the last four centuries, than all the efforts of antiquity were able to realize during thousands of years.

The modern results of mechanical inventions are not less remarkable for number than for magnitude ; for, though the Chinese and the Indians are said to have made numerous inventions, equally useful and scientific, many centuries before they were known in Europe, still, it is very evident that they were inferior to us in civilization, from the mere fact of not generalizing their knowledge so as to civilize their neighbours. Besides, whatever may be the amount of science possessed by the Oriental priests, it is clear that they have made little use of it in society, for they still retain many barbarous habits and customs ; such as those of exposing children, secluding females, enslaving the labouring population, &c. &c. These barbarian customs tend to prove that exaggeration has magnified the importance of their science ; that the poetical propensities of Oriental climes have had considerable influence on the imagination of Northern travellers, who cannot resist the temptation of clothing meagre realities with the splendid and illusive draperies of fiction.

When we reflect that almost all the useful discoveries of science and industry which now enrich humanity, have been made in Europe within the last two or three centuries, and that the boasted learning of antiquity was ignorant of these resources; that slavery, in its most absolute and hideous forms, was the lot of the whole population during thousands of years, in all the most civilized nations of the earth : may we not ask ourselves, in deep compassion, if we are still subject to privation and suffering, notwithstanding the advantages of modern industry, what must have been the condition of the multitude in former ages ?-It must indeed have been deplorable. And this conclusion becomes still more impressively evident, when we behold their stupendous remains of public monuments, and reflect on the prodigious efforts of sheer labour, which must necessarily have been spent in their construction. The monuments and the history of Egypt, Greece, and Rome, may be splendid pictures of by-gone grandeur ; but if we turn our thoughts to the living realities which they represent, and the amount of suffering which animated them, we may compare the whole to an exquisitely painted picture of a beggar in tatters, blind and helpless, suffering from hunger and fatigue in the midst of a wild, uncultivated, and oppressive luxuriance. The gaudy picture may delight our imagination ; but to reflect on the real mortifications of such an unfortunate existence, is deeply painful to the feelings of benevolence.

The historical and the material monuments of antiquity show that, during thousands of years, a constant stream of human sufferings flowed through the successive generations of humanity, merely to quench the thirst of blind ambition; and though, as we have just now said, the imagination may feast on the stately ruins of fallen empires, the scrutinizing eye of reflection will easily discover the deadly cancer of ignorance and slavery, which preyed upon their vitals, poisoned their existence, reduced them to corruption, and finally effected their complete dissolution.

If the ignorant despots of antiquity did not know that the ordinary pressure of the atmosphere was sufficient to force water through any degree of sinuosity within the limits of certain physical laws of nature, they knew how to enslave their still more ignorant brethren, forcing them to toil incessantly in constructing enormous piles of brick-work, to serve as aqueducts, thermæ, triumphal arches, and theatres of bloodshed; where both man and beast were slaughtered, to quench an insatiable thirst for infernal diversion. If they did not know how to invent mechanical force to facilitate production, they knew how to convert human beings into beasts of burden, and make them the perpetual slaves of brutal ignorance.

And, in as much as we are superior to them in science, without proportionally relieving our unfortunate brethren from drudgery and slavery, ignorance and depravity, privation and immorality; in so much are we more than they guilty of treason to humanity, and obstinate contempt of our religious duty to the Creator.

But, setting aside all useless recriminations, if we consider the slowness with which the most important discoveries have hitherto succeeded each other, it will not appear strange that the principles of spiritual attraction, and the consequent theory of social science, should have beer

« AnteriorContinua »