Imatges de pÓgina

the last beams of the setting sun darted across the casement of the window upon his pale, yet swarthy features. Thus visited, he seemed for a moment to revive. “I have always," said he, “ considered my fate as connected with the great luninary that rules the creation. I have always paid it due worship, and firmly believed I could not breathe my last while its rays shone upon me. Carry me therefore out, that I may


last farewell of the heavenly ruler of my earthly destinies!”

• We all rushed forward to obey the mandate: but the stairs being too narrow, the woman only opened the window, and placed the dying man before it, so as to enjoy the full view of the glorious orb, just in the act of dropping beneath the horizon. He remained a few moments in silent adoration ; and mechanically we all joined him in fixing our eyes on the object of his worship. It set in all its splendour; and when its golden disk had entirely disappeared, we looked round at the Parsee. He too had sunk into everlasting rest.' (I. 103, 104.)

From the dispensation of chalk and water, he is then ushered into a Turkish jail, the description of which, and of the plague with which it is visited, are very finely written; and we strongly recommend them to the attention of our readers.


Every day a capital fertile in crimes pours new offenders into this dread receptacle ; and its high walls and deep recesses resound every instant with imprecations and curses, uttered in all the various idioms of the Othoman empire. Deep moans and dismal yells leave not its frightful echoes a moment's repose. From morning till night and from night till morning, the ear is stunned with the clang of chains, which the galley-slaves wear while confined in their cells, and which they still drag about when toiling at their tasks. Linked together two and two for life, should they sink under their sufferings, they still continue unsevered after death; and the man doomed to live on, drags after him the corpse of his dead companion. In no direction can the eye escape the spectacle of atrocious punishments and of indescribable agonies. Here, perhaps, you see a wretch whose stiffened limbs refuse their office, stop suddenly short in the midst of his labour, and, as if already impassible, defy the stripes that lay open his flesh, and wait in total immobility the last merciful blow that is to end his misery; while there, you view his companion foaming with rage and madness, turn against his own person his desperate hands, tear his clotted hair, rend

his bleeding bosom, and strike his skull, until it burst against the wall of his dungeon.' — (I. 110, 111.)

A few survived.

• I was among these scanty relics. I who, indifferent to life, had never stooped to avoid the shafts of death, even when they flew thickest around me, had more than once laid my finger on the livid wound they inflicted, had probed it as it festered, I yet remained unhurt: for sometimes the plague is a magnanimous enemy, and, while it seldom spares the pusillanimous victim, whose blood running cold ere it is tainted, lacks the energy necessary to repel the infection when at hand, it will

pass him by who dares its utmost fury, and advances undaunted to meet its raised dart.' - (1. 121.)

In this miserable receptacle of guilty and unhappy beings, Anastasius forms and cements the strongest friendship with a young Greek, of the name of Anagnosti. On leaving the prison, he vows to make every exertion for the liberation of his friend - vows that are forgotten as soon as he is clear from the prison walls. After being nearly perished with hunger, and after being saved by the charity of an hospital, he gets into an intrigue with a rich Jewess—is detected- pursued—and, to save his life, turns Mussulman. This exploit performed, he suddenly meets his friend Anagnosti—treats him with disdain - and, in a quarrel which ensues between them, stabs him to the heart.

"" Life,” says the dying Anagnosti, “has long been bitterness : death is a welcome guest: I rejoin those that love me, and in a better place. Already, methinks, watching my flight, they stretch out their arms from heaven to their dying Anagnosti. Thou, -- if there be in thy breast one spark of pity left for him thou once namedst thy brother; for him to whom a holy tie, a sacred vow...... Ah! suffer not the starving hounds in the street...... See a little hallowed earth thrown over my wretched corpse."

These words were his last.'. (I. 209.) The description of the murderer's remorse is among the finest passages in the work.

. From an obscure aisle in the church I beheld the solemn service ; saw on the field of death the pale stiff corpse lowered

into its narrow cell, and hoping to exhaust sorrow's bitter cup, at night, when all mankind hushed its griefs, went back to my friend's final resting-place, lay down upon his silent grave, and watered with my tears the fresh-raised hollow mound.

• In vain ! Nor my tears nor my sorrows could avail. No offerings nor penance could purchase me repose.

Wherever I went, the beginning of our friendship and its issue still alike rose in view; the fatal spot of blood still danced before my steps, and the reeking dagger hovered before my aching eyes. In the silent darkness of the night I saw the pale phantom of my friend stalk round my watchful couch, covered with gore and dust: and even during the unavailing riots of the day, I still beheld the spectre rise over the festive board, glare on me with piteous look, and hand me whatever I attempted to reach. But whatever it presented seemed blasted by its touch. To


wine it gave the taste of blood, and to my bread the rank flavour of death!' - (I. 212, 213.)

We question whether there is in the English language a finer description than this. We request our readers to look at the very beautiful and affecting picture of remorse, pp. 214, 215. vol. i.

Equally good, but in another way, is the description of the Opium Coffeehouse.

• In this tchartchee might be seen any day a numerous collection of those whom private sorrows have driven to a public exhibition of insanity. There each reeling idiot might take his neighbour by the hand, and say, “ Brother, and what aileth thee, to seek so dire a cure ?” There did I with the rest of its familiars now take my habitual station in my solitary niche, like an insensible motionless idol, sitting with sightless eyeballs staring on vacuity.

One day, as I lay in less entire absence than usual under the purple vines of the porch, admiring the gold-tipped domes of the majestic Sulimanye, the appearance of an old man with a snow-white beard, reclining on the couch beside me, caught my attention. Half plunged in stupor, he every now and then burst out into a wild laugh, occasioned by the grotesque phantasms which the ample dose of madjoon he had just swallowed was sending up to his brain. I sat contemplating him with mixed curiosity and dismay, when, as if for a moment roused from his torpor, he took me by the hand, and fixing on my countenance his dim vacant eyes, said in an impressive tone, “Young man, thy days are yet few; take the advice of one who, alas ! has counted many. Lose no time; hie thee hence, nor cast behind one lingering look: but if thou hast not the strength, why tarry even here? Thy journey is but half achieved.

At once go on to that large mansion before thee. It is thy ultimate destination; and by thus beginning where thou must end at last, thou mayest at least save both thy time and thy money.” —(I. 215, 216.)

Lingering in the streets of Constantinople, Anastasius hears that his mother is dead, and proceeds to claim that heritage which, by the Turkish law in favour of proselytes, had devolved

6“ How often,” he exclaims (after seeing his father in the extremity of old age) - "how often does it happen in life, that the most blissful moments of our return to a long-left home are those only that just precede the instant of our arrival; those during which the imagination still is allowed to paint in its own unblended colours the promised sweets of our reception! How often, after this glowing picture of the phantasy, does the reality which follows appear cold and dreary! How often do even those who grieved to see us depart, grieve more to see us return! and how often do we ourselves encounter nothing but sorrow, on again beholding the once happy, joyous promoters of our own hilarity, now mournful, disappointed, and themselves needing what consolation we may bring !'” — (I. 239, 240.)

upon him.

During his visit to Chios, he traces and describes the dying misery of Helena, whom he had deserted, and then debauches her friend Agnes. From thence he sails to Rhodes, the remnants of which produce a great deal of eloquence and admirable description—(pp. 275, 276. vol. i.) From Rhodes he sails to Egypt; and chap. 16. contains a short and very well written history of the origin and progress of the Mameluke government. The flight of Mourad, and the pursuit of this chief in the streets of Cairo*, would be considered as very fine passages

in the best histories of antiquity. Our limits pre

* P. 325. Vol. I.


vent us from quoting them. Anastasius then becomes a Mameluke; marries his master's daughter; and is made a Kiashef. In the numerous skirmishes into which he falls in his new military life, it falls to his lot to shoot, from an ambush, Assad, his inveterate enemy.

Assad, though weltering in his blood, was still alive ; but already the angel of death flapped his dark wings over the traitor's brow. Hearing footsteps advance, he made an effort to raise his head, probably in hopes of approaching succour: but beholding, but recognising only me, he felt that no hopes remained, and gave a groan of despair. Life was flowing out so fast, that I had only to stand still — my arms folded in each other- and with a steadfast eye to watch its departure. One instant I saw my vanquished foe, agitated by a convulsive tremor, open his eyes and dart at me a glance of impotent rage; but soon he averted them again, then gnashed his teeth, clenched his fist, and expired.'---(II. 92.)


: We quote this, and such passages as these, to show the great power of description which Mr. Hope pos

The vindictive man standing with his arms folded, and watching the blood flowing from the wound of his enemy, is very new and very striking:

After the death of his wife, he collects his property, quits Egypt, and visits Mekkah, and acquires the title and prerogatives of an Hadjee. After this he returns to the Turkish capital, renews his acquaintance with Spiridion, the friend of his youth, who in vain labours to reclaim him, and whom he at last drives away, disgusted with the vices and passions of Anastasius. We then find our Oriental profligate fighting as a Turkish captain in Egypt, against his old friends the Mame lukes; and afterwards employed in Wallachia, under his old friend Mavroyeni, against the Russians and Austrians. In this part of the work, we strongly recommend to our 'readers to look at the Mussulmans in a pastrycook's shop during the Rhamadam, vol. iii. p. 164.; the village of beggars, vol. ii. p. 266. ; the death of the Hungarian officer, vol. ii. p. 327.; and the last days of Mavroyeni, vol. ii. p. 356.;—not forgetting the walk over a field of battle, vol. ii. p. 252. The character of May.

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