Imatges de pÓgina
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up as the moon, or only as high as mid-air, the first part of the Pilgrim's Progress or under the equinoctial line. But still the while in prison, a fact that ought to endear History of the World is a noble fragment, his imprisonment to us. which could only have been written by one It is a singular coincidence that the who had read much, thought much, and authors of two of the most extensively read travelled much. Hapless Raleigh! King books ever written were living in the same James hated him with all the hatred which country and at the same time, and wrote a narrow mind feels towards an intellectual some of their works while in captivity. superior, and sent him to the scaffold. The Daniel Defoe lived at the same time as other great man, whose name we have John Bunyan; but the latter had reached coupled with Raleigh, was the Spanish middle age while the former was still a novelist Cervantes, the author of the world boy. Defoe, as a Whig and a dissenter, was renowned Don Quixote. He was first a often in trouble, and on one occasion sufstudent, then chamberlain to a cardinal, fered the pillory as well as imprisonment. and then a soldier. He was thrice wounded While in prison he wrote his Hymn to the at the battle of Lepanto, was taken prisoner Pillory, and commenced a political periodiby the corsairs, kept five years in captivity, cal which he continued to several volumes. and ransomed by his friends. Returning His immortal Robinson Crusoe, however, to Spain, he married, entered upon civil was not written during imprisonment. Over employments, traversed wide regions of his in France, Abraham Wicquefort, a Dutch native country, and watched well the diplomatist and writer, was for thirty years habits and peculiarities of his countrymen. representative of the court of Brandenburg Monetary embarrassments, rather than at Paris; he was then thrown into the Baspolitical or religious discord, threw him tille by Cardinal Mazarin, on suspicion of more than once into prison; but this im- being a spy; and wbile in the gloomy forprisonment was a great thing for the world, tress prison wrote his Mémoires touchant since it was occupied by the planning and les Ambassadeurs, and l'Ambassadeur et ses commencement of Don Quixote.

Functions. Then there was Voltaire, who Open the portals wide: let us admit the had a year's incarceration for a satirical greatest prison-writer of the second half poem on Louis the Fourteenth; and another of the seventeenth century, John Bunyan, of less_length for an unseemly quarrel tinker, preacher, and author of a religious at the Duc de Sully's house ; during this allegory which is said to have been trans- second captivity he planned and wrote the lated into a greater number of languages greater part of his epic poem Le Henriade. than any other book in the world, with two Next was Nicholas Fréret, a French hisexceptions, the Bible and the Imitation of torian, who in his first work, on the Origin Christ. He was thrown into Bedford Jail of the French, so offended the vanity of his because he would not renounce dissent; countrymen that he was sent to the Bastille, and there he supported himself for twelve where he planned many of his later works. years by making tagged boot-laces. He Cardinal Polignac, another Frenchman, inwrote many controversial tracts, preached stead of being sent to the Bastille, was to his fellow-prisoners, and read to them placed in a kind of semi-imprisonment in the Bible and Fox's Book of Martyrs. It his own abbey, for some offence during the was a fine answer that he gave to the clerk regency of Louis the Fifteenth; there he of the peace, who advised him to gain his wrote his Latin

poem Anti-Lucretius, liberation by recanting. “Sir, the law hath which a century later was translated into

a provided two ways of obeying; the one, English by George Canning. to do that which I in my conscience be- There was one book written in prison lieve I am bound to do actively; and when which brought but little credit to the I cannot by activity, then I am willing to author; namely, the Thoughts in Prison. lie down, and to suffer whatever they shall Doctor William Dodd, a clergyman, a popudo unto me.” And it showed a vein of lar preacher, a chaplain to George the Third, humour in his character when he replied and a welcome guest in high society, lived so to a Quaker who had come to visit him, extravagantly that he was always in debt. and who declared that the Lord had or- In an evil hour he offered a bribe of three dered him to search for Bunyan in half thousand pounds to the wife of the Lord the prisons in England, " If the Lord had Chancellor if she would procure for him

“ sent yon, you need not have taken so much the rich living of St. George's, Hanovertrouble to find me out; for the Lord knows square; this caused him a mortifying exthat I have been a prisoner in Bedford posure, and the loss of his chaplaincy. In Jail for the last twelve years.” He wrote a still more evil hour, he forged the sig. nature of his patron and former pupil, the and Cachita persist in following the incliEarl of Chesterfield, to a bond for four thou- nations of her heart, the period for her sand two hundred pounds. He intended, incarceration will be protracted another six like many other forgers before and since, to months, when, in accordance with conventake up and cancel the bond in good time, tual discipline, she will be required to but failed; and his end was tragical indeed commence her duties as novice. The Thoughts, which he wrote while in Desirous of ascertaining how far monastic prison, have been characterised as “the confinement has affected my lover's sentispasmodic, hysterical, and insincere utter-ments, I propose to sound her on the subances of a weak man under affliction." ject by private communication. This is

A triad of writers will exhaust the re- not easily accomplished. The convent is a maining space at our disposal; they were strong building. At fixed hours the outmen who, in more recent times, owed their ward doors are thrown open, and disclose imprisonment to political circumstances, a small stone ante-chamber, furnished with and who solaced themselves in captivity wooden benches like a prison. Here may by writing books. One of these was the a pilgrim enter, but no further. There is late James Montgomery. When a poor another and a stronger door communicating shop-boy he wrote poems, and gradually with the interior, and accessible only to a worked himself up to the position of helper, favoured few. Near it is a panelled or writer, and editor of a Sheffield newspaper. blind window, forming part of a torno or His writings as a liberal brought him into turnstile - a mechanical contrivance by trouble during the exciting period of the means of which articles for the convent use great French Revolution; and during two are secretly admitted. imprisonments which he underwent he On more than one occasion have I visited wrote his Ode to the Evening Star, Plea- the torno in the vain hope of persuading sures of Imprisonment, Verses to a Robin the invisible door-keeper behind to receive Redbreast, and other poems. The opening some love-tokens for my captive mistress. of the address to Robin adverts to his im- Tapping three times on the hollow window prisonment :

I pause until a voice murmurs, “Ave Welcome, pretty little stranger,

Maria!" to which I respond, being well Welcome to my lone retreat;

versed in conventual watchwords," Por Here, secure from ev'ry danger, Hop about, and chirp, and eat!

mio pecados !"

The voice inquires my Robin, how I envy thee,

pleasure. If it be my pleasure to have a Happy child of liberty! missive conveyed to an immured sister," The late charming writer, Leigh Hunt, and I can satisfy my unseen interlocutor was in early life connected with newspaper by representing myself as a relative of the editing; and, at a time when speaking the captive lady in whom I am interested, the truth was often an offence against the law turnstile rotates with magic velocity, the of libel, he penned some words which flat panel vanishes, and, behold, a species brought on him a two years' imprisonment. of cupboard with many shelves, upon which To that captivity we owe the Descent of anything of a moderate size may be placed. Liberty and the Story of Rimini. One dame Having deposited my letter on one of the more is that of Thomas Cooper, who, be shelves, it 'disappears, with the cupboard, coming involved in the Chartist troubles of like a pantomime trick, and the panelled the last generation, suffered two years' window resumes its original dull aspect. incarceration, during which he wrote a re- But whether my document will reach the markable poem, the Purgatory of Suicides. rightful owner I can never ascertain, for

days elapse, and no reply is forthcoming.

Varying my proceedings at the torno "I A CUBAN CONVENT.

sometimes express a desire to exchange a

few greetings with my cloistered sister by Cachita, my creole lover, has been im- meeting her in a certain chamber appointed mured five long months in a nunnery, for such a purpose, and conversing with expiating there her “sin" of secret love her through a double grating. But the making. * In another month she will be door-keeper informs me that such a prireleased, and restored to her stern parent, vilege is accorded only to parents of the Don Severiano, if the nuns' report of her immured, who can prove their identity; so be favourable; but should the efforts of my effort in that direction is a failure. those estimable ladies prove unsuccessful, Every Sunday morning I visit the convent See ALL THE YBAB Round, New Series, vol. vi. chapel which is attached to the building

itself, and is open to the public at prescribed

P. 418.

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hours. The chapel is a bare-looking sanctu- “Perhaps you will receive a parting ary

of small dimensions, and easily crowded word from me" (the present document ocby a score or two of ladies with white veils, cupies exactly eight pages of closely written who come to pay their devotions from the convent paper), "which will put an end to neighbouring houses. At one extremity of this unfortunate story. You must, then, the whitewashed chamber is an altar-piece, forget me entirely. Look upon the past as before which a priest, assisted by a boy, a dream, an illusion, a flash of happiness officiates, and to the left is a strongly barred which is no more. Never must the name window connected with the interior of the of Cachita escape your lips. I shall reconvent. Behind this window, which is member you only in my prayers” (the word heavily curtained as well as railed, stand “only” is erased with pencil). “Fail not to the nuns and other inmates of the cloister, send the letters. And adios ! till we meet who have come to take part in the cere- in heaven.—CARIDAD." monies. The responses are chanted by this The bearer of this letter is Guadalupe, a invisible congregation in a subdued tone. slave of Cachita's father, Don Severiano, During a certain portion of the ceremonies and she is intrusted with messages to and the curtain is partially drawn, and the out from the convent. Twice a week she visits line of a thickly veiled nun is discerned as the torno cupboard, charged with changes she bends forward to kiss the priest's hand of linen and other articles for her young and to receive his blessing. I envy the mistress's use. Everything is carefully execclesiastic, and gaze with eager interest amined by a nun before being consigned to as figure after figure approaches in turn; its owner ; so my ingenious notion of conbut my sight cannot penetrate the dark re- veying by this opportunity something concesses of the cartain, and the lady whom I traband to my lover, cannot be entertained. seek comes and disappears unrecognised. Having bribed Guadalupe with a bundle

I am aroused early one morning by a of cigars and a coloured handkerchief for black messenger, who delivers me a thick a turban, I obtain from her in return some letter, which I open nervously, for I find intelligence of her young mistress. it comes from the “ Convento de la Ense- Have

you

heard how La Niña Cachita nanza.” The writing, though the contents fares ?” I inquire. savour strongly of monastic diction, is cer- Badly,” says the negress.

"The tainly in Cachita's hand, and is signed by monastic life does not agree with her lively herself.

disposition, and she yearns for freedom “My dream of happiness,” the letter again, la pobre !" begins, can no longer be realised. My " Then the nuns have not succeeded in conscience, my teachers, and my father-con- converting her?” fessor all persuade me that I have sinned “ I think not, miamo. In a letter to her in the outer world, and that if I desire mother, Doña Belen, who has still a good to be absolved I must repent without delay. opinion of your worship, mi amita Cachita Exhorted by the worthy nuns, I am daily ridicules the Monjas (nuns), and describes becoming more alive to a sense of my un- | their strange ways.”. worthiness, and convinced of the urgent “ Has Don Severiano expressed his innecessity for beginning a new life of holi- tention to release La Niña at the expiration ness and virtue. Guided to this blessed of her allotted six months ?” convent by the finger of Providence, I have “I believe so, and in that case La been enabled, with the assistance of the Cachita will be with us again in less than best of counsel, to reflect seriously over what four weeks." has happened, and I have now taken a vow The most important information which never again to act from the impulse of my I draw from the communicative black is, young and inexperienced heart.”

that

my friend, Don Ignacio, the dentist, is After dwelling upon the enormity of the attending my lover for professional puroffence of making love without the ap- poses. I resolved to call upon Don Ignacio, proval of a parent, the writer exhorts me, and when Guadalupe has taken her deby my “mother," and by other people parture with a packet containing a selection whom I“ hold dear,” to return her letters, from Cachita's letters, and one of my own, and all other evidence of the past, with the which I have carefully worded, in case it assurance that by so doing I shall accom- should fall into wrong hands, I repair at plish one important step towards the “ter- once to the house of

my dentist friend. mination of the sad story of this ill-be- Don Ignacio sympathises with me, and gotten wooing.” The letter concludes as promises to aid me in a plan which I have follows:

conceived for communicating by letter with

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nuns.

says he.

my absent mistress; but he warns me that with tropical plants and kitchen stuff, a there are many difficulties in the way of thickly veiled nun approaches us. The doing so.

lady seems to be on familiar terms with “The nuns,” he says, “who accompany the dentist, whom she addresses in a my patient, stand like a couple of sentinels mild, soothing tone, as if she were admion each side of her, and no word or ges- nistering words of comfort to a sick perture escapes their attentive ears and son. We follow her through a narrow watchful gaze. He must have more than corridor, where I observe numerous doors, a conjurer's hand who can perform any which I am told give access to the apartepistolary feat and escape their keen ob- ments or cells occupied by the convent servation."

inmates. We pass a chamber where chilThe allusion to conjuring reminds me of dren's voices are heard. There is a school my scheme.

attached to the convent for the benefit Will the friendly dentist recommend to of those who desire their offspring to his patient a box of his registered tooth receive religious instruction from the powder ?

Music and fancy needlework are He will be delighted to have that oppor- also taught, and some of the distressed tunity.

damsels, who, like Cachita, are undergoing “One of my assistants who accompavies a term of conventual imprisonment for me in my convent rounds shall include similar offences, impose upon themselves a such a box in my dentist's bag."

mild form of hard labour by assisting to Don Ignacio sees through my "little improve the infant mind. Cachita, who is a powder plot,” as he calls it, and hands me good musician, takes an active part in this a box of his patented tooth-powder, beneath branch of education. which I afterwards carefully deposit a At last we are ushered into a gloomy, billet-doux.

whitewashed apartment (everything in the But Don Ignacio can improve upon my convent appears to be of wood and whitescheme, and staggers me with his new wash), where our guide takes leave of us. idea.

While the dentist, assisted by his pracYou shall deliver the box yourself!” | ticante, is arranging his implements for

tooth-stopping on a deal table, which, The convent rules, he explains, allow together with a couple of wooden chairs, him to introduce an assistant, or “practi- constitute the furniture of this cheerless cante," as he is called. The same practi- chamber, an inner door is thrown open, cante does not always accompany him in and, a couple of nuns, attired in sombre his semi-weekly visits to the convent. bleek, enter with Don Ignacio's fair

“On this occasion only,” says the con- patient. Cachita is dressed in spotless siderate dentist, you shall be my practi- white, a knotted rope suspended from her cante."

girdle, and a yellowish veil affixed in such Early next morning we on the a manner to her brow as completely conthreshold of the sacred ground. Don ceals her hair, which, simple practicante Ignacio boldly enters the stone ante- though I be, I know is dark, soft, and chamber, which I have so often timidly frizzled at the top. Her pretty face is approached, and taps with a firm knuckle pale, and already wears (or seems to wear) on the torno.

the approved expression of monastic re" Ave Maria Purisima !" murmurs the signation. door-keeper from behind.

Following Don Ignacio's suggestion, I Pecador de mi!” replies the practised carefully conceal my face while Cachita don.

seats herself between the sentinel nuns. “Que se ofrece usted ?” (what is your The dentist, with a presence of mind in pleasure ?) inquires the voice. And when which I participate but little, commences the dentist has satisfied the door-keeper's his business of tooth-stopping, pausing in numerous demands, a spring door flies his work to exchange a few friendly words open and we step into a narrow passage. with his patient and the amicable nuns. Here we remain for some moments, while Hitherto my services have not been in reoar persons are carefully identified through quisition; but anon the subject of the a perforated disc. Then another door tooth-powder is introduced. opens, the mysterious door-keeper appears Will La Cachita allow the dentist to reand conducts us into the very core of commend her a tooth-powder of his own the convent. As we look over the con- preparation ? vent garden, which is tastefully laid out Cachita is in no immediate need of such

are

an article, but the dentist is persuasive,

Julietta! Julietta ! and the young lady is prevailed upon to

'Tis Alphonso speaks, my dear!

Canst thou slumber on so soundly give the powder a trial.

While thy lover stands so near? “You will derive much benefit from its

“Who is that whose hollow accents use," observes Don Ignacio. “My assist

Break my first sleep sweet and bright? ant" (and here the cunning tooth-stopper,

Who is he beneath my window

Standing ghostlike in the night?” being close to his patient's ear, whispers

Julietta! Julietta! my name)” will bring it you presently.

'Tis Alphonso who doth wait; “ What ails La Niña ?" inquires one of

Come again and speak unto him

Here beside thy garden gate. the nuns, bending forward; for Cachita has uttered a cry, and swooned away.

“ 'Tis some thief and not Alphonso,

'Tis some robber in disguise. “Nothing, señora,” says Don Ignacio, Even if thou wert Alphonso, with the same sang froid already noted.

It is far too cold to rise." “Only a nerve which I have accidentally Julietta! Julietta ! excited in my operation. She will be

By our parting, by our pain,

Here beneath the stars of heaven, better presently. "

Let me kiss thy lips again. The dentist desires me to bring him a

“Hush and go away this midnight, certain bottle, and with the contents of

Come again to-morrow morn; this his patient is soon restored to con

If our prying neighbours heard theo sciousness.

They would hold me up to scorn."

Julietta! Julietta ! "Keep her head firm," says my artful

If indeed it must be so, friend, addressing me with a faint smile Reach me out thy hand, my dearest, on his countenance, “wbile I put the finish

Let me kiss it ere I go. ing touches to my work.”

“Hush, I hear some one approaching,

Go away, for I am ill, I obey; and though my hands are far

I am very sick and sleepy, from being as steady as an assistant's should

Come to-morrow-if you

will." be, I acquit myself creditably.

Ha, thou false one! Now full surely Cachita's mouth is again open to facili

I perceive the news is right; tate the dentist's operations, but also, as it

Seven long years I have been faithful

In the day and in the night. seems to me, in token of surprise at the

Seven long years I have remembered apparition now bending over her.

Since we on this spot did part, 6. You will find much relief in the use of

Yet already to another this tooth-powder," continues my friend,

Thou hast given away thy heart. in a careless tone, as though nothing had “My poor heart I have not given,

And I kept it safe for you; happened. “Very strengthening to the

At last Antonio came and stole it, gums. When you have got to the bottom

And alas! what could I do?" of the box-just open your mouth a little wider—when you have got to the bottom OLD STORIES RE-TOLD. of the box, where" (he whispers) "you will

SIX DAYS IN A CANVAS BOAT. find a note, I will send

you another.” Cachita, by this time accustomed to my

In the month of June, 1639, a worthy presence, can now look me fearlessly in the young Puritan trader, named William face with those expressive eyes of hers, Okeley, set sail from Gravesend for the which I can read so well, and before the Island of Providence, in the West Indies, dentist's operations are over, we have con

on board the sloop Mary of London, which trived, unobserved, to squeeze hands on

was laden with linen and cloth, and carried three distinct occasions.

six
guns

and about sixty seamen and pasAssured by this means of my lover's sengers. constancy, I now take my leave of her, and

The stars from the first looked malignly patiently await the term of her convent on the Mary. After waiting for five weeks captivity, which expires in three weeks' in the Downs for a wind, Mr. Boarder, the time.

master, set sail, but let go the anchor off the Isle of Wight. " The next Lord's

Day," setting sail again, they ran on the THE RETURN.

sands, but the tide coming in, they luckily JULIETTA! Julietta! All around is still as sleep,

hove off. The land after all would have 'Neath the stars the town lies silent,

been a better friend to them, even though And thy mother slumbers deep. a sand shoal, than the open sea.

There Sar and weary, worn and yearning,

were two other sloops in the good company Back from battle come I now, All the dreadful war is over,

of the Mary, and one of them carried nine And the laurel decks my brow,

guns. · The sixth day, after the chalk cliffs

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