« EdellinenJatka »
There are a number of anecdotes tion and chastening of his style. His and pleasant bits scattered through sentences are often terribly piled up Captain Widdrington's work, which and intricate, and some are really ilis a happy blending of the amusing logical in their construction, to the and instructive, neither predomina- extent of being difficult of compreting to the injury of the other; and we hension. That kind of negligence in take leave both of the book and its an author, considerably diminishes accomplished author, with much re- the reader's enjoyment even of the spect and gratitude: Before doing most interesting book. Captain Widso, however, and having said much drington should bear in mind, that in commendation, Captain Widdring- however sterling his matter may be, ton will perhaps permit us to offer some attention to manner is also exhim a slight and well-intended hint pected, and that the appearance, at in the contrary sense. When next least, of the most valuable gems is the truant-fit comes over him, and he deteriorated by an inelegant setting. favours us with the result of his re- Nevertheless, in this book-making searches and observations in Spain or age, it may be considered highly creany other country—and we hope it will ditable to an author when faults of not be long before he does thus fa- form and not of substance are the vour us—may he be able to devote greatest with which he can be rerather more time to the mere author- proached. ship part of the work, to the correc
THE SUPERFLUITIES OF LIFE.
A TALE ABRIDGED FROM TIECK.
In the month of February, at the and an execrable shoemaker, laboured close of an exceedingly severe winter, to convince his neighbours that the a singular tumult took place in the prisoner was at the head of a hundred town of the origin, progress,
secret societies, which had their raand final pacification of which, gave mifications over France, Germany, rise to the most strange and contra- Spain, Italy, and the far East; and dictory reports. Where every one that, in fact, a monstrous insurrection will relate, and no one knows any was on the very point of breaking out thing of the matter, it is natural that in the furthest parts of India, which, the simplest circumstance should be- like the cholera, would spread over come invested with an air of the mar- Europe, and set in flame all its comvellous.
bustible material. It was in one of the narrowest Thus much was certain, that a tustreets of the populous suburbs of the mult had arisen in a small house in town that this mysterious event took the suburbs; that the police had been place. According to some, a traitor called in ; that the populace had made or desperate rebel had been discovered an uproar; that some eminent perand captured by the police ; others sonage was seen amongst the crowd ; said that an atheist, who had secretly and that, after a little time, all beconspired with others to tear up came still again, without any body Christianity by the roots, had, after being the wiser. In the house itself an obstinate resistance, surrendered certain devastations had undoubtedly himself to the authorities, and was been made, which some explained now lying in prison, there to learn one way, some another, according to better principles. All agreed that
All agreed that their humours : the carpenters and the criminal had defended himself in joiners were busy in repairing them. the most desperate manner. One In this house had lived a man of man, who was a profound politician whom no one in the neighbourhood
knew any thing. Whether he was a “Certainly,” said Henry;
so simple a thing as a little coin can-
any brass pans or copper kettles.” It was about Christmas time when “Ah! if only we were millionaires!” this young couple were sitting toge- interrupted Henry gaily; "then we ther over the stove in their little could get wood in abundance, and apartment. “Of a truth,” said the perhaps,” he added, looking slyly over young man, “how all this is to end is to the stove where some bread-soup a riddle. All our resources seem now was in preparation for their very temexhausted."
perate repast, “ some better fare for “ Alas! yes, Henry," answered the dinner. But,” he continued in a tone beautiful: Clara, to whom this was of humorous banter, which he freaddressed; "but whilst you, dearest, quently adopted, and pushing back are still cheerful, I cannot feel myself his chair a few paces as he spoke, unfortunate."
" while you superintend the house“Fortunate and unfortunate,” re- hold concerns, and give the necessary plied Henry, “shall be with us but orders to the cook, I will withdraw empty words.
The day when you into my study. Now, what would I quitted your father's house, and for not write if only pen, paper, and ink, my sake abandoned all other consi- were to be got at; and how studiously derations, decided our fortune for all would I read if but a book could be our lifetime to come. To live and to procured." love, this is our watchword ; in what “You must think, dearest,” said manner exactly we live shall be in- Clara waggishly ; " the stock of different.”
thoughts, it is to be hoped, is not “Indeed we are deprived of almost quite so low as our wood." every thing,” said the young wife, "Dearest wife," he replied, “the
except each other. But I knew cares of our establishment demand all you were not rich, and you knew your attention ; let me proceed unwhen I left my father's house I could disturbed with my studies. I will bring nothing with me; so love and read,” he continued, speaking as if to poverty came to us hand in hand. himself, “ the journal I formerly kept And now this little chamber, which in our palmy days of stationery. And we never quit, and the talking toge- it strikes me that it would be partither, and the looking into the eyes cularly profitable to study it backwe love this is all our life."
wards; to begin at the end, and so Right! right!” said Henry, and lay a proper foundation for a full springing up from his seat, he embraced comprehension of the beginning. All his charming companion with renewed true wisdom goes in a circle, and is fondness. " Here are we like Adam typified by a serpent biting at its own and Eve in their paradise; and I tail. We will begin this time at the think,” he added, looking round the tail.” apartment as he spoke, no angel Opening his journal at the last will come down from heaven for the page, he began to read in the same express purpose of driving us out of subdued tone—“They tell a tale of a it.“
raving criminal, who, being condemned "If it were not,” said Clara, a little to death by starvation, ate himself dejected, “that the wood begins to gradually up. This is, in fact, the fail—and this winter is certainly the story of life, and of all of us. In severest I ever knew"
some there remains nothing but the
stomach and the mouth. With us The dinner concluded, they drew there is left the soul, which is ex- their chairs, by way of variety, up to pressly said to be inconsumable. So the solitary window of their apart.. far as externals are concerned, I have ment, and amused themselves with certainly flayed and devoured my- looking at the fantastic filigree work self. That I should, up to this day, with which the frost had decorated have retained a certain dress-coat-1, the inside of the glass. who never go out—was perfectly ridi- “ My aunt used to maintain,” said culous. Mem.—Next birthday of my Clara, " that the room was warmer wife to appear before her in a waist- with this ice on the window than coat and shirt sleeves, as it would be when the glass was clear." highly indecorous to present myself “Possibly!” replied Henry. But to a person of her rank in a frock- on the strength of this faith I would coat somewhat overworn."
not dispense with the fire.” Here he came to the end both of
“ How wonderfully various,” said and the book. Turning back, Clara, are these ice-flowers! Is it he commenced at the page immediate- not strange, one seems to have seen ly preceding—“One can live very them all in reality, yet cannot give a well without napkins. And now I name to a single one of them ? And think of it, what are these miserable look how one grows over the other, napkins but a niggardly expedient and how the noble leaves seem to exfor saving the table-cloth? Nay, what pand, even as we speak of them.” is this table-cloth itself but a base “ It is your sweet breath, my dear, economy for sparing the table! I pro- that is calling up these ghosts and nounce them both to be mere super spirits of departed flowers,” said fluities; both shall be sold, that we Henry. “I imagine that some inmay eat off the table in the manner visible genius is reading all thy gentle of the patriarchs. We will live in the and loving fancies, and pictures them fashion of our magnanimous ances- forth, as they arise, in these flowertors. It is in no cynical, Diogenes- phantom's ; so that, by looking at this humour that I banish them from the glass, I know, even while you are silent, house, but from a resolution not to that your thoughts are full of lovefollow the example of this poor-spi- that they are dwelling upon me.” rited age, which encumbers itself with A fond kiss was the answer and extravagant superfluities out of a sor- the reward of this pretty speech. did economy.”
Henry took up his journal, and beExactly so,” said Clara laughing. ginning at the ante-penultimate page, “ Meanwhile, on the proceeds of those read aloud :—" To-day-Sold to that and other superfluities, I invite you to old miser of a bookseller, my rare a repast which, at all events, shall not copy of Chaucer, the costly edition of savour of extravagance."
Caxton. My friend, the dear, noble So saying, they sat down to their Andreas Vandelmeer, made me bread-soup. He who had seen them, present of it on my birthday, when whatever he might have thought of we were at the university together. the dinner, would have envied those He had written to London for it himwho partook of it, so cheerful were self: paid an enormous price for it; they, so joyful, so full of freaks and and then had it bound, after his own frolics, over their simple provender. taste, in rich Gothic style. The old When the bread-soup was dispatched, hunks of a bookseller will, no doubt, Clara slyly brought from the stove a send it back to London, and will get covered plate, and set before her as- for it tenfold what he has given me. tonished husband—a reserve of po I ought, at least, to have cut out the tatoes ! Long live thou second Sirleaf where the circumstance of this Walter Raleigh ! ” cried Henry gift is recorded ; and where I have Whereupon they drank to each other written some lamentable lines, signed out of the pure element, and hob- ob- with my present name and address. bed with such glee, that Clara looked This is vexatious. Parting with this anxiously the next moment at the book almost persuades me that someglasses, to see that they had not thing like want is pressing on us; for, cracked them in their enthusiasm, without doubt, it was the most pre
cious thing I possessed, and the me- have sacrificed for me. And I also morial of my dearest and my only am a fugitive from home.” friend. Oh, Andreas Vandelmeer! “ Then love must supply all. And art thou still living ? Where art so it has, and so it will. Has not thou? And dost thou still think of
our honeymoon, as they vulgarly call me ?"
it, lasted nearly a year?" " I saw your pain,” said Clara, as " It shall last for ever!” said Clara. he concluded, when you sold that Then after a pause, which was filled book ; but this friend of your youth- up as lovers' pauses usually are, she you have never described him to me.”' added. " But the worst blow of all
“ He was in person,” replied Henry, was the loss of your own book—that " somewhat resembling myself- dear poetry you had written. If we rather older and more staid. We had but kept a copy of it, we might knew each other as boys at school. have passed many hours of these I might say he almost persecuted me winter evenings in reading it. But with his love, so passionately did he then,” she added, with a smile and a press it on me. He was ever com- sigh at the same time,
we should plaining that my friendship was too have wanted a candle." cold. Rich as he was, and tenderly 6. We talk—we gossip,” said Henry, as he bad been brought up, no indul- 66 which is much better. I hear the gence had made him selfish.
On sweet tones of your voice ; you sing leaving the university, he determined me a song, or you break suddenly out on going to India, that distant land into that heavenly laugh of yours. of wonder having fascinated his ardent What is there not in that musical, imagination. There was then quite a jubilee laugh ? When I hear it, angel storm of entreaties and supplications mine, I am not only delighted, I that I should accompany him. He muse, I meditate, I am rapt. How assured me that I should make my much of character is there in a laugh! fortune there, as his own forefathers You know no man till you have heard had in fact done. But my mother him laugh-till you know when and died about this time, and my friends, how he will laugh. There are occamoreover, procured for me a position sions—there are humours when a man in the diplomatic body.
with whom we have been long famisuaded me, at least, to entrust to him liar, shall quite startle and repel us, the small fortune I had inherited from by breaking out into a laugh which my mother, that he might employ it comes manifestly right from his heart, advantageously for me; a request and which yet we had never heard which I have always suspected was before. Even in fair ladies with made in order that he might have, whom I have been much pleased, I some future time, a pretext and disguise have remarked the same thing. As for his generosity. We took leave of in many a heart a sweet angel slumeach other, and I repaired, in the suite bers unseen till some happy moment of my ambassador, to the town where awakens it, so there sleeps often in your father resided—and where” gracious and amiable characters, deep
“The history becomes tolerably in the background, a quite vulgar well known to us both. But this spirit, which starts into life when noble Andreas—did you never hear something rudely comical penetrates of him again ?"
into the less frequented chambers of "I received two letters,” answered the mind. Our instinct teaches us Henry, “from that remote quarter of that in that being there lies somethe world. After which I heard, but thing we must take heed of. through no authentic source, that he " As to that young and thoughtless died of the cholera. So far as fortune publisher,” continued Henry, " who was concerned, I was left as you see, became bankrupt and ran off with my entirely dependent on myself, Still, glorious manuscript, he, no doubt, I enjoyed the favour of my ambassa- did us good service ; for how easily dor—was not unpopular at my court might my intercourse with him, while -could reckon on some powerful the book was being printed, have led friends;—but all this has disappeared.” to our discovery? Your father has
* All this, alas !” said Clara, you not yet, be assured, relinquished his VOL. LVII. NO. CCCLII.
pursuit of us—my passport would fire was burned out ; a candle to talk have been examined again with severer by would have been certainly superscrutiny-something, no doubt, would fluous : so they retired early to their have led to the suspicion that the sleeping apartment. Here they could name I bear is assumed. We should continue their chat in the dark, quite have been separated. So, angel mine, heedless of the heavy fall of snow that we are happy as we are—most happy!” was encumbering their windows,
It had now grown dark, and the
Next morning, at approach of to be sent off a prisoner to an aunt in dawn, Clara hastened up to run to a distant part of the country. How the stove, to awake the sparks in sudden was my resolution! I had the ashes. Henry soon came to her not ridden far before I alighted from assistance, and they laughed like the carriage, under pretence of buying children, as, with all their efforts, the something at a trinket-shop. I sent flame would not come. At last, with the coachman and servant away, bidmuch puffing and blowing, the shav- ding them return for me in an hour, ings kindled, and slips of wood were and then". most artistically laid on so as to heat " And then," interrupted Henry, the little stove without any waste of "how delighted was I, how almost the precious store. “You see, Henry terrified with joy, to see you suddenly dear,” said Clara, “there is hardly enter my apartments! I had just enough for to-morrow, and then". returned from my ambassador, and
“A fresh supply must be had,” had by good chance some blank passsaid her husband, in a tone as if this ports with me; I filled one up with matter of supply was the simplest the first name that occurred; and then, thing in the world ; whereas he well without further preparation, we enknew, that whatever stock of money tered a hired carriage, crossed the remained to them, must be reserved borders, were married, and were for the still more essential article of happy." food. After breakfast, he again took This animated dialogue was interup his journal. “How I long to rupted by the entrance of an old come to that page which records how woman, by name Christina, who had you and I, dearest, ran away with one formerly been Clara's nurse. In their another."
flight they had entered into her little " ( Heaven !" cried Clara, “ how cottage as a place where they could strange, how unexpected was that safely stop to rest themselves, and the eventful moment! For some days faithful old dame bad entreated them my father had shown a certain ill- to take her with them. She now lived humour towards me, and had spoken in a small room below, in the same in a quite unusual manner. He house, and entirely supported herself had before expressed his surprise at by going out to work amongst the your frequent visits ; now he did not neighbours. She entered the room at name you, but talked at you, and present to mention that she should spoke continually of young men who not sleep that night in her own apartrefused to know their own position. ment below; but that, nevertheless, If I was silent on these occasions he she should return next morning early was angry; and if I spoke it was still enough to make their usual daily purworse: he grew more and more bitter. chases for them. Clara followed her One morning, just as I was going out out of the room to speak with her in the carriage to pay some visits, my apart. Henry, in ner absence, as if faithful maid ran down the steps after relieved from the necessity of supme, and, under pretence of adjusting porting his spirits, or deprived of the my dress, whispered into my ear that power which sustained them, sunk his all was discovered that my desk had head upon the table, and burst into been broken open, and your letters tears. found--and that, in a few hours, I was “Why cannot I,” he muttered to