Графични страници
PDF файл

to royalty, and tabu to all else beside. A hollow human groan issued out of the

I woke up. How glad I was to know it was all a dream! “This comes of listening to the legend of the noble lord-of reading of those lying dream revelations—of allowing myself to be carried away by the wild beauty of old Kileana at midnight—of gorging too much pork and beans for supper!" And so I turned over and fell asleep again. And dreamed the same dream precisely as before; followed the phantom“blazed”. my course—arrived at the grim chamberheard the sad spirit voice-overturned the massy stone -beheld the regal crown and the decaying bones of the great king!

I woke up, and reflected long upon the curious and singularly vivid dream, and finally muttered to myself, “This—this is becoming serious !"

I fell asleep again, and again I dreamed the same dream, without a single variation! I slept no more, but tossed restlessly in bed and longed for daylight. And when it came I wandered forth, and descended to the wide plain in the crater. I said to myself, “ I am not superstitious : but if there is anything in that dying woman's prophecy, I am the instrument appointed to uncurtain this ancient mystery.” As I walked along, I even half expected to see my solemn guide step out from some nook in the lofty wall, and beckon me to

At last, when I reached the place where I had first seen him in my dream, I recognised every surrounding object, and there, winding down among the blocks and fragments of lava, saw the very

trail I had traversed in my vision! I resolved to traverse it again, come what might. I wondered if, in


unreal journey, I had “ blazed” my way, so that it would stand the test of stern reality; and thus wondering, a chill went to my heart when I came to the first stony projection I had broken off in my dream, and saw the fresh new fracture, and the dismembered fragment lying on the ground. My curiosity rose up and

come on.

banished all fear, and I hurried along as fast as the rugged road would allow me. I looked for


other “ blazes” and found them; found the cleft in the wall; recognised all its turnings; walked in the light that ascended from the glowing furnaces visible far below; sweated in the close, hot atmosphere, and breathed the sulphurous smoke—and at last I stood hundreds of feet beneath the peaks of Kileana in the ruined chamber, and in the presence of the mysterious boulder !

“ This is no dream,” I said ; “this is a revelation from the realm of the supernatural; and it becomes not me to longer reason, conjecture, suspect, but blindly to obey the impulse given me by the unseen power that guides me."

I moved with a slow and reverent step towards the stone, and bore against it. It yielded perceptibly to the pressure. I brought my full weight and strength to bear, and surged against it. It yielded again; but I was so enfeebled by my toilsome journey that I could not overthrow it. I rested a little, and then raised an edge of the boulder by a strong, steady push, and placed a small stone under it, to keep it from sinking back to its place. I rested again, and then repeated the process. Before long, I had added a third prop, and had got the edge of the boulder considerably elevated. The labour and the close atmosphere together were so exhausting, however, that I was obliged to lie down then and recuperate my strength by a longer season of rest. And so, hour after hour I laboured, growing more and more weary, but still upheld by a fascination which I felt was infused into me by the invisible powers whose will I was working. At last I concentrated my strength in a final effort, and the stone rolled from its position.

I can never forget the overpowering sense of awe that sank down like a great darkness upon my spirit at that moment. After a solemn pause to prepare myself, with bowed form and uncovered head, I slowly turned my gaze till it rested upon the spot where the great stone had lain.

There wasn't any bones there !



DAN PHAETHON—so the histories run-
Was a jolly young chap, and a son of the Sun;
Or rather of Phæbus; but as to his mother,
Genealogists make a deuce of a pother,
Some going for one, and some for another !
For myself

, I must say, as a careful explorer,
This roaring young blade was the son of Aurora !
Now old Father Phoebus, ere railways begun
To elevate funds and depreciate fun,
Drove a very fast coach by the name of “the Sun;

Running, they say,

Trips every day
(On Sundays and all, in a heathenish way),
And lighted up with famous array
Of lanterns that shone with a brilliant display,
And dashing along like a gentleman's shay
With never a fare and nothing to pay.
Now Phaethon begged of his doting old father
To grant him a favour, and that the rather,
Since some one had hinted, the youth to annoy,
That he wasn't by any means Phæbus's boy.
Intending, the rascally son of a gun,
To darken the brow of the son of the Sun.
“By the terrible Styx,” said the angry sire,
While his eyes flashed volumes of fury and fire,
“ To prove your reviler an infamous liar,
I swear I will grant you

“ Then by my head,”

The youngster said,
" I'll mount the coach when the horses are fed !
For there's nothing I'd choose, as I'm alive,
Like a seat on the box, and a dashing drive."

Nay, Phaethon, don't !
I beg you won't ;

whate'er you


Just stop a moment and think upon't.
You're quite too young," continued the sage.
• To tend a coach at your


age. Besides, you see,

'Twill really be Your first appearance on any stage.

Desist, my child,

The cattle are wild,
And when their courage is thoroughly riled,
Depend upon it, the coach 'll be sp'iled,
They're not the fellows to draw it mild.

Desist, I say,

You'll rue the day,
So mind me, and don't be foolish, Pha!”

But the youth was proud,

And swore aloud It was just the thing to astonish a crowd. He'd have the horses he wouldn't be cowed. In vain the boy was cautioned at large; He called for the chargers, unheeding the charge, And vowed that any young chap of force Could manage a dozen coursers of course! Now Phoebus felt exceedingly sorry He had given his word in such a hurry. But having sworn by the Styx, no doubt, He was in for it now, and couldn't back out! So calling Phaethon up in a trice, He gave the youth a bit of advice

“ Parce stimulis, utere loris" (A stage direction, of which the core is, Don't use the whip—they're ticklish things, But whatever you do, hold on to the strings ! Remember the rule of the Jehu-tribe is

“ Medio tutissimus ibis," As the judge remarked to a rowdy Scotchman, Who was going along between two watchmen) “ So mind your eye and spare your goad, Be shy of the stones, and keep in the road!'

Now Phaethon, perched in the coachman's place,

Drove off the steeds at a furious pace,
Fast as coursers running a race,
O: hounding along in a steeple-chase;
Of whip an shout there was no lack,

“ Crack ! whau. I

Whack! crack !"
Resounding along the horses' back.
Frightened beneath the stinging lash
Cutting their flanks in many a gash,
On-on they sped, as swift as a flash,
Through thick and thin away they dash
(Such rapid driving is always rash).
When all at once, with a dreadful crash,
The whole establishment went to smash,

And Phaethon he,

As all agree,

Off the coach was suddenly hurled
Into a puddle and out of the world!

Don't rashly take to dangerous courses,
Nor set it down in your table of forces,
Chat any one man equals any four horses.


HANS BREITMANN gife a barty,

Dey had biano-blayin,
I felled in lofe mit a Merican frau,

Her name was Madilda Yane.
She hat haar as prown as a pretzel,

Her eyes vas himmel-plue,
Und ven dey looket indo mine,

Dey shplit mine heart in two.
Hans Breitmann gife a barty,

I vent dere you'll pe pound.
I valtzet mit Madilda Yane

Und vent shpinnen round und round.

« ПредишнаНапред »