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the earth's surface." “ It would seem,” he proceeds, com- be familiar with ; when we see how the tremendous menting on the facts mentioned above, “ that the formation attractive energies of the sun, by which the great gaseoof this extraordinary spot was an anomaly, and that its liquid mass which sways our system is compressed towards origin ought not to be looked for in the general cause of the its centre, contend continually with mighty expulsive spots of Schwabe's cycle.” He then describes, as having a forces by which vast masses of matter are visibly projected possible bearing on the question, the wonderful phenome | from the sun, and with still mightier repulsive forces, non observed simultaneously by Carrington at Redhill and whose action we see in the phenomena of comets; when Hodgson at Highgate, in 1859, when two intensely lumi again we consider that all the elements we know, probably, nous bodies seemed to burst into view on the sun's surface, exist in the sun in quantities such as we can form no conwhich moved side by side for about 35,000 miles in five ception of, and in forms with which we are unfamiliar, it minutes, first increasing, then diminishing in brightness, is mere folly to insist on adopting definite theories respectthen fading away. “The opinion has been expressed by ing the sun's condition. Let us remember that in all more than one astronomer," he proceeds, “ that this phe- / probability we see in the sun a state of things partially. nomenon was produced by the fall of meteoric matter upon resembling what existed in our own earth countless ages the sun's surface. Now the fact may be worthy of note before the changes began which our geologists find so that the comet of 1843 actually grazed the sun's atmosphere difficult to interpret; and seeing thus that we have a state about three months before the appearance of the great sun- 1 of things removed from us in this sense by a practical spot of the same year. . Had it approached but little nearer infinity of time, existing on a globe too remote in space to the resistance of the atmosphere would probably have be studied by any really satisfactory methods of research, brought its entire mass to the solar surface. Even at its and presenting only its glowing surface for our examinaactual distance it must have produced considerable atmos- tion; seeing also that although some of the forces at work pheric disturbance. But the recent discovery that a num there are nominally those whose action we are acquainted ber of comets are associated with meteoric matter, travelling | with, yet even these act on a scale which must render in nearly the same orbits, suggests the inquiry whether an their operation as utterly unlike that of the same forces on enormous meteorite following in the comet's train, and earth as though they were forces of a totally different having a somewhat less perihelion distance, may not have nature; while, lastly, we cannot doubt that forces utterly been precipitated upon the sun, thus producing the great unknown to us are at work in the sun, we may well look disturbance observed so shortly after the comet's perihelion doubtingly on the easy and simple (but contradictory) passage.”
theories of the sun which are from time to time presented We will not further pursue this theme, however, inter-by students of science in this country and abroad. After esting though the considerations it suggests may be. We many years of patient labor, we shall begin to comprehend have, indeed, been led somewhat far away from the bubble more clearly than at present how utterly incomprehensible theory of the sun with which we began. But aster all, in is the great centre of our system ; for though many diffithe present state of our knowledge of the great central culties which now perplex us may then have been removed, luminary of the system, we can hardly be too ready, on each difficulty mastered will be found to have introduced the one band, to look around for all side lights which may others greater than itself. perchance help us to see our way towards the truth, or too watchful, on the other hand, lest we be led astray. So that we need offer no excuse for directing attention to the association which may possibly exist between solar and
NOVEL-READING. cometic phenomena, though we must at the same time caution the reader against the supposition tbat such an The question, What kind of literature is most read ? is association can be regarded as in any sense demonstrated. I often made a theme for social homilies. It may be not
It cannot, indeed, be too often insisted upon that in dis- less profitable to put the question for once in the converse cussing so stupendous an object as our sun, the scene of form. And to this we angwer without hesitation, that no processes so marvellous, and the centre of activities so class of books is so little read in the present age and coun. tremendous, we must not expect to find simple theories of try as novels. This seems a surprising statement, but it its constitution, or of the changes which it is undergoing. I shall be justified. We do not say that novels are not as It is altogether a mistake for the students of astronomy to much taken up and looked at as other books. The thing range themselves on this side or on that, when diverse to be settled is, What is meant by reading ? Now we do solar theories are advanced, as though necessarily the not call it reading a book to glance over two or three truth must lie on one side or the other. Whether the sun pages anywhere near the beginning, two or three pages spots are phenomena of indraught or of outrush; whether anywhere near the end, and perhaps one or two in the the corona is due to expulsive forces, to perpetual solar middle. This is a process not without its uses for several auroras, or to meteoric systems in the sun's neighborhood; purposes, which it would be needless and perhaps invidiwhether the sun's photosphere is solid, liquid, or gaseous ;ous to enumerate, but it is not reading. Again, we do whether bis heat is due to meteoric down-pour, to the not include taking up a book for ten minutes and laying it gradual contraction of his globe, or to chemical changes : down again, and so on at irregular intervals for ten minthese and a hundred other such questions may be made | utes or a quarter of an hour at a time, till one has nibbled the subject of endless controversy, simply because the a way through the volume from title to colophon. This truth does not lie altogether on one side. Such contro | is reading every part of the book, but not reading the versy cannot but be useless in the present state of our | whole book. It is a partial substitute with which we knowledge. It does, indeed, occasionally happen, even in sometimes have to put up for want of opportunity to take dealing with solar phenomena, that a decision can be in the whole, but let us not fancy that it is the same thing. pronounced decisively between contested theories, so soon Neither do we allow that it is properly to be called readas certain considerations have been fully taken into ac | ing when we rock ourselves as it were to a sweet intellectcount. A notewortby instance was aflorded by the long ual slumber over a novel, being in the lazy mood which continued discussion whether the corona is a solar append | desires repose rather than active enjoyment, and not graspage : a question which really admitted of being answered | ing definite conceptions, but letting a series of pictures definitely on the strength of a few not very recondite | float before us. This is an excellent way of taking pleasmathematical considerations, long before eclipse photog | ure in a book which one knows already; and there are raphy disposed of it. But such cases are the exception, some works of fiction - notably Mr. Morris's tales in verse, not ihe rule. Now that we know how exceedingly com- | which, as he himself says, live and move in an atmosphere plicated is the structure of the sun; that processes are betwixt waking and sleeping - which are more enjoyable taking place within his globe which are not merely won in the mellowed and dreamy twilight of these after-ineditaderful in their extent and variety, but are probably for tions than in the vivid apprehension of their novelty. But the most part quite unlike any that we are or can ever such later delights presuppose a former wakeful reading;
and this perbaps is a good æsthetic reason for the publish- | read right through in the course of a single journey, or at ing season being what it is, inasmuch as a romance or any rate a single excursion. Very few English novels are poem brought out in November is about ripe for dreaming short enough to begin and finish with complete satisfaction over when the summer holidays come round. However, in this way, at least in their own country. On the Contiit is plain that all this has notbing to do with the first and nent, the more sedate pace of railway travelling and the true reading, except that it must come after it.
more convenient shape of Tauchnitz reprints make the case The conditions necessary for the full and sufficient en- somewhat different. A German, more especially a South joyment of a novel or other playbook (to use an expres German, train and a Tauchpitz volume of English wit sive school term covering every book read without any or wisdom do indeed match one another with a fitness of purpose of instruction) are such as unhappily do not come | mutual complement which may seem fore-ordained, and together as often as might be wished. One or two are at whereupon a philosopher might not unjustly fall to musing once seen to be indispensable, and it is equally obvious on the intricate ways of the universe, and the subtle mani. that they are beyond control ; such as being in the gen festations of final causes. eral frame of mind proper for novel-reading, and then It will be seen that we confine our observations to trapfinding the particular novel suited to one's particular elling on land. A real sea voyage is a world of itself, into frame of mind. But the most important is to have noth- which we cannot now permit ourselves to wander. For the ing else to do. It is impossible to give one's self up to petty Channel and North Sea passages incident to Conti. the influence of a great writer, or to keep one's self in the Dental touring, there is nothing to be said but that a pas. attitude of sympathy and moral correspondence which he senger must be either upon deck or below deck. C'pon has a right to expect from his readers, if serious conflict- deck it is impossible to help looking about one; and as for ing claims are present, or even expected. And freedom reading a book below, we forbear to pursue a suggestion from interruption is necessary, not only for the purpose of which may be listened to when the Bessemer or Dicey ensuring the due quality of the artistic impression at any scheme is perfected, but which for the present can only moment, but for preserving a continuous order of all the call up a ghastly smile. Another excellent kind of opporimpressions which in the result are to build up a harmo- | tunity for novel-reading in the true and artistic manner, nious ideal whole. This practically means that one ought | perhaps in itself better than the last, but not so to have a clear day at least to give to a novel, in order to | in the general experience of mankind, is afforded by the read it to the best advantage; for certainly there are very intervals of walking expeditions. Days of rest provided for few good novels which can be fairly read through at the by the traveller's design, or enforced by bad weather, must ordinary pace of an educated reader in any shorter time. sometimes fall on small inns bare of resources. Yet even
Now there is an occasion which does present itself to in these one may find a happy godsend. In a little bostelry most persons of the literary class a certain number of times recently opened in an Alpine valley there has within our in every year, on which a novel may be read continuously knowledge occurred a strange deposit left by some good through the greater part of the day with a reasonable as- | Englisbman unknown - nothing less than an odd balf surance of there being nothing else to do. This is a long l volume of Kinglake's “Invasion of the Crimea," which, railway journey, on which, barring accidents, there is gen- | baving read, he must bave left bebind him to economize erally an abundance of spare time, and also an absence of weight. But oftener than not the Alpine climber can masany strong outward excitement. Tbe first condition gives age to dispose his times and distances so as to spend the the opportunity, the second favors the disposition, for novel idle day or day and a half between one march and anotber reading. And thus the practice of reading a novel in the at one of the comparatively populous mountain resorts. train is to be not only explained but justified. The reason And though he has taken no thought, and perhaps has no for it is deeper than mere vacancy or craving for amuse spare room, for any provision of literature, he may reap the ment. It is not simply that a traveller wants something to fruits of a laudable custom by which the more prudent, who do; it is that he has a singularly good occasion for doing a / bring up books from the cities of men, piously leave them particular thing which cannot always be done, but which, | to benefit those who come after. A novel cannot be more when it can be done, is exceedingly pleasant. We can re- / worthily read than at such a time and place. The wholecall sundry railway journeys which would in themselves some bodily indolence of well-earned repose, already ten. have brought no gifts but a dreary resignation to the ne pered with bracing anticipations of new delight in action; cessities of time and space, but whose hours were so trans the even balance of a mind unstrung from cares, and figured by a volume of George Sand that there are few | opened to fuller knowledge of all beautiful things by its others in our memory for which we would willingly ex- | fresh communion with nature; the splendor of the Alpine change them. It is true that the doctors say reading in a sky, and the clear, purifying breath of the glaciers — with train is bad for the eyes. And so it is, no doubt, beyond a these accompaniments how should one fail to enjoy the certain point, just as going in a train at all may be very power and skill of an admired author with a more lively bad for the whole body if it is made a fixed habit. It is by l apprehension, a more true and abiding emotion, tban fall this time common knowledge that a man may seriously in to the lot of moments hastily snatched and confusedly jure bis health, and even induce special forms of disease, i pieced together from amidst the monotonous bustle of every: by travelling every day up and down such a distance as 1 day life? This is a virtue of travel in grand and inspiri. that between London and Brighton. But the same amount ing scenery which is not sufficiently recognized. Our adof railway travelling once a month will do him no harm; | miration is so occupied with the wholly new objects put and we venture to think that a corresponding amount of before us, that we hardly take note of the subtle power of reading in the train will leave any sound pair of eves prac such an environment to exalt all the ordinary faculties and tically unbarmed too. It is not suggested, indeed, that one | occupations we bring with us, which at home seem comshould attempt to read bad print in a shaky carriage. This monplace. is one reason why we mentioned George Sand's works in! In this attempt to arrive at the true principles of novelparticular as railway-books. French novels are printed in / reading we have adhered to a rather severely artistic way better and larger type than the editions of English ones of looking at the question, which may possibly be conside produced at anything like a similar price, and the light flex ered impracticable; and there are certain necessary exible volume in its paper cover is easily balanced in the hand | ceptions to be made. These are of two opposite kinds. and accommodated to the changes of motion so as to neutral For some books are too great, and many too small, to come ize, in part at least, the alleged ill effects on the eyesight. within the description of novels as we understand the term. Another advantage of a book in this form is that it is good
of a book in this form is that it is good | On the one band, such a work as “Les Misérables," of enough to be worth keeping (which English railway edi. “Middlemarch," to take two instances in extremely different tions generally are not), and yet not so good that one need styles, cannot possibly be read with the same fluency as 8 be afraid of squeezing it into a hand-bag or a pocket in | book which consists entirely or chiefly of story. Generally company with odds and endg. Another and a crowning | the book exists for the sake of the story ; but here there merit is that it is generally in one volume, and so can be | lation is reversed, and the story exists for the sake of soul
thing beyond and above itself; in the one case a prose epic promise you a hundred times not to wish to know about which exbausts the life of Paris, in the other a philosophi- l your bygone life, I never bave any peace? I can bear it cal satire which exhausts the life of provincial England. no more." His face, too, did indeed bear a look of longNow epics and philosophy are not for him who runs to continued suffering. read. Accordingly many readers who come to works such « Yes, Botolf, you did indeed promise me to let that as these, expecting nothing more nor less than an enter- | thing rest — that which I can never, never tell you about. taining novel, are often disappointed and angry at finding You promised me solemnly; you said you did n't care something far greater. They open what they thought a about it, if you could but have me. Botolf 1” she extavern door, and straightway they are in a temple. For claimed again, sinking to her knees before him upon the our part we think there are not yet too many of such splen- | heather; and she wept as though her very life were in did disappointments in the world.
peril, and so looked at him through her fast-falling tears On the other hand, there is no lack of novels to which that she seemed at once the loveliest and most miserable the foregoing remarks cannot be said to apply, for the plain creature he bad ever seen in all bis days. reason that they will not bear reading through. As to ." Oh dear me!” he exclaimed, rising, but then directly these, if they are to be read at all, it matters but little when sitting down again, “ if you did but love me well enough and how they are taken up and laid down. We will not to have confidence in me, how happy we two might be !" say that a novel which cannot be read through has no right "If you, rather, could but have a little confidence in to exist, for it may have considerable merit in parts. But me ! ” she implored, coming nearer him, still upon her then its claims, wbatever they are, must not be made in knees, and looking yearningly into his face. “Love you! the capacity of a novel; for a good novel is an organic Why, that very night when your ship had run into ours, whole, a work of art. The sort of novel we speak of can when I came up on the deck and you stood there in combe treated only as a quantity of printed matter which hap mand, I thought I never had seen anybody so brave and pens to contain certain brilliant fragments. The rest manly; and I loved you from that moment. And then might be tables of logarithms, or proverbial philosophy, or when you carried me over into the boat when the ships anytbing else unreadable. When this is the case, odd were sinking, I once more felt, what I thought I never minutes will clearly do as well as any other time for pick should feel again, a wish to live." She wept in silence, ing out whatever good there is in the mass ; indeed better, with her bands clasped together, resting upon his knee. since those favorable seasons whose advantages we have “ Botolfi” then she exclaimed, “ be good and noble ; be as tried to indicate should be carefully reserved for books you were when you first took me ! Botolf I” worthy to occupy them. It may be said, no doubt, with “Why do you urge me so ?” he replied, almost harshly. some justice, that there is a vicious reciprocal action in “You know very well it can't be. One must have a modern literature, hasty reading and careless writing giv woman's whole soul; though for a little while at first, pering one another mutual encouragement. But we believe | haps, one is content without." care and skill always have their reward in the end; and She drew back, and said hopelessly, we trust that a deeper culture will in time eradicate the “ Ab, well, then, my life can never come right again ! slovenly habits induced in both writers and readers by the
O God I” and once more she began to weep. present diffusion of superficial taste.
“ Trust me with the whole of your life, and not merely a part of it, and it will all come right so far as I am concerned."
He spoke cheerfully, as though to encourage ber.
She did not answer; but he saw she was struggling with A LIFE'S ENIGMA.
“ Master yourself,” he urged : “ run the risk of doing as A NORWEGIAN SKETCH.
I wish. Things can't be worse than they are now, at any BY BJORNSTJERNE BJORNSON, AUTHOR OF “ARNE,” ETC.
“You 'll drive me to the very worst,” she said piteously. " Why sit here?”
He misunderstood her, and continued, -“ Because it's high and pleasant.”
“ Even if you have to confess the greatest crime to me, “ But it goes so deep down, it makes me quite giddy; I'll try to bear up; but this I can't bear." and the sun shines so dazzling on the water; let's go a lit “No; and neither can 1!" she exclaimed ; and she rose. tle fartber.”
“I'll help you," he said, rising also ; " day by day I'll “ No — not any farther."
belp you, when I only know what this thing is. But I'm “Just back, then, as far as that green enclosure – it was quite too proud to be with a woman I don't fully know so pleasant there."
about; and who, perhaps, belongs to somebody else." « No-I say — not there, either;" and he flung himself A bright flush came over her face. down, as if he either could not, or would not, go farther. “For shame! If you talk of pride, I'm a good deal She remained standing, with her eyes intently fixed upon | prouder than you are; and I won't have you say such
things. So, stop!” “ Aasta," then he said, “ now you must explain to me "If you 're so very proud, then, why do you leave room why it was you were so much afraid of that foreign skipper for my suspicions ?” who came in just in the dusk of the evening."
" God help me! I can bear this no longer!" “ Did n't I think that was it !” she whispered, and “ No, nor I either; I've made a vow it shall come to an seemed to wish to avoid the matter.
end this day.” “ Yes, you must tell me before you go, else I shall never “ How cruel it is,” she wailed out, “ to go on worrying come again."
and tormenting a woman who has trusted herself so fully to “ Botolf I” she exclaimed ; and she turned, but still re you, and has begged and prayed of you as I have been domained standing.
ing." She was near again beginning to weep, but with a “It's true," he continued, “I promised you I would n't sudden change of feeling she exclaimed, “ Yes, I see how ask any questions, and I'll still keep my word if you like ; it is, you think by provoking and exciting me, you 'll get but then things must come to an end between us."
things out of me I” She looked at him indignantly, and Sbe burst into tears, and came over to him, with the sun turned aside. shining full upon her slender little figure, small hands, and Then she heard him say slowly, word by word, soft golden hair, wherefrom the kerchief had fallen.
“ Will you, or will you not ?" He sprang up.
“I will not,” replied she, stretching out her hand ; "no, “ Yes !” he exclaimed, " you know very well when you not if you gave me all we can see from here!" She went come looking like that at me, I always give in to you. from him, her bosom heaved, and her eyes wandered to and But I know, too, that the longer this thing goes on, the fro, but mostly looked towards him, now sternly, next sorworse it gets. Can't you understand that, though I may rowfully, then sternly again. She leaned against a tree
and wept; then ceased weeping, and returned to her former Surely he had made a terrible mistake. A woman penimood.
tent on account of some guilty thing would have found re“Ah, I knew very well you did n't love me," she heard lief in confessing it to her husband; and one still impeninext, and became in a moment tbe most humble and peni tent would have sought refuge in some evasion or other. tent of creatures.
But Aasta bad neither confessed anything, nor bad reTwice she tried to answer, but, instead, she flung her course to any evasion, but had sought refuge in death when self down upon the heather, and hid her face in her hands. he had so tormented her. Such conduct showed no sign Botolf came forward and stood over her.
of guilt. But why not? Some folks had a great dread of She knew he was there, and she waited for him to speak, confessing anything. Aasta, however, had no such dread; and tried to prepare herself for whatever he might say ; for she had already confessed there was something about but not a word came, and she grew yet more disturbed, and her life which she could never tell him. Perhaps, then, felt obliged to look up. She sprang to her feet instantly: the greatness of her guilt made confession impossible! But Botoll's long, weather-beaten face seemed to have become she could not have had the burden of any great guilt upon sunken and hollow, his deeply-set eyes staringly prominent, her; for she was often joyous — nay, even full of fun. Sbe and his whole figure monstrous; and it stood over her with was hasty and impetuous, it is true; but she was also very some strange influence that suddenly made her see him full of tender feeling and kindliness. Perhaps ibe guilt once more upon the ship just as she saw him on the night was some other person's, and not hers at all? Why then of the wreck; but now his strength was boundless, and it had she never told him so? If she had only done this, all was all turned against her.
would have come right. But supposing there were no “ You have been untruthful with me, Aasta.”
guilt, either on her side, or on that of any body else, bow She turned away, but he followed her, and continued, - then ? But she herself had said there was something she
“ And you have made me untruthful, too; there has n't could never tell him. And tben how about that foreign been perfect truthfulness between us a single day ever skipper she was so afraid of? How was it? In the name since we have been togetber."
of goodness, how was it? Ab, bad she been still alive, he He stood so near that she could feel his hot breath; he would still have tormented her! This thought moved him looked straight into her eyes till she felt quite giddy; she deeply, and made him reproach and despise himself beknew not what he might the next moment say or do; and yond measure. 80 she closed her eyes. She stood as though she must Still he began again : perhaps she was not so guilty as either fall or rurh away: the crisis was coming.
she herself believed; or perhaps not so guilty as others In its prelude of deep silence, Botolf himself became | might have thought? How often did we do wrong quite afraid. Still, once more he began in bis former strain: 1 innocently, and only through ignorance, tough so fem
“Make everytbing clear ; make an end of all this mis- | could understand that! Thus Aasta bad thought that he erable trickery and concealment- do it here — now.” who was always full of suspicion, would not understand it.
“Yes,” she answered, but quite unconsciously -- "so 1 Out of one clear, simple answer, he would have found mat. say — do it here - now !”
ter for a hundred suspicious questions; and so she had He gave a loud cry, for she rushed past him, and flung chosen to confide herself to death rather than to him. herself over the steep. He caught a glimpse of her golden | W'by could he never leave ber in peace? She had led hair, her uplifted bands, and the kerchief, which spread | from the things of her past life, and sought refuge with out, slipped off, and floated slowly down after her by itself. / him; and then he, forsootb, must constantly drag them He heard no shriek, and be heard no fall into the water forward and fling them in her face! She was truly atbelow; for it was very far down. Indeed, he was not lig tached to him, and showed him all love and tenderness; tening; for he had sunk to the earth.
what right, had he, then, to concern himself about her past? Out from the sea she had come to him that night at | And if he had any such right, why did he not say so in the first; into the sea she had now passed away again; and beginning? Whereas, the more her affection had grown, with her, the story of her life. In the midnight darkness the more his disquiet bad grown likewise — when she, no! of that silent deep, lay all that was dear to him: should merely through admiration and gratitude, but also through be not follow? Ho had come to that place with a firm love, had become wholly his own, then, forsooth, he must determination to make an end of the thing that tormented begin to wish to know all about wbat she had done and him: this was not the end ; and now it could never come; been in days gone by. The more, too, she had pleaded for the trouble was, indeed, only now in reality beginning. I herself, the worse he had thought of her, and the more ne Aasta's deed cried out to him that he had made a terrible had insisted that there was something be ought to be told. mistake, and bad killed her. Even if his misery should Then, for the first time, arose the question, had he told become ten times greater, he must live on to find out how her everything? Would it really be right for husband all had happened. She, who was almost the only one and wife to tell each other everything? Would all be saved on that fearful night, had been saved only to be understood if it were told! Most certainly not. killed by him who had saved her. He, who had gone He heard two children playing, and he looked around. voyaging and trafficking about as if the whole world were He was sitting in the green enclosure Aasta had spoken of nothing but sea and mart, had all at once become the a little while ago, but he had not been aware of it till now. victim of a love which had killed the woman of his choice, I Five hours had passed : he thought it was a few minutes. and must now kill him. Was he a bad man? He had | The children had most likely been playing there for longi never heard any one say so, neither had be ever felt it but he heard them now for the first time. himself. But what if, after all, it were so? He rose; What! was not one of them Agnes, the clergyman's not, however, to cast himself over the steep, but to return little daughter of eight years, whom Aasta had loved even to the valley: no man kills himself just when he has found to idolatry, and who was so like her! Good Heavens! & great enigma which he wishes to solve.
how like she was! But the enigma of Aasta's life could never be solved Agnes had just set her little brother upon a great stone, now. She had lived in America ever since she had been where he had to be in school, while she was schoolmaster. grown up; and she was coming from there when the ships “ Say now just what I say," she commanded: Our ran into each other. In what part of America should his Father.'” quest begin? From what part of Norway she had at first “ (u' Farver." come, he did not positively know; and he was uncertain « « Who art in heaven.'” even whether her family name had not been changed since Ebom” then. And that foreign skipper? Who could he be ? Did “ • Hallowed be thy name.' he know Aasta, or was it only she who knew something of "'Arvid be name." bim? To question thus was like questioning the very " • Thy kingdom come."" sea; and to journey forth to investigate was like plunging
“No! into its depths.
«« Thy will be done.'”
« No; s'an't."
He lay in terrible suffering; and the old woman thought Botolf crept away ; not, however, because the prayer at last he must be waiting to see some one. So she asked had touched him; indeed, he had not marked that it was him whether she should send for the clergyman. He sbook a prayer ; but while he looked at and listened to the chile his head. Was there any one else he would like to see? dren, be became, in his own eyes, a horrible wild beast, To that he made no answer. The next day, while he was unfit to come near either God or man. He dragged him lying as usual, he distinctly pronounced the name, “ Agself behind some bushes, so that the children might not pes.” Certainly, this was not in reply to the old woman's discover him : he was more afraid of them than he had question of the day before; but she fancied it was, and she ever been of any one in all his life. He slunk off into the rose gladly, went out to her husband, and bade him harforest, far away from the high-road.
ness the horses with all speed, and drive over to the parsonWhere should be go? To tbe now empty house he had age to fetch Agnes. bought and furnished for Aasta ? Or should be go some When he reached there, everybody thought there must where farther away? It mattered nothing; for wherever be some mistake, and tbat it was the clergy man who was he thought of going, he saw Aasta standing there. It is sent for ; but the old man insisted it was the little girl. said that when folks are dying, the last object they see is She herself was indoors, and heard the message, which pictured upon their eyes; so, too, when a man awakes to frightened her greatly; for she, among the rest, had heard consciousness after doing a wicked deed, the first object he the tales about the devil, and about the company of devils sees is pictured upon his eyes, and he can never get rid rushing up out of the sea. But she had also heard that of it. Thus, when Botolf now saw Aasta, she no longer there was some one whom the sick man was waiting to see, appeared to him as she had upon the mountain-slope so and must see before he could die; and she did not think it soort a time before, but she seemed to be a little innocent anywise strange that that one should turn out to be herself, girl - in fact, to be Agnes. Even the picture he retained whom his wife had so often fetched over to the house beof her figure while she was sinking down the steep was fore. Agnes' sisters told her, too, that one must always that of Agner, with her little hands uplifted. In whatever try to do what dying folks wish; and that if she prayed direction he turned his thoughts and remembrances of nicely to God, nothing could do her any barm. She bethe suffering woman whom he had so suspected, they were lieved this, and let them dress her to go. met by tbis innocent child, whom he had just heard repeat It was a cold, clear evening, wherein she could see long ing the Lord's Prayer. In every scene of bis life with dark shadows following, and hear echoes of the barnessAasta — from the night of the shipwreck to this Sunday bells sounding far off in the forest : on the whole, she felt it morning - the child's face appeared. The thought of was rather dreadful, and she sat saying her prayers, with this mysterious transformation 80 preyed upon bim, in
her bands folded together inside her muff. She did not both mind and body, that in the course of a few days he see the devil anywhere, neither did she hear any company became unable to take his necessary food, and a little
of devils rushing up out of the sea wbile she rode along the while after was compelled to take his bed.
shore; but she saw many stars above her, and light shinSoon every one could see he was approaching death. | ing straight before her upon the mountain-peak. Up He whose mind is burdened by some great lise-enigma around Botolf's house, all seemed dismally quiet; but the acquires a peculiar manner, through which he himself old peasant woman came out at once, and carried Agnes becomes an enigma to others. Even from the day Botolf | indoors, took off her travelling dress, and let her warm berand Aasta first came to live in that parish, his gloomy self at the fire. Meanwhile, the old woman told her she taciturnity, her beauty, and the loneliness of the life of need not be anywise afraid of the sick man, but must just both, had been the subject of frequent gossip among the go in to him with good courage, and say the Lord's Prayer neighbors; and now, when Aasta all at once disappeared, to him. Then, when Agnes bad got warm, the old woman the talk increased until the most incredible things said took her hand, and led her into the sick room. Botolf lay were the best believed. Nobody could throw any light there with long beard and hollow eyes, and he gazed at her upon the matter ; for none of all those who lived upon the intently; but she did not think he looked dreadful, and mountain-ridge, or the shore beneath, or who were accus she was not afraid. tomed to go there, had bappened to be looking towards the “Do you forgive me ?” he whispered. steep just when Aasta flung herself over. Neither did her She supposed she ought to say “yes," and she said corpse ever drift to land, itself to give evidence.
"yes,” accordingly. Even while Botolf was yet alive, therefore, no end 'Then he smiled, and tried to raise himself in the bed. of strange spiritualistic stories were told about him. He but his strength failed, and he remained lying. became dreadful to see, as he lay there with long, supken She began at once to say the Lord's Prayer; but he face, red beard and unkempt red hair, growing tangled made a movement as though to bid her pause, and pointed together, and large eyes looking up like some dark tarn in
to his breast. So she laid both her hands there; for this a deep mountain-hollow. He seemed to have no wish was what she thought he intended her to do; and he dieither to live or to die; and so the folks said there was a rectly laid one of his clammy, ice-cold, bony hands upon fight for his soul going on between God and the devil. her little warm ones, and then closed his eyes. When she Some said they had even seen the evil one, surrounded by found he did not say anything after she had finished the flames, climb up to the windows of the dying man's prayer, she did not venture to remove her hands, but just chamber to call to him. They had seen the evil one, too, began to say it again. they said, in the form of a black dog, go snilling round the When she had said it for the third time, the old woman house. Others, who had rowed past, had seen the whole came in, looked, and said, place on fire; while others, again, had heard a company of “ You can leave off now, my dear - he's gone!" devils, sbouting, barking, and laughing, come from the sea, pass slowly towards the house, enter through the closed doors, rush furiously through all the rooms, and then go down once more beneath the waves, with the same awlul
MRS. FURNESS'S CONCORDANCE.1 row as they made in coming out. Botoll's servants, men as well as women, left immediately, and told all these
This work supplies an undoubted want, and, we arə tales to everybody. Hardly any one dared even go near
happy to add, it supplies it in an admirable manner. To the place; and if an old peasant and his wife, to whom the
those who know little or nothing of Shakspearean difficulsick man bad shown some kindness, bad not taken care of
ties — of the vexed and vexatious questions of authenticity him, he would bave lain utterly untended. Even this old
that beset the thorough student, or of the perpetual woman herself was in terror when she was with him ; and
troubles that are connected with the great dramatist's voshe used to burn straw under his bed to keep off the evil
cabulary -- it may, perbaps, seem a waste of labor to have one; but though the sick man was nearly scorched up, he
1 A Concordance to Shakespenre's Poems: an Index to every Word ther ein
contained. By Mrs. Horace Howard Furness. Philadelphia: Lippincott still kept alive.