Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

In the bottom of an excavated area, if it could have recalled the bloodshed of which, as well as I could judge, must be the morning. The green light flecked forty feet below the level of the court, down through the leafy roof upon the lay a small and antique garden, brilliant glittering and singing water; a nightwith the most costly flowers, and cooled ingale in a recess of the garden, gurgled by a fountain gushing from under the through his wires as if intoxicated with foot of a nymph in marble. The spread- the congenial twilight of his prison; the ing tops of six alleys of lindens, reaching heavy-cupped flowers of the tropics to the level of the street, formed a living nodded with the rain of the fountain roof to the grot-like depths of the garden, spray ; the distant roll of wheels in the and concealed it from all view but that neighbouring streets came with an assurof persons descending like ourselves from ance of reality to this dream-land, yet the house ; while, instead of walls to softened by the unreverberating roof and shut in this Paradise in the heart of a an air crowded with flowers and trembling city, sharply-inclined slopes of green- with the pulsations of falling water; the sward leaned in under the branches of lowering forehead of the outlaw cleared the lindens, and completed the fairy-like up like a sky of June after a thunderenclosure of shade and verdure. As we shower, and his voice grew gentle and descended the rose-laden steps and ter- caressing; and the delicate mistress of races, I observed, that, of the immense all (by birth, Countess Iminild,) a creaprofusion of flowers in the area below, ture as slight as Psyche, and as white as nearly all were costly exotics, whose the lotus, whose flexile stem served her pots were set in the earth, and probably for a bracelet, welcomed us with her brought away from the sunshine only soft voice and humid eyes, and saddened when in high bloom; and as we rounded by the event of the morning, looked on the spreading basin of the fountain which her husband with a tenderness that would broke the perspective of the alley, a have assoiled her of her sins against delitable, which had been concealed by the cacy, I thought, even in the mind of an marble nymph, and a skilfully-disposed angel. array of rhododendrons, lay just beneath “ We live, like truth, here, in the our feet, while a lady, whose features I bottom of a well,” said the countess to could not fail to remember, smiled up Percie, as she gave him his coffee ; “how from her couch of crimson cushions and do you like my whimsical abode, sir?" gave us a graceful welcome.

« I should like any place where you The same taste for depth which had were, Miladi !” he answered, blushing been shown in the room sunk below the and stealing his eyes across at me, either windows, and the garden below the street, in doubt how far he might presume upwas continued in the kind of marble divan on his new character, or suspecting that in which we were to breakfast. Four I should smile at his gallantry. steps descending from the pavement of The outlaw glanced his eyes over the the alley introduced us into a circular curling head of the boy, with one of excavation, whose marble seats, covered those just perceptible smiles which devewith cushions of crimson silk, surrounded loped, occasionally, in great beauty, the a table laden with the substantial viands gentle spirit in his bosom ; and Iminild, which are common to a morning meal in pleased with the compliment or the Vienna, and smoking with coffee, whose blush, threw off her pensive mood, and aroma (Percie agreed with me) exceeded assumed, in an instant, the coquettish even the tuberoses in grateful sweetness. air which had attracted my notice as Between the cushions at our backs and she stepped before me into the church of the pavements just above the level of our St. Etienne. heads, were piled circles of thickly-flow- “ You had hard work,” she said, “to ering geraniums, which enclosed us in keep up with your long-legged dragoon rings of perfume, and, pouring from the yesterday, Monsieur Percie !". cup of a sculptured flower, held in the “ Miladi !” he answered with a look hand of the nymph, a smooth stream of inquiry. like a silver rod supplied a channel “Oh, I was behind you, and my legs grooved around the centre of the marble are not much longer than yours. How table, through which the bright water, he strided away with his long spurs, to be with the impulse of its descent, made a sure! Do you remember a smart young swift revolution and disappeared. gentleman with a blue cap that walked

It was a scene to give memory the lie past you on the glacis occasionally ?”

garian ?"

arm.

an

" Ah, with laced boots, like a Hun- quietly stepped up into the garden. I

saw at a glance that there was no chance " I see I am ever to be known by my for his escape, and laid my hand on his foot,” said she, putting it out upon the cushion, and turning it about with naive “ Chevalier !" I said, “ surrender, admiration; “ that poor captain of the and trust to opportunity. It is madness imperial guard payed dearly for kissing to resist here." it, holy virgin !” and she crossed her- Yvain !” said Iminild, in a low self and was silent for a moment. voice, flying to his side as she compre

If I might take the freedom, cheva- hended his intention, “ leave me that lier," I said, “ pray how came I in- vengeance, and try the parapet. I'll debted to your assistance in this affair ?" kill him before he sleeps I Quick ! Ah,

“ Iminild has partly explained,” he heavens !" answered. " She knew, of course, that The dragoon had turned at that ina challenge would follow your interfer- stant to fly, and with the suddenness of ence. Arriving in Vienna late last night, I thought the pistol flashed, and the found Iminild (who had followed this traitor dropped heavily on the terrace. gentleman and the dragoon unperceived) Springing like a cat up the slope of in possession of all the circumstances. green-sward, Yvain stood an instant on

“ Have you lived here long, Miladi? the summit of the wall, hesitating where asked Percie, looking up into her eyes to jump beyond, and in the next mowith unconscious passionateness ment rolled heavily back, stabbed which made the Countess Iminild colour through and through with a bayonet slightly, and bite ber lips to restrain an from the opposite side. expression of pleasure.

The blood left the lips and cheek of “ I have not lived long, any where, Iminild; but without a word or a sign of sir !” she answered, half archly, “but I terror, she sprang to the side of the played in this garden when not much fallen outlaw and lifted him up against older than you !

her knee. The gens d'armes rushed to Percie looked confused, and pulled up the spot, but the subaltern who comhis cravat.

manded them yielded instantly to my “ This house,'' said the chevalier, wish that they should retire to the skirts willing apparently to spare the countess of the garden ; and, sending Percie to a painful narration, “is the property of the fountain for water, we bathed the the old Count Ildefert, my wife's father. lips and forehead of the dying man, and He has long ceased to visit Vienna, and set him against the sloping parapet. has left it, he supposes, to a stranger. With one hand grasing the dress of When Iminild tires of the forest, she Iminild and the other clasped in mine, comes here, and I join her if I can find he struggled to speak. time. I must to the saddle to-morrow,

66 The cross !" he gasped, the by St. Jacques !

cross !" The word had scarce died on his lips Iminild drew a silver crucifix from her when the door by which we had entered bosom. the garden was flung open, and the “ Swear on this,” he said, putting it measured tread of gens d'armes resound. to my lips and speaking with terrible ed in the corridor. The first man who energy, swear that you will protect stood out upon the upper terrace was her while you live !" the dragoon who had been second to my

" I swear!” opponent.

He shut our hands together convul1. Traitor and villain !" muttered the sively, gasped slightly as if he would outlaw between his teeth, I thought I speak again, and, in another instant, remembered you! It is that false como sunk, relaxed and lifeless, on the shoul. rade Berthold, Iminild !"

der of Iminild. Yvain had risen from the table as if but to stretch his legs; and drawing a

(To be continued.) pistol from his bosom, he cocked it as he

66

66

GOOD NIGHT.

not promised them a brighter resting

place. “The sun is down, and time gone by, Thoughts of this nature were passing The stars are twinkling in the sky,

in my mind, as I reclined on a bank of Nor torch nor taper longer may

soft turf, in the neighbourhood of Eke out a blithe but stinted day ;

Damala, canopied by the graceful and The hours have passed with stealthy spreading branches of the lemon tree, flight,

smoking the fragrant weed of the Levant, We needs must part; good night, good and from time to time looking from the night!

pages of the Arabian Nights, to the ex

panse before me, when I was roused by The bride unto her bower is sent, the notes of a bugle from our encampAnd ribald song and jesting spent; ment. I started to my feet, and went to The lover's whisper'd words and few the parade. The route had at last Have bade the bashful maid adieu ; arrived, and I found that we were to emThe dancing floor is silent quite. bark the same evening for Mitochi, a No foot bounds there; good night, good small farm in the neighbourhood of a night!

heap of ruins, ancient and modern, mark

ing the site of the famed Megara. Not The lady in her curtain'd bed,

wishing to participate in the bustle preThe herdsman in his wattled shed,

paratory to an embarkation, and having The clansman in the heather'd hall,

no duty to perform, I crossed the ferry Sweet sleep be with you, one and all !

to Poros. Now the conveniencies for We part in hopes of days as bright As this gone by; good night, good i then was, were exceedingly limited ;

the indulgences of the toilet, situated as night!

and, seeing the depot of an artist, vulSweet sleep be with us, one and all !

garly recognised as a barber, abundantly And if upon its stillness fall

stocked with clean towels, and keenThe visions of a busy brain,

looking razors, I entered, and intimated We'll have our pleasure o'er again,

my wish to have my hair cut, and the To warm the heart, to charm the sight.

performance of other little operations in Gay dreams to all! good night, good his line, to the effect that I might be

made comfortable. I seated myself night!"

complacently upon the bench which was extended round the room, and folded my legs under me with as much grace as the

little practice I had had in that position THE GREEK BARBER.

enabled me. Seeing that I was a Frank

-Franks generally pay better than Who has not longed to become a natives—the master of the shop appilgrim in the beautiful land of Greece, proached me with an air of considerable to inhale the perfume of her orange deference. He was a goodnatured-lookgroves, and to pay his adoration at her ing Greek, particularly neat and trim in classic and immortal shrines ? Who has his attire. He wore his crimson Phesi not longed to behold the beautiful Par- jauntily on one side, discovering a great thenon, the fabled Scamander, and the portion of his very clean-shorn temple. glorious Thermopylæ,—the grave of His eyebrows were reduced to a beautiheroes ? Few comparatively of our fully fine curved line, his moustaches, British voyagers have journeyed so far; though very large and thick, were they have explored every part of Italy balanced to a hair,-in fact, it might be and France; but Greece-classic Greece said of him, that he carried the best rehas no charms for them : to be sure, commendation to his customer in his the roads and the inns are indifferently face. bad, and they would find it inconvenient From his waist hung a broad leathern to get their tea. I love the country, and strap, and his girdle was garnished with have some claim on the gratitude of its several razors of very peculiar construcsons; for I have fought side by side with tion, very narrow in the blade, and them against their barbarian spoilers, firmly fixed in straight wooden handles. and have participated in their victories He addressed me with an " Oriste and defeat. Well may the tory Turks Effendi, 'Ti theles,'' _“ Command me, love to linger there,—their Prophet has sir !—what is your wish ?" I signified

ܙܙ

my intentions—" Efthese," said he, bracket, like an old-fashioned gallows, “speedily ;” and with his left hand, projecting from the wall, over my head, stretching the strap that hung from his though without suspecting its use. Upon middle, he smoothed it down with his this he suspended a pewter pail, having right, and ended by giving it two or a stop-cock in the bottom. He then three smart slaps, that sounded like the produced a large wooden bowl, containsharp crack of a rifle. The art of mak- ing a quantity of soap, and, with a piece ing this noise is as peculiar to the of raw silk, made a lather sufficient to barbers of the East, as cracking a whip is have washed the whole population of the to a French postilion. Having strapped island. I saw him deposit this on the a razor, he removed my cap, and I then bench by his side, and bare his arms to thought it high time to enter a remon- the elbow. I witnessed all this preparastrance, saying : that I did not wish to tion with some little anxiety, and even have my head shaved, but simply my apprehension ; but incumbered as I was hair cut. “ I understood you so," said by my position, and his infernal parahe, “ and am going to do it.” “ But,” phernalia, he had me completely in interrupted I, “ surely not with a his power ; and as to remonstrance, he razor,-have you not got a- "' imita- took an effectual method of cutting short ting the action of a pair of scissors with any solecisms I might have committed my fingers. “Do not be afraid,” said against the dignity of Greek, by turning he; and a smile of contempt passed over the stop-cock of the bucket above me, his features as he, without further parley, and with the speed of thought down applied his razor to my devoted head, came a torrent of scalding water! I and scraped therefrom a quantity of hair. tried to scream ; the power of utterance “ There,” said he, “if you are not con- was gone. I would have thrown the tent, I will send to my uncle Theodoree, basin at him, but then my whole body the tailor, for his shears." I was oblig- must have been parboiled: I had no. ed to submit, though in the full ex- thing left but to endure. At last the pectation of being scalped at every deluge ceased. Now, thought I,—now, stroke of his accursed tool. When he thou perfidious barber (though thou pronounced the operation ended, I was wert even the progenitor of Sir Edward not a little surprised to find my hair very himself) !—now will I be revenged of decently cut, and myself unhurt. thee: I will dip thee in thy own copper,

He then proceeded to place under my and hang thee up to dry like a lathered chin a pewter basin, with a large rim cut napkin, as a warning to all thy detestable out to fit the neck; and having washed craft how they exercise their atrocities my chin and cheeks with his fingers, and upon confiding Franks. But, alas ! I rubbed them with a piece of hard soap, opened my eyes, glistening with the fire he removed the basin, and putting his of fury, but to be quenched with tears foot on the bench on which I sat, he of torture. Oh, the lather! the lather! laid

my head gently upon his knee. He In an instant I was smothered-eyes, went on to shave me, not as our barbers nose, ears, and mouth-with the very do by drawing the razor towards himself, sublimated essence of soap-suds! The but by pushing it from him outwards, souls of the great-grandfathers of all pinching the skin up into ridges, and barbers, throughout all generations, taking only at a stroke just the crown must have concentrated their devilish of each ridge, making it not only a tedi- wickedness in this individual. He ous, but to me an excruciating operation, insinuated the accursed compound into although, on the other hand, a very per- my eyes, be blew it up my nostrils, he fect one, for the face will remain smooth crammed it into my mouth, and thrust it and beardless for a day or two. They into my ears.--Soap-suds and hot water ! seem to cut about eight-and-forty hours' soap-suds and hot water !! soap-suds growth beneath the skin. This ended, and hot water!!! three times over.-I he put some question to me; to which I, can no more; 'tis like Alonso's dagger, — having no idea of the consequences, but supposing some matter of course, nodded

“ It rouses horrid images, away with it!" an assent. He then tucked several At last he took from a dome-topped towels down my neck and back, and towel-horse, that stood in the centre of gave me another pewter basin, of the the room over a basin of burning charsame construction as the first, but much coal, a hot napkin, which he folded, larger. I had before observed a wooden turban-like, upon my head, while, with

arm

re

another, he dried my sodden counten- " When Greek meets Greek, then comes ance as well as he could. I was com

the tug of war.” pletely subdued--my spirit was broken

This individual underwent exactly the he might have tweaked me by the nose, same series of operations as I had done, and I should scarce have known it; but seeming even to court the playful yet I wondered why these latter kind. cruelties of the wanton barber, by affordnesses were vouchsafed me. Alas! it ing him every opportunity for their per. was only to prolong my existence till I formance. i then became convinced of had endured, to their full extent, the the necessity of doing as they do at Rome, enormities the monster yet meditated and suffered my ire to cool. I signified against me. He took my hand in one my desire to pay, and was immediately of his, and placing the other upon my approached by a mischievous-looking shoulder, suddenly extended my arm, young urchin, bearing in one hand a making every joint crack. The other circular mirror, set in a frame of ebony

But I hasten over this part inlaid with mother of pearl, and in the of my narrative; the remembrance is other a bottle of perfumed water, with too painful to dwell upon. He took which he sprinkled my face and garpossession of my head, and causing it to

ments. After allowing me what he conperform a roulade, after the fashion of sidered a sufficient time to contemplate our harlequins, he gave it a dexterous the improvement his master had wrought twist on one side, producing a

in my appearance, he presented to me port that sounded to my hearing (almost the back of the mirror, upon which I the only faculty I had left) like the counted out twenty paras (two-pence), crack of doom? I thought the whole and further presented him with some five vertebral column was dislocated. He

or six for himself. Whereupon he seizthen placed me upright, my back against ed my hand, and inflicted upon it a the wall, retreated some three or four violent kiss. I was then bowed out by paces, and, raising his hands, rushed the barber with a profusion of thanks for with outspread palms against my chest, my liberality, and arrived at Damala with such force as to cause the involun- just in time to find the route changed for tary ejaculation of ha! as loud as an Methana. Irish paviour. The measure of his

Such is the force of habit, that, after iniquity now being full, he called for a

a time, my chiefest luxury in Greece was tchibouque and a cup of coffee, and pre- a thorough head-washing ; barring, howsenting them to me in the most obsequi- ever, the joint-cracking, against which I ous manner, this most insidious per- always continued to protest with the petrator of all these atrocities had the most exemplary indignation, though impudence to wish me a good health always much to the amazement of the and many ages. Mechanically I smok- Greek barber. ed my pipe and sipped my coffee, meanwhile all the soul I had left was occupied in devising vengeance.-Vituperation ?

TO ELLEN.
No! Should I, as the metaphysical
Hamlet hath it,-

Is life a vale, as some may say, “ Like a-hem—unpack my heart with Where flowers the freshest, brightest, words ?"

bloom ; No, no. I had just hit upon an idea, Where love and joy ne'er fade away,

A spot meet for a fairy home? · Vengeance from her dark covert stalk. A bright elysium to the eye, ed abroad,

Where Eden birds their carols sing ; With all her snakes erect upon her And every cloud that sweeps the sky, crest,”

The shadow of an angel's wing? and just as she had “fired me with her Oh, 'tis not so! beauty's a dream, charms,” in walked one who was

That in its glowing splendour flies ; “ Native there, and to the manner born.” And mirth is but the starry beam

That fades upon the summer skies. I saw him seat himself and bare his Is life as bright as some declare? head; I saw the fatal bucket suspended No-spots of gloom our path deform; over him by a neophyt rber, with

many a morn that seemeth fair, bare arms. Now, thought I,

May close at eve with cloud and storm.

« ПредишнаНапред »