Obrázky stránek

“ you

perhaps, the worst possible humour man ever enjoyed as the phrase goes-he approached a small tuft of stunted foliage, which, as he neared it, was somewhat rudely and suddenly shaken-he stopped short,

“ Who's there?” cried he.

No answer was given—but as he advanced three steps nearer the bush, a black man sprang from his hiding-place and bounded away before him—it was Louis himself-Dupres called to him to stop-Louis instigated by some undefinable feeling, still ran. Dupres followed him at the top of his speed, but he would not have caught him had not the foot of the slave tripped over a stone, which brought him to the ground. Dupres was up with him in a moment.

" Rascal!” said Dupres," ungrateful rascal !—how dare you fly from me? rebel, traitor, runaway that you are.”

“ No, massa—no,” said Louis ; “me no traitor, no rebel, no !"

“ It'sfalse, scoundrel !" cried Dupres in a phrensy of rage; have carried off my slaves you are in a conspiracy, a league against me, with the miscreants whom you have so often begged off, before."

No, massa—no," said Louis.

“ Do I lie, sirrah ?" exclaimed the planter, striking him in the face. The blow (so wholly unexpected) brought Louis to the earth; but he was on his feet in an instant again, and again his master struck him—the blow was returned, and Dupres measured his length in the dust; he attempted to rise, but Louis throwing himself upon him, placed one of his knees on his chest so as to prevent his moving.

“ It's all too late now, massa, the blow has been struck. Hear me, massa, hear me-me have loved you dearly, massa, dearly, like my broder-me work for you, me do all me can for you, me save you life, massa—but no good, no-massa bid me go, massa say me should be flog—six and twenty years have I lived—no lash ever touch me; but no, him too late now, all is over."

“ Let me get up,” said Dupres, vainly struggling with his powerful opponent.

"No, massa, not yet, massa,” said Louis, drawing from his pocket a sharp-pointed two-edged knife.

Dupres struggled again, but in vairi. “ Louis,” said he, “ forgive me, forgive me; I have been wrong."

No, massa, no,” said Louis, me forgive you, massa, but you will never forgive me. Oh, massa, massa! you do not know my heart ! Poor Adele, massa—poor, poor Adele !"

“She shall be yours,” said Dupres.

“Look, massa, me no runaway-me could not bear to be flogged, least of all by your order, massa—me hide away to-day, to-morrow your birthday, and mine, massa-me thought you would forgive me then, then me should have come back and beg pardon ; but no! no! him too late—me have struck my massa-massa hates poor Louis ! No-no-him past now.

Saying which, the faithful Louis raising his right hand above his head, struck the glittering blade which it grasped, with all his force into his heart, and instantly fell dead upon his master's bosom.

Let not the reader ask what befel Adele-let him be satisfied by knowing that, that year's celebration of the “ Planter's Birthdar” is remembered in the island to this hour.


OLD Isaac Moss was a golden Jew,

It had been a task, to men who think Who liv'd by gen’ral dealing ;

Of man and bis ways unev'n, At his window, folks would pause to view To see the Jew now flutter, now shrink, The various stock of fine virtù,

And his eye-balls start, and blaze, and wink Aye pil'd from floor to ceiling.

At St. Peter or St. Stephen. This Isaac Moss amidst Jews did shine, And thus did Isaac leave gems and gold A Levite still unshaken ;

As things of poorest barter, On living hedgehog he'd rather dine, To gather the saints both young and old, Than snuff the odour of roasted swine, And safely bring to his trading fold, Or touch a piece of bacon.

The eremite and martyr! And still on a fast from bread and cup

Yet it often irk'd the Christian race, Did Isaac turn his vision;

Their breasts with anger fillingHe kept his creed and his shutters up,

To see Moss spit in the grimy face And was, when be most refus’d to sup, Of some fair St. Anne, ber tints to trace, - A grace to circumcision !

Then curtly bid—“ ten shilling." And Isaac haunted the synagogue,

For ne'er was eye so true to its trust, And aye the tabernacle;

Nor thumb to that soft dutyYet scandal ran that no sadder dog

To peer and rub througb the antique crust Did Newgate bangman e'er soundly flog, That time still makes of the flying dust Or cheat a Newgate shackle.

T' obscure the painter's beauty. “ It's a wicked world!” said Isaac, meek- And more ; 'twas the Jew's exulting boast, Then cried, " how sinful sin is !"

Or say, his virtue rather;And then his wrinkles grew smooth and sleek, Tho' Venus he hought as brown as toast, As both his hard-working hands did seek With half a nose, and one eye at most, And fumble with his guineas.

To be her second father. “ It's a wicked world !” This Isaac knew- The wonders he wrought, a saint to save,

Had grown gray 'neath the knowledge ; And make a rag a treasure ! He had pluck'd it whereso'er it grew

The stitchings he stitch'd, the daubs he gave, In some strait paths-in some crooked too, Had made a Titian stir in his grave, Yet ne'er had been to college.

And, possibly, with pleasure. Each debtor would call him this and that- An Anthony torn, with faded pig, (A sting the debtor uses ;)

Moss buys, not worth a whistle ; The Jew was calm-the debtor laid flat; Lo, Moss • revives,” and the saint is big For Isaac had heard that the adder's fat With breathing life--and as gay as grig, Was salve for human bruises.

The porker sports each bristle! And Isaac, tho' bruis’d, grew whole apace, He buys a rag “pot fit for a mat;" A Jew entire, unshaven;

So cries his wife in dudgeon ; At ev'ry sale be would take his place,

Moss rubs and cleans, and behold! his cat, With the mildest, meekest, goat-like face, The best of critics, jumps, bouncing at And eye of gentle raven.

Carp, salmon, trout, and gudgeon ! There Isaac would sit and meditate,

Enough of praise to that able Jew Some scheme of rare concoction;

We've thought-and writ-and spoken :
They might bid for pearls--might bid for plate, Enough; bis goods were better as new,”
Still Isaac would sit, unmor'd as fate, And brighter, fairer, costlier grew,
Sweet Patience at an auction !

If once well torn and broken.
But soon would Isaac fidget and fume, Our story runs, that this worthy soul,
His dearest friend, too, jostle-

Midst other artless jokers,
When'er was put to the crowded room, Was one day seated quite cheek by jowl
The smiling face, or the face in gloom, With Laz'rús Levi, and Nathan Cole,
Of Virgia or Apostle.

All guileless Hebrew brokers.

[ocr errors]



The sale, th' effects of the best of scamps Forty"-"and eight"— and “fifty"-
That hist'ry yet discloses ;

and three,"
A wight, far-fam'd for his midnight tramps, They cry with kindling faces,
The charming Baron of Brokenlamps, And " sixty”—"and two”—“and seven for
And lord of Bluddienoses.

Whilst the auctioneer still smiles to see

There's seven in seventy places.” Not Robins himself, whose treacle tongue

Makes sweet whate'er it touches,
Could warble the treasures heap'd among

And biddings rise, and in Isaac Moss
Cellini's carvings, and tap'stries flung

The bile still constant rises ;
To gen'ral dealer's clutches.

He feels to buy is to buy a loss,
Since one is there who bids for the cross

Beyond all market prices.
Alack, 'tis sad, when the sacred hearth

Is throng'd by public wonder; And the thousand things that made its worth The lammer falls, and the cross is sold To manhood's thought, and to childhood's Doth rush to the street, and scream and scold,

The Jew, all desolation, mirth,

And tear his garment, and curse ten-fold Are sbar'd by civil plunder.

The buyer and his nation.
'Tis enough to touch the coarsest mind, “ Alack! what ails thee, poor, aged one ?"
A heart of rudest culture;

Inquires the voice of feeling ;
At our homestead, men like Moss to find, “ Hast lost thy wife-hast lost thy son ?”
And so behold how the human kind

“Oh, Moses !" cries Moss, "I'm quite unMay imitate the vulture.


'Tis worse than death or stealing !" But men of rapine must still be fed ; Hyenas crave a dinner;

“Nay, what's the matter ?" "I've lost-I've The lambkin still for the wolf is bred,

lost.” With kids the tiger is nourished,

Cried Isaac, almost choking,
And sinner sups off sinner.

A crucifix of the greatest cost;"
And again his arms he wildly tost,

Again renew'd his croaking,
A truce to humdrum sentiment-look!
How Isaac grins and chuckles !

“A crucifix! Why, thou stubborn jew; His nose, 'tis sharp as the bill of rook,

What wouldst tbou, if not scoff it? His mouth, it gapes like an op'ning book,

Say, what would crucifix be to you ?" Lord ! how he rubs his knuckles !

And Moss made answer, still weeping dew,

A pretty piece of profit.
Another lot, and another too,
Doth Isaac gladly grapple-

“ I knew, in a minute, what 'twould bring, You ne'er could meet so lucky a jew,

And so I wish'd to trade by't ;
Tho' you search'd the Min’ries thro’and thro', For how couldst think I valued the thing,
And Houndsditch and Whitechapel. But just as I value a brooch or ring,

For what is to be made by't."
The sale goes on—and all eyes are bright;
Tho'some before were shutting :

“Oh! wicked Jew !" cries the decent wight For see, expos'd to the public sight,

(His indignation howling)An ivory cross of the purest white,

Who shines a self-deem'd jewel of light, And very precious cutting.

If his sabbath face be lacker'd bright,

Tbo' all the six days scowling. A cross so large, tbat in very truth,

Who still conforms to all prudent shows It was, beyond all measure,

Of outward, cleanly dealing ; The largest, and far the best in sooth,'

And yet whose selfishness never knows That e'er was cut from elephant's tooth

One touch of pity for human woesTo be poor mortal's treasure.

One spark of gen'rous feeling.

And, ob ! 'twas a wondrous scene to view,

The strife and the emotion,
Possessing the Israelitish crew,
As loud and londer the bidding grew

Of £. s. d. devotion.

Who still will talk of his precious creed

With tongue of melting honey ;
And yet when pray'd at your dearest need,
Will only sell you some Christian deed,

His cross is--so much money!



CHAP. IV. A storm— Night journeyThe monks and ladiesThe cave of AdelsbergTrieste

as seen after nightfall. The traveller to or from Italy who makes Trieste one of the haltingplaces in his wanderings, will scarcely omit to visit the cave of Adelsberg; beyond all comparison, the most extraordinary thing of the kind which is any where to be met with throughout Europe. As my young companion and I devoted more than the time usually allotted by strangers to an examination of the cave, and as the whole of our little excursion seems even at this distance of time, to have been full of interest, I do not think that I shall draw very severely upon the patience of others, if I venture to describe it somewhat at length.

I plead guilty to the charge on all such occasions as this, of being to the utmost of my poor ability an economist of time. Money, if you squander it away, may be gathered up again; that is to say, by practising a severe and protracted economy, you may make amends for a passing extravagance: but time once lost, either at home or abroad, can never be atoned for. Accordingly as days were becoming very precious with us, and in the ordinary course of events, three would be required to accomplish our intended design, we made up our minds to adopt Moore's receipt for lengthening them-in other words, to travel by night, both in going and returning—and so to reduce the expenditure of hours, available to purposes such as that which was before us, to the lowest possible amount. And we fell into the project the more readily, because our kind friends, Sir Thomas and Lady Sorrel assured us, that the intervening space between Trieste and Adelsberg was, in a picturesque point of view, singularly uninteresting. Having dined, therefore, with an hospitable countryman (a pleasure which was afforded us daily during our residence in Trieste), we returned to our hotel one evening about nine o'clock, and in an hour afterwards, the carriage which we had ordered to be in readiness, drove up to the door.

We had heard a good deal of the Bora, or furious wind, which at uncertain periods sweeps over this country; and against which, when it comes in the fulness of its might, neither man nor beast can venture to make head. It was our good fortune, for so I must account it, to behold that night a specimen of its style of operation; not, indeed, as it had been described to us, both in Fiume and elsewhere, sweeping every thing before it, and rendering travel impracticable; but coming on as it were in an instant, and exciting no little alarm in the minds of those who knew better than we how much of evil might in a moment be occasioned by it. When we quitted Sir Thomas Sorrel's house, for example, the night was calm, and the sky cloudless. A moaning there was, indeed, from the sea, for which we could not account; because there was no breeze out to ruffle its surface; but the circumstance excited in us little else than a momentary surprise; which we expressed to one another, and forgot again, long before our preparations for the journey, were complete. Within a quarter of an hour, however, as we stood at the open window, wondering why the carriage delayed to arrive, our asto

Continued from No. ccxxiii., page 424.
Sept.- VOL. LVII. No. ccxxv.


nishment may be imagined, when without the smallest preparation as far as we could discern, a perfect hurricane seemed to break loose upon the city. The gusts of wind roared down the long straight streets, like blasts from a thousand gigantic furnaces. The sky, which we had seen clear and azure but a few minutes previously, was covered with dark clouds, from which, at rapid intervals, flashes of lightning darted, while the thunder bellowed its own terrific accompaniinent, so as to be distinctly heard over the tumult of the hurricane. Moreover, all this occurred without the accompaniment which with us, in England, is usual in such cases—not a drop of rain fell. We were very much astonished, as may be supposed. Yet, when our driver entered the room to demand whether it was still our pleasure to proceed, we answered in the affirmativeleaving it to him to decide whether or not he would venture to face a storm of the extent and probable duration of which he must needs be a better judge than we.

The honest fellow made not the slightest objection to set out.

“ We shall have rain by and by,” said he, " and when the rain comes, the Bora soon moderates in its wrath.” And he was right : for ere we could complete our few remaining preparations, and descend the stair, the heavy splashing of water on the pavement was audible. Such were the circumstances under which our journey began; and I must say that they were both welcomed at the moment, and have been remembered ever since as giving no trivial zest to the proceeding. For the music of wind and thunder is very exciting, and the illumination which is produced by frequent Aashes of lightning, gives a majesty to the character of night under the most ordinary circumstances; whereas when shot across a scene like that which encompassed us after we had cleared the town, the effect is sublime.

I have alluded elsewhere to the semicircle of hills beneath the shelter of which Trieste is planted. As we wound up the serpentine road by which that range is crossed, the deep dark ravines which skirted us on either hand, with the cottages and groves nestling in their lowest depths, became from time to time distinctly visible, only that a darker and sterner gloom might in a moment afterwards enshroud the whole ; while by and by, as we mounted nearer and nearer to the ridge, the same process spread out beneath us castle and tower, street and alley, mole, harbour, shipping, and the wide sea ;—all that they might come and go with the rapidity of a dream, and the splendour and the glory of some scene which is produced by the power of magic.

Amid such a tumult as this, and under the pelting of a furious rain, we wound slowly onwards till the crest of the hill was gained ; when our vehicle began to move more rapidly, and the storm, as if it had been designed to last no longer than we ourselves could have wished, lowered by degrees its tone. The flashes of lightning came at longer intervals, and the thunder grew more hollow and protracted in its sound; while the rain ceased, and the wind died quite away. Accordingly when the carriage stopped at the toll-house (the Douane as it is called in this country), where a process of examination was to be carried through, we had the satisfaction to perceive that the stars were once more shining in a cloudless sky. Of one remarkable change we were, however, conscious, and it was somewhat too violent to be agreeable. The intense heat under which we had heretofore suffered was entirely gone, and a keen, cold atmosphere had so completely taken its place, that we

« PředchozíPokračovat »