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I could conceive that now-I could believe it :- I did believe it,and I was human. I took both her hands in mine: “ Look at me, Isabella! look in my face !"
She did so, but with hesitation, and as she did so she started.“ Nay, we are both altered; but other miseries might have done this. I forgive you from my heart and from my soul. As we first met, so shall we now part. All shall be forgotten,--all is forgiven. God bless you !”
Those words had killed her. Her eyes dwelt upon me for one moment with their first sweetness in them;—a sigh,—and earth alone remained!
A FRAGMENT OF ROMANCE.
[A young lady who rejoices in the appellation of Czarina Amabelle St. Cloud has addressed a lengthened epistle to us, in which she feelingly deplores the gradual decline and downfall of the Minerva Press. She has favoured us with a catalogue of her unpublished works, and a spirit-stirring extract from her last manuscript romance, which is indeed a masterpiece in a department of literature now unhappily but too much neglected. We willingly subjoin both. For a young lady under twenty years Miss St. Cloud is the most voluminous writer we ever had the pleasure of meeting with.—Ev.]
CATALOGUE OF MISS St. Cloud's UNPUBLISHED WORKS. A Nympholept Lover, or, the Whispering Fungus. Lycanthropy, the Wolfish Exquisite. The Vampyre's Elixir, or, the Undying Wanderer. The Spectre Steam-boat's Monster Supercargo. The Pawned Shadow; a Vision of Invisibility. The Idiot Oracle and the Infant Wizard. Ventriloquism; the Life of a Fratricidal Freemason. Dyke-impia, the Watery Doublegoer. Basiliska, the Snake-eyed Skeleton of Enniskillen. The Last Woman; or, the Parentless Pigmies. Amuletus's Enchanted Chessmen; from the German. Second Sight; or, the Crimson Behemoth. Frozen Echoes; or, Wraithology: a Shetland story. The Evil Ear; a legend of love. Venomgorgia, the Arsenic-eater; a pastoral romance. The Politics of the Gnomes; a satiric allegory. Pestilia, the Plague Perie; or, the Eternal Earthquake. The Fog Fairy; or, a Fire in Fleet-ditch. The Hydra of Hyde Park; or, High-life Eclogues. Aristocratic Atrocities; or, the Banker's Widow. The Fatal Furbelow; or, the Tempted Templar. The Murderous Marchioness of Mesopotamia. With coloured
Boadicea at Jaugarnaut; interspersed with Della Cruscan Poetry. Romanzritter and Nomansreden; a tradition of ancient Norwegia.
Extract. “Let the tear of sensibility be wiped for the simple Clotilde, who, fresh as an opening zoophyte, awoke her aged nurse, Fidgita, to prepare her for the evening masque; and still the unconscious being warbled,
“While meekly blends the azure dew,
And starry dawn invests the grove,
O'er faintest dreams by memory wove;
The suit of his Bohemian fair,
Fal lira la, sing tiuk a tink!" “ Gramercy!" quoth the garrulous crone, who had numbered ninety summers; “ will my foster babe mock with troubadour odes, and ballads, and the like, one whose every artery hath hardened into a tendon? Hear me, wench, and tremble !" "In an unearthly and sepulchral tone, she gutturally muttered the ancient Runic prophecy
“Two children, each of spell-bound mother,
For then shall the robber espouse the gipsy." The mysterious Fidgita disappeared. Clotilde pondered o'er the prediction. She was, indeed, the natural daughter of a wealthy baron, by some beauteous wanderer. The lawless but exemplary idol of her heart had rescued herself and nurse from these Tartar hordes, and restored her to her father, in whose halls she had been received by the Hebrew Duchess Ketura Boaz, and wooed, somewhat against the will of that mature enchantress, by the Danish Lord Wooden Murkenhole, whose cause Fidgita had warmly espoused. Clotilde still stood, clammily clasping her clay-cold hands, as her sportive Grace tripped into the corridor.
“Is the Lady Gunterzwartz turned puritan ?" she asked with her wonted wit.
“ Not at all,” was the dignified reply; for the high patrician blood which had descended from the old Romans to our fair papist ill brooked the familiarity of the Israelitish dame.
“ Lady Clotilde," resumed the Duchess Ketura, playing with the handle of the dagger which marked her caste, and which, like other creoles of that region and period, she wore stuck in her plaid bonnet, “I must tell your ladyship
“ Nothing about that Wooden Murkenhole !" interrupted Clotilde. “ Were he a sable pagan Esquimaux bowing to the abominations of Isis, I could not regard him with more repugnance."
“ Ha !" laughed her Grace of Boaz, “'tis only when Guzman sails
his gondola beneath the spreading cocoa-trees, and strikes his ganjam to the praise of thy charms, that thou art pleased, flirting Tory ! Truly, friend Clotilde, I little dreamed, an’ please you, when, flying from the invading Normans, I left the luxurious woods of Dover, and the contingent mountains of Cheshire, that I should find thee, my own—no matter ! so unlike in taste to thy hapless-hush !"
“Oh, Albion !" sighed Clotilde, “ decidedly thou must be the queen of cities. Thy gallant outlaws and highwaymen will with joy the bride of Guzman greet; for, rather than wive the Rosicrucian Murkenhole, I will throw myself off Mount Damthopovit, or into the monastery of St. Kussanblastre.”
“My lovely pupil,” said Ketura, “had far better accompany me to the munchen-hall, where the kooken-vrow is already serving up the duntarags."
Clotilde followed her friend. What, then, was her amaze at finding the phorontrom filled with armed men, headed by the rejected and vindictive Wooden ! seize his victim ; to place her in the fatal trot-joggeur; to drive across the extensive crags of Smashaltobitz; to consign her to the dungeons of Glumanough-was the work of a moment. It was not long, however, ere Fidgita apprised the Chevalier Guzman of his lady's peril: that nobleman, we may well imagine, lost no time in attempting to succour.
We must now return to the chateau. Between those fated women stood the unforgiving one.
“Mothers both !” he uttered, pointing jocosely. “Mother, traitress to your son, we part no more. Mother, rival to your daughter, Jewess or Gingaree, you have lost your Clotilde. Vainly, like your sires, may you wander crying Chloe ! Chloe ! till she too is old Clo—till"
But we draw the curtain o'er his savage joy. Poison and poignard had been pacific penances to those he dealt the Duchess, ere, with delirious haste, he ascended with his wretched parent in the aërial car. The Lady Ketura, meanwhile, fled to her skiff, which, but for the incantations of the wizard Gorius, she could not have steered, her wrists being yet stiff from the thumb-screws applied to extort her unutterable secret. Thus for weeks did they buffet,—one with ether, the other with the waves,—without touching even earth, much less any more palatable food. Their squalid tatters spread pestilence around, and the rage of hunger gnawed them both.
It was now that the volcano began to spout its tragic lines of liquid fire:
: a furious tempest added shipwreck to the scene. A flaming brand from the irruption lighted on the sail,- the conflagration spread,
-a spiral blaze darted on high,—the roar of combustion announced that it had ignited the infernal gas, and the accursed aëronaut was precipitated on the shore. Ketura now remembered how she had loved, and crawled to kiss the dear perfidious Murkenhole. Bats, toads, lemurs, owls, snails, spiders, and other reptilous vermin, slimily beset her loathsome way, gibbering with too intelligible triumph ; but, leaning her back against a rock, and firmly placing her foot before, she shouted, “ Come one, come all ! this rock shall fly from its firm base as soon as Ketura !"
He of the charmed life had fallen unharmed, and, hearing this heroic defiance, rushed to consummate his hellish vengeance. But the Duchess of Boaz anticipated his asking eye. Madly she dashed her
veined temples against the jagged rock-all was black darkness. Wooden hurried forward, -slipped, -fell. Was it the ocean foam which rendered his path precarious? He scooped up some, in the hollow of his hand, to quench his burning thirst, and lend him voice for one more vow of hate! Holy nature ! his slide was formed of Ketura's brain !--'twas that his lip had touched. Still, as life ebbed from her gangrenous coagulated wounds, her lacerated arms, like crushed vipers, wound their torn muscles round his felon knee. With a glare of fury he beheld the demon laughing o'er his prey, but, as the master of these forfeit souls, spurned the already putrescent masses of still conscious mortality into the turgid sable of that yawning gulf: their life-rending shriek awaked the distant bandits, who had been deaf to the phenomena of nature. What sight awaits them ?
Now all the gods to speed ! it is the Steam Beacon of the Railroad, which begins to flare in token of their chieftain's victory: and lo! he comes, bearing in one hand two papers ;-the first, a free pardon for himself and gallant band; the second, a restitution of his Italian estates, as the rightful Count Cigaro. In his other hand he leads the rescued Clotilde, followed by her venerable father Sir Gunterzwartz ; and if a momentary cloud o'ershadowed their spirits at the memory of the dead, it was dissipated on the morrow at the altar of Hymen, where the Druidic high-priest, assisted by his patriarchs, conferred the blushing hand of Clotilde on the joy.o'erflowed eye of her devoted Guzman; announcing to the assembled senate this moral lesson,—that necromancy dislocates every vital tie ; but that whene'er irregular valour substitutes, in favour of injured beauty, the boudoir of bliss for the dungeon of despair, there is in such exchange no robbery."
To this we can only add, that Miss St. Cloud and a young gentleman we know might write a delightful book between them; and that the sooner they form a literary partnership, the better.
On seeing “ The Young Veteran,” John Bannister, toddling up Gower-street,
after he had attained his seventieth birthday. WRITTEN BY SIR GEORGE ROSE, AND COMMUNICATED BY J. P. HARLEY, ESQ.
Witu seventy years upon his back,
But fresh as any daisy.
Although the steps be crazy.