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or all' Italiana, what matter or what marvel, under water. There is certainly, 'tis said, a considering that I have high authority for the nation of Pygmies, and also of Amazons. Who same? These words be our bricks, which we knoweth but in some northern latitudes, where builders clip and fit to our purpose; which is monstrous whales, dragons, and porcpisces do by whatever wanton heed we will, to fill and inhabit, there may be, within the recesses of surprise the mind with a pleasing tenderness those frozen caves, a race of Titanic giants ? and concern, and lead it whither we list, as a The region of unhouscled spirits may lie, for strong man armed leadeth his captive.
aught we know, somewhere about the centre Herewith I send you an Æclogue in part or at the poles. Who can image the unheardimitated from the second Idyl of Bion
of metals that may be lying undisturbed in I know beforehand what you will say of my their mines ? What gems, unlike to chrysolite, orerwent and forthy. Indeed, simple is the onyx, opal, chalcedony, sardonyx or chrysomatter, and the manner rude and rusticall, yet prasus ? what lively and powerful medicines ? carrieth some delight; e'en the rather because what subtile poisons ? Time would fail me to of the rudeness and rusticity it affects.
consider what undiscovered regions may lie in -Xo, there is no lack of unbroken ground. the southern seas; some, maybe, higher in The Ptolemaic theory forbade not the squaring polity and antiquity than our own ; others, unof a new system by Copernico : the discovery nurtured and undreaming of any humane popuof America, with its new people, nations, and lation beyond their own little world. Enow languages, hints to us how much may remain hath been said to suggest that much remaineth to explore. There be people, I have heard to plant our standard upon, even in this masay, in Africa, do drink living blood and pave terial universe ; how much more then, by parity their courts with skulls : another race, some- of reasoning, in ye universe of thought! ways in Asia, live wholly upon fish, and build Commend me heartily unto E. K., but pray their houses of the bones. On Martin Belem's him of his kindnesse to urge my father no more chart are mapped certain territories with the touching my recall home. I am well satisfied warning annexed that Syrens sing along those to be hereaway at this present; the silence of coasts. The early Spanish navigators were the place being provocative of thought and told by the Indians of an island peopled by favourable to study. I have learned, whatever beautifal women, that floated away
whensoever fare is set upon the board, therewith to be conit was approached. Some depone to having tent, and have sundry matters in hand I seen mermen and mermaids. There is no would fain carry on where I am, and so I recertainty that rational as well as irrational main, good and dear Mr. Gabriel, your loving tribes may not be so constituted as to live
SOME PASSAGES IN THE LIFE OF RICHARD SYDNEY.
« Chi se tu che vieni anzi ora ?”
Rispose : “Vedi che son un che piango.”—DANTE. "It is too much-my courage fails, and yet Merrily came the sunbeams through the the struggle is but commencing."
deep arched windows, and wandered to and These words were uttered by a voice mourn
fro in that noble old hall, till the dark shadows ful and sweet as the saddest strain of music, lurking there recoiled at their approach, like Fet they came not, as might have been sup- evil spirits that dared not face the glad light posed, from the lips of some weak woman, of heaven: on the high oak roof and the anshivering in one of those keen blasts of destiny cient pictures, they shone as the smile on an which sweep over the soul, to wither the hopes old man's face, and not all the gloom of the thereon, as the chill wind blights the leaves decpest recess could resist the glad radiance upon the trees! it was the strong heart of a of that joyous hour ; but the sunshine that man that was failing him, when that melan- so vanquished the natural shadows had no choly sound arose amid all the brightness of a power before the darkness of the human soul; fair summer morning.
vainly did they fall on the noble countenance
of him who had spoken, there was no sun of To be continued.
hope for him in this the summer of his days,
and his mournful eyes were dim and rayless with a settled despondency.
It was a face that would have won the hearts of
many, for it was eloquent of the mind which filled it with such spiritual beauty ; it told of a nature inteħectual, impassioned, and delicately generous; but none could look on Richard Sydney and fail to perceive that to these he added another quality, the most fatal and the most endearing which a man can possess in this rough world—he had that intensity of feeling, that depth of sensitive tenderness, which is to the soul a very seal of martyrdom, inasmuch as it brings with it an acute susceptibility to the sufferings of others, which is far more bitter than any personal sorrow.
He was not in any sense a weak man, but in truth most utterly the contrary; there was even now an expression of indomitable decision on the firmly closed lips and in the marked lines of the forehead, which would have given him an appearance of stern harshness, but for the extreme softness of his deep sad eyes; and this contrast was but a transcript of the opposing qualities which rendered his character one of such rare combination.
there was no luxury wealth could procure which might not have been his each day, and yet again from his pale lips the desponding words passed
My courage fails me, how shall I endure existence ?"
He went towards the window which was thrown open, and flinging himself down on a low seat, laid his head on his arms as they rested on the window-sill, in an attitude of complete despondency. And as he lay there, thought after thought came beating up on his soul, like dark cold waves on the shore, each one receding hopelessly, to be succeeded by another as gloomy and chill ; while, sometimes, they found vent in words which came half unconsciously from his lips in broken sentences.
He was so absorbed in this bitter self-communion, that he did not hear a light footfall stealing through the old hall towards him, and he continued murmuring, half audibly, the ideas that were weighing on his heart—whilst one stood near him striving to drink in the words which he would have desired any but herself should hear.
“ This life," he said, “this mysterious prin
acute perception of right and wrong, and an invincible courage in pursuing the former, which was never overcome by any suffering in himself or others, however sincerely he might feel it; he was one of those whose very soul seems steeped in moral strength, wherewith to do battle against this life; and whilst his standard of duty would have seemed to some immoderately high, he was resolute in struggling up to it, though he felt that his own warm heart might break in the effort.
It would have appeared to any who saw him standing there, in the very prime of his days, that a life of glorious promise was before him--so noble, so worthy to be loved, he was certain to gain that human affection which is earth's sweetest gift; and all that the world most covets of goodly possessions were his
The vaulted room in which he stood was the ancient banquetting-hall of the fine old castle which he had inherited from a long line of ancestors; and far as the eye could reach his wide domain extended on all sides, beautiful in the summer brightness as the green hunting fields of the Indian's paradise -he might look from these windows on the stately park and the fair gardens that were all his own, he might hear the deep voice of the foaming river, that rushed for many a mile through the rich lands of his vast estate, and
the mass of mortal clay, sentient being, capable of exquisite suffering or most ardent joy—how like a subtle serpent it is! lying lurking in the breast, warmed and cherished there day after day, till suddenly, when most we love and fondle it, it turns and stings us to the very heart! yet I had thoughi to master it, I had thought to seize upon this life, truly as a man grasps a reptile by the neck, and force it to yield up its venom, till I could trample it harmless under my very feet; but now is it not growing too strong for me with its power to wound ? does it not seem as though it were to be the conqueror in this strange battle which I must fight with it ? already has it not wound its coils around me, and, if it crushes me, she must perish with me.”
Richard sighed heavily, and he became aware, as he did so, that the sign was echoed softly behind him-he started up, he turned round, and his eyes fell on as fair a sight as could well have been seen on that summer morning.
A young girl stood there, beautiful with the freshness and beauty of life's sweet spring; she was like her brother in his noble bearing and his stately step, but very dissimilar in the expression of her countenance—her face, lit up with the rich colouring of youth and health, was as cloudless as the sunshine that streamed full upon it ; there was something strange in the fearless gaze with which she met that flood of light, and looked up into the bright sky with eyes unshrinking as the eagle's; for in that look and on that fair face there was a boldness of innocence which seemed very singular in one who had passed the first years of childhood's haly ignorance; yet the whole countenance was eloquent in its brightness of what was, in truth, the fact—that no knowledge of evil had ever caused those flashing eyes to droop to that earth, of whose dust every soul bears the stain ; no reFelation of man's degradation had caused the flush of shame to redden that pure marble brow.
Amy Sydney had seen but eighteen summers, and of these twelve had been passed in this old manor house, where she had been guarded in a seclusion strict as that of some fairy princess in the enchanted tales of old ; her sole companion, in the most literal sense of the word, had been her brother, her only surviving relative, and he had made it his watchful care to prevent her holding the slightest intercourse with any other human being—her personal attendant was an old woman who was deaf and dumb, and all that Amy knew of the world, of which truly she seemed scarce to form a part, was gathered from the carefully selected books with which Richard provided her.
Thus it came to pass that, now in the prime of her youth and beauty, her soul was the soul of a child, in its gentleness and ignorance, but her heart was already the heart of a woman. The deep passions were stirring there, struggling to have vent, like wild steeds which no eurb can hold; she had all her brother's deep tenderness of nature, but untempered, like his, by self-discipline and principle, and her very intensity of feeling rendered her but the more impetuous and full of fire; yet hers was a noble nature, too; no taint from the world's corruption had touched it with polluting breath, and her ideas of virtue and honour were high and chivalrous, far beyond the customs of these modern times.
How this proud, ardent spirit chafed in the confinement, actual and intellectual, of her present life, may be imagined; so long as she had been a child in years, the freedom of roaming through the park and woods within their own domain had sufficed her, but now, just bursting into womanhood, it was the pentup feelings and affections of that burning heart that sought for liberty,--for an aliment whereon to feed, and she was wildly miserable eren then.
Richard Sydney knew this; his sole aim and object, since his dying mother had committed this beautiful child to his care, had
been her happiness ; not only had he laboured for it unremittingly, but, with the most entire self-devotion, he had sacrificed every hope and desire in this life, to abide here with Amy in unchanging solitude. She dreamt it not, but when he condemned her to dwell a very prisoner in this place, shut out from all earth's joys, he did so, to hide her from a bitter misery which had waited for her, as it were, on the very threshold of life, and was prepared to hunt her down to the grave, as the bloodhound pursues his victim.
But it was all a mystery to Amy, and now in her eyes it had become a cruelty. Richard Sydney turned round when her sigh echoed his, and as he looked on her, a sharp pang smote through his breast-she was so fair a picture, as she stood there in the full blaze of the sunshine!-knowing nothing of the fashions of the world, her dress and her appearance were as peculiar as striking; her magnificent hair fell round her like a golden veil, and the flowing white robes which she wore, gave a singular grace to her tall, slight figure; it was bitter to him to think that it must be his task to hide her beauty from the eyes of all, and his resolution to guard her, as he had hitherto done, even to the hour of her death, grew but the more indomitable, when he saw how radiant she had become, in the loveliness of her life's early summer.
Richard made a violent effort, as his eye met her bright, piercing gaze, to chase from his countenance the deep gloom which possessed his soul. The sweet smile for which he was remarkable brightened on his lips, and he addressed her cheerfully, as though in all contentment and gaiety.
“ Well Amy, darling, where have you been wandering this bright summer morning? I have just been pondering how we could best enjoy so cloudless a day; I am somewhat lazily inclined to go and sit in the shade of the old oak trees, or shall we have the boat on the river, and lie dreamily floating along with the current? Some peculiar pleasure we must have to greet the first warm day.”
She made no answer, but remained with her dark, fearless eyes fixed full on his face, with a look almost of indignant scrutiny. An expression of deep pain for a moment flitted over her brother's noble countenance, but he struggled to maintain the appearance of cheerfulness, ånd continued
" Why, how silent and stately you stand! you look as fair and as still in the sunshine there, as one of the white water lilies we were admiring yesterday; but you must not carry
the resemblance too far, dear Amy, for those bitter and most imperative duty, to act by you same lilies would be dull companions, with all as I have done, to fashion your life as I have their beauty."
fashioned it—that I would impose upon myself No smile responded to the speech he had tried the torture of seeing you day by day pining to utter lightly, but she answered impetuously, in a vain regret, and refusing to find one “ Richard, how long is this comedy to last ? shadow of comfort in the retirement I sought to or rather this tragedy, for it will most surely render most luxurious, and into which, Amy, become so, if you attempt to carry on this I myself have come, abandoning this world of system much longer."
which you speak, and all its pleasures, that I His features assumed at once their natural might share it with you ? " expression of sadness, and he made no further There was a returning softness in the last effort to conceal it.
words, which touched Amy's warm heart in a “ Amy, what is it you complain of?” he moment. She threw her arms round her said, in a mournful tone.
brother, and said, with one of those quick “Of my bondage, my cruel, unnatural changes of feeling peculiar to her disposition, bondage, in body and soul; do you think, “ Dearest Richard, forgive me, I know you Richard, that I am still a child, to be amused are the kindest and most devoted brother; I into the belief that my life is as happy as the
hate myself to have spoken so angrily; yes, I lives of others ? do you imagine that your am sure you have some good reason for all you efforts to keep me in ignorance have prevented
have done, and I know you are my guardian my learning the truth of my existence ? Oh, as well as brother, and I have no right, as yet brother! I am not deceived.” She came and at least, to resist your authority. But, Richard, stood near him, whilst a few bright tears rose I am not unreasonable, surely, in seeking an to her eyes. “I know there is a gay, glad world explanation of this mystery; why is it your beyond these old park walls, my prison walls, duty to condemn me to this wretched, unwhere joy, and hope, and sympathy, and natural life? surely did I know the secret of tender love, and generous friendship make this bitter necessity, if such it is, I might be bright the lives of those who live and love the better able to bear it." together—there heart meets heart, and hand Amy did not say what was, in truth, her joined to hand, they brave right merrily the thought, that if she knew the hidden reason storms of destiny-whilst I, in the prime of of Richard's conduct, she might then by argumy youth and power of enjoyment, what have I ments overcome the obstacle, whatever it might done, that I should be as one dead in life ? a pri- be, which stood between her and the world of soner shut out from all joy or hope, denied the her dreams; her own impetuous and ardent sweet companionship of earthly ties, an exile, mind could conceive no difficulty which she outcast from the world and from existence ?" would not be resolute to overcome, if only she
“ Alas! Amy, you are deceived,” said might find an entrance into the life of passion Richard, “ for that world, which you believe so and feeling, for which her young heart was bright, is full of sorrow and deadly peril-you panting. know not how many a heart dies there in agony." Her brother took her hand with a sort of
“ Better so to die than to have it eat away by sad solemnity, and saidrepining in the dull, cold apathy of this joyless “ Amy, it is as well perhaps that we should life. I know that in that world every one come to an explanation, at least so far as any must stake their happiness on many a doubtful such
may be between us; you will then learn venture, but still, even to suffer by others, or that our position is irrevocable, and you will with them, is to live! but this is worse than no longer attempt to struggle with a fate too death, to know that a very ocean of thought strong for us; it is but little I can tell you, yet and feeling lies smouldering in my soul, but that little comprises the sentence of
life to consume it in its miserable inaction. Life
—there is a mystery, a fearful mystery, conhas its chances and its perils, I well know, but nected with us both, which renders it a matter it has also its joys and sparkling pleasures; of most absolute and irretrievable necessity who has a right to keep me from risking the that you should live-take courage, Amy-not one and braving the other ?”
now only, but to the end of your existence, in “I have,” said her brother, suddenly stand- this retirement. It is a sad and cruel decrce I ing and confronting her, with a sternness very know, yet, being immutable, it were best you unlike the extreme tenderness of his habitual should so consider it at once; you must for manner towards her.
“ Do you think that if ever dwell apart from your fellow-creatures, it were not my right-nor that only, but my you never must enter into that world you falsely drcam so full of joy ; you must not do so, be- tion from it with his own heart's blood. cause you would thereby bring upon yourself, Again, she knew by the words he had spoken and upon others, a misery more terrible far to that his lips were sealed as to the reason of bear than even the horrors of a galley slave's this mystery ir such a manner as that no life, much less the quiet existence I have pre- human power could ever unlock them. pared for you-yes, a misery to which death With these thoughts, there fell a weight were far preferable, even if it came and took upon that young heart like to the massive you now, in your spring of youth and beauty. crushing stone of a sepulchral monument, You ask me what is this stern secret, and what fixed ponderous and immoveable over the the mysterious misfortune which lurks at the ashes of her life's joy, dead and gone; yet entrance of that outer world, waiting for
you clinging to one last thought of mercy, one as a tiger in his lair, that prepares to spring faint piteous hope, that surely there would be upon his victim. Amy, to tell it you would be some bounds to her exile from the blessed to deliver you up to its dread power at once affections of existence, she lifted up her sor-one step out of this quiet life of ignorance rowful eyes to that miserable brother, and said and solitude, and an agony of nameless horror with beseeching voicewould seize upon you, to make you for ever- “ Brother, is all denied me--all of earth's more, even to your very self, a curse! I speak hope for ever? Be it that the pleasures of life strongly, I may seem to speak mercilessly, yet are not for me, that the joyous world is hidden it is best you should know at once how irrevo- from my sight, the glad companionship of my cable is the decree of your fate; and so, re- own kind forbidden; but is even the strong signing yourself, I would trust you may find human nature to be crushed within me, the some calm pleasures in the home I have striven
pure ties for which my woman's heart must to make a bright one for you. Have faith then yearn, debarred me? Richard, must I never in your brother, and seek to know no more, for be a wife, never a mother? Oh, is sweet in that knowledge is despair ; but take this as human love, the very heart's life of each living a pledge that none, not even I who love you being, to be to me only a vision of delight for best on earth, could avert your destiny; that which my soul must sicken and pine in vain ?” I myself have voluntarily turned away for He would rather have heard the roaring of ever from life and the society of my
fellow- the cannon, though death were in the sound creatures, that I might strive to brighten this, for him, as the mournful entreaty of that your solitude, with my unchanging, true affec- young
the cold dew stood out upon his tion.” He paused, apparently overcome with forehead, but his task must be executed even the effort it had cost him to speak so gloomy a to the last. He knew that in deep charity he sentence to her, who stood there all-glowing must kill the last hope within her, trusting, with the fresh young life that was careering with a very anguish of desire, that out of its through her veins, and making her bounding
ashes would arise at least a calm of peace-a heart, in its loud beating, to call, as it were, painless calm for her. for the hope, the joy, the love that beams with He took her trembling hands in his; he such glorious promises, out of this mortal ex- looked into her beautiful face, where never istence, on the eyes of youth.
mortal eye must rest in proud affection, and And she felt that the words he had spoken said, with a stern decisionwere solemn and true, spoken in mercy, not Amy, beloved sister, summon all your in wanton cruelty; her very soul seemed to courage and hear the truth; once and for ever die within her — life, life, even in its first know that human love—sweet human love sweet summer, it was melting from her grasp, (for wildly sweet and dear it is I know to melting into a cold dark vacancy—a joyless every living heart)-yes, human love in you lethargy, requiring only the horrors of cor- would be a CRIME of deepest dye ; less guilty ruption to be like' unto that swoon of death, were you as a murderess, I speak advisedly, which alone would be its termination. Yet than as a wife and mother." she saw there could be no appeal from this She heard him, and now uttered no word in mysterious decree; she knew her brother well reply; he felt a few burning tears fall on his enough to feel certain that he would willingly hands, but swiftly disengaging her own from have given his own life to have spared her his grasp, she left him to quit the room. such a doom ; that except the necessity--the Himself heart-broken at the part he had duty in the sight of high heaven itself-were been compelled to play, he retained her ono fixed and immutable as the stars that shone moment, grasping, as though in agony, the therein, he would have purchased her redemp- | folds of her dress.