Imágenes de páginas



ened to his most retired apartment. Sadak sprung on his feet. His restless Here by the light of lamps fed with the mind had busied itself in wide researches purest frankincense of Shir, and veiled into the secrets of nature ; and he knew with the spiderlike webs of the Indian much of the occult powers of the universe, loom; he sat, melancholy and buried in though he had holden no communion with

them. A dim expectation was on his He listened to the breezes, that now mind : it was fulfilled when the ceiling of beyan'to arise, as they rustled among the apartment divided, and the Deev the pliant branches of the cypresses, and Alfakir stood before him. He stood in swayed the lofty'heads of the date palms. the gloomy beauty of majesty degraded “ Why is it,” said he, “ that all external and obscured. The earthly lights that nature changes from rest to motion, and illuminated the place were extinguished on from motion again to rest, while thy mind, his entrance ; a dull glow emitted from Sadak, abides from sun to sun, in un- his body supplied their place, and filled varied and monotonous sadness ? What the room with its lurid glare. avail the varying seasons, the rejoicing

" said the Deev, spring, and the abundant summer to me, wouldst have forgetfulness—of what ? and whose life is one long and dreary why ?". winter ?.

is of the falsehood of woman, and the Scarcely had he spoken, when the treachery of man. Why! because I wind stayed, and the trees no longer have suffered by them, and suffer yet. rustled. They ceased not gradually, soft- “ I must know more," returned the ening away into calmness; but at once, Deev,“ ere I grant the boon thou wouldst as if arrested by some magician's hand. win. Speak out; make known thy sufA strange silence came on. The mellow ferings.' song of the late birds was hushed. The “ I will not,” replied Sadak, “ why loud hunming bees and buzzing flies were should I rend open the veil for thee, still. The atmosphere was unaccountably enemy of my race and of me? why comest oppressed, and nature seemed to stand - in thou hither; say quickly, and depart.” 2e of some approaching phenomenon. “ Rash mortal!" answered Alfakir, “: I

66 Sadak,

66 thou

[ocr errors]


am not thine enemy, but thy friend. Be- tating whether next to convey himself, his think thee ere I go, I have the power to attention was aroused by the approach of serve thee, and the will.”

a boat. It contained no one, but, self“ The power thou mayst, the will guided, steered its course in a direct line when did à Deev will well to man ?to the spot were Sadak had stood still

“Foolish Sadak, ask rather, when did to watch it. What was he to do? to man will well to himself? The friend that trust himself to such a vessel, for such a betrayed thee had not done so but for thy voyage seemed madness. Yet the blindness, that would madly trust when power, that guided the boat, in an temptation was beyond the power of man unerring line to that spot, might equally to resist. The woman that was loved and guard its course across the ocean. Sadak was false, deceived thee, because thy examined the boat; it was beauticonfidence was blind, weak, absurd; fully fitted up. A silken awning was loathsome from its imbecility, even in the suspended over a luxurious couch, and a eyes of its object. Thou wonderest that I, plentiful supply of provisions occupied a thine enemy, should wish the well; but sheltered part of the vessel. On the couch not that thyself should have laboured to was written in letters of gold: “ For Sadak, work to thyself evil.”

the searcher for the waters of oblivion.” 'Enough!” said Sadak, “ thou recal- He no longer hesitated, but seated lest too much ; but teach me, if thou canst himself in the boat, which instantly sailed . to forget.”

away, as before, in a straight line, un“ Listen then,” replied the Deev, “far moved by wind or wave. It proceeded away, in the midst of the ocean, beyond with great rapidity, and passing the straits. the points were ship has ever sailed, is an of Ormuz, emerged into the Arabian Sea. island girt with impassable barriers. This The shores of Arabia •and of Hindostan, island was the dowry of a princess of our speedily vanished from the eyes of the race; it holds treasures, to which the voyager. The sky was above, and the riches of the East are but as the dust in a sea around him ; land there was none. silken purse. llere dwell the rulers of He was on the vast plain of the Indian the elements; here are hidden the essences of life; here flow the waters of obli- Three days and three nights his course

continued thus, during which no storm ,” exclaimed Sadak, “give arose, no cloud dimmed the surface of the me of these waters, that I may drink and sky. On the fourth day Sadak discerned

afar off, a dim grey speck on the surface "At peace, surely," answered the of the waters. It came to his strained and

“ but who would have of these wearied eye refreshing as the cool springs waters must seek them."

to the traveller of the desert. " Seek them! and where in thine To this object the course of the boat was unapproachable island ? I should gain plainly directed ; and Sadak perceived,

that he was carried along with still in"Thús hastily judge the children of creased velocity. As he approached, he ignorance and folly. "Trust to me, and gazed earnestly on the island, for such he the way shall be easy.

Seek at thy perceived it to be, and was terrified. leisure the nearest port of the Southern It seemed a vast rock, the sides of Ocean. Thou shalt there learn more, and which, springing from the bosom of the be brought to the object of thy search. waters, slanted, outwardly to a great disSwear to do this, I promise thee the

waters tance, veiling
the waters beneath them

in of oblivion shall be thine."

an impervious gloom ; clothed in which “I swear,” said Sadak.

the unseen waves thundered and boiled Farewell then," said the Deev : ne with increasing roar. The heart of the spread his broad shadowy wings,-the wanderer sickened, for escape seemed inroof opened for his passage.

It closed possible. Here he must close his voyage after him; and the lamps, self-lighted, and his life, in the conflicting waters of burned brightly as before. Sadak heard that angry sea. the rustling of the

trees, and the prolonged The boat shot under the black and ruge notes of the nightingale fell mournfully ged sides of the overhanging precipice,

Instead of being suddenly overwhelmed He lost no time in preparing for his in the circling waters, or dashed against journey; and placing his household under the rock, Sadak perceived that he was the superintendance of a man of rank and carried along

softly as before. He heard probity, who was his friend,

he departed, the din on either side ; till his hearing was crossed the Lauristan mountains, and nigh extinct, but his own course, though amived at Nabon, on the Persian Gulf. rapid was smooth and uninterrupted. The Here, while rambling on the shore, medi- gloom

by which he was surrounded the


Give me,”

be at peace.”


much by my quest.”

on his ear.

[ocr errors]

eye could not penetrate ; but it appeared desolate and uninhabited. As he roamed to Sadak, that the darkness was peopled through halls paved with the purest marble, by forms that flitted around him, and he beneath roofs of fretted gold supported by thought he heard their laughs rising amid pillars of porphyry and adamant. Sadak the roars of the waters ; now and then too, sighed to think, that all this goodly shew à gleam of red light shot from fissures in should be lost to its banished fabricators. the rock, but without dissolving the dark. He looked around and his eye fell on chests ness into which it pierced, and serving of marble, sealed with the signet of the only to render the horror more hideous. conqueror. Here, century after century,

At length, and in a moment, the dark- pined the imprisoned Deevs, while nature ness was changed to extreme light, issuing was changing in successive ages, and the from the cavern, the boat rushed into a world was fading and reviving again in torrent more violent and fearful than the endless transformation. imagination can conceive. Sadak instin.c. Leaving these palaces, and rambling tívely closed his eyes with terror, when still farther, he arrived at another desolate their gạze fell on the edge of a preci- region, resembling the first in which he pice, over which the stream threw the had been placed. The same lofty rocks, mass of its waters, that fell, and fell, till the same barren soil, and the same display they broke in mists and thunder in the gulf of elemeutal violence was there; but in below; but the vessel, instead of being the midst of the place a capacious laké hurried away by the torrent, sailed calmly extended its coal black waters, 'till, overacross its waters, till it reached the oppo. flowing their natural basin, they fell down site bank. Sadak leaped ashore, and gazed the precipices in rushing torrents. A dim on the scene around him.

cloud of exhalations arose on the margin First he looked with astonishment on the of the lake; the sun beams withdrew from rocky barrier that surrounded the place, its surface on which the volcanic fires and from beneath which he had emerged. shot a wavering and murky gleam ; Sadak This, rough and jagged with immense felt that these were the Waters of Obliindentations, rose, cliff upon cliff, in dizzy vion. grandeur, 'till the cloud-vestured heights of He stood on the brink of the wished fo: Kaf seemed to loose in the comparison. food, yet hesitated to drink. While he Dim caverns pierced its base, whence deliberated, the noxious vapours mingled issued the elements in their strength. with his breathing ; at once overcome by Volumes of murky and sulphureous flame their influence, he staggered, reeled and were vomited forth by some; torrents fell. From the state of senselessness, he issued from others, and in some Sadak passed into one of uneasy sleep, disturbed believed he heard the roaring of impriso- by a thousand painful visions. The ned winds. The midway rocks were bare calamities of the past, the faithless friend, and black, their summits were the dwel- the selfish mistress, rose before him. He lings of the tempests and the storm. The awoke from his slumbers, calling aloud thunder rolled there

as in its

on death to free him from the pangs regions, and the lightenings vainly shot of memory. As he opened his eyes, their fires against rocks coeval with the he found to his horror he was hanging heavens.

over the edge of a rocky shelf, that overSadak turned away to explore some looked a fearful chasm. With all the other portion of the island. He stood at energy of self-preservation, he sprung the bottom of a declivity, he ascended from his situation, and gained a place of with labour to its top, what a sight met safety.

All human splendour, faded Under the influence of the gloom that into nothingness, by the side of the mag- oppressed him, he again approached the nificence that met his view.

lake. What a moment was this ! to drink Before him were the marble palaces of of the waters, and lose for ever the the Deevs, built before their conquest by world of the past! Sadak trembled, and a Sultan Soliman. Vast as magnificent, they, cold shuddering pervaded his frame. He covered hills, one beyond another, rising felt how dear is the memory even of sortill lost in distance.

row that has been ; how desolate without The face of external nature was it must be the dreary future, until future changed ; trees of freshest foilage clus- things have gone by, and in fading createa tered into spreading screens, excluding a new past for the mind to recall and dwel: from view the barren terrific region Sadak on. As these thoughts passed over his. had just left; soft verdure covered the mind, he began to loathe the black and ground and perfumes of the sweetest flowers deadly flood that lay before him ; he gushed before every step.

turned hastily away, and beheld the Deev" Sadak entered the eternal dwellings-- Alfakir. dwellings now no more, for they were " Welcome Sadak !” he exclaimed;


his eyes.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]

"welcome to all thou hast wished! For- cried Lieutenant Clavell one day to some getfulness is thine-forgetfulness of misery men, who were doing some part of their and disappointment. There flow the duty ill; when shortly after, a person Waters of Oblivion ; drink then, and be touched him on the shoulder, and turnblessed!”

ing round, he saw the Admiral, wo had “I have thought anew of it,” replied overheard him. And pray Clavell, Sadak, “and hate the selfish and coward what would you have done if you had draught.”

been Captain !” “ I would have flogged "Fool ?" said the Deev, “ ever change them well, Sir,"

," “ No you would not ing and uncertain! but now thou didsť Clavell, no you would not,” he replied ; call for death, yet fleddest to behold him " I know you better.” He used to tell the near as the sparrow from the eagle. Be- Ship's Company that he was determined think thee that, hereafter thou wilt wish the youngest midshipman should be and in vain, for these happy waters : the obeyed as implicitly as himself, and that evils of thy life shall haunt thy remem- he would punish with great severity any brance with bitterness unceasing. Then instance to the contrary. When a midthou wilt long for oblivion ; but mortal shipman made a complaint, he would comes not twice here. Drink, then, and order the man for punishment the next secure peace while it offers."

day; and in the interval calling the boy Sadak paused—for a moment he waver- down to him, would say, “ In all probaed—It was but for a moment;. “No!" bility the fault was your's ; but whether he answered, “I will not drink! Thanks it were not, I am sure it would go to for thy offer and thy aid, though I wil your heart to see a man old enough 10 not avail myself of it. I will depart as I be your father, disgraced and punished

on your account; and it will, therefore, Depart!" shouted the laughing Deev, give me a good opinion of your dispo" how and when ? Thinkest thou the sition, if, when he is brought out, you boat will bear thee back in safety, who hast ask for his pardon." When this recommocked its master, and despised his gifts ? mendation, acting as it did like an order, Trifle not! Did I bring thee hither to was complied with, and the lad interceded return with the memory of what thou hast for the prisoner, Captain Collingwood seen-to prate to clay things like thyself would make great apparent difficulty in of the fallen splendour of our race ?-Önce yielding ; but at length would say, inore I bid thee drink.”

This young gentleman has pleaded so “I will not !” answered Sadak. humanely for you, that, in the hope that

The Deev bent on him a look of dark- you will feel a due gratitude to him for ness and of rage. His colossal figure shook his benevolence, I will for this time overwith fury, as the mountain heaves and look your offence.” The punishments he swells on the birth of an earthquake, light- substituted for the lash, were of many ening blazed in his eyes, and his voice was kinds, such as watering the grog, and nigh choked as he thundered once more other modes now happily general in the

Navy. Among the rest was one which Sadak spoke not-moved not. the men particularly dreaded. " Then perish ""

ordering any offender to be excluded from The Deev twisted his hand in his vic. his mess, and be employed in every extra tim's hair, raised him from the ground, duty, so that he was every moment liable and hurled him far aloft into the air. He to be called upon deck for the meanest rose to a fearful height, then turned and service, amid the laughter and jeers of fell

. The Waters of Oblivion received the men and boys. Such an effect had him--they parted and closed again over this upon the sailors ; that they have often

declared that they would prefer having three dozen lashes ; and, to avoid the recurrence of this punishment, the worst

characters never failed to become attenNAVAL DISCIPLINE WITPOUT tive and orderly. How he sought to FLOGGING.

amuse and occupy the attention of the

men appears in some of these letters. LORD COLLINGWOOD.-As his experi. When they were sick, even while he was ence in command and his knowledge of an Admiral, he visited them daily, and the disposition of men increased, his supplied them from his own table; and abhorrence of corporal punishment grew when they were convalescent, they were daily stronger, and in the latter part of put under the charge of the Lieutenant of

more than a year has elapsed the morning watch, and daily brought up without his having resorted to it once. I to the Admiral, for examination

by him. wish I were the Captain for your sakes," The result of this conduct, was, that the

« Drink ?"

It was

i adak for ever.

his life,


sailors considered him, and called him revulsion. As he speke an indescribable their father; and frequently, when he thrilling or tremor crept over my left changed his ship, many of the men were breast- thence down my side--and all seen in tears for his departure. But with uver. I felt an awful consciousness of the all this there was no man who less cour bodily presence of my heart, till then ted, or to speak more truly, who held in nothing more than it is in a song-a mere more entire contempt, what is ordi- metaphor-so imperceptible are all the narily styled popularity. He was never grand vital workings of the human frame ! known to unbend with the men, while at Now I felt the organ distinctly. There it the same time, he never used any coarse was !-a fleshy core-aye, like that on the or violent language to them himself, or Professor's plato_throbbing away auricle permitted it in others. “ If you do not and ventricle, the valve allowing the know a man's name,” he used to say to gushing blood at so many gallons per the Officers, “ call him sailor, and not minute, and ever prohibiting its return! you-sis, and such other appellations; they The Professor proceeded to enlarge on are offensive and improper.” —Corres. the important office of the great functionary of Lord Collingwood.

and the vital engine seemed to dilate within me, in proportion to the sense of its stupendous responsibility. I seemed nothing

but auricle, and ventricle, and valve. I NO'I HING BUT HEARTS.

had no breath, but only pulsations. Those

who have been present at anatomical dis.. It must have been the lot of every whist cussions can alone corroborate this feeling, player to observe a phenomenon at the how the part discoursed of, by a surpasscard-table as mysterious as any in nature. ing sympathy and sensibility, cause its I mean the constant recurrence of a certain counterpart to become prominent and alltrump throughout the night-a run upon engrossing to the sense; how a lecture on a particular suit, that sets all the calcula- hearts makes a man seem to himself as all tions of Hoyle and Cocker at defiance. The heart, or one on heads causes a phrenolochance of turning up is equal to the Four gist to conceive he is “ all brain.” Denominations. They should alternate Thus was I absorbed :—my

- bosom's with each other, on the average—whereas lord,” lording over every thing beside. a Heart, perhaps, shall be the last card of By and bye, in lieu of one solitary machine, every deal. King or Queen, Ace or Deuce, I saw before me a congregation of hunstill it is of the same clan. You cut-and dreds of human forcing pumps, all awfully it comes again. “ Nothing but Hearts !" working together—the palpitations of hun

I had looked in by chance at the Royal dreds of auricles and ventricles, the flapInstitution ; a Mr. Professor Pattison, of ping of hundreds of valves !- And anon New York, I believe, was lecturing, and they collapsed—mine--the Professor's— the subject was—“Nothing but Hearts !” those on the benches-all! all !-into one

Some hundreds of grave, curious, or great auricle—one great ventricle—one scientific personages were ranged on the vast universal heart! benches of the Theatre;-every one in his The lecture endea. I took up my solemn black. On a table in front of the hat and walked out, but the discourse haunProfessor, stood the specimens ; hearts of ted me, I was full of the subject. A all shapes and sizes-man's, woman's, kind of fluttering, which was not to be sheep's, bullock's

's-on platters or in cloths, cured even by the fresh air, gave me were lying about as familiar as household plainly to understand that my heart was wares. Drawings of hearts, in black or not " in the Highlands," nor in any blood-red, ( dismal valentines !) hung lady's keeping—but where it ought to be around the fearful walls. Preparations of in my own bosom, and as hard at work as the organ in wax, or bottled, passed cur

a parish pump. I plainly felt the blood rently from hand to hand, from eye to eye, like the carriages on a birth-night, coming and returned to the gloomy table. It was in by the auricle, and going out by the like some solemn Egyptian Inquisition--a ventricle ; and shuddered to fancy what looking into dcad men's hearts for their must ensue either way, from any “breakmorals.

ing the line.” Then occurred to me the The Professor began. Each after each danger of little particles absorbed in the he displayed the samples; the words blood, and accumulating to a stoppage at «auricle” and “ ventricle falling fre- the valve,—the "pumps getting choked," quently on the ear, as he explained how a suggestion that made me feel rather those “solemn organs” pump in the humar. qualmish, and for relief I made a call on breast. He showed, by experiments with Mrs. W

The visit was ill chosen water, the operation of the valves with and mistimed, for the lady in question, by the blood, and the impossibility of its dint of good nature, and a romantic turn


[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »