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has it witnessed yet this glorious spectacle. opinion. Perchance were I to practise Here within thy palace-walls hast thou in the amphitheatre, it might lessen their hitherto hidden thy wonderful prowess. esteem for my abilities." Here in the shade, unapplauded, nay, “ Oh gods ! ” exclaimed Eclectus, unknown by thy subjects, fall, beneath « what a thought !”. thy imperial hand, giants and barbarian “ Beard of Jove !” cried Lætus, “your warriors from every corner

of the lordship’s modesty is as great as your globe.”

valour!" " While beasts the fiercest that ever “ Grant us thy promise, immortal made mortals tremble," continued Læ. Commodus,” said the chamberlain, “extus, “start at thy approach and sink hibit thy godlike powers on the arena.' beneath thy blow !”

6 And lest I be deemed a flatterer, a “ Not an Athlete can stand before character I most thoroughly abhor, thee!”

added the pretorian, “I must not con“ Jove! how that last gigantic Scy- ceal from your lordship that, although thian bit the dust but now !”

the mass of your subjects give full “ And the sable Ethiopian, too! I credence to every tale of your matchless confess, oh Commodus, I tremble for might and skill, yet be there some who the result."

shake their sapient beards and cry, "hum!' “ Drank ever blade more deeply of and .ha!' and it is good to be an emthe crimson tide?” asked the emperor, peror!' and when we see, we will bewith a savage smile. " Hermes! I lieve!'scarce knew it myself ere it was twice “ How! friends! Be there such dull plunged in his heart."

Romans !” exclaimed the monarch, a “ In truth," said Lætus, “I think shade crossing his brow. " Were it but your sword, 'mighty Commodus, is in- to still their saucy doubts, the thing you stinct with slaughter, and has a natural speak of might not be amiss.” thirst for the blood of these barbarians. “ It would carry joy through all the Such amazing power never before dwelt city,” replied the satellites. in human arm.

in But an emperorI swear to ye, good' Lætus and « Went not Nero even into Greece to noble Eclectus,” said the emperor, wrestle at the Olympian Games ? ” demodestly, “ I would not hear these manded Lætus. things, but that I feel there is a certain “ He was overcome,” cried Eclectus; foundation for your flatteries. I ever “but surely the fear of such loved, ay, in my earliest boyhood, the “ Fear! Eclectus? By the immortal glow and glory of war. My father, Jupiter! in my objections I did but jest. Marcus, thrust ever on me pedagogues Fear? The great god Hermes bear me in what he termed 'branches of learning.' witness, I should meet with confidence, Pluto! how they wearied me! But my and before the assembled world, the noble Moors and Parthians, who taught boldest gladiator that ever trod the arena; me to dart the glittering javelin and send let them hunt the Elbe or the Danube the swift arrow to the mark-I know for their brawniest giants, let them bring not how it was, but my very soul and Arab or Moor, Briton, Greek or Numinature leaped to them."

dian, I will meet the best of them, foot “ Would to Jupiter! my noble lord,” to foot, hand to hand, before assembled said Lætus, “ you would gratify your Rome, and that as soon as notice can be wondering subjects with the sight of given to these doubting slaves of mine. your godlike skill in all the arts that be- Go, Eclectus, announce to the people come a man, a soldier, and an emperor! that Commodus, their emperor, will cast The report of it is abroad on every lip, aside his imperial robes and his imperial and in the amphitheatre, when a gladi: power, and challenges the universe for a ator makes a death-plunge, when the match. Begone! By the thunder of most formidable lion of the day lies at Jupiter ! the thought makes my lagging length extended on his back, the popu- pulses beat anew. Sefi! loitering slave, lace cry out to one another, 'a glorious wine!hit!’ia sweet plunge!' worthy of a The tawny Parthian presented a crystal

"worthy of a god!! Commo. charger of Chian. The two parasites dus himself could scarcely do better!'withdrew, and Sefi remained alone with

“ Ay! speak the knaves thus, my his master, excepting the mute slaves good Lætus ?" demanded the emperor, who, waiting in an ante-chamber, came with evident gratification. “I think, and went at the slightest summons, and then, it were better to leave them in their for every idle caprice.

man !'

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It was at certain times the practice of urge among my subjects ? a petition the emperor thus to feast alone, Alinging from the people ? ” off, with the cares of empire, much of its “ We are come now," replied Clauformal pomp.

He had been previous to dius, “on affairs relating solely to this interview engaged as usual in prac- thyself.” tising the sports in which he so much “ Myself !” delighted, several gladiators having had “ The day is almost here when, as thy the honour of dying beneath his hand proclamation goes, thou wilt display thy to beguile the ennui of his morning skill in the amphitheatre.” hours. Nothing was more common than “ Ah, old philosopher, runs thy mind such events in his amusements, which that way?” he had hitherto carried on either in the “Commodus, my master, my emperor, school for gladiators or in the private my son!” the aged man clasped his grounds of his imperial palace. It ap. trembling hands, and tears rolled down peared, too, that he every day grew more his cheeks. sanguinary, and on the present morning “What-how-Claudius-what means two unhappy slaves had expired beneath this childish emotion ? ” his knee, amid the shouts and laughter

" It means,

said Pertinax, in the of his select auditory. Fatigued with most respectful but firm tóne, “that his manly toils, he had reclined to repose Claudius Pompeianus and myself, oh himself before his daily feast, when the Commodus, cherish for thee a love more flatteries and artifices of his chamberlain true and deep than words can expressand pretorian prefect had started this new a love to which our own lives would be design, which, in that insatiable yearning cheerful and inadequate sacrifices ; and for excitement, the most fearful penalty we come before thee now to prove by of all illicit or immoderate indulgences, our actions the fidelity of our friendship. had at once kindled his imagination. We place ourselves in peril to do thee

service." “ It must be with thee quite alone,

“ What service ?" demanded Com. ob Commodus ! exclaimed Claudius modus. Pompeianus the senator, the day previ- “ To put thee in possession of truth.ous to that appointed for the imperial Truth, slaves ? " combats in the amphitheatre.

“ Yes, oh prince, ” said Claudius, Am I not alone, reverend sirs ? ” among the gems of thy throne, this is demanded the emperor, somewhat im- wanting. We come to place it before patiently.

thee. Thy people are perishing. Pla. Claudius looked around upon Lætus, gue and famine rage everywhere. The Eclectus, and Sefi.

ministers thou hast appointed betray their “ Even these,” said Pertinax, prefect trust and enrich themselves by the most of the city, “even these must be no unholy means. Lætus and Eclectus listeners to that which we have to say." trample on the whole empire, and thy

“Good Jove!” exclaimed Commodus, appearance to-morrow in the amphi. “knew I not your long-tried and up- theatreright characters, I might well deem it “ Speak on.” imprudence to comply with a request so “ Is regarded with horror by all the strange. But, thanks be to the gods, good and wise.” I dare be indulgent to my servants, even “ Now, by the immortal gods, Clauwhen they press me beyond patience. dius, this is too much!” Good Lætus, and Eclectus, your leave “We have come to thee, oh emperor," -Sefi, begone. Now, most learned rejoined Pertinax, “in peace and love. senator, most wise and grave prefect, we Thou art young, and youth loves pleawait your pleasure; but be brief, for it sure. Thou art powerful, and power is is almost the hour of repast, and that beset with temptations. Claudius Pom. obstinate Scythian dog to-day has wearied peianus and myself are already old. The me much. Come, your business ?” world, which thou hast yet to traverse,

“ Noble emperor,” said Claudius, lies behind us, past for ever. Our after a moment's pause,

“I know not, thoughts are on Elysium, our feet are if thy time be so short and thy body so

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On the earth we have fatigued, whether

nothing to hope, we have nothing to “Nay, on, Claudius; what disturbs fear, and come to counsel thy inexthy placid brow? It looks clouded as perience. Go not to-morrow on the Ætna. Hast thou pardon to ask for arena. Son of Marcus, emperor of another convict ? a new love-match to Rome, I have held thee in my arms ere

in the grave.

now,

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thy tongue could lisp å word! and even emperor with a small train passed to his

while I reverence thee as my em- banquetting-hall. peror, I cannot fail to love and counsel “ By Janus !” cried Eclectus, “ thee as a son.

ever nature so mild as our emperor's.” “ Thou hast a heart noble and true, “ Jove! he has the tender heart of oh Commodus!” cried Pertinax, “I a girl," added Lætus. see thy cheek touched with a pure feeling. “I swear I thought to see the old Thou wilt not go to the arena.'

ruffian's head three yards froin his shoul“ Ye are overbold, old men : age has ders ere I had drawn another breath,” its privileges, I know,” exclaimed the cried Eclectus. emperor, “but they are not unlimited. “ Didst mark the slave Sefi ? ” asked Both of ye have served me well and Lætus, " how bis huge, black eyes my father before me, but touch me not kindled, and how he laid bis hand on too nearly ; I pray not mar my own

his cimeter ?" pleasures and the sports of a city, lo “ For my part,” said Eclectus, “I please two white-bearded servants, who, stepped back three paces. One likes because their own veins are stagnant, not these red sprinklings on banqueting have no sympathy with the leaping blood garments, and they show on these white of others; enough of this ! ”

robes most villanously.” He summoned his attendants.

Ay,” cried the other, " thou art “ And even more, Claudius Pompei- right enough there. It is certainly illanus, for thy presumption merits some bred to wear such beauty-spots on one; penalty; thy reverend friend, Pertinax, but my close attendance on the emperor will be present at the sports to-morrow of late, has made me careless, What by virtue of his office. But thou, whom with the slaves in the gladiator school, no duty calls, shalt come at my com- and the combatants here in his gardens, mand. Mark me, Claudius. Be thou and the blows either he or Sefi distribute not missing from my train to-morrow. about them so generally to every attenIf thou wilt not sanction my deeds, dant, may Jove forget me at need if I thou shalt at least witness them.”

can keep myself decent." The haughty senator stepped forward “ I swear ! ” exclaimed Eclectus, before all the royal circle, who were laughing, “it were better to strike out a astounded at his haughty bearing.

uniform colour for our garments at once, “ No, oh emperor! not to save this and make scarlet the only court-wear.” white head from the axe, will my eyes

“ Excellent! but I was vexed to death, look on the son of Marcus prostrating Lætus, at the impudence with which old his dignity on the arena with common Pompeianus carried it through. I could slaves and brawlers,"

have bitten my tongue off when, instead All present started at this unexpected of the thundering Sefi' which would burst of feeling, and the emperor again have brought out that glittering blade, rose, with flushed face and flashing eyes. the emperor smiled, and answered so A moment he gazed on the venerable mildly. It is nothing at all to me now form, now high and stern as his own. to see a common, vulgar slave yield his All looked to see his audacious head yellow. bearded pate ; but Jove ! such a rolling at once at the emperor's feet; for head as Claudius Pompeianus'! it would even in such sudden manner was the have been a perfect picture.” imperial displeasure not unfrequently ex- A page gliding softly by the two pressed. To the general astonishment, friends, thrust into the hand of Lætus a however, after a few moments’ indignant small scroll of parchment. surprise, the tyrant's features relaxed “ Ha! my pretty Marcia ! ” into a smile.

“ Silence !" said the messenger. “Be “ Come, old Cerberus," said he, “off wary, and read it together in private." with thee, then, to thy home. By the The foregoing dialogue had taken gods! I had well nigh forgotten thy place before several miscellaneous audi. ancient claims on my patience, and tors, and was such idle chat as then filled ordered thy headless trunk out to the the Roman court. On the hint of the dogs. And thou wilt not look on our page, they took occasion to withdraw, hours of play, old man, in the name of in order to consult unwatched upon the Jupiter away from our presence, and information they had received, wbich, waste thy leisure as thou wilt.”

in however mysterious terms conveyed, The majestic old man, with his brave was of a nature to excite both alarm and and noble friend Pertinax, gravely made

F. their obeisance and withdrew, and the

(Continued at page 225.)

amazement.

She

THE ROBBERS OF THE BLACK a short consultation, we agreed to proFOREST.

ceed on our journey; and to be prepared

for the worst, in case of an attack, we In a recent tour which I made on the carried our fire-arms ready cocked. In continent, I met with the strangest ad. this manner we rode on, for a short disventure that has ever befallen me; and tance, when suddenly we heard a piercmy life has not been one of the least ing shriek from a female, which seemed eventful. I was attended in my travels at no great distance, and immediately in by only one individual ; and he being a the road we were traversing.

6 Save well educated young man, acted in the me! help me!" was ejaculated with ferdouble capacity of companion and secre- vency, by the same voice, and being detary. His mind was richly stored with termined to aid the female who called for the learning of Greece, from the classic assistance, we rushed forward, and saw fountains of which he had drank deeply; her surrounded by three ruffians, who and his disposition was withal so roman- immediately, upon sight of us, detic, that I looked upon him with the camped. We discharged our pistols, feelings of a brother. With him I vi- but the shot did not take effect, and sited the sites of all places renowned in having raised the female, and placed her history, either as the scene of some great before me upon the horse, we travelled achievement, as Marathon and Ther- on as fast as we could. mopylæ, or distinguished as the birth- Night had set in, and but a single star place of some illustrious poet, statesman, glimmered in the heavens, and the light or warrior. He never failed, when on it shed but served to shew the wildness the spot, to recite some characteristic of our situation. At length we saw in Jines from Homer, Virgil, Horace, or the distance a faint light, to which we other favourite author.

directed our course with all possible We were pursuing our route through speed. When we arrived at the door, Germany, on our return home, and the we called loudly, and were answered day having been extremely sultry, our from within by a female, who speedily steeds were pretty nearly exhausted, and opened the door, and admitted us. we ourselves began to feel much fatigue. repeatedly urged us to take refreshment, Our road had hitherto been along the but the female that we had just rescued, slope of a mountain, for a number of made a significant gesture, which inmiles, and all of a sudden we emerged duced us to decline the offer. I inquired into a vast forest. The thick foliage for a separate apartment for the lady, threw a dark shadow upon our path, and, but she immediately exclaimed, in a tone as the sun had already pretty far ad- that alarmed me, “ No ! po! we will vanced in the west, we began to feel a remain in one apartment together.” I degree of anxiety lest we might not be desired our hostess to see that our horses able to reach the confines of the forest were provided with food and shelter, anå ere the night set in. Having been in- then requested to be shewn into the room formed at the last place at which we where we were to abide for the night. stopped, that this forest was infested by With this she complied, and led us up a gang of robbers, we drew our pistols stairs, into a dark and gloomy looking from the holsters, and re-loaded them, chamber; and seeing that we were armed, and then each placed a stiletto in his she desired to take charge of the pistols girdle. In this manner we rode on in and stilettos, until the morning. To silence, ever and anon startled by the this I would have assented, but that my rustling of the leaves, or the hooting of female companion determinedly answerthe owl, that had began to leave her ed, “ No!" upon which the hostess put retreat. Our attention was suddenly down the small lamp, and sullenly left arrested by the sound of a horse's hoofs us, fastening the door on the outside. approaching at a tremendously swift A cold tremor ran through my whole pace; and we drew our horses behind a frame as I heard her fasten the bolt, and clump of trees, and prepared for the at- our companion fell upon her knees, and tack which we anticipated. The horse- ejaculated a fervent prayer for our safety. man approached, and the fearful speed She then rose, and seizing the lamp, exat which he was going, indicated that he amined the door, which was entirely was urged on by fear. We halloed, but without fastenings ' inside. She next that had only the effect of inducing him minutely examined the apartment, and to proceed quicker. For a few minutes turning aside a piece of tapestry, that I after he had passed us, we felt undeter- or a less scrutinizing observer would have mined in what manner to act, but after overlooked, we beheld, to our astonish. ment and horror, a secret door, upon the in, which she instantly did, and, in a panels of which were stains of blood.

tone of apparent alarm, asked why we She then informed us that when we en- had been discharging our fire arms ? tered the house, she saw lying upon a To this I made no reply, but seizing her, table a cap, which she was sure was worn presented a pistol to her head, and by one of the ruffians froin whom we threatened instant death, if she would had rescued her. We now saw the full not remain with us until the morning, extent of our danger, and resolved to sell and then conduct us safely through the our lives as dearly as possible, and pre- forest; adding, that upon the least show pared our arms for that purpose.

of violence, her life would be in jeopardy. Another circumstance that ratified our Once, during the night, a man appeared suspicions was, that the light of the lamp at the top of the stairs, and, presenting began to flicker, and upon examining it, a pistol at me, was upon the point of we found to our amazement, that the firing, when I dexterously placed the oil was entirely consumed, and that in a woman between myself and the threatfew moments we should be in complete ened danger, swearing at the same time darkness. I remembered that we had a that if the pistol was fired, death should small phial of oil in our portmanteau, be the portion of the female; upon which from which I instantly replenished the he departed. lamp sparingly, and prepared for our For the remainder of the night we defence. My attendant watched the were unmolested, and in the morning door by which we had entered, whilst I we were conducted down stairs by the fixed my eyes upon the tapestry, and female, myself and my companion holdoccasionally saw it move slightly; but as ing a pistol on each side, and the lady nothing succeeded, I at last conjectured following behind, with another in her that it was stirred by the wind. I was hand, ready to fire upon the least alarm. almost wearied out with fatigue, and had Our conductress led us to the confines began to imagine that our suspicions of the wood, where we were joined by were unfounded, when I heard a voice two other travellers, and imagining that utter an imprecation upon the lamp for with our additional force we should be burning so long, and this was succeeded able to repel an attack, we suffered our by a confused whisper. This circum- hostess to depart, and pursued the restance aroused me from my stupor, and mainder of our journey without further I found that my companions had fallen molestation. PERCIVAL MELBOURNE. asleep. I leaned back upon the seat on Manchester. which I was resting, and fixed my eyes intently upon the tapestry. Again it was moved, and partially displaced, which NOTES OF A READER. shewed a face that, after gazing earnestly round the room, was withdrawn. I in

MUSIC AND ITS ANALOGIES. stantly aroused my companions, and we agreed to feign sleep. The tapestry was It is my temper, and I like it the better, again slowly removed, and a man cauti. to affect all harmony; and sure there is ously advanced from behind it towards the music even in beauty, and the silent lamp, for the purpose of extinguishing note which Cupid strikes, far sweeter it; and as he approached, with a dagger than the sound of an instrument. For in his hand, I suddenly rushed towards there is a music wherever there is a him, discharged my pistol, and he stag. harmony, order, or proportion; and gered towards the door, through which thus far we may maintain the music of he disappeared. We now awaited our the spheres : for those well-ordered destruction with resignation, fearing that motions, and regular paces, though they a shot from some secret panel might de- give no sound unto the ear, yet to the prive each of us of our existence. Our understanding they strike a note most first resolution was to rush down the stair- full of harmony. Whatsoever is harcase; behind the tapestry, which we monically composed delights in harmony, raised, but found the door was fastened which makes me much distrust the symoutside.

metry of those heads which disclaim Shortly a noise was heard upon the against church-music. For myself, not stairs, and having reloaded the pistol I only from my obedience, but my partihad fired, we prepared for death. In- cular genius, I do embrace it; for ever stantly a female was heard knocking at that vulgar and tavern music, which the door, and desiring to know if she makes one man merry, another mad, might be admitted. We bade her come strikes in me a deep fit of devotion and

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