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and both he, and those of whom he has spoken (to use the mildest term) incorrectly, are alike objects of perfect indifference to me. I have “ not called him a Jesuit,” or any other hard name; what I may have proved him, he must abide by.

X.

A TRANCE.

Do I wake? Yes—but how strange! It is so! I am transmuting -passing from my chrysalis! My soul moults, and is about to wing it in th' ethereal realms ! Was ever more blissful consciousness? I am already in the vales of light! Ha! touch me not, Jacintha; I am all pulp-sensitive as the leaf-quivering like thy blancmange-Pugh! dame, thou hast blown out thy candle! What a stench! Where am I? In what subterranean vault precipitated ? Was I not in the realms of light? and now, what charnel vapours infect this air? Are these the catacombs? Thou there again, damn'd witch! flaring thy unhallowed torch across my eyes! Be'est thou the night-hag, coming with lurking intent and stealthy pace upon me? Ha! how is this? bound ! my feet too, tied! But I will scream. Hellish witch! thou hast chained down my very voice! thou art going to murder me here ! Stay, she shakes her taper across mine eyes. I will counterfeit sleep, and watch her horrid incantations. There ! she begins, she lays down her lamp—she grasps a bottle, she prepares to uncork-aye ! aye ! some foul midnight vapour, pregnant with horrid shapes. What ! she drinks ! Ha! ha! I see it all now- -'tis Jacintha regaling herself but how came she into this cave ? Is she a sorceress? No matter, I have scared her away! But no ! she lifts the brandy-bottle to her. lips again! Good ! there again ! Well! it is, her turn now. Ha! what dull sound is that? The witch vanished! the light gone! Did

I not see her drop? A groan ! let me go! Who pulls me off my ..chair?

Oh! 'tis among disembodied spirits that I am! Might I crawl out at yonder chasm! See, see, there is light, blessed effulgence! Oh! welcome ! it is the splendour of the moon, that receives me from that cavern of horrors ! Beautiful! How she flits along, the fleecy welkin, rolling onward! But where have I wandered now beneath her fitful beam? Is not yon the meadow where I strolled in boyhood ? it is, it is ! see the laurel with the glistening leaves, where the nightingale sang! and there, the ivy where 1 netted sparrows by: the light of the moon! There is the road beyond ! let me get upon it! Surely this is the bridge where I have stood such nights, and gazed upon my Ellen's chimnies! It is indeed, and there is the window of my beloved! She is there! Yes, yes! I wonder does she wake? Ellen! Wilt thou - not walk with me this beauteous night? There ! give me me thy hand ! now, spring! thou art safe over, come along! There is but another hedge between us and the sea! You will venture to the beach? How calm and magnificent! lean thy head for ever there, and watch the stillness of the ocean ! 'Tis the image of eternity, and does it not speak of peace and heaven? No! not sorrow, love, they are tears of rapture, that I shed upon thy cheek! It is awfully serene, solitary, and grand ! Didst thou sigh

me!

so heavily? fear not, I am with thee! Again ? 'tis but the distant roar of the tide! but we will retreat. How! my feet are as rockthey refuse to move-the waters mount-leap into my arnis. Oh! God! I feel them rise, rise, rise—they press upon my chest already! One death-struggle more, and all is over! There ! nobly done! the spell is broken, and I am loose again! But what a horrid, jingling crash it was! List! whose voice? Ellen's ? No, 'tis that croaking witch Jacintha! What is she muttering about broken bottles and decanters ? Cursed hag, it must be so ! she vitrified me that I could not move my feet, until I burst myself asunder. But in what chaos have I plunged? In what glooms and caverns, darkly visible, am I wandering ? Had I but Aladdin's lamp! Oh! the gems, that sparkle on those dusky walls! What broken gleams mingling like glow-worms, and faintly showing the ruggedness of this cleft ! Ha! moonlight again! I emerge once more from darkness! what is before me? a dreary heath. How thick and white the haze that envelopes

Įt clears away apace, and what do I behold? A transparent palace! Glorious ! rooms of chrystal refracting, like falling sheets of water, the prismatic colours! How splendid! And none to inhaþit these pellucid chạmbers ? None, did I say? Oh! strange! surpassing! Who and what are those silent, walking shapes and shadows, that move within the lucid walls? their eyes fixed on me! My ancestors, as I live! in the same procession as in our portrait gallery! My mother among them! Ellen too in miniature ! Shakspeare! Oh what a glorious assemblage beyond, of well-known heroes ! But how? the floor undulates, and bears me along unwilling! Farewell, ye enchanted, fading forms! The stairs, too, move round spirally, and reflect the patterns of the kaleidoscope! I am forced to ascend ! Galleries of light, and vacant chambers ! ha! there is one tenanted ! ’tis like my bed-room! my own bed too! and I thus borne towards it! Who snores there ? 'Tis Jacintha-Jacintha in my bed! Avaunt, witch! What! I cannot recoil, I must. Hast thou then conjured ap this fairy dome to tempt me to thine arms, withered wanton ! Heavens! I am forced. O Disgust, lend sinews to my strength ! There! what an effort! Hark though! The enchantment is demolished ! and what a crash the vitreous fabric made! The lewd hag cries! let us hear! “ broken the glass”—to be sure, vile sorceress, I broke the glass sooner than be ravished by thee, “Oh Lord !" well mayst thou cry, oh Lord! I hope it shivered about your ears! she groans ! fainter and fainter! Aye, she is sinking into the abyss ! and I ?-I am floating in ether! I ascend! What an inward change! It feels like the coming on of sleep! Can it be my transfiguration? Yes! I breathe through every pore, and inhale light! My beatified body is preparing for elysium! What hidden things are revealed! What access of sudden knowledge ! Secret of life! I grasp thee now! Blood, transparent ichor flows through these bright veins. Those are the animal spirits, those globules of light flickering through this semilucent brain, and causing sensation and reflection there! The connexion of body and soul is now clear to me; but words cannot express it. Words !

-s have not even ideas-'tis immediate perception all, not the slow process of thought; I penetrate every thing--transfuse myself over every thing! These, these are angels of bliss! We hold converse without signs

a

6 Who

by mutual inter-communication of beatified substance, of spiritualized matter. I scan their histories, and read who they were on earth, as if in my own consciousness. This was Adam—this Newton Ellen this; but she is of no sex, nor inflames any desire now!

It is placid rapture all, like an infant's dream! Oh soft, soft, delicious repose !

How long I remained in Paradise, I, like Mahomet, am quite unconscious. When I descended for my sins, and woke to recollections of my earthly condition, I was sitting in the arm-chair, between the fireplace and window, through which the moon had shone in upon me She was still visible in the grey drapery of the morning clouds, and enabled me to see the havoc around. The table was overturned, and all the brittle ware that had spread its surface, when my boon companions left me, was strewn in fragments over the floor. The very pier-glass was frittered to pieces. Further off lay the dranken Jezebel, still snoring, with her candle and bottle upset by her side. The noises she made, convinced me that she was not yet beatified, so I shoved her backwards and forward, with my foot, till she awoke with a grunting exclamation of “ Spare me-Oh! spare

me!

tolerable symptom of the purgatory where she had been. “ Arouse, thou drunken hag, and answer for thy crimes ;” exclaimed I. upset that table?” “ Indeed, it was you, sir,” said she, rubbing her eyes, “ and I told you at the time that you were breaking the bottles and decanters; but you only scouted me for a witch, and talked of my having vitrified you." "Thy aspect was the nightmare to me. I remember now bouncing up to escape thy charm. But who broke the looking-glass?” “ Indeed it was you, sir, when you talked about being ravished by me, of which, I declare, I had not the least intention." Hush! I see it all. The mirror was my chrystal palace; and thy confounded snoring hard by suggested all the rest.

It must have been my convulsed elbow that did it, for it pains still. But what brought thee here, guzzling toper ? Thou imaginest that I know not. Didst thou not come in furtively, to steal thy bellyful of my liquor ? And didst thou not shake the candle before my eyes, and then swill away, fancying me asleep! Deny it not, for I will swear it; and there is the candle and bottle. And didst thou not sink down overcome with brandy, and extinguish thy light, and groan; that I fancied myself among ghosts? Damned hag! to steal thus upon my visions ! Eye and ear were waking then, but polluted by thy motions and noises ! Had it not been for thee, I had spent the night in pleasantest illusions, under the influence of that moon, and the good wine that I had drunk! But now, see the damage that thou hast caused by sullying my imagination! Away; begone-that I had never seen thy haggard features, foul incubus upon my thoughts ! Would that I could blot thy semblance from my mind's glass; but thou art anealed in it; and I fear that I shall never more see dreams undisturbed by thee! Begone, I say!

ST. ALCOHOL.

ODD CHAPTERS OF TRUEMAINE,
OR THE MAN WITHOUT REFINEMENT. 1820—6.

CHAP. XIV.

While I stood waiting for the door to be opened, I observed two gentlemen lounging along the pavement, and examining the houses on both sides of the street. I did not remark their persons accurately, and the opening of the door soon put an end to any curiosity which their appearance had excited. I found Olivia as I had left her, in the midst of the tasteful productions, and apparatus, which her industry had heaped around her. animation bespoke unbounded happiness, and conveyed a deeper glow, a warmer tint, to every thing she touched. The objects which she selected were the most smiling in nature ; sunny fruits and flowers, cottage doors overhung with the rose and woodbine. These were to me the best evidence of her unalloyed satisfaction, for they showed upon what genial pictures her imagination dwelt. The moment I signified my wish for a walk, she laid aside her drawing utensils, and playfully requested me to take her to some nursery-garden, that she might refresh her ideas of certain flowers, that she meant to design. As we sallied out with this intention, we almost came in contact with the two loungers whom I had noticed, and one of them turned out to be the little spruce gentleman with whom I had exchanged cards in Kensington-gardeus. The other was a tall, slim figure, with a sickly aspect, and rakish appearance; and by the shock which Olivia erperienced at the sight of him, as well as by her exclamation “'tis he!" I was at little loss in divining him to be her betrayer. I supported and encouraged her, while they passed by, the little fellow giving me a nod of recognition, and seeming desirous of addressing me, but for the hasty movement of his companion. It was some time before she recovered breath enough to assure me that my surmise was wellfounded, and to express her apprehensions that this meeting boded no good. I over-persuaded her alarms, and convinced her that he had no authority over her; and that, if he meant any violence, my protection was sufficient to repel it. Meanwhile I augured some disposition to mischief, from the circumstance of meeting the two together. They had probably cemented their acquaintance, if unknown to each other before, in the house of the bawd, from whose clutches I had rescued Olivia; and were now, most likely, on the stroll to discover our retreat, which I had taken no pains to conceal.

We shortly afterwards returned home, Olivia being too much struck with horror, to interest herself much in the objects of her excursion. I kept a good look out, and seeing no vestige of her enemy, I took my departure, promising to return as soon as I possibly could. I was hastening through one of those filthy streets in which all manner of small provision-shops are to be found, in contact with an odour that is enough to give one a surfeit to such articles of consumption, it being

the laudable custom of the parish officers to neglect those places, when their services are most required, because the profitable accumulation of decayed substances repays them for their oversight. At all hours of the day, hungry-looking fellows are to be seen loitering in these streets, as if making up their minds what they shall have when they procure " the two-pence” to get it with ; not that some do not flock there with the creditable design of procuring, on the very spot, “ the two-pence,” either by the use of their talents as ballad-singers, or conveyancers. In such a street as this, Doctor Paley might smoke his pipe, and observe human nature, quite as largely as in his publichouse by the way-side. I had no idea of the extended information which I was destined to reap in this quarter. At the corner of a mews, opening into a street, a rabble was collected round two combatants, of very unequal degrees of rank and strength. The one was a tall, genteely dressed man, though his clothes had already soaked up much of the parish perquisites. The other was a squat, stout fellow, who might probably amuse his leisure hours with hawking catch-pennies; at all events, he would not have been degraded by such an employment. I could not, for the honour of the coat, help interfering for the gentleman, especially as there was a host, to one against, and as he seemed the only person of the groupe who was not quite delighted with the sport. "Well done, little fellow," was reiterated so often, that I was afraid all would be done before I could penetrate the phalanx that formed a ring round the pugilists; meanwhile I inquired the cause of the row, and found that it arose from the man in superfine having charged the man in drugget with purloining his pocket-handkerchief; and that his Majesty's liege subjects had been so scandalized with the reflection upon one of their peers, and the incongruity of imputing the subtraction of such an article to a poor fellow, who had all his life abstained from the use of one, that they, one and all, had called for the law of battle to vindicate the innocence of the accused. How he, of degree, came to level himself to the combat with such a base-born churl, I know not; but he seemed heartily sick of his rashness, and looked around piteously for a sally-port to escape. At length, after a clever round, in which both came to the ground, I rushed forward among those who did the honours of the arena, and interposed between the combatants, sharply rebuking the gentleman for his disgraceful conduct. can í help it?” exclaimed he: “I began the fight in my own defence, but I have too much English blood to give in.” " Time, time,” shouted the bystanders. “ Clear the ring; turn that fellow out; strike him, Jem, if he don't get away." “ Fair play, good people," began I, no man should be called upon to fight against his will. This gentleman never wished to fight, it seems; you have therefore acted very unhandsomely, in forcing him to it.” “ That's a very good joke,” retorted one of the backers ; " and what satisfaction, then, was Jem Nabish to have, for the ruination of his character? Will that there gentleman go back in his words, and then Jem will leave off? that's

“ That's not the way a charge of the kind is dealt with," returned 1. “ If your friend is conscious of his innocence, what objection can he have to accompany this gentleman before a magis

66 How

the go.”

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