« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
conscience operate on his mind ? I was began to sink; I struggled hard to keep confused with my thoughts, for I knew up, but the tempest subsided, and I was not what to think ; I passed the time in no longer born up by the force of the gloomy and painful meditation, and waves. I descended—they were the most was glad when evening came, that I horrible moments of my life I gasped might retire to my place of repose. for breath, but my mouth and throat
I was awakened by the sound of men were instantly filled with water, and trampling over my head, the stretching the passage totally obstructed ; the air and creaking of cordage, the dashing confined in my lungs endeavoured in of waves, and the violent and repeated vain to force an outlet; I felt a tightness motions of the vessel. The wind, which at the inside of my ears, and the exterhad been remarkably still the preceding nal pressure of the water on all sides day, was blowing with the utmost vio- of my body was very painful, and my lence, and roared amongst the sails and eyes felt as if a cord was tied tightly rigging of the ship as if it would split round my brows. At last by a dreadthem to shivers. It would be uselessful convulsion of my whole body the to attempt to describe what has so often air was expelled through my windpipe, been described far better than I am able and forced its way through the water to do. I was filled with the most dark with a gargling sound—again the same and melancholy ideas I paced about sensations recurred and again the the cabin in a state of feverish anxiety, same convulsion. Then I cursed the but yet I knew not why I felt so. It hour when I had obtained the fatal was not the storm, for my existence was possession which hindered me from pebeyond the power of the ocean to de- rishing, ardently did I long for death stroy. The tempest raged with una to free me from the sufferings which I bating fury during the whole night. endured. In a short time I was exAt length a plank of the ship started hausted, the convulsions became more and she rapidly filled with water. The frequent but less powerful, and I
graboats were got out, and the crew and dually lost all sense and feeling. passengers hastily endeavoured to get How long I continued in this state into them. The boats were not large buried in the sea, I know not, but when enough to contain the whole number, I recovered my recollection, I found and a dreadful struggle took place, but myself lying on a rock that jutted out it was soon terminated by those in the into the sea. I got up, but could boats cutting the ropes, fearful of pe- scarcely stand, so great was my weakrishing if more were added to their ness; I soon, however, regained my numbers. Just as the boats were cut faculties, and my first object was to asfrom the vessel I saw my hated foe certain where I was, I examined the spring out of the ship, he was too late, spot-it was desolate and barren, but it and was whelmed in the ocean. I seemed to be of considerable extent-I thought my hopes of vengeance would wandered about till hunger reminded now be entirely frustrated. I sprung me that I must look for food. A few after him, I fell so near him that I shell fish which I picked up on the shore caught hold of him. He grasped me
satisfied for a time the cravings of my by the throat, and we struggled a mo- hunger. I then sought for a lodging ment, but a wave dashed us against the which might in some degree shelter me ship's side, and we were parted by the from the fury of the elements. There violence of the shock. Day-light was seemed not to be a tree on the whole breaking, and occasionally when lifted surface of the place, nor were the slightup by a wave, I could discern bodies est traces of a human habitation visible. floating amongst casks, planks, and At length I discovered a cave, into pieces of broken masts. In little more which I entered, and in which I passed than a minute after we had left the ship the remainder of the day and the folI saw her sink. Her descent made a lowing night. I slept long and soundly, wide chasm in the waves, and the rush and was greeted on awaking by the of the parted waters was dreadful as hoarse and sullen murmurs of the wathey closed over, and dashing up their ters breaking against the rock. I adwhite foam as they met, seemed to exult vanced to the shore and strained my over their victim.' I was dashed about eyes over the sea, but nothing was disin the water till I was exhausted: I cernible, save the uniform sheet of water could no longer take my breath, and and the black clouds which seemed its Eur. Mag. Vol.81. May 1822.
only boundary. The day was gloomy, of food for him and myself. I had and hoarse sea-birds flew round scream much difficulty in doing this, for even ing and Aapping their wings. The the wretched fare on which, since being hours passed slowly on, and this day cast on the island I had subsisted, was passed like the preceding one, except scanty. When I returned he was asleep, that I discovered a spring of water and I sat down to watch by him. which in my present situation was a I have not an idea what it was that treasure. At night I retired to my induced me at the time to concern mycave, where a little sea-weed spread self about the welfare of one, whom I upon sand was my only couch. The had such reason to detest as this man. next day I determined thoroughly to It is one of those contradictions which examine the place on which my unhappy so strongly marked all my actions, and fortune had cast me, and I accordingly which will ever characterize the proset forth, dropping sea-weed and pebbles ceedings of one of acute feelings, and at short intervals to enable me to find ungoverned passions. my way back to the cave. I wandered
For several days I continued to watch as near as I could guess about two over him, with the attention of a brohours without perceiving any difference ther; but he was sinking rapidly, and in the scenes around me. I was about I saw that a very short period would to return, when a sound struck my ear. put an end to his existence. During I listened—I turned my head and be the whole time, he had never spoken; held at no great distance a human figure, but on the day of his death he broke I rushed towards it-It was my enemy! his silence. He asked why I had atHe saw me approach, and seemed asto tended to his wants, and why I had not nished, but he did not move, nor attempt rather hastened to wreak my vengeance 'to avoid me. “ At last," I said, “I on him. I would not suffer him to talk "have met thee on equal terms, now thou long, for he was too feeble to bear the 'canst not escape me.” “What seek least exertion without injury. But the you?". replied he, “but I need not ask. expression of his countenance spoke for 'It is my life you wish to deprive me of him. His eyes rolled with a wild and -take it-in so doing you will rob me frenzied gaze; his features were, by of that which I wish not to preserve- fits, twisted and convulsed with agony, a burden that I would gladly lose.- and smothered and lengthened groans You hesitate-why do you delay now burst from him. The evening drew on, vengeance is in your power, do yourself and the scene was still more dreadful justice, think of the wrongs that you by the uncertain and fading light that have suffered from me—the miseries prevailed. Suddenly he started : he you have endured, and then can you gazed at me, and asked, in a voice remain longer inactive ?” I knew not which pierced me to the soul, “ if I what it was, but something restrained could forgive him?" I did forgive him : me from any deed of violence against God is my witness how sincerely at that him, whom I had followed so long in moment I forgave every injury, every hopes of vengeance; whom I had hated offence which he had committed against with unnatural hatred. While I looked
He spoke not again. Two hours at him he suddenly grew paler, he stag; afterwards, he caught my hand-he gered and fell down. I found he had pressed it fervently, and his dying look fainted-I chafed his temples I ran was such as I can never forget. —Alfor some water, with which I sprinkled though I shall live till the last convulhis face, and after some time I opened sion of the universe shall bury me in his eyes, but closed them again with a the ashes of the world, that look can faint shudder. In a few minutes he never be effaced from my memory. recovered, but was unable to walk, the It was night--I could not remove the hardships he had undergone having body till morning, and the deep silence weakened his frame, unsupported by rendered my situation doubly horrible. the charm which gave strength and en The next morning I buried the remains durance to mine I supported him to- of him, who, while living, had been my wards the cave, but the slowness with direst foe. But every thought of that which we proceeded was such, that it nature had now departed: my injuries was near evening before we arrived at and my thoughts of revenge were alike it. When we came to it, I placed him on forgotten. Í shortly after left the my rude couch and departed in search island, I was taken up by a ship passing
near to it, and conveyed again to in- it were, acquired a nature different from habited countries.
the rest of mankind.—The spring of Such was the termination of my la- my affections is dried up. Should I bours, my sufferings, my hopes, and strive to acquire friends, to what purmy fears. When I reflect on the time pose were it? I should see them drop which was consumed in this fruitless silently and gradually into the grave, pursuit of revenge, it seems like one of conscious that I was doomed to linger those frightful dreams from which we out an eternity. I care not for fame: start in terror, but even when awake wealth has no charms for me, for it is feel horror at the thought. The in- in my power to an unlimited extent. consistences, of which I was guilty, more I must wander about, alike destitute of forcibly urge this idea : :-while I spent hope and of fear,—of pleasure or of years of loathsome and anxious labours pain. I look on the past with disgust in seeking for that gift, which, when and inquietude; I regard the future obtained, is a curse to the possessor, with apathy and listlessness. It may I never thought of the probability that seem egotism in me thus to obtrude my the object of my hatred might die long personal feelings, but it is thus only before I had discovered the secret of that I can convey an idea of the misery, which I was in quest. Such is the which attends the acquisition of powers, contradictory conduct of one, which nature has for wise purposes whose actions reason no longer retains hidden from the grasp of mortals. Thus any controul.
only can I hope to deter other rash and I am now a lone and solitary being, daring spirits from a like course, by isolated from the rest of my species, showing the utter and abandoned solífor the social tie which binds man to tariness, the exhaustion of mental and the world, and connects him with his bodily faculties, and the dead and torfellow-creatures, cannot long subsist pid desolation of spirit, which is the without equality - I mean not the mere unceasing companion of an earthly imequality of birth or fortune. I have, as mortal,
THE METAMORPHOSES OF LIFE. (CONCLUDED.)
Is there aught in the world like a man put upon
How should they, dear Jobn, when both Betty and Sally
D. E. W.
THE VISION OF A PHILOSOPHER.
“ Into the heaven of heavens I have presumed.”—Milton, NEVER shall I forget the joyous yet become stationary, and were contemmixed emotions with which I entered plating the heavens with awe, when the car of the balloon. The weather a mild current of air wafted us within was fine, and the cords being cut, the powers of the moon's attraction, I floated over the heads of thousands and immediately our balloon began to of spectators, whose joyous shouts rose descend towards that planet with a upon the air, and made my bosom beat prodigious velocity. We soon entered with a tumultuous ecstasy. I felt like the lunar atmosphere, and the soft balmy a bird, flying through boundless ex- air and mild lustre that surrounded us panse. This, said I to myself, is really were most soothing to our senses. We to be free. The sea of countless heads landed in a spacious field, and having was soon lost in the distance ; the city secured our vessel, were walking to gradually became like a speck to my wards a city at a distance, when we vision, and the earth itself at length were accosted by a stranger of costume appeared like a dusky surface, uniform, and lineaments, exactly resembling and without any object of distinction. those of our earth. He calmly told Now, when it was too late, did I begin us, that he knew from what planet we to discover my extreme danger.- My had arrived, and the accident that had pilot was without courage or skill, and brought us to him. He offered to shew gain alone had prompted him to his us all the lunar wonders, and on our dangerous enterprise. "The balloon be- venturing to shake hands with him, in came unmanageable, and we were as- réquital of his kindness, he shuddered ; cending with wondrous rapidity, We and, receding several steps, thus adpassed several extensive plains of clouds, dressed us, in a mild but hollow voice, lying in equal surfaces, like vast oceans - Know," said he, “ that I am but of mists. At length, we were caught a spirit, preserving an aerial form, siin a sort of whirlpool of the elements, milar to that material form which disand amidst lightning more vivid, and tinguished me on earth.” “Heavens," thunder more tremendous than ever exclaimed the Frenchman, " am I talkmortal heard, we were whirled in a ing to a ghost!” and his knees began perpendicular ascent, more rapid than to tremble with terror. “Resume your imagination can conceive. Our breath courage," said the stranger, "and listen was failing us, and consciousness was to the information I have to give. nearly gone, when a terrific burst of Know, then, that the souls of men, on thunder
shot the balloon to an enormous departing from the body, are wafted to height, and launched us from this war the planets of the solar system, accordof elements into an atmosphere so bland, ing to the merits of their conduct upon so clear and beautiful, that we were re earth. Their occupation is to repeat stored to animation, and to indescriba- continually their mortal conduct, and bly delightful sensations. The balloon to feel all their mortal propensities and was still moving most rapidly, we had passions, until, after a residence of many passed the atmosphere of the earth, and thousand years, they are wafted to a the heavens were revealed to us in all planet of some other system, where their glory. Aldebaran, Aquilæ,Arietes, they again act the same scenes, but Orion, Arcturus, and the other principal with a decreased energy. Thus their stars, appeared of the size of full moons, spirits float from planet to planet, and and were shining with a far more than from system to system, until their morsolar lustre. Nothing could equal the tal impurities and recollections are grabeauty of the Pleiades: they appeared dually obliterated, and, being purified like seven resplendent moons. The in the course of myriads of ages, and moon itself was a thousand times the myriads of migrations, they enter the size it appears to us from the earth. great heaven of heavens, and float At length our balloon approached that through the immensity of space in eterspot where the reciprocal attraction of nal happiness.” the earth and moon are equal. We had . Hardly had our guide finished his