The Case Of The Mental Mask


Godfrey Ablewhite was expected, and then I escaped the music by leaving the house.Godfrey Ablewhite. Ablewhite, the banker at Frizinghall. The Ablewhites lived in a fine house and grounds, a little out of Frizinghall. Ablewhite’s second son, and who must take his proper place here, if you please, for Miss Rachel’s sake. Godfrey Ablewhite as well as I do. Ablewhite’s verses are followed by Mr.

Ablewhite himself.” My daughter replied, that Mr. Ablewhite’s grooms. But there was a sort of cloud over him, which I couldn’t at all account for; and when I asked how he had found his father in health, he answered rather shortly, “Much as usual.” However, the two Miss Ablewhites were cheerful enough for twenty, which more than restored the balance. Everything the Miss Ablewhites said began with a large O; everything they did was done with a bang; and they giggled and screamed, in season and out of season, on the smallest provocation. I can’t say I was at all alarmed; for I recognised in the screams the favourite large O of the Miss Ablewhites. Godfrey Ablewhite, at any rate; and, if I was a lady, I should be another!” Here I should have protested again. Ablewhite. CHAPTER X One on the top of the other the rest of the company followed the Ablewhites, till we had the whole tale of them complete.

Ablewhite (who represented the master of the house), when there came a sound from the terrace which, startled me out of my company manners on the instant. Ablewhite.

Ablewhite’s portmanteau to London by the next train, and return the washing-book, with my compliments and thanks, to the young woman who brought it in.” He laid the washing-book on the table, and taking out his penknife, began to trim his nails. Ablewhite, of Frizinghall. Ablewhite consented. Ablewhite’s, came back to us empty. Godfrey Ablewhite, was associated with our work of moral and material usefulness. Godfrey Ablewhite. Godfrey Ablewhite. She left me no peace till I had written and asked my nephew Ablewhite to come here. Godfrey Ablewhite.

Ablewhite is here.” We both inquired after his health. I know--” she laid a strong emphasis on the words; she stamped her foot in the rage that possessed her--“I KNOW THAT GODFREY ABLEWHITE IS INNOCENT.

Ablewhite, and to my lawyer Mr. Godfrey Ablewhite, after the mauling he got from the rogues in Northumberland Street? Godfrey Ablewhite, won’t find the world in general quite so easy to convince as a committee of charitable ladies.

Godfrey Ablewhite as well. Ablewhite’s explanation is, that they acted on blind suspicion, after seeing him accidentally speaking to Mr. Ablewhite had his private interest in the ‘valuable’ as well as Mr. Ablewhite to pass over the opinion of the famous London police officer who investigated this case? Ablewhite and Mr. Godfrey Ablewhite was in this house not two hours since, and that his entire innocence of all concern in the disappearance of the Moonstone was proclaimed by Miss Verinder herself, in the strongest language I ever heard used by a young lady in my life.” I enjoyed the triumph--the unholy triumph, I fear I must admit--of seeing Mr.

Ablewhite now?” I asked, with the utmost possible gentleness, as soon as I had done. Ablewhite’s innocence, you mentioned it as one of the reasons for suspecting him, that he was in the house at the time when the Diamond was lost. Ablewhite, on grounds which abstractedly justify suspecting Mr. Godfrey Ablewhite’s debts have not arrived at that stage of development yet. Ablewhite’s innocence is equally certain--or Rachel would never have testified to it. Ablewhite had taken a seat in the carriage, too.

Ablewhite had arranged to come to coffee, and go with her. Ablewhite. Godfrey Ablewhite’s. Godfrey Ablewhite, which is important enough to require special notice in these pages. Ablewhite the elder. Ablewhite senior--another confirmed castaway!--was how to make himself and his authority most agreeable to the wealthy young lady who was going to marry his son. But Rachel’s presence in it, after her recent bereavement, operated as a check on the gaieties of her cousins, the Miss Ablewhites--and she herself requested that her visit might be deferred to a more favourable opportunity. Ablewhite, to try a furnished house at Brighton.

My Aunt Ablewhite is a large, silent, fair-complexioned woman, with one noteworthy point in her character. Aunt Ablewhite would listen to the Grand Lama of Thibet exactly as she listens to Me, and would reflect his views quite as readily as she reflects mine. I have done wonders with murderesses--I have never advanced an inch with Aunt Ablewhite. Godfrey Ablewhite. He thought they would hardly do for us, and came back having settled nothing.” “And you have no experience yourself in these matters, Rachel?” “None whatever.” “And Aunt Ablewhite won’t exert herself?” “No, poor dear. “Godfrey was very much vexed, Drusilla, not to be able to come with us,” said my Aunt Ablewhite. That,” added Aunt Ablewhite, pointing out of window to an invalid going by in a chair on wheels, drawn by a man, “is my idea of exercise. It was impossible the next morning to get my Aunt Ablewhite out of her dressing-gown in time for church. We found Aunt Ablewhite and Mr. Godfrey Ablewhite?” She started up in the bed, and turned deadly pale.

GODFREY ABLEWHITE.” It was my turn to start at that.

Godfrey Ablewhite is expected here to-day,” she said doggedly. Supposing Rachel really broke off the marriage, on which the Ablewhites, father and son, counted as a settled thing, what would be the result? Godfrey Ablewhite was expected, and then I escaped the music by leaving the house. Godfrey Ablewhite! In equal haste on my side, I ran upstairs to compose myself in my own room before meeting Aunt Ablewhite and Rachel at the luncheon-table. Aunt Ablewhite took her exercise in the afternoon in an invalid chair. Ablewhite never made his appearance that night. Ablewhite has the reputation generally (especially among his inferiors) of being a remarkably good-natured man.

The next day, exactly as I had foreseen, Aunt Ablewhite was as near to being astonished as her nature would permit, by the sudden appearance of her husband. Ablewhite, addressing himself with his deceptive cordiality to Mr. Ablewhite stood up in the middle of the room, with his bald head much pinker than I had ever seen it yet, and addressed himself in the most affectionate manner to his niece. Ablewhite the honour of conducting him into her sitting-room. Ablewhite.

Ablewhite. Ablewhite,” she said. Ablewhite’s bald head began to indicate a rise of temper. Ablewhite, I have either expressed myself very badly, or you are purposely mistaking me. Ablewhite, to mistake her any longer.

Ablewhite, if you please.” “I am also to take it as a matter of fact that the proposal to withdraw from the engagement came, in the first instance, from YOU?” “It came, in the first instance, from me. Godfrey Ablewhite?” Here Mr. Ablewhite fastened on him instantly. Ablewhite--preserving her composure in a manner which (having regard to her age and her sex) was simply awful to see. Ablewhite. Ablewhite as boldly as ever.

Ablewhite got upon his feet, and pushed away his chair so violently that it toppled over and fell on the floor. Ablewhite. I couldn’t point to the time when the Ablewhites hadn’t a shirt to their backs, and couldn’t sign their own names. Ablewhite could find words to answer in, Rachel spoke in a tone of the most exasperating contempt. Ablewhite was now becoming purple. Ablewhite,” I said, “one word!” When I first attracted the attention of the company by rising, I could see that he was on the point of saying something rude to me.

Ablewhite!

Did you?” Before Aunt Ablewhite could say a word, Rachel answered for her. Ablewhite. Ablewhite, asked haughtily, “What does he mean?” Mr. Ablewhite, “that you took this house as Miss Verinder’s guardian, for Miss Verinder’s use.” “Not quite so fast,” interposed Mr. Ablewhite.

Ablewhite’s revenge on Rachel, for refusing to marry his son!

The instant the door closed, Aunt Ablewhite exhibited a phenomenon which silenced us all. You,” continued Aunt Ablewhite, turning on me in my corner with another endowment of energy, in her looks this time instead of her limbs--“you are the mischievous person who irritated him. Ablewhite, to send Penelope down with her mistress’s bonnet and shawl.

Without a word more, on her side, Aunt Ablewhite left the room. Ablewhite’s conduct has naturally shocked you, and taken you by surprise. Ablewhite myself, and I induced your mother to let me insert a clause in the will, empowering her executors, in certain events, to consult with me about the appointment of a new guardian. Ablewhite for Rachel’s bonnet and shawl. Godfrey Ablewhite had his own private reason for withdrawing all claim to the hand of his charming cousin--and I discovered what it was. Godfrey Ablewhite. Godfrey Ablewhite. Godfrey Ablewhite hold to his engagement, after what his lawyer had discovered for him? Ablewhite and Miss Verinder to be staying. Godfrey Ablewhite from accompanying them.

Godfrey Ablewhite can hardly be of your way of thinking,” I said. Bruff,” she said, “you have something to tell me about Godfrey Ablewhite. Godfrey Ablewhite--at a private interview, of course--that he had, to her certain knowledge, betrayed the mercenary nature of the motive on his side. Godfrey Ablewhite’s conduct?” she began. Ablewhite the elder, and was informed that Mr. Godfrey Ablewhite’s motive for submission as plainly as if he had acknowledged it himself.

Ablewhite. Ablewhite off his guard. Ablewhite proved to be, are items of information which (as I am told) have already been put tidily in their proper places, by that exemplary person, Miss Clack.

Godfrey Ablewhite. Godfrey Ablewhite had been cleared of all suspicion, on evidence which I could answer for as entirely beyond dispute. Bruff did not, at that time, feel himself at liberty to inform me of the motives which had privately influenced Rachel and Godfrey Ablewhite in recalling the marriage promise, on either side. Godfrey Ablewhite off by the railway; and I went to your favourite walk in the shrubbery, to try for another chance of speaking to you--the last chance, for all I knew to the contrary, that I might have. She says the house is unbearable to her with the police in it; and she’s determined to speak to my lady this evening, and to go to her Aunt Ablewhite to-morrow. or afterwards, when I went back with Godfrey Ablewhite and his sisters?

Godfrey Ablewhite was a third. Godfrey Ablewhite might, or might not, be discoverable somewhere in London. These were my relatives, the Ablewhites, and Mr. Ablewhite.” Ezra Jennings replied that he had a patient to see, and that he was walking my way. Ablewhite’s house, and the other to a moorland village some two or three miles off. Ablewhite--I even shrank from encountering Gabriel Betteredge himself. Godfrey Ablewhite was away travelling on the Continent. It was GODFREY ABLEWHITE.

GODFREY ABLEWHITE! Godfrey Ablewhite, which occurred to your mind when I last had the honour of seeing you. Godfrey Ablewhite, before, during and after the time, when you and he met as guests at the late Lady Verinder’s country-house. Godfrey Ablewhite (then concealed under a disguise), on the afternoon of the twenty-sixth of June last. Godfrey Ablewhite in view, all through the evening of the 26th, and was found in the bedroom (before Mr. Ablewhite was shown into it) under circumstances which lead to the suspicion that he was examining the room. Ablewhite--who was the taller and stronger man of the two--without a struggle taking place, or a cry being heard. Ablewhite’s family have offered a reward, and no effort has been left untried to discover the guilty persons. Godfrey Ablewhite’s death, I may pass next to the narrative of his proceedings before, during, and after the time, when you and he met at the late Lady Verinder’s house. Godfrey Ablewhite’s life had two sides to it.

Godfrey Ablewhite’s death, which caused an inquiry to be made into the state of his affairs. Godfrey Ablewhite was entrusted with the care of a sum of twenty thousand pounds--as one of two Trustees for a young gentleman, who was still a minor in the year eighteen hundred and forty-eight.

Godfrey Ablewhite. Godfrey Ablewhite. Godfrey Ablewhite arrived at his father’s house, and asked (as I know from Mr. Ablewhite, senior, himself) for a loan of three hundred pounds. Ablewhite, senior, refused to lend his son a farthing. Godfrey Ablewhite rode over, with you, to Lady Verinder’s house. Godfrey Ablewhite’s pecuniary position was this. Godfrey Ablewhite--who has himself confessed the share he had in the matter, under circumstances which shall presently be related to you. Godfrey Ablewhite. Godfrey Ablewhite had two modest proposals to make, in relation to this magnificent gem.

Godfrey Ablewhite began a story. Godfrey Ablewhite began another story. Godfrey Ablewhite went back, with the Diamond, into his own room. Godfrey Ablewhite chose to keep the Diamond, he might do so with perfect impunity. Godfrey Ablewhite was too great a fool to have invented it.

Godfrey Ablewhite the sum of two thousand pounds, on condition that the Moonstone was to be deposited with him as a pledge. Godfrey Ablewhite paid three thousand pounds to Mr. Godfrey Ablewhite did, what all animals (human and otherwise) do, when they find themselves caught in a trap. Godfrey Ablewhite two cheques. Godfrey Ablewhite. /

The gruff voice was that of a Frenchman.It proved to be a small pamphlet treatise on Speculative Astronomy, written either by Professor Encke of Berlin or by a Frenchman of somewhat similar name. I was deeply interested in the little family history which he detailed to me with all that candor which a Frenchman indulges whenever mere self is his theme. What I have described in the Frenchman, was merely the result of an excited, or perhaps of a diseased intelligence. What, then, must have been my amazement when I heard the Frenchman speak what he had just spoken, and when I could not help acknowledging that he had spoken the truth. Could distinguish some words of the former, which was that of a Frenchman. Was sure that the shrill voice was that of a man--of a Frenchman. The gruff voice was that of a Frenchman. The gruff voice was that of a Frenchman. The gruff voice was that of a Frenchman.

Did you observe any thing peculiar about it?” I remarked that, while all the witnesses agreed in supposing the gruff voice to be that of a Frenchman, there was much disagreement in regard to the shrill, or, as one individual termed it, the harsh voice. But in regard to the shrill voice, the peculiarity is--not that they disagreed--but that, while an Italian, an Englishman, a Spaniard, a Hollander, and a Frenchman attempted to describe it, each one spoke of it as that of a foreigner. The Frenchman supposes it the voice of a Spaniard, and ‘might have distinguished some words had he been acquainted with the Spanish.’ The Dutchman maintains it to have been that of a Frenchman; but we find it stated that ‘not understanding French this witness was examined through an interpreter.’ The Englishman thinks it the voice of a German, and ‘does not understand German.’ The Spaniard ‘is sure’ that it was that of an Englishman, but ‘judges by the intonation’ altogether, ‘as he has no knowledge of the English.’ The Italian believes it the voice of a Russian, but ‘has never conversed with a native of Russia.’ A second Frenchman differs, moreover, with the first, and is positive that the voice was that of an Italian; but, not being cognizant of that tongue, is, like the Spaniard, ‘convinced by the intonation.’ Now, how strangely unusual must that voice have really been, about which such testimony as this could have been elicited!--in whose tones, even, denizens of the five great divisions of Europe could recognise nothing familiar! Besides, there were two voices heard in contention, and one of them was unquestionably the voice of a Frenchman.” “True; and you will remember an expression attributed almost unanimously, by the evidence, to this voice,--the expression, ‘mon Dieu!’ This, under the circumstances, has been justly characterized by one of the witnesses (Montani, the confectioner,) as an expression of remonstrance or expostulation. A Frenchman was cognizant of the murder. If the Frenchman in question is indeed, as I suppose, innocent of this atrocity, this advertisement which I left last night, upon our return home, at the office of ‘Le Monde,’ (a paper devoted to the shipping interest, and much sought by sailors,) will bring him to our residence.” He handed me a paper, and I read thus: CAUGHT--In the Bois de Boulogne, early in the morning of the--inst., (the morning of the murder,) a very large, tawny Ourang-Outang of the Bornese species. Now if, after all, I am wrong in my induction from this ribbon, that the Frenchman was a sailor belonging to a Maltese vessel, still I can have done no harm in saying what I did in the advertisement.

Cognizant although innocent of the murder, the Frenchman will naturally hesitate about replying to the advertisement--about demanding the Ourang-Outang. I pledge you the honor of a gentleman, and of a Frenchman, that we intend you no injury. The Frenchman followed in despair; the ape, razor still in hand, occasionally stopping to look back and gesticulate at its pursuer, until the latter had nearly come up with it. The words heard by the party upon the staircase were the Frenchman’s exclamations of horror and affright, commingled with the fiendish jabberings of the brute. /

He was dressed in a velvet jacket and loose trousers of the same material, and had around his neck an immense white silk scarf.He was dressed in a velvet jacket and loose trousers of the same material, and had around his neck an immense white silk scarf. Placed upon a neutral ground, between the prosecution and the defence, it demands material and tangible proofs. You are so rich, that five hundred thousand francs would not materially affect your fortune; and, on the interest of that sum, I could live quietly, if not happily.” “And suppose I refuse you this money?” “I know you well enough, sir, to feel sure that you will not do so. “I thank you for your sincere straightforward explanations; they have eased my task materially.

He then placed all these material proofs upon his table, and covered them over with three or four large sheets of paper. /

To attack him there was to endanger his life--to wound him at a point where all his sensibility centred.But now her sufferings were less intolerable, for excess of wretchedness had deadened her sensibility. To attack him there was to endanger his life--to wound him at a point where all his sensibility centred. Either my mother did not love me, or thought it beneath her dignity to make any display of sensibility; but at all events her reserve had raised a wall of ice between herself and me. /

He thought that was so simple, and so clever.As soon as you enter, you are struck by a minute, extreme neatness, which reminds you of Holland, and almost sets you a-laughing. “No spitting allowed on the stairs.” “Dogs are not allowed in the house.” Nevertheless, this admirably-kept house “enjoyed” but a sorry reputation in the neighborhood. An addition to the house in the rear had its own staircase, and was probably in the hands of still humbler tenants; but then it is so difficult to rent out small lodgings!

It was also asserted that the estimable couple had formerly lived in the fashionable Faubourg St. They were, finally, reported to have a son called Justin, a handsome fellow, thirty-five years old, who lived in the best society, and whom they nearly worshipped; while he was ashamed of them, and despised them, although he came often at night to ask them for money. No one, it must, however, be confessed, had ever seen this son; and no one knew him. “Take your lamp, and follow me; an accident has happened upstairs.” He was so seriously disturbed, although generally very calm and cool, that the two Chevassats were thoroughly frightened. This very moment, as I was just coming out of my room, I thought I heard the death-rattle of a dying person.

I went down again, thinking I had been mistaken; and at once I heard again a sighing, a sobbing--I can’t tell you exactly what; but it sounded exactly like the last sigh of a person in agony, and at the point of death.” “And then?” “Then I ran down to tell you, and ask you to come up. Master Chevassat dared no longer oppose the general desire so peremptorily expressed,-- “Let us go then, since you will have it so,” he sighed. And, taking up his lamp, he began to ascend the stairs, followed by the merchant, his wife, and five or six other persons. And, when they heard that something was likely to happen, they almost all left their rooms, and followed the others. So that Master Chevassat had nearly a dozen curious persons behind him, when he stopped on the fifth floor to take breath. “It is all over; we are too late!” And, as the neighbors expressed some doubts, he cried furiously,-- “Have you no noses?

Don’t you smell that abominable charcoal?” Everybody tried to perceive the odor; and soon all agreed that he was right. Soon, however, curiosity triumphed over fear.

But Papa Ravinet had not gone so far to stop now, and remain in the passage. The women sobbed aloud. “To die so young!” they said over and over again, “and to die thus.” In the meantime the merchant had gone up to the bed, and examined the poor girl. “Give her air,” he said, “plenty of air; try to get some air into her lungs. Cut open her dress; pour some vinegar on her face; rub her with some woollen stuff.” He issued his orders, and they obeyed him readily, although they had no hope of success. Evidently everything that could be sold had been sold, piece by piece, little by little. Too proud to complain, and cut off from society by bashfulness, the poor girl who was lying there had evidently gone through all the stages of suffering which the shipwrecked mariner endures, who floats, resting on a stray spar in the great ocean.

The matter was soon to be decided, however. After, perhaps, twenty seconds of unspeakable anguish, during which all held their breath, and solemn stillness reigned in the room, a cry of hope and joy broke forth suddenly. A slight color returned to her pallid cheeks; her bosom rose painfully, and sank again; her teeth, closely shut, opened; and with parted lips she stretched forth her neck as if to draw in the fresh air instinctively. We want wood also (for it is terribly cold here), and sugar for her tea, and a candle.” He did not mention all that was needed, but nearly so, and a great deal too much for the people who stood by. Some of the others followed her example; but they left nothing. One would have fancied so; for he smiled bitterly, and said,-- “Excellent hearts--pshaw!” Then, shrugging his shoulders, he added,-- “Luckily, I deal in all possible things.

Never in her life had she been so much astonished. Nevertheless, he re-appeared soon after, almost succumbing under the weight of two excellent mattresses; and, when he came back a second time, he brought much more than he had mentioned. “However, the doctor will bleed her, if there is any necessity.” And, turning to Master Chevassat, he added,-- “But we are in the way of these ladies; suppose we go down and take something? He slept where he could, or, rather, wherever an accidental sale had cleared a space for the time,--one night in a costly bed of the days of Louis XIV., and the next night on a lounge that he would have sold for a few francs. He poured some brandy into two small wineglasses, put a teakettle on the fire, and sank into an arm-chair; then he said,-- “Well, M. How came it about that Miss Henrietta had rooms in your house?” The concierge was evidently ill at ease; something was troubling him sorely. But he recovered promptly, so promptly, that his visitor saw nothing; and then he said in a tone of indifference,-- “The young man did not give you his family name?” “No.” “But ought you not to have inquired?” “Ah, there is the trouble!

‘Do I look,’ he said, ‘like a man who lives in a place like this?’ And when he saw I was puzzled, he went on to tell me that he took the room for a young person from the country, in whom he took an interest, and that the contract and the receipts for rent must all be made out in the name of Miss Henrietta. Still it was my duty to know who Miss Henrietta was; so I asked him civilly. But he got angry, and told me that was none of my business, and that some furniture would be sent presently.” He stopped, waiting for his host to express his approbation by a word or a sign; but, as nothing came, he went on,-- “In fine, I did not dare to insist, and all was done as he wanted it done. The law is pretty strict about it, in the case of a minor.” The concierge protested with a solemn air.

But Papa Ravinet did not by any means seem so sure of that. So you did not know that M. That handsome young man knew how the poor girl suffered? As for Miss Henrietta, as soon as she is able to move, the serpent! I tell you I’ll send her off pretty quickly!” The old merchant shook his head, and said in his softest voice,-- “My dear sir, you won’t do that, because from today I’ll pay the rent for her room. In a moment the mucilage of the envelope was dissolved, and the letter could easily be opened without showing in any way that it had ever been broken open.

And, if it should require a miracle, that miracle will be done, so as to inform that honorable man who thought you were his friend, how and why the poor girl died whom he had intrusted to your honor. I have struggled hard before I could make up my mind to leave your house,--the house where my mother had died, where I had been so happy, and so tenderly beloved as a child by both of you. “And yet it was so little I asked of you!--barely enough to bury my undeserved disgrace in a convent. He was no longer the cunning dealer in second-hand articles, the old scamp with the sharp, vulgar face, so well known at all public sales, where he sat in the front rank, watching for good bargains, and keeping cool when all around him were in a state of fervent excitement. With his elbows on the table, holding his head in his hands, and looking apparently into the far past, he seemed to call up the miseries of the past, and to trace out in the future the vague outlines of some great scheme. And as his thoughts began to overflow, so to say, he broke out in a strange, spasmodic monologue,-- “Yes,” he murmured, “yes, I recognize you, Sarah Brandon!

Then looking at his work with an air of satisfaction, he said,-- “That was not so badly done. “Well, my dear sir,” she said with her sweetest manner: “so you have become Miss Henrietta’s banker?” “Yes; do you object to it?” “Oh, not at all! He had bled the poor girl, prescribed some medicines, and left again, with the assurance that nothing more was needed but perfect quiet. In fact, there was no trace left of the sufferings and the terrible danger from which the patient had so marvellously escaped, except the deep pallor of her face. Stretched out at full-length on her comfortable bed with its thick mattresses and snow-white sheets, her head propped up high on a couple of pillows, she was breathing freely, as was easily seen by the steady, regular rising and falling of her bosom under the cover. But life and consciousness had also brought back to her a sense of the horror of her position, and of her capacity for suffering. Her brow resting on her arm, which was almost concealed by masses of golden hair, immovable, and her eyes fixed steadily upon infinite space, as if trying to pierce the darkness of the future, she would have looked like a statue of sorrow rather than of resignation, but for the big tears which were slowly dropping down her cheeks. You have saved my life.” Then, shaking her head, she added,-- “You have rendered me a sad service, sir.” She uttered these words so simply, but in a tone of such harrowing grief, that Papa Ravinet was overcome. You are suffering now; but you can hardly imagine what compensation Providence may have in store for you hereafter”-- She interrupted him by a gesture, and said,-- “There was no future for me, sir, when I sought refuge in death.” “But”-- “Oh, don’t try to convince me, sir!

Chevassat a hundred times to obtain employment for me; but she always laughed at me; and, when I begged hard, she said”-- She stopped; and her face became crimson with shame. You want somebody to advise you, to defend you; and here I am; if you have enemies, let them beware! But there is another one, whom but few people know, who has been sorely tried by misfortune; and he is the one who now offers his aid to you.” There is no surer way to make people believe in any virtue we have, or wish to appear to have, than to accuse ourselves of bad qualities, or even vices, which we do not have. Suppose I should say to you that I have a daughter who has secretly left me, so that I do not know what has become of her, and that her memory makes me anxious to serve you. May I not have said to myself, that perhaps she is struggling, just as you have done, with poverty; that she also has been abandoned by her lover?” The poor girl turned deadly pale as he spoke thus, and interrupted him eagerly, raising herself on her pillows,-- “You are mistaken, sir. But, if that is so, how did you get here? “I have tried my best to win your confidence, I confess; but it was solely in your own interest. No doubt he is the young man who called to see you so often.

You need not tell me any thing else but what is absolutely necessary for me to know in order to advise you.” “Yes, indeed! In that way I may”-- “Well, I’ll wait, why, as long as you want me to wait,--two days, ten days.” “Very well.” “Only, I pray you, promise me solemnly that you will give up all idea of suicide.” “I promise you solemnly I will.” Papa Ravinet’s eyes shone with delight; and he exclaimed joyously,-- “Done! In spite of the wretched weather, he left the house; and, as soon as he was in the street, he hid himself in a dark corner, from which he could watch the front-door of the house.

In real life things do not go quite so fast. In the first place, she asked herself who this odd man could be, who had spoken of himself as a dangerous and suspicious person. Thus, whenever he became animated, his carriage, his gestures, and his manners, contrasted with his country-fashioned costume, as if he had for the moment forgotten his lesson. Is not Paris the haven in which all shipwrecked sailors of society seek a refuge? How many persons, once brilliant lights in the great world, and then, of a sudden, sought for in vain by friend and foe, might be found there again, disguised in strange costumes, and earning a livelihood in most curious ways!

But, even if this were so, it would not have satisfactorily explained to Henrietta the eagerness of Papa Ravinet to serve her, nor his perseverance in offering her his advice. Christian charity is not often so pressing.

Was he anxious to make a return for some kindness shown to him? or did he count upon some reward in the future? This view was all the more urgent, as the poor child, like all persons who have been rescued from death only after having exhausted their sufferings, now began to cling to life with an almost desperate affection. He was at that time about forty years old, quite tall and good-looking, solemn and courteous, obliging, although reserved, and very good-natured as long as no one spoke in his presence of the church or the reigning family, the nobility or the clergy, of his hounds or the wines of his vineyards, or of various other subjects on which he had what he chose to consider his “own opinions.” As he spoke but rarely, and said little at the time, he said fewer foolish things than most people, and thus obtained the reputation of being clever and well-informed, of which he was very proud and very careful. His house was kept handsomely; and his gardens cost him a good deal of money. Finally, he kept half a dozen lazy servants in the house, whose gorgeous liveries, with the family coat-of-arms, were a source of perpetual wonder at Saint Mathurin. As soon as the season opened, he was sure to be found, on foot or on horseback, crossing the stubblefields, jumping over hedges, or floundering in the swamps.

This he carried so far, that the ladies of the neighborhood, who had daughters, blamed him to his face for his imprudence, and scolded him for risking his precious health so recklessly. Why was he so much opposed to marriage? His friends found the explanation in a certain person, half housekeeper, half companion, who lived in the castle, and was very pretty and very designing. The next year, however, an event occurred which was calculated to give some ground to these idle, gossiping tales. Some people said the colonel had married her in Austria; others, in Sweden. He saw it as soon as he paid the usual visits in the town of Angers, and at the houses of the nobility near him. The doors that formerly seemed to fly open at his mere approach now turned but slowly on their hinges; some remained even closed, the owners being reported not at home, although the count knew perfectly well that they were in.

One very noble and very pious old lady, who gave the keynote to society, had said in the most decided manner,-- “For my part, I shall never receive at my house a damsel who used to give music-lessons to my nieces, even if she had caught and entrapped a Bourbon!” The charge was true. Pauline, in order to provide her mother with some of the comforts which are almost indispensable to old people, had given lessons on the piano in the neighborhood. When people met her, they looked away, so as not to have to bow to her. Even when she was leaning on the count’s arm, there were persons who spoke very kindly to him, and did not say a word to his wife, as if they had not seen her, or she had not existed at all.

This impertinence went so far, that at last Count Ville-Handry, one day, almost beside himself with anger, seized one of his neighbors by the collar of his coat, shook him violently, and shouted out to him,-- “Do you see the countess, my wife, sir? This immensely wealthy man, who had never assisted his sister in her troubles, and who would have disinherited the daughter of a soldier of fortune, had been flattered by the idea of writing in his last will the name of his niece, the “high and mighty Countess Ville-Handry.” This unexpected piece of good-fortune ought to have delighted the young wife. She had bestowed her first and warmest affections upon a young man who was only two or three years older than she,--Peter Champcey, the son of one of those marvellously rich farmers who live in the valley of the Loire. It could not be expected that those keen, thrifty peasants, Champcey’s father and mother, would ever permit one of their sons--they had two--to commit the folly of making a love-match. And the old couple were not a little proud of these “gentlemen,” their sons. Peter knew his parents so well, that he never mentioned Pauline to them. On the day on which she entered the castle of Ville- Handry, she had sworn she would bury this love of hers so deep in the innermost recesses of her heart, that it should never come up and trouble her thoughts. Later, whether he had forgotten her or not, he also had married; and the two lovers who had once hoped to pursue their way through life leaning one upon the other now went each their own way. For long hours the poor young wife struggled in the solitude of her chamber against these ghosts of the past which crowded around her.

She had long since found out that the brilliant man of the world, whom everybody considered so clever, was in reality an absolute nullity, incapable of any thought that was not suggested to him by others, and at the same time full of overweening self-esteem, and absurdly obstinate. He had heard so many people say that she was not his equal, that he finally believed it himself. Fortunately, a cradle standing by her bedside made the task somewhat easier. Her influence over him had, besides, been so powerful, that it had survived her, and that she had been obeyed even in the grave. She said to herself,-- “Well, be it so. Irritable, jealous, and despotic, like all weak men, he dreaded nothing so much as what he called an insult to his authority. He was so sensitive on this point, that his wife had only to show the shadow of a purpose of her own, and he went instantly to work to oppose and prohibit it. The opportunity to make the experiment came very soon. I insisted on having my way, and she yielded at last.” So that in the latter part of October, in 1851, the Count and the Countess Ville-Handry moved into the magnificent house in Varennes Street, a princely mansion, which, however, did not cost them more than a third of its actual value, as they happened to buy at a time when real estate was very low.

Thus he came to Paris with the secret desire and the hope of becoming a leader in politics, and making his mark in some great affair of state. The countess however, aware of the dangers which beset a man who ventures upon such slippery ground, determined first to examine the condition of things so as to be able to warn him in time.

Her relations helped her; and soon her Wednesdays and Saturdays became famous in Paris. She studied characters; watched the passions of some, and discovered the cunning tricks of others, ever anxious to find out what enemies she would have to fear, and what allies to conciliate. Like one of those ill-taught professors who study in the morning what they mean to teach in the afternoon, she prepared herself for the lessons which she soon meant to give. She soon reaped the fruit of her labors. The next winter the count, who had so far kept aloof from politics, came out with his opinions. He soon made his mark, aided by his fine appearance, his elegant manners, and imperturbable self-possession.

He had soon enthusiastic partisans, and, of course, as violent adversaries. He fancied he had discovered himself the whole line of proceeding which his wife had so carefully traced out for him. He was even sometimes surprised at the want of good sense in his wife, and pointed out to her, quite ironically, that the steps from which she tried hardest to dissuade him were the most successful he took. The count had been so exceedingly good as to take her when she was penniless; she owed him the historic name she bore and a large fortune; but, in return, she had given him, and without his being aware of it, a position of some eminence. “Yes,” she said to herself, “we are quits, fairly quits!” Now also, she reproached herself no longer for the long hours during which her thoughts, escaping from the control of her will, had turned to the man of her early choice. The bride, chosen among a thousand, had brought their son a fortune of a hundred thousand dollars; but she was a bad woman.

He had gone to Rosiers, the house formerly occupied by Pauline’s mother; and there, in a narrow lane, his body was found by some peasants coming home from market. The ball had so fearfully disfigured his face, that at first no one recognized him; and the accident made a terrible sensation. “I killed him,” she thought, “I killed him!” The blow was so sudden and so severe, that she came near dying. Her selfishness was so intense, that she never became aware of the cruelty with which she had sacrificed her daughter. But she resolved to live; she felt that she was bound to live for Henrietta’s sake. Thus she struggled on quite alone, for she had not a soul in whom she could confide, when one afternoon, as she was going down stairs, a servant came to tell her that there was a young man in naval uniform below, who desired to have the honor of waiting upon her. So he sat down, and explained why he came, showing neither embarrassment nor forwardness.

As soon as he had graduated at the Naval Academy, he had been made a midshipman on board “The Formidable,” and there he was still. He felt quite sure of the justice of his claims; but he also knew that strong recommendations never spoil a good cause. “My husband will be happy to serve a countryman of his,” she replied; “and he will tell you so himself, if you will be kind enough to wait for him, and stay to dinner.” Daniel did stay. At table he was placed by the side of Henrietta, who was then fifteen years old; and the countess, seeing these two young and handsome people side by side, was suddenly struck with an idea which seemed to her nothing less than inspiration from on high. Why might she not intrust the future happiness of her daughter to the brother of the poor man who had loved her so dearly? Thus she might make some amends for her own conduct, and show some respect to his memory. “Yes,” she said to herself that night, before falling asleep, “it must be so. And one of these days, when he is a lieutenant, and a few years older, if it should so happen that he liked Henrietta, and asked me for my consent, I should not say no.

He had not only obtained ample satisfaction at headquarters, but, by the powerful influence of certain high personages, he had been temporarily assigned to duty in the bureau of the navy department, with the promise of a better position in active service hereafter. “O God!” thought the countess, “why are they not a few years older?” The poor lady had for some months been troubled by dismal presentiments. her great delicacy always kept her from doing so.

When it came, she was standing before the fireplace, undoing her hair; but, instead of taking it, she suddenly raised her hand to her throat, uttered a hoarse sound, and fell back. Henrietta, roused by the noise all over the house, the voices in the passages, and the steps on the staircase, and suspecting that some accident had happened, had rushed at once into her mother’s room. Did you not say it was nothing?” There are misfortunes so terrible, so overwhelming in their suddenness, that the stunned mind refuses to believe them, and denies their genuineness in spite of their actual presence. And she went from one doctor to the other, urging them, beseeching them, to find some means-- What were they doing there, looking so blank, instead of acting? They tried to remove her by force; but she clung to the bed, and vowed that they should tear her to pieces sooner than make her leave her mother. She sank down upon her knees by the side of the bed, hiding her face in the drapery, and repeating with fierce sobs,-- “My mother, my darling mother!” It was nearly morning, and the pale dawn was stealing into the room, when at last some sisters of charity came, who had been sent for; and then a couple of priests; a little later (it was towards the end of January) one of the count’s friends appeared, who undertook all those sickening preparations which our civilization demands in such cases.

More than two hundred persons called to condole with the count, twenty-five or thirty ladies came and kissed Henrietta, calling her their poor dear child.

Then horses were heard in the court-yard, coachmen quarrelling; orders were given; and at last the hearse rolled away solemnly--and that was all. During the day they were seen wandering about the house, without any apparent purpose, as if looking or hoping for something to happen. But there was another true and warm heart, far from that house, which had been sorely wounded by the death of the countess.

When Henrietta saw him, she felt sorry she had not let him come in before. They remained for some time seated opposite each other, without saying a word, but deeply moved, and feeling instinctively that their common grief bound them more firmly than ever to each other. He was so much changed, that one might have failed to recognize him. “I shall master my grief as soon as I go back to work,” he said. They attributed the sudden failure of his faculties to the great sorrow that had befallen him in the death of his wife.

“Who would have thought that he had loved her so deeply?” they asked one another. Her respect and her admiration, so far from being diminished, only increased day by day. Some days later matters grew worse. But he smiled, and said with considerable embarrassment,-- “My servant is making an experiment; he thinks this goes better with my complexion, and makes me look younger.” Evidently something strange had occurred in the count’s life. Henrietta, although ignorant of the world, and at that time innocence personified, was, nevertheless, a woman, and hence had the keen instinct of her sex, which is better than all experience. He had gradually drifted away from his old friends and his wife’s friends, and seemed to prefer to their high-bred society the company of very curious people of all kinds. They were closeted with the count; and their discussions were so loud, they could be heard all over the house. What were the grave discussions that made so much noise? He laughed heartily, tapped her cheek playfully, and said,-- “Ah, you would like to rule your papa, would you?” Then he added more seriously,-- “Am I so old, my little lady, that I ought to go into retirement?

Have you, also, gone over to my enemies?” “Oh, dear papa!” “Well, my child, then you ought to know that a man such as I am cannot condemn himself to inactivity, unless he wants to die. I do not want any more money; what I want is an outlet for my energy and my talents.” This was so sensible a reply, that both Henrietta and Daniel felt quite re-assured. At times he would sit for hours in an arm-chair, his eyes fixed on the ceiling, his brow knit, and his thoughts apparently bent upon some grave question. “There are moments when I tremble for his mind.” At last, one evening after dinner, when he had drunk more than usually, perhaps in order to gain courage, he drew his daughter on his knee, and said in his softest voice,-- “Confess, my dear child, that in your innermost heart you have more than once called me a very bad father.

I dare say you blame me for leaving you so constantly alone here in this large house, where you must die from sheer weariness.” Such a charge would have been but too well founded. A girl of your age stands in need of some one to advise her, to pet her,--an affectionate and devoted friend. That is why I have been thinking of giving you another mother.” Henrietta drew back her arm, which she had wound round her father’s neck; and, rising suddenly, she said,-- “You think of marrying again?” He turned his head aside, hesitated moment, and then replied,-- “Yes.” At first the poor girl could not utter a word, so great were her stupor, her indignation, her bitter grief; then she made an effort, and said in a pained voice,-- “Do you really tell me so, papa? “I am old; I may die; we have no near relations; what would become of you without a friend?” She blushed crimson; but she said timidly,-- “But, papa, there is M. Daniel to come here”-- “You thought I intended to make him my son-in-law?” She made no answer. A sailor is a sorry kind of husband, my dear child; a word from his minister may part him for years from his wife.” Henrietta remained silent. He thought he had said enough for this time, and left her with these words,-- “Consider, my child; for my part, I will also think of it.” What should she do? A walk in company with his friend, Maxime de Brevan; a visit to the theatre, when a particularly fine piece was to be given; and two or three calls a week at Count Ville-Handry’s house,--these were his sole and certainly very harmless amusements. He knew that something extraordinary must have happened to induce Henrietta, with her usual reserve, to take such a step, and, above all, to write to him in such brief but urgent terms.

“Tell Miss Henrietta I am coming at once; and make haste, or I shall be there before you.” As soon as the servant had left, Daniel dressed, and a moment later he was out of the house. As he walked rapidly up the street in which the count lived, he thought,-- “I have no doubt taken the alarm too soon; perhaps she has only some commission for me.” But he was beset with dark presentiments, and had to tell himself that that was not likely to be the case. “What has happened?” “Something terrible, M. Yes, so I understood it; and that was my reason for sending for you to advise me.” Poor fellow! He mastered his grief, and said in an almost calm voice,-- “I beseech you, let me explain to you why I advised you so.

Your father is immensely rich; she wants his fortune.” Daniel’s reasoning was so sensible, and he pleaded his cause with such eagerness, that Henrietta’s resolution was evidently shaken. She is an angel.” “What is her age?” “Twenty-five.” The count read in his daughter’s face that she thought his new wife much too young for him; and therefore he added, quickly,-- “Your mother was two years younger when I married her.” That was so; but he forgot that that was twenty years ago. She knew perfectly well that a man like Daniel was not likely to be so utterly overwhelmed unless there was something fearful, unheard of, in the matter. I see you know who she is.” “I know nothing about her.” “But”-- “It is true I have heard people talk of her once, a long time ago.” “Whom?” “One of my friends, Maxime de Brevan, a fine, noble fellow.” “What sort of a woman is she?” “Ah, me! Maxime happened to mention her just in passing; and I never thought that one of these days I should--If I seemed to be so very much surprised just now, it was because I remembered, all of a sudden, a very ugly story in which Maxime said she had been involved, and then”-- He was ridiculous in his inability to tell a fib; so, when he found that he was talking nonsense, he turned his head away to avoid Henrietta’s eyes. I will tell you all as soon as I am better informed.” “When will that be?” “To-night, if I can find Maxime de Brevan at home, as I hope I shall do; if I miss him, you must wait till to-morrow.” “And if your suspicions turn out to be well founded; if what you fear, and hide from me now, is really so,--what must I do then?” Without a moment’s hesitation, he rose and said in a solemn voice,-- “I am not going to tell you again how I love you, Henrietta; I am not going to tell you that to lose you would be death to me, and that in our family we do not value life very highly; you know that, don’t you?

She offered him her hand; and, with her eyes beaming with enthusiasm and tenderness, she said,-- “And I, I swear by the sacred memory of my mother, that whatever may happen, and whatever force they may choose to employ, I shall never belong to any one but to you.” Daniel had seized her hand, and held it for some time pressed to his lips. And yet, far from following the advice of the philosopher, who tells us to keep our life from the eye of the public, Maxime de Brevan seemed to take pains to let everybody into his secrets. He was so anxious to tell everybody where he had been, and what he had been doing, that you might have imagined he was always preparing to prove an alibi. Thus he told the whole world that the Brevans came originally from the province of Maine, and that he was the last, the sole representative, of that old family. So much only was certain, that, to his great honor and glory, he had solved the great problem of preserving his independence and his dignity while associating, a comparatively poor man, with the richest young men of Paris. Perhaps so.

“How so? What is it?” “And I want you to help me.” “Don’t you know that I am at your service?” Daniel certainly thought so. I have a long story to tell you, and you are just going out”-- But Brevan interrupted him, shaking his head kindly, and saying,-- “I was only going out for want of something better to do, upon my word! So sit down, and tell me all.” Daniel had been so overcome by terror, and the fear that he might possibly lose Henrietta, that he had run to his friend without considering what he was going to tell him. The thought had just occurred to him, that Count Ville-Handry’s secret was not his own, and that he was in duty bound not to betray it, if possible, even if he could have absolutely relied upon his friend’s discretion. He did not reply, therefore, but walked up and down the room, seeking in vain some plausible excuse, and suffering perfect agony. This continued so long, that Maxime, who had of late heard much of diseases of the brain, asked himself if Daniel could possibly have lost his mind. No; for suddenly his friend stopped before him, and said in a short, sharp tone,-- “First of all, Maxime, swear that you will never, under any circumstances, say to any human being a word of what I am going to tell you.” Thoroughly mystified, Brevan raised his hand, and said,-- “I pledge my word of honor!” This promise seemed to re-assure Daniel; and, when he thought he had recovered sufficient control over himself, he said,-- “Some months ago, my dear friend, I heard you telling somebody a horrible story concerning a certain Mrs. “Well, yes, suppose it is so,” he said with a sigh. You ought to inquire; for you may be close upon a terrible misfortune.” “Ah, is she really so formidable?” Maxime shrugged his shoulders, as if he were impatient at being called upon to prove a well-known fact, and said,-- “I should think so.” There seemed to be no reason why Daniel should persist in his questions after that.

Passion does not reason, does not calculate; and that is the secret of its strength. That is so, I tell you; and no will, no amount of energy, can do any thing with it.

There are people who tell you soberly that they have been in love without losing their senses, and reproach you for not keeping cool. And now, my dear fellow, have the kindness to accept this cigar, and let us take a walk.” Was that really so as Brevan said? Was it true that real love destroys in us the faculty of reasoning, and of distinguishing truth from falsehood? “Suppose I lose my free will, and surrender absolutely; what will become of me?” Brevan looked at him with an air of pity, and said,-- “Not much will happen to you; only”-- And then he added with almost sternness, mixed with bitter sarcasm,-- “You ask me for your horoscope? Be it so. Then, as to your social position. You are an honest man, the most honorable man I know; after six months’ acquaintance with Sarah Brandon, you will have lost your self- respect so completely, that you will have become a drunkard. It is not I who am in love with Miss Sarah Brandon.” Brevan was so much surprised, he could not stir. He talks of marrying that woman.” Maxime shrugged his shoulders contemptuously, and said,-- “As to that, console yourself.

Sarah will never consent.” “So far from that, she herself has made the suggestion.” This time, Maxime raised his head suddenly, and looked stupefied. “Then your friend must be very rich.” “He is immensely rich.” “He bears a great name, and holds a high position?” “His name is one of the oldest and noblest in the province of Anjou.” “And he is a very old man?” “He is sixty-five.” Brevan struck the marble slab of the mantlepiece with his fist so that it shook, and exclaimed,-- “Ah, she told me she would succeed!” And then he added in a very low tone of voice, as if speaking to himself with an indescribable accent of mingled admiration and hatred,-- “What a woman! He remained for some time absorbed in his thoughts; and at last he said, as if coming to a decision,-- “No, I do not see any way to prevent this marriage; none at all.” “Still, from what you told me”-- “What!” “About the cupidity of this woman.” “Well?” “If she were offered a large sum, some eighty or a hundred thousand dollars?” Maxime laughed out loud; but there was not the true ring in his laughter. Do you think she would be fool enough to content herself with a fraction of a fortune, if she can have the whole, with a great name and a high position into the bargain?” Daniel opened his lips to present another suggestion; but Maxime, laying aside his usual half-dreamy, mocking manner, said, as if roused by a matter of great personal interest,-- “You do not understand me, my dear friend. Like so many others, she, also, has come to Paris to spread her net, and catch her birds, But she is made of finer stuff than most of them, and more clever.

Her ambition soars higher; and she possesses a real genius for intrigues. She means to have a fortune, and is willing to pay any price for it; but she is also desirous to be respected in the world. He bought them for a few thousand dollars, and soon after discovered on his purchase the most productive oil-wells in all America. This much is certain, that sometimes curious facts leak out. Brian, a relative of hers, who is the dryest, boniest person you can imagine, but at the same time the slyest woman I have ever seen. She also brought with her a kind of protector, a Mr. Thomas Elgin, also a relation of hers, a most extraordinary man, stiff like a poker, but evidently a dangerous man, who never opens his mouth except when he eats.

Gradually she crept into society; and now she is welcome almost everywhere, and visits, not only at the best houses, but even in certain families which have a reputation of being quite exclusive. “In fine, if she has enemies, she has also fanatic partisans. If some people say she is a wretch, others--and they are by no means the least clever--tell you that she is an angel, only wanting wings to fly away from this wicked world. They talk of her as of a poor little orphan- girl, whom people slander atrociously because they envy her youth, her beauty, her splendor.” “Ah, is she so rich?” “Miss Brandon spends at least twenty thousand dollars a year.” “And no one inquires where they come from?” “From her sainted father’s petroleum-wells, my dear fellow. Petroleum explains everything.” Brevan seemed to feel a kind of savage delight in seeing Daniel’s despair, and in explaining to him most minutely how solidly, and how skilfully Miss Sarah Brandon’s position in the world had been established. At all events, he continued in that icy tone which gives to sarcasm its greatest bitterness,-- “Besides, my dear Daniel, if you are ever introduced at Miss Brandon’s,--and I pray you will believe me, people are not so easily introduced there,--you will be dumfounded at first by the tone that prevails in that house. “I think not.” “But that adventure of which you spoke some time ago?” “Which?

He had lost as yet none of his illusions, being barely twenty-five years old, and having something like a hundred thousand dollars of his own. Besides,’ they added, ‘how can a girl, be she ever so pure and innocent, prevent her lovers from hanging themselves at her windows? To be sure, some sceptical persons told the whole story very differently.

They stated, that, the evening before the accident, he had come to the house at the usual hour, and, finding it closed, had begged, and even wept, and finally threatened to kill himself; that, thereupon, he had really killed himself; (poor fool that he was!) that Miss Brandon, concealed behind the blinds, had watched all his preparations for the fearful act; that she had seen him fasten the rope to the outside hinges of her window, put the noose around his neck, and then swing off into eternity; that she had watched him closely during his agony, and stood there till the last convulsions had passed away.” “Horrible!” whispered Daniel,--“too horrible!” But Maxime seized him by the arm, and pressing it so as almost to hurt him, said in a low, hoarse voice,-- “That is not the worst yet. As soon as she saw that Kergrist was surely dead, she slipped down stairs like a cat, opened the house-door noiselessly, and, gliding stealthily along the wall till she reached the body, she actually searched the still quivering corpse to assure herself that there was nothing in the pockets that could possibly compromise her. She went to bed, and slept soundly.” Daniel had become livid. The first appearance of Miss Brandon in Paris society. You ought to know that also. “One evening, about four years ago, the president of the Mutual Discount Society came into the cashier’s room to tell him, that, on the following day, the board of directors would examine his books. The cashier, an unfortunate man by the name of Malgat, replied that every thing was ready; but, the moment the president had turned his back, he took a sheet of paper, and wrote something like this:-- “‘Forgive me, I have been an honest man forty years long; now a fatal passion has made me mad. “It is not so much the story itself,” he said at last, “that overcomes me so completely. What I cannot comprehend is, how this woman could refuse the man whose accomplice she had been the small pittance he required in order to evade justice, and to escape to Belgium.” “Nevertheless, that was so,” repeated M. de Brevan; and then he added emphatically, “at least, they say so.” Daniel did not notice this attempt to become more cautious again.

And yet, in the case of this Mutual Discount Society, her calculations did not prove absolutely correct.” “How so?” “It became known that she had received Malgat two or three times secretly, for he did not openly enter her house; and the penny papers had it, that ‘the fair stranger was no stranger to small peculations.’ Public opinion was veering around, when it was reported that she had been summoned to appear before a magistrate. That, however, was fortunate for her; she came out from the trial whiter and purer than Alpine snow.” “Oh!” “And so perfectly cleared, that, when the whole matter was brought up in court, she was not even summoned as a witness.” Daniel started up, and exclaimed,-- “What!

For the simple reason that Malgat was sentenced in contumaciam to ten years in the penitentiary.” “And what has become of the poor wretch?” “Who knows? However”-- He had become livid, in his turn; but he continued in an almost inaudible voice, as if to meet Daniel’s objections before they were expressed,-- “However, somebody who used to be intimate with Malgat has assured me that he met him one day in Dronot Street, before the great auction- mart. Some you may read of in the papers; but most I know from my own long and patient observation. And, if you ask me what interest I could have in knowing such a woman, I will tell you frankly, that you see before you one of her victims; for my dear Daniel, I have to confess it, I also have been in love with her; and how!

But I was too small a personage, and too poor a devil, to be worth a serious thought of Miss Brandon. As soon as she felt sure that her abominable tricks had set my head on fire, and that I had become an idiot, a madman, a stupid fool--on that very day she laughed in my face. Brevan took his opera-glasses out, and rapidly surveying the house, he had soon found what he was looking for. Her hair, perfectly overwhelming in its richness, was so carelessly arranged, that no one could doubt it was all her own; it was almost golden, but with such a bright sheen, that at every motion sparks seemed to start from its dark masses. Her large, soft eyes were overshadowed by long lashes; and as she now opened them wide, and now half closed them again, they changed from the darkest to the lightest blue. These thoughts troubled Daniel; and he would have mentioned his doubts to Maxime; but his neighbors were enthusiasts about music, and, as soon as he bent over to whisper into his friend’s ear, they growled, and, if he ventured to utter a word, they forced him to be silent.

He had his opera-hat under his arm, a camellia in his button-hole; and his light-yellow kid gloves were so tight, that it looked as if they must inevitably burst the instant he used his hands. Somebody touched his shoulder slightly; and, as he turned round, he found it was Maxime, who said with friendly irony,-- “Your old friend, is it not? The happy lover of Miss Brandon?” “Yes, it is so. I have to confess it.” He was just in the act of explaining the reasons for his silence, when M. The roses were piled up in the bottom of the carriage; and, when he had done, he received a handsome fee for his trouble. Daniel Champcey, one of our most distinguished naval officers.” Daniel bowed, first to her, and then solemnly to Mrs. I have heard something of a certain young lady”-- “Sarah,” here broke in Mrs. Brian, “what you say there is highly improper.” This reproof, so far from checking Miss Sarah’s merriment, only seemed to increase it.

After all that he had been told, these words sounded to him, in spite of the loud laugh that accompanied them, like a warning and a threat. “You are fond of roses,” he said, “and I have ordered a few.” With these words he took up some of the leaves, and showed them to her. What a glorious thing to waste fifty dollars on flowers, when one has I know not how many millions!” Then, seeing by the light of the street-lamp that the count’s face showed deep disappointment, she said in a tone to make him lose the little reason that was left him,-- “You would have been more welcome if you had brought me a cent’s worth of violets.” In the mean time Mrs. At the moment when the servant was closing the door, Miss Sarah bent forward toward Daniel, and said,-- “I hope I shall have the pleasure of soon seeing you again. The carriage which took Miss Brandon and Count Ville-Handry away was already at some distance, before Daniel could recover from his amazement, his utter consternation. All these strange events, coming upon him one by one, in the course of a few hours, and breaking suddenly in upon so calm and quiet a life, overwhelmed him to such a degree, that he was not quite sure whether he was dreaming or awake. “Ah, we are lost!” exclaimed Daniel, in so loud a voice, that some of the passers-by stopped, expecting one of those street-dramas which read so strikingly in the local columns of our papers.

In such a case he would have had some hope. “Great God!” said Daniel, “send me some inspiration.” But no inspiration came; and in vain did he torture his mind; he was unable to think. At nine o’clock in the morning, having never closed his eyes, and feeling utterly overcome by sleeplessness and fatigue, he was just about to get up, when some one knocked at his door. All the more reason, then, that you should listen to the calm advice of a friend. You will pay some compliments to Miss Sarah; you will be all attention to Mrs.

Finally, and above all, you will be all ears and all eyes.” “I am sorry to say I do not understand you yet.” “What? But that did not satisfy the count; so he repeated the question more directly, and said,-- “Come, tell us frankly, what do you think of Miss Brandon?” “She is one of the greatest beauties I have ever seen in my life.” Count Ville-Handry’s eyes beamed with delight and with pride as he heard these words. When she opens her lips, the charms of her mind, beauty and her mind, and remember her admirable ingenuousness, her naive freshness, and all the treasures of her chaste and pure soul.” This excessive, almost idiotic admiration, this implicit, absurd faith in his beloved, gave the painted face of the count a strange, almost ecstatic expression. He said to himself, but loud enough to be heard,-- “And to think that chance alone has led me to meet this angel!” A sudden start, involuntary on the part of Daniel, seemed to disturb him; for he resumed his speech, laying great stress upon his words,-- “Yes, chance alone; and I can prove it to you.” He settled down in his chair like a man who is going to speak for some length of time; and, in that emphatic manner which so well expressed the high opinion he had of himself, he continued,-- “You know, my friend, how deeply I was affected by the death of the Countess Ville-Handry. “In short,” he continued, “the loss of my wife so completely upset me, that I lost all taste for the occupations which had so far been dear to me; and I set about to find distractions elsewhere. Soon after I had gotten into the habit of going frequently to my club, I fell in with M. We wished each other good-day; and sometimes we galloped a little while side by side.

I am rather reserved; but Sir Thorn is even more so, and thus it did not seem that our acquaintance was ever to ripen into any thing better, till an accident brought us together. “One morning we were returning slowly from a long ride, when Sir Thorn’s mare, a foolish brute, suddenly shied, and jumped so high, that he was thrown. There was no one near the place; and I began to be seriously embarrassed, when fortunately two soldiers appeared. As soon as it came, we raised the invalid, and put him in as well as we could; I got on the box to show the man the way to Sir Thorn’s house. They got him, with some difficulty, out of the hack; and there they were, carrying him painfully up the stairs, and he groaning feebly, for he suffered terribly. And there I held her, leaning on my shoulder, so close that I became aware of the warmth of her lovely body, and actually felt her heart beat against mine. “When she recovered, and found herself in the arms of a man, she rose with an air of extreme distress, and, slipping away, disappeared in her room.” At the mere description of this scene, the count turned pale under his rouge; and his voice forsook him. Never in my life, I assure you, have I felt such a deep sensation as when Miss Brandon was lying in my arms.” While saying this, he had pulled out his handkerchief, saturated with a strong perfume, and was wiping his forehead, though very gently, and with infinite precautions, so as not to spoil the artistic work of his valet. “You will know Miss Brandon,” he went on, “I hope soon.

“They received me very kindly, although with some little reserve under all their politeness; but I staid and staid in vain beyond the proper time; Miss Sarah did not appear. I offered him my arm; he accepted it; and, when we came back, he asked me if I would be kind enough to take pot-luck with him.” However important these communications were for Daniel, he was for some time already listening but very inattentively to the count’s recital, for he had heard a strange, faint noise, which he could not by any means explain to himself. But you know I have some power over myself; and I had recovered my calmness, when Sir Thorn confessed to me that he would have invited me long since, but for the fear of offending his young relative, who had declared she would never meet me again. It is true, she blushed deeply; but she took my hand with the utmost cordiality, and cut me short when I was trying to pay her some compliment, saying,-- “‘You are Thorn’s friend; I am sure we shall be friends also.’ “Ah, Daniel! “We soon became friends, as she had foretold, so soon, in fact, that I was quite surprised when I found her addressing me like an old acquaintance. I soon discovered how that came about. A man like myself, known abroad and at home during a long political career of some distinction, could not be a stranger to Miss Brandon. And there was many a day when I wished I were a friend of yours, so that I might say to you, “Well done, sir! At times, I was amazed at some peculiarly bold thoughts which she uttered; and, when I complimented her upon them, she broke out in loud laughter, and said,-- “‘Why, count, these are your own ideas; I got them from you. You said so on such and such an occasion.’ “And when I looked at night, after my return, into my papers, to ascertain the fact, I found almost always that Miss Brandon had been right.

Need I tell you after that, that I soon became an almost daily visitor at the house in Circus Street? Brian, the Puritan lady, so strict for herself, so indulgent for others; and Thomas Elgin, the noblest and best of men, who conceals under an appearance of icy coldness the warmest and kindest of hearts.” What was Count Ville-Handry aiming at? You say to yourself, ‘Count Ville-Handry was in love.’ Well, I assure you you are mistaken.” Daniel started from his chair; and, overcome by amazement, he exclaimed,-- “Can it be possible?” “Exactly so; I give you my word of honor.

But as I am a shrewd observer, and have some knowledge of the human heart, I could not help being struck by a change in Miss Brandon’s face, and especially in her manner. Our constant intercourse, so far from reassuring her, seemed to frighten her. I devoted myself, therefore, to more careful observation; and I soon became aware, that, if I loved Miss Brandon only with the affection of a father, I had succeeded in inspiring her with a more tender sentiment.” In any other person, this senile self-conceit would have appeared intensely absurd to Daniel; in his Henrietta’s father, it pained him deeply. I was so surprised by it, that for three days I could neither think of it coolly, nor decide on what I ought to do. I did not for a moment think of abusing the confidence of this innocent child; and yet I knew, I felt it, she was absolutely in my power.

On the other hand, must I necessarily deny myself my pleasant visits at the house in Circus Street, and break with friends who were so dear to me? I thought of that, also; but I had not the courage to do so.” He hesitated for a moment, trying to read in Daniel’s eyes his real opinion. You will say, ‘That was a serious matter.’ I know that only too well; and therefore I did not decide the question in a hurry, but weighed the reasons for and against very carefully. Now, thanks to an exceptionally sober and peaceful life, of which forty years were spent in the country, to an iron constitution, and to the extreme care I have always taken of my health, I possess a--what shall I say?--a vigor which many young men might envy, who can hardly drag one foot after the other.” He rose as he said this, threw out his chest, straightened his back, and stretched out his well-shaped leg. Brian, ‘Above all, aunt, I want to be proud of my husband; I want to see everybody’s eye sparkle with admiration and envy as soon as I mention his name, which will have become mine also; I want people to whisper around me, “Ah, how happy she is to be loved by such a man!”’” He shook his head gravely, and said in a solemn tone,-- “I examined myself, Daniel, and found that I answered all of Miss Brandon’s expectations; and the result of my meditations was, that I would be a madman to allow such happiness to escape me, and that I was bound to risk every thing. “‘You are joking,’ he said at first, ‘and that pains me deeply.’ “But, when he saw that I had never in my life spoken more seriously, he, who is usually so phlegmatic, became perfectly furious. As if I would have come to him, if, by some impossible accident, I should have been unhappy in my choice!

“So,” he resumed, “I went to Mrs. She would not even listen to me, the old Puritan; and, when I became pressing, she dropped me a solemn curtsey, and left me alone in the room, looking foolish enough, I am sure. I did so, hoping that her interview with her niece might induce her to change her mind. “As a matter of course, I was punctual; and it was well I was so, for, a few minutes after I got there, I saw her--or rather I felt her--coming towards me, riding at full speed. When she reached me, she stopped suddenly, and, jumping from her horse, said to me,-- “‘They watch me so jealously, that I could not write to you till to-day. Let us be gone!’” He paused, overcome with excitement; but, soon recovering, he continued,-- “To hear a beautiful woman tell you that!

And yet I had the courage, mad as I felt I was becoming, to speak to her words of calm reason.

After some little hesitations, and imposing certain honorable conditions, they said to Sarah and myself,-- “‘You will have it so. That a man like the count should be so perfectly blind to the intrigue that was going on around him, seemed to him incomprehensible. The count, however, was not so blind, that he should not have at least suspected the nature of Daniel’s feelings. Tell us frankly that you suspect Miss Brandon, and accuse her of trying to catch me in her snares, or, at least, of having selfish views.” “I do not say so,” stammered Daniel. “No, but you think so; and that is worse. there is something to be made there yet, and something grand, if one could dispose of a large capital.” He became excited, and forgot himself; but he soon checked himself. Did they not actually say she had been the accomplice of a wretched thief, a cashier of some bank, who had become a defaulter?

And look here, Daniel; you may believe me; whenever you see people calumniate a man or a woman, you may rest assured that that man or woman has, somehow or other, wounded or humiliated some vulgar person, some mean, envious fool, who cannot endure his or her superiority in point of fortune, rank, or beauty and talent.” He had actually recovered his youthful energy in thus defending his beloved. “But no more of that painful topic,” he said: “let us talk seriously.” He rose, and leaning on the mantelpiece, so as to face Daniel, he said,-- “I told you, my dear Daniel, that Sir Thorn and Mrs. I have some remote cousins, who, having nothing to expect from me when I die, do not trouble themselves any more about me than I trouble myself about them. If she has taken it into her head to receive Miss Brandon uncivilly, she will do so, in spite of all she has promised me, and she will make a terrible scene of it. Now the question is, whether I have sufficient influence over Henrietta to bring her to reason. It was for the first time that the count spoke so clearly. Overcome by the great effort he had made to conceal his emotions, he had sunk into a chair, hiding his face in his hands, and said to himself in a mournful voice, and as if trying to convince himself of an overwhelming fact,-- “The count has lost his mind altogether, and we are lost.” The grief of this excellent young man was so great and so bitter, that M. He looked at him for some time with an air of pity, and then suddenly, as if yielding to a good impulse, he touched his shoulder, and said,-- “Daniel!” The unhappy man started like one who has suddenly been roused from deep slumber; and, as he recalled what had just happened, he said,-- “You have heard all, Maxime?” “All!

It enables me to give you some friendly advice. You know I have paid dear for my experience.” He hesitated, being at a loss how to express his ideas; then he continued in a short, sharp tone,-- “You love Miss Ville-Handry?” “More than my life, don’t you know?” “Well, if that is so, abandon all thoughts of useless resistance; induce Miss Henrietta to do as her father wishes; and persuade Miss Brandon to let your wedding take place a month after her own. Miss Ville-Handry may suffer somewhat during that month; but the day after your wedding you will carry her off to your own home, and leave the poor old man to his amorous folly.” Daniel showed in his face that this suggestion opened a new prospect before him. But can I do so in honor?” “Oh, honor, honor!” “Would it not be wrong in me to abandon the poor old man to the mercy of Miss Brandon and her accomplices?” “You will never be able to rescue him, my dear fellow.” “I ought at least to try. You thought so yesterday, and even this morning, not two hours ago.” Maxime could scarcely hide his impatience. I shall try to interest some high personage in my behalf,--my minister, for instance, who is very kind to me.

He broke out with strange vehemence,-- “What nonsense!” Then he added, more collectedly,-- “You forget that Malgat has been sentenced to I know not how many years’ penal servitude, and that he will see in your advertisement a trick of the police; so that he will only conceal himself more carefully than ever.” But Daniel was not so easily shaken. Perhaps something might be done with that young man whom the count mentioned, that M. If I thought he was really anxious for Miss Brandon’s hand”-- “I have heard it said, and I am sure it is so, the young man is one of those idiots whom vanity renders insane, and who do not know what to do in order to make themselves notorious. I have heard her say that only fools employ poison or the dagger.” A strange smile passed over his lips; and he added in a tone of horrible irony,-- “It is true there are other means, less prompt, perhaps, but much safer, by which people may be removed when they become inconvenient. The same, no doubt, which she had employed to get rid of poor Kergrist, and that unlucky Malgat, the cashier of the Mutual Discount Society. This also happens, however horrible it may appear.

Now, listen to me; and then you can decide.” Faithful to his promise, he thereupon told her every thing he had learned from Maxime and the count, suppressing only those details which would have made the poor girl blush, and also that terrible charge which he was unwilling to believe. No; far be it from me ever to be so selfish!

Don’t you think they will try to part us soon enough?” “No, Daniel, I know very well that the house will no longer be open to you.” “Well?” The poor girl blushed up to the roots of her hair, and, turning her. eyes away from him to avoid his looks, she said,-- “Since they force us to do so, I must needs do a thing a girl, properly speaking, ought not to do. She answered,-- “I thought you would be able to wait until the day should come when the law would authorize me to make my own choice.” “Henrietta!” She offered him her hand, and said solemnly,-- “And on that day, Daniel, I promise you, if my father still withholds his consent, I will ask you openly for your arm; and then, in broad daylight, before all the world, I shall leave this house never to re-enter it again.” As quick as thought, Daniel had seized her hand, and, carrying it to his lips, he said,--“Thanks! The bronze figures on the mantlepiece-clock were biblical personages; and the other bronzes were simply hideous.

“As a work of art, this portrait leaves, no doubt, much to be wished for; but they say the likeness is excellent.” Certainly, though that might be so, there was no resemblance to be discovered between the tanned face of this American general and the blooming features of Miss Brandon.

But there was something more. The doctor thinks there must be something the matter with the bone.” At the same time, obeying the tendency which we all have to display our ailments, he slightly drew up his trousers, so that the bandages became visible which he wore around his leg. Count Ville-Handry looked at it with pity; then, forgetting that he had introduced Daniel already the night before at the opera, he presented him once more; and, when the ceremony was over, he said to Sir Thorn,-- “Upon my word, I am almost ashamed to appear so early; but I knew you expected company to-night.” “Oh, only a few persons!” “And I desired to see you for a few moments alone.” A strange grimace represented the only smile of which the honorable gentleman was capable. I cannot imagine how she can spend so much time at her toilet.” They were thus chatting away before the fireplace, Sir Thorn stretched out in an easy-chair, and the count leaning against the mantlepiece, while Daniel had withdrawn into the embrasure of a window which looked upon the court-yard and the garden behind the house. If he did so, that fainting-fit might have been natural, and not prearranged; but”-- He was just plunging into these doubts and speculations, when the noise of a carriage entering the court-yard, aroused him from his thoughts. But could that be so? It must have evidently been something of great importance to have kept her out till so late an hour, and when she knew, moreover, that the count was waiting for her.

This simple elegance could not but banish all doubts; and this horrible portrait of the so-called Gen. The last words remained in his throat; he stood as if he were petrified, his eyes starting from their sockets, his mouth wide open. In her hair, which looked even more carelessly put up than usually, she had nothing but a branch of fuschia, the crimson bells falling gracefully down upon her neck, where they mingled with her golden curls. But she had already turned round, with her hand outstretched towards Daniel,-- “I am so glad you have come, sir!” she said. “I am sure we shall understand each other admirably.” She told him this with the softest possible voice; but, if he had known her better, he would have read in the way in which she looked at him, that her disposition towards him had entirely changed since yesterday; then she wished him well; now she hated him savagely. The servant announced some of the usual visitors; and she went to receive them. At eleven o’clock there were perhaps a hundred persons in the room; and in the two adjoining rooms card-tables had been arranged. It appeared that the gentlemen who showed themselves there--old men mostly, amply decorated with foreign orders, and young men in extravagantly fashionable costumes--were not free from suspicion; but they all belonged to Paris high-life, to that society, which, under a dazzlingly brilliant outside, conceals hideous crimes, and allows now and then traces of real misery to be seen through the rents in the splendid livery worn by its members. Some of these men stood, by the name they bore or the position they filled, high above the rest of the company; they were easily recognized by their haughty manner, and the intense deference with which their slightest remarks were received. Once she even shocked the crowd of her worshippers by suddenly leaving her place in order to ask him why he held himself so aloof, and whether he felt indisposed.

Then, seeing that he was a perfect stranger here, she was good enough to point out to him some of the most remarkable men in the crowd. In doing this, she was so anxious to make him aware of her distinguished friends, that Daniel began to think she must have divined his intentions, and thus indirectly defied him, as if she had said in so many words,-- “You see what friends I have, and how they would defend me if you should dare to attack me.” Nevertheless, he was not discouraged, being fully aware of all the difficulties of his undertaking, and having long since counted up all the obstacles in his way. It was so, nevertheless; and there were finally only a few intimate friends left, and four players at a card-table. Nothing could be fresher and more coquettish than this little room, which looked almost like a greenhouse, so completely was it filled with rare and fragrant flowers, while the door and window-frames were overgrown with luxuriant creepers. She sat down on a small sofa and began, after a short pause,-- “My aunt was right; it would have been more proper for me to convey to you through M. But I have the independence of all the girls of my country; and, when my interests are at stake, I trust no one but myself.” She was bewitching in her ingenuousness as she uttered these words with the air of a little child who looks cunning, and determined to undertake something that appears quite formidable. What could be done in so little time? “Now, sir,” continued Miss Brandon, “I wish to hear from your own lips whether you see--any--objections to this match.” She spoke so frankly, that it was evident she was utterly unconscious of that article in the code of social laws which prescribes that a French girl must never mention the word “marriage” without blushing to the roots of her hair. I speak, therefore, to Count Ville-Handry’s son-in-law, and I repeat, Do you see any objections to this match?” The question was too precisely put to allow of any prevarication. For the first time in his life he said a falsehood; and, turning crimson all over, he stammered out,-- “I see no objection.” “Really?” “Really.” She shook her head, and then said very slowly,-- “If that is so, you will not refuse me a great favor.

Will you promise me to use your influence in trying to persuade her to change her disposition towards me?” Never had honest Daniel Champcey been tried so hard. Will you give me that promise?” Could he do so? The situation was so exceptional, Daniel had at all cost to lull the enemy into security for a time, and for a moment he was inclined to pledge his honor. “You see,” resumed Miss Brandon very coldly, “you see you were deceiving me.” And, turning away from him, she hid her face in her hands, apparently overcome by grief, and repeated in a tone of deep sorrow,-- “What a disgrace! What a humiliation!” But suddenly she started up again, her face bright with a glow of hope, and cried out,-- “Well, be it so. I like it all the better so. tell me something.” What could he tell her? “I understand.” She made a supreme effort not to break out in sobs; and big tears, resembling diamonds of matchless beauty, rolled slowly down from between her long, trembling eyelashes.

They have, no doubt, told you that I am an adventuress, come from nowhere; that my father, the brave defender of the Union, exists only in the painting in my parlor; that no one knows where my income comes from; that Thorn, that noble soul, and Mrs. But, if they are told something bad, they dispense with that ceremony; however monstrous the thing may appear, however improbable it may sound, they believe it instantly. America is not so far off. I should have soon found the ten thousand men who had served under Gen. Brandon, and they would have told me what sort of a man their chief had been. Overcome by the effort she had made, she had sunk back upon the sofa, and continued in a lower tone of voice, as if speaking to herself,-- “But have I a right to complain? I reap as I have sown. Thorn has told me so often enough, and I would not believe him.

He was utterly confounded and overcome by the charm of that marvellous voice, which passed through the whole gamut of passion with such a sonorous ring, and yet with such sweet languor, that it seemed by turns to sob and to threaten, to sigh with sadness and to thunder with wrath. She resumed her seat on the sofa; and in that brief, sharp tone which betrays terrible passions restrained with a great effort, she said,-- “Before all, I must thank you, M. I knew that slander had attacked me; I felt it, so to say, in the air I was breathing; but I had never been able yet to take hold of it. Listen, therefore; for I swear to you by all that is most sacred to me, by the memory of my sainted mother, I swear to you solemnly, that you shall hear the truth, and nothing but the truth.” She had opened the box, and was eagerly searching something among the papers inside. Malgat was the cashier and confidential clerk of the Mutual Discount Society, a large and powerful company.

Elgin had some business with him, a few weeks after our arrival here, for the purpose of drawing funds which he had in Philadelphia. The impression was so strong, that I could not help telling M. This description of Malgat impressed his portrait so deeply on his mind, that he thought he saw him before his eyes, and would certainly recognize him if he should ever meet him. When we had drafts upon the Mutual Discount Society, he always saved M. Elgin took it into his head to try some small speculations on ‘change, M.

One loss brought about another, I lost my head; I hoped to recover my money; and now, at this hour, I owe more than ten thousand dollars, which I have taken from the safe of the society. Will you be so generous as to lend me that sum? It is a matter of life and death with me; and as you decide, so I may be saved, or disgraced forever. ten thousand dollars, to be drawn from funds deposited with the Mutual Discount Society.

He, a model of honesty, who would have starved to death rather than touch the gold intrusted to his care,--he consoled Malgat, finding all kinds of apology for him, telling him, that, after all, he was not so very much to blame, that there were temptations too strong to be resisted, and repeating even those paradoxical principles which have been specially invented as an apology for thieves. Malgat had still some money of his own; but M. “Thanks to false entries, I have been able to conceal my defalcations until now; but I can do so no longer. “I ought to kill myself, I know; but I have not the courage to do so. Elgin was so indignant, that he forgot his usual reserve, and told us everything. I felt only pity for the poor man; and I besought him to give the wretch the means to escape. Even if he should dare to accuse us of some great crime, we thought no one would listen to him, and we should never hear of it.

Brian suggested, than to address two or three anonymous letters to some of our acquaintances, who he knew did not like us, or envied us. “Soon the papers took it up. They said that Malgat’s defalcation was after the American style, and that it was perfectly natural he should go to a foreign country, after having been associated with a certain foreign lady.” She had become crimson all over; her bosom rose; and shame, indignation, and resentment alternately appeared on her face, changing finally into an ardent desire of vengeance. It is true, I had been struck by some strange whisperings, by curious looks and singular smiles, when I passed some of my friends; but I had not noticed them specially. He had found no one willing even to listen to him; everybody telling him that he was much too good to give a thought to such infamous reports; that they were too absurd to be believed.” She nearly gave way, sobs intercepting her words; but she mastered her emotion, and continued,-- “The next day I went to the court-house; and, after being kept waiting for a long time in a dark passage, I was brought before the magistrate.

Daniel was sorely embarrassed what to answer. Daniel had sunk, undone, into a chair; and his elbow resting on a small stand, his brow in his hands, he endeavored to think, to reason. Then Miss Brandon rose, came gently up to him, and taking his hand, said softly,-- “I beseech you!” But as if suddenly electrified by the touch of this soft, warm hand, Daniel rose so hastily, that he upset the chair; and, trembling with mysterious terror, he cried out,-- “Kergrist!” It was as if a fearful insult had set Miss Brandon on fire. Her face turned crimson, and then, almost instantly, livid; and, stepping back a little, she darted at Daniel a look of burning hatred. He committed suicide because he had lost his fortune at Homburg and at Baden; because he had exhausted his last resources; because his family, ashamed at his disgrace, refused to acknowledge him any longer. He gave up all discussion therefore, and simply said,-- “I believe you, Miss Brandon, I believe you.” Miss Brandon’s beautiful eyes lighted up for a moment with joy; and in a tone of voice which sounded like the echo of her heart, she said,-- “Oh, thank you, sir!

The count is sixty-six years old.” She, who had been so daring that nothing seemed to be able to disconcert her, now lowered her head like a timid boarding-school girl who has been caught acting contrary to rules; and a flood of crimson spread over her face, and every part of her figure which was not concealed by her dress. But the proud young lady did not waver, and replied with bitter sadness,-- “You will have it so; be it so. The palace of Count Ville-Handry appears to me an asylum, where I shall bury my disappointments and my sorrows, and where I shall find peace and a position which commands respect. I dare say I am; but I see nothing mean or disgraceful in my hopes.” Daniel had thought he had confounded her, and it was she who crushed him by her bold frankness; for there was nothing to say, no reasonable objection to make. She rose as she spoke, to her former haughtiness, and inspired herself with the sound of her voice. They say I am in the most elegant and most polished society in Europe; and yet I have looked in vain for the man whose eye could for a moment even break the peace of my heart. I have seen everywhere only persons of like perfection, whose characters had no more wrinkles than the coat made by the first of tailors, all equally eager and gallant, playing well, talking well, dancing well, riding well.” She shook her head with a movement full of energy; and, beaming with enthusiasm, she exclaimed,-- “Ah! What I dreamed of was a man of noble heart, with an inflexible will, capable of attempting what others dared not,--what, I do not know, but something grand, perilous, impossible. But Miss Brandon paused, ashamed of her vehemence, and continued more slowly,-- “Now, sir, you know me better than any other person in this world. surely you will not be so cruel.

Here I am.” And really, as she said this, she sank down so suddenly, that her knees struck the floor with a noise; and, seizing Daniel’s hands, she pressed them upon her burning brow.

They were so near to each other, that their breaths mingled, and Daniel felt Miss Brandon’s sobs on his heart, burning him like fiery flames. unhappy man!” Then breaking out in sobs, she stammered,-- “Go! It was a dark, freezing night; the sky was laden with clouds which hung so low, that they nearly touched the roofs of the houses; and a furious wind was shaking the black branches of the trees in the Champs Elysees, passing through the air like a fine dust of snow.

Daniel rushed in feverish haste, like an escaped convict, headlong on, without aim or purpose, solely bent upon escaping. But, when he had gone some distance, the motion, the cold night-air, and the keen wind playing in his hair, restored him to consciousness. Like the drunkard, who, when he is sobered, tries to recall the foolish things he may have done under the guidance of King Alcohol, Daniel conjured up one by one all his emotions during the hour which he had just spent by Miss Brandon’s side,--an hour of madness which would weigh heavily upon his future fate, and which alone contained in its sixty minutes more experiences than his whole life so far. At no time had he been so near despair. Her voice had made him forget every thing, every thing--even his dear and beloved Henrietta, his sole thought for so many years. “Fool!” he said to himself, “what have I done?” Unmindful of the blast of the tempest, and of the snow which had begun to fall, he had sat down on the steps of one of the grandest houses in Circus Street, and, with his elbows on his knees, he pressed his brow with his hands, as if hoping that he might thus cause it to suggest to him some plan of salvation. And recalling thus to his memory all she had told him in her soft, sweet voice, he asked himself if she had not really been slandered; and, if there was actually something amiss in her past life, why should it not rather be laid at the door of those two equivocal personages who watched over her, M.

but also what lofty nobility! And as he thought of it his heart was filled with a sense of eager and unwholesome desires; for he was a man, no better, no worse, than other men; and there are but too many men nowadays, who would value a few hours of happiness with a woman like Miss Brandon more highly than a whole life of chaste love by the side of a pure and noble woman. It was the great entrance-gate of Miss Brandon’s house, which was thrown open by some of the servants. he succumbed so easily?--he, the sailor, who remembered very well having remained more than once for forty, and even once for sixty hours on deck, when his vessel was threatened by a hurricane? he knew not that the direst fatigue is trifling in comparison with that deep moral excitement which shakes the human system to its most mysterious depths.

Now his folly appeared to him so utterly inexplicable, that, if he had but tasted a glass of lemonade at Miss Brandon’s house, he should have been inclined to believe that they had given him one of those drugs which set the brains on fire, and produce a kind of delirium. She wrote,-- “Is it really so, O Daniel! You told me so tonight. Miss Brandon had told him that she was imprudence personified; and here she gave him a positive proof of it. He tore the letter he had commenced into small pieces, and, turning to his servant, said,-- “Tell the man that I am out; and make haste and get me a carriage!” Then, when he was once more alone, he murmured,-- “Yes, it is better so. She thinks I am still in the dark; let her believe it.” Still this letter of hers seemed to prepare some new intrigue, which troubled Daniel excessively. But the minister, the department, his position, his preferment,--all these considerations weighed as nothing in comparison with his passion. If he expected Daniel, he had not expected him so soon; for his features assumed an expression which seemed to prohibit all confidential talk. She has thrown herself at your feet; you have raised her up; she has fainted; she has sobbed like a distressed dove in your arms; you have lost your head.” Daniel was overcome. She has only one card in her hand; but that is enough; it always makes a trick.” To have been deceived, and even to have been rendered ridiculous, is one of those misfortunes which we confess to ourselves, however painful the process may be; but to hear another person laugh at us after such a thing has happened is more than we can readily bear.

Daniel, therefore, did not conceal his impatience, and said rather dryly,-- “If I have been the dupe of Miss Brandon, my dear Maxime, you see, at last, that I am so no longer.” “Ah, ah!” “No, not in the least. de Brevan nearly let the brush fall, with which he was polishing his finger-nails; but he mastered his confusion so promptly, that Daniel did not perceive it. She drove so fast, that, quick as I am, I could not follow her, and lost sight of her.” Certainly M. I am so; you may believe me. Still making an effort, he replied,-- “Well, I am asking myself whether all that Miss Brandon states about her childhood, her family, and her fortune, might not, after all, be true.” Maxime looked like a sensible man who is forced to listen to the absurd nonsense of an insane person.

America is not so far off!” M. de Brevan’s face no longer expressed astonishment; he looked absolutely bewildered. When she saw you, and had taken your measure, she said to herself, ‘Here is an excellent young man who is in my way, excessively in my way; he must go and breathe a better air a few thousand miles off.’ And thereupon she suggested to you that pleasant trip to America.” After what Daniel had learned about Miss Brandon’s character, this explanation sounded by no means improbable. Believe me, Maxime, there is something else underneath.

Outside of this marriage, Miss Brandon must be pursuing some other plan.” “What plan?” “Ah! if you hate her so bitterly, you are very near loving her.” “I despise her; and without esteem”-- “That is an old story.

It is not only your own interest to act thus, but also Miss Henrietta’s interest. The day on which they part you, you will be inconsolable; but you will also be free to act. How so?” “How so? They would, of course, never have allowed me to enter her own room; but from the reception-room I could at times hear her painful cries and sobs. Should he tell Count Ville- Handry, that if he really heard cries of pain, and sobs, they were certainly not uttered by Miss Brandon? The thought of doing so occurred to Daniel. But it is the last; and this very morning, as soon as she wakes, she shall know that all is ended. “Yes.” Greeting Daniel with a sweet glance of her eyes, Henrietta walked up to the count, and offered him her forehead to kiss; but he pushed her back rudely, and said, assuming an air of supreme solemnity,-- “I have sent for you, my daughter, to inform you that to-morrow fortnight I shall marry Miss Brandon.” Henrietta must have been prepared for something of the kind, for she did not move. She spoke in a calm, gentle voice, but betrayed in every thing a resolution firmly formed, and not to be shaken by any thing. The count seemed to be perfectly amazed at this audacity shown by a girl who was usually so timid.

I only know that she cannot become the Countess Ville-Handry,--she who has filled all Paris with evil reports.” “Who has told you so?

Champcey.” “Everybody has told me, father.” “So, because she has been slandered, the poor girl”-- “I am willing to think she is innocent; but the Countess Ville-Handry must not be a slandered woman.” She raised herself to her full height, and added in a higher voice,-- “You are master here, father; you can do as you choose. But the count could not be restrained; and, with his eyes almost starting from their sockets, he continued,-- “Yes, I read your innermost heart, Henrietta. He certainly became livid; and coldly, for his excessive rage gave him the appearance of composure, he said,-- “You are a wretch, Henrietta!” And as she broke out in sobs, terrified by his words, he said,-- “Oh, don’t play comedy! Now I leave you alone; you can reflect!” And he went out, closing the door so violently, that the whole house seemed to shake. And, looking at Daniel with grieved surprise, she added,-- “Would you really dare give me that advice,--you who had only to look at Miss Brandon to lose your self-control so far as to overwhelm her with insults?” “Henrietta, I swear”-- “And this to such an extent, that father accused you of having done so at my bidding. “You see,” she said, “that if your heart condemns me, your reason and your conscience approve of my decision.” He made no reply, but, rising suddenly, he began to walk up and down in the room like a wild beast searching for some outlet from the cage in which it has been imprisoned. Let us give up the struggle; reason demands it.

We have done enough; we have done our duty.” All trembling with passion, he spoke on for some time, bringing up the most conclusive arguments, one by one; while his love lent him all its persuasive power. It was so; but she was still struggling against her own emotion, and said in a half-suppressed tone,-- “No doubt, Daniel, you think I am not yet wretched enough.” And then, fixing upon him a long, anxious glance, she added,-- “Say no more, or I shall begin to fear that you are dreading the time which has still to elapse till we can be united, and that you doubt me--or yourself.” He blushed, finding himself thus half detected; but, given up entirely to sinister presentiments, he insisted,-- “No, I do not doubt; but I cannot reconcile myself to the idea that you are going to live under the same roof with Miss Brandon, M. de Brevan had told him of the means employed by Miss Brandon for the purpose of getting rid of troublesome people. He became angry, and began to talk so loud, that I came to see what was the matter. “I promised to do so; but, as I was carrying the paper up stairs to put it upon my father’s bureau, I happened to look at it. The statutes of a new society, of which father was to be president.” “Great God! If God wills it so, I will be that child.” Daniel tried once more to insist; but she cut him short, saying,-- “You forget, my dear friend, that this is, perhaps for many years, the last time we shall ever be alone together. If any grave and unforeseen necessity should arise, and it becomes absolutely necessary for me to see you, Clarissa will bring you the key of the little garden-gate, and you will come.” Both of them had their eyes filled with tears; and their hearts felt increasing anguish as the hand on the dial advanced. Now I can explain to myself that new society of which you are going to be director-general.” Count Ville-Handry turned pale under this “juncture,” and cried in a terrible voice,-- “Unhappy child! “Immediately after your departure, my dear Daniel, father ordered me up stairs, and decided that I should stay there till I should become more reasonable.

And he vowed to himself that he would devote himself, heart and soul, to his work, and there find, if not forgetfulness, at least peace. The balance of his whole life was so completely destroyed, that he was not able to restore it. As soon as he had risen, he hurried to M. If he had struck the flagstones of the sidewalk with the heel of his boots, she would have heard the sound. You have allowed yourself to be carried away so far as to threaten him, to raise your hand against him.” “He was going to strike his daughter, and I held his arm.” “No, sir! And you also know that it depended, and perhaps, at this moment, still depends upon one single man, whether I shall break off that match this very day, now.” As she said this, she looked at him in a manner which would have caused a statue to tremble on its marble pedestal. If some fool should see me leave your rooms?” “Pardon me, Miss Brandon, that is no answer to my question. And the idea that he had avoided it made him, for a part of that day at least, forget his sorrow.

For with the news of his promotion came also the fatal order to a distant shore. Why did they send such an order to him, who had at the department an office in which he could render valuable services, while so many of his comrades, waiting idly in port, watched anxiously, and with almost feverish impatience, for a chance to go into active service? “Ah!” he said to himself, his heart filled with rage, “how could I fail to recognize in this abominable treachery Miss Brandon’s cunning hand?” First she had closed against him the gates of Count Ville-Handry’s palace, and thus separated him from his beloved Henrietta, so that they could not meet nor speak to each other. She wanted to raise a barrier between them which should be more than a mere moral and social obstacle, one of those difficulties which no human power, no lover’s ingenuity, could overcome,--the ocean and thousands of miles. Rather give up my career, rather send in my resignation.” Hence, the very next day, he put on his uniform, determined to lay the matter, first before that officer who was his immediate superior, but resolved, if he should not succeed there, to go up to the minister himself.

The officer whom he called upon was an old captain, an excellent man, who had practised the appearance of a grim, stern official so long, that he had finally become in reality what he only wished to appear. And if you only knew my reasons; if I could tell them”-- “Reasons which cannot be told are always bad reasons, sir. I insist upon what I have told you.” “Then, captain, I shall be compelled, to my infinite sorrow, to insist upon offering my resignation.” The old sailor’s brow became darker and darker. ‘The Conquest’ does not sail on a pleasure-party; she is sent out on a serious campaign, and will probably be absent for some time. “I have no idea, I assure you, of being gentle; and, if that can induce you to change your mind”-- “Unfortunately, I cannot alter my decision.” The old sailor rose violently, and walked up and down the room several times, giving vent to his anger in oaths of various kinds; then he returned to Daniel, and said in his driest tone,-- “If that is so, the case is serious; I must report it to the secretary of the navy.

They said eagerly,-- “So you are our superior now?” And, with the utmost sincerity, they began to congratulate him, delighted, as they said, that such good luck should have fallen upon a man like him, whom everybody thought worthy of the distinction, and who reflected honor upon the service. That would be far better than to continue in a profession where one is never his own master, but lives eternally under the dread of some order that may send him, at a moment’s warning, to heaven knows what part of the world. That was the way he reasoned with himself while breakfasting at a tavern not far off; and when he returned to the department, a little after twelve, he looked upon himself as already no longer belonging to the navy, and in his imagination caring little for the final decision.

It was the hour for receptions, when everybody who had any business at the department came to look after his interests; and the anteroom was filled with officers of every grade, some in uniform, others in citizen’s dress. The conversation was very animated; for Daniel heard the sounds from the outer passage. Somebody must go, you know, and carry reinforcements there; but I should not care if somebody else”-- He shrugged his shoulders, and said stoically,-- “And besides, since we navy men must be eaten by the fish some time or other, it does not matter very much when that takes place.” Was not that, in a trivial, but terribly impressive manner, precisely the same thing that Daniel had been told by his captain? And, besides, does it not happen almost every day, that an officer ordered to some station requests and obtains leave to exchange with some one else, and nothing is said? Daniel felt that underneath the whole affair there was some diabolic intrigue. If Miss Brandon had really procured this order to active service, was it not likely that she would have taken her measures, so that he could not possibly avoid going?

Soon a summons came for him to appear in the superior’s office. And why?” “Primo, he had charged you with a very important duty.” “To be sure,” stammered Daniel, hanging his head; “but I have been so severely suffering!” The fact is, he had totally forgotten that unlucky work. “Secundo,” continued the old officer, “he was doubtful whether you were in your right senses, and I agree with him, since he has told me that you yourself have solicited this appointment on foreign service in the most urgent terms.” Daniel was stunned, and stammered out,-- “His Excellency is mistaken.” “Ah! He answered,-- “I do not have it; but it is among your papers in the bureau for Personal Affairs.” In a minute Daniel was in the office where those papers were kept, and obtained, not without much trouble, and under certain conditions only, leave to look at his papers. But the handwriting was so precisely like his own, letter for letter, and even his signature was so admirably imitated, that he felt for a moment utterly bewildered, mistrusting, for a second, his own eyes, his own reason. The whole was done so exceedingly well, that if the matter had been one of ordinary importance, and the date of the letter had gone back to a fortnight or so ago, he would certainly have suspected his memory rather than the letter before him. now Daniel understood the insolent assurance of Miss Brandon, when she insisted upon his taking poor Malgat’s letters, and repeatedly said, “Go and show them to the clerks who have known that unhappy man for long years, and they will tell you if they are his own.” Most assuredly he would have met with no one bold enough to say the contrary, if Malgat’s handwriting had been copied with the same distressing perfection as his own. But he did not wish that false letter, which might become a formidable piece of evidence against him, to remain among his papers; no doubt Miss Brandon would soon find an opportunity of having it withdrawn. Like all energetic natures, Daniel felt a wonderful relief as soon as he had formed an irrevocable decision.

Providentially, it seemed to him, Maxime had not gone out, or, rather, having been to breakfast at the English cafe with some of his friends, he had just returned. de Brevan, who had remained in his chair, rose, and, putting his hand on his heart, said,-- “Between us, Daniel, oaths are useless; don’t you think so? I say, therefore, simply, you may count upon me.” “And I do count upon you,” exclaimed Daniel,--“yes, blindly and absolutely; and I am going to give you a striking proof of it.” For a few moments it looked as if he were trying to find some brief and yet impressive form for his communication; and then he said, speaking very rapidly,-- “If I leave in despair, it is because I leave Henrietta in the hands of the enemy.

Miss Brandon must be meditating some terrible blow, or she would not have been so anxious to keep me at a distance.” He sobbed almost, so great was his excitement; but he instantly became master again of his emotion, and continued,-- “Well, Maxime, I shall ask you to watch over Henrietta. de Brevan was about to state some objections; but Daniel cut him short, saying,-- “I will tell you how and in what manner you can watch over Miss Ville-Handry.

It may also be, that, under certain circumstances, you may think it inexpedient for her to remain there, and that you have to advise her to escape. de Brevan replied in a solemn tone of voice, speaking like a man who feels that he deserves such confidence,-- “Friend Daniel, you may sail without fear.” But Daniel had not done yet. You are not rich, my dear Maxime, I mean rich in comparison with the people who are your friends; you have told me so more than once.” He touched a wound which was always open, and always bleeding. de Brevan, “in comparison with a number of my friends, with men like Gordon Chalusse, for instance, I am only a poor devil.” Daniel did not notice the bitterness of this reply. Although my means are modest, I can, by selling out some bonds, realize enough to secure you against any embarrassment on that score. I also own property in Anjou which is valued at fifty or sixty thousand dollars, and I mean to sell it.” The other man opened his eyes wide. I find them there, so to say, whenever I go in; their thoughts are still filling the rooms, after so many years. He cultivated them in his leisure hours, and there is literally not a foot of soil which he has not moistened with the sweat of his brow.

You will invest that so as to be able to use it any moment. “Excuse me,” he said, “excuse me.” “What?” “Well, it seems to me it would be more suitable to leave some one else in charge of that.” “Whom?” “Oh! Money questions are so delicate!” But Daniel said, shrugging his shoulders,-- “I do not understand why you should hesitate to undertake so simple a thing, when you have already consented to render me so signal and so difficult a service.” So simple!

He took an interest in the affairs of his clients, and sometimes even listened to hear their explanations. de Brevan so much money?” “Not a cent.” “And you leave your entire fortune thus in his hands! “Oh!” he said, “there are still some honest people in the world.” “Ah?” laughed the notary. “If you would only listen to me,” he resumed, “I could prove to you”-- But Daniel interrupted him, and said,-- “I have no desire, sir, to change my mind; but, even if I should wish to do so, I cannot retract my word. There are particular circumstances in this case which I cannot explain to you in so short a time.” The notary raised his eyes to the ceiling, and said in a tone of great pity,-- “At least, let me make him give you a deed of defeasance.” “Very well, sir.” This was done, but in such carefully guarded terms, that even the most exquisite susceptibility on the part of Maxime could not have been hurt. He came home late, and was fortunate enough to fall asleep as soon as he had lain down. to resort to this dangerous expedient which we ought to reserve for the last extremity. Is what you have to tell me really so important as you say? The next moment Daniel had forgotten him and his sombre presentiments. de Brevan’s little sitting-room, he was handing over his deeds and papers to his faithful confidant, explaining to him how he might make the most of the different parcels of land which he owned; how certain woods might be sold together; how, on the other hand, a large farm, now held by one tenant, might be advantageously divided into small lots, and sold at auction.

de Brevan did not look so pale now. de Brevan had formed a grand resolution. There was not a cloud in the sky, no mist nor haze; and the moon was shining so brightly, that one could have read by its light. But he trembled so violently, that for a moment he thought he would never be able to turn the key in the rusty lock. Looking for some dark place under the tall trees, he hid himself there, and waited. He had counted sixty by the beating of his pulse ever so many times, and was beginning to be very anxious, when at last he heard some dry branches crackling under rapid footsteps.

“Clarissa said you looked so pale and undone, that I have been terribly frightened.” Daniel had come to the conclusion that the plain truth would be less cruel than the most skilful precautions. I am a child, full of daring as long as it rests on its mother’s knee, but helpless as soon as it feels that it is left to itself; I am only a woman, Daniel; I am weak.” The unhappy man felt his strength leaving him; he could no longer bear the restraint which he had imposed upon himself. She felt in her heart that Daniel’s resolution was not to be shaken. To remain would only have been to risk a painful explanation, insults, perhaps even a personal collision. Tomorrow you will receive a letter from me.” And he escaped, but not so promptly that he should not have heard the count’s angry voice, as he said,-- “Ah, ah! Is this the virtuous young lady who dares to insult Miss Sarah?” As soon as Daniel had locked the door again, he listened for a moment, hoping that he might hear something of importance. If that was so,--and it was but too probable,--to whom should he send his letters hereafter?

Dressed in a long dressing-wrapper of pale-blue cashmere, her hair scarcely taken up at all, she was reading, reclining on a sofa. “You!” she murmured as soon as the servant had left. “Here, and of your own accord?” Firmly resolved this time to remain master of his sensations, Daniel had stopped in the middle of the room, as stiff as a statue. I have held that masterpiece of forgery in my hand and know now how you free yourself of my presence!” Miss Brandon interrupted him with an angry gesture,-- “Then it is really so! Daniel, you think I am very mean.” And, checking the sobs which impeded her words, she went on,-- “And yet I cannot blame you for it, I cannot.

“Will you promise me to protect Henrietta?” “Do you really love her so dearly, your Henrietta?” “Better than life!” Miss Brandon turned as white as the lace on her dress; a flash of indignation shot through her eyes; and, drying her tears, she said curtly,-- “Oh!” Then Daniel replied,-- “You will give me no answer, madam?” And, as she persisted in her silence, he resumed,-- “Very well, then, I understand. Be it so! With a passion like mine, with so much love in one’s heart, and so much hatred, a man can defy every thing. Some thirty carriages, the most elegant, by all means, that Paris could boast of, were standing alongside of the Church of St. In the pretty little square before the building, some hundred and fifty or two hundred idlers were waiting with open mouths. They have been in the church now for some time, and they will soon come out again.” Under the porch a dozen men, in the orthodox black costume, with yellow kid gloves, and white cravats showing under their overcoats, evidently men belonging to the wedding-party, were chatting merrily while they were waiting for the end of the ceremony. If they were amused, they hardly showed it; for some made an effort to hide their yawning, while others kept up a broken conversation, when a small coupe drove up, and stopped at the gate. He knew the majority, perhaps, of the young men in the crowd; and so he commenced at once shaking hands all around, and then said in an easy tone of voice,-- “Who has seen the bride?” “I!” replied an old beau, whose perpetual smile displayed all the thirty-two teeth he owed to the dentist. Everybody laughed; but a very young man, a mere youth, who did not catch the joke, said,-- “Why so?” A man of about thirty years, a perfect model of elegance, whom the others called, according to the degree of intimacy which they could claim, either “Your Grace,” or “Duke” simply replied,-- “Because, my dear viscount, Miss Brandon is one of those ladies who never are married. However”-- “You certainly would not ask,” replied the duke, “that I should prove her to have been brought before a police-court, or to have escaped from the penitentiary?” And, without permitting himself to be interrupted, he went on,-- “Good society in France, they say, is very exclusive.

So that I verily believe all this high-life society, by dint of helping one another, of pushing and crowding in, will, in the end, be master of all. I willingly shake hands with the workmen who work for me, and who earn their living worthily; but I do not shake hands with these ambiguous personages in yellow kids, who have no title but their impudence, and no means of living but their underhand intrigues.” He addressed himself apparently to no one, following, with his absent- minded glance, the crowd in the garden; and yet, by his peculiar manner, you would have known that he was speaking at some one among the listeners. However, it was evident that he had no success, and that his doctrine seemed to be utterly out of season, and almost ridiculous. “The only thing that is clear to me in this matter is, that I think I know the person whom this wedding will not please particularly.” “Whom do you mean?” “Count Ville-Handry’s daughter, a young girl, eighteen years old, and wondrously pretty.

Besides, I have looked for her all over the church, and she is not there.” “She is not present at the wedding,” replied the old gentleman, the friend of Count Ville-Handry, “because she was suddenly taken ill.” “So they say,” interposed the young man; “but the fact is, that a friend of mine has just seen her driving out in her carriage in full dress.” “That can hardly be so.” “My friend was positive. de Brevan shrugged his shoulders, and said in an undertone,-- “Upon my word, I should not like to stand in the count’s shoes.” As a faithful echo of the gossip that was going on in society, this conversation, carried on in broken sentences, under the porch of St. The old beau alone exclaimed,-- “Gentlemen, if we wish to present our respects to the newly-married couple, we must make haste.” And with these words he hurried into the church, followed by all the others, and soon reached the vestry, which was too small to hold all the guests invited by Count Ville-Handry. In her white bridal costume she looked amazingly beautiful; and her whole person exhaled a perfume of innocence and ingenuous purity. She was surrounded by eight or ten young persons, who overwhelmed her with congratulations and compliments. How very sorry she must be to be detained at home!” It is true, that, among these unlucky ones, there were not a few malicious ones. Nobody was ignorant that something unpleasant had happened in the count’s family. They had suspected something from the beginning of the ceremony. It became soon known, thanks to the Countess Bois, who went about telling everybody with inexhaustible volubility, that she had just met Miss Ville-Handry in the street.

He had invited some twenty people, former friends of his, to a great wedding- breakfast; but he seemed to have forgotten them. As soon as he appeared, he asked,-- “Where is the young lady?” “Gone out.” “When?” “Immediately after you, sir.” The young countess, Mrs. ‘If that be so,’ she answered, ‘I want you to run and get me a hired carriage.’ And, when the servant to whom she gave the order hesitated, she added, ‘If you do not go instantly, I shall go myself.’” The count trembled with rage. And you go on.” Without showing any embarrassment, the valet shrugged his shoulders, and continued in a lazy tone,-- “Then the hack came into the court-yard; and we saw the young lady come down in a splendid toilet, such as we have never seen her wear before,--not pretty exactly, but so conspicuous, that it must have attracted everybody’s attention. It was then that I took the liberty to send you word, sir.” In all his life Count Ville-Handry had not been so furious.

an impudent girl whom I caught the other day in the garden with a man!” He cried out so loud, that his voice was heard in the adjoining room, where the invited guests were beginning to assemble. How could a young girl, usually so reserved, and naturally so timid, make up her mind to cause such scandal? Forced to abandon their nature, they do not reason, and do not calculate, and, losing all self-possession, rush blindly into danger, impelled by a kind of madness resembling that of sheep when they knock their heads against the walls of their stable. Now, for nearly a fortnight, the count’s daughter had been upset by so many and so violent emotions, that she was no longer herself.

For Count Ville-Handry, acting under a kind of overexcitement, had that day lost all self-control, and forgot himself so far as to treat his daughter as no gentleman would have treated his child while in his senses, and that in the presence of his servants! If the count had at least used a little discretion, if he had tried the powers of persuasion, or sought to touch his daughter’s heart by speaking to her of herself, of her future, of her happiness, of her peace! The consequence was, that his threats, so far from moving Henrietta, had only served to strengthen her in her determination. “Dress yourself,” he said in a tone of command, “and come down!” She, the victim of that kind of nervous exaltation which makes martyrdom appear preferable to yielding, replied obstinately,-- “No, I shall not come down.” She did not care for any subterfuge or excuse; she did not even pretend to be unwell; she said resolutely-- “I will not!” And he, finding himself unable to overcome this resistance, maddened and enraged, broke out in blasphemies and insane threats. So she had carried out her plan bravely. Putting on a very showy costume, so as to attract as much attention as possible, she had spent the day in driving about to all the places where she thought she would meet most of her acquaintances. Night alone had compelled her to return, and she felt broken to pieces, exhausted, upset by unspeakable anguish of soul, but upheld by the absurd idea that she had done her duty and shown herself worthy of Daniel. She had just alighted, and was about to pay the coachman, when the count’s valet came up, and said to her in an almost disrespectful tone of voice,-- “My master has ordered me to tell you to come to him as soon as you should come home.” “Where is my father?” “In the large reception-room.” “Alone?” “No. In the morning I went out to make some purchases; later, knowing that the Duchess of Champdoce is a little unwell, and does not go out, I went to lunch with her; after that, as the weather was so fine”-- Count Ville-Handry could endure it no longer.

There are such things as houses of correction for rebellious children and perverse daughters.” She interrupted him by a gesture, and exclaimed with startling energy,-- “Be it so, father! She heard it; and without knowing whether they approved her conduct, or laughed at it, she felt gratified, so eager is passion for encouragement from anywhere. But she had not yet gone half-way up the stairs which led to her own rooms, when she was held at the place by the sound of all the bells of the house, which had been set in motion by a furious hand. The servants were rushing about; the vestibule resounded with hurried steps; and she distinguished the imperious voice of M. “At least,” she said to herself, “I shall have poisoned this woman’s joy.” And, fearing to be caught thus listening, she went up stairs. Who could write to her, and in this way, unless it was Maxime de Brevan, to whom Daniel had begged her to intrust herself, and who, so far, had given no sign of life of himself? de Brevan who wrote thus,-- “Madam,--Like all Paris, I also have heard of your proud and noble protest on the day of your father’s unfortunate marriage.

This was enough to stifle henceforth the voice of reason, and to make her disregard every idea of prudence. With a sagacity worthy of such a heart, he foresees and solves in advance all the difficulties by which your step-mother will no doubt embarrass you hereafter. “Why should I mistrust him,” she said to herself, “more than the others?” But a more pleasing anxiety soon came to her assistance. She hastened to dress; and, sitting down before her little writing-table, she went to work communicating to her only friend on earth all her sufferings since he had so suddenly left her, her griefs, her resentments, her hopes. She rang the bell; and, when her maid appeared, she said,-- “Bring me some breakfast!” Miss Ville-Handry occupied three rooms. She had gone in there, and was clearing the table of the albums and little trifles which were lying about, so as to hasten matters, when the maid reappeared with empty hands. “Ah, miss!” “Well?” “The count has given orders not to take any thing up stairs.” “That cannot be.” But a mocking voice from without interrupted her, saying,-- “It is so!” And immediately Count Ville-Handry appeared, already dressed, curled, and painted, bearing the appearance of a man who is about to enjoy his revenge. And, as soon as Clarissa had left the room, he turned to Henrietta with these words,-- “Yes, indeed, my dear Henrietta, I have given strict orders not to bring you up any thing to eat. The time of weakness is past, and so is the time of passion; therefore, you will come down. You will, perhaps, pout a day, maybe two days; but hunger drives the wolf into the village; and on the third day we shall see you come down as soon as the bell rings.

“Father,” she begged, “send me nothing but bread and water, but spare me that exposure.” But, if the count was repeating a lesson, he had learned it well. “Father,” she said, “listen to me.” “Well, what is it, now?” “Yesterday you threatened to shut me up.” “Well?” “To-day it is I who beseech you to do so. However harsh and strict the rules may be, however sad life may be there, I will find there some relief for my sorrow, and I will bless you with all my heart.” He only shrugged his shoulders over and over again; then he said,-- “A good idea!

Not so, my dear, not so!” The breakfast-bell, which was ringing below, interrupted him. People who would not shrink from such extreme measures in order to overcome her might resort to the last extremities. Whatever she could do, sooner or later she would have to succumb. She had imagined that her appearance would be greeted by some insulting remark. Seated by her, he had shown her discreetly some little attentions; and, when she observed him more closely, she discovered in his eyes something like commiseration. Henrietta rose, and having bowed, without saying a word, was going back to her room when she met on the stairs some of the servants, who were carrying a heavy wardrobe. Take out that sofa; now!” Overcome with surprise, Henrietta remained petrified where she was, looking at the servants as they went on with their work.

These eager adventurers had taken possession of the palace, they invaded it, they reigned here absolutely, and that was not enough for them! This impudence seemed to her so monstrous, that unable to believe it, and yielding to a sudden impulse, she went back to the dining-room, and, addressing her father, said to him,-- “Is it really true, father, that you have ordered my furniture to be removed?” “Yes, I have done so, my daughter. “I cannot understand,” she said, “how Aunt Brian can accept that.” “I beg your pardon,” exclaimed the admirable lady, “this is done entirely without my consent.” But the count interposed, saying,-- “Sarah, my darling, permit me to be sole judge in all the arrangements that concern my daughter.” Count Ville-Handry’s accent was so firm as he said this, that one would have sworn the idea of dislodging Henrietta had sprung from his own brains. If one of the two has to submit to some slight inconvenience, it is certainly my daughter.” All of a sudden M.

And resolved not to interfere in the count’s family affairs, and, on the other hand, indignant at what he considered an odious abuse of power, he left the room abruptly. His looks, his physiognomy, his gestures, all betrayed these sentiments so clearly, that Henrietta was quite touched. Besides, they have this advantage, that they can be easily overlooked from one of our own rooms, my dear Sarah; and that is important when we have to deal with an imprudent girl, who has so sadly abused the liberty which she enjoyed, thanks to my blind confidence.” What should she say? If she had been alone with her father, she would certainly have defended herself; she would have tried to make him reconsider his decision; she would have besought him; she might have gone on her knees to him. To give up those little rooms in which she had spent so many happy hours, where every thing recalled to her sweet memories, certainly that was no small grief: it was nothing however, in comparison with that frightful perspective of having to live under the wary eye of Countess Sarah, under lock and key. But the man, without taking his pipe out of his mouth, without even getting up from his seat, answered in a surly tone,-- “The count has sent me orders never to let you go out without a verbal or written permission; so that”-- “Impudence!” exclaimed Henrietta. And resolutely she went up to the ponderous gates of the court-yard, stretching out her hand to pull the bolt.

And, if ever a man should dare to steal into the garden, the gardeners have orders to shoot him down like a dog, whether it be the man with whom I caught you the other day, or some one else.” Under this mean and cowardly insult Henrietta staggered; but, immediately collecting herself, she exclaimed,-- “Great God! Father, are you aware of what you are saying?” And, as the suppressed laughter of the servants reached her, she added with--almost convulsive vehemence,-- “At least, say who the man was with whom I was in the garden, so that all, all may hear his name. Daniel Champcey,--he whom my sainted mother had chosen for me among all,--he whom for long years you have daily received at your house, to whom you have solemnly promised my hand, who was my betrothed, and who would now be my husband, if we had chosen to approve of your unfortunate marriage. Her resolve was giving way under all these terrible blows; and seized with a kind of vertigo, out of breath, and almost beside herself, she had rushed up the steps, feeling as if she still heard the abominable accusations of her father, and the laughter of the servants. “O God,” she sobbed, “have pity on me!” She felt in her heart that she had no hope left now but God, delivered up as she was to pitiless adversaries, sacrificed to the implacable hatred of a stepmother, abandoned by all, and betrayed and openly renounced by her own father. Hour by hour she had seen how, by an incomprehensible combination of fatal circumstances, the infernal circle narrowed down, within which she was wretchedly struggling, and which soon would crush her effectually. Did they expect some catastrophe to result from her despair? de Brevan, in his first moment of expansion,-- “Miss Brandon leaves the dagger and the poisoned cup to fools, as too coarse and too dangerous means to get rid of people.

She has safer means to suppress those who are in her way--means which justice never discovers.” Lost in sombre reflections, the poor girl was forgetting the hour, and did not notice that it had become dark already, when she heard the dinner-bell ring. So she said to herself,-- “No. So she gave it to Clarissa, saying,-- “You will take a cab, and take this letter immediately to M. If he is out, you will leave it, telling the people to be sure to give it to him as soon as he comes in.

You can find some excuse, if they should ask you why you are going out. Be discreet.” She herself went down stairs, so determined to conceal her emotion, that she actually had a smile on her lips as she entered the dining-room. Her beauty, ordinarily a little impaired, shone forth once more in amazing splendor, so as to eclipse almost that of the countess. Elgin, whose eye softened whenever he looked at her. “Nothing, my dear,” she replied, as she took her seat again,--“nothing, some orders to give.” Still Henrietta thought she noticed under this apparent indifference of her step-mother an expression of cruel satisfaction. “These wretches,” she thought, “have prepared another insult for me.” This suspicion took so powerfully hold of her, that when dinner was over, instead of returning to her rooms, she followed her father and his new “friends” into the sitting-room. The count and his young wife had probably let it be known that they would be at home that evening; and soon a number of visitors came in, some of them old friends of the family, but the great majority intimates from Circus Street.

That scene came but too soon. As the visitors increased, the conversation had ceased to be general, and groups had formed; so that two ladies came to sit down close by Henrietta. On the day of her father’s marriage she ran away with somebody, by the aid of a servant, who has since been dismissed; and they had to get the police to help them bring her back. Raising Henrietta with a powerful arm, he laid her on a sofa, not forgetting to slip a cushion under her head. Still all efforts to bring her to remained sterile; and this was so extraordinary, that even Count Ville-Handry began to be moved, although at first he had been heard to exclaim,-- “Pshaw!

Let some one run for the doctor; never mind which,--the nearest!” This acted as a signal for the guests to scatter at once. Elgin, and the unhappy father found themselves soon once more alone with poor Henrietta, who was still unconscious. For some time the servants, quite amazed, saw him walk up and down the passage with feverish steps, and, in spite of his usual impassiveness, giving all the signs of extraordinary excitement.

Then the countess said, speaking very loud, so as to be heard by the servants,-- “She is coming to; and that is why I am leaving her. She dislikes me so terribly, that poor unhappy child, that I fear my presence might do her harm.” Henrietta had indeed recovered her consciousness. At last, when, all of a sudden, the horrid reality broke upon her mind, she threw herself back, and cried out,-- “O God!” But she was saved; and the doctors soon withdrew, declaring that there was nothing to apprehend now, provided their prescriptions were carefully observed. Why do you treat Sarah so badly, and do all you can to exasperate me?” “Yes, you are right.

She said it in a tone of bitter irony now; but afterwards, when she was alone, and more quiet, reflecting in the silence of the night, she had to acknowledge, and confess to herself, that it was so. Attributing his tardiness to some new misfortune, she thought of writing to him, when at last, on Tuesday,--the day which the countess had chosen for her reception-day,--but not until the room was already quite full of company, the servant announced,--“M. de Brevan!” Seized with most violent emotions, Henrietta turned round suddenly, casting upon the door one of those glances in which a whole soul is read at once. Two men entered: one, quite old, had gray hair, and looked as grave and solemn as a member of parliament; the other, who might be thirty or thirty-five years old, looked cold and haughty, having thin lips and a sardonic smile. And the air of perfect indifference with which he took possession of it would have made you think he had fully measured the danger of risking a confidential talk with a young lady under the eyes of fifty or sixty persons. He commenced with some of those set phrases which furnish the currency of society, speaking loud enough to be heard by the neighbors, and to satisfy their curiosity, if they should have a fancy for listening. As soon as they were gone, he went on,-- “I bring you, madam, Daniel’s letter.” “Ah!” “I have folded it up very small, and I have it here in my hand; if you will let your handkerchief fall, I’ll slip it into it as I pick it up.” The trick was not new; but it was also not very difficult. Then, when she felt the crisp paper under the folds of the linen, she became all crimson in her face. de Brevan had the presence of mind to rise suddenly, and to move his chair so as to help her in concealing her embarrassment.

And my poor father becomes a willing instrument in her hands,--my poor father, formerly so kind, and so fond of me!” She was deeply moved; and M. And Sir Thorn?” “You wrote me that I should mistrust him particularly, and so I do; but, I must confess, he alone seems to be touched by my misfortunes.” “Ah! that is the very reason why you ought to fear him.” “How so?” M. I have read the heart of that man; and before long you will have some terrible evidence of his intentions. You alone, sir, can advise me.” For some time M. I would say to you, if you will excuse the triviality of the comparison, imitate those feeble insects who simulate death when they are touched. They are defenceless; and that is their only chance of escape.” He had risen; and, while bowing deeply before Henrietta, he added,-- “I must also warn you, madam, not to be surprised if you see me doing every thing in my power for the purpose of winning the good-will of your step-mother. But still, in explaining his reasons for trying to renew these relations, M.

But for this, she might have conceived some vague suspicions when she saw him, soon after he had left her, enter into a long conversation with the countess, then speak with Sir Thorn, and finally chat most confidentially with austere Mrs. She thought only of that letter which she had in her pocket, and which was burning her fingers, so to say. She had vowed to herself that she would meet all the torments they might inflict upon her, with the stoicism of the Indian who is bound to the stake, and to be, among her enemies, like a dead person, whom no insult can galvanize into the semblance of life. During the following weeks it was not so difficult for her to keep her promises. The countess observed a kind of affectionate reserve, like a well-disposed person who has seen all her advances repelled, and who is hurt, but quite ready to be friends at the first sign. Brian never opened her thin lips but to growl out some unpleasant remark, of which a single word was intelligible: shocking! She was thus leading a truly wretched life in this magnificent palace, in which she was kept a prisoner by her father’s orders; for such she was; she could no longer disguise it from herself.

But Count Ville-Handry brutally replied that he did not want to see the Duchess of Champdoce; and that, besides, she was not in Paris, as her husband had taken her south to hasten her recovery. She would sooner have allowed herself to be cut to pieces than to appear in public seated by the side of the young countess and in the same carriage with her. Ernest, his valet, accompanied her, with express orders not to let her speak to any one whatsoever, and to “apprehend” her (this was the count’s own expression), and to bring her back forcibly, if needs be, if she should try to escape. Faithful to the plan which he had mentioned to her, he had managed so well as gradually to secure the right to come frequently to the house. de Brevan such a respectful interest in her welfare, such almost womanly delicacy, and so much prudence and discretion, that she blessed Daniel for having left her this friend, and counted upon his devotion as upon that of a brother.

Daniel will soon be back!” But the more Henrietta was left to the inspirations of solitude, and compelled to live within herself only, the more she observed all that was going on around her. And she thought she noticed some very strange changes. Where was that select society which had been attracted by her, and which she had fashioned into something like a court, in which her husband was king? The palace had become, so to say, the headquarters of that motley society which forms the “Foreign Legion” of pleasure and of scandal. “Most probably something is going on there,” thought Henrietta. In the most off-hand manner he assured her that he knew nothing about it, but promised to inquire, and to let her know soon. She went up to it, and read:-- FRANCO-AMERICAN SOCIETY, For the development of Pennsylvania petroleum wells.

At the foot, in small print, was a full explanation of the enormous profits which might be expected, the imperative necessity which had led to the establishment of the Pennsylvania Petroleum Society, the nature of its proposed operations, the immense services which it would render to the world at large, and, above all, the immense profits which would promptly accrue to the stockholders. Then there came an account of petroleum or oil wells, in which it was clearly demonstrated that this admirable product represented, in comparison with other oils, a saving of more than sixty per cent; that it gave a light of matchless purity and brilliancy; that it burnt without odor; and, above all, that, in spite of what might have been said by interested persons, there was no possible danger of explosion connected with its use. It will replace, in like manner, all the coarse and troublesome varieties of fuel of our day. My father is ruined!” That Count Ville-Handry should risk all he possessed in this terrible game of speculation was not so surprising to Henrietta. She was rather inclined to believe, and she did believe, that this Petroleum Society, conceived by Sir Thorn, was unpleasant to the countess; and that thus discord reigned in the enemy’s camp. After having explained to him her situation, she told him all that she knew of the new enterprise, and besought him to interfere whilst it was yet time. Was Henrietta thus betrayed even by the girl whom she thought so fully devoted to her interests, and since when? She rushed into the room, crimson with shame and wrath, and said in a fierce tone,-- “Give me that letter, madam!” Clarissa had fled when she saw her treachery discovered. My patience has its limits.” Her attitude and her accent were so terrible, that the countess thought it prudent to put a table between herself and her victim. “You will have it so,” she replied resolutely.

Who would like to drive me from this house like an infamous person? That ‘those only are libelled who deserve it.’ I wanted to prove to you that it is not so. I defy you to find a single person around you who does not believe that you have had lovers.” Extreme situations have this peculiarity, that the principal actors may be agitated by the most furious passions, and still outwardly preserve the greatest calmness. the countess said so; said familiarly, Daniel! Had she any right to do so? Still Henrietta saw in it only a new insult; no suspicion entered her soul, and she replied in the most ironical tone,-- “Then it was not you who sent that petition to the secretary of the navy? Champcey to be ordered abroad?” “No; and I told him so myself, the day before he left, in his own room.” Henrietta was stunned.

I had a thousand reasons for wishing ardently that he should remain in Paris.” “A thousand reasons? Tell me only one!” The countess courtesied, as if excusing herself for being forced to tell the truth against her inclination, and added simply,-- “I love him!” As if she had suddenly seen an abyss opening beneath her feet, Henrietta threw herself back, pale, trembling, her eyes starting from their sockets. Have you so completely forgotten the zeal with which you heard me, only the other day, try to turn him from this enterprise in which he is about to embark all he possesses?” Henrietta hardly knew whether she was awake or asleep. My Henrietta has come back to her senses, I trust.” They were both silent; and, seeing how they looked at each other with fierce glances, he went on in a tone of great bitterness-- “But no, it is not so!

I am not so fortunate. “Where is that letter?” The countess gave it to him with these words,-- “Perhaps it would be better to throw it into the fire without reading it.” But already he had torn the envelope; and, as he was reading the first lines, a crimson blush overspread his temples, and his eyes became bloodshot. For Henrietta, sure of the Duke of Champdoce, had not hesitated to open her heart to him, describing her situation as it really was; painting her step-mother as he had anticipated she would be; and at every turn certain phrases were repeated, which were so many blows with a dagger to the count.

“I,” she said, “if I were, for my sins, afflicted with such a daughter, I would get her a husband as soon as possible.” “I have thought of that,” replied the count; “and I believe I have even hit upon an arrangement which”-- But, when he saw his daughter’s watchful eye fixed upon him, he paused, and, pointing towards the door, said to her brutally,-- “You are in the way here!” Without saying a word, she went out, much less troubled by her father’s fury than by the strange confessions which the countess had made. de Brevan what had happened, he trembled in his chair, and was so overwhelmed with surprise, that he forgot his precautions, and exclaimed almost aloud,-- “That is not possible!” There was no doubt that he, usually so impassive, was terribly excited. After so many odious calumnies, my honor and Daniel’s honor oblige me to remain here. He recommends me only to flee at the last extremity, and when there is no other resource left. It looked as if they had resolved, after that crisis, to give her a short respite, and time to recover. Her father she saw but rarely; for he was entirely absorbed in the preparations for the Pennsylvania Petroleum Society.

On the very evening after the scene, his generous indignation had so far gotten the better of his usual reserve, and his pledge of neutrality, that he had taken the Countess Sarah aside, and overwhelmed her with sharp reproaches. “You will have to eat your own words,” he had told her, among other things, “if you use such abominable means to gratify your hatred.” It is true, that, when he thus took his kinswoman aside, he also took pains to be overheard by Henrietta. I shall watch.” This sounded like a promise to afford her protection, which certainly would have been efficient if it had been sincere. One morning, after breakfast, he waited for Henrietta in the vestibule; and, when she appeared, he said in an embarrassed manner,-- “I must speak to you, madam; it is absolutely necessary.” She did not manifest any surprise, and simply replied,-- “Follow me, sir.” She entered into the parlor, and he came with her. For about a minute they remained there alone, standing face to face,--she trying to keep up her spirits, although blushing deeply; he, apparently so overcome, that he had lost the use of his voice. Still I have reason to believe that Count Ville- Handry would look upon my proposals with favor. Now I wish to be indebted to you only, madam, deciding in full enjoyment of your liberty; for”-- An expression of intense anxiety contracted the features of his usually so impassive face; and he added with great earnestness,-- “Miss Henrietta, I am an honorable man; I love you. My life is in his hands.” He tottered as if he had received a heavy blow, and stammered with a half-extinct voice,-- “Will you not leave me a glimpse of hope?” “I would do wrong if I did so, sir, and I have never yet deceived any one.” But the Hon. He was not discouraged by a first failure; and he showed it very soon. A bitter smile curled on his lips; and his magnificent whiskers, usually so admirably kept, now hung down miserably on his chest.

And this intense melancholy grew and grew, till it became so evident to all the world, that people asked the countess,-- “What is the matter with poor M. He looks funereal.” “He is unhappy,” was the answer, accompanied by a sigh, which sounded as if it had been uttered in order to increase curiosity, and stimulate people to observe him more closely. Several persons did observe him; and they soon found out that Sir Thorn no longer took his seat by Henrietta as formerly, and that he avoided every occasion to address her a word. He only laid siege from a distance now, spending whole evenings in looking at her from afar, absorbed in mute ecstasy. Once or twice he spoke of calling out this wretched fellow (so he called Sir Thorn); and, in order to quiet him, Henrietta had to repeat to him over and over again, that, after such an encounter, he would no longer be able to appear at the palace, and would thus deprive her of the only friend to whom she could look for assistance. You ought to lay your complaint before Count Ville-Handry.” She decided to do so, not without great reluctance; but the count stopped her at the first word she uttered. Elgin, who is one of the most eminent financiers in all Europe, should think of a little insignificant person like you, he would look a long time elsewhere.” “Permit me, father”-- “Stop! However, I shall speak to him, and see.” He spoke to him indeed, and soon; for the very next morning the countess and Mrs. Brian purposely went out, so as to leave Henrietta and Sir Thorn alone.

He began thus,-- “Is it really true, madam, that you have made complaint to your father?” “Your pertinacity compelled me to do so,” replied Henrietta. “Is the idea of becoming my wife so very revolting to you?” “I have told you, sir, I am no longer free.” “Yes, to be sure! He knows it; for you had told him so, no doubt: and yet he has forsaken you.” Sometimes, in her innermost heart, Henrietta had accused Daniel. Champcey, and it was so with me. You are bound now to justify your insidious insinuations, or, to confess that they were false.” Then he seemed to make up his mind, and said, speaking rapidly,-- “You will have it so? Well, be it so. He checked himself, however, and said, in a short and cutting tone,-- “I say so because it is so; and any one but you, possessing a less noble ignorance of evil, would long since have discovered the truth. Daniel Champcey.” Henrietta felt as if a sharp knife had been plunged into her bosom. Brian and myself cruelly.” “How so?” He turned his head aside, and murmured, as if speaking to himself,-- “-------- -------- was her lover.” Miss Ville-Handry discerned the truth with admirable instinct, drew herself up, and said in her most energetic way,-- “That is false!” Sir Thorn trembled; but that was all. “You have asked me to tell the truth,” he said coldly, “and I have done so.

As long as she had been in the presence of the enemy, her pride had enabled her to keep up the appearance of absolute faith in Daniel; but, now she was alone, terrible doubts began to beset her. Was there not something true in the evident exaggerations of the Hon. Had not Sarah also boasted of it, that she loved Daniel, and that she had been in his room? Finally, Henrietta recalled with a shudder, that, when Daniel had told her of his adventure in Circus Street, he had appeared embarrassed towards the end, and had failed fully to explain the reasons of his flight. And he did venture upon something, that so far would have seemed impossible. “And the sooner I can do it the better; for every moment I spend here now may bring a new danger. And yet, before risking any thing decisive, it might be better first to write to Daniel’s aunt in order to ask her about the directions she may have received, and to tell her that very soon I shall come to ask for her pity and her protection.” “What? de Brevan; and he answered in his most persuasive manner,-- “Will you permit me to offer you some advice, madam?” “Alas, sir! I beg you to do so for Heaven’s sake.” “Well, this is the only plan that seems to me feasible.

Formerly I used to have always a couple of hundred dollars in my drawers somewhere; but now”-- “Madam,” broke in M. de Brevan, “madam, is not my whole fortune entirely at your disposal?” “To be sure, I have my jewels; and they are quite valuable.” “For that very reason you ought to be careful not to take them with you. He said,-- “I think I see something better.

Count Ville-Handry is going soon to give a great party?” “The day after to-morrow, Thursday.” “All right. He will prescribe something, I dare say, which you will not take; but they will think you are sick, and they will watch you less carefully. I will jump out; and you, you will swiftly jump into the carriage.” “Yes, that also can be done.” “As the curtains will be down, no one will see you. And still, the more she reflected with all that lucidity with which the approach of a great crisis inspired her, the more she became impressed with the absolute necessity of flight. She bade farewell to this beloved house, full of souvenirs of eighteen years in which she had played as a child, where Daniel’s voice had caused her heart to beat loud and fast, and where her sainted mother had died. As soon as he had left, she rose; and, like a dying person who makes all her last dispositions, she hastened to put every thing in order in her drawers, putting together what she meant to keep, and burning what she wished to keep from the curiosity of the countess and her accomplices. The manner of her escape forbade her taking much baggage; and still some linen was indispensable. Upon reflection it did not seem to her inexpedient to take a small carpet- bag, which her mother had given her, and which contained a dressing- case, all the articles in which were of solid gold and of marvellously fine workmanship. When her preparations were complete, she wrote to her father a long letter, in which she explained fully the motives of her desperate resolution.

Soon there came the rolling of wheels on the fine gravel in the court- yard, and the arrival of the first guests. A moment later the carriage slowly drove out of the court-yard of the palace of Count Ville-Handry, and stopped at some little distance. In leaving her father’s house, Miss Ville-Handry had broken with all the established laws of society.

As the danger of being surprised passed away, the feverish excitement that had kept her up so far, also subsided, and she was lying, undone, on the cushions, when the door suddenly opened, and a man appeared. I have just presented my respects to the Countess Sarah and her worthy companions; I have shaken hands with Count Ville-Handry; and no one has the shadow of a suspicion.” And, as Henrietta said nothing, he added,-- “Now I think we ought to lose no time; for I must show myself again at the ball as soon as possible. Your lodgings are ready for you, madam; and I am going, with your leave, to drive you there.” She raised herself, and said, with a great effort,-- “Do so, sir!” M. He had spoken of her, he said, as of one of his relatives from the provinces, who had suffered a reverse of fortune, and who had come to Paris in the hope of finding here some way to earn her living. “Some indispensable articles.” “Ah! He only left when she had over and over again assured him that there was nothing more to be done; and then the woman also went down.

The furniture, also, was in keeping with the room,--a walnut bedstead with faded calico curtains, a chest of drawers, a table, two chairs, and a miserable arm-chair; that was all. She hoped it was, after all, only for a short time, and consoled herself with the thought that a cell in a convent would have been worse still. “At least,” she said, “I shall be quiet and undisturbed here.” Perhaps she was to be morally quiet; for as to any other peace, she was soon to be taught differently. Accustomed to the profound stillness of the immense rooms in her father’s palace, Henrietta had no idea, of course, of the incessant movement that goes on in the upper stories of these Paris lodging-houses, which contain the population of a whole village, and where the tenants, separated from each other by thin partition-walls, live, so to say, all in public. It was past four o’clock before she could fall asleep, overcome by fatigue; and then it was so heavy a sleep, that she was not aroused by the stir in the whole house as day broke. She felt almost happy at the idea of being so safely concealed; and looking around her chamber, which appeared even more wretched by daylight than last night, she said,-- “No, they will never think of looking for me here!” In the meantime she had discovered a small supply of wood near the fireplace; and, as it was cold, she was busy making a fire, when somebody knocked at her door. Don’t you think you might eat a little something?” Henrietta not only thought of it; but she was very hungry.

For there are no events and no adventures, no excitements and no sorrows, which prevent us from getting hungry; the tyranny of our physical wants is stronger than any thing else. “I would be obliged to you, madam,” she said, “if you would bring me up some breakfast.” “If I would! Just give me the time to boil an egg, and to roast a cutlet, and I’ll be up again.” Ordinarily sour-tempered, and as bitter as wormwood, Mrs. She had never seen a more perfect gentleman, so kind, so polite, and so liberal! Besides, she added with a hideous smile, she was sure of his deep interest in her pretty new tenant; and she was so well convinced of this, that she would be happy to devote herself to her service, even without any prospect of payment. This did not prevent her from saying to Henrietta, as soon as she had finished her breakfast,-- “You owe me two francs, miss; and, if you would like it, I can board you for five francs a day.” Thereupon she went into a lively discussion to show that this would be on her part a mere act of kindness, because, considering how dear every thing was, she would most assuredly lose. She could not doubt that this Megsera pursued some mysterious aim with all her foolish talk; but she could not possibly guess what that aim could be. She could not think so, and she attributed his neglect to his excitement, thinking that he would no doubt come soon to ask how she was, and place himself at her service. The flight of the daughter of Count Ville-Handry was known all over Paris, and he was suspected of having aided and abetted her: so they had told him, he said, at his club. He also added that it would be imprudent in him to stay longer; and he left again, without having said a word to Henrietta, and without having apparently noticed her destitution.

He always came painfully embarrassed, as if he had something very important to tell her; then his brow clouded over; and he went away suddenly, without having said any thing. de Brevan came in, evidently under the influence of some terrible determination. As soon as he had entered, he locked the door, and said in a hoarse voice,-- “I must speak to you, madam, yes, I must!” He was deadly pale; his white lips trembled; and his eyes shone with a fearful light, like those of a man who might have sought courage in strong drink. He hesitated again for a moment; then overcoming his reluctance, apparently by a great effort, he said,-- “Well, I wish to ask you if you have ever suspected what my real reasons were for assisting you to escape?” “I think, sir, you have acted from kind pity for me, and also from friendship for M. de Brevan had become crimson. Now she understood but too well all the mysterious movements that had so puzzled her in M.

She saw how profound had been his calculations when he recommended her so urgently not to take her jewels with her while escaping from her father’s house, nor any object of value; for, if she had had her jewelry, she would have been in possession of a small fortune; she would have been independent, and above want, at least for a couple of years. with what crushing contempt she would reject his first proposals; but he flattered himself with the hope that isolation, fear, destitution would at last reduce her to submission, and enable him-- “It is too horrible,” repeated the poor girl,--“too horrible!” And this man had been Daniel’s friend! “Ah!” she said to herself, “they have one feeling, at all events, in common; and that is hatred against me.” A few months ago, so fearful and so sudden a catastrophe would have crushed Henrietta, in all probability. But she had endured so many blows during the past year, that she bore this also; for it is a fact that the human heart learns to bear grief as the body learns to endure fatigue. Her reason told her, that, if he had really loved Sarah Brandon, her enemies, M. She did not ask herself that question; for she was yet in that first stage of enthusiasm, when we are full of heroic resolves which do not allow us to see the obstacles that are to be overcome. But she soon learned to know the first difficulties in her way, thanks to Dame Chevassat, who brought her her dinner as the clock struck six, according to the agreement they had made. In her sweetest voice, she asked:-- “Well, well, my beautiful young lady; so you have quarrelled with our dear M. Maxime?” Henrietta was so sure of the uselessness of replying, and so fearful of new dangers, that she simply replied,-- “Yes, madam.” “I was afraid of it,” replied the woman, “just from seeing him come down the stairs with a face as long as that.

You see, he is in love with you, that kind young man; and you may believe me when I tell you so, for I know what men are.” She expected an answer; for generally her eloquence was very effective with her tenants. Only I should like to know what you mean to do?” “About what?” “Why, about your board.” “I shall find the means, madam, you may be sure.” The old woman, however, who knew from experience what that cruel word, “living,” sometimes means with poor forsaken girls, shook her head seriously, and answered,-- “So much the better; so much the better! Maxime was going to pay for it; he has told me so. Something like five or six hundred francs, things are so dear now!” The whole was probably not worth a hundred and fifty or two hundred francs. When she had finished her dinner, she even insisted upon paying on the spot fifty francs, which she owed for the last few days, and for some small purchases. Should she seek assistance at the hands of some of the old family friends?

In greater distress than the shipwrecked man who in vain examines the blank horizon, she looked around for some one to help her. she knew, so to say, nobody. “Is it really so hard to live?” she thought. Why should not I live also?” Why? Because the children of poor people have served, so to say, from the cradle, an apprenticeship of poverty,--because they are not afraid of a day without work, or a day without bread,--because cruel experience has armed them for the struggle,--because, in fine, they know life, and they know Paris,--because their industry is adapted to their wants, and they have an innate capacity to obtain some advantage from every thing, thanks to their smartness, their enterprise, and their energy. But Count Ville-Handry’s only daughter--the heiress of many millions, brought up, so to say, in a hothouse, according to the stupid custom of modern society--knew nothing at all of life, of its bitter realities, its struggles, and its sufferings. “What we will do, we can do.” Thus resolved to seek aid from no one, she set to work examining her condition and her resources. As to objects of any value, she owned the cashmere which she had wrapped around her when she fled, the dressing-case in her mother’s travelling-bag, a brooch, a watch, a pair of pretty ear-rings, and, lastly, two rings, which by some lucky accident she had forgotten to take off, one of which was of considerable value. since she was resolved to sell it. She wanted to have it all settled, so as to get rid of this sense of uncertainty; she wanted, especially, to pay for the scanty, wretched furniture in her chamber.

“Well, I’ll find it some way,” she said. So she went down, to Mrs. This resolution gave her courage to go up to a policeman, and, crimson like a poppy, to ask him,-- “Will you be so kind, sir, as to tell me a pawnbroker’s shop?” The man looked with pity at the young girl, whose whole person exhaled a perfume of distinction and of candor, asking himself, perhaps, what terrible misfortune could have reduced a lady like her to such a step; then he answered with a sigh,-- “There, madam, at the corner of the first street on the right, you will find a loan office.” “Loan office?” These words suggested to Henrietta no clear idea. She went on in feverish haste, recognized the house that had been pointed out to her, went up stairs, and, pushing open a door, found herself in a large room, where some twenty people were standing about, waiting. The damsel dresses well!” Crimson with shame, Henrietta had stepped up. You shall have it back when you bring me the papers, or when you come accompanied by two merchants who are known to us.” “But, sir”-- “That is so.” And, finding that he had lost time enough, he went on,-- “One velvet cloak!

She could hardly keep up until she reached Water Street; and there fatigue, fright, and excitement made her forget her resolutions. But after all, if you carry your jewels yourself to the ‘Uncle,’ you go, so to say, and rush right into the lion’s mouth. Why, that is murder, as long as there is some one at hand quite ready to do any thing for you.” At this sudden, but not altogether unexpected attack, Henrietta trembled. Maxime.” Henrietta looked so peremptorily at her, that the worthy lady seemed to be quite disconcerted.

He did not bring the whole nine hundred francs, he said; for, having put his two neighbors to some inconvenience, he was bound, according to established usage, to invite them to take something. It was a clear swindle, and the impudence so great, that Henrietta was overwhelmed. de Brevan had gone to engage this garret-room, he had thought of nothing; or rather (and such a calculation was quite in keeping with his cold-blooded rascality) he had taken his measures so that his victim must soon be in utter destitution.

In her mind she felt as if the five francs were a kind of daily ransom which she paid the estimable concierge’s wife for her good-will. Many a time poor Henrietta had been made so indignant and furious, that she had been on the point of rebelling; but she had never dared, submitting to this familiarity for the same reason for which she paid her five francs every day.

One morning, when she had just finished righting up her room, somebody knocked discreetly, at her door. “I have come, madam,” he said, “to ask if you have reconsidered.” She made no reply, looking at him with an air of contempt which would have caused a man with some remnant of honor in his heart to flee from the spot instantly. My passion is stronger than my will, than my reason.” “A vile passion for money!” “You may think so, madam, if you choose. I came solely for the purpose of enlightening you in regard to your own position, which you do not seem to realize.” If she had followed her own impulses, Henrietta would have driven the wretch away. If you will become my wife, your honor is safe.” “Ah, sir!” In that simple utterance there was so much contempt, and such profound disgust, that M. Sooner or later you will have to choose.” “I shall not choose, sir.” “Oh, just wait till poverty has come! Your father has no other will but that of the Countess Sarah; and the Countess Sarah will have it so, that you marry Sir Thorn.” “I shall not appeal to my father, sir.” “Then you probably count upon Daniel’s return? Elgin or Madame de Brevan, unless”-- Henrietta looked at him so fixedly, that he could not bear the glance; and then she said in a deep voice,-- “Unless I die!

Be it so.” Coldly M. What does he want of me?” Thus she questioned herself as soon as she was alone, and the door was ‘shut.’ And her anguish increased tenfold; for she did not believe a word of the pretexts which M. “He ought to know me well enough,” she thought with a new access of wrath, “to be sure that I would prefer death a thousand times.” There was no doubt in her mind that this step, which had evidently been extremely painful to himself, had become necessary through some all-powerful consideration. de Brevan, in the hope that some word might give her light; but she discovered nothing. All he had told her as to the consequences of her flight, she had foreseen before she had resolved to escape.

He had told her nothing new, but his duel with Sir Thorn; and, when she considered the matter, she thought that, also, quite natural. For did they not both covet with equal eagerness the fortune which she would inherit from her mother as soon as she came of age? But why should he do so? de Brevan had done this; and therefore he must aim at something different from that marriage of which he spoke. What was that something? Such abominable things are not done for the mere pleasure of doing them, especially if that involves some amount of danger.

After having said, “When Daniel returns,” he had added, “if he ever returns, which is by no means sure.” Why this proviso? Had he any reasons to think that Daniel might perish in this dangerous campaign? Was he not capable of anything, the wretched man, who had betrayed him so infamously,--capable even of arming an assassin? It looked as if the horrible Megsera had been deputed by Henrietta’s enemies for the special purpose of demoralizing and depraving her, if possible, and to drive her into the brilliant and easy life of sin in which so many unhappy women perish. Chevassat, which very likely would have inflamed the imagination of some poor but ambitious girl, caused nothing but disgust in Henrietta’s heart. She had gotten into the habit of thinking of other things while the old woman was holding forth; and her noble soul floated off to regions where these vulgarities could reach her no more. But a new source of trouble roused her soon after from this dull monotony.

It became urgent to resort once more to the pawnbroker; for these were the first days of April, and the honeyed words of Mrs. At first, she was convinced the man had robbed her; and she gave him to understand that she thought so. “Look there,” he said, “and remember to whom you are talking!” On the receipt she read in fact these words: “Advanced, two hundred francs.” Convinced of the injustice of her accusations, Henrietta had to make her apologies, and hardly succeeded by means of a ten-franc-piece in soothing the man’s wounded feelings.

Chevassat’s elegant expression, forced to “live on her poor possessions.” But the pawnbroker had too cruelly disappointed her calculations: she would not resort to him again, and risk a second disappointment. If, on the other hand, you carry it to ‘Uncle’ you can take it out again as soon as you have a little money.” But she lost her pains, she saw and at last consented to bring up a kind of dealer in toilet-articles, an excellent honest man, she declared, in whom one could put the most absolute confidence.

He came in with a solemn air, and coldly asked if she had reflected since he had had the honor of presenting his respects to her. Chevassat, who seemed to be of unusually good-humor, if she could not procure her some work.

Are hands like yours made to work?” And when Henrietta insisted, and showed her, as a proof of what she could do, the embroidery which she had commenced, she replied,-- “That is very pretty; but embroidering from morning till night would not enable a fairy to keep a canary-bird.” There was probably some truth in what she said, exaggerated as it sounded; and the poor girl hastened to add that she understood other kinds of work also. She was a first-class musician, for instance, and fully able to give music-lessons, or teach singing, if she could only get pupils. At these words a ray of diabolic satisfaction lighted up the old woman’s eyes; and she cried out,-- “What, my ‘pussy-cat,’ could you play dancing-music, like those artists who go to the large parties of fashionable people?” “Certainly!” “Well, that is a talent worth something! “I have thought of you,” she said as soon as she entered. Hilaire, a very nice person, and so good! Both ladies and gentlemen had just risen from table; there was no mistaking it from their eyes and the sound of their voices. And, turning to Henrietta, she asked,-- “Will you take a little glass of something, my darling?” The poor girl blushed crimson, and, painfully embarrassed, declined, and asked pardon for declining; when the lady broke in rather rudely, and said,-- “You are not thirsty? You’ll drink after some time. That very afternoon the same lamentable scene was repeated; and so it went on every morning and every day.

They lay in wait for her by turns; and she no sooner ventured upon the staircase than the shouts began; so that the unfortunate girl no longer dared leave the house. Early in the morning, as soon as the door was opened, she ran out to buy her daily provisions; then, running up swiftly, she barricaded herself in her chamber, and never stirred out again.

In the first days of August she was at the end of her resources. Nor would she have been able to make them last so long, even if she had not, ever since that evening at Mrs. Even this rupture, at which Henrietta had at first rejoiced, became now to her a source of overwhelming trouble. She went from store to store, from door to door, so to say, soliciting employment, as she would have asked for alms, promising to do any thing that might be wanted, in return merely for her board and lodging. Her beauty, her charms, her distinguished appearance, her very manner of speaking, were so many obstacles in her way. So that all her prayers only met with cold faces, shrugging of shoulders, and ironical smiles. It is true that now and then some gallant clerk replied to her application by a declaration of love. By whom have you been employed?” and finally, always the same distressing answer,-- “We cannot employ persons like you.” Then she went to an employment agency.

She felt as if the very sources of life were drying up within her, and as if all her blood was, drop by drop, oozing out of her through an open wound. A perfect indifference and intense distaste of every thing filled her soul. “Well,” she thought, as if announcing to her own soul that the catastrophe had at last come, “all I need now is a few minutes’ courage.” She said so in her mind; but in reality she was chilled to the heart by the fearful certainty that the crisis had really come: she felt as if the executioner were at the door of the room, ready to announce her sentence of death.

“Never mind!” she said to herself; “perhaps they will give me something for it.” And, wrapping the dress up hastily, she hurried to offer it for sale to the old woman who had already bought her ear-rings, and then her watch. and, if it were finished, it would be worth a mint of money; but as it is no one would want it.” She consented, however, to give twenty francs for it, solely from love of art, she said; for it was money thrown away. But she had been faithful to her vow never to let her secret be known to a living soul; and the most terrible anguish had never torn from her a single complaint. This perseverance, which had at first served to maintain Henrietta’s courage, had now become a source of unspeakable torture.

Since the end of November her twenty francs had been exhausted; and to prolong her existence she had had to resort to the last desperate expedients of extreme poverty. All that she possessed, all that she could carry from her chamber without being stopped by the concierge, she had sold, piece by piece, bit after bit, for ten cents, for five cents, for a roll. Two evenings before, when terror triumphed over her resolution for a time, she had written her father a long letter. After that she closed hermetically all the openings in her room, kindled two small fires, and, having commended her soul to God, stretched herself out on her bed.

In the first place she was utterly amazed at feeling that she was in a warm bed,--she who had, for so many days, endured all the tortures of bitter cold. Then, understanding from some words which were spoken close by her, that it was to chance alone she owed her rescue from death, she was filled with indescribable grief.

After all, you would have it so. Besides, he had been looking after you a long time already.” As soon as Henrietta opened her eyes, Papa Ravinet had discreetly withdrawn, in order to leave the ladies, who were about her, time to undress her. Patience, and you will know well enough what I mean.” It must be borne in mind, that the woman, for fear Henrietta might sell to Papa Ravinet what she had to sell, or for some other reason, had always painted the old man to her in colors by no means flattering.

I am going down to make you a soup. It was Papa Ravinet, who, after a long conversation with the concierge, and after some words with his amiable wife, had come up to inquire after his patient. “That,” she thought, “is the man who plots my ruin, the wretch whom I am to avoid.” Now, it is true that this man, with his mournful face, his huge, brushlike eyebrows, and his small, yellow eyes, startling by their incessant activity, had for the observer something enigmatical about him, and therefore did not inspire much confidence. “I have only done my duty, and that very imperfectly.” And at once, in a rather grim manner, he began to tell her that what he had done was nothing in comparison with what he meant to do.

A thought which had occurred to her as soon as she found herself alone had brought her to this conclusion: “If Papa Ravinet were really what Mrs. If she tries to keep me from accepting the old man’s assistance, she no doubt finds it to her advantage that I should do so.” When she tried, after that, to examine as coolly as she could the probable consequences of her decision, she found enormous chances in her favor. She shook her head sadly, and replied, pointing to a chair,-- “I have made up my mind, sir; sit down, please, and listen to me.” The old dealer had been fully convinced that Henrietta would come to that; but he had not hoped for it so soon. Even this joy seemed to be so unnatural, that the young girl was made quite uncomfortable by it. I put myself, to a certain extent, absolutely in your power, sir,--the power of an utter stranger, of whom I am told I have every thing to fear.” “O miss!” he declared, “believe me”-- But she interrupted him, saying with great solemnity,-- “I think, if you were to deceive me, you would be the meanest and least of men. I rely upon your honor.” And then in a firm voice she began the account of her life, from that fatal evening on which her father had said to her,-- “I have resolved, my daughter, to give you a second mother.” The old dealer had taken a seat facing Henrietta, and listened, fixing his eyes upon her face as if to enter into her thoughts, and to anticipate her meaning. It looked almost as if he had foreseen the terrible communication she was making, and was experiencing a bitter satisfaction at finding his presentiments confirmed,-- As Henrietta was proceeding, he would murmur now and then,-- “That is so! But, as soon as the young girl had finished, he rose all of a sudden, and cried out in a formidable voice,-- “I have them now, the wretches! Already, the night before, she had had some suspicions that he was not what he seemed to be; now she was quite sure. She had nothing to go by to solve that riddle.

de Brevan, had at some time or other come in personal contact with Papa Ravinet, and that he hated them mortally. fools and idiots alone can do so. de Brevan had every reason to think that this house would keep the secret of his crime as safe as the grave, and so brought you here. I sometimes thought so.” “Well, this time you were right, madam. Still, it is important she should not suspect that we are acting in concert.” As if afraid that an indiscreet ear might be listening at the door, he drew his chair quite close to Henrietta’s bed, and whispered in a voice but just audible to her,-- “As soon as I have turned my back that woman will come up, burning with curiosity to know what has happened between us.

Give her to understand that you think me a wicked old man, who wants you to pay the price of infamy for the services I wish to render to you.” Henrietta had turned crimson. It would not be easy to lie so as to deceive Mrs.

If you admit the absolute necessity, you may succeed in misleading her. Remember that we must fight the enemy with his own weapons.” “Well, then, I will try, sir.” “So be it.

As soon as night falls, you will dress, and watch for the moment when the concierge, as usually, goes about the house lighting the gas.

As soon as you see him on the great staircase; you will make haste and run down. You may rely on me.” Every thing passed off just as the old dealer had foreseen; and Henrietta played her part so well, that at night, when her disappearance was discovered, Mrs. She would not have gone to bed so quietly, nor have fallen asleep so comfortably, if she had suspected the truth. Now, she was quite sure, that in such a state of destitution, and in this cold December night, the poor young girl would soon be weary wandering through the streets of Paris, and would be irresistibly drawn to the waters of the Seine. But it was by no means so. And casting a last look at this wretched room, where she had suffered so much, and wept so much, and where she had expected to die, she slipped out. The back stairs were quite dark, and thus she was not recognized by two persons whom she met. Some forty paces to the left she could see the place where Papa Ravinet was waiting for her in his cab.

She ran there, got in; and the driver, who had received his instructions, whipped his horses as soon as he heard the door shut. But you will know soon, for the man drives well.” The poor horses went, indeed, as fast as if the dollar which the driver had received had infused the noble blood of the fastest racer into their veins.

But age and sorrow had blanched her hair, and furrowed her face; and the habit of silence and meditation seemed to have sealed her lips forever. But she interrupted him, as if embarrassed by his praise, saying,-- “You have told me so late, Anthony, that I have not been able to attend to all of your orders. But the young lady’s room is ready, and if you choose”-- “Yes, we must show her the way.” The old lady having taken the lamp, after removing the screen, opened a door which led from the parlor directly into a small, modestly furnished room, which shone with exquisite tidiness, and which exhaled that fresh odor of lavender so dear to all housekeepers from the country. At one glance the old dealer had taken in every thing; and, after a smile of gratitude addressed to his sister, he said to Henrietta,-- “This is your room, madam.” The poor girl, all overcome, sought in vain for words to express her gratitude. “Ah, you are so kind!” she said, giving her hands to brother and sister--“you are so kind! Let him be for you what he is for all of us,--Anthony Ravinet, dealer in curiosities.” The voice of the old lady betrayed such great sorrow, silently endured, that Henrietta looked ashamed, regretting her indiscretion.

It is I who shall forever be under obligations to you for the immense service which you render me.” He seemed to be inspired by his own words; his figure straightened up; his eyes flashed fire; and he was on the point of letting, perhaps, some secret escape him, when his sister interrupted him, saying reproachfully,-- “Anthony, Anthony!” He stopped at once. “When I go back, I shall tell the two Chevassats a little story, which will frighten them, so that they will advise Brevan never to appear there, except at night, as he formerly did.” Thereupon he bowed to Henrietta, and went away with the words,-- “To-morrow we will consult with each other.” The shipwrecked man who is saved at the last moment, when, strength and spirits being alike exhausted, he feels himself sinking into the abyss, cannot, upon feeling once more firm ground under his feet, experience a sense of greater happiness than Henrietta did that night. Ruined all of a sudden,--she did not say how,--some months after the death of her husband, she, who had been accustomed to all the comforts of opulence had seen herself reduced to poverty, and all its privations. Still she could not get over the mystery which surrounded the lives of these two personages, whom fate, relenting at last, had placed in her way. For there was one; and, so far from trying to conceal it, they had begged Henrietta not to inquire into it. But fatigue soon made an end to her meditations, and confused her ideas; and, for the first time in two years, she fell asleep with a sense of perfect security; she slept peacefully, without starting at the slightest noise, without being troubled by silence, without wondering whether her enemies were watching her, without suspecting the very walls of her room. You needed repose so much!

Absorbed in the happiness of the moment, she had forgotten every thing; and these few words brought her back to the reality of her position, and recalled to her the sufferings of the past and the uncertainty of the future. I should never forgive myself for becoming a source of still greater privations to such very kind friends.” But the old lady shook her head, and replied,-- “Don’t be afraid, child. Brian are there also. “He sold it, madam, ten days ago.” “Great God! would she have imagined so sudden a downfall. “All of our readers will have understood that we are speaking of the Franco-American Society of Pennsylvania Oil-Wells, which for the last eight days has been the subject of universal excitement. “It was especially brought into notice that the noble count’s personal fortune was nearly equal to the whole capital of the new company,--ten millions.

She had turned as pale as death, and was staggering so, that Papa Ravinet’s sister took her in her arms to support her. The old man picked up the paper, and read from another article, below the lines which carried poison in every word, the following comments:-- “Two delegates of the stockholders of the Pennsylvania Petroleum Company were to sail this morning from Brest for New York. Certain people have gone so far as to doubt even the existence of such oil-wells.” And in another place, under the head of local items:-- “The palace of Count Ville-Handry was sold last week. “Ah, madam, perfectly as I am convinced of Count Ville-Handry’s uprightness and integrity, I also know that he was utterly ignorant of business. To ruin him was to ruin herself, since she was absolute mistress of her fortune, and free to dispose of it as she chose.” Proud of the accuracy of her decision, she was looking triumphantly at the old dealer.

So far I have only repeated to you the report on ‘Change. At last she asked,-- “And do you believe Sarah will allow my father’s name to be thus dishonored,--the name which she bears, and of which she was so proud?” “She will, perhaps, even insist upon it.” “Great God!

I know that this woman with the chaste brow, the open smile, and the soft eyes, has the genius and the instinct of a murderess, and has never counted upon any thing else, but murder for the gratification of her lusts.” The attitude of the old man, who raised his head on high while his breast swelled, breathed in every one of his sharp and threatening gestures an intense thirst of vengeance. She resolved, therefore, to force you to flee; and those mean persecutions of M. But he had received orders to add the horror of his persecutions to the horror of your isolation and your destitution. This is what gave him the amazing boldness, the inconceivable brutality, to watch your slow agony; no doubt he became quite impatient at your delaying suicide so long. “Finally you were driven to it; and your death would have realized their atrocious hopes, if Providence had not miraculously stepped in,--that Providence which always, sooner or later, takes its revenge, whatever the wicked may say to the contrary. And yet, I wonder if there is not some new trick in that. Then he replied in a hoarse voice,-- “Yes, that was probably, that was assuredly, the way Sarah Brandon reasoned within herself.” But Henrietta, full of admirable energy, had roused herself; and, with flushed cheeks and burning eyes, she said to him,-- “What! But Papa Ravinet seized her by the arm, and said to her solemnly,-- “Madam, I swear to you by all you hold sacred, and my sister will swear to you in like manner, that your father’s life is in no kind of danger.” She gave up the struggle; but her face bore the expression of the most harassing anxiety. You cannot so far underrate the diabolical cunning of your enemy. Why, she has no doubt taken all possible measures to keep your father’s faith in her unshaken, and to let him die as he has lived, completely deceived by her, and murmuring with his last breath words of supreme love for her who kills him.” These arguments were so overwhelming, that Henrietta let go the door- knob, and slowly went back to her seat by the fire.

I have as much reason to curse Sarah Brandon as you have, and perhaps I hate her more. And yet in the whole life of Sarah Brandon,--a life of theft and murder,--I have till this moment not found a single fact which would bring her within the reach of the law, so cunning is her wickedness.” His face brightened with an air of triumph; and his voice rose high as he added,-- “But now! This time success seemed to her so sure and so easy, that she has neglected her usual precautions. And she is lost if we, on our side, are not also too eager. “As to your father, madam, I have my reasons for feeling safe about him. Now Sarah has sworn, in her insatiate cupidity, that she will have these two millions also.” “Ah,” said Henrietta, “you are right! It is Sarah’s interest that my father should live; and he will live, therefore, as long as she does not know whether I am dead or alive, in fact, as long as she does not know what has become of me.” “And she must not know that for some time,” chimed in the old man.

It will soon be our turn, and if you will only accept my suggestions, madam”-- It was past nine o’clock when the old dealer, his sister, and Henrietta sat down to their modest meal. So arduous is it, that we are almost disposed to ask how men can be found bold enough to embrace it, and firm enough in their resolution not to abandon it after having tried it. Hence it is only in comic operas, and inferior novels, that the sailors are seen to sing their most cheerful songs at the moment when a vessel is about to sail on a long and perilous voyage. The moment is, in reality, always a sad one, very grave and solemn.

Such could not fail to be the scene also, when “The Conquest” sailed,--the ship on board of which Daniel Champcey had been ordered as lieutenant. And certainly there had been good reasons for ordering him to make haste and get down to the port where she lay; for the very next day after his arrival, she hoisted anchor. But he reasoned, very justly, that his darling would be in a desperate condition indeed, if M. What was his money to him in comparison! A single hope now kept him alive,--the hope of soon receiving a letter from Henrietta, or, it might be, of finding one upon arriving at his destination; for it was by no means impossible for “The Conquest” to be outstripped by some vessel that might have left port three weeks later. To add to the discomfort, “The Conquest” was so crammed full with passengers, that sailors and officers had hardly half of the space usually allotted to them on board ship. Some of these artisans had their families with them, having determined to become settlers in Cochin China; others, generally quite young yet, only made the voyage in order to have an opportunity for seeing foreign lands, and for earning, perhaps, a little money. They were occasionally called upon to assist in handling the ship, and were, on the whole, good men, with the exception of four or five, who were so unruly that they had to be put in irons more than once.

Still it must be a very grave matter, to judge from the large pool of blood which dyed the deck at the place where the young man had fallen down so suddenly. They had carried him to the infirmary; and, as soon as he recovered his senses, the surgeons discovered the cause of his fall and his fainting.

There had been no one standing near him; nor had he seen anybody come near him at the time of the accident; the blow, moreover, had been so violent, that he had fallen down unconscious. All these details soon became current among the sailors and passengers who had crowded on deck. The whole matter was so wrapped up in mystery, that it became all important to clear it up; and the sailors themselves opened at once a kind of court of inquest. Some hairs, and a clot of blood, which were discovered on an enormous block, seemed to explain the riddle. Frightened by the consequences of his awkwardness, but, nevertheless preserving his presence of mind, this man had, no doubt, drawn up the block so promptly, that he had not been noticed. And really, one fine evening, as the sun was setting, land was seen, and the next morning, at daybreak, the frigate sailed into the Dong-Nai, the king of Cochin Chinese rivers, which is so wide and so deep, that vessels of the largest tonnage can ascend it without difficulty till they reach Saigon. Standing on deck, Daniel watched the monotonous scenes which they passed,--a landscape strange in form, and exhaling mortal fevers from the soil, and the black yielding slime. After a voyage of several months, he derived a melancholy pleasure from seeing the banks of the river overshadowed by mango trees and mangroves, with their supple, snakelike roots wandering far off under water; while on shore a soft, pleasant vegetation presented to the eye the whole range of shades in green, from the bluish, sickly green of the idrys to the dark, metallic green of the stenia. Hence, as soon as “The Conquest” was safely at anchor, all the officers, except the midshipman on duty, went on shore, and hastened to the government house to ask if letters from France had arrived there before them.

why did you not prevent my marriage, when you could do so by a word? Come, get up, and let us go.” But Daniel was in a humor which made solitude irresistibly attractive. then you must come with us.” “Do not force me; I would be a sorry companion.” Still they insisted, as friends will insist who will not understand that others may not be equally tempted by what charms them; but nothing could induce Daniel to change his mind. At the door of the government house he parted with his comrades, and went back, sad and solitary, towards the harbor. The night was so dark, that he could hardly see to find his way along a wharf in process of construction, and covered with enormous stones and timber.

This made him very respectful at once; and he replied,-- “Lieutenant, all the men are in town.” “How so? When all the officers had gone on shore, they told the boatswain they would not come back very soon, and he might take his time to eat a mouthful, and to drink a glass, provided the men did not get drunk.” That was so; and Daniel had forgotten the fact. “I heard you tell the little man in the boat there”-- “Well?” “I thought you wanted to get back on board your ship?” “Why, yes.” “Well, then, if you like it, I am a boatman; I can take you over.” There was no reason why Daniel should mistrust the man. Get in, now steady!” Daniel followed his directions; but he was so much struck by the man’s awkwardness in getting the boat off, that he could not help saying to him,-- “Ah, my boy, you are not a boatman, after all!” “I beg pardon, sir; I used to be one before I came to this country.” “What is your country?” “Shanghai.” “Nevertheless, you will have to learn a great deal before you will ever be a sailor.” Still, as the boat was very small, a mere nutshell, in fact, Daniel thought he could, if needs be, take an oar himself.

Thereupon, sitting down, and stretching out his legs, he was soon once more plunged in meditations.

The unfortunate man was soon roused, however, by a terrible sensation. Thanks to a shock, a wrong movement, or any other accident, the boat upset, and Daniel was thrown into the river; and, to fill the measure of his mishaps, one of his feet was so closely jammed in between the seat and the boat itself, that he was paralyzed in his movements, and soon under water. Gathering, by one supreme effort, all his strength and energy, he took hold of the boat, that had turned over just above him, and pushed it so forcibly, that he loosened his foot, and at the same moment reached the surface. “Now,” he thought, “I have a chance to escape!” A very frail chance, alas!--so small a chance, in fact, that it required all the strong will and the invincible courage of Daniel to give it any effect. There was nothing to guide him; for the night was so dark, that land and water, the river and its banks, all melted together in the uniform, bottomless darkness. He held on to it; and, having recovered his breath, he uttered three times in succession, with all the strength of his lungs, so sharp a cry, that it was heard above the fierce roar of the river,-- “Help, help, help!” From the ship came a call, “Hold on!” proving to him that his appeal had been heard, and that help was at hand.

But his clothes encumbered him terribly; and the water which they soaked up made them, of course, every moment more oppressive. “Never mind,” he said to himself, “I mean to get out of this.” Not knowing to which bank he was nearest, he had resolved, almost instinctively, to swim towards the right bank, on which Saigon stands. Soon he felt the ground under his feet; but, the moment he touched it, he sank up to his waist into the viscous and tenacious slime, which makes all the Cochin China rivers so peculiarly dangerous.

First he tried its strength; then, finding it sufficiently solid, he hoisted himself up by it, gently, but with the frenzied energy of a drowning man; then, creeping cautiously on the treacherous mud, he finally succeeded in reaching firm ground, and fell down exhausted. The first light of dawn showed him how he was imprisoned within an apparently impenetrable thicket, out of which, it seemed, he could never find his way.

Some sailors of a merchant-ship, whom he met, lent him a few clothes, and carried him on board “The Conquest,” where he arrived more dead than alive. The awkwardness of the boatman who had so unexpectedly turned up to offer him his services had filled his mind with strange doubts. Still his suspicions troubled him to such a degree, that he determined to make every effort to solve the mystery.

He learned in reply, that only the crews of the different boats had been at Saigon, but that all the emigrants having been allowed to land, several of these men had also gone on shore. Daniel had been unable the night before to distinguish the form or the dress of the man whose services he had accepted; but he had heard his voice, and he recalled the peculiar intonation so perfectly, that he would have recognized it among thousands. Besides, this poor devil did not know a word of French (more than ten persons bore witness to it); and born on the river, and having always lived there, he was an excellent sailor. It had been proved to him that at his side, so to say, as his very shadow, there was ever a terrible enemy, stimulated by the thirst of gain, watching all his steps, ever awake and on the watch, and ready to seize the first opportunity to strike. The infernal cunning of the first two attempts enabled Daniel to measure the superior wickedness of the man who had been chosen and enlisted--at least Daniel thought so--by Sarah Brandon.

Still he did not say a word of the danger to which he was exposed, and even assumed, as soon as he had recovered from the first shock, a certain cheerfulness which he had not shown during the whole voyage, and under which he concealed his apprehensions. He never put one foot before the other, so to say, without first having examined the ground; he never seized a man-rope without having first tried its solidity; he had made it a law to eat and drink nothing, not even a glass of water, but what came from the officers’ table. But he also thought not only of defending himself, but of getting at the assassin, and, through him, at the infamous creature by whom he was employed, Sarah Brandon. Certain circumstances which he had at first forgotten, and a few points skilfully put together, gave him some hope. After careful inquiry, Daniel ascertained even that four of them had been with the sailors on the yards from which the heavy block fell that came so near ending his life. This was no easy task; for the Kamboja had already defeated the efforts of several hydrographic engineers by its capricious and constant changes, every pass and every turn nearly changing with the monsoons in direction and depth.

The Kamboja is not only obstructed by foul swamps; but it flows through vast marshy plains, which, in the season of rains, are covered with water; while in the dry season, under the burning rays of the sun, they exhale that fatal malaria which has cost already thousands of valuable lives. Daniel was to experience its effects but too soon. And towards the end of the expedition, when the work was nearly done, the survivors were so emaciated, that they had hardly strength enough to hold themselves up. his bodily sufferings were as nothing in comparison with his mental anxiety. At night, while his men were asleep, he kept awake, his heart torn with anguish, now crushed under the thought of his helplessness, and now asking himself if rage would not deprive him of his reason. To be chained by honor to a place a thousand leagues from the woman he loved to distraction, to know nothing about her, her life, her actions and her thoughts, to be reduced to such extreme wretchedness, to doubt-- Daniel would have been much less unhappy if some one had suddenly come and told him, “Miss Ville-Handry is no more.” Yes, less unhappy; for true love in its savage selfishness suffers less from death than from treason.

“I obey,” she said, “an impulse more powerful than reason and will alike. She is evidently preparing for her defence, in case the rascal who attempted my life should be caught, and compromise her by his confessions.” Every letter; moreover, brought from the Countess Sarah some news about his betrothed, her “stepdaughter.” But she always spoke of her with extreme reserve and reticence, and in ambiguous terms, as if counting upon Daniel’s sagacity to guess what she could not or would not write. “She lies, the wretch!” said Daniel; “yes, she lies!” But he tried in vain to resist; every letter from Sarah brought him the germ of some new suspicion, which fermented in his mind as the miasma fermented in the veins of his men. His letters portrayed the perplexity and the hesitation of a man who is all anxiety to soften hard truths. He alluded to the calumnies which endangered Miss Henrietta’s reputation, admitting that she had given some ground for them by thoughtless acts. “And not one line from her,” exclaimed Daniel,--“not one line!” And he wrote her letter after letter, beseeching her to answer him, whatever might be the matter, and to fear nothing, as the certainty even of a misfortune would be a blessing to him in comparison with this torturing uncertainty. Under other circumstances, this distinction, doubly valuable to so young a man, would have made him supremely happy; now it left him cold.

The fact was, that these long trials had worn out the elasticity of his heart; and the sources of joy, as well as the sources of sorrow, had dried up. Harassed by these anxieties, he withdrew more and more from society; never went on shore; and his comrades on board “The Conquest” felt anxious as they looked at him walking restlessly up and down the quarter-deck, pale, and with eyes on fire. His superiority was so evident, that none disputed it; they might envy him; but they could never be jealous of him. Some of them thought he had brought back with him from Kamboja the germ of one of those implacable diseases which demoralize the strongest, and which break out suddenly, carrying a man off in a few hours. At that time his grave responsibility, overwhelming fatigues, hard work, and daily danger, had procured him at least some hours of oblivion. It was the desire, the necessity almost, of escaping in some manner from himself, which made him accept an invitation to join a number of his comrades who wanted to try the charms of a great hunting party. As soon as he looked at the wounded man, whom his friends had stretched out on his back, making a pillow of their overcoats, and who lay there pale and inanimate, the good doctor frowned, and growled out,-- “He won’t live.” The officers were thunderstruck. Some fifteen yards off, below the place where Daniel had fallen, two sailors were coming out of the thicket, their faces red with anger, dragging out a man with a wretched gun, who hurled out,-- “Will you let me go, you parcel of good-for-nothings!

Let me go, or I’ll hurt you!” He was so furiously struggling in the arms of the two sailors, clinging with an iron grip to roots and branches and rocks, turning and twisting at every step, that the men at last, furious at his resistance, lifted him up bodily, and threw him at the chief surgeon’s feet, exclaiming,-- “Here is the scoundrel who has killed our lieutenant!” It was a man of medium size, with a dejected air, and lack-lustre eyes, wearing a mustache and chin-beard, and looking impudent. We have good reasons, I should think. “Yes, they lie, the cowards!” This insult would have procured him a sound drubbing, but for the old surgeon, who held the arm of the first sailor who made the attack. I was not invited to your hunting party, to be sure; but I am fond of game; and I said to myself, ‘Even if I were to shoot two or three head out of the hundreds their drivers will bring down, I would do them no great harm.’” The doctor let him talk on for some time, observing him closely with his sagacious eye; then, all of a sudden, he broke in, saying,-- “Give me your gun!” The man turned so visibly pale, that all the officers standing around noticed it. It’s a gun one of my friends has lent me.” The doctor examined the weapon very carefully; and, after having inspected the lock, he said,-- “Both barrels of your gun are empty; and they have not been emptied more than two minutes ago.” “That is so; I fired both barrels at an animal that passed me within reach.” “One of the balls may have gone astray.” “That cannot be. I was aiming in the direction of the prairie; and, consequently, I was turning my back to the place where the officer was standing.” To the great surprise of everybody, the doctor’s face, ordinarily crafty enough, now looked all benevolent curiosity,--so much so, that the two sailors who had captured the man were furious, and said aloud,-- “Ah! Wrong or right, as soon as they are accused, they are convicted.” The doctor seemed to have made up his mind; for he interrupted this flow of words, saying in his kindest voice,-- “Calm yourself, my friend. We all here have rifles with conical balls; you are the only one who has an ordinary shot-gun with round balls, so there is no mistake possible. I do not know if you understand me?” Yes, he understood, and so well, that his pale face turned livid, and he looked all around with frightened glances.

He now ordered the two sailors who had arrested the man, to make sure of him, to bind him, and carry him to Saigon to prison. In less than twenty minutes, and with that marvellous skill which is one of the characteristic features of good sailors, a solid litter had been constructed; the bottom formed a real mattress of dry leaves; and overhead a kind of screen had been made of larger leaves. Although, therefore, the march lasted so long, the dying man felt no shock; and the old doctor said, quite touched, to the officers who were around him,-- “Good fellows, how careful they are! Good people, rude and rough, no doubt, in many ways, coarse sometimes, and even brutal, bad to meet on shore the day after pay-day, or coming out from a drinking-shop, but keeping under the rough outside a heart of gold, childlike simplicity, and the sacred fire of noblest devotion. They had questioned him once or twice; but his answers had shown that he had no consciousness of the accident which had befallen him, nor of his present condition; so that the general opinion among the sailors who were waiting, and who all had more or less experience of shot-wounds, was, that fever would carry off their lieutenant before sunrise. The old surgeon had just appeared at the door of the sick-chamber; and, with a pleasant and hopeful smile on his lips, he said,-- “Our poor Champcey is doing as well as could be expected; and I would almost be sure of his recovery, if the great heat was not upon us.” And, silencing the murmur of satisfaction which arose among them at this good news, he went on to say,-- “Because, after all, serious as the wound is, it is nothing in comparison with what it might have been; and what is more, gentlemen, I have the corpus delicti.” He raised in the air, as he said this, a spherical ball, which he held between his thumb and forefinger. Don’t let us be hasty, I say; and let us consider, For an assassination there must be a motive, and an all-powerful motive; for, aside from the scaffold which he risks, no man is capable of killing another man solely for the purpose of shedding his blood.

Now, in this case, I look in vain for any reason, which could have induced the man to commit a murder. But, before a man makes up his mind to shoot even the man he hates like a dog, he must have been cruelly offended by him; and, to bring this about, he must have been in contact, or must have stood in some relation to him. He knew him perfectly well.” The man who interrupted the doctor was one of the sailors to whom the prisoner had been intrusted to carry him to prison.

He came forward, twisting his worsted cap in his hands; and, when the old surgeon had ordered him to speak, he said,-- “Yes, the rascal knew the lieutenant as well as I know you, commandant; and the reason of it is, that the scoundrel was one of the emigrants whom we brought here eighteen months ago.” “Are you sure of what you say?” “As sure as I see you, commandant.

It was one of those who had been standing near Champcey; he, also, was a lieutenant. When Daniel fell, he said, ‘This time, they have not missed me!’” “Did he say so?” “Word for word. In the third place, those words, ‘This time,’ establish the fact that his life has been attempted before.” “That is just what I thought, doctor.” The worthy old gentleman looked very grave and solemn, meditating deeply. “Well, I,” he continued slowly, “I had a very clear presentiment of all that as soon as I looked at the murderer. Well, as I was thus watching him, I instinctively recalled the two remarkable accidents which so nearly killed our poor Champcey,--that block that fell upon him from the skies, and that shipwreck in the Dong-Nai. “Still, doctor,” he objected, “but just now you insisted”-- “Upon a diametrically opposite doctrine; eh?” “Precisely.” The old surgeon smiled, and said,-- “I had my reasons. They will vanish before you can put out your hand to seize them.” “Champcey might be questioned; perhaps he could furnish some information.” But the doctor rose, and stopped him with an air of fury,-- “Question my patient! He probably has the same reasons for keeping silence now that he had then.” Then, without noticing the officer’s objections, he added,-- “At all events, I will think it over, and go and see the judges as soon as they are out of bed. As soon as he was alone, the doctor threw himself on his bed; but he could not sleep.

He had never in his life been so much puzzled. He felt as if this crime was the result of some terrible but mysterious intrigue; and the very fact of having, as he fancied, raised a corner of the veil, made him burn with the desire to draw it aside altogether. He placed the matter before him very fully and plainly; and, an hour afterwards, he crossed the yard on his way to the prison, accompanied by a magistrate and his clerk.

He answered that he had done some mischief; that he was in despair, and wished he were dead.” The magistrate looked at the surgeon as if he meant to say, “Just as I expected from what you told me!” Then, turning again to the jailer, he said,-- “Show us to the prisoner’s cell.” The murderer had been put into a small but tidy cell in the first story. As soon as he saw the surgeon, he jumped up, and with outstretched arms and rolling eyes, exclaimed,-- “The officer has died!” “No,” replied the surgeon, “no! “Come, make an effort; try to remember.” “I know I cannot; it is not worth the trouble.” “Well; but no doubt you recollect the profession of the man who knew so well that government wanted men in Cochin China? What was it?” The man, this time, turned crimson with rage, and cried out with extraordinary vehemence,-- “How do I know? How have you supported yourself at Saigon?” “By my work, forsooth! “If you won’t let me have my say,” he broke out insolently, “it isn’t worth while questioning me.” The magistrate seemed not to notice it. He asked next,-- “And that is a good place,--to be waiter at a restaurant or a hotel?” “Why, yes--pretty good.” “They pay well; eh?” “That depends,--sometimes they do; at other times they don’t. When it is the season”-- “That is so everywhere. You have been now eighteen months in Saigon; no doubt you have laid up something?” The man looked troubled and amazed, as if he had suddenly found out that the apparent benevolence of the magistrate had led him upon slippery and dangerous ground.

Now, what would you say, if, upon search being made, the police should find a certain sum of money on your person or elsewhere?” “They won’t find any.” “So much the better for you; for, after what you said, it would be a terrible charge.” “Let them search.” “They are doing it now, and not only in your room, but also elsewhere. They will soon know if you have invested any money, or if you have deposited it with any of your acquaintances.” “I may have brought some money with me from home.” “No; for you have told me that you could no longer live in Paris, finding no work.” Crochard, surnamed Bagnolet, made such a sudden and violent start, that the surgeon thought he was going to attack the magistrate. Champcey with intent to kill.” “That is an abominable lie!” “So you say. How did you hear that the officers of ‘The Conquest’ had arranged a large hunting-party?” “I had heard them speak of it at table d’hote.” “And you left your service in order to attend this hunt, some twelve miles from Saigon? And as he continued his account, warming up with its plausibility, he recovered the impudence, or rather the insolence, which seemed to be the prominent feature of his character. Champcey.” “Have you any complaint against him?” “None at all.” Then he added in a tone of bitterness and resentment,-- “What relations do you think could there be between a poor devil like myself and a great personage like him? If I know him, it is only because I have seen him, from afar off, walk the quarter-deck with the other officers, a cigar in his mouth, after a good meal, while we in the forecastle had our salt fish, and broke our teeth with worm-eaten hard-tack.” “So you had no reason to hate him?” “None; as little as anybody else.” Seated upon a wretched little footstool, his paper on his knees, an inkhorn in his hand, the clerk was rapidly taking down the questions and the answers. I am bound to tell you, that, having so far only kept you as a matter of precaution, I shall issue now an order for your arrest.” “You mean I am to be put in jail?” “Yes, until the court shall decide whether you are guilty of murder, or of involuntary homicide.” Crochard, surnamed Bagnolet, seemed to have foreseen this conclusion: at least he coolly shrugged his shoulders, and said in a hoarse voice,-- “In that case I shall have my linen changed pretty often here; for, if I had been wicked enough to plot an assassination, I should not have been fool enough to say so.” “Who knows?” replied the magistrate. “Some evidence is as good as an avowal.” And, turning to the clerk, he said,-- “Read the deposition to the accused.” A moment afterwards, when this formality had been fulfilled, the magistrate and the old doctor left the room. The so-called friend, whose name he would not tell us, is no other person than the rascal whose tool he is.

And I mean to get that person’s name out of him, if M. It would have been enough, therefore, for Daniel to be so dangerously wounded. But there was something else besides. Like all who had ever sailed with Daniel, the surgeon, also, had conceived a lively interest in him, and was filled with admiration for his character. Besides that, he knew that his patient alone could solve this great mystery, which puzzled him exceedingly. To try to question him would have been absurd; for he had so far continued delirious. For twenty days he remained so; and for twenty days and twenty nights his “man,” Baptist Lefloch, who had caught the murderer, was by his bedside, watching his slightest movement, and ever bending over him tenderly. He had put off his shoes, so as to walk more softly; and he came and went on tiptoe, his face full of care and anxiety, preparing draughts, and handling with his huge bony hands, with laughable, but almost touching precautions, the small phials out of which he had to give a spoonful to his patient at stated times. Now, you see, I want to do some little for him.” “You would be a great scamp if you did not.” The surgeon hardly left the wounded man himself.

I am sorry for it, for the sake of Evariste Crochard, surnamed Bagnolet, who must be tired of prison; but he must wait.” In the meantime, Daniel’s long delirium had been succeeded by a period of stupor. He recognized the persons around him, and even stammered a few sensible words. But he was so excessively weak, that he remained nearly all the time plunged in a kind of torpor which looked very much like death itself. But the old surgeon said to himself, not without good reason,-- “Certainly it is almost a case of conscience to leave this unfortunate man in such uncertainty: but this uncertainty is free from danger, at least; while any excitement would kill him as surely and as promptly as I could blow out a candle.” A fortnight passed; and Daniel recovered some little strength; at last he entered upon a kind of convalescence--if a poor man who could not turn over in bed unaided can be called a convalescent. But, with his returned consciousness, his sufferings also reappeared; and, as he gradually ascertained how long he had been confined, his anxiety assumed an alarming character.

I must have them.” The doctor at last came to the conclusion that this excessive agitation was likely to become as dangerous as the excitement he dreaded so much; so he said one day,-- “Let us run the risk.” It was a burning hot afternoon, and Daniel had now been an invalid for seven weeks. He kissed them, and said,-- “At last she writes!” The shock was so violent, that the doctor was almost frightened. Be a man, forsooth!” But Daniel only smiled, and replied,-- “Never mind me, doctor; you know joy is never dangerous; and nothing but joy can come to me from her who writes to me. However, just see how calm I am!” So calm, that he did not even take the time to see which was the oldest of his letters. He opened one of them at haphazard, and read:-- “Daniel, my dear Daniel, my only friend in this world, and my sole hope, how could you intrust me to such an infamous person? de Brevan had declared to her that he loved her, and that sooner or later, whether she chose or not, she should be his, giving her the choice between the horrors of starvation and the disgrace of becoming his wife.

A nervous trembling seized him, so violent, that it made his teeth rattle; sobs rose from his chest; and a pinkish foam appeared on his discolored lips. We’ll pull him through yet.” They succeeded, in fact, to rekindle this life which had appeared so nearly extinct; but they did not bring back that able intellect. The cold and indifferent look with which Daniel stared at them, when he at last opened his eyes once more, told them that the tottering reason of the poor man had not been strong enough to resist this new shock.

And still he must have retained some glimpses of the past; for his efforts to collect his thoughts were unmistakable. “I foresaw it but too fully.” He had by this time exhausted all the resources of his skill and long experience; he had followed all the suggestions nature vouchsafed; and he could do nothing more now, but wait. Daniel had in his wanderings said enough to enable the doctor to understand the piercing cry of distress contained in the poor girl’s letter; and Lefloch, who watched him, saw a big tear running down his cheek, and in the next moment a flood of crimson overspread his face. “Poor Champcey!” And like a man who no longer possesses himself, who must move somehow, he stuffed the letter in his pocket, and went out, swearing till the plaster seemed to fall from the ceiling. Seeing the old surgeon cross the hospital yard, he ran up and asked, as soon as he was within hearing,-- “Well?” The doctor went a few steps farther, and then replied in a tone of despair,-- “Lieut. If Daniel dies, you will be bound to release that scamp, the wretched murderer whom you keep imprisoned,--that man Crochard, surnamed Bagnolet; for there will be no evidence. When you send every year three or four stupid murderers to the scaffold, and some dozens of miserable thieves to the penitentiary, you fold your black gowns around you, and proudly proclaim that all is well, and that society, thus protected, may sleep soundly.

The others, the strong, escape between the meshes of your laws, and, relying on their cleverness and your want of power, they enjoy the fruit of their crimes in all the pride of their impunity, until”-- He hesitated, and added, unlike his usual protestations of atheism,-- “Until the day of divine judgment.” Far from appearing hurt by such an outburst of indignation, the magistrate, after having listened with impassive face, said, as soon as the doctor stopped for want of breath,-- “You must have discovered something new.” “Most assuredly. But he cannot live.” “Well, well, console yourself, doctor. Champcey live or die, justice shall be done, I promise you!” He spoke in a tone of such absolute certainty, that the old surgeon was struck by it. The court-room is quite near: suppose we go there, doctor.” For all answer the surgeon put on his cap firmly, took his friend’s arm, and the next moment the soldier on duty at the gate of the hospital saw them go out, engaged in a most animated conversation. He is a good speaker, a Parisian, a former soldier, and a great traveller. I soon found out that my presumption was not unfounded.

“Almost every one of them had found out some detail of Bagnolet’s life, some more, some less, according to the degree of honesty or demoralization which Bagnolet thought he discovered in them. They may be still living; but for many years they have not seen their son. “Released at the end of eighteen months, he says he was bound out as an apprentice, and soon learned his business well enough to support himself. This last allegation, however, cannot be true; for four witnesses, of whom one at least is of the same profession as Crochard, declare that they have seen him at work, and that, if he ever was a skilled mechanic, he is so no longer. Besides, he cannot have been long at work; for he had been a year in prison again, when the revolution of 1848 began. This fact he has himself stated to more than twenty-five persons. But he has explained his imprisonment very differently; and almost every witness has received a new version. “Set free soon after the revolution, he did not resume his profession, but secured a place as machinist in a theatre on the boulevards. “After his return to Paris, he associated himself with a rope-dancer, but was soon called upon to enter the army. But the next year we find him negotiating with a dealer in substitutes; and he confesses having sold himself purely from a mad desire to possess fifteen hundred francs at once, and to be able to spend them in debauch.

He had, however, by no means given up his bad ways; for he was very soon after condemned to ten years’ penal servitude for having broken into a house by night as a robber.” The chief surgeon, who had for some time given unmistakable signs of impatience, now rose all of a sudden, and said,-- “Pardon me, if I interrupt you, sir; but can you rely upon the veracity of your witnesses?” “Why should I doubt them?” “Because it seems to me very improbable that a cunning fellow, such as this Crochard seems to be, should have denounced himself.” “But he has not denounced himself.” “Ah?” “He has often mentioned this condemnation; but he has always attributed it to acts of violence against a superior; On that point he has never varied in his statements.” “Then how on earth did you learn”-- “The truth? And there is no mistake about the identity; for, as soon as I said ‘Crochard’ the sergeant exclaimed, ‘Oh, yes! On three occasions, and in the presence of, at least, three witnesses each time, Crochard has used, in almost the same terms, these words,-- “‘No one would believe the strange acquaintances one makes in prisons. I have known some people there, who now ride in their carriages.’” The doctor had become silent. “Oh!” he said half aloud, “might not some of these people whom the assassin has known in prison have put arms in his hand?” “That is the very question I asked myself.” “Because, you see, some of Daniel’s enemies are fearful people; and if you knew what is in this letter here in my hand, which, no doubt, will be the cause of that poor boy’s death”-- “Allow me to finish, doctor,” said the man of law. Did he resort to mean cheating, or to improper enterprises, in order to satisfy his passions? “Here is something,” he said, “which was sent to the state attorney twelve days after the last attempt had been made on M. Champcey of the ship ‘Conquest.’ “In connection with this misfortune, my wife thinks, and I also consider it a matter of conscience, that we should make known to you a very serious matter. if the man had been left to his own counsels, he would have kept it all secret, so terribly is he afraid of this Crochard; but, fortunately, his wife had more courage.” “Decidedly,” growled the surgeon. As for the second,--the one made on the river,--we are not quite so far advanced.

Therefore he must have changed his clothes; and, in order to do that, he must have bought some; for he had taken nothing with him out of the ship but what he had on. I mean to find that out as soon as I shall no longer be forced to carry on the investigation secretly, as I have done so far. As soon as they see they are overwhelmed by the evidence against them, and feel they are in real danger, they hasten to denounce their accomplices, and to aid justice, with all their perversity to discover them.

Morally sure as I was, after the first examination of the accused, that he had a relatively large sum hidden somewhere, I first gave all my attention to his chamber.

“M.--Excuse me; he must have done something. But, now that he had proved this so amply, he very quickly asked for the letter, and read it. Like the chief surgeon, he, also, was struck and amazed by the wickedness of M. He would never have dared to abuse Miss Ville- Handry’s confidence in so infamous a manner, if he had not been persuaded, in fact been quite sure, that Lieut. Champcey would never return to France.” Then, after a few minutes’ reflection, he added,-- “And yet I feel that there is something underneath still, which we do not see. Something must have happened between the two which we do not know.” “What?” “Ah! But remember what I say, doctor: the future reserves some fearful mysteries yet to be revealed to us hereafter.” The two men had been so entirely preoccupied with their thoughts, that they were unconscious of the flight of time; and they were not a little astonished, therefore, when they now noticed that the day was gone, and night was approaching. After you left, the lieutenant was for some time pretty wild yet; but soon he quieted down, and finally he asked for something to drink. I did so, and I saw him remain so, his arm bent, and his head in his hand, like a man who is thinking profoundly.

I came up softly on tiptoe, and looked. I was mistaken; the lieutenant was not gasping, he was crying like a baby; and what I had heard were sobs. I felt as if somebody had kicked me in the stomach. If I knew where I could catch them, these rascals who give him all this trouble”-- His fists rose instinctively, and most undoubtedly something bright started from his eyes which looked prodigiously like a tear rolling slowly down one of the deep furrows in his cheek. he said something like, ‘Henrietta, Henrietta!’ Always that good friend of his, for whom he was forever calling when he had the fever. “He suspected there was something else; and here it is.” “You say, commandant?” asked the good sailor. I did so.

He was asleep as you see him now.” “And how did his eyes look when he fell asleep?” “Quite calm and bright.” The doctor looked like a man to whom something has happened which is utterly inexplicable to him, and said in a low voice,-- “He will pull through, I am sure now. If I did not lose my mind yesterday, that shows that my reason can stand the most terrible trial. Take care, be watchful; think that you are the only friend, the sole hope here below, of your Henrietta.” Now it was truly seen that Daniel had not presumed too much on his strength and his courage. so much too late. “You ought to remember this, also, that M.

“The man who fired at me has been arrested?” Lefloch was unable to restrain himself at this juncture, and replied,-- “I should say so, lieutenant, and by my hand, before his gun had cooled off.” The doctor did not wait for the questions which he read in the eyes of his patient. Faithful to her system, Sarah wrote volumes; and from line to line, in some way or other, her real or feigned love for Daniel broke forth more freely, and no longer was veiled and hidden under timid reserve and long-winded paraphrases. It sounded like an intense, irresistible passion, escaping from the control of the owner, and breaking forth terribly, like a long smouldering fire. Weary of the control which her indiscretions rendered indispensable, she has fled, we know not with whom; and all our efforts to find her have so far been unsuccessful.” On the other hand, M. my poor, excellent Daniel, why should I be compelled by the duties of friendship to confess to you that it was not for the purpose of remaining faithful to you, that Miss Henrietta was so anxious to be free? You would suffer too much in finding her whom you have loved so dearly unworthy of an honest man, unworthy of you. He once more read over, more attentively than at first, the letters of Maxime and the Countess Sarah; and, by comparing them with each other, he thought he noticed in them some traces of a beginning disagreement. Or is the whole merely a comedy for the purpose of deceiving me, and keeping me here, until the murderer has done his work?” He was not allowed to torture his mind long with efforts to seek the solution of this riddle. Daniel very naturally, somewhat ashamed of his imprudence, tried to excuse himself; and, when he had concluded his explanations, the lawyer said,-- “Now, one more question: would you recognize the man who attempted to drown you in the Dong-Nai in a boat which he had offered to you, and which he upset evidently on purpose?” “No, sir.” “Ah!

That man was Crochard, I am sure; but he will deny it; and the prosecution will have nothing but probabilities to oppose to his denial, unless I can find the place where he changed his clothes.” “Excuse me, there is a way to ascertain his identity.” “How?” “The voice of the wretch is so deeply engraven on my mind, that even at this moment, while I am speaking to you, I think I can hear it in my ear; and I would recognize it among a thousand.” The lawyer made no reply, weighing, no doubt, in his mind the chances of a confrontation. Then he made up his mind, and said,-- “It is worth trying.” And handing his clerk, who had been a silent witness of this scene, an order to have the accused brought to the hospital, he said,-- “Take this to the jail, and let them make haste.” It was a month now since Crochard had been arrested; and his imprisonment, so far from discouraging him, had raised his spirits. At first, his arrest and the examination had frightened him; but, as the days went by, he recovered his insolence.

But for that reflection, he would have gone on thus,-- “That’s impossible; for the night was too dark to distinguish a man’s features.” And that would have been equivalent to a confession; and he would have had nothing to answer the magistrate, if the latter had asked at once,-- “How do you know that the darkness was so great on the banks of the Dong-Nai? Do I know any Spanish?” “No, very likely not; but like all Frenchmen who live in this colony, and like all the marines, you no doubt know a certain number of words of these two languages.” To the great surprise of the doctor and of Daniel, the prisoner did not deny it; it looked as if he felt that he was on dangerous ground. I know your antecedents, from the first petty theft that procured you four months’ imprisonment, to the aggravated robbery for which you were sent to the penitentiary, when you were in the army.” Profound stupor lengthened all of Crochard’s features; but he was not the man to give up a game in which his head was at stake, without fighting for it. “I have been condemned to ten years, that is true, when I was a soldier; but it was for having struck an officer who had punished me unjustly.” “You lie. A former soldier of your regiment, who is now in garrison here in Saigon, will prove it.” For the first time the accused seemed to be really troubled. So he changed his tactics; and, assuming an abject humility, he said,-- “One may have committed a fault, and still be incapable of murdering a man.” “That is not your case.” “Oh! Must I needs have such a mishap?” The magistrate had for some time been looking at the accused with an air of the most profound disgust. Do you want to see him?” Once more Crochard opened his lips to protest his innocence; but he could not utter a sound.

He knew in advance that the first victory would be easily won, and that the real difficulty would be to induce the prisoner to confess the name of his principal.

Without giving him, therefore time to recover, he said,-- “Now, what reasons had you for persecuting M. “So you will not tell the truth? Instead, therefore, of replying to the prisoner, he turned to the gendarmes who were present and said to them,-- “Take the prisoner into the next room. Strip him, and examine all his clothes carefully: see to it that there is nothing hid in the lining.” The gendarmes advanced to seize the prisoner, when he suddenly jumped up, and said in a tone of ill-constrained rage,-- “No need for that! “Let them give me a knife or a pair of scissors.” They were careful not to do so.

But, at a sign given by the magistrate, one of the gendarmes approached, and, drawing a penknife from his pocket, ripped the seam at the place which the prisoner pointed out. I suppose I picked it up somewhere.” “What? Here is evidently the address of some one who lives in University Street.” Daniel was trembling on his bed.

He uttered half loud, as if replying to certain objections in his own mind,-- “Everything is becoming clear.” And yet, to the great surprise of his listeners, he abandoned this point; and, returning to the prisoner, he asked him,-- “So you acknowledge having received money for the murder of Lieut. Champcey?” “I never said so.” “No; but the three thousand francs found concealed on your person say so very clearly. I mean to do so again and again. I am not a tell- tale.” Then, all of a sudden, making up his mind, and showing himself just the man the magistrate had expected to find, he said with a cynic laugh,-- “Upon my word, so much the worse for them! I once said to him, ‘Do you know you look like a prodigiously lucky fellow?’ And he replied, ‘Oh, not as much so as you think;’ but that is all.” “Where does he live?” “In Paris, Rue Louis, 39.” “Do you write to him there? 88.” It became evident now, that, so far from endeavoring to save his accomplices, Crochard, surnamed Bagnolet, would do all he could to aid justice in discovering them.

And do you know for what crime he had been condemned?” “For forgery, I believe, and also for theft.” “And what was he doing before he was condemned?” “He was employed by a banker, or perhaps as cashier in some large establishment.

At all events, he had money to handle; and it stuck to his fingers.” “I am surprised, as you are so well informed with regard to this man’s antecedents, that you should know nothing of his present means of existence.” “He has money, plenty of money; that is all I know.” “Have you lost sight of him?” “Why, yes. Quite at home in the law, as far as it was studied at the galleys, he had instantly recognized that his situation was by no means so desperate as he had at first supposed; that, if the jury rendered a verdict of guilty of death, it would be against the instigator of the crime, and that he would probably get off with a few years’ penal servitude. Now there appeared, under the odious personage of the murderer, the pretentious and ridiculous orator of the streets and prisons, who is accustomed to make himself heard, and displays his eloquence with great pride. I had eaten nothing; I had not a cent in my pockets and I was walking along the boulevards, loafing, and thinking how I could procure some money. I have seen that head somewhere.’ “Thereupon, I go to work, and remain fixed to the front of the shop, a little at the side, though, you know, at a place where, without being seen myself, I could very well watch my individual, who laughed and talked, showing his white teeth, while a pretty girl was trying on a pair of gloves. The more I looked at him, the more I thought, ‘Positively, Bagnolet, although that sweet soul don’t look as if he were a member of your society, you know him.’ “However, as I could not put a name to that figure, I was going on my way, when suddenly my memory came back to me, and I said, ‘Cretonne, it is an old comrade. At last he says, ‘If you do not clear out, I will call a policeman.’ Well, the mustard got into my nose, and I began to cry, to annoy him, so as to collect a crowd,-- “‘What, what! Nothing at all; for I have nothing.’ “I must tell you, that, while I said all this, I looked at him fixedly with the air of a man who has nothing in his stomach, and who is bent upon putting something into it. He also looked at me fixedly; and, if his eyes had been pistols--but they were not.

And, when he saw I was determined, the fine gentleman softened down. He thought it of great importance that Crochard’s evidence should be written down, word for word; and he saw, that, for some little while, the clerk had been unable to follow. And when the clerk had filled up what was wanting, and the magistrate had looked it over, he said to the prisoner,-- “Now you can go on, but speak more slowly.” The wretch smiled, well pleased.

“Don’t let your soup get cold,” he continued. There were some even who stopped him, shook hands with him, and offered to treat him; but he left them all promptly, saying, ‘Excuse me, pray, I am in a hurry.’ “Why, yes, he was in a hurry; and I who was behind him, and saw and heard it all, I laughed in my sleeve most heartily.” Whatever advantage there may be in not interrupting a great talker, who warms up as he talks, and consequently forgets himself, the magistrate became impatient. how are you?’ “At first, when I saw myself so well received, I was quite overcome. Then reflecting, I thought, ‘It is not natural for him to be so soft. He is getting ready for some trick. I have long foreseen something of the kind would happen; and I know that every time I go out I run the risk of meeting a former comrade. Besides, as you are in Paris without leave, before twenty-four hours are over, you would be in jail.’ He told me all this so calmly, that I felt it was so, and that the scamp had some special trick. I have something to do for you.’” Henceforth Bagnolet had reason to be satisfied. Although the magistrate preserved his impassive appearance, Daniel and the chief surgeon listened with breathless attention, feeling that the prisoner had come to the really important part of his confession, from which, no doubt, much light would be obtained. “Naturally,” continued Crochard, “when he talked of something to do, I opened my ears wide.

But I have not put anything aside; and if an accident should happen to me, which I have reason to fear, I would be destitute.’ “I should have liked very much to know more; but he would not tell me anything else concerning himself; and I had to give him my whole history since my release. that was soon done. “‘Since that is so,’ he said, ‘you shall see what a comrade is.’ I ought to say that the cab had been going all the time we were talking, and that we were out in the suburbs now. My Chevassat raised the blind to look out; and, as soon as he saw a clothing store, he ordered the driver to stop there. The driver did so; and then Chevassat said to me, ‘Come, old man, we’ll begin by dressing you up decently.’ So we get out; and upon my word, he buys me a shirt, trousers, a coat, and everything else that was needful; he pays for a silk hat, and a pair of varnished boots.

I would not have been so delighted, if I had known what I should have to pay for all this; for in the first place”-- “Oh, go on!” broke in the lawyer; “go on!” Not without some disappointment, Crochard had to acknowledge that everything purely personal did not seem to excite the deepest interest. He made a face, full of spite, and then went on, speaking more rapidly,-- “All these purchases had taken some time; so that it was six o’clock, and almost dark, when we reached Vincennes. A little before we got into the town, Chevassat stopped the cab, paid the driver, sends him back, and, taking me by the arm, says, ‘You must be hungry: let us dine.’ “So we first absorb a glass of absinthe; then he carries me straight to the best restaurant, asks for a private room, and orders a dinner. I want a good stout fellow; and I thought you might be the man.’ “Upon my word, he told me that in such a peculiar way, that I felt as if somebody had kicked me in the stomach; and I began to be afraid of him. But if anything should happen to a certain person whom I think of, I should be rich; and you--why, you might be rich too, if you were willing to give him a little push with the elbow, so that the thing might happen to him a little sooner.’” Earnestly bent upon the part which he had to play for the sake of carrying out his system of defence, the prisoner assumed more and more hypocritical repentance, an effort which gave to his wicked face a peculiarly repulsive expression. I got up; and, striking the table with my fist, I cried out, ‘I am your man!’” Although, probably, the whole scene never took place, except in the prisoner’s imagination, Daniel could not help trembling under his cover, at the thought of these two wretches arranging for his death, while they were there, half drunk, glass in hand, and their elbows resting on a table covered with wine-stains.

Lefloch, on his part, stood grasping the bedstead so hard with his hand, that the wood cracked. Perhaps he dreamed he held in his grasp the neck of the man who was talking so coolly of murdering his lieutenant. “Unfortunately, it was no dream; and I soon found that out, when a waiter came up and brought me a letter. I go up, ring the bell; a servant opens the door; I enter, and find, in an elegant apartment, my brigand in a dressing-gown, stretched out on a sofa. But, as soon as I began, he became perfectly furious, calling me a coward and a traitor, and telling me that I had no choice but to make my fortune, or to receive a blow with the big knife between my shoulders. “Not so fast,” he said: “we are not done yet. I would have--but no; he knows me; he would never have dared”-- The magistrate had caught the prisoner’s eye, and, fixing him sternly, he said good-naturedly,-- “Why did you tell me, then, that that man magnetized you, and frightened you out of your wits?” The wretch had gone into the snare, and, instead of answering, hung his head, and tried to sob. Champcey’s address for?” “So that I might know him personally.” “Well, go on.” “At first, when I heard he was a lieutenant in the navy, I said I must give it up, knowing as I did that with such men there is no trifling. But Chevassat scolded me so terribly, and called me such hard names, that I finally got mad, and promised everything. They have not gotten their full number yet: so you go and offer yourself.

And I--I was so completely bewildered, that I had nothing to say in return. Well, as you will exhibit your papers in excellent order, they will take you.’ “I opened my eyes wide, and said, ‘That’s all very pretty, what you say; but the mischief is, that, as I have not worked at my profession for more than fifteen years, I have no papers at all.’ He shrugs his shoulders, and says, ‘You shall have your papers.’ That worries me; and I reply, ‘If I have to steal somebody’s papers, and change my name, I won’t do it.’ But the brigand had his notions. Besides, Chevassat said he would enlist some people in my behalf; perhaps I had been specially recommended.” “And thus you sailed?” “Yes. They gave me my ticket, some money for travelling expenses; and, five days after my meeting with Chevassat, I was on board ‘The Conquest.’ Lieut.

He spoke of this abominable plot, of this assassination which had been so carefully plotted, and of the price agreed upon, and partly paid in advance, as if the whole had been a fair commercial operation. The magistrate hastened to look up the address given by the prisoner, and found it entered thus: “Langlois, sumptuous apartments for families and single persons. He had foreseen this wrath on the part of the prisoner; he had prepared it carefully, and caused it to break out fully; for he knew it would bring him full light on the whole subject. I am sure, after that, the scamp will keep quiet; and the police will have nothing to do but to take the omnibus, and arrest him at his lodgings.” The magistrate had allowed the prisoner to give free vent to his fury, knowing full well by experience how intensely criminals hate those of their accomplices by whom they find themselves betrayed. But, strong as he is, if we could be confronted in court, I’d undertake, just by looking at him, to get the truth out of him somehow.” “You shall be confronted, I promise you.” The prisoner seemed to be amazed. Besides, he delighted in advance in the idea of seeing Chevassat in court, seated by his side as a fellow-prisoner. He is a handsome fellow, very well made, and wears all his beard. He looks clever, with soft eyes; and his face inspires confidence at once.” “Ah!

And, suddenly remembering something, he called Lefloch. “Will you please,” said Daniel at the same time, “ask the prisoner, if, among the sixty or seventy portraits in that book, he knows any one?” The album was handed to Crochard, surnamed Bagnolet, who turned over leaf after leaf, till all of a sudden, and almost beside himself, he cried out,-- “Here he is, Justin Chevassat! that’s he, no doubt about it.” Daniel could, from his bed, see the photograph, and said,-- “That is Maxime’s portrait.” After this decisive evidence, there could be no longer any doubt that Justin Chevassat and Maxime de Brevan were one and the same person. The only time when I tried it really in earnest was in the little boat, because there, I ran some risk; it was like a duel, since my life was as much at stake as the lieutenant’s. The surgeon and the lawyer withdrew, to let him have some rest. And her confidence in me was so great, that, if she had any presentiment, she suppressed it for my sake.” Daniel had, to be sure, a certain assurance now, that Maxime de Brevan would not be able to escape from justice. Blinded by passion, so as to ask for impossibilities, Daniel would have had this lawyer, who was so clever in unearthing crimes committed in Saigon, find means rather to prevent the atrocious crime which was now going on in France. At the first glimpse of reason that had appeared after his terrible sufferings, he had hastened to write to Henrietta, begging her to take courage, and promising her that he would soon be near her.

And still, by a prodigious effort of his will, his convalescence pursued its normal, steady way in spite of so many contrary influences. And with his strength and his health, hope, also, began to come back; when, all of a sudden, two letters from Henrietta rekindled the fever. In one the poor girl told him how she had lived so far on the money obtained from the sale of the little jewelry she had taken with her, but added that she was shamefully cheated, and would soon be compelled to seek employment of some sort in order to support herself.

“I am quite sure,” she said, with a kind of heartrending cheerfulness, “that I can earn my forty cents a day; and with that, my friend, I shall be as happy as a queen, and wait for your return, free from want.” In the other she wrote,-- “None of my efforts to procure work has so far succeeded. Soon I shall be without bread. Farewell!” He sent for the chief surgeon, and said, as soon as he entered,-- “I must go!” The good doctor frowned, and replied rudely,-- “Are you mad? Read this, and you will see yourself that I cannot do otherwise.” The chief surgeon took in Henrietta’s last letter almost at a single glance; but he held it in his hand for some time, pretending to read it, but in reality meditating. Therefore it is my duty to keep him here: and that can be done, since he is as yet unable to go out alone; and Lefloch will obey me, I am sure, when I tell him that his master’s life depends upon his obedience.” Too wise to meet so decided a determination as Daniel’s was by a flat refusal, he said,-- “Very well, then; be it as you choose!” Only he came in again the same evening, and, with an air of disappointment, said to Daniel,-- “To go is all very well; but there is one difficulty in the way, of which neither you nor I have thought.” “And what is that?” “There is no vessel going home.” “Really, doctor?” “Ah! my dear friend,” replied the excellent man boldly, “do you think I could deceive you?” Evidently Daniel thought him quite capable of doing so; but he took good care not to show his suspicions, reserving to himself the right of making direct inquiries as soon as the opportunity should offer.

He sent Lefloch out of the room on some pretext, and then begged them to go down to the port, and to engage a passage for him,--no, not for him, but for his man, whom urgent business recalled to France. Ten other persons whom Daniel asked to do the same thing brought him the same answer. But the concierge of the hospital, and Lefloch, were so well drilled, that no visitor reached Daniel before having learned his lesson thoroughly.

It would, of course, have been simple folly to try and keep a man back who was so much bent upon his purpose; and, as his first visit to the port would have revealed to him the true state of things, the old surgeon preferred to make a clean breast of it. He replied with a certain solemnity which he rarely assumed,-- “I have only obeyed my conscience. On Sunday, in five days; and that ship is ‘The Saint Louis’ a famous clipper, and so good a sailor, that you will easily overtake the two big three-masters that have sailed before you.” Offering his hand to Daniel, he added,-- “Come, my dear Champcey; don’t blame an old friend who has done what he thought was his duty to do.” Daniel was too painfully affected to pay much attention to the conclusive and sensible reasons alleged by the chief surgeon; he saw nothing but that his friends had taken advantage of his condition to keep him in the dark. Still he also felt that it would have been black ingratitude and stupid obstinacy to preserve in his heart a shadow of resentment. He went at once, and found the lawyer, but so changed, that he hardly recognized him at first. He meant to sail in a frigate which was to leave towards the end of the month, and in which Crochard, also, was to be sent home. “In this way,” he said, “I shall arrive at the same time as the accused, and very soon after the papers, which were sent home last week; and I trust and hope I shall be allowed to conduct the trial of an affair, which, so far, has gone smoothly enough in my hands.” His impassive air was gone; and that official mask was laid aside, which might have been looked upon as much a part of his official costume as the black gown which was lying upon one of his trunks. He must be a cool swindler, brimful of cunning and astuteness, familiar with all the tricks of criminal courts, and not so easily overcome. Champcey was on the point of sailing, he wished to tell him that he would receive a very important packet, which he was desired to hand to the court as soon as he reached Paris.

So, when he undressed at night, he said to himself,-- “After all, the day has not been so very long!” But to-morrow, and the day after to-morrow, and the next days! He tried in vain to get rid of the fixed idea which filled his mind,--a mechanical instinct, so to say, which was stronger than his will, and drove him incessantly to the wharf where “The Saint Louis” was lying. Sitting on some bags of rice, he spent hour after hour in watching the cargo as it was put on board. Never had the Annamites and the Chinamen, who in Saigon act as stevedores, appeared to him so lazy, so intolerable. Sometimes he felt as if, seeing or guessing his impatience, they were trying to irritate him by moving the bales with the utmost slowness, and walking with unbearable laziness around with the windlass. I was just going to send you word that you had better sleep on board.” That evening the officers of “The Conquest,” gave Daniel a farewell dinner; and it was nearly midnight, when, after having once more shaken hands most cordially with the old chief surgeon, he took possession of his state-room, one of the largest on board ship, in which they had put up two berths, so that, in case of need, Lefloch might be at hand to attend his master. “The Saint Louis” was a first-class sailer; and the captain, stimulated by the presence of a navy lieutenant, always exacted the utmost from his ship; so that on the seventeenth day after they had left Saigon, on a fine winter afternoon, Daniel could see the hills above Marseilles rise from the blue waters of the Mediterranean. The slightest delay in the position in which they were, and at a season when night falls so suddenly, deprived them of all hope of going on shore that night. Nevertheless, he ordered all that was necessary to slacken speed, and then to tack so as to come close upon the little boat.

Crimson with wrath, he now seized the young sailor by his collar; and, shaking him so roughly as nearly to disjoint his neck, he said with a formidable oath,-- “Are you making fun of me? What wretched joke have you been playing?” Like their captain, the men on board, also, had discovered the perfect uselessness of the signals of distress which had excited their sympathy; and their indignation was great at what they considered a stupid mystification. I, I would not make the signal; but”-- Nevertheless, the poor fellow would probably have experienced some very rough treatment, if the “gentleman” had not come running up, and covered him with his own body, exclaiming,-- “Let that poor boy go! so it is you who have dared”-- “Yes, I did it. But I had my reasons. As soon as they were alone, he said,-- “Could I be here, if I had not used a stratagem? “If that is so,” he said to Daniel, “we cannot blame this gentleman for the ugly trick he has played us.” “Blame him? As soon, therefore, as ‘The Saint Louis’ was telegraphed in town, you may be sure a spy was sent to the wharf, who is going to follow you, never losing sight of you, and who will report all your goings and your doings.” “What does it matter?” “Ah! do not say so, sir! They have pushed me so far down into the mud, that they cannot imagine my ever rising again up to their level.

Daniel wondered, and asked himself what the people who had sworn to ruin him and Henrietta could have done to this man, who looked so inoffensive with his bright-flowered waistcoat and his coat with the high collar. I did not come out so far, that they might see me enter on board ‘The Saint Louis.’” And when Daniel offered him his state-room, where he might remain in concealment, he replied,-- “No, no! We shall have time enough to come to an understanding about what is to be done in Paris; and I must go back by rail to-night; I came down for the sole purpose of telling you this. When they were safely stowed away in it, and at the moment when they cast off the man-rope, Papa Ravinet called to Daniel,-- “We shall soon see you!

When Papa Ravinet had appeared the evening before, with his carpet-bag in his hand, his hurry had been so extraordinary, and his excitement so great, that one might have doubted his sanity. Champcey will arrive, or perhaps has already arrived, in Marseilles, on board a merchant vessel, ‘The Saint Louis.’ I have been told so at the navy department. To-morrow, I’ll send you a telegram.” The two ladies asked for something more, a hope, a word; but no, nothing more! When the clock struck seven, the good widow was aroused from her grave thoughts, which seemed so different from her usual cheerful temper. “Come, come, Miss Henrietta,” she said with somewhat forced gayety, “my brother’s departure does not condemn us, as far as I know, to starve ourselves to death.” She had gotten up as she said this. And, quite proud of her happy thought, she went out instantly, hurried to the nearest bookstore, and soon reappeared, flourishing triumphantly a yellow pamphlet, and saying,-- “Now we shall see it all, my dear child.” Then, placing the guide on the tablecloth between them, they looked for the page containing the railway from Paris to Lyons and Marseilles, then the train which Papa Ravinet was to have taken; and they delighted in counting up how swiftly the “express” went, and all the stations where it stopped. Then, when the table was cleared, instead of going industriously to work, as usually, they kept constantly looking at the clock, and, after consulting the book, said to each other,-- “He is at Montereau now; he must be beyond Sens; he will soon be at Tonnerre.” A childish satisfaction, no doubt, and very idle. The poor women, reduced as they were to conjectures by Papa Ravinet’s laconic answers, nevertheless knew full well that some great event was in preparation, something unexpected, and yet decisive.

Then, again, why should he come home in a merchant vessel, and not on board his frigate?” “Your letters have probably reached him at last,” explained the old lady; “and, as soon as he received them, he came home.” Gradually, however, after having exhausted all conjectures, and after having discussed all contingencies, Henrietta became silent. Bertolle, also, was a little disappointed; but she was not the person to let it be seen. The most fearful hatred convulsed her ordinarily calm and gentle features; and pale, with closed teeth, and in a hoarse voice, she said over and over again,-- “We shall be avenged.” Most assuredly Henrietta did not find out only now that the old dealer and his sister hated her enemies, Sarah Brandon and Maxime de Brevan, mortally; but she had never seen that hatred break out so terribly as to-night. Ill-bred and coarse in Water Street, amid the thousand articles of his trade, he became a very different man as soon as he reached his sister’s house. “You saw, my dear child,” she began saying, “that my brother desires us to be ready to set out on a long journey as soon as he comes home.” “Yes, madam; and I am quite astonished.” “I understand; but, although I know no more than you do of my brother’s intentions, I know that he does nothing without a purpose. But it was absolutely necessary I should show myself in Water Street.” “You have seen Mrs. “Ah, I don’t feel so safe there,” he replied. We can talk on the way.” When he noticed some reluctance in Henrietta’s face, he added with a kindly smile,-- “You need not fear anything, Miss Henrietta; we are not going away from M. She had, therefore, to drop anchor at some distance from the harbor, to the great disgust of the crew, who saw Marseilles all ablaze before them, and who could count the wineshops, and hear the songs of the half-drunken people as they walked down the wharves in merry bands. The men had been actively engaged ever since early in the morning, to set things right aloft and below, so as to “dress” “The Saint Louis;” for every ship, when it enters port, is decked out gayly, and carefully conceals all traces of injuries she has suffered, like the carrier-pigeon, which, upon returning to his nest after a storm, dries and smooths his feathers in the sun.

Soon the anchors were got up again; and the great clock on the wharf struck twelve, when Daniel jumped on the wharf at Marseilles, followed by his faithful man, and dazzled by the most brilliant sunlight. when he felt his foot once more standing on the soil of France, whence a vile plot had driven him long ago, his eyes flashed, and a threatening gesture boded ill to his enemies. A big fellow, dark complexioned, and wicked looking, had followed the same route as he, always keeping some thirty yards behind him. “Besides,” he added, “it is not proved yet that we are really watched; it may be merely a curious coincidence.” “That may be so,” growled Lefloch. And the first person they saw as they got out at Paris was the same man. But, once outside, he was so overcome, that he lost his way in the long passages and interminable staircases, in spite of the directions hung up at every turn, and had finally to ask a waiter, who pointed out a door which he had passed half a dozen times, and said,-- “That is No. 5.” He knocked gently, and the door opened instantly, as if somebody had been standing behind it, ready to open it promptly.

But as quickly she bounded to meet him, casting both arms around his neck, and leaning upon his bosom, sobbing and stammering,-- “Daniel, Daniel! There was not a day, so to say, in these two years, that had not brought them its share of grief and sorrow. They remained thus for a long time, holding each other closely, overcome with happiness, unable, as yet, to believe in the reality for which they had sighed so long, unable to utter a word, laughing and weeping in one breath. They will have to pay for everything.” Daniel, in the meantime, was recovering himself gradually; and reason once more got the better of his feelings. to abandon his child to the mercy of such miserable wretches!” And, when the poor girl looked at him imploringly, he replied,-- “Be it so! I also know that my friend, the proud nobleman, Maxime de Brevan, who has been received in the most aristocratic salons of Paris, has been a galley-slave, condemned for forgery.” Henrietta had risen, filled with terror. “Then,” she stammered, “this wretched man was”-- “Chevassat’s son; yes, madam,” replied Mrs. Yes, I shall!” But from that moment there was an end of that logical order which the old gentleman had so far kept up. As it always happens with people who are under the influence of some passion, eager to learn what they do not know, and little disposed to tell what they do know, confusion prevailed soon.

Champcey,” he began at last, “the more I think of it, the more I am convinced that Sarah Brandon had nothing to do with these attempts at assassination, which so nearly made an end of you. She always acts alone, when her mind is made up; and her accomplices aid her only unconsciously, so that they can never betray her.” Daniel had been thoughtful. de Brevan.” The old gentleman did not seem to hear him, so intensely did he apply all the faculties of his mind to the problem before him. Could Brevan have done so without Sarah’s knowledge, and perhaps even contrary to her wishes?” “That is quite possible; but then why should he have done so?” “To secure to himself the fortune which M. Champcey had so imprudently intrusted to him,” said Henrietta. Murder is so dangerous an expedient, that even the boldest criminals only resort to it in the last extremity, and generally very much against their inclination. Champcey?” Daniel’s face turned crimson. And, looking fixedly at Daniel, she went on,-- “That wretched woman impudently boasted to my face that she loved you; more than that, she swore that you, also, had loved her, and were still in love with her.

you would not talk so, if you knew Sarah Brandon’s antecedents as well as I do. Ask my sister about her and Maxime de Brevan, and she will tell you why I look upon that apparently trifling circumstance as so very important.” Mrs. Champcey, if I insist, and especially if I do so in Miss Henrietta’s presence; but our interest, I might almost say our safety, requires it. Daniel felt it; and hence he said, without hesitating any longer, but looking stealthily at Henrietta’s face,-- “Since that is so, I will not conceal from you that the Countess Sarah has written me a dozen letters of at least extraordinary nature.” “You have kept them, I hope?” “Yes; they are all in one of my trunks.” Papa Ravinet was evidently much embarrassed; but at last he said,-- “Ah!

“No; it is something very different I want you to do.” And, when Daniel still seemed to be embarrassed, he added,-- “You ought not to give way to such exaggerated delicacy, M. If you sin against social conventionalities, you risk your whole happiness of life. And Miss Henrietta has been too much calumniated already.” To soar in the azure air, and suddenly to fall back into the mud on earth; to indulge in the sweetest of dreams, and all at once to be recalled to stern reality,--this is what Daniel and Henrietta endured at that moment.

The calm, collected voice of the old dealer sounded cruel to them. Now, I ask you, is the count a man who will survive such a disgrace?” For some time Henrietta had been unable to suppress her sobs; under this terrible threat she broke out in loud weeping. Would I be here, if I did not think that Sarah was not quite ready yet?” Daniel, also, had suffered terribly during this discussion; and he now said passionately,-- “Would it not be a crime for us to think, to wait, and to calculate, when such great dangers are impending? There must be something that can be done.” The old dealer did not stir. That, in order to delay the catastrophe, he has resorted to illegal means? She is sorry for it. Brian.” “Well; but how shall we get such evidence?” The old gentleman cast a look of intelligence at his sister, smiled, and said with a strange accent in his voice,-- “I have collected some.

And Papa Ravinet and his sister had said,--“As for us, even more than that depends upon it.” The old dealer, therefore, drew up an easy- chair, sat down, and began in a somewhat husky voice,-- “The Countess Sarah is not Sarah Brandon, and is not an American. Merely upon seeing her go along, her head high with an air of saucy indifference, coquettish under her rags, and walking with elastic steps, you would have guessed in her the young Parisian girl, the sister of the poor ‘gamin,’ a thousand times more wicked than her brothers, and far more dangerous to society. Finding that she had some money, she dressed her anew from head to foot, bought her a kind of outfit, and bound her as an apprentice to a dressmaker. Any other person would have been in despair. Sent away here, also, she became a servant in two or three other places of still lower character; then, at last, utterly disgusted, she determined to do nothing at all. And then I have witnesses to prove everything I have told you so far,--witnesses whom I shall summon, and who will speak whenever the necessity arises to establish the identity of the Countess Sarah.” Daniel made no reply.

“One winter morning, as he was at work in his studio, he was struck by the strange ring in a woman’s voice, which recited in the court-yard below a popular song.

But he was at the same time almost dazzled by the rich promises of beauty in her face, the pure notes of her superb voice, which had withstood so far, and the surprising intelligence beaming in her features. He devoted himself heart and soul to his new favorite, with all the enthusiastic ardor of an artist, and all the jealous passion of an amateur. “How the old German went to work to keep this untamable vagabond at home, how he made her bend to his will, and submit to his lessons, no one will ever be able to tell. It was long a problem for me also. Some of the neighbors told me that he treated her harshly, beating her often brutally; but neither threats nor blows were apt to make an impression on Sarah Brandon. Among men there will be none so noble, none so great, none so rich, but he will beg for one of your looks; and they will fight for one of your smiles. At first she had been deterred by the extreme difficulties which beset so late a beginning; but her amazing natural gifts had soon begun to show themselves, and in a short time her progress was almost miraculous.

“It is true that her innate sagacity had made her soon find out how ignorant she was of the world.

She saw that society did not exclusively consist, as she had heretofore imagined, of people like those she had known. “At last she actually learned to know the tree of good fruit, after having for so many years known only the tree of forbidden fruit. And he knew much; for the eccentric old man had travelled for a long time over the world, and observed man on every step of the social ladder.

He had been a favorite artist at the court of Vienna; he had had several of his operas brought out in Italy; and he had been admitted to the best society in Paris. At night, therefore, while sipping his coffee, his feet on the andirons, and his long pipe in his mouth, he would soon forget himself amid the recollections of his youth.

“The soul remained corrupt; and all the charms with which it was outwardly adorned became only so many base allurements, like those beautiful flowers which unfold their splendor on the surface of bottomless swamps, and thus lead those whom they attract to miserable death.

The castings of the little railing in front were found to be broken in two places, and so long ago, that a thick layer of rust had filled up the cracks.

I have long endeavored to find out what had become of the various bonds and the ready money of the old artist; for everybody who had known him agreed that there must be some. But he--he worshipped her; he loved her passionately, madly, and was so absurdly jealous, that he became desperate if she stayed out an hour longer than he expected. Hence she often complained of his love, which restrained her cherished liberty; and still she bore it patiently till fate threw in her way Maxime de Brevan.” At the name of the wretch who had been so bent upon ruining them both, and who had been so nearly successful, Henrietta and Daniel trembled, and looked at each other. In a society which seems to have adopted for its motto the words ‘Toleration and Discretion,’ and where, consequently, anybody is admitted without question, Justin Chevassat very naturally had a great success. He had learned prudence by experience; for his antecedents were stormy enough, though less so than Sarah’s.

23 Water Street, were, some thirty-eight or forty years ago, living in the upper part of the suburb of Saint Honore.

They were people of easy principles and loose morals,--as there are so many in our day,--honest enough as long as there is nothing to be gained by being otherwise. The husband was twenty-four, and the wife nineteen years old, when, to their great joy, a son was born. There was rejoicing in the shop; and the child was christened Justin, in honor of his godfather, who was no less a personage than the valet of the Marquis de Brevan. “But to have a son is a small matter. These stupid people, who had a business which supported them handsomely, and enabled them, in the course of time, to amass a small fortune, did not see that the best thing they could have done would have been to enlarge it, and to leave it to their son. The father preferred seeing him a government official, holding one of those much-coveted places, which give the owner, after twenty-five years’ service, a title, and an income of some six or seven hundred dollars.

They had become so accustomed to look upon their son as a superior being, that it never entered their mind to think he was not the first, the best, and the most remarkable pupil of the establishment. If he gained no prize at the end of the year,--and he never got any,--they did not know what to do for him to console him for having been victimized by such cruel injustice. “When Justin was fourteen years old, he despised his parents thoroughly, treated them like servants, and was so much ashamed of them, that he would not allow his mother to come and see him in the parlor of the college to which he had been admitted of late. When his father asked him timidly what he proposed doing, he shrugged his shoulders as his sole reply. “It was his despair to be the son of a restaurant-keeper, and to be called Chevassat. “One fine morning when he needed a couple of hundred dollars, his parents told him, with tears in their eyes, that they had not twenty dollars in the house; that they were at the end of their resources; that the day before a note of theirs had been protested; and that they were at that moment on the brink of bankruptcy. And, with fear and trembling, they at last ventured to suggest, that perhaps it would be well if he should seek some kind of work. His father and mother had still a watch and some jewelry; they pawned everything and brought him the proceeds. “Still he saw that the till he had considered inexhaustible was really empty, and that henceforth his pockets also would be empty, unless he could devise some means to fill them. He went, therefore, in search of some employment; and his godfather, the valet, found one for him at the house of a banker, who was in want of a reliable young man to be trained for his business, and hereafter to be intrusted with the management of his funds.” Papa Ravinet’s voice changed so perceptibly as he uttered these last words, that Daniel and Henrietta, with one impulse, asked him,-- “Is anything the matter, sir?” He did not make any reply; but his sister, Mrs.

“The hope of getting rich at once by some great stroke was already so deeply rooted in his mind, that it gave him the strength to change his habits and manner of life from one day to another, and to keep up the deceit with a perseverance unheard of at his age.

He had resolved to win the favor of his patron, and to be trusted. So that, only two years after he had first been admitted into the house, he had already been promoted to a place which conferred upon him the keeping of all the valuables of the firm. Nowadays it seems almost an ordinary event to hear of some cashier’s running away with the funds intrusted to his keeping; and no one is astonished. When they knew the keys of their safe to be in the hands of an honest man, whose family and mode of life were well known, they slept soundly. Justin Chevassat’s patron was thus sleeping soundly for ten months, when one Sunday he was specially in need of certain bonds which Justin used to keep in one of the drawers of his desk. He did not like to have his clerk hunted up on such a day; so he simply sent for a locksmith to open the drawer. And yet he was as sure as he was standing there, that it was not he who had put his name, and the somewhat complicated ornament belonging to it, where he saw it written. He had the other drawers opened likewise, searched them, and soon discovered all the details of a formidable and most ingenious plan, by which he was to be robbed at a single blow of more than a million. “If he had slept soundly one month longer, he would have been ruined.

Not so. A minute and careful examination of all the papers soon revealed other misdeeds. In fine, it appeared that the sum total of his defalcations amounted to some eighty thousand dollars. Having lost some money, and fearing to lose his place if he did not pay, the fatal thought had occurred to him to borrow from the strong box. But most extraordinary ill luck had pursued him; so that, seeing the deficit growing larger and larger, and overcome with remorse and terror, he had almost gone mad, and ceased to put any restraint upon himself. “He laid great stress upon the fact that his whole eighty thousand dollars had been lost on ‘Change, and that he would have looked upon himself as the meanest of rascals, if he had spent any part of it on his personal enjoyments. ‘Was it the act of a sensible man,’ he said, ‘to trust so young a man with such important sums? What, this banker never examined his books for so many months?

What kind of a business was it, where a cashier could so easily take eighty thousand dollars, and remain undiscovered? And then, what immorality in a banker to speculate on ‘Change, and thus to set so bad an example to his young, inexperienced clerks!’ “Justin Chevassat escaped with twenty years’ penal servitude. He played the ‘repentant criminal,’ overflowing with professions of sorrow for the past, and amendment in future, and cringing and crouching at the feet of the officials of the prison. He carried on this comedy so successfully, that, after three years and a half, he was pardoned. But he had not lost his time in prison. He came out of prison an accomplished felon. The old marquis had died insolvent, after having lost his five sons, who had gone abroad to make their fortunes. Would people take the trouble to inquire minutely what had become of the marquis and his five sons?

“As soon as he was free once more, he devoted all his energies to the destruction of every trace of his identity; and, when he thought he had accomplished this, he went to Mans, assuming the name of one of the sons of the marquis, who had been nearly of his own age. I always thought he was looking out for a wealthy wife, so as to consolidate his position; and he came near realizing his hopes.

“This only is certain: he was so bitterly disappointed by his failure, that he sold his property, and left the country. At all events, they soon became acquainted, drawn as they were to each other by an instinctive and irresistible attraction. They seemed to be made on purpose to understand, and, so to say, compliment, each other, equally corrupt as they were, devoured by the same sinful desires, and alike free from all the old-fashioned prejudices, as they called it, about justice, morals, and honor. They could hardly help coming soon to some understanding by which they agreed to associate their ambitions and their plans for the future.

“For now they hate each other; but they are also afraid of each other.

Ten times they have tried to break off their intimacy; and as often they have been compelled to renew it, bound as they feel they are to each other by a chain far more oppressive and solid than the one Justin Chevassat wore at the galleys. Planix, Sarah could not make up more than some forty thousand francs. de Brevan undertook to introduce in the society frequented by Sarah and M. de Font-Avar, to tempt him to pay her some attentions. Planix of his persecution, and knew so skilfully how to excite his jealousy, and to wound his vanity, that, three days later, he allowed himself to be carried away by passion, and struck M. We won’t have a hundred thousand francs left.’ “Maxime, however, recovered his equanimity pretty soon; for the sum appeared to him quite large enough to pay for a crime in which they had run no risk, and he was quite as willing as before to marry Sarah; but she refused to listen to him, saying that a hundred thousand francs were barely enough for a year’s income, and that they must wait. “They resolved they would not stop playing till they had won a million, or lost everything. And so they went to Homburg. “The next morning she dressed very early and went out, saying she had a plan in her head, and would soon be back. But anger soon roused him to fury; and at the same time he was filled with an intense desire to avenge himself.

“Never in his life had he fancied himself half so unhappy. During the five months of their intimacy, she had gained such complete ascendency over him, that now, when he was left to his own strength, he felt like a lost child, having no thought and no resolution. “Nevertheless, he returned to Paris, faced the storm, passed through the crisis, and resumed his miserable life, associating with another adventurer like himself, and succeeding thus, by immensely hard work, in maintaining his existence and his assumed name.

He thought that was so simple, and so clever. All I know is, that they belonged to that class of adventurers whom one sees at all the watering-places and gambling-resorts,--at Nice, at Monaco, and during the winter in Italy; swindlers of the highest class, who unite consummate skill with excessive caution; who are occasionally suspected, but never found out; and who are frequently indebted to their art of making themselves agreeable, and even useful to others, to the carelessness of travellers, and their thorough knowledge of life, for the acquaintance, or even friendship, of people whom one is astonished to find in such company. Brian were both English, and, so far, they had managed to live very pleasantly. They did not hesitate, therefore, to offer her a compact by which she was to be a full partner, although they themselves had to risk all they possessed,--a capital of some twenty thousand dollars. “In almost all the capitals of Europe, you will find even now some of these almost sublimely beautiful creatures, who are exhibited in the great world by cosmopolitan adventurers. They have six or seven years,--eighteen to twenty-five,--during which, their beauty and their tact may secure an immense fortune to themselves and their comrades; and according to chance, to their skill, or the whims or the folly of men, they end by marrying some great personage in high life, or by keeping a wretched gambling hell in the suburbs. They may fall upon the velvet cushions of a princely carriage, or sink, step by step, to the lowest depths of society. Brian had agreed that they would exhibit Sarah in Paris; that she was to marry a duke with any number of millions; and that they should be paid for their trouble by receiving an annual allowance of some ten thousand dollars. In this way, Ernestine Bergot appeared at once in the best society of Philadelphia as Sarah Brandon. Elgin also purchased, in spite of his limited means, for a thousand dollars, vast tracts of land in the western part of the State, where there was no trace of oil-wells, but where there might very well be a good many, and had them entered upon the name of his ward.

“Of all these measures, I have the evidence in hand, and can produce it at any moment.” For some time already, Daniel and Henrietta had looked at each other with utter amazement. Brian explained to her the part she was expected to play, she had assumed it so naturally and so perfectly, that all traces of art disappeared at once. She had instinctively appreciated the immense advantage she would derive from personifying a young American girl, and the irresistible effect she might easily produce by her freedom of movement and her bold ingenuousness. Familiar as she was with the life of adventurers in high life, she had soon learned to appreciate M.

She might even have said that she was less so; for the two years and more which had just elapsed had made a large inroad upon the savings of M. They were determined to fall furiously upon the first victim that should pass within reach, when chance brought to them the unlucky cashier of the Mutual Discount Society, Malgat.” XXXI. He was at that time a man of forty, sprung from an old and respectable though modest family, content with his lot in life, and rather simple, as most men are who have always lived far from the intrigues of society. He was not rich, his whole patrimony having been long since spent on his collections; but he had a place that brought him some three thousand dollars; and he was sure of an ample pension in his old age. “He was honest in the highest sense of the word; his honesty being instinctive, so to say, never reasoning, never hesitating. Their confidence in him was so great, that they would have laughed in the face of any one who should have come and told them, ‘Malgat is a thief!’ “Such he was, when, that morning, he was standing near his safe, and saw a gentleman come to his window who had just cashed a check drawn by the Central Bank of Philadelphia upon the Mutual Discount Bank. He had been overtaken by one of those overwhelming passions which sometimes felled to the ground the strongest and simplest of men at the age of forty. One might always get something out of him wherewith to wait for better things to come. Their plan was soon formed. Elgin presented himself alone at the office to ask for some information.

By the end of the week, he had furnished Malgat with an opportunity to render him some trifling service. “He had felt as if Sarah Brandon’s eyes had been all the time upon him,--those strange, sublimely beautiful eyes, which upset our very being within us, weakening the most powerful energy, troubling the senses, and leading reason astray--eyes which dazzle, enchant, and bewitch. Brian appeared one day, all of a sudden, to notice something, and promptly requested Malgat never to put foot again within that house. “Malgat left with tottering steps, despair in his heart, and resolved to kill himself. But how could he reason at a moment when his whole mind was filled with thoughts of the most amazing happiness that ever was enjoyed by mortal being? He knew they represented a large sum, quite a respectable fortune; but such collections cannot be sold overnight; and time was pressing. never had Sarah been so beautiful as at this moment, when she seemed to be maddened by grief; never had her whole personal beauty exhaled such powerful, such irresistible charms. Her breath went and came, causing her almost to sob at every respiration; and big tears, like scattered beads from a chaplet of pearls, rolled down her pale cheeks. “Malgat stood a moment before her, stunned by the blow; and the imminence of the danger extorted from him a confession of the reasons that had made him hesitate so long.

Ah, if you really loved me!’ “And she bent over him, tremulous with passion, watching his features so closely, that their lips nearly touched. Immediately, in order to conceal the true state of things, he took his books, and, with almost diabolic skill, altered the figures, and changed the entries, so as to make it appear that the defalcation was of long date, and that various sums had been abstracted for several months. As he was resolved not to return to his house, nor to encumber himself with luggage, he dined at a restaurant, spent a few minutes at a theatre, and then posted his letter to the board of directors, so that it might reach them early in the morning. In the parlor Sarah was sitting on a sofa, and Maxime de Brevan by her side. They were laughing so loud, that he heard them in the anteroom. When he began to stammer some explanations, she interrupted him, saying,-- “‘Let us speak frankly. Believe me, at all events, when I tell you that I have taken all my precautions so as not to be troubled by anything you may say or do. He had never written such letters; and yet there was his handwriting, imitated with such amazing perfection, that he began to doubt his own senses and his own reason. “Seeing Malgat thus stupefied, Sarah took the word, and said,-- “‘Look here, my dear; I’ll give you some advice. Sarah, also, was examined by a magistrate; but she made it a success.

“This one was a handsome young man, almost a child yet, kind, generous, and chivalrous. They offered him, also, money to flee. As soon as he left the house, he hanged himself on Sarah’s window, thinking that he would thus hold up to public censure the infamous creature who had led him to commit a crime. “In fortune, name, and age, the count was exactly what Sarah had dreamed of so often. de Brevan would not hear of it; and it was the hope he had of breaking it up, which made him speak to you so frankly of Sarah Brandon. And he was so mortally offended, that he would have betrayed her to the courts even, if he had known how to do it without inculpating himself. “You were the very person to reconcile them again, inasmuch as you gave Maxime an opportunity of rendering Sarah Brandon a great service. “He did not then anticipate that she would ever fall in love with you, and that she, in her turn, would have to succumb to one of those desperate passions which she had so often kindled in others, and used for her own advantage.

Laying her hand on his shoulder, and looking deep into the eyes of her betrothed, as if to search the very depths of his conscience, she said,-- “Have you reasons for hesitating?” He hung his head, and said,-- “I shall go.” XXXII. Never in his life had he felt so embarrassed, or so dissatisfied with himself. Unfortunately, he could not refuse to go without risking the peace of his Henrietta, her confidence, and her whole happiness; so he went as bravely as he could. I am sorry I cannot say as much for myself,” replied the latter with a sigh. “You must be surprised,” he continued, “to find me living in such a dog’s kennel, I who formerly--But so it goes. That is my story, and I thought I would enrich my country by a new source of revenue. My misfortunes have been the source of the purest and highest happiness for me.

She sold her diamonds to bring me the proceeds, and gave up to me her whole fortune. “And I,” he resumed in an accent of deepest despair,--“I could not reward her for such love and so many sacrifices. How did I compensate her for being my only consolation, my joy, my sole happiness in life! Brian did so without saying a word; and the countess sank into an arm-chair, as if overcome by a sudden good fortune which she was not able to endure, looking intensely at Daniel, who stood in the centre of the room like a statue.

But she fell, step by step, and finally so low, that one day, when a ray of sense fell upon her mind, she went and killed herself.” It was done.

So, you see, I am reduced to my pittance of pay as a lieutenant. “Is that the reason why they have arrested M. “He has dared touch you!” “Not personally; oh, no!

I see that the order to apprehend my friend Maxime must have reached here before me, although it left Saigon some time later than I did.” Might not M. The Countess Sarah, in fact, never doubted for a moment but that Daniel was as madly in love with her as Planix, as Malgat, and Kergrist, and all the others, had been, she had become so accustomed to find her beauty irresistible and all powerful. How could it ever have occurred to her, that this man, the very first whom she loved sincerely, should also be the first and the only one to escape from her snares? During the last two years she had so often evoked the image of Daniel, she had so constantly lived with him in her thoughts, that she mistook the illusion of her desires for the reality, and was no longer able to distinguish between the phantom of her dreams and the real person. And she, generally, so clearsighted, was not surprised to find that this man, who had been disinterestedness itself, should all of a sudden deplore his losses so bitterly, and value money so highly. Do you--you, Sarah--give me such advice?” He said it so naturally, and with such an air of aggrieved surprise, that she was delighted and carried away by it, as if he had made her the most passionate avowal. Do you really, really love me?” The sound of a key turning in the door interrupted them. Papa Ravinet came back sooner than they expected, all busy and excited. Crimson and breathless, Sarah also had risen, and was listening attentively. But, unfortunately, you, also, are ruined.

A last ray of reason lighted up the abyss at her feet.

Daniel felt as if his reason was giving way. “No,” he said, “Sarah, no, you are not free!” Livid, and with eyeballs starting from their sockets, the wretched woman had shrunk back to a door which opened from the dining-room directly into her chamber. It was evident she was looking for one of those almost incredible excuses which are sometimes accepted by credulous old men when violent passions seize them in their dotage. “She also,” muttered Sarah,--“she too!” The terrible truth broke at last upon her mind: she saw the snare in which she had been caught, and felt that she was lost. I may die; but the memory of my love will never die: it will rankle ever in you like a wound which opens daily afresh, and becomes constantly sorer. You triumph now, Henrietta; but remember, that between your lips and Daniel’s there will forever rise the shadow of Sarah Brandon.” As she said the last words, she raised a small phial, which she held in her hand, with an indescribably swift movement to her lips: she drank the contents, and, sinking into a chair, said,-- “Now I defy you all!” “Ah, she escapes after all!” exclaimed Malgat, “she escapes from justice!” He rushed forward to assist her; but Daniel stepped between, and said,-- “Let her die.” Already horrible convulsions began to seize her; and the penetrating smell of bitter almonds, which slowly filled the whole room, told but too plainly that the poison which she had taken was one of those from which there is no rescue. Bertolle were kneeling by the side of the bed, and the count was sobbing in a corner of the room, when a police-sergeant entered. “I wish to state that I am not Ravinet, dealer in curiosities; but that my true name is Malgat, formerly cashier of the Mutual Discount Society, sentenced in contumaciam to ten years’ penal servitude. The magistrate from Saigon saw his hopes fulfilled, and, thanks to his promotion, was commissioned to continue the trial which he had so ably commenced.

Crochard, surnamed Bagnolet, got off with twenty years; and the two Chevassats escaped with ten years’ solitary confinement. The trial of Thomas Elgin, which came on during the same term, revealed a system of swindling which was so strikingly bold and daring, that it appeared at first sight almost incredible. It excited especial surprise when it was found out that he had issued false shares, which he made Count Ville-Handry buy in, so as to ruin, by the same process, the count as an individual, and the company over which he presided. After having fully explained the circumstances which had led the poor cashier to permit a crime, rather than to commit it himself, the attorney said to the jury,-- “Now, gentlemen, that you have learned what was the wrong of which he is guilty, you ought also to know how he has expiated his crime. “She had soon forced her brother to confess his fatal secret, and, overcoming the horror she naturally felt, she found words, inspired by her excellent heart, which moved him, and led him to reconsider his resolve. She told him that suicide was but an additional crime, and that he was in honor bound to live, so that he might make amends, and restore the money he had stolen.” “Hope began to rise once more in his heart, and filled him with unexpected energy. How should he go about to earn so much money? She had a moderate income from state bonds; she sold them all, and carried the proceeds to the president of the Mutual Discount Society, begging him to be patient as to the remainder, and promising that he should be repaid, capital and interest alike. “And this day, gentlemen, Malgat owes nothing to the society; he has paid everything. And this place in court, where he now sits as a prisoner, will become to him a place of honor, in which he will recover his position in society, and his honor.” Malgat was acquitted.

Daniel’s groomsmen were Malgat and the old chief surgeon of the frigate “Conquest.” Several persons noticed that the bride wore, contrary to usage, a dress of embroidered muslin. It was the robe which Henrietta had so often covered with her tears, at the time when, having no bread for the morrow, she had tried to live by the work of her hands. /

The uproar increases.THE UNPARALLELED ADVENTURES OF ONE HANS PFAALL (*1) BY late accounts from Rotterdam, that city seems to be in a high state of philosophical excitement. Indeed, phenomena have there occurred of a nature so completely unexpected--so entirely novel--so utterly at variance with preconceived opinions--as to leave no doubt on my mind that long ere this all Europe is in an uproar, all physics in a ferment, all reason and astronomy together by the ears. It appears that on the---- day of---- (I am not positive about the date), a vast crowd of people, for purposes not specifically mentioned, were assembled in the great square of the Exchange in the well-conditioned city of Rotterdam. The day was warm--unusually so for the season--there was hardly a breath of air stirring; and the multitude were in no bad humor at being now and then besprinkled with friendly showers of momentary duration, that fell from large white masses of cloud which chequered in a fitful manner the blue vault of the firmament. Nevertheless, about noon, a slight but remarkable agitation became apparent in the assembly: the clattering of ten thousand tongues succeeded; and, in an instant afterward, ten thousand faces were upturned toward the heavens, ten thousand pipes descended simultaneously from the corners of ten thousand mouths, and a shout, which could be compared to nothing but the roaring of Niagara, resounded long, loudly, and furiously, through all the environs of Rotterdam. The origin of this hubbub soon became sufficiently evident. From behind the huge bulk of one of those sharply-defined masses of cloud already mentioned, was seen slowly to emerge into an open area of blue space, a queer, heterogeneous, but apparently solid substance, so oddly shaped, so whimsically put together, as not to be in any manner comprehended, and never to be sufficiently admired, by the host of sturdy burghers who stood open-mouthed below. In the name of all the vrows and devils in Rotterdam, what could it possibly portend? No one knew, no one could imagine; no one--not even the burgomaster Mynheer Superbus Von Underduk--had the slightest clew by which to unravel the mystery; so, as nothing more reasonable could be done, every one to a man replaced his pipe carefully in the corner of his mouth, and cocking up his right eye towards the phenomenon, puffed, paused, waddled about, and grunted significantly--then waddled back, grunted, paused, and finally--puffed again. In the meantime, however, lower and still lower toward the goodly city, came the object of so much curiosity, and the cause of so much smoke. No man in Holland certainly; yet here, under the very noses of the people, or rather at some distance above their noses was the identical thing in question, and composed, I have it on the best authority, of the precise material which no one had ever before known to be used for a similar purpose.

It was an egregious insult to the good sense of the burghers of Rotterdam. As to the shape of the phenomenon, it was even still more reprehensible. And this similitude was regarded as by no means lessened when, upon nearer inspection, there was perceived a large tassel depending from its apex, and, around the upper rim or base of the cone, a circle of little instruments, resembling sheep-bells, which kept up a continual tinkling to the tune of Betty Martin. Suspended by blue ribbons to the end of this fantastic machine, there hung, by way of car, an enormous drab beaver hat, with a brim superlatively broad, and a hemispherical crown with a black band and a silver buckle. It is, however, somewhat remarkable that many citizens of Rotterdam swore to having seen the same hat repeatedly before; and indeed the whole assembly seemed to regard it with eyes of familiarity; while the vrow Grettel Pfaall, upon sight of it, uttered an exclamation of joyful surprise, and declared it to be the identical hat of her good man himself.

Now this was a circumstance the more to be observed, as Pfaall, with three companions, had actually disappeared from Rotterdam about five years before, in a very sudden and unaccountable manner, and up to the date of this narrative all attempts had failed of obtaining any intelligence concerning them whatsoever.

To be sure, some bones which were thought to be human, mixed up with a quantity of odd-looking rubbish, had been lately discovered in a retired situation to the east of Rotterdam, and some people went so far as to imagine that in this spot a foul murder had been committed, and that the sufferers were in all probability Hans Pfaall and his associates. The balloon (for such no doubt it was) had now descended to within a hundred feet of the earth, allowing the crowd below a sufficiently distinct view of the person of its occupant. He could not have been more than two feet in height; but this altitude, little as it was, would have been sufficient to destroy his equilibrium, and tilt him over the edge of his tiny car, but for the intervention of a circular rim reaching as high as the breast, and rigged on to the cords of the balloon. The body of the little man was more than proportionately broad, giving to his entire figure a rotundity highly absurd. His feet, of course, could not be seen at all, although a horny substance of suspicious nature was occasionally protruded through a rent in the bottom of the car, or to speak more properly, in the top of the hat. His nose was prodigiously long, crooked, and inflammatory; his eyes full, brilliant, and acute; his chin and cheeks, although wrinkled with age, were broad, puffy, and double; but of ears of any kind or character there was not a semblance to be discovered upon any portion of his head. This odd little gentleman was dressed in a loose surtout of sky-blue satin, with tight breeches to match, fastened with silver buckles at the knees. Having descended, as I said before, to about one hundred feet from the surface of the earth, the little old gentleman was suddenly seized with a fit of trepidation, and appeared disinclined to make any nearer approach to terra firma. Throwing out, therefore, a quantity of sand from a canvas bag, which, he lifted with great difficulty, he became stationary in an instant.

He then proceeded, in a hurried and agitated manner, to extract from a side-pocket in his surtout a large morocco pocket-book. This he poised suspiciously in his hand, then eyed it with an air of extreme surprise, and was evidently astonished at its weight. He at length opened it, and drawing there from a huge letter sealed with red sealing-wax and tied carefully with red tape, let it fall precisely at the feet of the burgomaster, Superbus Von Underduk.

But the aeronaut, still greatly discomposed, and having apparently no farther business to detain him in Rotterdam, began at this moment to make busy preparations for departure; and it being necessary to discharge a portion of ballast to enable him to reascend, the half dozen bags which he threw out, one after another, without taking the trouble to empty their contents, tumbled, every one of them, most unfortunately upon the back of the burgomaster, and rolled him over and over no less than one-and-twenty times, in the face of every man in Rotterdam. It is not to be supposed, however, that the great Underduk suffered this impertinence on the part of the little old man to pass off with impunity. It is said, on the contrary, that during each and every one of his one-and twenty circumvolutions he emitted no less than one-and-twenty distinct and furious whiffs from his pipe, to which he held fast the whole time with all his might, and to which he intends holding fast until the day of his death. In the meantime the balloon arose like a lark, and, soaring far away above the city, at length drifted quietly behind a cloud similar to that from which it had so oddly emerged, and was thus lost forever to the wondering eyes of the good citizens of Rotterdam. All attention was now directed to the letter, the descent of which, and the consequences attending thereupon, had proved so fatally subversive of both person and personal dignity to his Excellency, the illustrious Burgomaster Mynheer Superbus Von Underduk. That functionary, however, had not failed, during his circumgyratory movements, to bestow a thought upon the important subject of securing the packet in question, which was seen, upon inspection, to have fallen into the most proper hands, being actually addressed to himself and Professor Rub-a-dub, in their official capacities of President and Vice-President of the Rotterdam College of Astronomy. It was accordingly opened by those dignitaries upon the spot, and found to contain the following extraordinary, and indeed very serious, communications. To their Excellencies Von Underduk and Rub-a-dub, President and Vice-President of the States’ College of Astronomers, in the city of Rotterdam. “Your Excellencies may perhaps be able to remember an humble artizan, by name Hans Pfaall, and by occupation a mender of bellows, who, with three others, disappeared from Rotterdam, about five years ago, in a manner which must have been considered by all parties at once sudden, and extremely unaccountable.

If, however, it so please your Excellencies, I, the writer of this communication, am the identical Hans Pfaall himself. It is well known to most of my fellow citizens, that for the period of forty years I continued to occupy the little square brick building, at the head of the alley called Sauerkraut, in which I resided at the time of my disappearance. My ancestors have also resided therein time out of mind--they, as well as myself, steadily following the respectable and indeed lucrative profession of mending of bellows. For, to speak the truth, until of late years, that the heads of all the people have been set agog with politics, no better business than my own could an honest citizen of Rotterdam either desire or deserve. Credit was good, employment was never wanting, and on all hands there was no lack of either money or good-will. But, as I was saying, we soon began to feel the effects of liberty and long speeches, and radicalism, and all that sort of thing. People who were formerly, the very best customers in the world, had now not a moment of time to think of us at all. They had, so they said, as much as they could do to read about the revolutions, and keep up with the march of intellect and the spirit of the age. If a fire wanted fanning, it could readily be fanned with a newspaper, and as the government grew weaker, I have no doubt that leather and iron acquired durability in proportion, for, in a very short time, there was not a pair of bellows in all Rotterdam that ever stood in need of a stitch or required the assistance of a hammer. I soon grew as poor as a rat, and, having a wife and children to provide for, my burdens at length became intolerable, and I spent hour after hour in reflecting upon the most convenient method of putting an end to my life.

Duns, in the meantime, left me little leisure for contemplation. My house was literally besieged from morning till night, so that I began to rave, and foam, and fret like a caged tiger against the bars of his enclosure. There were three fellows in particular who worried me beyond endurance, keeping watch continually about my door, and threatening me with the law. Upon these three I internally vowed the bitterest revenge, if ever I should be so happy as to get them within my clutches; and I believe nothing in the world but the pleasure of this anticipation prevented me from putting my plan of suicide into immediate execution, by blowing my brains out with a blunderbuss. I thought it best, however, to dissemble my wrath, and to treat them with promises and fair words, until, by some good turn of fate, an opportunity of vengeance should be afforded me. “One day, having given my creditors the slip, and feeling more than usually dejected, I continued for a long time to wander about the most obscure streets without object whatever, until at length I chanced to stumble against the corner of a bookseller’s stall.

Seeing a chair close at hand, for the use of customers, I threw myself doggedly into it, and, hardly knowing why, opened the pages of the first volume which came within my reach. It proved to be a small pamphlet treatise on Speculative Astronomy, written either by Professor Encke of Berlin or by a Frenchman of somewhat similar name. I had some little tincture of information on matters of this nature, and soon became more and more absorbed in the contents of the book, reading it actually through twice before I awoke to a recollection of what was passing around me. But the treatise had made an indelible impression on my mind, and, as I sauntered along the dusky streets, I revolved carefully over in my memory the wild and sometimes unintelligible reasonings of the writer. There are some particular passages which affected my imagination in a powerful and extraordinary manner. The longer I meditated upon these the more intense grew the interest which had been excited within me. The limited nature of my education in general, and more especially my ignorance on subjects connected with natural philosophy, so far from rendering me diffident of my own ability to comprehend what I had read, or inducing me to mistrust the many vague notions which had arisen in consequence, merely served as a farther stimulus to imagination; and I was vain enough, or perhaps reasonable enough, to doubt whether those crude ideas which, arising in ill-regulated minds, have all the appearance, may not often in effect possess all the force, the reality, and other inherent properties, of instinct or intuition; whether, to proceed a step farther, profundity itself might not, in matters of a purely speculative nature, be detected as a legitimate source of falsity and error. In other words, I believed, and still do believe, that truth, is frequently of its own essence, superficial, and that, in many cases, the depth lies more in the abysses where we seek her, than in the actual situations wherein she may be found. Nature herself seemed to afford me corroboration of these ideas. In the contemplation of the heavenly bodies it struck me forcibly that I could not distinguish a star with nearly as much precision, when I gazed on it with earnest, direct and undeviating attention, as when I suffered my eye only to glance in its vicinity alone.

I was not, of course, at that time aware that this apparent paradox was occasioned by the center of the visual area being less susceptible of feeble impressions of light than the exterior portions of the retina. This knowledge, and some of another kind, came afterwards in the course of an eventful five years, during which I have dropped the prejudices of my former humble situation in life, and forgotten the bellows-mender in far different occupations. But at the epoch of which I speak, the analogy which a casual observation of a star offered to the conclusions I had already drawn, struck me with the force of positive conformation, and I then finally made up my mind to the course which I afterwards pursued. My mind, however, was too much occupied to sleep, and I lay the whole night buried in meditation. Arising early in the morning, and contriving again to escape the vigilance of my creditors, I repaired eagerly to the bookseller’s stall, and laid out what little ready money I possessed, in the purchase of some volumes of Mechanics and Practical Astronomy. Having arrived at home safely with these, I devoted every spare moment to their perusal, and soon made such proficiency in studies of this nature as I thought sufficient for the execution of my plan. In the intervals of this period, I made every endeavor to conciliate the three creditors who had given me so much annoyance. In this I finally succeeded--partly by selling enough of my household furniture to satisfy a moiety of their claim, and partly by a promise of paying the balance upon completion of a little project which I told them I had in view, and for assistance in which I solicited their services. By these means--for they were ignorant men--I found little difficulty in gaining them over to my purpose.

“Matters being thus arranged, I contrived, by the aid of my wife and with the greatest secrecy and caution, to dispose of what property I had remaining, and to borrow, in small sums, under various pretences, and without paying any attention to my future means of repayment, no inconsiderable quantity of ready money. With the means thus accruing I proceeded to procure at intervals, cambric muslin, very fine, in pieces of twelve yards each; twine; a lot of the varnish of caoutchouc; a large and deep basket of wicker-work, made to order; and several other articles necessary in the construction and equipment of a balloon of extraordinary dimensions. This I directed my wife to make up as soon as possible, and gave her all requisite information as to the particular method of proceeding. In the meantime I worked up the twine into a net-work of sufficient dimensions; rigged it with a hoop and the necessary cords; bought a quadrant, a compass, a spy-glass, a common barometer with some important modifications, and two astronomical instruments not so generally known. I then took opportunities of conveying by night, to a retired situation east of Rotterdam, five iron-bound casks, to contain about fifty gallons each, and one of a larger size; six tinned ware tubes, three inches in diameter, properly shaped, and ten feet in length; a quantity of a particular metallic substance, or semi-metal, which I shall not name, and a dozen demijohns of a very common acid. The gas to be formed from these latter materials is a gas never yet generated by any other person than myself--or at least never applied to any similar purpose. The secret I would make no difficulty in disclosing, but that it of right belongs to a citizen of Nantz, in France, by whom it was conditionally communicated to myself. The same individual submitted to me, without being at all aware of my intentions, a method of constructing balloons from the membrane of a certain animal, through which substance any escape of gas was nearly an impossibility.

I found it, however, altogether too expensive, and was not sure, upon the whole, whether cambric muslin with a coating of gum caoutchouc, was not equally as good. I mention this circumstance, because I think it probable that hereafter the individual in question may attempt a balloon ascension with the novel gas and material I have spoken of, and I do not wish to deprive him of the honor of a very singular invention. “On the spot which I intended each of the smaller casks to occupy respectively during the inflation of the balloon, I privately dug a hole two feet deep; the holes forming in this manner a circle twenty-five feet in diameter. In the centre of this circle, being the station designed for the large cask, I also dug a hole three feet in depth. In each of the five smaller holes, I deposited a canister containing fifty pounds, and in the larger one a keg holding one hundred and fifty pounds, of cannon powder. These--the keg and canisters--I connected in a proper manner with covered trains; and having let into one of the canisters the end of about four feet of slow match, I covered up the hole, and placed the cask over it, leaving the other end of the match protruding about an inch, and barely visible beyond the cask. I then filled up the remaining holes, and placed the barrels over them in their destined situation. “Besides the articles above enumerated, I conveyed to the depot, and there secreted, one of M. Grimm’s improvements upon the apparatus for condensation of the atmospheric air. I found this machine, however, to require considerable alteration before it could be adapted to the purposes to which I intended making it applicable.

It would contain more than forty thousand cubic feet of gas; would take me up easily, I calculated, with all my implements, and, if I managed rightly, with one hundred and seventy-five pounds of ballast into the bargain. It had received three coats of varnish, and I found the cambric muslin to answer all the purposes of silk itself, quite as strong and a good deal less expensive.

“Everything being now ready, I exacted from my wife an oath of secrecy in relation to all my actions from the day of my first visit to the bookseller’s stall; and promising, on my part, to return as soon as circumstances would permit, I gave her what little money I had left, and bade her farewell. She was what people call a notable woman, and could manage matters in the world without my assistance. I believe, to tell the truth, she always looked upon me as an idle boy, a mere make-weight, good for nothing but building castles in the air, and was rather glad to get rid of me. It was a dark night when I bade her good-bye, and taking with me, as aides-de-camp, the three creditors who had given me so much trouble, we carried the balloon, with the car and accoutrements, by a roundabout way, to the station where the other articles were deposited. We there found them all unmolested, and I proceeded immediately to business. “It was the first of April. The night, as I said before, was dark; there was not a star to be seen; and a drizzling rain, falling at intervals, rendered us very uncomfortable. But my chief anxiety was concerning the balloon, which, in spite of the varnish with which it was defended, began to grow rather heavy with the moisture; the powder also was liable to damage.

I therefore kept my three duns working with great diligence, pounding down ice around the central cask, and stirring the acid in the others. They did not cease, however, importuning me with questions as to what I intended to do with all this apparatus, and expressed much dissatisfaction at the terrible labor I made them undergo. They could not perceive, so they said, what good was likely to result from their getting wet to the skin, merely to take a part in such horrible incantations. I began to get uneasy, and worked away with all my might, for I verily believe the idiots supposed that I had entered into a compact with the devil, and that, in short, what I was now doing was nothing better than it should be. I was, therefore, in great fear of their leaving me altogether. I contrived, however, to pacify them by promises of payment of all scores in full, as soon as I could bring the present business to a termination. To these speeches they gave, of course, their own interpretation; fancying, no doubt, that at all events I should come into possession of vast quantities of ready money; and provided I paid them all I owed, and a trifle more, in consideration of their services, I dare say they cared very little what became of either my soul or my carcass. “In about four hours and a half I found the balloon sufficiently inflated.

I attached the car, therefore, and put all my implements in it--not forgetting the condensing apparatus, a copious supply of water, and a large quantity of provisions, such as pemmican, in which much nutriment is contained in comparatively little bulk. I also secured in the car a pair of pigeons and a cat.

Dropping a lighted cigar on the ground, as if by accident, I took the opportunity, in stooping to pick it up, of igniting privately the piece of slow match, whose end, as I said before, protruded a very little beyond the lower rim of one of the smaller casks. This manoeuvre was totally unperceived on the part of the three duns; and, jumping into the car, I immediately cut the single cord which held me to the earth, and was pleased to find that I shot upward, carrying with all ease one hundred and seventy-five pounds of leaden ballast, and able to have carried up as many more. “Scarcely, however, had I attained the height of fifty yards, when, roaring and rumbling up after me in the most horrible and tumultuous manner, came so dense a hurricane of fire, and smoke, and sulphur, and legs and arms, and gravel, and burning wood, and blazing metal, that my very heart sunk within me, and I fell down in the bottom of the car, trembling with unmitigated terror. Indeed, I now perceived that I had entirely overdone the business, and that the main consequences of the shock were yet to be experienced. Accordingly, in less than a second, I felt all the blood in my body rushing to my temples, and immediately thereupon, a concussion, which I shall never forget, burst abruptly through the night and seemed to rip the very firmament asunder. When I afterward had time for reflection, I did not fail to attribute the extreme violence of the explosion, as regarded myself, to its proper cause--my situation directly above it, and in the line of its greatest power.

But at the time, I thought only of preserving my life. The balloon at first collapsed, then furiously expanded, then whirled round and round with horrible velocity, and finally, reeling and staggering like a drunken man, hurled me with great force over the rim of the car, and left me dangling, at a terrific height, with my head downward, and my face outwards, by a piece of slender cord about three feet in length, which hung accidentally through a crevice near the bottom of the wicker-work, and in which, as I fell, my left foot became most providentially entangled. It is impossible--utterly impossible--to form any adequate idea of the horror of my situation. I gasped convulsively for breath--a shudder resembling a fit of the ague agitated every nerve and muscle of my frame--I felt my eyes starting from their sockets--a horrible nausea overwhelmed me--and at length I fainted away.

It must, however, have been no inconsiderable time, for when I partially recovered the sense of existence, I found the day breaking, the balloon at a prodigious height over a wilderness of ocean, and not a trace of land to be discovered far and wide within the limits of the vast horizon. Indeed, there was much of incipient madness in the calm survey which I began to take of my situation. I drew up to my eyes each of my hands, one after the other, and wondered what occurrence could have given rise to the swelling of the veins, and the horrible blackness of the fingernails. Then, in a knowing manner, I felt in both my breeches pockets, and, missing therefrom a set of tablets and a toothpick case, endeavored to account for their disappearance, and not being able to do so, felt inexpressibly chagrined. It now occurred to me that I suffered great uneasiness in the joint of my left ankle, and a dim consciousness of my situation began to glimmer through my mind. I was neither astonished nor horror-stricken.

If I felt any emotion at all, it was a kind of chuckling satisfaction at the cleverness I was about to display in extricating myself from this dilemma; and I never, for a moment, looked upon my ultimate safety as a question susceptible of doubt. For a few minutes I remained wrapped in the profoundest meditation. I have a distinct recollection of frequently compressing my lips, putting my forefinger to the side of my nose, and making use of other gesticulations and grimaces common to men who, at ease in their arm-chairs, meditate upon matters of intricacy or importance. Having, as I thought, sufficiently collected my ideas, I now, with great caution and deliberation, put my hands behind my back, and unfastened the large iron buckle which belonged to the waistband of my inexpressibles. This buckle had three teeth, which, being somewhat rusty, turned with great difficulty on their axis. I brought them, however, after some trouble, at right angles to the body of the buckle, and was glad to find them remain firm in that position. Holding the instrument thus obtained within my teeth, I now proceeded to untie the knot of my cravat.

To one end of the cravat I then made fast the buckle, and the other end I tied, for greater security, tightly around my wrist. Drawing now my body upwards, with a prodigious exertion of muscular force, I succeeded, at the very first trial, in throwing the buckle over the car, and entangling it, as I had anticipated, in the circular rim of the wicker-work. “My body was now inclined towards the side of the car, at an angle of about forty-five degrees; but it must not be understood that I was therefore only forty-five degrees below the perpendicular. So far from it, I still lay nearly level with the plane of the horizon; for the change of situation which I had acquired, had forced the bottom of the car considerably outwards from my position, which was accordingly one of the most imminent and deadly peril. It should be remembered, however, that when I fell in the first instance, from the car, if I had fallen with my face turned toward the balloon, instead of turned outwardly from it, as it actually was; or if, in the second place, the cord by which I was suspended had chanced to hang over the upper edge, instead of through a crevice near the bottom of the car,--I say it may be readily conceived that, in either of these supposed cases, I should have been unable to accomplish even as much as I had now accomplished, and the wonderful adventures of Hans Pfaall would have been utterly lost to posterity, I had therefore every reason to be grateful; although, in point of fact, I was still too stupid to be anything at all, and hung for, perhaps, a quarter of an hour in that extraordinary manner, without making the slightest farther exertion whatsoever, and in a singularly tranquil state of idiotic enjoyment. But this feeling did not fail to die rapidly away, and thereunto succeeded horror, and dismay, and a chilling sense of utter helplessness and ruin. In fact, the blood so long accumulating in the vessels of my head and throat, and which had hitherto buoyed up my spirits with madness and delirium, had now begun to retire within their proper channels, and the distinctness which was thus added to my perception of the danger, merely served to deprive me of the self-possession and courage to encounter it.

In good time came to my rescue the spirit of despair, and, with frantic cries and struggles, I jerked my way bodily upwards, till at length, clutching with a vise-like grip the long-desired rim, I writhed my person over it, and fell headlong and shuddering within the car. “It was not until some time afterward that I recovered myself sufficiently to attend to the ordinary cares of the balloon. I then, however, examined it with attention, and found it, to my great relief, uninjured. My implements were all safe, and, fortunately, I had lost neither ballast nor provisions. Indeed, I had so well secured them in their places, that such an accident was entirely out of the question.

Immediately beneath me in the ocean, lay a small black object, slightly oblong in shape, seemingly about the size, and in every way bearing a great resemblance to one of those childish toys called a domino. Bringing my telescope to bear upon it, I plainly discerned it to be a British ninety four-gun ship, close-hauled, and pitching heavily in the sea with her head to the W.S.W. Besides this ship, I saw nothing but the ocean and the sky, and the sun, which had long arisen. “It is now high time that I should explain to your Excellencies the object of my perilous voyage. Your Excellencies will bear in mind that distressed circumstances in Rotterdam had at length driven me to the resolution of committing suicide. It was not, however, that to life itself I had any, positive disgust, but that I was harassed beyond endurance by the adventitious miseries attending my situation. In this state of mind, wishing to live, yet wearied with life, the treatise at the stall of the bookseller opened a resource to my imagination. I then finally made up my mind.

I determined to depart, yet live--to leave the world, yet continue to exist--in short, to drop enigmas, I resolved, let what would ensue, to force a passage, if I could, to the moon. Now, lest I should be supposed more of a madman than I actually am, I will detail, as well as I am able, the considerations which led me to believe that an achievement of this nature, although without doubt difficult, and incontestably full of danger, was not absolutely, to a bold spirit, beyond the confines of the possible. “The moon’s actual distance from the earth was the first thing to be attended to. Now, the mean or average interval between the centres of the two planets is 59.9643 of the earth’s equatorial radii, or only about 237,000 miles. I say the mean or average interval.

But it must be borne in mind that the form of the moon’s orbit being an ellipse of eccentricity amounting to no less than 0.05484 of the major semi-axis of the ellipse itself, and the earth’s centre being situated in its focus, if I could, in any manner, contrive to meet the moon, as it were, in its perigee, the above mentioned distance would be materially diminished. But, to say nothing at present of this possibility, it was very certain that, at all events, from the 237,000 miles I would have to deduct the radius of the earth, say 4,000, and the radius of the moon, say 1080, in all 5,080, leaving an actual interval to be traversed, under average circumstances, of 231,920 miles. Travelling on land has been repeatedly accomplished at the rate of thirty miles per hour, and indeed a much greater speed may be anticipated. But even at this velocity, it would take me no more than 322 days to reach the surface of the moon. There were, however, many particulars inducing me to believe that my average rate of travelling might possibly very much exceed that of thirty miles per hour, and, as these considerations did not fail to make a deep impression upon my mind, I will mention them more fully hereafter.

“The next point to be regarded was a matter of far greater importance.

From indications afforded by the barometer, we find that, in ascensions from the surface of the earth we have, at the height of 1,000 feet, left below us about one-thirtieth of the entire mass of atmospheric air, that at 10,600 we have ascended through nearly one-third; and that at 18,000, which is not far from the elevation of Cotopaxi, we have surmounted one-half the material, or, at all events, one-half the ponderable, body of air incumbent upon our globe. It is also calculated that at an altitude not exceeding the hundredth part of the earth’s diameter--that is, not exceeding eighty miles--the rarefaction would be so excessive that animal life could in no manner be sustained, and, moreover, that the most delicate means we possess of ascertaining the presence of the atmosphere would be inadequate to assure us of its existence. But I did not fail to perceive that these latter calculations are founded altogether on our experimental knowledge of the properties of air, and the mechanical laws regulating its dilation and compression, in what may be called, comparatively speaking, the immediate vicinity of the earth itself; and, at the same time, it is taken for granted that animal life is and must be essentially incapable of modification at any given unattainable distance from the surface. The greatest height ever reached by man was that of 25,000 feet, attained in the aeronautic expedition of Messieurs Gay-Lussac and Biot. This is a moderate altitude, even when compared with the eighty miles in question; and I could not help thinking that the subject admitted room for doubt and great latitude for speculation.

“But, in point of fact, an ascension being made to any given altitude, the ponderable quantity of air surmounted in any farther ascension is by no means in proportion to the additional height ascended (as may be plainly seen from what has been stated before), but in a ratio constantly decreasing. It is therefore evident that, ascend as high as we may, we cannot, literally speaking, arrive at a limit beyond which no atmosphere is to be found. “On the other hand, I was aware that arguments have not been wanting to prove the existence of a real and definite limit to the atmosphere, beyond which there is absolutely no air whatsoever. But a circumstance which has been left out of view by those who contend for such a limit seemed to me, although no positive refutation of their creed, still a point worthy very serious investigation. On comparing the intervals between the successive arrivals of Encke’s comet at its perihelion, after giving credit, in the most exact manner, for all the disturbances due to the attractions of the planets, it appears that the periods are gradually diminishing; that is to say, the major axis of the comet’s ellipse is growing shorter, in a slow but perfectly regular decrease.

Now, this is precisely what ought to be the case, if we suppose a resistance experienced from the comet from an extremely rare ethereal medium pervading the regions of its orbit. For it is evident that such a medium must, in retarding the comet’s velocity, increase its centripetal, by weakening its centrifugal force. In other words, the sun’s attraction would be constantly attaining greater power, and the comet would be drawn nearer at every revolution. Indeed, there is no other way of accounting for the variation in question. The real diameter of the same comet’s nebulosity is observed to contract rapidly as it approaches the sun, and dilate with equal rapidity in its departure towards its aphelion.

Valz, that this apparent condensation of volume has its origin in the compression of the same ethereal medium I have spoken of before, and which is only denser in proportion to its solar vicinity? The lenticular-shaped phenomenon, also called the zodiacal light, was a matter worthy of attention. This radiance, so apparent in the tropics, and which cannot be mistaken for any meteoric lustre, extends from the horizon obliquely upward, and follows generally the direction of the sun’s equator. It appeared to me evidently in the nature of a rare atmosphere extending from the sun outward, beyond the orbit of Venus at least, and I believed indefinitely farther.(*2) Indeed, this medium I could not suppose confined to the path of the comet’s ellipse, or to the immediate neighborhood of the sun. It was easy, on the contrary, to imagine it pervading the entire regions of our planetary system, condensed into what we call atmosphere at the planets themselves, and perhaps at some of them modified by considerations, so to speak, purely geological. “Having adopted this view of the subject, I had little further hesitation. Granting that on my passage I should meet with atmosphere essentially the same as at the surface of the earth, I conceived that, by means of the very ingenious apparatus of M. Grimm, I should readily be enabled to condense it in sufficient quantity for the purposes of respiration. This would remove the chief obstacle in a journey to the moon. I had indeed spent some money and great labor in adapting the apparatus to the object intended, and confidently looked forward to its successful application, if I could manage to complete the voyage within any reasonable period.

This brings me back to the rate at which it might be possible to travel. “It is true that balloons, in the first stage of their ascensions from the earth, are known to rise with a velocity comparatively moderate. Now, the power of elevation lies altogether in the superior lightness of the gas in the balloon compared with the atmospheric air; and, at first sight, it does not appear probable that, as the balloon acquires altitude, and consequently arrives successively in atmospheric strata of densities rapidly diminishing--I say, it does not appear at all reasonable that, in this its progress upwards, the original velocity should be accelerated. On the other hand, I was not aware that, in any recorded ascension, a diminution was apparent in the absolute rate of ascent; although such should have been the case, if on account of nothing else, on account of the escape of gas through balloons ill-constructed, and varnished with no better material than the ordinary varnish. It seemed, therefore, that the effect of such escape was only sufficient to counterbalance the effect of some accelerating power. I now considered that, provided in my passage I found the medium I had imagined, and provided that it should prove to be actually and essentially what we denominate atmospheric air, it could make comparatively little difference at what extreme state of rarefaction I should discover it--that is to say, in regard to my power of ascending--for the gas in the balloon would not only be itself subject to rarefaction partially similar (in proportion to the occurrence of which, I could suffer an escape of so much as would be requisite to prevent explosion), but, being what it was, would, at all events, continue specifically lighter than any compound whatever of mere nitrogen and oxygen.

In the meantime, the force of gravitation would be constantly diminishing, in proportion to the squares of the distances, and thus, with a velocity prodigiously accelerating, I should at length arrive in those distant regions where the force of the earth’s attraction would be superseded by that of the moon. In accordance with these ideas, I did not think it worth while to encumber myself with more provisions than would be sufficient for a period of forty days. “There was still, however, another difficulty, which occasioned me some little disquietude. It has been observed, that, in balloon ascensions to any considerable height, besides the pain attending respiration, great uneasiness is experienced about the head and body, often accompanied with bleeding at the nose, and other symptoms of an alarming kind, and growing more and more inconvenient in proportion to the altitude attained.(*3) This was a reflection of a nature somewhat startling. Was it not probable that these symptoms would increase indefinitely, or at least until terminated by death itself?

Their origin was to be looked for in the progressive removal of the customary atmospheric pressure upon the surface of the body, and consequent distention of the superficial blood-vessels--not in any positive disorganization of the animal system, as in the case of difficulty in breathing, where the atmospheric density is chemically insufficient for the due renovation of blood in a ventricle of the heart. Unless for default of this renovation, I could see no reason, therefore, why life could not be sustained even in a vacuum; for the expansion and compression of chest, commonly called breathing, is action purely muscular, and the cause, not the effect, of respiration. In a word, I conceived that, as the body should become habituated to the want of atmospheric pressure, the sensations of pain would gradually diminish--and to endure them while they continued, I relied with confidence upon the iron hardihood of my constitution. “Thus, may it please your Excellencies, I have detailed some, though by no means all, the considerations which led me to form the project of a lunar voyage. I shall now proceed to lay before you the result of an attempt so apparently audacious in conception, and, at all events, so utterly unparalleled in the annals of mankind.

“Having attained the altitude before mentioned, that is to say three miles and three-quarters, I threw out from the car a quantity of feathers, and found that I still ascended with sufficient rapidity; there was, therefore, no necessity for discharging any ballast. I was glad of this, for I wished to retain with me as much weight as I could carry, for reasons which will be explained in the sequel. I as yet suffered no bodily inconvenience, breathing with great freedom, and feeling no pain whatever in the head. The cat was lying very demurely upon my coat, which I had taken off, and eyeing the pigeons with an air of nonchalance. These latter being tied by the leg, to prevent their escape, were busily employed in picking up some grains of rice scattered for them in the bottom of the car. “At twenty minutes past six o’clock, the barometer showed an elevation of 26,400 feet, or five miles to a fraction. The prospect seemed unbounded.

Indeed, it is very easily calculated by means of spherical geometry, what a great extent of the earth’s area I beheld. The convex surface of any segment of a sphere is, to the entire surface of the sphere itself, as the versed sine of the segment to the diameter of the sphere. Now, in my case, the versed sine--that is to say, the thickness of the segment beneath me--was about equal to my elevation, or the elevation of the point of sight above the surface.

‘As five miles, then, to eight thousand,’ would express the proportion of the earth’s area seen by me. In other words, I beheld as much as a sixteen-hundredth part of the whole surface of the globe. The sea appeared unruffled as a mirror, although, by means of the spy-glass, I could perceive it to be in a state of violent agitation. The ship was no longer visible, having drifted away, apparently to the eastward. I now began to experience, at intervals, severe pain in the head, especially about the ears--still, however, breathing with tolerable freedom. The cat and pigeons seemed to suffer no inconvenience whatsoever. “At twenty minutes before seven, the balloon entered a long series of dense cloud, which put me to great trouble, by damaging my condensing apparatus and wetting me to the skin.

Upon so doing, I soon rose above the difficulty, and perceived immediately, that I had obtained a great increase in my rate of ascent. In a few seconds after my leaving the cloud, a flash of vivid lightning shot from one end of it to the other, and caused it to kindle up, throughout its vast extent, like a mass of ignited and glowing charcoal. This, it must be remembered, was in the broad light of day. No fancy may picture the sublimity which might have been exhibited by a similar phenomenon taking place amid the darkness of the night. Even as it was, my hair stood on end, while I gazed afar down within the yawning abysses, letting imagination descend, as it were, and stalk about in the strange vaulted halls, and ruddy gulfs, and red ghastly chasms of the hideous and unfathomable fire.

Had the balloon remained a very short while longer within the cloud--that is to say--had not the inconvenience of getting wet, determined me to discharge the ballast, inevitable ruin would have been the consequence. Such perils, although little considered, are perhaps the greatest which must be encountered in balloons.

“I was now rising rapidly, and by seven o’clock the barometer indicated an altitude of no less than nine miles and a half. My head, too, was excessively painful; and, having felt for some time a moisture about my cheeks, I at length discovered it to be blood, which was oozing quite fast from the drums of my ears. Upon passing the hand over them they seemed to have protruded from their sockets in no inconsiderable degree; and all objects in the car, and even the balloon itself, appeared distorted to my vision.

These symptoms were more than I had expected, and occasioned me some alarm. At this juncture, very imprudently, and without consideration, I threw out from the car three five-pound pieces of ballast. The accelerated rate of ascent thus obtained, carried me too rapidly, and without sufficient gradation, into a highly rarefied stratum of the atmosphere, and the result had nearly proved fatal to my expedition and to myself. I was suddenly seized with a spasm which lasted for more than five minutes, and even when this, in a measure, ceased, I could catch my breath only at long intervals, and in a gasping manner--bleeding all the while copiously at the nose and ears, and even slightly at the eyes. The pigeons appeared distressed in the extreme, and struggled to escape; while the cat mewed piteously, and, with her tongue hanging out of her mouth, staggered to and fro in the car as if under the influence of poison.

I now too late discovered the great rashness of which I had been guilty in discharging the ballast, and my agitation was excessive.

The physical suffering I underwent contributed also to render me nearly incapable of making any exertion for the preservation of my life.

I had, indeed, little power of reflection left, and the violence of the pain in my head seemed to be greatly on the increase. Thus I found that my senses would shortly give way altogether, and I had already clutched one of the valve ropes with the view of attempting a descent, when the recollection of the trick I had played the three creditors, and the possible consequences to myself, should I return, operated to deter me for the moment. I lay down in the bottom of the car, and endeavored to collect my faculties. In this I so far succeeded as to determine upon the experiment of losing blood.

Having no lancet, however, I was constrained to perform the operation in the best manner I was able, and finally succeeded in opening a vein in my right arm, with the blade of my penknife. The blood had hardly commenced flowing when I experienced a sensible relief, and by the time I had lost about half a moderate basin full, most of the worst symptoms had abandoned me entirely.

I nevertheless did not think it expedient to attempt getting on my feet immediately; but, having tied up my arm as well as I could, I lay still for about a quarter of an hour. At the end of this time I arose, and found myself freer from absolute pain of any kind than I had been during the last hour and a quarter of my ascension. The difficulty of breathing, however, was diminished in a very slight degree, and I found that it would soon be positively necessary to make use of my condenser. In the meantime, looking toward the cat, who was again snugly stowed away upon my coat, I discovered to my infinite surprise, that she had taken the opportunity of my indisposition to bring into light a litter of three little kittens. This was an addition to the number of passengers on my part altogether unexpected; but I was pleased at the occurrence. It would afford me a chance of bringing to a kind of test the truth of a surmise, which, more than anything else, had influenced me in attempting this ascension. I had imagined that the habitual endurance of the atmospheric pressure at the surface of the earth was the cause, or nearly so, of the pain attending animal existence at a distance above the surface. Should the kittens be found to suffer uneasiness in an equal degree with their mother, I must consider my theory in fault, but a failure to do so I should look upon as a strong confirmation of my idea.

“By eight o’clock I had actually attained an elevation of seventeen miles above the surface of the earth. Thus it seemed to me evident that my rate of ascent was not only on the increase, but that the progression would have been apparent in a slight degree even had I not discharged the ballast which I did.

The pains in my head and ears returned, at intervals, with violence, and I still continued to bleed occasionally at the nose; but, upon the whole, I suffered much less than might have been expected. I breathed, however, at every moment, with more and more difficulty, and each inhalation was attended with a troublesome spasmodic action of the chest. I now unpacked the condensing apparatus, and got it ready for immediate use. “The view of the earth, at this period of my ascension, was beautiful indeed.

To the westward, the northward, and the southward, as far as I could see, lay a boundless sheet of apparently unruffled ocean, which every moment gained a deeper and a deeper tint of blue and began already to assume a slight appearance of convexity. At a vast distance to the eastward, although perfectly discernible, extended the islands of Great Britain, the entire Atlantic coasts of France and Spain, with a small portion of the northern part of the continent of Africa. Of individual edifices not a trace could be discovered, and the proudest cities of mankind had utterly faded away from the face of the earth. From the rock of Gibraltar, now dwindled into a dim speck, the dark Mediterranean sea, dotted with shining islands as the heaven is dotted with stars, spread itself out to the eastward as far as my vision extended, until its entire mass of waters seemed at length to tumble headlong over the abyss of the horizon, and I found myself listening on tiptoe for the echoes of the mighty cataract.

Overhead, the sky was of a jetty black, and the stars were brilliantly visible. “The pigeons about this time seeming to undergo much suffering, I determined upon giving them their liberty. I first untied one of them, a beautiful gray-mottled pigeon, and placed him upon the rim of the wicker-work. He appeared extremely uneasy, looking anxiously around him, fluttering his wings, and making a loud cooing noise, but could not be persuaded to trust himself from off the car. I took him up at last, and threw him to about half a dozen yards from the balloon. He made, however, no attempt to descend as I had expected, but struggled with great vehemence to get back, uttering at the same time very shrill and piercing cries.

He at length succeeded in regaining his former station on the rim, but had hardly done so when his head dropped upon his breast, and he fell dead within the car. The other one did not prove so unfortunate. To prevent his following the example of his companion, and accomplishing a return, I threw him downward with all my force, and was pleased to find him continue his descent, with great velocity, making use of his wings with ease, and in a perfectly natural manner. Puss, who seemed in a great measure recovered from her illness, now made a hearty meal of the dead bird and then went to sleep with much apparent satisfaction. Her kittens were quite lively, and so far evinced not the slightest sign of any uneasiness whatever. “At a quarter-past eight, being no longer able to draw breath without the most intolerable pain, I proceeded forthwith to adjust around the car the apparatus belonging to the condenser. This apparatus will require some little explanation, and your Excellencies will please to bear in mind that my object, in the first place, was to surround myself and cat entirely with a barricade against the highly rarefied atmosphere in which I was existing, with the intention of introducing within this barricade, by means of my condenser, a quantity of this same atmosphere sufficiently condensed for the purposes of respiration. In this bag, which was of sufficient dimensions, the entire car was in a manner placed. That is to say, it (the bag) was drawn over the whole bottom of the car, up its sides, and so on, along the outside of the ropes, to the upper rim or hoop where the net-work is attached.

Having pulled the bag up in this way, and formed a complete enclosure on all sides, and at bottom, it was now necessary to fasten up its top or mouth, by passing its material over the hoop of the net-work--in other words, between the net-work and the hoop. But if the net-work were separated from the hoop to admit this passage, what was to sustain the car in the meantime? Now the net-work was not permanently fastened to the hoop, but attached by a series of running loops or nooses. I therefore undid only a few of these loops at one time, leaving the car suspended by the remainder. Having thus inserted a portion of the cloth forming the upper part of the bag, I refastened the loops--not to the hoop, for that would have been impossible, since the cloth now intervened--but to a series of large buttons, affixed to the cloth itself, about three feet below the mouth of the bag, the intervals between the buttons having been made to correspond to the intervals between the loops. This done, a few more of the loops were unfastened from the rim, a farther portion of the cloth introduced, and the disengaged loops then connected with their proper buttons. In this way it was possible to insert the whole upper part of the bag between the net-work and the hoop. It is evident that the hoop would now drop down within the car, while the whole weight of the car itself, with all its contents, would be held up merely by the strength of the buttons. This, at first sight, would seem an inadequate dependence; but it was by no means so, for the buttons were not only very strong in themselves, but so close together that a very slight portion of the whole weight was supported by any one of them. Indeed, had the car and contents been three times heavier than they were, I should not have been at all uneasy.

I now raised up the hoop again within the covering of gum-elastic, and propped it at nearly its former height by means of three light poles prepared for the occasion. This was done, of course, to keep the bag distended at the top, and to preserve the lower part of the net-work in its proper situation.

All that now remained was to fasten up the mouth of the enclosure; and this was readily accomplished by gathering the folds of the material together, and twisting them up very tightly on the inside by means of a kind of stationary tourniquet. “In the sides of the covering thus adjusted round the car, had been inserted three circular panes of thick but clear glass, through which I could see without difficulty around me in every horizontal direction. In that portion of the cloth forming the bottom, was likewise, a fourth window, of the same kind, and corresponding with a small aperture in the floor of the car itself. This enabled me to see perpendicularly down, but having found it impossible to place any similar contrivance overhead, on account of the peculiar manner of closing up the opening there, and the consequent wrinkles in the cloth, I could expect to see no objects situated directly in my zenith.

This, of course, was a matter of little consequence; for had I even been able to place a window at top, the balloon itself would have prevented my making any use of it. “About a foot below one of the side windows was a circular opening, eight inches in diameter, and fitted with a brass rim adapted in its inner edge to the windings of a screw. In this rim was screwed the large tube of the condenser, the body of the machine being, of course, within the chamber of gum-elastic. Through this tube a quantity of the rare atmosphere circumjacent being drawn by means of a vacuum created in the body of the machine, was thence discharged, in a state of condensation, to mingle with the thin air already in the chamber. This operation being repeated several times, at length filled the chamber with atmosphere proper for all the purposes of respiration. But in so confined a space it would, in a short time, necessarily become foul, and unfit for use from frequent contact with the lungs. It was then ejected by a small valve at the bottom of the car--the dense air readily sinking into the thinner atmosphere below. To avoid the inconvenience of making a total vacuum at any moment within the chamber, this purification was never accomplished all at once, but in a gradual manner--the valve being opened only for a few seconds, then closed again, until one or two strokes from the pump of the condenser had supplied the place of the atmosphere ejected.

For the sake of experiment I had put the cat and kittens in a small basket, and suspended it outside the car to a button at the bottom, close by the valve, through which I could feed them at any moment when necessary. I did this at some little risk, and before closing the mouth of the chamber, by reaching under the car with one of the poles before mentioned to which a hook had been attached. “By the time I had fully completed these arrangements and filled the chamber as explained, it wanted only ten minutes of nine o’clock. During the whole period of my being thus employed, I endured the most terrible distress from difficulty of respiration, and bitterly did I repent the negligence or rather fool-hardiness, of which I had been guilty, of putting off to the last moment a matter of so much importance. But having at length accomplished it, I soon began to reap the benefit of my invention. Once again I breathed with perfect freedom and ease--and indeed why should I not?

I was also agreeably surprised to find myself, in a great measure, relieved from the violent pains which had hitherto tormented me. A slight headache, accompanied with a sensation of fulness or distention about the wrists, the ankles, and the throat, was nearly all of which I had now to complain. Thus it seemed evident that a greater part of the uneasiness attending the removal of atmospheric pressure had actually worn off, as I had expected, and that much of the pain endured for the last two hours should have been attributed altogether to the effects of a deficient respiration. “At twenty minutes before nine o’clock--that is to say, a short time prior to my closing up the mouth of the chamber, the mercury attained its limit, or ran down, in the barometer, which, as I mentioned before, was one of an extended construction. It then indicated an altitude on my part of 132,000 feet, or five-and-twenty miles, and I consequently surveyed at that time an extent of the earth’s area amounting to no less than the three hundred-and-twentieth part of its entire superficies. At nine o’clock I had again lost sight of land to the eastward, but not before I became aware that the balloon was drifting rapidly to the N. The convexity of the ocean beneath me was very evident indeed, although my view was often interrupted by the masses of cloud which floated to and fro. I observed now that even the lightest vapors never rose to more than ten miles above the level of the sea.

“At half past nine I tried the experiment of throwing out a handful of feathers through the valve. They did not float as I had expected; but dropped down perpendicularly, like a bullet, en masse, and with the greatest velocity--being out of sight in a very few seconds. But it soon occurred to me that the atmosphere was now far too rare to sustain even the feathers; that they actually fell, as they appeared to do, with great rapidity; and that I had been surprised by the united velocities of their descent and my own elevation. Affairs went swimmingly, and I believed the balloon to be going upward with a speed increasing momently although I had no longer any means of ascertaining the progression of the increase. I suffered no pain or uneasiness of any kind, and enjoyed better spirits than I had at any period since my departure from Rotterdam, busying myself now in examining the state of my various apparatus, and now in regenerating the atmosphere within the chamber. This latter point I determined to attend to at regular intervals of forty minutes, more on account of the preservation of my health, than from so frequent a renovation being absolutely necessary. In the meanwhile I could not help making anticipations. Fancy revelled in the wild and dreamy regions of the moon.

Imagination, feeling herself for once unshackled, roamed at will among the ever-changing wonders of a shadowy and unstable land.

Now there were hoary and time-honored forests, and craggy precipices, and waterfalls tumbling with a loud noise into abysses without a bottom. Then I came suddenly into still noonday solitudes, where no wind of heaven ever intruded, and where vast meadows of poppies, and slender, lily-looking flowers spread themselves out a weary distance, all silent and motionless forever.

Then again I journeyed far down away into another country where it was all one dim and vague lake, with a boundary line of clouds. And I have in mind that the shadows of the trees which fell upon the lake remained not on the surface where they fell, but sunk slowly and steadily down, and commingled with the waves, while from the trunks of the trees other shadows were continually coming out, and taking the place of their brothers thus entombed. “This then,” I said thoughtfully, “is the very reason why the waters of this lake grow blacker with age, and more melancholy as the hours run on.” But fancies such as these were not the sole possessors of my brain.

Horrors of a nature most stern and most appalling would too frequently obtrude themselves upon my mind, and shake the innermost depths of my soul with the bare supposition of their possibility. Yet I would not suffer my thoughts for any length of time to dwell upon these latter speculations, rightly judging the real and palpable dangers of the voyage sufficient for my undivided attention. “At five o’clock, p.m., being engaged in regenerating the atmosphere within the chamber, I took that opportunity of observing the cat and kittens through the valve. The cat herself appeared to suffer again very much, and I had no hesitation in attributing her uneasiness chiefly to a difficulty in breathing; but my experiment with the kittens had resulted very strangely. I had expected, of course, to see them betray a sense of pain, although in a less degree than their mother, and this would have been sufficient to confirm my opinion concerning the habitual endurance of atmospheric pressure. But I was not prepared to find them, upon close examination, evidently enjoying a high degree of health, breathing with the greatest ease and perfect regularity, and evincing not the slightest sign of any uneasiness whatever. I could only account for all this by extending my theory, and supposing that the highly rarefied atmosphere around might perhaps not be, as I had taken for granted, chemically insufficient for the purposes of life, and that a person born in such a medium might, possibly, be unaware of any inconvenience attending its inhalation, while, upon removal to the denser strata near the earth, he might endure tortures of a similar nature to those I had so lately experienced. It has since been to me a matter of deep regret that an awkward accident, at this time, occasioned me the loss of my little family of cats, and deprived me of the insight into this matter which a continued experiment might have afforded. In passing my hand through the valve, with a cup of water for the old puss, the sleeves of my shirt became entangled in the loop which sustained the basket, and thus, in a moment, loosened it from the bottom. Had the whole actually vanished into air, it could not have shot from my sight in a more abrupt and instantaneous manner.

Positively, there could not have intervened the tenth part of a second between the disengagement of the basket and its absolute and total disappearance with all that it contained. My good wishes followed it to the earth, but of course, I had no hope that either cat or kittens would ever live to tell the tale of their misfortune. “At six o’clock, I perceived a great portion of the earth’s visible area to the eastward involved in thick shadow, which continued to advance with great rapidity, until, at five minutes before seven, the whole surface in view was enveloped in the darkness of night. It was not, however, until long after this time that the rays of the setting sun ceased to illumine the balloon; and this circumstance, although of course fully anticipated, did not fail to give me an infinite deal of pleasure. It was evident that, in the morning, I should behold the rising luminary many hours at least before the citizens of Rotterdam, in spite of their situation so much farther to the eastward, and thus, day after day, in proportion to the height ascended, would I enjoy the light of the sun for a longer and a longer period. I now determined to keep a journal of my passage, reckoning the days from one to twenty-four hours continuously, without taking into consideration the intervals of darkness. “At ten o’clock, feeling sleepy, I determined to lie down for the rest of the night; but here a difficulty presented itself, which, obvious as it may appear, had escaped my attention up to the very moment of which I am now speaking. If I went to sleep as I proposed, how could the atmosphere in the chamber be regenerated in the interim?

To breathe it for more than an hour, at the farthest, would be a matter of impossibility, or, if even this term could be extended to an hour and a quarter, the most ruinous consequences might ensue. The consideration of this dilemma gave me no little disquietude; and it will hardly be believed, that, after the dangers I had undergone, I should look upon this business in so serious a light, as to give up all hope of accomplishing my ultimate design, and finally make up my mind to the necessity of a descent. I reflected that man is the veriest slave of custom, and that many points in the routine of his existence are deemed essentially important, which are only so at all by his having rendered them habitual. It was very certain that I could not do without sleep; but I might easily bring myself to feel no inconvenience from being awakened at intervals of an hour during the whole period of my repose. It would require but five minutes at most to regenerate the atmosphere in the fullest manner, and the only real difficulty was to contrive a method of arousing myself at the proper moment for so doing. To be sure, I had heard of the student who, to prevent his falling asleep over his books, held in one hand a ball of copper, the din of whose descent into a basin of the same metal on the floor beside his chair, served effectually to startle him up, if, at any moment, he should be overcome with drowsiness. I at length hit upon the following expedient, which, simple as it may seem, was hailed by me, at the moment of discovery, as an invention fully equal to that of the telescope, the steam-engine, or the art of printing itself.

“It is necessary to premise, that the balloon, at the elevation now attained, continued its course upward with an even and undeviating ascent, and the car consequently followed with a steadiness so perfect that it would have been impossible to detect in it the slightest vacillation whatever. This circumstance favored me greatly in the project I now determined to adopt. My supply of water had been put on board in kegs containing five gallons each, and ranged very securely around the interior of the car. I unfastened one of these, and taking two ropes tied them tightly across the rim of the wicker-work from one side to the other; placing them about a foot apart and parallel so as to form a kind of shelf, upon which I placed the keg, and steadied it in a horizontal position.

About eight inches immediately below these ropes, and four feet from the bottom of the car I fastened another shelf--but made of thin plank, being the only similar piece of wood I had. Upon this latter shelf, and exactly beneath one of the rims of the keg, a small earthern pitcher was deposited. I now bored a hole in the end of the keg over the pitcher, and fitted in a plug of soft wood, cut in a tapering or conical shape. This plug I pushed in or pulled out, as might happen, until, after a few experiments, it arrived at that exact degree of tightness, at which the water, oozing from the hole, and falling into the pitcher below, would fill the latter to the brim in the period of sixty minutes.

This, of course, was a matter briefly and easily ascertained, by noticing the proportion of the pitcher filled in any given time. Having arranged all this, the rest of the plan is obvious. My bed was so contrived upon the floor of the car, as to bring my head, in lying down, immediately below the mouth of the pitcher. It was evident, that, at the expiration of an hour, the pitcher, getting full, would be forced to run over, and to run over at the mouth, which was somewhat lower than the rim. It was also evident, that the water thus falling from a height of more than four feet, could not do otherwise than fall upon my face, and that the sure consequences would be, to waken me up instantaneously, even from the soundest slumber in the world. “It was fully eleven by the time I had completed these arrangements, and I immediately betook myself to bed, with full confidence in the efficiency of my invention. Punctually every sixty minutes was I aroused by my trusty chronometer, when, having emptied the pitcher into the bung-hole of the keg, and performed the duties of the condenser, I retired again to bed. These regular interruptions to my slumber caused me even less discomfort than I had anticipated; and when I finally arose for the day, it was seven o’clock, and the sun had attained many degrees above the line of my horizon. I found the balloon at an immense height indeed, and the earth’s apparent convexity increased in a material degree.

Below me in the ocean lay a cluster of black specks, which undoubtedly were islands.

Far away to the northward I perceived a thin, white, and exceedingly brilliant line, or streak, on the edge of the horizon, and I had no hesitation in supposing it to be the southern disk of the ices of the Polar Sea. My curiosity was greatly excited, for I had hopes of passing on much farther to the north, and might possibly, at some period, find myself placed directly above the Pole itself. Nothing else of an extraordinary nature occurred during the day. My apparatus all continued in good order, and the balloon still ascended without any perceptible vacillation. The cold was intense, and obliged me to wrap up closely in an overcoat. When darkness came over the earth, I betook myself to bed, although it was for many hours afterward broad daylight all around my immediate situation. The water-clock was punctual in its duty, and I slept until next morning soundly, with the exception of the periodical interruption. Arose in good health and spirits, and was astonished at the singular change which had taken place in the appearance of the sea. It had lost, in a great measure, the deep tint of blue it had hitherto worn, being now of a grayish-white, and of a lustre dazzling to the eye.

The islands were no longer visible; whether they had passed down the horizon to the southeast, or whether my increasing elevation had left them out of sight, it is impossible to say.

I was inclined, however, to the latter opinion. The rim of ice to the northward was growing more and more apparent. Nothing of importance occurred, and I passed the day in reading, having taken care to supply myself with books.

Beheld the singular phenomenon of the sun rising while nearly the whole visible surface of the earth continued to be involved in darkness. In time, however, the light spread itself over all, and I again saw the line of ice to the northward. It was now very distinct, and appeared of a much darker hue than the waters of the ocean.

Fancied I could again distinguish a strip of land to the eastward, and one also to the westward, but could not be certain.

Weather moderate. Nothing of any consequence happened during the day. Was surprised at finding the rim of ice at a very moderate distance, and an immense field of the same material stretching away off to the horizon in the north.

It was evident that if the balloon held its present course, it would soon arrive above the Frozen Ocean, and I had now little doubt of ultimately seeing the Pole. During the whole of the day I continued to near the ice. Toward night the limits of my horizon very suddenly and materially increased, owing undoubtedly to the earth’s form being that of an oblate spheroid, and my arriving above the flattened regions in the vicinity of the Arctic circle. When darkness at length overtook me, I went to bed in great anxiety, fearing to pass over the object of so much curiosity when I should have no opportunity of observing it. Arose early, and, to my great joy, at length beheld what there could be no hesitation in supposing the northern Pole itself. It was there, beyond a doubt, and immediately beneath my feet; but, alas!

Indeed, to judge from the progression of the numbers indicating my various altitudes, respectively, at different periods, between six A.M. on the second of April, and twenty minutes before nine A.M. of the same day (at which time the barometer ran down), it might be fairly inferred that the balloon had now, at four o’clock in the morning of April the seventh, reached a height of not less, certainly, than 7,254 miles above the surface of the sea.

This elevation may appear immense, but the estimate upon which it is calculated gave a result in all probability far inferior to the truth.

At all events I undoubtedly beheld the whole of the earth’s major diameter; the entire northern hemisphere lay beneath me like a chart orthographically projected: and the great circle of the equator itself formed the boundary line of my horizon. Your Excellencies may, however, readily imagine that the confined regions hitherto unexplored within the limits of the Arctic circle, although situated directly beneath me, and therefore seen without any appearance of being foreshortened, were still, in themselves, comparatively too diminutive, and at too great a distance from the point of sight, to admit of any very accurate examination. Nevertheless, what could be seen was of a nature singular and exciting. Northwardly from that huge rim before mentioned, and which, with slight qualification, may be called the limit of human discovery in these regions, one unbroken, or nearly unbroken, sheet of ice continues to extend. In the first few degrees of this its progress, its surface is very sensibly flattened, farther on depressed into a plane, and finally, becoming not a little concave, it terminates, at the Pole itself, in a circular centre, sharply defined, whose apparent diameter subtended at the balloon an angle of about sixty-five seconds, and whose dusky hue, varying in intensity, was, at all times, darker than any other spot upon the visible hemisphere, and occasionally deepened into the most absolute and impenetrable blackness. Farther than this, little could be ascertained. By twelve o’clock the circular centre had materially decreased in circumference, and by seven P.M. I lost sight of it entirely; the balloon passing over the western limb of the ice, and floating away rapidly in the direction of the equator.

Found a sensible diminution in the earth’s apparent diameter, besides a material alteration in its general color and appearance. The whole visible area partook in different degrees of a tint of pale yellow, and in some portions had acquired a brilliancy even painful to the eye. My view downward was also considerably impeded by the dense atmosphere in the vicinity of the surface being loaded with clouds, between whose masses I could only now and then obtain a glimpse of the earth itself. This difficulty of direct vision had troubled me more or less for the last forty-eight hours; but my present enormous elevation brought closer together, as it were, the floating bodies of vapor, and the inconvenience became, of course, more and more palpable in proportion to my ascent. Nevertheless, I could easily perceive that the balloon now hovered above the range of great lakes in the continent of North America, and was holding a course, due south, which would bring me to the tropics. This circumstance did not fail to give me the most heartful satisfaction, and I hailed it as a happy omen of ultimate success.

Indeed, the direction I had hitherto taken, had filled me with uneasiness; for it was evident that, had I continued it much longer, there would have been no possibility of my arriving at the moon at all, whose orbit is inclined to the ecliptic at only the small angle of 5 degrees 8’ 48”. To-day the earth’s diameter was greatly diminished, and the color of the surface assumed hourly a deeper tint of yellow. The balloon kept steadily on her course to the southward, and arrived, at nine P.M., over the northern edge of the Mexican Gulf. It was of very brief duration, but, while it lasted resembled nothing in the world of which I had any previous experience.

It is needless to say that I became excessively alarmed, having, in the first instance, attributed the noise to the bursting of the balloon. Spent a great part of the day in meditating upon an occurrence so extraordinary, but could find no means whatever of accounting for it. Found a startling diminution in the apparent diameter of the earth, and a considerable increase, now observable for the first time, in that of the moon itself, which wanted only a few days of being full.

It now required long and excessive labor to condense within the chamber sufficient atmospheric air for the sustenance of life. A singular alteration took place in regard to the direction of the balloon, and although fully anticipated, afforded me the most unequivocal delight. Having reached, in its former course, about the twentieth parallel of southern latitude, it turned off suddenly, at an acute angle, to the eastward, and thus proceeded throughout the day, keeping nearly, if not altogether, in the exact plane of the lunar elipse. What was worthy of remark, a very perceptible vacillation in the car was a consequence of this change of route--a vacillation which prevailed, in a more or less degree, for a period of many hours. Was again very much alarmed by a repetition of the loud, crackling noise which terrified me on the tenth.

Thought long upon the subject, but was unable to form any satisfactory conclusion. Great decrease in the earth’s apparent diameter, which now subtended from the balloon an angle of very little more than twenty-five degrees. The moon could not be seen at all, being nearly in my zenith. I still continued in the plane of the elipse, but made little progress to the eastward.

Extremely rapid decrease in the diameter of the earth. To-day I became strongly impressed with the idea, that the balloon was now actually running up the line of apsides to the point of perigee--in other words, holding the direct course which would bring it immediately to the moon in that part of its orbit the nearest to the earth. The moon itself was directly overhead, and consequently hidden from my view. Great and long-continued labor necessary for the condensation of the atmosphere.

Not even the outlines of continents and seas could now be traced upon the earth with anything approaching distinctness. About twelve o’clock I became aware, for the third time, of that appalling sound which had so astonished me before. It now, however, continued for some moments, and gathered intensity as it continued. At length, while, stupefied and terror-stricken, I stood in expectation of I knew not what hideous destruction, the car vibrated with excessive violence, and a gigantic and flaming mass of some material which I could not distinguish, came with a voice of a thousand thunders, roaring and booming by the balloon. When my fears and astonishment had in some degree subsided, I had little difficulty in supposing it to be some mighty volcanic fragment ejected from that world to which I was so rapidly approaching, and, in all probability, one of that singular class of substances occasionally picked up on the earth, and termed meteoric stones for want of a better appellation. To-day, looking upward as well as I could, through each of the side windows alternately, I beheld, to my great delight, a very small portion of the moon’s disk protruding, as it were, on all sides beyond the huge circumference of the balloon. My agitation was extreme; for I had now little doubt of soon reaching the end of my perilous voyage. Indeed, the labor now required by the condenser had increased to a most oppressive degree, and allowed me scarcely any respite from exertion.

Sleep was a matter nearly out of the question.

During the now brief interval of darkness a meteoric stone again passed in my vicinity, and the frequency of these phenomena began to occasion me much apprehension. It will be remembered that, on the thirteenth, the earth subtended an angular breadth of twenty-five degrees. On the fourteenth this had greatly diminished; on the fifteenth a still more remarkable decrease was observable; and, on retiring on the night of the sixteenth, I had noticed an angle of no more than about seven degrees and fifteen minutes. What, therefore, must have been my amazement, on awakening from a brief and disturbed slumber, on the morning of this day, the seventeenth, at finding the surface beneath me so suddenly and wonderfully augmented in volume, as to subtend no less than thirty-nine degrees in apparent angular diameter! No words can give any adequate idea of the extreme, the absolute horror and astonishment, with which I was seized possessed, and altogether overwhelmed. “The balloon, then, had actually burst!” These were the first tumultuous ideas that hurried through my mind: “The balloon had positively burst!--I was falling--falling with the most impetuous, the most unparalleled velocity! To judge by the immense distance already so quickly passed over, it could not be more than ten minutes, at the farthest, before I should meet the surface of the earth, and be hurled into annihilation!” But at length reflection came to my relief. The matter was impossible. Besides, although I was evidently approaching the surface below me, it was with a speed by no means commensurate with the velocity I had at first so horribly conceived.

This consideration served to calm the perturbation of my mind, and I finally succeeded in regarding the phenomenon in its proper point of view. In fact, amazement must have fairly deprived me of my senses, when I could not see the vast difference, in appearance, between the surface below me, and the surface of my mother earth. The latter was indeed over my head, and completely hidden by the balloon, while the moon--the moon itself in all its glory--lay beneath me, and at my feet. “The stupor and surprise produced in my mind by this extraordinary change in the posture of affairs was perhaps, after all, that part of the adventure least susceptible of explanation. For the bouleversement in itself was not only natural and inevitable, but had been long actually anticipated as a circumstance to be expected whenever I should arrive at that exact point of my voyage where the attraction of the planet should be superseded by the attraction of the satellite--or, more precisely, where the gravitation of the balloon toward the earth should be less powerful than its gravitation toward the moon. To be sure I arose from a sound slumber, with all my senses in confusion, to the contemplation of a very startling phenomenon, and one which, although expected, was not expected at the moment.

The revolution itself must, of course, have taken place in an easy and gradual manner, and it is by no means clear that, had I even been awake at the time of the occurrence, I should have been made aware of it by any internal evidence of an inversion--that is to say, by any inconvenience or disarrangement, either about my person or about my apparatus. “It is almost needless to say that, upon coming to a due sense of my situation, and emerging from the terror which had absorbed every faculty of my soul, my attention was, in the first place, wholly directed to the contemplation of the general physical appearance of the moon. It lay beneath me like a chart--and although I judged it to be still at no inconsiderable distance, the indentures of its surface were defined to my vision with a most striking and altogether unaccountable distinctness. The entire absence of ocean or sea, and indeed of any lake or river, or body of water whatsoever, struck me, at first glance, as the most extraordinary feature in its geological condition. Yet, strange to say, I beheld vast level regions of a character decidedly alluvial, although by far the greater portion of the hemisphere in sight was covered with innumerable volcanic mountains, conical in shape, and having more the appearance of artificial than of natural protuberance. The highest among them does not exceed three and three-quarter miles in perpendicular elevation; but a map of the volcanic districts of the Campi Phlegraei would afford to your Excellencies a better idea of their general surface than any unworthy description I might think proper to attempt. The greater part of them were in a state of evident eruption, and gave me fearfully to understand their fury and their power, by the repeated thunders of the miscalled meteoric stones, which now rushed upward by the balloon with a frequency more and more appalling. To-day I found an enormous increase in the moon’s apparent bulk--and the evidently accelerated velocity of my descent began to fill me with alarm. It will be remembered, that, in the earliest stage of my speculations upon the possibility of a passage to the moon, the existence, in its vicinity, of an atmosphere, dense in proportion to the bulk of the planet, had entered largely into my calculations; this too in spite of many theories to the contrary, and, it may be added, in spite of a general disbelief in the existence of any lunar atmosphere at all.

But, in addition to what I have already urged in regard to Encke’s comet and the zodiacal light, I had been strengthened in my opinion by certain observations of Mr. He observed the moon when two days and a half old, in the evening soon after sunset, before the dark part was visible, and continued to watch it until it became visible. The two cusps appeared tapering in a very sharp faint prolongation, each exhibiting its farthest extremity faintly illuminated by the solar rays, before any part of the dark hemisphere was visible. Soon afterward, the whole dark limb became illuminated. This prolongation of the cusps beyond the semicircle, I thought, must have arisen from the refraction of the sun’s rays by the moon’s atmosphere. I computed, also, the height of the atmosphere (which could refract light enough into its dark hemisphere to produce a twilight more luminous than the light reflected from the earth when the moon is about 32 degrees from the new) to be 1,356 Paris feet; in this view, I supposed the greatest height capable of refracting the solar ray, to be 5,376 feet. My ideas on this topic had also received confirmation by a passage in the eighty-second volume of the Philosophical Transactions, in which it is stated that at an occultation of Jupiter’s satellites, the third disappeared after having been about 1” or 2” of time indistinct, and the fourth became indiscernible near the limb.(*4) “Cassini frequently observed Saturn, Jupiter, and the fixed stars, when approaching the moon to occultation, to have their circular figure changed into an oval one; and, in other occultations, he found no alteration of figure at all. Hence it might be supposed, that at some times and not at others, there is a dense matter encompassing the moon wherein the rays of the stars are refracted. “Upon the resistance or, more properly, upon the support of an atmosphere, existing in the state of density imagined, I had, of course, entirely depended for the safety of my ultimate descent.

Should I then, after all, prove to have been mistaken, I had in consequence nothing better to expect, as a finale to my adventure, than being dashed into atoms against the rugged surface of the satellite. My distance from the moon was comparatively trifling, while the labor required by the condenser was diminished not at all, and I could discover no indication whatever of a decreasing rarity in the air. This morning, to my great joy, about nine o’clock, the surface of the moon being frightfully near, and my apprehensions excited to the utmost, the pump of my condenser at length gave evident tokens of an alteration in the atmosphere. By eleven, very little labor was necessary at the apparatus; and at twelve o’clock, with some hesitation, I ventured to unscrew the tourniquet, when, finding no inconvenience from having done so, I finally threw open the gum-elastic chamber, and unrigged it from around the car. As might have been expected, spasms and violent headache were the immediate consequences of an experiment so precipitate and full of danger. But these and other difficulties attending respiration, as they were by no means so great as to put me in peril of my life, I determined to endure as I best could, in consideration of my leaving them behind me momently in my approach to the denser strata near the moon. This approach, however, was still impetuous in the extreme; and it soon became alarmingly certain that, although I had probably not been deceived in the expectation of an atmosphere dense in proportion to the mass of the satellite, still I had been wrong in supposing this density, even at the surface, at all adequate to the support of the great weight contained in the car of my balloon.

Yet this should have been the case, and in an equal degree as at the surface of the earth, the actual gravity of bodies at either planet supposed in the ratio of the atmospheric condensation. That it was not the case, however, my precipitous downfall gave testimony enough; why it was not so, can only be explained by a reference to those possible geological disturbances to which I have formerly alluded.

At all events I was now close upon the planet, and coming down with the most terrible impetuosity. I lost not a moment, accordingly, in throwing overboard first my ballast, then my water-kegs, then my condensing apparatus and gum-elastic chamber, and finally every article within the car. I still fell with horrible rapidity, and was now not more than half a mile from the surface. As a last resource, therefore, having got rid of my coat, hat, and boots, I cut loose from the balloon the car itself, which was of no inconsiderable weight, and thus, clinging with both hands to the net-work, I had barely time to observe that the whole country, as far as the eye could reach, was thickly interspersed with diminutive habitations, ere I tumbled headlong into the very heart of a fantastical-looking city, and into the middle of a vast crowd of ugly little people, who none of them uttered a single syllable, or gave themselves the least trouble to render me assistance, but stood, like a parcel of idiots, grinning in a ludicrous manner, and eyeing me and my balloon askant, with their arms set a-kimbo. I turned from them in contempt, and, gazing upward at the earth so lately left, and left perhaps for ever, beheld it like a huge, dull, copper shield, about two degrees in diameter, fixed immovably in the heavens overhead, and tipped on one of its edges with a crescent border of the most brilliant gold. No traces of land or water could be discovered, and the whole was clouded with variable spots, and belted with tropical and equatorial zones. “Thus, may it please your Excellencies, after a series of great anxieties, unheard of dangers, and unparalleled escapes, I had, at length, on the nineteenth day of my departure from Rotterdam, arrived in safety at the conclusion of a voyage undoubtedly the most extraordinary, and the most momentous, ever accomplished, undertaken, or conceived by any denizen of earth. And indeed your Excellencies may well imagine that, after a residence of five years upon a planet not only deeply interesting in its own peculiar character, but rendered doubly so by its intimate connection, in capacity of satellite, with the world inhabited by man, I may have intelligence for the private ear of the States’ College of Astronomers of far more importance than the details, however wonderful, of the mere voyage which so happily concluded. This is, in fact, the case.

I have much--very much which it would give me the greatest pleasure to communicate. I have much to say of the climate of the planet; of its wonderful alternations of heat and cold, of unmitigated and burning sunshine for one fortnight, and more than polar frigidity for the next; of a constant transfer of moisture, by distillation like that in vacuo, from the point beneath the sun to the point the farthest from it; of a variable zone of running water, of the people themselves; of their manners, customs, and political institutions; of their peculiar physical construction; of their ugliness; of their want of ears, those useless appendages in an atmosphere so peculiarly modified; of their consequent ignorance of the use and properties of speech; of their substitute for speech in a singular method of inter-communication; of the incomprehensible connection between each particular individual in the moon with some particular individual on the earth--a connection analogous with, and depending upon, that of the orbs of the planet and the satellites, and by means of which the lives and destinies of the inhabitants of the one are interwoven with the lives and destinies of the inhabitants of the other; and above all, if it so please your Excellencies--above all, of those dark and hideous mysteries which lie in the outer regions of the moon--regions which, owing to the almost miraculous accordance of the satellite’s rotation on its own axis with its sidereal revolution about the earth, have never yet been turned, and, by God’s mercy, never shall be turned, to the scrutiny of the telescopes of man. I am pining for a return to my family and to my home, and as the price of any farther communication on my part--in consideration of the light which I have it in my power to throw upon many very important branches of physical and metaphysical science--I must solicit, through the influence of your honorable body, a pardon for the crime of which I have been guilty in the death of the creditors upon my departure from Rotterdam. This, then, is the object of the present paper. Its bearer, an inhabitant of the moon, whom I have prevailed upon, and properly instructed, to be my messenger to the earth, will await your Excellencies’ pleasure, and return to me with the pardon in question, if it can, in any manner, be obtained.

“I have the honor to be, etc., your Excellencies’ very humble servant, “HANS PFAALL.” Upon finishing the perusal of this very extraordinary document, Professor Rub-a-dub, it is said, dropped his pipe upon the ground in the extremity of his surprise, and Mynheer Superbus Von Underduk having taken off his spectacles, wiped them, and deposited them in his pocket, so far forgot both himself and his dignity, as to turn round three times upon his heel in the quintessence of astonishment and admiration. There was no doubt about the matter--the pardon should be obtained. So at least swore, with a round oath, Professor Rub-a-dub, and so finally thought the illustrious Von Underduk, as he took the arm of his brother in science, and without saying a word, began to make the best of his way home to deliberate upon the measures to be adopted. Having reached the door, however, of the burgomaster’s dwelling, the professor ventured to suggest that as the messenger had thought proper to disappear--no doubt frightened to death by the savage appearance of the burghers of Rotterdam--the pardon would be of little use, as no one but a man of the moon would undertake a voyage to so vast a distance. To the truth of this observation the burgomaster assented, and the matter was therefore at an end. The letter, having been published, gave rise to a variety of gossip and opinion. Some of the over-wise even made themselves ridiculous by decrying the whole business; as nothing better than a hoax. But hoax, with these sort of people, is, I believe, a general term for all matters above their comprehension.

For my part, I cannot conceive upon what data they have founded such an accusation. Let us see what they say: Imprimus. That an odd little dwarf and bottle conjurer, both of whose ears, for some misdemeanor, have been cut off close to his head, has been missing for several days from the neighboring city of Bruges.

That the newspapers which were stuck all over the little balloon were newspapers of Holland, and therefore could not have been made in the moon. They were dirty papers--very dirty--and Gluck, the printer, would take his Bible oath to their having been printed in Rotterdam. Fourthly, That Hans Pfaall himself, the drunken villain, and the three very idle gentlemen styled his creditors, were all seen, no longer than two or three days ago, in a tippling house in the suburbs, having just returned, with money in their pockets, from a trip beyond the sea. That it is an opinion very generally received, or which ought to be generally received, that the College of Astronomers in the city of Rotterdam, as well as other colleges in all other parts of the world,--not to mention colleges and astronomers in general,--are, to say the least of the matter, not a whit better, nor greater, nor wiser than they ought to be. ~~~ End of Text ~~~ Notes to Hans Pfaal (*1) NOTE--Strictly speaking, there is but little similarity between the above sketchy trifle and the celebrated “Moon-Story” of Mr. Locke; but as both have the character of hoaxes (although the one is in a tone of banter, the other of downright earnest), and as both hoaxes are on the same subject, the moon--moreover, as both attempt to give plausibility by scientific detail--the author of “Hans Pfaall” thinks it necessary to say, in self-defence, that his own jeu d’esprit was published in the “Southern Literary Messenger” about three weeks before the commencement of Mr. L’s in the “New York Sun.” Fancying a likeness which, perhaps, does not exist, some of the New York papers copied “Hans Pfaall,” and collated it with the “Moon-Hoax,” by way of detecting the writer of the one in the writer of the other. As many more persons were actually gulled by the “Moon-Hoax” than would be willing to acknowledge the fact, it may here afford some little amusement to show why no one should have been deceived-to point out those particulars of the story which should have been sufficient to establish its real character.

Indeed, however rich the imagination displayed in this ingenious fiction, it wanted much of the force which might have been given it by a more scrupulous attention to facts and to general analogy. That the public were misled, even for an instant, merely proves the gross ignorance which is so generally prevalent upon subjects of an astronomical nature. The moon’s distance from the earth is, in round numbers, 240,000 miles. If we desire to ascertain how near, apparently, a lens would bring the satellite (or any distant object), we, of course, have but to divide the distance by the magnifying or, more strictly, by the space-penetrating power of the glass. By this divide 240,000 (the moon’s real distance), and we have five miles and five sevenths, as the apparent distance. No animal at all could be seen so far; much less the minute points particularized in the story.

speaks about Sir John Herschel’s perceiving flowers (the Papaver rheas, etc.), and even detecting the color and the shape of the eyes of small birds. Shortly before, too, he has himself observed that the lens would not render perceptible objects of less than eighteen inches in diameter; but even this, as I have said, is giving the glass by far too great power. It may be observed, in passing, that this prodigious glass is said to have been molded at the glasshouse of Messrs.

and G.’s establishment had ceased operations for many years previous to the publication of the hoax. On page 13, pamphlet edition, speaking of “a hairy veil” over the eyes of a species of bison, the author says: “It immediately occurred to the acute mind of Dr. Herschel that this was a providential contrivance to protect the eyes of the animal from the great extremes of light and darkness to which all the inhabitants of our side of the moon are periodically subjected.” But this cannot be thought a very “acute” observation of the Doctor’s. The inhabitants of our side of the moon have, evidently, no darkness at all, so there can be nothing of the “extremes” mentioned. In the absence of the sun they have a light from the earth equal to that of thirteen full unclouded moons. The topography throughout, even when professing to accord with Blunt’s Lunar Chart, is entirely at variance with that or any other lunar chart, and even grossly at variance with itself.

The points of the compass, too, are in inextricable confusion; the writer appearing to be ignorant that, on a lunar map, these are not in accordance with terrestrial points; the east being to the left, etc. Deceived, perhaps, by the vague titles, Mare Nubium, Mare Tranquillitatis, Mare Faecunditatis, etc., given to the dark spots by former astronomers, Mr. has entered into details regarding oceans and other large bodies of water in the moon; whereas there is no astronomical point more positively ascertained than that no such bodies exist there. In examining the boundary between light and darkness (in the crescent or gibbous moon) where this boundary crosses any of the dark places, the line of division is found to be rough and jagged; but, were these dark places liquid, it would evidently be even. The description of the wings of the man-bat, on page 21, is but a literal copy of Peter Wilkins’ account of the wings of his flying islanders. On page 23, we have the following: “What a prodigious influence must our thirteen times larger globe have exercised upon this satellite when an embryo in the womb of time, the passive subject of chemical affinity!” This is very fine; but it should be observed that no astronomer would have made such remark, especially to any journal of Science; for the earth, in the sense intended, is not only thirteen, but forty-nine times larger than the moon. A similar objection applies to the whole of the concluding pages, where, by way of introduction to some discoveries in Saturn, the philosophical correspondent enters into a minute schoolboy account of that planet--this to the “Edinburgh journal of Science!” But there is one point, in particular, which should have betrayed the fiction.

Let us imagine the power actually possessed of seeing animals upon the moon’s surface--what would first arrest the attention of an observer from the earth? Certainly neither their shape, size, nor any other such peculiarity, so soon as their remarkable situation. They would appear to be walking, with heels up and head down, in the manner of flies on a ceiling. The real observer would have uttered an instant ejaculation of surprise (however prepared by previous knowledge) at the singularity of their position; the fictitious observer has not even mentioned the subject, but speaks of seeing the entire bodies of such creatures, when it is demonstrable that he could have seen only the diameter of their heads! It might as well be remarked, in conclusion, that the size, and particularly the powers of the man-bats (for example, their ability to fly in so rare an atmosphere--if, indeed, the moon have any), with most of the other fancies in regard to animal and vegetable existence, are at variance, generally, with all analogical reasoning on these themes; and that analogy here will often amount to conclusive demonstration.

It is, perhaps, scarcely necessary to add, that all the suggestions attributed to Brewster and Herschel, in the beginning of the article, about “a transfusion of artificial light through the focal object of vision,” etc., etc., belong to that species of figurative writing which comes, most properly, under the denomination of rigmarole. There is a real and very definite limit to optical discovery among the stars--a limit whose nature need only be stated to be understood. If, indeed, the casting of large lenses were all that is required, man’s ingenuity would ultimately prove equal to the task, and we might have them of any size demanded. But, unhappily, in proportion to the increase of size in the lens, and consequently of space-penetrating power, is the diminution of light from the object, by diffusion of its rays. And for this evil there is no remedy within human ability; for an object is seen by means of that light alone which proceeds from itself, whether direct or reflected. Thus the only “artificial” light which could avail Mr. Locke, would be some artificial light which he should be able to throw-not upon the “focal object of vision,” but upon the real object to be viewed-to wit: upon the moon. It has been easily calculated that, when the light proceeding from a star becomes so diffused as to be as weak as the natural light proceeding from the whole of the stars, in a clear and moonless night, then the star is no longer visible for any practical purpose.

The Earl of Ross’s telescope, lately constructed in England, has a speculum with a reflecting surface of 4,071 square inches; the Herschel telescope having one of only 1,811. The metal of the Earl of Ross’s is 6 feet diameter; it is 5 1/2 inches thick at the edges, and 5 at the centre. The weight is 3 tons. The focal length is 50 feet. The writer professes to have translated his work from the English of one Mr. D’Avisson (Davidson?) although there is a terrible ambiguity in the statement. Je lui ai cette obligation entre les autres, de m’ auoir non seulement mis en main cc Livre en anglois, mais encore le Manuscrit du Sieur Thomas D’Anan, gentilhomme Eccossois, recommandable pour sa vertu, sur la version duquel j’ advoue que j’ ay tiré le plan de la mienne.” After some irrelevant adventures, much in the manner of Gil Blas, and which occupy the first thirty pages, the author relates that, being ill during a sea voyage, the crew abandoned him, together with a negro servant, on the island of St.

To increase the chances of obtaining food, the two separate, and live as far apart as possible. This brings about a training of birds, to serve the purpose of carrier-pigeons between them. By and by these are taught to carry parcels of some weight-and this weight is gradually increased. At length the idea is entertained of uniting the force of a great number of the birds, with a view to raising the author himself. A machine is contrived for the purpose, and we have a minute description of it, which is materially helped out by a steel engraving. Here we perceive the Signor Gonzales, with point ruffles and a huge periwig, seated astride something which resembles very closely a broomstick, and borne aloft by a multitude of wild swans (ganzas) who had strings reaching from their tails to the machine. The main event detailed in the Signor’s narrative depends upon a very important fact, of which the reader is kept in ignorance until near the end of the book. The ganzas, with whom he had become so familiar, were not really denizens of St.

Helena, but of the moon. Thence it had been their custom, time out of mind, to migrate annually to some portion of the earth. In proper season, of course, they would return home; and the author, happening, one day, to require their services for a short voyage, is unexpectedly carried straight tip, and in a very brief period arrives at the satellite. Here he finds, among other odd things, that the people enjoy extreme happiness; that they have no law; that they die without pain; that they are from ten to thirty feet in height; that they live five thousand years; that they have an emperor called Irdonozur; and that they can jump sixty feet high, when, being out of the gravitating influence, they fly about with fans.

I cannot forbear giving a specimen of the general philosophy of the volume. “I must not forget here, that the stars appeared only on that side of the globe turned toward the moon, and that the closer they were to it the larger they seemed. I have also me and the earth. As to the stars, since there was no night where I was, they always had the same appearance; not brilliant, as usual, but pale, and very nearly like the moon of a morning. But few of them were visible, and these ten times larger (as well as I could judge) than they seem to the inhabitants of the earth. The moon, which wanted two days of being full, was of a terrible bigness. “I must not forget here, that the stars appeared only on that side of the globe turned toward the moon, and that the closer they were to it the larger they seemed. I have also to inform you that, whether it was calm weather or stormy, I found myself always immediately between the moon and the earth. I was convinced of this for two reasons-because my birds always flew in a straight line; and because whenever we attempted to rest, we were carried insensibly around the globe of the earth. For I admit the opinion of Copernicus, who maintains that it never ceases to revolve from the east to the west, not upon the poles of the Equinoctial, commonly called the poles of the world, but upon those of the Zodiac, a question of which I propose to speak more at length here-after, when I shall have leisure to refresh my memory in regard to the astrology which I learned at Salamanca when young, and have since forgotten.” Notwithstanding the blunders italicized, the book is not without some claim to attention, as affording a naive specimen of the current astronomical notions of the time.

One of these assumed, that the “gravitating power” extended but a short distance from the earth’s surface, and, accordingly, we find our voyager “carried insensibly around the globe,” etc. There have been other “voyages to the moon,” but none of higher merit than the one just mentioned. In the third volume of the “American Quarterly Review” will be found quite an elaborate criticism upon a certain “journey” of the kind in question--a criticism in which it is difficult to say whether the critic most exposes the stupidity of the book, or his own absurd ignorance of astronomy. I forget the title of the work; but the means of the voyage are more deplorably ill conceived than are even the ganzas of our friend the Signor Gonzales. The adventurer, in digging the earth, happens to discover a peculiar metal for which the moon has a strong attraction, and straightway constructs of it a box, which, when cast loose from its terrestrial fastenings, flies with him, forthwith, to the satellite. The “Flight of Thomas O’Rourke,” is a jeu d’ esprit not altogether contemptible, and has been translated into German. Thomas, the hero, was, in fact, the gamekeeper of an Irish peer, whose eccentricities gave rise to the tale. The “flight” is made on an eagle’s back, from Hungry Hill, a lofty mountain at the end of Bantry Bay.

In these various brochures the aim is always satirical; the theme being a description of Lunarian customs as compared with ours. In none is there any effort at plausibility in the details of the voyage itself.

The writers seem, in each instance, to be utterly uninformed in respect to astronomy. In “Hans Pfaall” the design is original, inasmuch as regards an attempt at verisimilitude, in the application of scientific principles (so far as the whimsical nature of the subject would permit), to the actual passage between the earth and the moon. (*2) The zodiacal light is probably what the ancients called Trabes. (*3) Since the original publication of Hans Pfaall, I find that Mr.

Green, of Nassau balloon notoriety, and other late aeronauts, deny the assertions of Humboldt, in this respect, and speak of a decreasing inconvenience,--precisely in accordance with the theory here urged in a mere spirit of banter. (*4) Havelius writes that he has several times found, in skies perfectly clear, when even stars of the sixth and seventh magnitude were conspicuous, that, at the same altitude of the moon, at the same elongation from the earth, and with one and the same excellent telescope, the moon and its maculae did not appear equally lucid at all times.

From the circumstances of the observation, it is evident that the cause of this phenomenon is not either in our air, in the tube, in the moon, or in the eye of the spectator, but must be looked for in something (an atmosphere?) existing about the moon. THE GOLD-BUG What ho! He hath been bitten by the Tarantula. --All in the Wrong. MANY years ago, I contracted an intimacy with a Mr.

To avoid the mortification consequent upon his disasters, he left New Orleans, the city of his forefathers, and took up his residence at Sullivan’s Island, near Charleston, South Carolina. It consists of little else than the sea sand, and is about three miles long. It is separated from the main land by a scarcely perceptible creek, oozing its way through a wilderness of reeds and slime, a favorite resort of the marsh hen. The vegetation, as might be supposed, is scant, or at least dwarfish. Near the western extremity, where Fort Moultrie stands, and where are some miserable frame buildings, tenanted, during summer, by the fugitives from Charleston dust and fever, may be found, indeed, the bristly palmetto; but the whole island, with the exception of this western point, and a line of hard, white beach on the seacoast, is covered with a dense undergrowth of the sweet myrtle, so much prized by the horticulturists of England. The shrub here often attains the height of fifteen or twenty feet, and forms an almost impenetrable coppice, burthening the air with its fragrance. In the inmost recesses of this coppice, not far from the eastern or more remote end of the island, Legrand had built himself a small hut, which he occupied when I first, by mere accident, made his acquaintance. This soon ripened into friendship--for there was much in the recluse to excite interest and esteem. He had with him many books, but rarely employed them.

His chief amusements were gunning and fishing, or sauntering along the beach and through the myrtles, in quest of shells or entomological specimens;--his collection of the latter might have been envied by a Swammerdamm. In these excursions he was usually accompanied by an old negro, called Jupiter, who had been manumitted before the reverses of the family, but who could be induced, neither by threats nor by promises, to abandon what he considered his right of attendance upon the footsteps of his young “Massa Will.” It is not improbable that the relatives of Legrand, conceiving him to be somewhat unsettled in intellect, had contrived to instil this obstinacy into Jupiter, with a view to the supervision and guardianship of the wanderer. The winters in the latitude of Sullivan’s Island are seldom very severe, and in the fall of the year it is a rare event indeed when a fire is considered necessary. About the middle of October, 18-, there occurred, however, a day of remarkable chilliness. Just before sunset I scrambled my way through the evergreens to the hut of my friend, whom I had not visited for several weeks--my residence being, at that time, in Charleston, a distance of nine miles from the Island, while the facilities of passage and re-passage were very far behind those of the present day.

Upon reaching the hut I rapped, as was my custom, and getting no reply, sought for the key where I knew it was secreted, unlocked the door and went in. A fine fire was blazing upon the hearth. I threw off an overcoat, took an arm-chair by the crackling logs, and awaited patiently the arrival of my hosts. Soon after dark they arrived, and gave me a most cordial welcome. Legrand was in one of his fits--how else shall I term them?--of enthusiasm. He had found an unknown bivalve, forming a new genus, and, more than this, he had hunted down and secured, with Jupiter’s assistance, a scarabæus which he believed to be totally new, but in respect to which he wished to have my opinion on the morrow. “And why not to-night?” I asked, rubbing my hands over the blaze, and wishing the whole tribe of scarabæi at the devil.

“Ah, if I had only known you were here!” said Legrand, “but it’s so long since I saw you; and how could I foresee that you would pay me a visit this very night of all others? As I was coming home I met Lieutenant G--, from the fort, and, very foolishly, I lent him the bug; so it will be impossible for you to see it until the morning. It is the loveliest thing in creation!” “What?--sunrise?” “Nonsense! no!--the bug. It is of a brilliant gold color--about the size of a large hickory-nut--with two jet black spots near one extremity of the back, and another, somewhat longer, at the other. The antennæ are--” “Dey aint no tin in him, Massa Will, I keep a tellin on you,” here interrupted Jupiter; “de bug is a goole bug, solid, ebery bit of him, inside and all, sep him wing--neber feel half so hebby a bug in my life.” “Well, suppose it is, Jup,” replied Legrand, somewhat more earnestly, it seemed to me, than the case demanded, “is that any reason for your letting the birds burn? The color”--here he turned to me--“is really almost enough to warrant Jupiter’s idea.

You never saw a more brilliant metallic lustre than the scales emit--but of this you cannot judge till tomorrow. In the mean time I can give you some idea of the shape.” Saying this, he seated himself at a small table, on which were a pen and ink, but no paper. “Never mind,” said he at length, “this will answer;” and he drew from his waistcoat pocket a scrap of what I took to be very dirty foolscap, and made upon it a rough drawing with the pen. While he did this, I retained my seat by the fire, for I was still chilly. When the design was complete, he handed it to me without rising. As I received it, a loud growl was heard, succeeded by a scratching at the door.

When his gambols were over, I looked at the paper, and, to speak the truth, found myself not a little puzzled at what my friend had depicted. The two upper black spots look like eyes, eh? and the longer one at the bottom like a mouth--and then the shape of the whole is oval.” “Perhaps so,” said I; “but, Legrand, I fear you are no artist. I must wait until I see the beetle itself, if I am to form any idea of its personal appearance.” “Well, I don’t know,” said he, a little nettled, “I draw tolerably--should do it at least--have had good masters, and flatter myself that I am not quite a blockhead.” “But, my dear fellow, you are joking then,” said I, “this is a very passable skull--indeed, I may say that it is a very excellent skull, according to the vulgar notions about such specimens of physiology--and your scarabæus must be the queerest scarabæus in the world if it resembles it. I presume you will call the bug scarabæus caput hominis, or something of that kind--there are many similar titles in the Natural Histories. But where are the antennæ you spoke of?” “The antennæ!” said Legrand, who seemed to be getting unaccountably warm upon the subject; “I am sure you must see the antennæ.

I made them as distinct as they are in the original insect, and I presume that is sufficient.” “Well, well,” I said, “perhaps you have--still I don’t see them;” and I handed him the paper without additional remark, not wishing to ruffle his temper; but I was much surprised at the turn affairs had taken; his ill humor puzzled me--and, as for the drawing of the beetle, there were positively no antennæ visible, and the whole did bear a very close resemblance to the ordinary cuts of a death’s-head. He received the paper very peevishly, and was about to crumple it, apparently to throw it in the fire, when a casual glance at the design seemed suddenly to rivet his attention.

In an instant his face grew violently red--in another as excessively pale. For some minutes he continued to scrutinize the drawing minutely where he sat. At length he arose, took a candle from the table, and proceeded to seat himself upon a sea-chest in the farthest corner of the room. Here again he made an anxious examination of the paper; turning it in all directions. He said nothing, however, and his conduct greatly astonished me; yet I thought it prudent not to exacerbate the growing moodiness of his temper by any comment.

Presently he took from his coat pocket a wallet, placed the paper carefully in it, and deposited both in a writing-desk, which he locked. As the evening wore away he became more and more absorbed in reverie, from which no sallies of mine could arouse him. It had been my intention to pass the night at the hut, as I had frequently done before, but, seeing my host in this mood, I deemed it proper to take leave. It was about a month after this (and during the interval I had seen nothing of Legrand) when I received a visit, at Charleston, from his man, Jupiter.

I had never seen the good old negro look so dispirited, and I feared that some serious disaster had befallen my friend. “Well, Jup,” said I, “what is the matter now?--how is your master?” “Why, to speak de troof, massa, him not so berry well as mought be.” “Not well! I had a big stick ready cut for to gib him deuced good beating when he did come--but Ise sich a fool dat I hadn’t de heart arter all--he look so berry poorly.” “Eh?--what?--ah yes!--upon the whole I think you had better not be too severe with the poor fellow--don’t flog him, Jupiter--he can’t very well stand it--but can you form no idea of what has occasioned this illness, or rather this change of conduct? what do you mean?” “Why, massa, I mean de bug--dare now.” “The what?” “De bug,--I’m berry sartain dat Massa Will bin bit somewhere bout de head by dat goole-bug.” “And what cause have you, Jupiter, for such a supposition?” “Claws enuff, massa, and mouth too. I rap him up in de paper and stuff piece ob it in he mouff--dat was de way.” “And you think, then, that your master was really bitten by the beetle, and that the bite made him sick?” “I do n’t tink noffin about it--I nose it. why cause he talk about it in he sleep--dat’s how I nose.” “Well, Jup, perhaps you are right; but to what fortunate circumstance am I to attribute the honor of a visit from you to-day?” “What de matter, massa?” “Did you bring any message from Mr. I have something to tell you, yet scarcely know how to tell it, or whether I should tell it at all. I have not been quite well for some days past, and poor old Jup annoys me, almost beyond endurance, by his well-meant attentions Would you believe it?--he had prepared a huge stick, the other day, with which to chastise me for giving him the slip, and spending the day, solus, among the hills on the main land. I assure you that it is of the highest importance.

There was something in the tone of this note which gave me great uneasiness. What “business of the highest importance” could he possibly have to transact? I dreaded lest the continued pressure of misfortune had, at length, fairly unsettled the reason of my friend. Without a moment’s hesitation, therefore, I prepared to accompany the negro. Upon reaching the wharf, I noticed a scythe and three spades, all apparently new, lying in the bottom of the boat in which we were to embark. “What is the meaning of all this, Jup?” I inquired.

“Him syfe, massa, and spade.” “Very true; but what are they doing here?” “Him de syfe and de spade what Massa Will sis pon my buying for him in de town, and de debbils own lot of money I had to gib for em.” “But what, in the name of all that is mysterious, is your ‘Massa Will’ going to do with scythes and spades?” “Dat’s more dan I know, and debbil take me if I don’t blieve ‘tis more dan he know, too. But it’s all cum ob do bug.” Finding that no satisfaction was to be obtained of Jupiter, whose whole intellect seemed to be absorbed by “de bug,” I now stepped into the boat and made sail. With a fair and strong breeze we soon ran into the little cove to the northward of Fort Moultrie, and a walk of some two miles brought us to the hut.

It was about three in the afternoon when we arrived. He grasped my hand with a nervous empressement which alarmed me and strengthened the suspicions already entertained. After some inquiries respecting his health, I asked him, not knowing what better to say, if he had yet obtained the scarabæus from Lieutenant G ----.

“Oh, yes,” he replied, coloring violently, “I got it from him the next morning. Is it any wonder, then, that I prize it? Since Fortune has thought fit to bestow it upon me, I have only to use it properly and I shall arrive at the gold of which it is the index.

I’d rudder not go fer trubble dat bug--you mus git him for your own self.” Hereupon Legrand arose, with a grave and stately air, and brought me the beetle from a glass case in which it was enclosed. There were two round, black spots near one extremity of the back, and a long one near the other. The scales were exceedingly hard and glossy, with all the appearance of burnished gold. The weight of the insect was very remarkable, and, taking all things into consideration, I could hardly blame Jupiter for his opinion respecting it; but what to make of Legrand’s concordance with that opinion, I could not, for the life of me, tell. “I sent for you,” said he, in a grandiloquent tone, when I had completed my examination of the beetle, “I sent for you, that I might have your counsel and assistance in furthering the views of Fate and of the bug”-- “My dear Legrand,” I cried, interrupting him, “you are certainly unwell, and had better use some little precautions.

I felt it, and, to say the truth, found not the slightest indication of fever. In the first place, go to bed. In the next”-- “You are mistaken,” he interposed, “I am as well as I can expect to be under the excitement which I suffer. Jupiter and myself are going upon an expedition into the hills, upon the main land, and, in this expedition we shall need the aid of some person in whom we can confide. You are the only one we can trust. Whether we succeed or fail, the excitement which you now perceive in me will be equally allayed.” “I am anxious to oblige you in any way,” I replied; “but do you mean to say that this infernal beetle has any connection with your expedition into the hills?” “It has.” “Then, Legrand, I can become a party to no such absurd proceeding.” “I am sorry--very sorry--for we shall have to try it by ourselves.” “Try it by yourselves! The man is surely mad!--but stay!--how long do you propose to be absent?” “Probably all night. We shall start immediately, and be back, at all events, by sunrise.” “And will you promise me, upon your honor, that when this freak of yours is over, and the bug business (good God!) settled to your satisfaction, you will then return home and follow my advice implicitly, as that of your physician?” “Yes; I promise; and now let us be off, for we have no time to lose.” With a heavy heart I accompanied my friend. We started about four o’clock--Legrand, Jupiter, the dog, and myself. Jupiter had with him the scythe and spades--the whole of which he insisted upon carrying--more through fear, it seemed to me, of trusting either of the implements within reach of his master, than from any excess of industry or complaisance.

His demeanor was dogged in the extreme, and “dat deuced bug” were the sole words which escaped his lips during the journey. For my own part, I had charge of a couple of dark lanterns, while Legrand contented himself with the scarabæus, which he carried attached to the end of a bit of whip-cord; twirling it to and fro, with the air of a conjuror, as he went. I thought it best, however, to humor his fancy, at least for the present, or until I could adopt some more energetic measures with a chance of success. In the mean time I endeavored, but all in vain, to sound him in regard to the object of the expedition. Having succeeded in inducing me to accompany him, he seemed unwilling to hold conversation upon any topic of minor importance, and to all my questions vouchsafed no other reply than “we shall see!” We crossed the creek at the head of the island by means of a skiff; and, ascending the high grounds on the shore of the main land, proceeded in a northwesterly direction, through a tract of country excessively wild and desolate, where no trace of a human footstep was to be seen. Legrand led the way with decision; pausing only for an instant, here and there, to consult what appeared to be certain landmarks of his own contrivance upon a former occasion. In this manner we journeyed for about two hours, and the sun was just setting when we entered a region infinitely more dreary than any yet seen. It was a species of table land, near the summit of an almost inaccessible hill, densely wooded from base to pinnacle, and interspersed with huge crags that appeared to lie loosely upon the soil, and in many cases were prevented from precipitating themselves into the valleys below, merely by the support of the trees against which they reclined. Deep ravines, in various directions, gave an air of still sterner solemnity to the scene.

The natural platform to which we had clambered was thickly overgrown with brambles, through which we soon discovered that it would have been impossible to force our way but for the scythe; and Jupiter, by direction of his master, proceeded to clear for us a path to the foot of an enormously tall tulip-tree, which stood, with some eight or ten oaks, upon the level, and far surpassed them all, and all other trees which I had then ever seen, in the beauty of its foliage and form, in the wide spread of its branches, and in the general majesty of its appearance. The old man seemed a little staggered by the question, and for some moments made no reply. At length he approached the huge trunk, walked slowly around it, and examined it with minute attention. When he had completed his scrutiny, he merely said, “Yes, massa, Jup climb any tree he ebber see in he life.” “Then up with you as soon as possible, for it will soon be too dark to see what we are about.” “How far mus go up, massa?” inquired Jupiter. “Get up the main trunk first, and then I will tell you which way to go--and here--stop! take this beetle with you.” “De bug, Massa Will!--de goole bug!” cried the negro, drawing back in dismay--“what for mus tote de bug way up de tree?--d-n if I do!” “If you are afraid, Jup, a great big negro like you, to take hold of a harmless little dead beetle, why you can carry it up by this string--but, if you do not take it up with you in some way, I shall be under the necessity of breaking your head with this shovel.” “What de matter now, massa?” said Jup, evidently shamed into compliance; “always want for to raise fuss wid old nigger. what I keer for de bug?” Here he took cautiously hold of the extreme end of the string, and, maintaining the insect as far from his person as circumstances would permit, prepared to ascend the tree. In youth, the tulip-tree, or Liriodendron Tulipferum, the most magnificent of American foresters, has a trunk peculiarly smooth, and often rises to a great height without lateral branches; but, in its riper age, the bark becomes gnarled and uneven, while many short limbs make their appearance on the stem.

Thus the difficulty of ascension, in the present case, lay more in semblance than in reality. Embracing the huge cylinder, as closely as possible, with his arms and knees, seizing with his hands some projections, and resting his naked toes upon others, Jupiter, after one or two narrow escapes from falling, at length wriggled himself into the first great fork, and seemed to consider the whole business as virtually accomplished. The risk of the achievement was, in fact, now over, although the climber was some sixty or seventy feet from the ground. “Keep up the largest branch--the one on this side,” said Legrand. The negro obeyed him promptly, and apparently with but little trouble; ascending higher and higher, until no glimpse of his squat figure could be obtained through the dense foliage which enveloped it.

“Ebber so fur,” replied the negro; “can see de sky fru de top ob de tree.” “Never mind the sky, but attend to what I say. Look down the trunk and count the limbs below you on this side. How many limbs have you passed?” “One, two, tree, four, fibe--I done pass fibe big limb, massa, pon dis side.” “Then go one limb higher.” In a few minutes the voice was heard again, announcing that the seventh limb was attained. “Yes, massa, him dead as de door-nail--done up for sartain--done departed dis here life.” “What in the name heaven shall I do?” asked Legrand, seemingly in the greatest distress. It’s getting late, and, besides, you remember your promise.” “Jupiter,” cried he, without heeding me in the least, “do you hear me?” “Yes, Massa Will, hear you ebber so plain.” “Try the wood well, then, with your knife, and see if you think it very rotten.” “Him rotten, massa, sure nuff,” replied the negro in a few moments, “but not so berry rotten as mought be.

now listen!--if you will venture out on the limb as far as you think safe, and not let go the beetle, I’ll make you a present of a silver dollar as soon as you get down.” “I’m gwine, Massa Will--deed I is,” replied the negro very promptly--“mos out to the eend now.” “Out to the end!” here fairly screamed Legrand, “do you say you are out to the end of that limb?” “Soon be to de eend, massa,--o-o-o-o-oh! what is dis here pon de tree?” “Well!” cried Legrand, highly delighted, “what is it?” “Why taint noffin but a skull--somebody bin lef him head up de tree, and de crows done gobble ebery bit ob de meat off.” “A skull, you say!--very well!--how is it fastened to the limb?--what holds it on?” “Sure nuff, massa; mus look.

Why dis berry curous sarcumstance, pon my word--dare’s a great big nail in de skull, what fastens ob it on to de tree.” “Well now, Jupiter, do exactly as I tell you--do you hear?” “Yes, massa.” “Pay attention, then!--find the left eye of the skull.” “Hum! you are left-handed; and your left eye is on the same side as your left hand. Now, I suppose, you can find the left eye of the skull, or the place where the left eye has been.

At length the negro asked, “Is de lef eye of de skull pon de same side as de lef hand of de skull, too?--cause de skull aint got not a bit ob a hand at all--nebber mind! what mus do wid it?” “Let the beetle drop through it, as far as the string will reach--but be careful and not let go your hold of the string.” “All dat done, Massa Will; mighty easy ting for to put de bug fru de hole--look out for him dare below!” During this colloquy no portion of Jupiter’s person could be seen; but the beetle, which he had suffered to descend, was now visible at the end of the string, and glistened, like a globe of burnished gold, in the last rays of the setting sun, some of which still faintly illumined the eminence upon which we stood.

The scarabæus hung quite clear of any branches, and, if allowed to fall, would have fallen at our feet. Legrand immediately took the scythe, and cleared with it a circular space, three or four yards in diameter, just beneath the insect, and, having accomplished this, ordered Jupiter to let go the string and come down from the tree. Driving a peg, with great nicety, into the ground, at the precise spot where the beetle fell, my friend now produced from his pocket a tape measure. Fastening one end of this at that point of the trunk, of the tree which was nearest the peg, he unrolled it till it reached the peg, and thence farther unrolled it, in the direction already established by the two points of the tree and the peg, for the distance of fifty feet--Jupiter clearing away the brambles with the scythe. At the spot thus attained a second peg was driven, and about this, as a centre, a rude circle, about four feet in diameter, described. To speak the truth, I had no especial relish for such amusement at any time, and, at that particular moment, would most willingly have declined it; for the night was coming on, and I felt much fatigued with the exercise already taken; but I saw no mode of escape, and was fearful of disturbing my poor friend’s equanimity by a refusal. Could I have depended, indeed, upon Jupiter’s aid, I would have had no hesitation in attempting to get the lunatic home by force; but I was too well assured of the old negro’s disposition, to hope that he would assist me, under any circumstances, in a personal contest with his master. I made no doubt that the latter had been infected with some of the innumerable Southern superstitions about money buried, and that his phantasy had received confirmation by the finding of the scarabæus, or, perhaps, by Jupiter’s obstinacy in maintaining it to be “a bug of real gold.” A mind disposed to lunacy would readily be led away by such suggestions--especially if chiming in with favorite preconceived ideas--and then I called to mind the poor fellow’s speech about the beetle’s being “the index of his fortune.” Upon the whole, I was sadly vexed and puzzled, but, at length, I concluded to make a virtue of necessity--to dig with a good will, and thus the sooner to convince the visionary, by ocular demonstration, of the fallacy of the opinions he entertained. The lanterns having been lit, we all fell to work with a zeal worthy a more rational cause; and, as the glare fell upon our persons and implements, I could not help thinking how picturesque a group we composed, and how strange and suspicious our labors must have appeared to any interloper who, by chance, might have stumbled upon our whereabouts. Little was said; and our chief embarrassment lay in the yelpings of the dog, who took exceeding interest in our proceedings.

He, at length, became so obstreperous that we grew fearful of his giving the alarm to some stragglers in the vicinity;--or, rather, this was the apprehension of Legrand;--for myself, I should have rejoiced at any interruption which might have enabled me to get the wanderer home. The noise was, at length, very effectually silenced by Jupiter, who, getting out of the hole with a dogged air of deliberation, tied the brute’s mouth up with one of his suspenders, and then returned, with a grave chuckle, to his task. When the time mentioned had expired, we had reached a depth of five feet, and yet no signs of any treasure became manifest. A general pause ensued, and I began to hope that the farce was at an end. We had excavated the entire circle of four feet diameter, and now we slightly enlarged the limit, and went to the farther depth of two feet. The gold-seeker, whom I sincerely pitied, at length clambered from the pit, with the bitterest disappointment imprinted upon every feature, and proceeded, slowly and reluctantly, to put on his coat, which he had thrown off at the beginning of his labor. In the mean time I made no remark.

Jupiter, at a signal from his master, began to gather up his tools. This done, and the dog having been unmuzzled, we turned in profound silence towards home. We had taken, perhaps, a dozen steps in this direction, when, with a loud oath, Legrand strode up to Jupiter, and seized him by the collar. The astonished negro opened his eyes and mouth to the fullest extent, let fall the spades, and fell upon his knees. “You scoundrel,” said Legrand, hissing out the syllables from between his clenched teeth--“you infernal black villain!--speak, I tell you!--answer me this instant, without prevarication!--which--which is your left eye?” “Oh, my golly, Massa Will! aint dis here my lef eye for sartain?” roared the terrified Jupiter, placing his hand upon his right organ of vision, and holding it there with a desperate pertinacity, as if in immediate dread of his master’s attempt at a gouge. hurrah!” vociferated Legrand, letting the negro go, and executing a series of curvets and caracols, much to the astonishment of his valet, who, arising from his knees, looked, mutely, from his master to myself, and then from myself to his master. we must go back,” said the latter, “the game’s not up yet;” and he again led the way to the tulip-tree. was the skull nailed to the limb with the face outwards, or with the face to the limb?” “De face was out, massa, so dat de crows could get at de eyes good, widout any trouble.” “Well, then, was it this eye or that through which you dropped the beetle?”--here Legrand touched each of Jupiter’s eyes. “Twas dis eye, massa--de lef eye--jis as you tell me,” and here it was his right eye that the negro indicated.

“That will do--must try it again.” Here my friend, about whose madness I now saw, or fancied that I saw, certain indications of method, removed the peg which marked the spot where the beetle fell, to a spot about three inches to the westward of its former position. Taking, now, the tape measure from the nearest point of the trunk to the peg, as before, and continuing the extension in a straight line to the distance of fifty feet, a spot was indicated, removed, by several yards, from the point at which we had been digging. Around the new position a circle, somewhat larger than in the former instance, was now described, and we again set to work with the spades. I was dreadfully weary, but, scarcely understanding what had occasioned the change in my thoughts, I felt no longer any great aversion from the labor imposed. Perhaps there was something, amid all the extravagant demeanor of Legrand--some air of forethought, or of deliberation, which impressed me. I dug eagerly, and now and then caught myself actually looking, with something that very much resembled expectation, for the fancied treasure, the vision of which had demented my unfortunate companion. At a period when such vagaries of thought most fully possessed me, and when we had been at work perhaps an hour and a half, we were again interrupted by the violent howlings of the dog. His uneasiness, in the first instance, had been, evidently, but the result of playfulness or caprice, but he now assumed a bitter and serious tone.

Upon Jupiter’s again attempting to muzzle him, he made furious resistance, and, leaping into the hole, tore up the mould frantically with his claws. In a few seconds he had uncovered a mass of human bones, forming two complete skeletons, intermingled with several buttons of metal, and what appeared to be the dust of decayed woollen. One or two strokes of a spade upturned the blade of a large Spanish knife, and, as we dug farther, three or four loose pieces of gold and silver coin came to light. At sight of these the joy of Jupiter could scarcely be restrained, but the countenance of his master wore an air of extreme disappointment He urged us, however, to continue our exertions, and the words were hardly uttered when I stumbled and fell forward, having caught the toe of my boot in a large ring of iron that lay half buried in the loose earth. During this interval we had fairly unearthed an oblong chest of wood, which, from its perfect preservation and wonderful hardness, had plainly been subjected to some mineralizing process--perhaps that of the Bi-chloride of Mercury. It was firmly secured by bands of wrought iron, riveted, and forming a kind of open trelliswork over the whole. On each side of the chest, near the top, were three rings of iron--six in all--by means of which a firm hold could be obtained by six persons. Our utmost united endeavors served only to disturb the coffer very slightly in its bed.

We at once saw the impossibility of removing so great a weight. Luckily, the sole fastenings of the lid consisted of two sliding bolts. These we drew back--trembling and panting with anxiety. As the rays of the lanterns fell within the pit, there flashed upwards a glow and a glare, from a confused heap of gold and of jewels, that absolutely dazzled our eyes.

I shall not pretend to describe the feelings with which I gazed. Presently he fell upon his knees in the pit, and, burying his naked arms up to the elbows in gold, let them there remain, as if enjoying the luxury of a bath. Aint you shamed ob yourself, nigger?--answer me dat!” It became necessary, at last, that I should arouse both master and valet to the expediency of removing the treasure. It was difficult to say what should be done, and much time was spent in deliberation--so confused were the ideas of all. We, finally, lightened the box by removing two thirds of its contents, when we were enabled, with some trouble, to raise it from the hole. The articles taken out were deposited among the brambles, and the dog left to guard them, with strict orders from Jupiter neither, upon any pretence, to stir from the spot, nor to open his mouth until our return. We then hurriedly made for home with the chest; reaching the hut in safety, but after excessive toil, at one o’clock in the morning. We rested until two, and had supper; starting for the hills immediately afterwards, armed with three stout sacks, which, by good luck, were upon the premises. A little before four we arrived at the pit, divided the remainder of the booty, as equally as might be, among us, and, leaving the holes unfilled, again set out for the hut, at which, for the second time, we deposited our golden burthens, just as the first faint streaks of the dawn gleamed from over the tree-tops in the East.

We were now thoroughly broken down; but the intense excitement of the time denied us repose.

The chest had been full to the brim, and we spent the whole day, and the greater part of the next night, in a scrutiny of its contents. There had been nothing like order or arrangement.

In coin there was rather more than four hundred and fifty thousand dollars--estimating the value of the pieces, as accurately as we could, by the tables of the period. There was not a particle of silver. There were several very large and heavy coins, so worn that we could make nothing of their inscriptions. There was no American money.

The value of the jewels we found more difficulty in estimating. There were diamonds--some of them exceedingly large and fine--a hundred and ten in all, and not one of them small; eighteen rubies of remarkable brilliancy;--three hundred and ten emeralds, all very beautiful; and twenty-one sapphires, with an opal. These stones had all been broken from their settings and thrown loose in the chest. The settings themselves, which we picked out from among the other gold, appeared to have been beaten up with hammers, as if to prevent identification. Besides all this, there was a vast quantity of solid gold ornaments;--nearly two hundred massive finger and earrings;--rich chains--thirty of these, if I remember;--eighty-three very large and heavy crucifixes;--five gold censers of great value;--a prodigious golden punch bowl, ornamented with richly chased vine-leaves and Bacchanalian figures; with two sword-handles exquisitely embossed, and many other smaller articles which I cannot recollect. The weight of these valuables exceeded three hundred and fifty pounds avoirdupois; and in this estimate I have not included one hundred and ninety-seven superb gold watches; three of the number being worth each five hundred dollars, if one. Many of them were very old, and as time keepers valueless; the works having suffered, more or less, from corrosion--but all were richly jewelled and in cases of great worth. We estimated the entire contents of the chest, that night, at a million and a half of dollars; and upon the subsequent disposal of the trinkets and jewels (a few being retained for our own use), it was found that we had greatly undervalued the treasure.

When, at length, we had concluded our examination, and the intense excitement of the time had, in some measure, subsided, Legrand, who saw that I was dying with impatience for a solution of this most extraordinary riddle, entered into a full detail of all the circumstances connected with it. “You remember;” said he, “the night when I handed you the rough sketch I had made of the scarabæus. When you first made this assertion I thought you were jesting; but afterwards I called to mind the peculiar spots on the back of the insect, and admitted to myself that your remark had some little foundation in fact. Still, the sneer at my graphic powers irritated me--for I am considered a good artist--and, therefore, when you handed me the scrap of parchment, I was about to crumple it up and throw it angrily into the fire.” “The scrap of paper, you mean,” said I. “No; it had much of the appearance of paper, and at first I supposed it to be such, but when I came to draw upon it, I discovered it, at once, to be a piece of very thin parchment. Well, as I was in the very act of crumpling it up, my glance fell upon the sketch at which you had been looking, and you may imagine my astonishment when I perceived, in fact, the figure of a death’s-head just where, it seemed to me, I had made the drawing of the beetle. I knew that my design was very different in detail from this--although there was a certain similarity in general outline. Presently I took a candle, and seating myself at the other end of the room, proceeded to scrutinize the parchment more closely.

Upon turning it over, I saw my own sketch upon the reverse, just as I had made it. My first idea, now, was mere surprise at the really remarkable similarity of outline--at the singular coincidence involved in the fact, that unknown to me, there should have been a skull upon the other side of the parchment, immediately beneath my figure of the scarabæus, and that this skull, not only in outline, but in size, should so closely resemble my drawing. I say the singularity of this coincidence absolutely stupified me for a time. This is the usual effect of such coincidences. The mind struggles to establish a connexion--a sequence of cause and effect--and, being unable to do so, suffers a species of temporary paralysis. But, when I recovered from this stupor, there dawned upon me gradually a conviction which startled me even far more than the coincidence. I began distinctly, positively, to remember that there had been no drawing upon the parchment when I made my sketch of the scarabæus. I became perfectly certain of this; for I recollected turning up first one side and then the other, in search of the cleanest spot. Had the skull been then there, of course I could not have failed to notice it. Here was indeed a mystery which I felt it impossible to explain; but, even at that early moment, there seemed to glimmer, faintly, within the most remote and secret chambers of my intellect, a glow-worm-like conception of that truth which last night’s adventure brought to so magnificent a demonstration.

I arose at once, and putting the parchment securely away, dismissed all farther reflection until I should be alone. “When you had gone, and when Jupiter was fast asleep, I betook myself to a more methodical investigation of the affair. In the first place I considered the manner in which the parchment had come into my possession.

The spot where we discovered the scarabaeus was on the coast of the main land, about a mile eastward of the island, and but a short distance above high water mark. Jupiter, with his accustomed caution, before seizing the insect, which had flown towards him, looked about him for a leaf, or something of that nature, by which to take hold of it. It was at this moment that his eyes, and mine also, fell upon the scrap of parchment, which I then supposed to be paper. It was lying half buried in the sand, a corner sticking up. Near the spot where we found it, I observed the remnants of the hull of what appeared to have been a ship’s long boat. The wreck seemed to have been there for a very great while; for the resemblance to boat timbers could scarcely be traced. “Well, Jupiter picked up the parchment, wrapped the beetle in it, and gave it to me. Soon afterwards we turned to go home, and on the way met Lieutenant G-. I showed him the insect, and he begged me to let him take it to the fort.

Upon my consenting, he thrust it forthwith into his waistcoat pocket, without the parchment in which it had been wrapped, and which I had continued to hold in my hand during his inspection. Perhaps he dreaded my changing my mind, and thought it best to make sure of the prize at once--you know how enthusiastic he is on all subjects connected with Natural History. At the same time, without being conscious of it, I must have deposited the parchment in my own pocket. “You remember that when I went to the table, for the purpose of making a sketch of the beetle, I found no paper where it was usually kept.

I looked in the drawer, and found none there. I searched my pockets, hoping to find an old letter, when my hand fell upon the parchment. I thus detail the precise mode in which it came into my possession; for the circumstances impressed me with peculiar force. I had put together two links of a great chain. There was a boat lying upon a sea-coast, and not far from the boat was a parchment--not a paper--with a skull depicted upon it. You will, of course, ask ‘where is the connexion?’ I reply that the skull, or death’s-head, is the well-known emblem of the pirate. The flag of the death’s head is hoisted in all engagements.

“I have said that the scrap was parchment, and not paper. Matters of little moment are rarely consigned to parchment; since, for the mere ordinary purposes of drawing or writing, it is not nearly so well adapted as paper. This reflection suggested some meaning--some relevancy--in the death’s-head. I did not fail to observe, also, the form of the parchment. Although one of its corners had been, by some accident, destroyed, it could be seen that the original form was oblong. It was just such a slip, indeed, as might have been chosen for a memorandum--for a record of something to be long remembered and carefully preserved.” “But,” I interposed, “you say that the skull was not upon the parchment when you made the drawing of the beetle. How then do you trace any connexion between the boat and the skull--since this latter, according to your own admission, must have been designed (God only knows how or by whom) at some period subsequent to your sketching the scarabæus?” “Ah, hereupon turns the whole mystery; although the secret, at this point, I had comparatively little difficulty in solving.

I reasoned, for example, thus: When I drew the scarabæus, there was no skull apparent upon the parchment. When I had completed the drawing I gave it to you, and observed you narrowly until you returned it. You, therefore, did not design the skull, and no one else was present to do it. Then it was not done by human agency. And nevertheless it was done. “At this stage of my reflections I endeavored to remember, and did remember, with entire distinctness, every incident which occurred about the period in question. The weather was chilly (oh rare and happy accident!), and a fire was blazing upon the hearth. I was heated with exercise and sat near the table. You, however, had drawn a chair close to the chimney.

Just as I placed the parchment in your hand, and as you were in the act of inspecting it, Wolf, the Newfoundland, entered, and leaped upon your shoulders. With your left hand you caressed him and kept him off, while your right, holding the parchment, was permitted to fall listlessly between your knees, and in close proximity to the fire. At one moment I thought the blaze had caught it, and was about to caution you, but, before I could speak, you had withdrawn it, and were engaged in its examination. When I considered all these particulars, I doubted not for a moment that heat had been the agent in bringing to light, upon the parchment, the skull which I saw designed upon it. You are well aware that chemical preparations exist, and have existed time out of mind, by means of which it is possible to write upon either paper or vellum, so that the characters shall become visible only when subjected to the action of fire. The regulus of cobalt, dissolved in spirit of nitre, gives a red. These colors disappear at longer or shorter intervals after the material written upon cools, but again become apparent upon the re-application of heat. “I now scrutinized the death’s-head with care. Its outer edges--the edges of the drawing nearest the edge of the vellum--were far more distinct than the others.

It was clear that the action of the caloric had been imperfect or unequal. I immediately kindled a fire, and subjected every portion of the parchment to a glowing heat. At first, the only effect was the strengthening of the faint lines in the skull; but, upon persevering in the experiment, there became visible, at the corner of the slip, diagonally opposite to the spot in which the death’s-head was delineated, the figure of what I at first supposed to be a goat. ha!” said I, “to be sure I have no right to laugh at you--a million and a half of money is too serious a matter for mirth--but you are not about to establish a third link in your chain--you will not find any especial connexion between your pirates and a goat--pirates, you know, have nothing to do with goats; they appertain to the farming interest.” “But I have just said that the figure was not that of a goat.” “Well, a kid then--pretty much the same thing.” “Pretty much, but not altogether,” said Legrand. I at once looked upon the figure of the animal as a kind of punning or hieroglyphical signature. I say signature; because its position upon the vellum suggested this idea. The death’s-head at the corner diagonally opposite, had, in the same manner, the air of a stamp, or seal. But I was sorely put out by the absence of all else--of the body to my imagined instrument--of the text for my context.” “I presume you expected to find a letter between the stamp and the signature.” “Something of that kind. The fact is, I felt irresistibly impressed with a presentiment of some vast good fortune impending. Perhaps, after all, it was rather a desire than an actual belief;--but do you know that Jupiter’s silly words, about the bug being of solid gold, had a remarkable effect upon my fancy?

And then the series of accidents and coincidences--these were so very extraordinary. Do you observe how mere an accident it was that these events should have occurred upon the sole day of all the year in which it has been, or may be, sufficiently cool for fire, and that without the fire, or without the intervention of the dog at the precise moment in which he appeared, I should never have become aware of the death’s-head, and so never the possessor of the treasure?” “But proceed--I am all impatience.” “Well; you have heard, of course, the many stories current--the thousand vague rumors afloat about money buried, somewhere upon the Atlantic coast, by Kidd and his associates.

These rumors must have had some foundation in fact. And that the rumors have existed so long and so continuous, could have resulted, it appeared to me, only from the circumstance of the buried treasure still remaining entombed. Had Kidd concealed his plunder for a time, and afterwards reclaimed it, the rumors would scarcely have reached us in their present unvarying form. You will observe that the stories told are all about money-seekers, not about money-finders.

Had the pirate recovered his money, there the affair would have dropped. It seemed to me that some accident--say the loss of a memorandum indicating its locality--had deprived him of the means of recovering it, and that this accident had become known to his followers, who otherwise might never have heard that treasure had been concealed at all, and who, busying themselves in vain, because unguided attempts, to regain it, had given first birth, and then universal currency, to the reports which are now so common. Have you ever heard of any important treasure being unearthed along the coast?” “Never.” “But that Kidd’s accumulations were immense, is well known. I took it for granted, therefore, that the earth still held them; and you will scarcely be surprised when I tell you that I felt a hope, nearly amounting to certainty, that the parchment so strangely found, involved a lost record of the place of deposit.” “But how did you proceed?” “I held the vellum again to the fire, after increasing the heat; but nothing appeared. I now thought it possible that the coating of dirt might have something to do with the failure; so I carefully rinsed the parchment by pouring warm water over it, and, having done this, I placed it in a tin pan, with the skull downwards, and put the pan upon a furnace of lighted charcoal. In a few minutes, the pan having become thoroughly heated, I removed the slip, and, to my inexpressible joy, found it spotted, in several places, with what appeared to be figures arranged in lines. Again I placed it in the pan, and suffered it to remain another minute. Upon taking it off, the whole was just as you see it now.” Here Legrand, having re-heated the parchment, submitted it to my inspection. The following characters were rudely traced, in a red tint, between the death’s-head and the goat: “53‡‡†305))6*;4826)4‡)4‡);806*;48†8¶60))85;1‡);:‡ *8†83(88)5*†;46(;88*96*?;8)*‡(;485);5*†2:*‡(;4956* 2(5*--4)8¶8*;4069285);)6†8)4‡‡;1(‡9;48081;8:8‡1;4 8†85;4)485†528806*81(‡9;48;(88;4(‡?34;48)4‡;161;: 188;‡?;” “But,” said I, returning him the slip, “I am as much in the dark as ever.

Were all the jewels of Golconda awaiting me upon my solution of this enigma, I am quite sure that I should be unable to earn them.” “And yet,” said Legrand, “the solution is by no means so difficult as you might be lead to imagine from the first hasty inspection of the characters.

These characters, as any one might readily guess, form a cipher--that is to say, they convey a meaning; but then, from what is known of Kidd, I could not suppose him capable of constructing any of the more abstruse cryptographs.

I made up my mind, at once, that this was of a simple species--such, however, as would appear, to the crude intellect of the sailor, absolutely insoluble without the key.” “And you really solved it?” “Readily; I have solved others of an abstruseness ten thousand times greater. Circumstances, and a certain bias of mind, have led me to take interest in such riddles, and it may well be doubted whether human ingenuity can construct an enigma of the kind which human ingenuity may not, by proper application, resolve. In fact, having once established connected and legible characters, I scarcely gave a thought to the mere difficulty of developing their import. “In the present case--indeed in all cases of secret writing--the first question regards the language of the cipher; for the principles of solution, so far, especially, as the more simple ciphers are concerned, depend upon, and are varied by, the genius of the particular idiom.

In general, there is no alternative but experiment (directed by probabilities) of every tongue known to him who attempts the solution, until the true one be attained. But, with the cipher now before us, all difficulty was removed by the signature. The pun upon the word ‘Kidd’ is appreciable in no other language than the English. But for this consideration I should have begun my attempts with the Spanish and French, as the tongues in which a secret of this kind would most naturally have been written by a pirate of the Spanish main. As it was, I assumed the cryptograph to be English. “You observe there are no divisions between the words.

Had there been divisions, the task would have been comparatively easy. In such case I should have commenced with a collation and analysis of the shorter words, and, had a word of a single letter occurred, as is most likely, (a or I, for example,) I should have considered the solution as assured. But, there being no division, my first step was to ascertain the predominant letters, as well as the least frequent.

Counting all, I constructed a table, thus: Of the character 8 there are 33. “Now, in English, the letter which most frequently occurs is e. E predominates so remarkably that an individual sentence of any length is rarely seen, in which it is not the prevailing character. “Here, then, we leave, in the very beginning, the groundwork for something more than a mere guess. The general use which may be made of the table is obvious--but, in this particular cipher, we shall only very partially require its aid. As our predominant character is 8, we will commence by assuming it as the e of the natural alphabet. To verify the supposition, let us observe if the 8 be seen often in couples--for e is doubled with great frequency in English--in such words, for example, as ‘meet,’ ‘.fleet,’ ‘speed,’ ‘seen,’ been,’ ‘agree,’ &c.

In the present instance we see it doubled no less than five times, although the cryptograph is brief. “Let us assume 8, then, as e. Now, of all words in the language, ‘the’ is most usual; let us see, therefore, whether there are not repetitions of any three characters, in the same order of collocation, the last of them being 8. If we discover repetitions of such letters, so arranged, they will most probably represent the word ‘the.’ Upon inspection, we find no less than seven such arrangements, the characters being;48. We may, therefore, assume that; represents t, 4 represents h, and 8 represents e--the last being now well confirmed. “But, having established a single word, we are enabled to establish a vastly important point; that is to say, several commencements and terminations of other words. Let us refer, for example, to the last instance but one, in which the combination;48 occurs--not far from the end of the cipher.

We know that the; immediately ensuing is the commencement of a word, and, of the six characters succeeding this ‘the,’ we are cognizant of no less than five. Let us set these characters down, thus, by the letters we know them to represent, leaving a space for the unknown-- t eeth.

“Here we are enabled, at once, to discard the ‘th,’ as forming no portion of the word commencing with the first t; since, by experiment of the entire alphabet for a letter adapted to the vacancy, we perceive that no word can be formed of which this th can be a part. We are thus narrowed into t ee, and, going through the alphabet, if necessary, as before, we arrive at the word ‘tree,’ as the sole possible reading. We thus gain another letter, r, represented by (, with the words ‘the tree’ in juxtaposition. “Looking beyond these words, for a short distance, we again see the combination;48, and employ it by way of termination to what immediately precedes.

We have thus this arrangement: the tree;4(‡?34 the, or, substituting the natural letters, where known, it reads thus: the tree thr‡?3h the. “Now, if, in place of the unknown characters, we leave blank spaces, or substitute dots, we read thus: the tree thr...h the, when the word ‘through’ makes itself evident at once. “Looking now, narrowly, through the cipher for combinations of known characters, we find, not very far from the beginning, this arrangement, 83(88, or egree, which, plainly, is the conclusion of the word ‘degree,’ and gives us another letter, d, represented by †. “Four letters beyond the word ‘degree,’ we perceive the combination ;46(;88. “Translating the known characters, and representing the unknown by dots, as before, we read thus: th rtee. an arrangement immediately suggestive of the word ‘thirteen,’ and again furnishing us with two new characters, I and n, represented by 6 and *.

“Referring, now, to the beginning of the cryptograph, we find the combination, 53‡‡†. “Translating, as before, we obtain good, which assures us that the first letter is A, and that the first two words are ‘A good.’ “It is now time that we arrange our key, as far as discovered, in a tabular form, to avoid confusion. It will stand thus: 5 represents a † “ d 8 “ e 3 “ g 4 “ h 6 “ I * “ n ‡ “ o ( “ r ; “ t “We have, therefore, no less than ten of the most important letters represented, and it will be unnecessary to proceed with the details of the solution. I have said enough to convince you that ciphers of this nature are readily soluble, and to give you some insight into the rationale of their development. But be assured that the specimen before us appertains to the very simplest species of cryptograph. It now only remains to give you the full translation of the characters upon the parchment, as unriddled. Here it is: “‘A good glass in the bishop’s hostel in the devil’s seat forty-one degrees and thirteen minutes northeast and by north main branch seventh limb east side shoot from the left eye of the death’s-head a bee line from the tree through the shot fifty feet out.’” “But,” said I, “the enigma seems still in as bad a condition as ever. How is it possible to extort a meaning from all this jargon about ‘devil’s seats,’ ‘death’s heads,’ and ‘bishop’s hotels?’” “I confess,” replied Legrand, “that the matter still wears a serious aspect, when regarded with a casual glance. My first endeavor was to divide the sentence into the natural division intended by the cryptographist.” “You mean, to punctuate it?” “Something of that kind.” “But how was it possible to effect this?” “I reflected that it had been a point with the writer to run his words together without division, so as to increase the difficulty of solution.

Now, a not over-acute man, in pursuing such an object would be nearly certain to overdo the matter.

When, in the course of his composition, he arrived at a break in his subject which would naturally require a pause, or a point, he would be exceedingly apt to run his characters, at this place, more than usually close together. If you will observe the MS., in the present instance, you will easily detect five such cases of unusual crowding. Acting upon this hint, I made the division thus: ‘A good glass in the Bishop’s hostel in the Devil’s seat--forty-one degrees and thirteen minutes--northeast and by north--main branch seventh limb east side--shoot from the left eye of the death’s-head--a bee-line from the tree through the shot fifty feet out.’” “Even this division,” said I, “leaves me still in the dark.” “It left me also in the dark,” replied Legrand, “for a few days; during which I made diligent inquiry, in the neighborhood of Sullivan’s Island, for any building which went by the name of the ‘Bishop’s Hotel;’ for, of course, I dropped the obsolete word ‘hostel.’ Gaining no information on the subject, I was on the point of extending my sphere of search, and proceeding in a more systematic manner, when, one morning, it entered into my head, quite suddenly, that this ‘Bishop’s Hostel’ might have some reference to an old family, of the name of Bessop, which, time out of mind, had held possession of an ancient manor-house, about four miles to the northward of the Island. I accordingly went over to the plantation, and re-instituted my inquiries among the older negroes of the place. At length one of the most aged of the women said that she had heard of such a place as Bessop’s Castle, and thought that she could guide me to it, but that it was not a castle nor a tavern, but a high rock. “I offered to pay her well for her trouble, and, after some demur, she consented to accompany me to the spot. We found it without much difficulty, when, dismissing her, I proceeded to examine the place. The ‘castle’ consisted of an irregular assemblage of cliffs and rocks--one of the latter being quite remarkable for its height as well as for its insulated and artificial appearance I clambered to its apex, and then felt much at a loss as to what should be next done. “While I was busied in reflection, my eyes fell upon a narrow ledge in the eastern face of the rock, perhaps a yard below the summit upon which I stood.

This ledge projected about eighteen inches, and was not more than a foot wide, while a niche in the cliff just above it, gave it a rude resemblance to one of the hollow-backed chairs used by our ancestors. I made no doubt that here was the ‘devil’s seat’ alluded to in the MS., and now I seemed to grasp the full secret of the riddle. “The ‘good glass,’ I knew, could have reference to nothing but a telescope; for the word ‘glass’ is rarely employed in any other sense by seamen. Nor did I hesitate to believe that the phrases, “forty-one degrees and thirteen minutes,’ and ‘northeast and by north,’ were intended as directions for the levelling of the glass. Greatly excited by these discoveries, I hurried home, procured a telescope, and returned to the rock. “I let myself down to the ledge, and found that it was impossible to retain a seat upon it except in one particular position. I proceeded to use the glass. Of course, the ‘forty-one degrees and thirteen minutes’ could allude to nothing but elevation above the visible horizon, since the horizontal direction was clearly indicated by the words, ‘northeast and by north.’ This latter direction I at once established by means of a pocket-compass; then, pointing the glass as nearly at an angle of forty-one degrees of elevation as I could do it by guess, I moved it cautiously up or down, until my attention was arrested by a circular rift or opening in the foliage of a large tree that overtopped its fellows in the distance.

In the centre of this rift I perceived a white spot, but could not, at first, distinguish what it was. Adjusting the focus of the telescope, I again looked, and now made it out to be a human skull.

“Upon this discovery I was so sanguine as to consider the enigma solved; for the phrase ‘main branch, seventh limb, east side,’ could refer only to the position of the skull upon the tree, while ‘shoot from the left eye of the death’s head’ admitted, also, of but one interpretation, in regard to a search for buried treasure.

I perceived that the design was to drop a bullet from the left eye of the skull, and that a bee-line, or, in other words, a straight line, drawn from the nearest point of the trunk through ‘the shot,’ (or the spot where the bullet fell,) and thence extended to a distance of fifty feet, would indicate a definite point--and beneath this point I thought it at least possible that a deposit of value lay concealed.” “All this,” I said, “is exceedingly clear, and, although ingenious, still simple and explicit.

When you left the Bishop’s Hotel, what then?” “Why, having carefully taken the bearings of the tree, I turned homewards. The instant that I left ‘the devil’s seat,’ however, the circular rift vanished; nor could I get a glimpse of it afterwards, turn as I would. What seems to me the chief ingenuity in this whole business, is the fact (for repeated experiment has convinced me it is a fact) that the circular opening in question is visible from no other attainable point of view than that afforded by the narrow ledge upon the face of the rock. “In this expedition to the ‘Bishop’s Hotel’ I had been attended by Jupiter, who had, no doubt, observed, for some weeks past, the abstraction of my demeanor, and took especial care not to leave me alone. But, on the next day, getting up very early, I contrived to give him the slip, and went into the hills in search of the tree. With the rest of the adventure I believe you are as well acquainted as myself.” “I suppose,” said I, “you missed the spot, in the first attempt at digging, through Jupiter’s stupidity in letting the bug fall through the right instead of through the left eye of the skull.” “Precisely. This mistake made a difference of about two inches and a half in the ‘shot’--that is to say, in the position of the peg nearest the tree; and had the treasure been beneath the ‘shot,’ the error would have been of little moment; but ‘the shot,’ together with the nearest point of the tree, were merely two points for the establishment of a line of direction; of course the error, however trivial in the beginning, increased as we proceeded with the line, and by the time we had gone fifty feet, threw us quite off the scent. But for my deep-seated impressions that treasure was here somewhere actually buried, we might have had all our labor in vain.” “But your grandiloquence, and your conduct in swinging the beetle--how excessively odd! And why did you insist upon letting fall the bug, instead of a bullet, from the skull?” “Why, to be frank, I felt somewhat annoyed by your evident suspicions touching my sanity, and so resolved to punish you quietly, in my own way, by a little bit of sober mystification. For this reason I swung the beetle, and for this reason I let it fall it from the tree.

An observation of yours about its great weight suggested the latter idea.” “Yes, I perceive; and now there is only one point which puzzles me. What are we to make of the skeletons found in the hole?” “That is a question I am no more able to answer than yourself. There seems, however, only one plausible way of accounting for them--and yet it is dreadful to believe in such atrocity as my suggestion would imply. It is clear that Kidd--if Kidd indeed secreted this treasure, which I doubt not--it is clear that he must have had assistance in the labor. Perhaps a couple of blows with a mattock were sufficient, while his coadjutors were busy in the pit; perhaps it required a dozen--who shall tell?” FOUR BEASTS IN ONE--THE HOMO-CAMELEOPARD Chacun a ses vertus. --Crebillon’s Xerxes. ANTIOCHUS EPIPHANES is very generally looked upon as the Gog of the prophet Ezekiel. This honor is, however, more properly attributable to Cambyses, the son of Cyrus. And, indeed, the character of the Syrian monarch does by no means stand in need of any adventitious embellishment.

His accession to the throne, or rather his usurpation of the sovereignty, a hundred and seventy-one years before the coming of Christ; his attempt to plunder the temple of Diana at Ephesus; his implacable hostility to the Jews; his pollution of the Holy of Holies; and his miserable death at Taba, after a tumultuous reign of eleven years, are circumstances of a prominent kind, and therefore more generally noticed by the historians of his time than the impious, dastardly, cruel, silly, and whimsical achievements which make up the sum total of his private life and reputation. Let us suppose, gentle reader, that it is now the year of the world three thousand eight hundred and thirty, and let us, for a few minutes, imagine ourselves at that most grotesque habitation of man, the remarkable city of Antioch. To be sure there were, in Syria and other countries, sixteen cities of that appellation, besides the one to which I more particularly allude. But ours is that which went by the name of Antiochia Epidaphne, from its vicinity to the little village of Daphne, where stood a temple to that divinity. It was built (although about this matter there is some dispute) by Seleucus Nicanor, the first king of the country after Alexander the Great, in memory of his father Antiochus, and became immediately the residence of the Syrian monarchy. In the flourishing times of the Roman Empire, it was the ordinary station of the prefect of the eastern provinces; and many of the emperors of the queen city (among whom may be mentioned, especially, Verus and Valens) spent here the greater part of their time. But I perceive we have arrived at the city itself. Let us ascend this battlement, and throw our eyes upon the town and neighboring country. “What broad and rapid river is that which forces its way, with innumerable falls, through the mountainous wilderness, and finally through the wilderness of buildings?” That is the Orontes, and it is the only water in sight, with the exception of the Mediterranean, which stretches, like a broad mirror, about twelve miles off to the southward. Every one has seen the Mediterranean; but let me tell you, there are few who have had a peep at Antioch.

By few, I mean, few who, like you and me, have had, at the same time, the advantages of a modern education. Therefore cease to regard that sea, and give your whole attention to the mass of houses that lie beneath us.

You will remember that it is now the year of the world three thousand eight hundred and thirty. Were it later--for example, were it the year of our Lord eighteen hundred and forty-five, we should be deprived of this extraordinary spectacle. In the nineteenth century Antioch is--that is to say, Antioch will be--in a lamentable state of decay. Indeed, to say the truth, what little of its former self may then remain, will be found in so desolate and ruinous a state that the patriarch shall have removed his residence to Damascus. I see you profit by my advice, and are making the most of your time in inspecting the premises--in -satisfying your eyes With the memorials and the things of fame That most renown this city.-- I beg pardon; I had forgotten that Shakespeare will not flourish for seventeen hundred and fifty years to come. But does not the appearance of Epidaphne justify me in calling it grotesque? “There are a prodigious number of stately palaces.” There are.

“And the numerous temples, sumptuous and magnificent, may bear comparison with the most lauded of antiquity.” All this I must acknowledge. Still there is an infinity of mud huts, and abominable hovels. We cannot help perceiving abundance of filth in every kennel, and, were it not for the over-powering fumes of idolatrous incense, I have no doubt we should find a most intolerable stench. What gloom their shadows cast upon the ground!

It is well the swinging lamps in those endless colonnades are kept burning throughout the day; we should otherwise have the darkness of Egypt in the time of her desolation. What is the meaning of yonder singular building? it towers above all others, and lies to the eastward of what I take to be the royal palace.” That is the new Temple of the Sun, who is adored in Syria under the title of Elah Gabalah. Hereafter a very notorious Roman Emperor will institute this worship in Rome, and thence derive a cognomen, Heliogabalus. I dare say you would like to take a peep at the divinity of the temple. You need not look up at the heavens; his Sunship is not there--at least not the Sunship adored by the Syrians. That deity will be found in the interior of yonder building. He is worshipped under the figure of a large stone pillar terminating at the summit in a cone or pyramid, whereby is denoted Fire.

“Hark--behold!--who can those ridiculous beings be, half naked, with their faces painted, shouting and gesticulating to the rabble?” Some few are mountebanks. Others more particularly belong to the race of philosophers. The greatest portion, however--those especially who belabor the populace with clubs--are the principal courtiers of the palace, executing as in duty bound, some laudable comicality of the king’s.

the town is swarming with wild beasts! How terrible a spectacle!--how dangerous a peculiarity!” Terrible, if you please; but not in the least degree dangerous. Each animal if you will take the pains to observe, is following, very quietly, in the wake of its master.

Some few, to be sure, are led with a rope about the neck, but these are chiefly the lesser or timid species. The lion, the tiger, and the leopard are entirely without restraint. They have been trained without difficulty to their present profession, and attend upon their respective owners in the capacity of valets-de-chambre. It is true, there are occasions when Nature asserts her violated dominions;--but then the devouring of a man-at-arms, or the throttling of a consecrated bull, is a circumstance of too little moment to be more than hinted at in Epidaphne. The king has ordered some novel spectacle--some gladiatorial exhibition at the hippodrome--or perhaps the massacre of the Scythian prisoners--or the conflagration of his new palace--or the tearing down of a handsome temple--or, indeed, a bonfire of a few Jews. The uproar increases. Shouts of laughter ascend the skies.

The air becomes dissonant with wind instruments, and horrible with clamor of a million throats. Let us descend, for the love of fun, and see what is going on! Here we are in the principal street, which is called the street of Timarchus.

The sea of people is coming this way, and we shall find a difficulty in stemming the tide. They are pouring through the alley of Heraclides, which leads directly from the palace;--therefore the king is most probably among the rioters. Yes;--I hear the shouts of the herald proclaiming his approach in the pompous phraseology of the East. We shall have a glimpse of his person as he passes by the temple of Ashimah.

Let us ensconce ourselves in the vestibule of the sanctuary; he will be here anon. In the meantime let us survey this image. it is the god Ashimah in proper person. You perceive, however, that he is neither a lamb, nor a goat, nor a satyr, neither has he much resemblance to the Pan of the Arcadians. Yet all these appearances have been given--I beg pardon--will be given--by the learned of future ages, to the Ashimah of the Syrians. it is an ape!” True--a baboon; but by no means the less a deity. His name is a derivation of the Greek Simia--what great fools are antiquarians! he says the king is coming in triumph; that he is dressed in state; that he has just finished putting to death, with his own hand, a thousand chained Israelitish prisoners! For this exploit the ragamuffin is lauding him to the skies. They have made a Latin hymn upon the valor of the king, and are singing it as they go: Mille, mille, mille, Mille, mille, mille, Decollavimus, unus homo!

“Do you hear that flourish of trumpets?” Yes: the king is coming!

the people are aghast with admiration, and lift up their eyes to the heavens in reverence. He comes;--he is coming;--there he is! “Who?--where?--the king?--do not behold him--cannot say that I perceive him.” Then you must be blind. Still I see nothing but a tumultuous mob of idiots and madmen, who are busy in prostrating themselves before a gigantic cameleopard, and endeavoring to obtain a kiss of the animal’s hoofs. the beast has very justly kicked one of the rabble over--and another--and another--and another.

Indeed, I cannot help admiring the animal for the excellent use he is making of his feet.” Rabble, indeed!--why these are the noble and free citizens of Epidaphne! Do you not perceive that the animal has the visage of a man? Why, my dear sir, that cameleopard is no other than Antiochus Epiphanes, Antiochus the Illustrious, King of Syria, and the most potent of all the autocrats of the East! It is true, that he is entitled, at times, Antiochus Epimanes--Antiochus the madman--but that is because all people have not the capacity to appreciate his merits. It is also certain that he is at present ensconced in the hide of a beast, and is doing his best to play the part of a cameleopard; but this is done for the better sustaining his dignity as king. Besides, the monarch is of gigantic stature, and the dress is therefore neither unbecoming nor over large. Such, you will allow, is the massacre of a thousand Jews. With how superior a dignity the monarch perambulates on all fours! His tail, you perceive, is held aloft by his two principal concubines, Elline and Argelais; and his whole appearance would be infinitely prepossessing, were it not for the protuberance of his eyes, which will certainly start out of his head, and the queer color of his face, which has become nondescript from the quantity of wine he has swallowed. Let us follow him to the hippodrome, whither he is proceeding, and listen to the song of triumph which he is commencing: Who is king but Epiphanes?

There is none but Epiphanes, No--there is none: So tear down the temples, And put out the sun! The populace are hailing him ‘Prince of Poets,’ as well as ‘Glory of the East,’ ‘Delight of the Universe,’ and ‘Most Remarkable of Cameleopards.’ They have encored his effusion, and do you hear?--he is singing it over again. When he arrives at the hippodrome, he will be crowned with the poetic wreath, in anticipation of his victory at the approaching Olympics. what is the matter in the crowd behind us?” Behind us, did you say?--oh!

Here!--let us conceal ourselves in the arch of this aqueduct, and I will inform you presently of the origin of the commotion. The singular appearance of the cameleopard and the head of a man, has, it seems, given offence to the notions of propriety entertained, in general, by the wild animals domesticated in the city. A mutiny has been the result; and, as is usual upon such occasions, all human efforts will be of no avail in quelling the mob. Several of the Syrians have already been devoured; but the general voice of the four-footed patriots seems to be for eating up the cameleopard. ‘The Prince of Poets,’ therefore, is upon his hinder legs, running for his life. His courtiers have left him in the lurch, and his concubines have followed so excellent an example. ‘Delight of the Universe,’ thou art in a sad predicament! ‘Glory of the East,’ thou art in danger of mastication! Therefore never regard so piteously thy tail; it will undoubtedly be draggled in the mud, and for this there is no help. Look not behind thee, then, at its unavoidable degradation; but take courage, ply thy legs with vigor, and scud for the hippodrome!

Antiochus the Illustrious!--also ‘Prince of Poets,’ ‘Glory of the East,’ ‘Delight of the Universe,’ and ‘Most Remarkable of Cameleopards!’ Heavens! Like an arrow from a catapult he approaches the hippodrome! He leaps!--he shrieks!--he is there!

This is well; for hadst thou, ‘Glory of the East,’ been half a second longer in reaching the gates of the Amphitheatre, there is not a bear’s cub in Epidaphne that would not have had a nibble at thy carcase.

Let us be off--let us take our departure!--for we shall find our delicate modern ears unable to endure the vast uproar which is about to commence in celebration of the king’s escape! See!--the whole town is topsy-turvy. “Surely this is the most populous city of the East! I see a vast hubbub in the hippodrome; what is the meaning of it, I beseech you?” That?--oh, nothing! The noble and free citizens of Epidaphne being, as they declare, well satisfied of the faith, valor, wisdom, and divinity of their king, and having, moreover, been eye-witnesses of his late superhuman agility, do think it no more than their duty to invest his brows (in addition to the poetic crown) with the wreath of victory in the footrace--a wreath which it is evident he must obtain at the celebration of the next Olympiad, and which, therefore, they now give him in advance. Footnotes--Four Beasts (*1) Flavius Vospicus says, that the hymn here introduced was sung by the rabble upon the occasion of Aurelian, in the Sarmatic war, having slain, with his own hand, nine hundred and fifty of the enemy. THE MURDERS IN THE RUE MORGUE What song the Syrens sang, or what name Achilles assumed when he hid himself among women, although puzzling questions, are not beyond all conjecture.

--Sir Thomas Browne. The mental features discoursed of as the analytical, are, in themselves, but little susceptible of analysis. We appreciate them only in their effects. We know of them, among other things, that they are always to their possessor, when inordinately possessed, a source of the liveliest enjoyment. As the strong man exults in his physical ability, delighting in such exercises as call his muscles into action, so glories the analyst in that moral activity which disentangles. He derives pleasure from even the most trivial occupations bringing his talent into play.

He is fond of enigmas, of conundrums, of hieroglyphics; exhibiting in his solutions of each a degree of acumen which appears to the ordinary apprehension præternatural. His results, brought about by the very soul and essence of method, have, in truth, the whole air of intuition. The faculty of re-solution is possibly much invigorated by mathematical study, and especially by that highest branch of it which, unjustly, and merely on account of its retrograde operations, has been called, as if par excellence, analysis. A chess-player, for example, does the one without effort at the other.

It follows that the game of chess, in its effects upon mental character, is greatly misunderstood. I am not now writing a treatise, but simply prefacing a somewhat peculiar narrative by observations very much at random; I will, therefore, take occasion to assert that the higher powers of the reflective intellect are more decidedly and more usefully tasked by the unostentatious game of draughts than by all the elaborate frivolity of chess.

In this latter, where the pieces have different and bizarre motions, with various and variable values, what is only complex is mistaken (a not unusual error) for what is profound. The attention is here called powerfully into play. The possible moves being not only manifold but involute, the chances of such oversights are multiplied; and in nine cases out of ten it is the more concentrative rather than the more acute player who conquers.

In draughts, on the contrary, where the moves are unique and have but little variation, the probabilities of inadvertence are diminished, and the mere attention being left comparatively unemployed, what advantages are obtained by either party are obtained by superior acumen. To be less abstract--Let us suppose a game of draughts where the pieces are reduced to four kings, and where, of course, no oversight is to be expected. It is obvious that here the victory can be decided (the players being at all equal) only by some recherché movement, the result of some strong exertion of the intellect. Deprived of ordinary resources, the analyst throws himself into the spirit of his opponent, identifies himself therewith, and not unfrequently sees thus, at a glance, the sole methods (sometime indeed absurdly simple ones) by which he may seduce into error or hurry into miscalculation. Whist has long been noted for its influence upon what is termed the calculating power; and men of the highest order of intellect have been known to take an apparently unaccountable delight in it, while eschewing chess as frivolous.

Beyond doubt there is nothing of a similar nature so greatly tasking the faculty of analysis.

The best chess-player in Christendom may be little more than the best player of chess; but proficiency in whist implies capacity for success in all those more important undertakings where mind struggles with mind. When I say proficiency, I mean that perfection in the game which includes a comprehension of all the sources whence legitimate advantage may be derived. These are not only manifold but multiform, and lie frequently among recesses of thought altogether inaccessible to the ordinary understanding. To observe attentively is to remember distinctly; and, so far, the concentrative chess-player will do very well at whist; while the rules of Hoyle (themselves based upon the mere mechanism of the game) are sufficiently and generally comprehensible. Thus to have a retentive memory, and to proceed by “the book,” are points commonly regarded as the sum total of good playing. But it is in matters beyond the limits of mere rule that the skill of the analyst is evinced. So, perhaps, do his companions; and the difference in the extent of the information obtained, lies not so much in the validity of the inference as in the quality of the observation. The necessary knowledge is that of what to observe. Our player confines himself not at all; nor, because the game is the object, does he reject deductions from things external to the game. He examines the countenance of his partner, comparing it carefully with that of each of his opponents.

He considers the mode of assorting the cards in each hand; often counting trump by trump, and honor by honor, through the glances bestowed by their holders upon each. He notes every variation of face as the play progresses, gathering a fund of thought from the differences in the expression of certainty, of surprise, of triumph, or of chagrin. From the manner of gathering up a trick he judges whether the person taking it can make another in the suit. He recognises what is played through feint, by the air with which it is thrown upon the table. A casual or inadvertent word; the accidental dropping or turning of a card, with the accompanying anxiety or carelessness in regard to its concealment; the counting of the tricks, with the order of their arrangement; embarrassment, hesitation, eagerness or trepidation--all afford, to his apparently intuitive perception, indications of the true state of affairs. The first two or three rounds having been played, he is in full possession of the contents of each hand, and thenceforward puts down his cards with as absolute a precision of purpose as if the rest of the party had turned outward the faces of their own. The analytical power should not be confounded with ample ingenuity; for while the analyst is necessarily ingenious, the ingenious man is often remarkably incapable of analysis.

The constructive or combining power, by which ingenuity is usually manifested, and to which the phrenologists (I believe erroneously) have assigned a separate organ, supposing it a primitive faculty, has been so frequently seen in those whose intellect bordered otherwise upon idiocy, as to have attracted general observation among writers on morals.

Between ingenuity and the analytic ability there exists a difference far greater, indeed, than that between the fancy and the imagination, but of a character very strictly analogous.

It will be found, in fact, that the ingenious are always fanciful, and the truly imaginative never otherwise than analytic. The narrative which follows will appear to the reader somewhat in the light of a commentary upon the propositions just advanced. Residing in Paris during the spring and part of the summer of 18--, I there became acquainted with a Monsieur C. This young gentleman was of an excellent--indeed of an illustrious family, but, by a variety of untoward events, had been reduced to such poverty that the energy of his character succumbed beneath it, and he ceased to bestir himself in the world, or to care for the retrieval of his fortunes. By courtesy of his creditors, there still remained in his possession a small remnant of his patrimony; and, upon the income arising from this, he managed, by means of a rigorous economy, to procure the necessaries of life, without troubling himself about its superfluities. Books, indeed, were his sole luxuries, and in Paris these are easily obtained.

Our first meeting was at an obscure library in the Rue Montmartre, where the accident of our both being in search of the same very rare and very remarkable volume, brought us into closer communion. We saw each other again and again. I was deeply interested in the little family history which he detailed to me with all that candor which a Frenchman indulges whenever mere self is his theme. I was astonished, too, at the vast extent of his reading; and, above all, I felt my soul enkindled within me by the wild fervor, and the vivid freshness of his imagination. Seeking in Paris the objects I then sought, I felt that the society of such a man would be to me a treasure beyond price; and this feeling I frankly confided to him. It was at length arranged that we should live together during my stay in the city; and as my worldly circumstances were somewhat less embarrassed than his own, I was permitted to be at the expense of renting, and furnishing in a style which suited the rather fantastic gloom of our common temper, a time-eaten and grotesque mansion, long deserted through superstitions into which we did not inquire, and tottering to its fall in a retired and desolate portion of the Faubourg St. Had the routine of our life at this place been known to the world, we should have been regarded as madmen--although, perhaps, as madmen of a harmless nature. Indeed the locality of our retirement had been carefully kept a secret from my own former associates; and it had been many years since Dupin had ceased to know or be known in Paris.

It was a freak of fancy in my friend (for what else shall I call it?) to be enamored of the Night for her own sake; and into this bizarrerie, as into all his others, I quietly fell; giving myself up to his wild whims with a perfect abandon. The sable divinity would not herself dwell with us always; but we could counterfeit her presence. At the first dawn of the morning we closed all the messy shutters of our old building; lighting a couple of tapers which, strongly perfumed, threw out only the ghastliest and feeblest of rays. By the aid of these we then busied our souls in dreams--reading, writing, or conversing, until warned by the clock of the advent of the true Darkness. Then we sallied forth into the streets arm in arm, continuing the topics of the day, or roaming far and wide until a late hour, seeking, amid the wild lights and shadows of the populous city, that infinity of mental excitement which quiet observation can afford. He seemed, too, to take an eager delight in its exercise--if not exactly in its display--and did not hesitate to confess the pleasure thus derived. He boasted to me, with a low chuckling laugh, that most men, in respect to himself, wore windows in their bosoms, and was wont to follow up such assertions by direct and very startling proofs of his intimate knowledge of my own. His manner at these moments was frigid and abstract; his eyes were vacant in expression; while his voice, usually a rich tenor, rose into a treble which would have sounded petulantly but for the deliberateness and entire distinctness of the enunciation. Observing him in these moods, I often dwelt meditatively upon the old philosophy of the Bi-Part Soul, and amused myself with the fancy of a double Dupin--the creative and the resolvent. What I have described in the Frenchman, was merely the result of an excited, or perhaps of a diseased intelligence.

But of the character of his remarks at the periods in question an example will best convey the idea. We were strolling one night down a long dirty street in the vicinity of the Palais Royal. Being both, apparently, occupied with thought, neither of us had spoken a syllable for fifteen minutes at least. All at once Dupin broke forth with these words: “He is a very little fellow, that’s true, and would do better for the Théâtre des Variétés.” “There can be no doubt of that,” I replied unwittingly, and not at first observing (so much had I been absorbed in reflection) the extraordinary manner in which the speaker had chimed in with my meditations. How was it possible you should know I was thinking of -----?” Here I paused, to ascertain beyond a doubt whether he really knew of whom I thought. You were remarking to yourself that his diminutive figure unfitted him for tragedy.” This was precisely what had formed the subject of my reflections. Chantilly was a quondam cobbler of the Rue St.

Denis, who, becoming stage-mad, had attempted the rôle of Xerxes, in Crébillon’s tragedy so called, and been notoriously Pasquinaded for his pains. “Tell me, for Heaven’s sake,” I exclaimed, “the method--if method there is--by which you have been enabled to fathom my soul in this matter.” In fact I was even more startled than I would have been willing to express. “It was the fruiterer,” replied my friend, “who brought you to the conclusion that the mender of soles was not of sufficient height for Xerxes et id genus omne.” “The fruiterer!--you astonish me--I know no fruiterer whomsoever.” “The man who ran up against you as we entered the street--it may have been fifteen minutes ago.” I now remembered that, in fact, a fruiterer, carrying upon his head a large basket of apples, had nearly thrown me down, by accident, as we passed from the Rue C ---- into the thoroughfare where we stood; but what this had to do with Chantilly I could not possibly understand. There was not a particle of charlatanerie about Dupin.

“I will explain,” he said, “and that you may comprehend all clearly, we will first retrace the course of your meditations, from the moment in which I spoke to you until that of the rencontre with the fruiterer in question. The larger links of the chain run thus--Chantilly, Orion, Dr. Nichols, Epicurus, Stereotomy, the street stones, the fruiterer.” There are few persons who have not, at some period of their lives, amused themselves in retracing the steps by which particular conclusions of their own minds have been attained. The occupation is often full of interest and he who attempts it for the first time is astonished by the apparently illimitable distance and incoherence between the starting-point and the goal.

What, then, must have been my amazement when I heard the Frenchman speak what he had just spoken, and when I could not help acknowledging that he had spoken the truth. He continued: “We had been talking of horses, if I remember aright, just before leaving the Rue C ----. This was the last subject we discussed. As we crossed into this street, a fruiterer, with a large basket upon his head, brushing quickly past us, thrust you upon a pile of paving stones collected at a spot where the causeway is undergoing repair. You stepped upon one of the loose fragments, slipped, slightly strained your ankle, appeared vexed or sulky, muttered a few words, turned to look at the pile, and then proceeded in silence.

“You kept your eyes upon the ground--glancing, with a petulant expression, at the holes and ruts in the pavement, (so that I saw you were still thinking of the stones,) until we reached the little alley called Lamartine, which has been paved, by way of experiment, with the overlapping and riveted blocks. Here your countenance brightened up, and, perceiving your lips move, I could not doubt that you murmured the word ‘stereotomy,’ a term very affectedly applied to this species of pavement. I knew that you could not say to yourself ‘stereotomy’ without being brought to think of atomies, and thus of the theories of Epicurus; and since, when we discussed this subject not very long ago, I mentioned to you how singularly, yet with how little notice, the vague guesses of that noble Greek had met with confirmation in the late nebular cosmogony, I felt that you could not avoid casting your eyes upward to the great nebula in Orion, and I certainly expected that you would do so. But in that bitter tirade upon Chantilly, which appeared in yesterday’s ‘Musée,’ the satirist, making some disgraceful allusions to the cobbler’s change of name upon assuming the buskin, quoted a Latin line about which we have often conversed. I mean the line Perdidit antiquum litera sonum. It was clear, therefore, that you would not fail to combine the two ideas of Orion and Chantilly. That you did combine them I saw by the character of the smile which passed over your lips.

You thought of the poor cobbler’s immolation. I was then sure that you reflected upon the diminutive figure of Chantilly. At this point I interrupted your meditations to remark that as, in fact, he was a very little fellow--that Chantilly--he would do better at the Théâtre des Variétés.” Not long after this, we were looking over an evening edition of the “Gazette des Tribunaux,” when the following paragraphs arrested our attention. “EXTRAORDINARY MURDERS.--This morning, about three o’clock, the inhabitants of the Quartier St. Roch were aroused from sleep by a succession of terrific shrieks, issuing, apparently, from the fourth story of a house in the Rue Morgue, known to be in the sole occupancy of one Madame L’Espanaye, and her daughter Mademoiselle Camille L’Espanaye. After some delay, occasioned by a fruitless attempt to procure admission in the usual manner, the gateway was broken in with a crowbar, and eight or ten of the neighbors entered accompanied by two gendarmes.

By this time the cries had ceased; but, as the party rushed up the first flight of stairs, two or more rough voices in angry contention were distinguished and seemed to proceed from the upper part of the house.

As the second landing was reached, these sounds, also, had ceased and everything remained perfectly quiet. The party spread themselves and hurried from room to room. Upon arriving at a large back chamber in the fourth story, (the door of which, being found locked, with the key inside, was forced open,) a spectacle presented itself which struck every one present not less with horror than with astonishment. “The apartment was in the wildest disorder--the furniture broken and thrown about in all directions. There was only one bedstead; and from this the bed had been removed, and thrown into the middle of the floor. On the hearth were two or three long and thick tresses of grey human hair, also dabbled in blood, and seeming to have been pulled out by the roots. Upon the floor were found four Napoleons, an ear-ring of topaz, three large silver spoons, three smaller of métal d’Alger, and two bags, containing nearly four thousand francs in gold. The drawers of a bureau, which stood in one corner were open, and had been, apparently, rifled, although many articles still remained in them. A small iron safe was discovered under the bed (not under the bedstead).

It was open, with the key still in the door. It had no contents beyond a few old letters, and other papers of little consequence. “Of Madame L’Espanaye no traces were here seen; but an unusual quantity of soot being observed in the fire-place, a search was made in the chimney, and (horrible to relate!) the corpse of the daughter, head downward, was dragged therefrom; it having been thus forced up the narrow aperture for a considerable distance. The body was quite warm. Upon examining it, many excoriations were perceived, no doubt occasioned by the violence with which it had been thrust up and disengaged. Upon the face were many severe scratches, and, upon the throat, dark bruises, and deep indentations of finger nails, as if the deceased had been throttled to death. “After a thorough investigation of every portion of the house, without farther discovery, the party made its way into a small paved yard in the rear of the building, where lay the corpse of the old lady, with her throat so entirely cut that, upon an attempt to raise her, the head fell off. The body, as well as the head, was fearfully mutilated--the former so much so as scarcely to retain any semblance of humanity. “To this horrible mystery there is not as yet, we believe, the slightest clew.” The next day’s paper had these additional particulars. “The Tragedy in the Rue Morgue. Many individuals have been examined in relation to this most extraordinary and frightful affair.

“but nothing whatever has transpired to throw light upon it.

We give below all the material testimony elicited. “Pauline Dubourg, laundress, deposes that she has known both the deceased for three years, having washed for them during that period. The old lady and her daughter seemed on good terms--very affectionate towards each other. They were excellent pay. Could not speak in regard to their mode or means of living. Never met any persons in the house when she called for the clothes or took them home. Was sure that they had no servant in employ. There appeared to be no furniture in any part of the building except in the fourth story. “Pierre Moreau, tobacconist, deposes that he has been in the habit of selling small quantities of tobacco and snuff to Madame L’Espanaye for nearly four years. Was born in the neighborhood, and has always resided there.

The deceased and her daughter had occupied the house in which the corpses were found, for more than six years. It was formerly occupied by a jeweller, who under-let the upper rooms to various persons. The house was the property of Madame L. She became dissatisfied with the abuse of the premises by her tenant, and moved into them herself, refusing to let any portion.

The old lady was childish.

Witness had seen the daughter some five or six times during the six years. The two lived an exceedingly retired life--were reputed to have money. Had heard it said among the neighbors that Madame L. Had never seen any person enter the door except the old lady and her daughter, a porter once or twice, and a physician some eight or ten times.

“Many other persons, neighbors, gave evidence to the same effect. No one was spoken of as frequenting the house. It was not known whether there were any living connexions of Madame L. The shutters of the front windows were seldom opened.

Those in the rear were always closed, with the exception of the large back room, fourth story. The house was a good house--not very old. “Isidore Muset, gendarme, deposes that he was called to the house about three o’clock in the morning, and found some twenty or thirty persons at the gateway, endeavoring to gain admittance.

Had but little difficulty in getting it open, on account of its being a double or folding gate, and bolted neither at bottom not top. The shrieks were continued until the gate was forced--and then suddenly ceased. They seemed to be screams of some person (or persons) in great agony--were loud and drawn out, not short and quick. Witness led the way up stairs.

Upon reaching the first landing, heard two voices in loud and angry contention--the one a gruff voice, the other much shriller--a very strange voice. Could distinguish some words of the former, which was that of a Frenchman. Could distinguish the words ‘sacré’ and ‘diable.’ The shrill voice was that of a foreigner. Could not be sure whether it was the voice of a man or of a woman. Could not make out what was said, but believed the language to be Spanish. The state of the room and of the bodies was described by this witness as we described them yesterday. “Henri Duval, a neighbor, and by trade a silver-smith, deposes that he was one of the party who first entered the house. Corroborates the testimony of Muset in general. As soon as they forced an entrance, they reclosed the door, to keep out the crowd, which collected very fast, notwithstanding the lateness of the hour. The shrill voice, this witness thinks, was that of an Italian.

Was not acquainted with the Italian language. Could not distinguish the words, but was convinced by the intonation that the speaker was an Italian. Was sure that the shrill voice was not that of either of the deceased. Was passing the house at the time of the shrieks. They lasted for several minutes--probably ten. They were long and loud--very awful and distressing.

Was one of those who entered the building. Corroborated the previous evidence in every respect but one. Was sure that the shrill voice was that of a man--of a Frenchman. Could not distinguish the words uttered. They were loud and quick--unequal--spoken apparently in fear as well as in anger. The voice was harsh--not so much shrill as harsh. The gruff voice said repeatedly ‘sacré,’ ‘diable,’ and once ‘mon Dieu.’ “Jules Mignaud, banker, of the firm of Mignaud et Fils, Rue Deloraine. Is the elder Mignaud.

Had opened an account with his banking house in the spring of the year--(eight years previously).

Had checked for nothing until the third day before her death, when she took out in person the sum of 4000 francs. This sum was paid in gold, and a clerk went home with the money. “Adolphe Le Bon, clerk to Mignaud et Fils, deposes that on the day in question, about noon, he accompanied Madame L’Espanaye to her residence with the 4000 francs, put up in two bags. Upon the door being opened, Mademoiselle L. appeared and took from his hands one of the bags, while the old lady relieved him of the other. He then bowed and departed. Did not see any person in the street at the time. “William Bird, tailor deposes that he was one of the party who entered the house. Was one of the first to ascend the stairs.

Heard the voices in contention. The gruff voice was that of a Frenchman.

Heard distinctly ‘sacré’ and ‘mon Dieu.’ There was a sound at the moment as if of several persons struggling--a scraping and scuffling sound. The shrill voice was very loud--louder than the gruff one.

Is sure that it was not the voice of an Englishman. “Four of the above-named witnesses, being recalled, deposed that the door of the chamber in which was found the body of Mademoiselle L. was locked on the inside when the party reached it. Upon forcing the door no person was seen. The windows, both of the back and front room, were down and firmly fastened from within. A door between the two rooms was closed, but not locked. The door leading from the front room into the passage was locked, with the key on the inside. A small room in the front of the house, on the fourth story, at the head of the passage was open, the door being ajar.

These were carefully removed and searched. There was not an inch of any portion of the house which was not carefully searched. Sweeps were sent up and down the chimneys. The house was a four story one, with garrets (mansardes.) A trap-door on the roof was nailed down very securely--did not appear to have been opened for years. The time elapsing between the hearing of the voices in contention and the breaking open of the room door, was variously stated by the witnesses. The door was opened with difficulty. “Alfonzo Garcio, undertaker, deposes that he resides in the Rue Morgue. Was one of the party who entered the house.

Is nervous, and was apprehensive of the consequences of agitation. Heard the voices in contention.

The gruff voice was that of a Frenchman. The shrill voice was that of an Englishman--is sure of this. Does not understand the English language, but judges by the intonation. “Alberto Montani, confectioner, deposes that he was among the first to ascend the stairs. Heard the voices in question. The gruff voice was that of a Frenchman. The speaker appeared to be expostulating. Could not make out the words of the shrill voice.

Thinks it the voice of a Russian. Corroborates the general testimony. “Several witnesses, recalled, here testified that the chimneys of all the rooms on the fourth story were too narrow to admit the passage of a human being.

These brushes were passed up and down every flue in the house. There is no back passage by which any one could have descended while the party proceeded up stairs. The body of Mademoiselle L’Espanaye was so firmly wedged in the chimney that it could not be got down until four or five of the party united their strength. “Paul Dumas, physician, deposes that he was called to view the bodies about day-break. They were both then lying on the sacking of the bedstead in the chamber where Mademoiselle L. The corpse of the young lady was much bruised and excoriated. The fact that it had been thrust up the chimney would sufficiently account for these appearances. The throat was greatly chafed. There were several deep scratches just below the chin, together with a series of livid spots which were evidently the impression of fingers. The face was fearfully discolored, and the eye-balls protruded.

The tongue had been partially bitten through. A large bruise was discovered upon the pit of the stomach, produced, apparently, by the pressure of a knee. In the opinion of M. The corpse of the mother was horribly mutilated. All the bones of the right leg and arm were more or less shattered. The left tibia much splintered, as well as all the ribs of the left side. It was not possible to say how the injuries had been inflicted. A heavy club of wood, or a broad bar of iron--a chair--any large, heavy, and obtuse weapon would have produced such results, if wielded by the hands of a very powerful man.

No woman could have inflicted the blows with any weapon. The head of the deceased, when seen by witness, was entirely separated from the body, and was also greatly shattered. The throat had evidently been cut with some very sharp instrument--probably with a razor. Dumas to view the bodies. Corroborated the testimony, and the opinions of M. “Nothing farther of importance was elicited, although several other persons were examined. The police are entirely at fault--an unusual occurrence in affairs of this nature. There is not, however, the shadow of a clew apparent.” The evening edition of the paper stated that the greatest excitement still continued in the Quartier St. Roch--that the premises in question had been carefully re-searched, and fresh examinations of witnesses instituted, but all to no purpose. A postscript, however, mentioned that Adolphe Le Bon had been arrested and imprisoned--although nothing appeared to criminate him, beyond the facts already detailed.

Dupin seemed singularly interested in the progress of this affair--at least so I judged from his manner, for he made no comments. It was only after the announcement that Le Bon had been imprisoned, that he asked me my opinion respecting the murders. I could merely agree with all Paris in considering them an insoluble mystery. I saw no means by which it would be possible to trace the murderer.

“We must not judge of the means,” said Dupin, “by this shell of an examination.

The Parisian police, so much extolled for acumen, are cunning, but no more. There is no method in their proceedings, beyond the method of the moment. They make a vast parade of measures; but, not unfrequently, these are so ill adapted to the objects proposed, as to put us in mind of Monsieur Jourdain’s calling for his robe-de-chambre--pour mieux entendre la musique. The results attained by them are not unfrequently surprising, but, for the most part, are brought about by simple diligence and activity. When these qualities are unavailing, their schemes fail. But, without educated thought, he erred continually by the very intensity of his investigations.

He impaired his vision by holding the object too close.

He might see, perhaps, one or two points with unusual clearness, but in so doing he, necessarily, lost sight of the matter as a whole. Thus there is such a thing as being too profound. In fact, as regards the more important knowledge, I do believe that she is invariably superficial. The depth lies in the valleys where we seek her, and not upon the mountain-tops where she is found. The modes and sources of this kind of error are well typified in the contemplation of the heavenly bodies. To look at a star by glances--to view it in a side-long way, by turning toward it the exterior portions of the retina (more susceptible of feeble impressions of light than the interior), is to behold the star distinctly--is to have the best appreciation of its lustre--a lustre which grows dim just in proportion as we turn our vision fully upon it. A greater number of rays actually fall upon the eye in the latter case, but, in the former, there is the more refined capacity for comprehension.

By undue profundity we perplex and enfeeble thought; and it is possible to make even Venus herself vanish from the firmanent by a scrutiny too sustained, too concentrated, or too direct. “As for these murders, let us enter into some examinations for ourselves, before we make up an opinion respecting them. We will go and see the premises with our own eyes. I know G----, the Prefect of Police, and shall have no difficulty in obtaining the necessary permission.” The permission was obtained, and we proceeded at once to the Rue Morgue. This is one of those miserable thoroughfares which intervene between the Rue Richelieu and the Rue St. It was late in the afternoon when we reached it; as this quarter is at a great distance from that in which we resided.

The house was readily found; for there were still many persons gazing up at the closed shutters, with an objectless curiosity, from the opposite side of the way. It was an ordinary Parisian house, with a gateway, on one side of which was a glazed watch-box, with a sliding panel in the window, indicating a loge de concierge. Before going in we walked up the street, turned down an alley, and then, again turning, passed in the rear of the building--Dupin, meanwhile examining the whole neighborhood, as well as the house, with a minuteness of attention for which I could see no possible object. Retracing our steps, we came again to the front of the dwelling, rang, and, having shown our credentials, were admitted by the agents in charge. We went up stairs--into the chamber where the body of Mademoiselle L’Espanaye had been found, and where both the deceased still lay. The disorders of the room had, as usual, been suffered to exist. I saw nothing beyond what had been stated in the “Gazette des Tribunaux.” Dupin scrutinized every thing--not excepting the bodies of the victims. We then went into the other rooms, and into the yard; a gendarme accompanying us throughout. The examination occupied us until dark, when we took our departure. On our way home my companion stepped in for a moment at the office of one of the daily papers. I have said that the whims of my friend were manifold, and that Je les ménageais:--for this phrase there is no English equivalent.

It was his humor, now, to decline all conversation on the subject of the murder, until about noon the next day. He then asked me, suddenly, if I had observed any thing peculiar at the scene of the atrocity. There was something in his manner of emphasizing the word “peculiar,” which caused me to shudder, without knowing why. “No, nothing peculiar,” I said; “nothing more, at least, than we both saw stated in the paper.” “The ‘Gazette,’” he replied, “has not entered, I fear, into the unusual horror of the thing. But dismiss the idle opinions of this print. It appears to me that this mystery is considered insoluble, for the very reason which should cause it to be regarded as easy of solution--I mean for the outré character of its features.

The police are confounded by the seeming absence of motive--not for the murder itself--but for the atrocity of the murder. They are puzzled, too, by the seeming impossibility of reconciling the voices heard in contention, with the facts that no one was discovered up stairs but the assassinated Mademoiselle L’Espanaye, and that there were no means of egress without the notice of the party ascending. The wild disorder of the room; the corpse thrust, with the head downward, up the chimney; the frightful mutilation of the body of the old lady; these considerations, with those just mentioned, and others which I need not mention, have sufficed to paralyze the powers, by putting completely at fault the boasted acumen, of the government agents. They have fallen into the gross but common error of confounding the unusual with the abstruse. But it is by these deviations from the plane of the ordinary, that reason feels its way, if at all, in its search for the true. In investigations such as we are now pursuing, it should not be so much asked ‘what has occurred,’ as ‘what has occurred that has never occurred before.’ In fact, the facility with which I shall arrive, or have arrived, at the solution of this mystery, is in the direct ratio of its apparent insolubility in the eyes of the police.” I stared at the speaker in mute astonishment.

“I am now awaiting,” continued he, looking toward the door of our apartment--“I am now awaiting a person who, although perhaps not the perpetrator of these butcheries, must have been in some measure implicated in their perpetration. Of the worst portion of the crimes committed, it is probable that he is innocent. I hope that I am right in this supposition; for upon it I build my expectation of reading the entire riddle. I look for the man here--in this room--every moment. It is true that he may not arrive; but the probability is that he will. Here are pistols; and we both know how to use them when occasion demands their use.” I took the pistols, scarcely knowing what I did, or believing what I heard, while Dupin went on, very much as if in a soliloquy. His eyes, vacant in expression, regarded only the wall. “That the voices heard in contention,” he said, “by the party upon the stairs, were not the voices of the women themselves, was fully proved by the evidence. This relieves us of all doubt upon the question whether the old lady could have first destroyed the daughter and afterward have committed suicide.

I speak of this point chiefly for the sake of method; for the strength of Madame L’Espanaye would have been utterly unequal to the task of thrusting her daughter’s corpse up the chimney as it was found; and the nature of the wounds upon her own person entirely preclude the idea of self-destruction. Murder, then, has been committed by some third party; and the voices of this third party were those heard in contention. Let me now advert--not to the whole testimony respecting these voices--but to what was peculiar in that testimony. Did you observe any thing peculiar about it?” I remarked that, while all the witnesses agreed in supposing the gruff voice to be that of a Frenchman, there was much disagreement in regard to the shrill, or, as one individual termed it, the harsh voice. “That was the evidence itself,” said Dupin, “but it was not the peculiarity of the evidence. Yet there was something to be observed. The witnesses, as you remark, agreed about the gruff voice; they were here unanimous. But in regard to the shrill voice, the peculiarity is--not that they disagreed--but that, while an Italian, an Englishman, a Spaniard, a Hollander, and a Frenchman attempted to describe it, each one spoke of it as that of a foreigner. Each is sure that it was not the voice of one of his own countrymen. Each likens it--not to the voice of an individual of any nation with whose language he is conversant--but the converse.

The Frenchman supposes it the voice of a Spaniard, and ‘might have distinguished some words had he been acquainted with the Spanish.’ The Dutchman maintains it to have been that of a Frenchman; but we find it stated that ‘not understanding French this witness was examined through an interpreter.’ The Englishman thinks it the voice of a German, and ‘does not understand German.’ The Spaniard ‘is sure’ that it was that of an Englishman, but ‘judges by the intonation’ altogether, ‘as he has no knowledge of the English.’ The Italian believes it the voice of a Russian, but ‘has never conversed with a native of Russia.’ A second Frenchman differs, moreover, with the first, and is positive that the voice was that of an Italian; but, not being cognizant of that tongue, is, like the Spaniard, ‘convinced by the intonation.’ Now, how strangely unusual must that voice have really been, about which such testimony as this could have been elicited!--in whose tones, even, denizens of the five great divisions of Europe could recognise nothing familiar! You will say that it might have been the voice of an Asiatic--of an African. Neither Asiatics nor Africans abound in Paris; but, without denying the inference, I will now merely call your attention to three points. The voice is termed by one witness ‘harsh rather than shrill.’ It is represented by two others to have been ‘quick and unequal.’ No words--no sounds resembling words--were by any witness mentioned as distinguishable. “I know not,” continued Dupin, “what impression I may have made, so far, upon your own understanding; but I do not hesitate to say that legitimate deductions even from this portion of the testimony--the portion respecting the gruff and shrill voices--are in themselves sufficient to engender a suspicion which should give direction to all farther progress in the investigation of the mystery. I designed to imply that the deductions are the sole proper ones, and that the suspicion arises inevitably from them as the single result.

What the suspicion is, however, I will not say just yet. I merely wish you to bear in mind that, with myself, it was sufficiently forcible to give a definite form--a certain tendency--to my inquiries in the chamber. The means of egress employed by the murderers.

It is not too much to say that neither of us believe in præternatural events. The doers of the deed were material, and escaped materially. Then how?

Fortunately, there is but one mode of reasoning upon the point, and that mode must lead us to a definite decision.--Let us examine, each by each, the possible means of egress. It is clear that the assassins were in the room where Mademoiselle L’Espanaye was found, or at least in the room adjoining, when the party ascended the stairs. It is then only from these two apartments that we have to seek issues. The police have laid bare the floors, the ceilings, and the masonry of the walls, in every direction. No secret issues could have escaped their vigilance. But, not trusting to their eyes, I examined with my own. There were, then, no secret issues. Both doors leading from the rooms into the passage were securely locked, with the keys inside. Let us turn to the chimneys.

These, although of ordinary width for some eight or ten feet above the hearths, will not admit, throughout their extent, the body of a large cat. The impossibility of egress, by means already stated, being thus absolute, we are reduced to the windows. Through those of the front room no one could have escaped without notice from the crowd in the street. The murderers must have passed, then, through those of the back room. It is only left for us to prove that these apparent ‘impossibilities’ are, in reality, not such. “There are two windows in the chamber.

One of them is unobstructed by furniture, and is wholly visible. The lower portion of the other is hidden from view by the head of the unwieldy bedstead which is thrust close up against it.

The former was found securely fastened from within. It resisted the utmost force of those who endeavored to raise it. A large gimlet-hole had been pierced in its frame to the left, and a very stout nail was found fitted therein, nearly to the head. Upon examining the other window, a similar nail was seen similarly fitted in it; and a vigorous attempt to raise this sash, failed also. The police were now entirely satisfied that egress had not been in these directions.

And, therefore, it was thought a matter of supererogation to withdraw the nails and open the windows. “My own examination was somewhat more particular, and was so for the reason I have just given--because here it was, I knew, that all apparent impossibilities must be proved to be not such in reality. The murderers did escape from one of these windows. This being so, they could not have refastened the sashes from the inside, as they were found fastened;--the consideration which put a stop, through its obviousness, to the scrutiny of the police in this quarter.

Yet the sashes were fastened. They must, then, have the power of fastening themselves. There was no escape from this conclusion.

I stepped to the unobstructed casement, withdrew the nail with some difficulty and attempted to raise the sash. A concealed spring must, I now know, exist; and this corroboration of my idea convinced me that my premises at least, were correct, however mysterious still appeared the circumstances attending the nails. A careful search soon brought to light the hidden spring.

I pressed it, and, satisfied with the discovery, forbore to upraise the sash. “I now replaced the nail and regarded it attentively. A person passing out through this window might have reclosed it, and the spring would have caught--but the nail could not have been replaced. The conclusion was plain, and again narrowed in the field of my investigations. The assassins must have escaped through the other window.

Supposing, then, the springs upon each sash to be the same, as was probable, there must be found a difference between the nails, or at least between the modes of their fixture. Getting upon the sacking of the bedstead, I looked over the head-board minutely at the second casement. Passing my hand down behind the board, I readily discovered and pressed the spring, which was, as I had supposed, identical in character with its neighbor. I now looked at the nail. It was as stout as the other, and apparently fitted in the same manner--driven in nearly up to the head.

“You will say that I was puzzled; but, if you think so, you must have misunderstood the nature of the inductions. To use a sporting phrase, I had not been once ‘at fault.’ The scent had never for an instant been lost. There was no flaw in any link of the chain. I had traced the secret to its ultimate result,--and that result was the nail. It had, I say, in every respect, the appearance of its fellow in the other window; but this fact was an absolute nullity (conclusive us it might seem to be) when compared with the consideration that here, at this point, terminated the clew. ‘There must be something wrong,’ I said, ‘about the nail.’ I touched it; and the head, with about a quarter of an inch of the shank, came off in my fingers. The rest of the shank was in the gimlet-hole where it had been broken off. The fracture was an old one (for its edges were incrusted with rust), and had apparently been accomplished by the blow of a hammer, which had partially imbedded, in the top of the bottom sash, the head portion of the nail. I now carefully replaced this head portion in the indentation whence I had taken it, and the resemblance to a perfect nail was complete--the fissure was invisible. Pressing the spring, I gently raised the sash for a few inches; the head went up with it, remaining firm in its bed. I closed the window, and the semblance of the whole nail was again perfect.

“The riddle, so far, was now unriddled. The assassin had escaped through the window which looked upon the bed.

Dropping of its own accord upon his exit (or perhaps purposely closed), it had become fastened by the spring; and it was the retention of this spring which had been mistaken by the police for that of the nail,--farther inquiry being thus considered unnecessary. “The next question is that of the mode of descent. Upon this point I had been satisfied in my walk with you around the building. About five feet and a half from the casement in question there runs a lightning-rod. From this rod it would have been impossible for any one to reach the window itself, to say nothing of entering it. I observed, however, that the shutters of the fourth story were of the peculiar kind called by Parisian carpenters ferrades--a kind rarely employed at the present day, but frequently seen upon very old mansions at Lyons and Bordeaux.

They are in the form of an ordinary door, (a single, not a folding door) except that the lower half is latticed or worked in open trellis--thus affording an excellent hold for the hands. In the present instance these shutters are fully three feet and a half broad. When we saw them from the rear of the house, they were both about half open--that is to say, they stood off at right angles from the wall. It is probable that the police, as well as myself, examined the back of the tenement; but, if so, in looking at these ferrades in the line of their breadth (as they must have done), they did not perceive this great breadth itself, or, at all events, failed to take it into due consideration. In fact, having once satisfied themselves that no egress could have been made in this quarter, they would naturally bestow here a very cursory examination. It was clear to me, however, that the shutter belonging to the window at the head of the bed, would, if swung fully back to the wall, reach to within two feet of the lightning-rod. It was also evident that, by exertion of a very unusual degree of activity and courage, an entrance into the window, from the rod, might have been thus effected.--By reaching to the distance of two feet and a half (we now suppose the shutter open to its whole extent) a robber might have taken a firm grasp upon the trellis-work. Letting go, then, his hold upon the rod, placing his feet securely against the wall, and springing boldly from it, he might have swung the shutter so as to close it, and, if we imagine the window open at the time, might even have swung himself into the room.

It is my design to show you, first, that the thing might possibly have been accomplished:--but, secondly and chiefly, I wish to impress upon your understanding the very extraordinary--the almost præternatural character of that agility which could have accomplished it. “You will say, no doubt, using the language of the law, that ‘to make out my case,’ I should rather undervalue, than insist upon a full estimation of the activity required in this matter. This may be the practice in law, but it is not the usage of reason. My ultimate object is only the truth. My immediate purpose is to lead you to place in juxtaposition, that very unusual activity of which I have just spoken with that very peculiar shrill (or harsh) and unequal voice, about whose nationality no two persons could be found to agree, and in whose utterance no syllabification could be detected.” At these words a vague and half-formed conception of the meaning of Dupin flitted over my mind.

I seemed to be upon the verge of comprehension without power to comprehend--men, at times, find themselves upon the brink of remembrance without being able, in the end, to remember. “You will see,” he said, “that I have shifted the question from the mode of egress to that of ingress. It was my design to convey the idea that both were effected in the same manner, at the same point. Let us now revert to the interior of the room. Let us survey the appearances here. The drawers of the bureau, it is said, had been rifled, although many articles of apparel still remained within them.

The conclusion here is absurd. How are we to know that the articles found in the drawers were not all these drawers had originally contained? Those found were at least of as good quality as any likely to be possessed by these ladies. If a thief had taken any, why did he not take the best--why did he not take all? The gold was abandoned. Nearly the whole sum mentioned by Monsieur Mignaud, the banker, was discovered, in bags, upon the floor.

I wish you, therefore, to discard from your thoughts the blundering idea of motive, engendered in the brains of the police by that portion of the evidence which speaks of money delivered at the door of the house. Coincidences ten times as remarkable as this (the delivery of the money, and murder committed within three days upon the party receiving it), happen to all of us every hour of our lives, without attracting even momentary notice. Coincidences, in general, are great stumbling-blocks in the way of that class of thinkers who have been educated to know nothing of the theory of probabilities--that theory to which the most glorious objects of human research are indebted for the most glorious of illustration. In the present instance, had the gold been gone, the fact of its delivery three days before would have formed something more than a coincidence. But, under the real circumstances of the case, if we are to suppose gold the motive of this outrage, we must also imagine the perpetrator so vacillating an idiot as to have abandoned his gold and his motive together.

“Keeping now steadily in mind the points to which I have drawn your attention--that peculiar voice, that unusual agility, and that startling absence of motive in a murder so singularly atrocious as this--let us glance at the butchery itself. Least of all, do they thus dispose of the murdered. In the manner of thrusting the corpse up the chimney, you will admit that there was something excessively outré--something altogether irreconcilable with our common notions of human action, even when we suppose the actors the most depraved of men. Think, too, how great must have been that strength which could have thrust the body up such an aperture so forcibly that the united vigor of several persons was found barely sufficient to drag it down! “Turn, now, to other indications of the employment of a vigor most marvellous. On the hearth were thick tresses--very thick tresses--of grey human hair. These had been torn out by the roots. You are aware of the great force necessary in tearing thus from the head even twenty or thirty hairs together. You saw the locks in question as well as myself. Their roots (a hideous sight!) were clotted with fragments of the flesh of the scalp--sure token of the prodigious power which had been exerted in uprooting perhaps half a million of hairs at a time.

The throat of the old lady was not merely cut, but the head absolutely severed from the body: the instrument was a mere razor. I wish you also to look at the brutal ferocity of these deeds. Of the bruises upon the body of Madame L’Espanaye I do not speak. Monsieur Dumas, and his worthy coadjutor Monsieur Etienne, have pronounced that they were inflicted by some obtuse instrument; and so far these gentlemen are very correct. The obtuse instrument was clearly the stone pavement in the yard, upon which the victim had fallen from the window which looked in upon the bed. This idea, however simple it may now seem, escaped the police for the same reason that the breadth of the shutters escaped them--because, by the affair of the nails, their perceptions had been hermetically sealed against the possibility of the windows having ever been opened at all. “If now, in addition to all these things, you have properly reflected upon the odd disorder of the chamber, we have gone so far as to combine the ideas of an agility astounding, a strength superhuman, a ferocity brutal, a butchery without motive, a grotesquerie in horror absolutely alien from humanity, and a voice foreign in tone to the ears of men of many nations, and devoid of all distinct or intelligible syllabification.

What result, then, has ensued? What impression have I made upon your fancy?” I felt a creeping of the flesh as Dupin asked me the question. But the voices of madmen, even in their wildest paroxysms, are never found to tally with that peculiar voice heard upon the stairs. Madmen are of some nation, and their language, however incoherent in its words, has always the coherence of syllabification. Besides, the hair of a madman is not such as I now hold in my hand. I disentangled this little tuft from the rigidly clutched fingers of Madame L’Espanaye. Tell me what you can make of it.” “Dupin!” I said, completely unnerved; “this hair is most unusual--this is no human hair.” “I have not asserted that it is,” said he; “but, before we decide this point, I wish you to glance at the little sketch I have here traced upon this paper. It is a fac-simile drawing of what has been described in one portion of the testimony as ‘dark bruises, and deep indentations of finger nails,’ upon the throat of Mademoiselle L’Espanaye, and in another, (by Messrs. Dumas and Etienne,) as a ‘series of livid spots, evidently the impression of fingers.’ “You will perceive,” continued my friend, spreading out the paper upon the table before us, “that this drawing gives the idea of a firm and fixed hold.

There is no slipping apparent. Each finger has retained--possibly until the death of the victim--the fearful grasp by which it originally imbedded itself. Attempt, now, to place all your fingers, at the same time, in the respective impressions as you see them.” I made the attempt in vain. “The paper is spread out upon a plane surface; but the human throat is cylindrical. Here is a billet of wood, the circumference of which is about that of the throat. Wrap the drawing around it, and try the experiment again.” I did so; but the difficulty was even more obvious than before. “This,” I said, “is the mark of no human hand.” “Read now,” replied Dupin, “this passage from Cuvier.” It was a minute anatomical and generally descriptive account of the large fulvous Ourang-Outang of the East Indian Islands. The gigantic stature, the prodigious strength and activity, the wild ferocity, and the imitative propensities of these mammalia are sufficiently well known to all. I understood the full horrors of the murder at once. “The description of the digits,” said I, as I made an end of reading, “is in exact accordance with this drawing.

I see that no animal but an Ourang-Outang, of the species here mentioned, could have impressed the indentations as you have traced them. This tuft of tawny hair, too, is identical in character with that of the beast of Cuvier. But I cannot possibly comprehend the particulars of this frightful mystery.

Besides, there were two voices heard in contention, and one of them was unquestionably the voice of a Frenchman.” “True; and you will remember an expression attributed almost unanimously, by the evidence, to this voice,--the expression, ‘mon Dieu!’ This, under the circumstances, has been justly characterized by one of the witnesses (Montani, the confectioner,) as an expression of remonstrance or expostulation. Upon these two words, therefore, I have mainly built my hopes of a full solution of the riddle. A Frenchman was cognizant of the murder. It is possible--indeed it is far more than probable--that he was innocent of all participation in the bloody transactions which took place.

The Ourang-Outang may have escaped from him. He may have traced it to the chamber; but, under the agitating circumstances which ensued, he could never have re-captured it. I will not pursue these guesses--for I have no right to call them more--since the shades of reflection upon which they are based are scarcely of sufficient depth to be appreciable by my own intellect, and since I could not pretend to make them intelligible to the understanding of another. We will call them guesses then, and speak of them as such. If the Frenchman in question is indeed, as I suppose, innocent of this atrocity, this advertisement which I left last night, upon our return home, at the office of ‘Le Monde,’ (a paper devoted to the shipping interest, and much sought by sailors,) will bring him to our residence.” He handed me a paper, and I read thus: CAUGHT--In the Bois de Boulogne, early in the morning of the--inst., (the morning of the murder,) a very large, tawny Ourang-Outang of the Bornese species. The owner, (who is ascertained to be a sailor, belonging to a Maltese vessel,) may have the animal again, upon identifying it satisfactorily, and paying a few charges arising from its capture and keeping. Germain--au troisiême. “How was it possible,” I asked, “that you should know the man to be a sailor, and belonging to a Maltese vessel?” “I do not know it,” said Dupin. Here, however, is a small piece of ribbon, which from its form, and from its greasy appearance, has evidently been used in tying the hair in one of those long queues of which sailors are so fond. Moreover, this knot is one which few besides sailors can tie, and is peculiar to the Maltese.

I picked the ribbon up at the foot of the lightning-rod. It could not have belonged to either of the deceased. Now if, after all, I am wrong in my induction from this ribbon, that the Frenchman was a sailor belonging to a Maltese vessel, still I can have done no harm in saying what I did in the advertisement. If I am in error, he will merely suppose that I have been misled by some circumstance into which he will not take the trouble to inquire. Cognizant although innocent of the murder, the Frenchman will naturally hesitate about replying to the advertisement--about demanding the Ourang-Outang. It was found in the Bois de Boulogne--at a vast distance from the scene of that butchery. How can it ever be suspected that a brute beast should have done the deed? The police are at fault--they have failed to procure the slightest clew. Should they even trace the animal, it would be impossible to prove me cognizant of the murder, or to implicate me in guilt on account of that cognizance.

Above all, I am known. The advertiser designates me as the possessor of the beast. Should I avoid claiming a property of so great value, which it is known that I possess, I will render the animal at least, liable to suspicion. It is not my policy to attract attention either to myself or to the beast. I will answer the advertisement, get the Ourang-Outang, and keep it close until this matter has blown over.’” At this moment we heard a step upon the stairs. “Be ready,” said Dupin, “with your pistols, but neither use them nor show them until at a signal from myself.” The front door of the house had been left open, and the visiter had entered, without ringing, and advanced several steps upon the staircase. Dupin was moving quickly to the door, when we again heard him coming up. He did not turn back a second time, but stepped up with decision, and rapped at the door of our chamber. He was a sailor, evidently,--a tall, stout, and muscular-looking person, with a certain dare-devil expression of countenance, not altogether unprepossessing. His face, greatly sunburnt, was more than half hidden by whisker and mustachio. He had with him a huge oaken cudgel, but appeared to be otherwise unarmed. “I suppose you have called about the Ourang-Outang.

Upon my word, I almost envy you the possession of him; a remarkably fine, and no doubt a very valuable animal. How old do you suppose him to be?” The sailor drew a long breath, with the air of a man relieved of some intolerable burden, and then replied, in an assured tone: “I have no way of telling--but he can’t be more than four or five years old. He is at a livery stable in the Rue Dubourg, just by. You can get him in the morning. Of course you are prepared to identify the property?” “To be sure I am, sir.” “I shall be sorry to part with him,” said Dupin. “I don’t mean that you should be at all this trouble for nothing, sir,” said the man. Am very willing to pay a reward for the finding of the animal--that is to say, any thing in reason.” “Well,” replied my friend, “that is all very fair, to be sure. You shall give me all the information in your power about these murders in the Rue Morgue.” Dupin said the last words in a very low tone, and very quietly.

Just as quietly, too, he walked toward the door, locked it and put the key in his pocket. He then drew a pistol from his bosom and placed it, without the least flurry, upon the table. The sailor’s face flushed up as if he were struggling with suffocation. He started to his feet and grasped his cudgel, but the next moment he fell back into his seat, trembling violently, and with the countenance of death itself. I pitied him from the bottom of my heart. I pledge you the honor of a gentleman, and of a Frenchman, that we intend you no injury. I perfectly well know that you are innocent of the atrocities in the Rue Morgue. It will not do, however, to deny that you are in some measure implicated in them.

Now the thing stands thus. On the other hand, you are bound by every principle of honor to confess all you know. An innocent man is now imprisoned, charged with that crime of which you can point out the perpetrator.” The sailor had recovered his presence of mind, in a great measure, while Dupin uttered these words; but his original boldness of bearing was all gone. He had lately made a voyage to the Indian Archipelago. A party, of which he formed one, landed at Borneo, and passed into the interior on an excursion of pleasure. Himself and a companion had captured the Ourang-Outang.

This companion dying, the animal fell into his own exclusive possession. After great trouble, occasioned by the intractable ferocity of his captive during the home voyage, he at length succeeded in lodging it safely at his own residence in Paris, where, not to attract toward himself the unpleasant curiosity of his neighbors, he kept it carefully secluded, until such time as it should recover from a wound in the foot, received from a splinter on board ship. Returning home from some sailors’ frolic the night, or rather in the morning of the murder, he found the beast occupying his own bed-room, into which it had broken from a closet adjoining, where it had been, as was thought, securely confined. Razor in hand, and fully lathered, it was sitting before a looking-glass, attempting the operation of shaving, in which it had no doubt previously watched its master through the key-hole of the closet. Terrified at the sight of so dangerous a weapon in the possession of an animal so ferocious, and so well able to use it, the man, for some moments, was at a loss what to do. He had been accustomed, however, to quiet the creature, even in its fiercest moods, by the use of a whip, and to this he now resorted. Upon sight of it, the Ourang-Outang sprang at once through the door of the chamber, down the stairs, and thence, through a window, unfortunately open, into the street. The Frenchman followed in despair; the ape, razor still in hand, occasionally stopping to look back and gesticulate at its pursuer, until the latter had nearly come up with it. It then again made off. In this manner the chase continued for a long time.

The streets were profoundly quiet, as it was nearly three o’clock in the morning.

In passing down an alley in the rear of the Rue Morgue, the fugitive’s attention was arrested by a light gleaming from the open window of Madame L’Espanaye’s chamber, in the fourth story of her house. Rushing to the building, it perceived the lightning rod, clambered up with inconceivable agility, grasped the shutter, which was thrown fully back against the wall, and, by its means, swung itself directly upon the headboard of the bed. The whole feat did not occupy a minute. The shutter was kicked open again by the Ourang-Outang as it entered the room.

The sailor, in the meantime, was both rejoiced and perplexed. He had strong hopes of now recapturing the brute, as it could scarcely escape from the trap into which it had ventured, except by the rod, where it might be intercepted as it came down. On the other hand, there was much cause for anxiety as to what it might do in the house. This latter reflection urged the man still to follow the fugitive. A lightning rod is ascended without difficulty, especially by a sailor; but, when he had arrived as high as the window, which lay far to his left, his career was stopped; the most that he could accomplish was to reach over so as to obtain a glimpse of the interior of the room. Now it was that those hideous shrieks arose upon the night, which had startled from slumber the inmates of the Rue Morgue.

Madame L’Espanaye and her daughter, habited in their night clothes, had apparently been occupied in arranging some papers in the iron chest already mentioned, which had been wheeled into the middle of the room. It was open, and its contents lay beside it on the floor. The victims must have been sitting with their backs toward the window; and, from the time elapsing between the ingress of the beast and the screams, it seems probable that it was not immediately perceived.

The flapping-to of the shutter would naturally have been attributed to the wind. As the sailor looked in, the gigantic animal had seized Madame L’Espanaye by the hair, (which was loose, as she had been combing it,) and was flourishing the razor about her face, in imitation of the motions of a barber. The daughter lay prostrate and motionless; she had swooned. The screams and struggles of the old lady (during which the hair was torn from her head) had the effect of changing the probably pacific purposes of the Ourang-Outang into those of wrath. The sight of blood inflamed its anger into phrenzy. Gnashing its teeth, and flashing fire from its eyes, it flew upon the body of the girl, and imbedded its fearful talons in her throat, retaining its grasp until she expired. Its wandering and wild glances fell at this moment upon the head of the bed, over which the face of its master, rigid with horror, was just discernible. The fury of the beast, who no doubt bore still in mind the dreaded whip, was instantly converted into fear.

Conscious of having deserved punishment, it seemed desirous of concealing its bloody deeds, and skipped about the chamber in an agony of nervous agitation; throwing down and breaking the furniture as it moved, and dragging the bed from the bedstead. In conclusion, it seized first the corpse of the daughter, and thrust it up the chimney, as it was found; then that of the old lady, which it immediately hurled through the window headlong. As the ape approached the casement with its mutilated burden, the sailor shrank aghast to the rod, and, rather gliding than clambering down it, hurried at once home--dreading the consequences of the butchery, and gladly abandoning, in his terror, all solicitude about the fate of the Ourang-Outang. The words heard by the party upon the staircase were the Frenchman’s exclamations of horror and affright, commingled with the fiendish jabberings of the brute. The Ourang-Outang must have escaped from the chamber, by the rod, just before the break of the door. It must have closed the window as it passed through it. It was subsequently caught by the owner himself, who obtained for it a very large sum at the Jardin des Plantes. Le Don was instantly released, upon our narration of the circumstances (with some comments from Dupin) at the bureau of the Prefect of Police. This functionary, however well disposed to my friend, could not altogether conceal his chagrin at the turn which affairs had taken, and was fain to indulge in a sarcasm or two, about the propriety of every person minding his own business. Nevertheless, that he failed in the solution of this mystery, is by no means that matter for wonder which he supposes it; for, in truth, our friend the Prefect is somewhat too cunning to be profound.

In his wisdom is no stamen. It is all head and no body, like the pictures of the Goddess Laverna,--or, at best, all head and shoulders, like a codfish. I mean the way he has ‘de nier ce qui est, et d’expliquer ce qui n’est pas.’” (*) (*) Rousseau--Nouvelle Heloise. THE MYSTERY OF MARIE ROGET.(*1) A SEQUEL TO “THE MURDERS IN THE RUE MORGUE.” Es giebt eine Reihe idealischer Begebenheiten, die der Wirklichkeit parallel lauft. So bei der Reformation; statt des Protestantismus kam das Lutherthum hervor. There are ideal series of events which run parallel with the real ones. They rarely coincide.

Men and circumstances generally modify the ideal train of events, so that it seems imperfect, and its consequences are equally imperfect.

Thus with the Reformation; instead of Protestantism came Lutheranism. THERE are few persons, even among the calmest thinkers, who have not occasionally been startled into a vague yet thrilling half-credence in the supernatural, by coincidences of so seemingly marvellous a character that, as mere coincidences, the intellect has been unable to receive them. Such sentiments--for the half-credences of which I speak have never the full force of thought--such sentiments are seldom thoroughly stifled unless by reference to the doctrine of chance, or, as it is technically termed, the Calculus of Probabilities.

Now this Calculus is, in its essence, purely mathematical; and thus we have the anomaly of the most rigidly exact in science applied to the shadow and spirituality of the most intangible in speculation. The extraordinary details which I am now called upon to make public, will be found to form, as regards sequence of time, the primary branch of a series of scarcely intelligible coincidences, whose secondary or concluding branch will be recognized by all readers in the late murder of Mary Cecila Rogers, at New York. When, in an article entitled “The Murders in the Rue Morgue,” I endeavored, about a year ago, to depict some very remarkable features in the mental character of my friend, the Chevalier C. Auguste Dupin, it did not occur to me that I should ever resume the subject. This depicting of character constituted my design; and this design was thoroughly fulfilled in the wild train of circumstances brought to instance Dupin’s idiosyncrasy. I might have adduced other examples, but I should have proven no more. Late events, however, in their surprising development, have startled me into some farther details, which will carry with them the air of extorted confession. Upon the winding up of the tragedy involved in the deaths of Madame L’Espanaye and her daughter, the Chevalier dismissed the affair at once from his attention, and relapsed into his old habits of moody reverie. Prone, at all times, to abstraction, I readily fell in with his humor; and, continuing to occupy our chambers in the Faubourg Saint Germain, we gave the Future to the winds, and slumbered tranquilly in the Present, weaving the dull world around us into dreams. But these dreams were not altogether uninterrupted.

It may readily be supposed that the part played by my friend, in the drama at the Rue Morgue, had not failed of its impression upon the fancies of the Parisian police.

With its emissaries, the name of Dupin had grown into a household word. The simple character of those inductions by which he had disentangled the mystery never having been explained even to the Prefect, or to any other individual than myself, of course it is not surprising that the affair was regarded as little less than miraculous, or that the Chevalier’s analytical abilities acquired for him the credit of intuition. His frankness would have led him to disabuse every inquirer of such prejudice; but his indolent humor forbade all farther agitation of a topic whose interest to himself had long ceased. It thus happened that he found himself the cynosure of the political eyes; and the cases were not few in which attempt was made to engage his services at the Prefecture. One of the most remarkable instances was that of the murder of a young girl named Marie Rogêt.

This event occurred about two years after the atrocity in the Rue Morgue. Marie, whose Christian and family name will at once arrest attention from their resemblance to those of the unfortunate “cigargirl,” was the only daughter of the widow Estelle Rogêt. The father had died during the child’s infancy, and from the period of his death, until within eighteen months before the assassination which forms the subject of our narrative, the mother and daughter had dwelt together in the Rue Pavée Saint Andrée; (*3) Madame there keeping a pension, assisted by Marie. Affairs went on thus until the latter had attained her twenty-second year, when her great beauty attracted the notice of a perfumer, who occupied one of the shops in the basement of the Palais Royal, and whose custom lay chiefly among the desperate adventurers infesting that neighborhood. Monsieur Le Blanc (*4) was not unaware of the advantages to be derived from the attendance of the fair Marie in his perfumery; and his liberal proposals were accepted eagerly by the girl, although with somewhat more of hesitation by Madame. The anticipations of the shopkeeper were realized, and his rooms soon became notorious through the charms of the sprightly grisette.

She had been in his employ about a year, when her admirers were thrown info confusion by her sudden disappearance from the shop. The public papers immediately took up the theme, and the police were upon the point of making serious investigations, when, one fine morning, after the lapse of a week, Marie, in good health, but with a somewhat saddened air, made her re-appearance at her usual counter in the perfumery. Marie, with Madame, replied to all questions, that the last week had been spent at the house of a relation in the country. Thus the affair died away, and was generally forgotten; for the girl, ostensibly to relieve herself from the impertinence of curiosity, soon bade a final adieu to the perfumer, and sought the shelter of her mother’s residence in the Rue Pavée Saint Andrée. It was about five months after this return home, that her friends were alarmed by her sudden disappearance for the second time. On the fourth her corpse was found floating in the Seine, * near the shore which is opposite the Quartier of the Rue Saint Andree, and at a point not very far distant from the secluded neighborhood of the Barrière du Roule. (*6) The atrocity of this murder, (for it was at once evident that murder had been committed,) the youth and beauty of the victim, and, above all, her previous notoriety, conspired to produce intense excitement in the minds of the sensitive Parisians. For several weeks, in the discussion of this one absorbing theme, even the momentous political topics of the day were forgotten.

The Prefect made unusual exertions; and the powers of the whole Parisian police were, of course, tasked to the utmost extent. Upon the first discovery of the corpse, it was not supposed that the murderer would be able to elude, for more than a very brief period, the inquisition which was immediately set on foot. It was not until the expiration of a week that it was deemed necessary to offer a reward; and even then this reward was limited to a thousand francs. In the mean time the investigation proceeded with vigor, if not always with judgment, and numerous individuals were examined to no purpose; while, owing to the continual absence of all clue to the mystery, the popular excitement greatly increased. At the end of the tenth day it was thought advisable to double the sum originally proposed; and, at length, the second week having elapsed without leading to any discoveries, and the prejudice which always exists in Paris against the Police having given vent to itself in several serious émeutes, the Prefect took it upon himself to offer the sum of twenty thousand francs “for the conviction of the assassin,” or, if more than one should prove to have been implicated, “for the conviction of any one of the assassins.” In the proclamation setting forth this reward, a full pardon was promised to any accomplice who should come forward in evidence against his fellow; and to the whole was appended, wherever it appeared, the private placard of a committee of citizens, offering ten thousand francs, in addition to the amount proposed by the Prefecture. The entire reward thus stood at no less than thirty thousand francs, which will be regarded as an extraordinary sum when we consider the humble condition of the girl, and the great frequency, in large cities, of such atrocities as the one described. No one doubted now that the mystery of this murder would be immediately brought to light. But although, in one or two instances, arrests were made which promised elucidation, yet nothing was elicited which could implicate the parties suspected; and they were discharged forthwith. Strange as it may appear, the third week from the discovery of the body had passed, and passed without any light being thrown upon the subject, before even a rumor of the events which had so agitated the public mind, reached the ears of Dupin and myself. Engaged in researches which absorbed our whole attention, it had been nearly a month since either of us had gone abroad, or received a visiter, or more than glanced at the leading political articles in one of the daily papers.

The first intelligence of the murder was brought us by G ----, in person.

He called upon us early in the afternoon of the thirteenth of July, 18--, and remained with us until late in the night. He had been piqued by the failure of all his endeavors to ferret out the assassins. The eyes of the public were upon him; and there was really no sacrifice which he would not be willing to make for the development of the mystery. He concluded a somewhat droll speech with a compliment upon what he was pleased to term the tact of Dupin, and made him a direct, and certainly a liberal proposition, the precise nature of which I do not feel myself at liberty to disclose, but which has no bearing upon the proper subject of my narrative.

The compliment my friend rebutted as best he could, but the proposition he accepted at once, although its advantages were altogether provisional. This point being settled, the Prefect broke forth at once into explanations of his own views, interspersing them with long comments upon the evidence; of which latter we were not yet in possession. He discoursed much, and beyond doubt, learnedly; while I hazarded an occasional suggestion as the night wore drowsily away. Dupin, sitting steadily in his accustomed arm-chair, was the embodiment of respectful attention.

He wore spectacles, during the whole interview; and an occasional signal glance beneath their green glasses, sufficed to convince me that he slept not the less soundly, because silently, throughout the seven or eight leaden-footed hours which immediately preceded the departure of the Prefect. In the morning, I procured, at the Prefecture, a full report of all the evidence elicited, and, at the various newspaper offices, a copy of every paper in which, from first to last, had been published any decisive information in regard to this sad affair. Freed from all that was positively disproved, this mass of information stood thus: Marie Rogêt left the residence of her mother, in the Rue Pavée St. Andrée, about nine o’clock in the morning of Sunday June the twenty-second, 18--. Eustache, (*7) and to him only, of her intent intention to spend the day with an aunt who resided in the Rue des Drômes. The Rue des Drômes is a short and narrow but populous thoroughfare, not far from the banks of the river, and at a distance of some two miles, in the most direct course possible, from the pension of Madame Rogêt. Eustache was the accepted suitor of Marie, and lodged, as well as took his meals, at the pension. He was to have gone for his betrothed at dusk, and to have escorted her home. In the afternoon, however, it came on to rain heavily; and, supposing that she would remain all night at her aunt’s, (as she had done under similar circumstances before,) he did not think it necessary to keep his promise. As night drew on, Madame Rogêt (who was an infirm old lady, seventy years of age,) was heard to express a fear “that she should never see Marie again;” but this observation attracted little attention at the time.

On Monday, it was ascertained that the girl had not been to the Rue des Drômes; and when the day elapsed without tidings of her, a tardy search was instituted at several points in the city, and its environs. It was not, however until the fourth day from the period of disappearance that any thing satisfactory was ascertained respecting her. On this day, (Wednesday, the twenty-fifth of June,) a Monsieur Beauvais, (*8) who, with a friend, had been making inquiries for Marie near the Barrière du Roule, on the shore of the Seine which is opposite the Rue Pavée St. Andrée, was informed that a corpse had just been towed ashore by some fishermen, who had found it floating in the river. Upon seeing the body, Beauvais, after some hesitation, identified it as that of the perfumery-girl. The face was suffused with dark blood, some of which issued from the mouth. No foam was seen, as in the case of the merely drowned. There was no discoloration in the cellular tissue. About the throat were bruises and impressions of fingers. The arms were bent over on the chest and were rigid.

The right hand was clenched; the left partially open. On the left wrist were two circular excoriations, apparently the effect of ropes, or of a rope in more than one volution.

A part of the right wrist, also, was much chafed, as well as the back throughout its extent, but more especially at the shoulder-blades. In bringing the body to the shore the fishermen had attached to it a rope; but none of the excoriations had been effected by this. The flesh of the neck was much swollen. There were no cuts apparent, or bruises which appeared the effect of blows. A piece of lace was found tied so tightly around the neck as to be hidden from sight; it was completely buried in the flesh, and was fasted by a knot which lay just under the left ear. The medical testimony spoke confidently of the virtuous character of the deceased. The corpse was in such condition when found, that there could have been no difficulty in its recognition by friends. The dress was much torn and otherwise disordered. In the outer garment, a slip, about a foot wide, had been torn upward from the bottom hem to the waist, but not torn off.

It was wound three times around the waist, and secured by a sort of hitch in the back. The dress immediately beneath the frock was of fine muslin; and from this a slip eighteen inches wide had been torn entirely out--torn very evenly and with great care. Over this muslin slip and the slip of lace, the strings of a bonnet were attached; the bonnet being appended.

The knot by which the strings of the bonnet were fastened, was not a lady’s, but a slip or sailor’s knot. After the recognition of the corpse, it was not, as usual, taken to the Morgue, (this formality being superfluous,) but hastily interred not far from the spot at which it was brought ashore. Through the exertions of Beauvais, the matter was industriously hushed up, as far as possible; and several days had elapsed before any public emotion resulted. A weekly paper, (*9) however, at length took up the theme; the corpse was disinterred, and a re-examination instituted; but nothing was elicited beyond what has been already noted. The clothes, however, were now submitted to the mother and friends of the deceased, and fully identified as those worn by the girl upon leaving home. Meantime, the excitement increased hourly.

Eustache fell especially under suspicion; and he failed, at first, to give an intelligible account of his whereabouts during the Sunday on which Marie left home. Subsequently, however, he submitted to Monsieur G----, affidavits, accounting satisfactorily for every hour of the day in question. As time passed and no discovery ensued, a thousand contradictory rumors were circulated, and journalists busied themselves in suggestions. Among these, the one which attracted the most notice, was the idea that Marie Rogêt still lived--that the corpse found in the Seine was that of some other unfortunate. It will be proper that I submit to the reader some passages which embody the suggestion alluded to. These passages are literal translations from L’Etoile, (*10) a paper conducted, in general, with much ability. “Mademoiselle Rogêt left her mother’s house on Sunday morning, June the twenty-second, 18--, with the ostensible purpose of going to see her aunt, or some other connexion, in the Rue des Drômes. There is no trace or tidings of her at all....

There has no person, whatever, come forward, so far, who saw her at all, on that day, after she left her mother’s door....

Now, though we have no evidence that Marie Rogêt was in the land of the living after nine o’clock on Sunday, June the twenty-second, we have proof that, up to that hour, she was alive. On Wednesday noon, at twelve, a female body was discovered afloat on the shore of the Barrière de Roule. This was, even if we presume that Marie Rogêt was thrown into the river within three hours after she left her mother’s house, only three days from the time she left her home--three days to an hour. But it is folly to suppose that the murder, if murder was committed on her body, could have been consummated soon enough to have enabled her murderers to throw the body into the river before midnight. Those who are guilty of such horrid crimes, choose darkness rather the light....

Thus we see that if the body found in the river was that of Marie Rogêt, it could only have been in the water two and a half days, or three at the outside. All experience has shown that drowned bodies, or bodies thrown into the water immediately after death by violence, require from six to ten days for decomposition to take place to bring them to the top of the water. Now, we ask, what was there in this cave to cause a departure from the ordinary course of nature?... If the body had been kept in its mangled state on shore until Tuesday night, some trace would be found on shore of the murderers. It is a doubtful point, also, whether the body would be so soon afloat, even were it thrown in after having been dead two days.

And, furthermore, it is exceedingly improbable that any villains who had committed such a murder as is here supposed, would have thrown the body in without weight to sink it, when such a precaution could have so easily been taken.” The editor here proceeds to argue that the body must have been in the water “not three days merely, but, at least, five times three days,” because it was so far decomposed that Beauvais had great difficulty in recognizing it. I continue the translation: “What, then, are the facts on which M. Beauvais says that he has no doubt the body was that of Marie Rogêt? He ripped up the gown sleeve, and says he found marks which satisfied him of the identity. The public generally supposed those marks to have consisted of some description of scars. He rubbed the arm and found hair upon it--something as indefinite, we think, as can readily be imagined--as little conclusive as finding an arm in the sleeve. If we allow that Madame Rogêt, from her age and grief, could not go over, (which is allowing a great deal,) there certainly must have been some one who would have thought it worth while to go over and attend the investigation, if they thought the body was that of Marie. There was nothing said or heard about the matter in the Rue Pavée St. Andrée, that reached even the occupants of the same building.

Eustache, the lover and intended husband of Marie, who boarded in her mother’s house, deposes that he did not hear of the discovery of the body of his intended until the next morning, when M.

For an item of news like this, it strikes us it was very coolly received.” In this way the journal endeavored to create the impression of an apathy on the part of the relatives of Marie, inconsistent with the supposition that these relatives believed the corpse to be hers. Its insinuations amount to this:--that Marie, with the connivance of her friends, had absented herself from the city for reasons involving a charge against her chastity; and that these friends, upon the discovery of a corpse in the Seine, somewhat resembling that of the girl, had availed themselves of the opportunity to impress the public with the belief of her death. It was distinctly proved that no apathy, such as was imagined, existed; that the old lady was exceedingly feeble, and so agitated as to be unable to attend to any duty, that St. Eustache, so far from receiving the news coolly, was distracted with grief, and bore himself so frantically, that M.

Beauvais prevailed upon a friend and relative to take charge of him, and prevent his attending the examination at the disinterment. Moreover, although it was stated by L’Etoile, that the corpse was re-interred at the public expense--that an advantageous offer of private sculpture was absolutely declined by the family--and that no member of the family attended the ceremonial:--although, I say, all this was asserted by L’Etoile in furtherance of the impression it designed to convey--yet all this was satisfactorily disproved. In a subsequent number of the paper, an attempt was made to throw suspicion upon Beauvais himself. The editor says: “Now, then, a change comes over the matter. Beauvais, who was going out, told her that a gendarme was expected there, and she, Madame B., must not say anything to the gendarme until he returned, but let the matter be for him.... In the present posture of affairs, M. Beauvais appears to have the whole matter locked up in his head. For some reason, he determined that nobody shall have any thing to do with the proceedings but himself, and he has elbowed the male relatives out of the way, according to their representations, in a very singular manner. He seems to have been very much averse to permitting the relatives to see the body.” By the following fact, some color was given to the suspicion thus thrown upon Beauvais. A visiter at his office, a few days prior to the girl’s disappearance, and during the absence of its occupant, had observed a rose in the key-hole of the door, and the name “Marie” inscribed upon a slate which hung near at hand.

The general impression, so far as we were enabled to glean it from the newspapers, seemed to be, that Marie had been the victim of a gang of desperadoes--that by these she had been borne across the river, maltreated and murdered. I quote a passage or two from its columns: “We are persuaded that pursuit has hitherto been on a false scent, so far as it has been directed to the Barrière du Roule. It was when the streets were full of people, when she went out.... It is impossible that she could have gone to the Barrière du Roule, or to the Rue des Drômes, without being recognized by a dozen persons; yet no one has come forward who saw her outside of her mother’s door, and there is no evidence, except the testimony concerning her expressed intentions, that she did go out at all. Her gown was torn, bound round her, and tied; and by that the body was carried as a bundle.

If the murder had been committed at the Barrière du Roule, there would have been no necessity for any such arrangement. The fact that the body was found floating near the Barrière, is no proof as to where it was thrown into the water..... A piece of one of the unfortunate girl’s petticoats, two feet long and one foot wide, was torn out and tied under her chin around the back of her head, probably to prevent screams. This was done by fellows who had no pocket-handkerchief.” A day or two before the Prefect called upon us, however, some important information reached the police, which seemed to overthrow, at least, the chief portion of Le Commerciel’s argument. Two small boys, sons of a Madame Deluc, while roaming among the woods near the Barrière du Roule, chanced to penetrate a close thicket, within which were three or four large stones, forming a kind of seat, with a back and footstool. On the upper stone lay a white petticoat; on the second a silk scarf. The handkerchief bore the name “Marie Rogêt.” Fragments of dress were discovered on the brambles around. The earth was trampled, the bushes were broken, and there was every evidence of a struggle. Between the thicket and the river, the fences were found taken down, and the ground bore evidence of some heavy burthen having been dragged along it. A weekly paper, Le Soleil,(*12) had the following comments upon this discovery--comments which merely echoed the sentiment of the whole Parisian press: “The things had all evidently been there at least three or four weeks; they were all mildewed down hard with the action of the rain and stuck together from mildew.

The grass had grown around and over some of them. The silk on the parasol was strong, but the threads of it were run together within.

The upper part, where it had been doubled and folded, was all mildewed and rotten, and tore on its being opened..... The pieces of her frock torn out by the bushes were about three inches wide and six inches long.

One part was the hem of the frock, and it had been mended; the other piece was part of the skirt, not the hem. They looked like strips torn off, and were on the thorn bush, about a foot from the ground..... There can be no doubt, therefore, that the spot of this appalling outrage has been discovered.” Consequent upon this discovery, new evidence appeared. Madame Deluc testified that she keeps a roadside inn not far from the bank of the river, opposite the Barrière du Roule. The neighborhood is secluded--particularly so. It is the usual Sunday resort of blackguards from the city, who cross the river in boats. About three o’clock, in the afternoon of the Sunday in question, a young girl arrived at the inn, accompanied by a young man of dark complexion. The two remained here for some time.

On their departure, they took the road to some thick woods in the vicinity. Madame Deluc’s attention was called to the dress worn by the girl, on account of its resemblance to one worn by a deceased relative. Soon after the departure of the couple, a gang of miscreants made their appearance, behaved boisterously, ate and drank without making payment, followed in the route of the young man and girl, returned to the inn about dusk, and re-crossed the river as if in great haste. It was soon after dark, upon this same evening, that Madame Deluc, as well as her eldest son, heard the screams of a female in the vicinity of the inn. The screams were violent but brief. recognized not only the scarf which was found in the thicket, but the dress which was discovered upon the corpse. An omnibus driver, Valence, (*13) now also testified that he saw Marie Rogêt cross a ferry on the Seine, on the Sunday in question, in company with a young man of dark complexion.

The articles found in the thicket were fully identified by the relatives of Marie. The items of evidence and information thus collected by myself, from the newspapers, at the suggestion of Dupin, embraced only one more point--but this was a point of seemingly vast consequence.

It appears that, immediately after the discovery of the clothes as above described, the lifeless, or nearly lifeless body of St.

Eustache, Marie’s betrothed, was found in the vicinity of what all now supposed the scene of the outrage. His breath gave evidence of the poison. “I need scarcely tell you,” said Dupin, as he finished the perusal of my notes, “that this is a far more intricate case than that of the Rue Morgue; from which it differs in one important respect. There is nothing peculiarly outré about it. You will observe that, for this reason, the mystery has been considered easy, when, for this reason, it should have been considered difficult, of solution. The myrmidons of G---- were able at once to comprehend how and why such an atrocity might have been committed. They could picture to their imaginations a mode--many modes--and a motive--many motives; and because it was not impossible that either of these numerous modes and motives could have been the actual one, they have taken it for granted that one of them must.

But the case with which these variable fancies were entertained, and the very plausibility which each assumed, should have been understood as indicative rather of the difficulties than of the facilities which must attend elucidation. I have before observed that it is by prominences above the plane of the ordinary, that reason feels her way, if at all, in her search for the true, and that the proper question in cases such as this, is not so much ‘what has occurred?’ as ‘what has occurred that has never occurred before?’ In the investigations at the house of Madame L’Espanaye, (*14) the agents of G---- were discouraged and confounded by that very unusualness which, to a properly regulated intellect, would have afforded the surest omen of success; while this same intellect might have been plunged in despair at the ordinary character of all that met the eye in the case of the perfumery-girl, and yet told of nothing but easy triumph to the functionaries of the Prefecture. “In the case of Madame L’Espanaye and her daughter there was, even at the beginning of our investigation, no doubt that murder had been committed.

The idea of suicide was excluded at once. Here, too, we are freed, at the commencement, from all supposition of self-murder. The body found at the Barrière du Roule, was found under such circumstances as to leave us no room for embarrassment upon this important point. But it has been suggested that the corpse discovered, is not that of the Marie Rogêt for the conviction of whose assassin, or assassins, the reward is offered, and respecting whom, solely, our agreement has been arranged with the Prefect. If, dating our inquiries from the body found, and thence tracing a murderer, we yet discover this body to be that of some other individual than Marie; or, if starting from the living Marie, we find her, yet find her unassassinated--in either case we lose our labor; since it is Monsieur G---- with whom we have to deal.

For our own purpose, therefore, if not for the purpose of justice, it is indispensable that our first step should be the determination of the identity of the corpse with the Marie Rogêt who is missing. “With the public the arguments of L’Etoile have had weight; and that the journal itself is convinced of their importance would appear from the manner in which it commences one of its essays upon the subject--‘Several of the morning papers of the day,’ it says, ‘speak of the conclusive article in Monday’s Etoile.’ To me, this article appears conclusive of little beyond the zeal of its inditer.

We should bear in mind that, in general, it is the object of our newspapers rather to create a sensation--to make a point--than to further the cause of truth. The latter end is only pursued when it seems coincident with the former. The print which merely falls in with ordinary opinion (however well founded this opinion may be) earns for itself no credit with the mob. The mass of the people regard as profound only him who suggests pungent contradictions of the general idea. In ratiocination, not less than in literature, it is the epigram which is the most immediately and the most universally appreciated. In both, it is of the lowest order of merit. “What I mean to say is, that it is the mingled epigram and melodrame of the idea, that Marie Rogêt still lives, rather than any true plausibility in this idea, which have suggested it to L’Etoile, and secured it a favorable reception with the public. Let us examine the heads of this journal’s argument; endeavoring to avoid the incoherence with which it is originally set forth. “The first aim of the writer is to show, from the brevity of the interval between Marie’s disappearance and the finding of the floating corpse, that this corpse cannot be that of Marie. The reduction of this interval to its smallest possible dimension, becomes thus, at once, an object with the reasoner.

In the rash pursuit of this object, he rushes into mere assumption at the outset. ‘It is folly to suppose,’ he says, ‘that the murder, if murder was committed on her body, could have been consummated soon enough to have enabled her murderers to throw the body into the river before midnight.’ We demand at once, and very naturally, why? Why is it folly to suppose that the murder was committed within five minutes after the girl’s quitting her mother’s house? Why is it folly to suppose that the murder was committed at any given period of the day?

There have been assassinations at all hours. But, had the murder taken place at any moment between nine o’clock in the morning of Sunday, and a quarter before midnight, there would still have been time enough ‘to throw the body into the river before midnight.’ This assumption, then, amounts precisely to this--that the murder was not committed on Sunday at all--and, if we allow L’Etoile to assume this, we may permit it any liberties whatever. The paragraph beginning ‘It is folly to suppose that the murder, etc.,’ however it appears as printed in L’Etoile, may be imagined to have existed actually thus in the brain of its inditer--‘It is folly to suppose that the murder, if murder was committed on the body, could have been committed soon enough to have enabled her murderers to throw the body into the river before midnight; it is folly, we say, to suppose all this, and to suppose at the same time, (as we are resolved to suppose,) that the body was not thrown in until after midnight’--a sentence sufficiently inconsequential in itself, but not so utterly preposterous as the one printed.

It is not, however, with L’Etoile that we have to do, but with the truth. The sentence in question has but one meaning, as it stands; and this meaning I have fairly stated: but it is material that we go behind the mere words, for an idea which these words have obviously intended, and failed to convey. It was the design of the journalist to say that, at whatever period of the day or night of Sunday this murder was committed, it was improbable that the assassins would have ventured to bear the corpse to the river before midnight. And herein lies, really, the assumption of which I complain.

It is assumed that the murder was committed at such a position, and under such circumstances, that the bearing it to the river became necessary. Now, the assassination might have taken place upon the river’s brink, or on the river itself; and, thus, the throwing the corpse in the water might have been resorted to, at any period of the day or night, as the most obvious and most immediate mode of disposal. My design, so far, has no reference to the facts of the case. I wish merely to caution you against the whole tone of L’Etoile’s suggestion, by calling your attention to its ex parte character at the outset. “Having prescribed thus a limit to suit its own preconceived notions; having assumed that, if this were the body of Marie, it could have been in the water but a very brief time; the journal goes on to say: ‘All experience has shown that drowned bodies, or bodies thrown into the water immediately after death by violence, require from six to ten days for sufficient decomposition to take place to bring them to the top of the water. Even when a cannon is fired over a corpse, and it rises before at least five or six days’ immersion, it sinks again if let alone.’ “These assertions have been tacitly received by every paper in Paris, with the exception of Le Moniteur. (*15) This latter print endeavors to combat that portion of the paragraph which has reference to ‘drowned bodies’ only, by citing some five or six instances in which the bodies of individuals known to be drowned were found floating after the lapse of less time than is insisted upon by L’Etoile. But there is something excessively unphilosophical in the attempt on the part of Le Moniteur, to rebut the general assertion of L’Etoile, by a citation of particular instances militating against that assertion.

Had it been possible to adduce fifty instead of five examples of bodies found floating at the end of two or three days, these fifty examples could still have been properly regarded only as exceptions to L’Etoile’s rule, until such time as the rule itself should be confuted. Admitting the rule, (and this Le Moniteur does not deny, insisting merely upon its exceptions,) the argument of L’Etoile is suffered to remain in full force; for this argument does not pretend to involve more than a question of the probability of the body having risen to the surface in less than three days; and this probability will be in favor of L’Etoile’s position until the instances so childishly adduced shall be sufficient in number to establish an antagonistical rule.

“You will see at once that all argument upon this head should be urged, if at all, against the rule itself; and for this end we must examine the rationale of the rule. Now the human body, in general, is neither much lighter nor much heavier than the water of the Seine; that is to say, the specific gravity of the human body, in its natural condition, is about equal to the bulk of fresh water which it displaces. The bodies of fat and fleshy persons, with small bones, and of women generally, are lighter than those of the lean and large-boned, and of men; and the specific gravity of the water of a river is somewhat influenced by the presence of the tide from sea.

But, leaving this tide out of question, it may be said that very few human bodies will sink at all, even in fresh water, of their own accord. Almost any one, falling into a river, will be enabled to float, if he suffer the specific gravity of the water fairly to be adduced in comparison with his own--that is to say, if he suffer his whole person to be immersed, with as little exception as possible. The proper position for one who cannot swim, is the upright position of the walker on land, with the head thrown fully back, and immersed; the mouth and nostrils alone remaining above the surface. It is evident, however, that the gravities of the body, and of the bulk of water displaced, are very nicely balanced, and that a trifle will cause either to preponderate. An arm, for instance, uplifted from the water, and thus deprived of its support, is an additional weight sufficient to immerse the whole head, while the accidental aid of the smallest piece of timber will enable us to elevate the head so as to look about. Now, in the struggles of one unused to swimming, the arms are invariably thrown upwards, while an attempt is made to keep the head in its usual perpendicular position. The result is the immersion of the mouth and nostrils, and the inception, during efforts to breathe while beneath the surface, of water into the lungs. Much is also received into the stomach, and the whole body becomes heavier by the difference between the weight of the air originally distending these cavities, and that of the fluid which now fills them. This difference is sufficient to cause the body to sink, as a general rule; but is insufficient in the cases of individuals with small bones and an abnormal quantity of flaccid or fatty matter. “The corpse, being supposed at the bottom of the river, will there remain until, by some means, its specific gravity again becomes less than that of the bulk of water which it displaces.

This effect is brought about by decomposition, or otherwise.

The result of decomposition is the generation of gas, distending the cellular tissues and all the cavities, and giving the puffed appearance which is so horrible. When this distension has so far progressed that the bulk of the corpse is materially increased without a corresponding increase of mass or weight, its specific gravity becomes less than that of the water displaced, and it forthwith makes its appearance at the surface. But decomposition is modified by innumerable circumstances--is hastened or retarded by innumerable agencies; for example, by the heat or cold of the season, by the mineral impregnation or purity of the water, by its depth or shallowness, by its currency or stagnation, by the temperament of the body, by its infection or freedom from disease before death. Thus it is evident that we can assign no period, with any thing like accuracy, at which the corpse shall rise through decomposition. Under certain conditions this result would be brought about within an hour; under others, it might not take place at all. There are chemical infusions by which the animal frame can be preserved forever from corruption; the Bi-chloride of Mercury is one.

But, apart from decomposition, there may be, and very usually is, a generation of gas within the stomach, from the acetous fermentation of vegetable matter (or within other cavities from other causes) sufficient to induce a distension which will bring the body to the surface. The effect produced by the firing of a cannon is that of simple vibration. This may either loosen the corpse from the soft mud or ooze in which it is imbedded, thus permitting it to rise when other agencies have already prepared it for so doing; or it may overcome the tenacity of some putrescent portions of the cellular tissue; allowing the cavities to distend under the influence of the gas. “Having thus before us the whole philosophy of this subject, we can easily test by it the assertions of L’Etoile. ‘All experience shows,’ says this paper, ‘that drowned bodies, or bodies thrown into the water immediately after death by violence, require from six to ten days for sufficient decomposition to take place to bring them to the top of the water.

Even when a cannon is fired over a corpse, and it rises before at least five or six days’ immersion, it sinks again if let alone.’ “The whole of this paragraph must now appear a tissue of inconsequence and incoherence. All experience does not show that ‘drowned bodies’ require from six to ten days for sufficient decomposition to take place to bring them to the surface. Both science and experience show that the period of their rising is, and necessarily must be, indeterminate. If, moreover, a body has risen to the surface through firing of cannon, it will not ‘sink again if let alone,’ until decomposition has so far progressed as to permit the escape of the generated gas. But I wish to call your attention to the distinction which is made between ‘drowned bodies,’ and ‘bodies thrown into the water immediately after death by violence.’ Although the writer admits the distinction, he yet includes them all in the same category. I have shown how it is that the body of a drowning man becomes specifically heavier than its bulk of water, and that he would not sink at all, except for the struggles by which he elevates his arms above the surface, and his gasps for breath while beneath the surface--gasps which supply by water the place of the original air in the lungs. But these struggles and these gasps would not occur in the body ‘thrown into the water immediately after death by violence.’ Thus, in the latter instance, the body, as a general rule, would not sink at all--a fact of which L’Etoile is evidently ignorant. When decomposition had proceeded to a very great extent--when the flesh had in a great measure left the bones--then, indeed, but not till then, should we lose sight of the corpse.

“And now what are we to make of the argument, that the body found could not be that of Marie Rogêt, because, three days only having elapsed, this body was found floating? But no one supposes her to have been drowned; and, dying before being thrown into the river, she might have been found floating at any period afterwards whatever. “‘But,’ says L’Etoile, ‘if the body had been kept in its mangled state on shore until Tuesday night, some trace would be found on shore of the murderers.’ Here it is at first difficult to perceive the intention of the reasoner. He means to anticipate what he imagines would be an objection to his theory--viz: that the body was kept on shore two days, suffering rapid decomposition--more rapid than if immersed in water. He supposes that, had this been the case, it might have appeared at the surface on the Wednesday, and thinks that only under such circumstances it could so have appeared. He is accordingly in haste to show that it was not kept on shore; for, if so, ‘some trace would be found on shore of the murderers.’ I presume you smile at the sequitur. You cannot be made to see how the mere duration of the corpse on the shore could operate to multiply traces of the assassins.

“‘And furthermore it is exceedingly improbable,’ continues our journal, ‘that any villains who had committed such a murder as is here supposed, would have thrown the body in without weight to sink it, when such a precaution could have so easily been taken.’ Observe, here, the laughable confusion of thought! No one--not even L’Etoile--disputes the murder committed on the body found. The marks of violence are too obvious. He wishes to prove that Marie is not assassinated--not that the corpse was not. Yet his observation proves only the latter point. Therefore it was not thrown in by murderers. The question of identity is not even approached, and L’Etoile has been at great pains merely to gainsay now what it has admitted only a moment before. ‘We are perfectly convinced,’ it says, ‘that the body found was that of a murdered female.’ “Nor is this the sole instance, even in this division of his subject, where our reasoner unwittingly reasons against himself. His evident object, I have already said, is to reduce, as much as possible, the interval between Marie’s disappearance and the finding of the corpse. Yet we find him urging the point that no person saw the girl from the moment of her leaving her mother’s house.

‘We have no evidence,’ he says, ‘that Marie Rogêt was in the land of the living after nine o’clock on Sunday, June the twenty-second.’ As his argument is obviously an ex parte one, he should, at least, have left this matter out of sight; for had any one been known to see Marie, say on Monday, or on Tuesday, the interval in question would have been much reduced, and, by his own ratiocination, the probability much diminished of the corpse being that of the grisette. It is, nevertheless, amusing to observe that L’Etoile insists upon its point in the full belief of its furthering its general argument. “Reperuse now that portion of this argument which has reference to the identification of the corpse by Beauvais.

In regard to the hair upon the arm, L’Etoile has been obviously disingenuous. Beauvais, not being an idiot, could never have urged, in identification of the corpse, simply hair upon its arm. The generality of the expression of L’Etoile is a mere perversion of the witness’ phraseology. “‘Her foot,’ says the journal, ‘was small--so are thousands of feet. The same may be said of the flowers in her hat. Beauvais strongly insists is, that the clasp on the garter found, had been set back to take it in.

This amounts to nothing; for most women find it proper to take a pair of garters home and fit them to the size of the limbs they are to encircle, rather than to try them in the store where they purchase.’ Here it is difficult to suppose the reasoner in earnest. Beauvais, in his search for the body of Marie, discovered a corpse corresponding in general size and appearance to the missing girl, he would have been warranted (without reference to the question of habiliment at all) in forming an opinion that his search had been successful. If, in addition to the point of general size and contour, he had found upon the arm a peculiar hairy appearance which he had observed upon the living Marie, his opinion might have been justly strengthened; and the increase of positiveness might well have been in the ratio of the peculiarity, or unusualness, of the hairy mark. If, the feet of Marie being small, those of the corpse were also small, the increase of probability that the body was that of Marie would not be an increase in a ratio merely arithmetical, but in one highly geometrical, or accumulative. Add to all this shoes such as she had been known to wear upon the day of her disappearance, and, although these shoes may be ‘sold in packages,’ you so far augment the probability as to verge upon the certain. Give us, then, flowers in the hat corresponding to those worn by the missing girl, and we seek for nothing farther. If only one flower, we seek for nothing farther--what then if two or three, or more? Let us now discover, upon the deceased, garters such as the living used, and it is almost folly to proceed. But these garters are found to be tightened, by the setting back of a clasp, in just such a manner as her own had been tightened by Marie, shortly previous to her leaving home. What L’Etoile says in respect to this abbreviation of the garter’s being an usual occurrence, shows nothing beyond its own pertinacity in error.

The elastic nature of the clasp-garter is self-demonstration of the unusualness of the abbreviation. It must have been by an accident, in its strictest sense, that these garters of Marie needed the tightening described. They alone would have amply established her identity. But it is not that the corpse was found to have the garters of the missing girl, or found to have her shoes, or her bonnet, or the flowers of her bonnet, or her feet, or a peculiar mark upon the arm, or her general size and appearance--it is that the corpse had each, and all collectively. Could it be proved that the editor of L’Etoile really entertained a doubt, under the circumstances, there would be no need, in his case, of a commission de lunatico inquirendo. He has thought it sagacious to echo the small talk of the lawyers, who, for the most part, content themselves with echoing the rectangular precepts of the courts. I would here observe that very much of what is rejected as evidence by a court, is the best of evidence to the intellect.

For the court, guiding itself by the general principles of evidence--the recognized and booked principles--is averse from swerving at particular instances. And this steadfast adherence to principle, with rigorous disregard of the conflicting exception, is a sure mode of attaining the maximum of attainable truth, in any long sequence of time. The practice, in mass, is therefore philosophical; but it is not the less certain that it engenders vast individual error. (*16) “In respect to the insinuations levelled at Beauvais, you will be willing to dismiss them in a breath. You have already fathomed the true character of this good gentleman.

Any one so constituted will readily so conduct himself, upon occasion of real excitement, as to render himself liable to suspicion on the part of the over acute, or the ill-disposed. Beauvais (as it appears from your notes) had some personal interviews with the editor of L’Etoile, and offended him by venturing an opinion that the corpse, notwithstanding the theory of the editor, was, in sober fact, that of Marie. ‘He persists,’ says the paper, ‘in asserting the corpse to be that of Marie, but cannot give a circumstance, in addition to those which we have commented upon, to make others believe.’ Now, without re-adverting to the fact that stronger evidence ‘to make others believe,’ could never have been adduced, it may be remarked that a man may very well be understood to believe, in a case of this kind, without the ability to advance a single reason for the belief of a second party. Each man recognizes his neighbor, yet there are few instances in which any one is prepared to give a reason for his recognition.

The editor of L’Etoile had no right to be offended at M. “The suspicious circumstances which invest him, will be found to tally much better with my hypothesis of romantic busy-bodyism, than with the reasoner’s suggestion of guilt. Once adopting the more charitable interpretation, we shall find no difficulty in comprehending the rose in the key-hole; the ‘Marie’ upon the slate; the ‘elbowing the male relatives out of the way;’ the ‘aversion to permitting them to see the body;’ the caution given to Madame B----, that she must hold no conversation with the gendarme until his return (Beauvais’); and, lastly, his apparent determination ‘that nobody should have anything to do with the proceedings except himself.’ It seems to me unquestionable that Beauvais was a suitor of Marie’s; that she coquetted with him; and that he was ambitious of being thought to enjoy her fullest intimacy and confidence. I shall say nothing more upon this point; and, as the evidence fully rebuts the assertion of L’Etoile, touching the matter of apathy on the part of the mother and other relatives--an apathy inconsistent with the supposition of their believing the corpse to be that of the perfumery-girl--we shall now proceed as if the question of identity were settled to our perfect satisfaction.” “And what,” I here demanded, “do you think of the opinions of Le Commerciel?” “That, in spirit, they are far more worthy of attention than any which have been promulgated upon the subject. The deductions from the premises are philosophical and acute; but the premises, in two instances, at least, are founded in imperfect observation. Le Commerciel wishes to intimate that Marie was seized by some gang of low ruffians not far from her mother’s door.

‘It is impossible,’ it urges, ‘that a person so well known to thousands as this young woman was, should have passed three blocks without some one having seen her.’ This is the idea of a man long resident in Paris--a public man--and one whose walks to and fro in the city, have been mostly limited to the vicinity of the public offices. And, knowing the extent of his personal acquaintance with others, and of others with him, he compares his notoriety with that of the perfumery-girl, finds no great difference between them, and reaches at once the conclusion that she, in her walks, would be equally liable to recognition with himself in his. This could only be the case were her walks of the same unvarying, methodical character, and within the same species of limited region as are his own. He passes to and fro, at regular intervals, within a confined periphery, abounding in individuals who are led to observation of his person through interest in the kindred nature of his occupation with their own. But the walks of Marie may, in general, be supposed discursive. The parallel which we imagine to have existed in the mind of Le Commerciel would only be sustained in the event of the two individuals’ traversing the whole city.

In this case, granting the personal acquaintances to be equal, the chances would be also equal that an equal number of personal rencounters would be made. For my own part, I should hold it not only as possible, but as very far more than probable, that Marie might have proceeded, at any given period, by any one of the many routes between her own residence and that of her aunt, without meeting a single individual whom she knew, or by whom she was known. In viewing this question in its full and proper light, we must hold steadily in mind the great disproportion between the personal acquaintances of even the most noted individual in Paris, and the entire population of Paris itself. “But whatever force there may still appear to be in the suggestion of Le Commerciel, will be much diminished when we take into consideration the hour at which the girl went abroad. ‘It was when the streets were full of people,’ says Le Commerciel, ‘that she went out.’ But not so. It was at nine o’clock in the morning.

Now at nine o’clock of every morning in the week, with the exception of Sunday, the streets of the city are, it is true, thronged with people. At nine on Sunday, the populace are chiefly within doors preparing for church. No observing person can have failed to notice the peculiarly deserted air of the town, from about eight until ten on the morning of every Sabbath.

Between ten and eleven the streets are thronged, but not at so early a period as that designated. “There is another point at which there seems a deficiency of observation on the part of Le Commerciel. ‘A piece,’ it says, ‘of one of the unfortunate girl’s petticoats, two feet long, and one foot wide, was torn out and tied under her chin, and around the back of her head, probably to prevent screams.

This was done, by fellows who had no pocket-handkerchiefs.’ Whether this idea is, or is not well founded, we will endeavor to see hereafter; but by ‘fellows who have no pocket-handkerchiefs’ the editor intends the lowest class of ruffians. These, however, are the very description of people who will always be found to have handkerchiefs even when destitute of shirts. You must have had occasion to observe how absolutely indispensable, of late years, to the thorough blackguard, has become the pocket-handkerchief.” “And what are we to think,” I asked, “of the article in Le Soleil?” “That it is a vast pity its inditer was not born a parrot--in which case he would have been the most illustrious parrot of his race. He has merely repeated the individual items of the already published opinion; collecting them, with a laudable industry, from this paper and from that. ‘The things had all evidently been there,’ he says, ‘at least, three or four weeks, and there can be no doubt that the spot of this appalling outrage has been discovered.’ The facts here re-stated by Le Soleil, are very far indeed from removing my own doubts upon this subject, and we will examine them more particularly hereafter in connexion with another division of the theme. “At present we must occupy ourselves with other investigations. You cannot fail to have remarked the extreme laxity of the examination of the corpse. To be sure, the question of identity was readily determined, or should have been; but there were other points to be ascertained.

Had the body been in any respect despoiled? Had the deceased any articles of jewelry about her person upon leaving home? These are important questions utterly untouched by the evidence; and there are others of equal moment, which have met with no attention. The case of St.

We will ascertain beyond a doubt the validity of the affidavits in regard to his whereabouts on the Sunday. Should there be nothing wrong here, however, we will dismiss St. His suicide, however corroborative of suspicion, were there found to be deceit in the affidavits, is, without such deceit, in no respect an unaccountable circumstance, or one which need cause us to deflect from the line of ordinary analysis. “In that which I now propose, we will discard the interior points of this tragedy, and concentrate our attention upon its outskirts. Not the least usual error, in investigations such as this, is the limiting of inquiry to the immediate, with total disregard of the collateral or circumstantial events. It is the mal-practice of the courts to confine evidence and discussion to the bounds of apparent relevancy. Yet experience has shown, and a true philosophy will always show, that a vast, perhaps the larger portion of truth, arises from the seemingly irrelevant. It is through the spirit of this principle, if not precisely through its letter, that modern science has resolved to calculate upon the unforeseen. The history of human knowledge has so uninterruptedly shown that to collateral, or incidental, or accidental events we are indebted for the most numerous and most valuable discoveries, that it has at length become necessary, in any prospective view of improvement, to make not only large, but the largest allowances for inventions that shall arise by chance, and quite out of the range of ordinary expectation.

Accident is admitted as a portion of the substructure. We subject the unlooked for and unimagined, to the mathematical formulae of the schools. “I repeat that it is no more than fact, that the larger portion of all truth has sprung from the collateral; and it is but in accordance with the spirit of the principle involved in this fact, that I would divert inquiry, in the present case, from the trodden and hitherto unfruitful ground of the event itself, to the contemporary circumstances which surround it. While you ascertain the validity of the affidavits, I will examine the newspapers more generally than you have as yet done. So far, we have only reconnoitred the field of investigation; but it will be strange indeed if a comprehensive survey, such as I propose, of the public prints, will not afford us some minute points which shall establish a direction for inquiry.” In pursuance of Dupin’s suggestion, I made scrupulous examination of the affair of the affidavits. The result was a firm conviction of their validity, and of the consequent innocence of St. In the mean time my friend occupied himself, with what seemed to me a minuteness altogether objectless, in a scrutiny of the various newspaper files. At the end of a week he placed before me the following extracts: “About three years and a half ago, a disturbance very similar to the present, was caused by the disappearance of this same Marie Rogêt, from the parfumerie of Monsieur Le Blanc, in the Palais Royal. At the end of a week, however, she re-appeared at her customary comptoir, as well as ever, with the exception of a slight paleness not altogether usual. It was given out by Monsieur Le Blanc and her mother, that she had merely been on a visit to some friend in the country; and the affair was speedily hushed up.

We presume that the present absence is a freak of the same nature, and that, at the expiration of a week, or perhaps of a month, we shall have her among us again.”--Evening Paper--Monday June 23. It is well known that, during the week of her absence from Le Blanc’s parfumerie, she was in the company of a young naval officer, much noted for his debaucheries. We have the name of the Lothario in question, who is, at present, stationed in Paris, but, for obvious reasons, forbear to make it public.”--Le Mercurie--Tuesday Morning, June 24. (*18) “An outrage of the most atrocious character was perpetrated near this city the day before yesterday. A gentleman, with his wife and daughter, engaged, about dusk, the services of six young men, who were idly rowing a boat to and fro near the banks of the Seine, to convey him across the river. Upon reaching the opposite shore, the three passengers stepped out, and had proceeded so far as to be beyond the view of the boat, when the daughter discovered that she had left in it her parasol. She returned for it, was seized by the gang, carried out into the stream, gagged, brutally treated, and finally taken to the shore at a point not far from that at which she had originally entered the boat with her parents. The villains have escaped for the time, but the police are upon their trail, and some of them will soon be taken.”--Morning Paper--June 25. (*19) “We have received one or two communications, the object of which is to fasten the crime of the late atrocity upon Mennais; (*20) but as this gentleman has been fully exonerated by a loyal inquiry, and as the arguments of our several correspondents appear to be more zealous than profound, we do not think it advisable to make them public.”--Morning Paper--June 28.

(*21) “We have received several forcibly written communications, apparently from various sources, and which go far to render it a matter of certainty that the unfortunate Marie Rogêt has become a victim of one of the numerous bands of blackguards which infest the vicinity of the city upon Sunday. We shall endeavor to make room for some of these arguments hereafter.”--Evening Paper--Tuesday, June 31. (*22) “On Monday, one of the bargemen connected with the revenue service, saw a empty boat floating down the Seine. Sails were lying in the bottom of the boat. The bargeman towed it under the barge office. The next morning it was taken from thence, without the knowledge of any of the officers. The rudder is now at the barge office.”--Le Diligence--Thursday, June 26. Upon reading these various extracts, they not only seemed to me irrelevant, but I could perceive no mode in which any one of them could be brought to bear upon the matter in hand. “It is not my present design,” he said, “to dwell upon the first and second of those extracts. I have copied them chiefly to show you the extreme remissness of the police, who, as far as I can understand from the Prefect, have not troubled themselves, in any respect, with an examination of the naval officer alluded to.

Yet it is mere folly to say that between the first and second disappearance of Marie, there is no supposable connection. Let us admit the first elopement to have resulted in a quarrel between the lovers, and the return home of the betrayed. We are now prepared to view a second elopement (if we know that an elopement has again taken place) as indicating a renewal of the betrayer’s advances, rather than as the result of new proposals by a second individual--we are prepared to regard it as a ‘making up’ of the old amour, rather than as the commencement of a new one. The chances are ten to one, that he who had once eloped with Marie, would again propose an elopement, rather than that she to whom proposals of elopement had been made by one individual, should have them made to her by another. And here let me call your attention to the fact, that the time elapsing between the first ascertained, and the second supposed elopement, is a few months more than the general period of the cruises of our men-of-war. Had the lover been interrupted in his first villany by the necessity of departure to sea, and had he seized the first moment of his return to renew the base designs not yet altogether accomplished--or not yet altogether accomplished by him? Of all these things we know nothing. “You will say, however, that, in the second instance, there was no elopement as imagined. Certainly not--but are we prepared to say that there was not the frustrated design? Of none other is there any thing said. Who, then, is the secret lover, of whom the relatives (at least most of them) know nothing, but whom Marie meets upon the morning of Sunday, and who is so deeply in her confidence, that she hesitates not to remain with him until the shades of the evening descend, amid the solitary groves of the Barrière du Roule?

Who is that secret lover, I ask, of whom, at least, most of the relatives know nothing? And what means the singular prophecy of Madame Rogêt on the morning of Marie’s departure?--‘I fear that I shall never see Marie again.’ “But if we cannot imagine Madame Rogêt privy to the design of elopement, may we not at least suppose this design entertained by the girl? Upon quitting home, she gave it to be understood that she was about to visit her aunt in the Rue des Drômes and St.

That she did meet some companion, and proceed with him across the river, reaching the Barrière du Roule at so late an hour as three o’clock in the afternoon, is known. But in consenting so to accompany this individual, (for whatever purpose--to her mother known or unknown,) she must have thought of her expressed intention when leaving home, and of the surprise and suspicion aroused in the bosom of her affianced suitor, St.

Eustache, when, calling for her, at the hour appointed, in the Rue des Drômes, he should find that she had not been there, and when, moreover, upon returning to the pension with this alarming intelligence, he should become aware of her continued absence from home. She must have thought of these things, I say. She must have foreseen the chagrin of St.

Eustache, the suspicion of all. She could not have thought of returning to brave this suspicion; but the suspicion becomes a point of trivial importance to her, if we suppose her not intending to return. “We may imagine her thinking thus--‘I am to meet a certain person for the purpose of elopement, or for certain other purposes known only to myself. It is necessary that there be no chance of interruption--there must be sufficient time given us to elude pursuit--I will give it to be understood that I shall visit and spend the day with my aunt at the Rue des Drômes--I well tell St. Eustache not to call for me until dark--in this way, my absence from home for the longest possible period, without causing suspicion or anxiety, will be accounted for, and I shall gain more time than in any other manner. Eustache call for me at dark, he will be sure not to call before; but, if I wholly neglect to bid him call, my time for escape will be diminished, since it will be expected that I return the earlier, and my absence will the sooner excite anxiety. Now, if it were my design to return at all--if I had in contemplation merely a stroll with the individual in question--it would not be my policy to bid St. Eustache call; for, calling, he will be sure to ascertain that I have played him false--a fact of which I might keep him for ever in ignorance, by leaving home without notifying him of my intention, by returning before dark, and by then stating that I had been to visit my aunt in the Rue des Drômes. But, as it is my design never to return--or not for some weeks--or not until certain concealments are effected--the gaining of time is the only point about which I need give myself any concern.’ “You have observed, in your notes, that the most general opinion in relation to this sad affair is, and was from the first, that the girl had been the victim of a gang of blackguards. Now, the popular opinion, under certain conditions, is not to be disregarded.

When arising of itself--when manifesting itself in a strictly spontaneous manner--we should look upon it as analogous with that intuition which is the idiosyncrasy of the individual man of genius. In ninety-nine cases from the hundred I would abide by its decision. The opinion must be rigorously the public’s own; and the distinction is often exceedingly difficult to perceive and to maintain. In the present instance, it appears to me that this ‘public opinion’ in respect to a gang, has been superinduced by the collateral event which is detailed in the third of my extracts.

All Paris is excited by the discovered corpse of Marie, a girl young, beautiful and notorious. This corpse is found, bearing marks of violence, and floating in the river. But it is now made known that, at the very period, or about the very period, in which it is supposed that the girl was assassinated, an outrage similar in nature to that endured by the deceased, although less in extent, was perpetuated, by a gang of young ruffians, upon the person of a second young female. Is it wonderful that the one known atrocity should influence the popular judgment in regard to the other unknown? This judgment awaited direction, and the known outrage seemed so opportunely to afford it! Marie, too, was found in the river; and upon this very river was this known outrage committed.

The connexion of the two events had about it so much of the palpable, that the true wonder would have been a failure of the populace to appreciate and to seize it. But, in fact, the one atrocity, known to be so committed, is, if any thing, evidence that the other, committed at a time nearly coincident, was not so committed. It would have been a miracle indeed, if, while a gang of ruffians were perpetrating, at a given locality, a most unheard-of wrong, there should have been another similar gang, in a similar locality, in the same city, under the same circumstances, with the same means and appliances, engaged in a wrong of precisely the same aspect, at precisely the same period of time! Yet in what, if not in this marvellous train of coincidence, does the accidentally suggested opinion of the populace call upon us to believe? “Before proceeding farther, let us consider the supposed scene of the assassination, in the thicket at the Barrière du Roule. This thicket, although dense, was in the close vicinity of a public road. On the upper stone was discovered a white petticoat; on the second, a silk scarf. The handkerchief bore the name, ‘Marie Rogêt.’ Fragments of dress were seen on the branches around. The earth was trampled, the bushes were broken, and there was every evidence of a violent struggle.

“Notwithstanding the acclamation with which the discovery of this thicket was received by the press, and the unanimity with which it was supposed to indicate the precise scene of the outrage, it must be admitted that there was some very good reason for doubt. That it was the scene, I may or I may not believe--but there was excellent reason for doubt. Had the true scene been, as Le Commerciel suggested, in the neighborhood of the Rue Pavée St. Andrée, the perpetrators of the crime, supposing them still resident in Paris, would naturally have been stricken with terror at the public attention thus acutely directed into the proper channel; and, in certain classes of minds, there would have arisen, at once, a sense of the necessity of some exertion to redivert this attention. And thus, the thicket of the Barrière du Roule having been already suspected, the idea of placing the articles where they were found, might have been naturally entertained.

There is no real evidence, although Le Soleil so supposes, that the articles discovered had been more than a very few days in the thicket; while there is much circumstantial proof that they could not have remained there, without attracting attention, during the twenty days elapsing between the fatal Sunday and the afternoon upon which they were found by the boys.

‘They were all mildewed down hard,’ says Le Soleil, adopting the opinions of its predecessors, ‘with the action of the rain, and stuck together from mildew. The grass had grown around and over some of them. The silk of the parasol was strong, but the threads of it were run together within. The upper part, where it had been doubled and folded, was all mildewed and rotten, and tore on being opened.’ In respect to the grass having ‘grown around and over some of them,’ it is obvious that the fact could only have been ascertained from the words, and thus from the recollections, of two small boys; for these boys removed the articles and took them home before they had been seen by a third party.

But grass will grow, especially in warm and damp weather, (such as was that of the period of the murder,) as much as two or three inches in a single day. A parasol lying upon a newly turfed ground, might, in a single week, be entirely concealed from sight by the upspringing grass.

And touching that mildew upon which the editor of Le Soleil so pertinaciously insists, that he employs the word no less than three times in the brief paragraph just quoted, is he really unaware of the nature of this mildew? Is he to be told that it is one of the many classes of fungus, of which the most ordinary feature is its upspringing and decadence within twenty-four hours? “Thus we see, at a glance, that what has been most triumphantly adduced in support of the idea that the articles had been ‘for at least three or four weeks’ in the thicket, is most absurdly null as regards any evidence of that fact. On the other hand, it is exceedingly difficult to believe that these articles could have remained in the thicket specified, for a longer period than a single week--for a longer period than from one Sunday to the next. Those who know any thing of the vicinity of Paris, know the extreme difficulty of finding seclusion unless at a great distance from its suburbs. Let any one who, being at heart a lover of nature, is yet chained by duty to the dust and heat of this great metropolis--let any such one attempt, even during the weekdays, to slake his thirst for solitude amid the scenes of natural loveliness which immediately surround us. At every second step, he will find the growing charm dispelled by the voice and personal intrusion of some ruffian or party of carousing blackguards. He will seek privacy amid the densest foliage, all in vain.

Here are the very nooks where the unwashed most abound--here are the temples most desecrate. With sickness of the heart the wanderer will flee back to the polluted Paris as to a less odious because less incongruous sink of pollution. But if the vicinity of the city is so beset during the working days of the week, how much more so on the Sabbath!

It is now especially that, released from the claims of labor, or deprived of the customary opportunities of crime, the town blackguard seeks the precincts of the town, not through love of the rural, which in his heart he despises, but by way of escape from the restraints and conventionalities of society. He desires less the fresh air and the green trees, than the utter license of the country. Here, at the road-side inn, or beneath the foliage of the woods, he indulges, unchecked by any eye except those of his boon companions, in all the mad excess of a counterfeit hilarity--the joint offspring of liberty and of rum. I say nothing more than what must be obvious to every dispassionate observer, when I repeat that the circumstance of the articles in question having remained undiscovered, for a longer period--than from one Sunday to another, in any thicket in the immediate neighborhood of Paris, is to be looked upon as little less than miraculous. “But there are not wanting other grounds for the suspicion that the articles were placed in the thicket with the view of diverting attention from the real scene of the outrage.

And, first, let me direct your notice to the date of the discovery of the articles. Collate this with the date of the fifth extract made by myself from the newspapers. You will find that the discovery followed, almost immediately, the urgent communications sent to the evening paper.

These communications, although various and apparently from various sources, tended all to the same point--viz., the directing of attention to a gang as the perpetrators of the outrage, and to the neighborhood of the Barrière du Roule as its scene. Now here, of course, the suspicion is not that, in consequence of these communications, or of the public attention by them directed, the articles were found by the boys; but the suspicion might and may well have been, that the articles were not before found by the boys, for the reason that the articles had not before been in the thicket; having been deposited there only at so late a period as at the date, or shortly prior to the date of the communications by the guilty authors of these communications themselves. And this thicket, so full of a natural art, was in the immediate vicinity, within a few rods, of the dwelling of Madame Deluc, whose boys were in the habit of closely examining the shrubberies about them in search of the bark of the sassafras.

Would it be a rash wager--a wager of one thousand to one--that a day never passed over the heads of these boys without finding at least one of them ensconced in the umbrageous hall, and enthroned upon its natural throne?

Those who would hesitate at such a wager, have either never been boys themselves, or have forgotten the boyish nature. I repeat--it is exceedingly hard to comprehend how the articles could have remained in this thicket undiscovered, for a longer period than one or two days; and that thus there is good ground for suspicion, in spite of the dogmatic ignorance of Le Soleil, that they were, at a comparatively late date, deposited where found. “But there are still other and stronger reasons for believing them so deposited, than any which I have as yet urged. And, now, let me beg your notice to the highly artificial arrangement of the articles. On the upper stone lay a white petticoat; on the second a silk scarf; scattered around, were a parasol, gloves, and a pocket-handkerchief bearing the name, ‘Marie Rogêt.’ Here is just such an arrangement as would naturally be made by a not over-acute person wishing to dispose the articles naturally. I should rather have looked to see the things all lying on the ground and trampled under foot. In the narrow limits of that bower, it would have been scarcely possible that the petticoat and scarf should have retained a position upon the stones, when subjected to the brushing to and fro of many struggling persons.

‘There was evidence,’ it is said, ‘of a struggle; and the earth was trampled, the bushes were broken,’--but the petticoat and the scarf are found deposited as if upon shelves. ‘The pieces of the frock torn out by the bushes were about three inches wide and six inches long. One part was the hem of the frock and it had been mended. They looked like strips torn off.’ Here, inadvertently, Le Soleil has employed an exceedingly suspicious phrase. The pieces, as described, do indeed ‘look like strips torn off;’ but purposely and by hand. It is one of the rarest of accidents that a piece is ‘torn off,’ from any garment such as is now in question, by the agency of a thorn. From the very nature of such fabrics, a thorn or nail becoming entangled in them, tears them rectangularly--divides them into two longitudinal rents, at right angles with each other, and meeting at an apex where the thorn enters--but it is scarcely possible to conceive the piece ‘torn off.’ I never so knew it, nor did you.

If there be two edges to the fabric--if, for example, it be a pocket-handkerchief, and it is desired to tear from it a slip, then, and then only, will the one force serve the purpose. But in the present case the question is of a dress, presenting but one edge. To tear a piece from the interior, where no edge is presented, could only be effected by a miracle through the agency of thorns, and no one thorn could accomplish it. But, even where an edge is presented, two thorns will be necessary, operating, the one in two distinct directions, and the other in one. And this in the supposition that the edge is unhemmed. If hemmed, the matter is nearly out of the question.

We thus see the numerous and great obstacles in the way of pieces being ‘torn off’ through the simple agency of ‘thorns;’ yet we are required to believe not only that one piece but that many have been so torn. ‘And one part,’ too, ‘was the hem of the frock!’ Another piece was ‘part of the skirt, not the hem,’--that is to say, was torn completely out through the agency of thorns, from the uncaged interior of the dress! These, I say, are things which one may well be pardoned for disbelieving; yet, taken collectedly, they form, perhaps, less of reasonable ground for suspicion, than the one startling circumstance of the articles’ having been left in this thicket at all, by any murderers who had enough precaution to think of removing the corpse.

You will not have apprehended me rightly, however, if you suppose it my design to deny this thicket as the scene of the outrage. There might have been a wrong here, or, more possibly, an accident at Madame Deluc’s. We are not engaged in an attempt to discover the scene, but to produce the perpetrators of the murder.

What I have adduced, notwithstanding the minuteness with which I have adduced it, has been with the view, first, to show the folly of the positive and headlong assertions of Le Soleil, but secondly and chiefly, to bring you, by the most natural route, to a further contemplation of the doubt whether this assassination has, or has not been, the work of a gang. “We will resume this question by mere allusion to the revolting details of the surgeon examined at the inquest. It is only necessary to say that his published inferences, in regard to the number of ruffians, have been properly ridiculed as unjust and totally baseless, by all the reputable anatomists of Paris. Not that the matter might not have been as inferred, but that there was no ground for the inference:--was there not much for another? “Let us reflect now upon ‘the traces of a struggle;’ and let me ask what these traces have been supposed to demonstrate. But do they not rather demonstrate the absence of a gang? What struggle could have taken place--what struggle so violent and so enduring as to have left its ‘traces’ in all directions--between a weak and defenceless girl and the gang of ruffians imagined? The silent grasp of a few rough arms and all would have been over. The victim must have been absolutely passive at their will.

You will here bear in mind that the arguments urged against the thicket as the scene, are applicable in chief part, only against it as the scene of an outrage committed by more than a single individual. If we imagine but one violator, we can conceive, and thus only conceive, the struggle of so violent and so obstinate a nature as to have left the ‘traces’ apparent. I have already mentioned the suspicion to be excited by the fact that the articles in question were suffered to remain at all in the thicket where discovered. It seems almost impossible that these evidences of guilt should have been accidentally left where found. There was sufficient presence of mind (it is supposed) to remove the corpse; and yet a more positive evidence than the corpse itself (whose features might have been quickly obliterated by decay,) is allowed to lie conspicuously in the scene of the outrage--I allude to the handkerchief with the name of the deceased.

If this was accident, it was not the accident of a gang.

We can imagine it only the accident of an individual. An individual has committed the murder.

He is alone with the ghost of the departed. The fury of his passion is over, and there is abundant room in his heart for the natural awe of the deed. His is none of that confidence which the presence of numbers inevitably inspires.

He is alone with the dead. Yet there is a necessity for disposing of the corpse. He bears it to the river, but leaves behind him the other evidences of guilt; for it is difficult, if not impossible to carry all the burthen at once, and it will be easy to return for what is left. But in his toilsome journey to the water his fears redouble within him. The sounds of life encompass his path. A dozen times he hears or fancies the step of an observer. Even the very lights from the city bewilder him. Yet, in time and by long and frequent pauses of deep agony, he reaches the river’s brink, and disposes of his ghastly charge--perhaps through the medium of a boat. But now what treasure does the world hold--what threat of vengeance could it hold out--which would have power to urge the return of that lonely murderer over that toilsome and perilous path, to the thicket and its blood chilling recollections? He returns not, let the consequences be what they may.

He turns his back forever upon those dreadful shrubberies and flees as from the wrath to come.

Their number would have inspired them with confidence; if, indeed confidence is ever wanting in the breast of the arrant blackguard; and of arrant blackguards alone are the supposed gangs ever constituted. Their number, I say, would have prevented the bewildering and unreasoning terror which I have imagined to paralyze the single man.

They would have left nothing behind them; for their number would have enabled them to carry all at once. There would have been no need of return. “Consider now the circumstance that in the outer garment of the corpse when found, ‘a slip, about a foot wide had been torn upward from the bottom hem to the waist wound three times round the waist, and secured by a sort of hitch in the back.’ This was done with the obvious design of affording a handle by which to carry the body. To three or four, the limbs of the corpse would have afforded not only a sufficient, but the best possible hold. The device is that of a single individual; and this brings us to the fact that ‘between the thicket and the river, the rails of the fences were found taken down, and the ground bore evident traces of some heavy burden having been dragged along it!’ But would a number of men have put themselves to the superfluous trouble of taking down a fence, for the purpose of dragging through it a corpse which they might have lifted over any fence in an instant? Would a number of men have so dragged a corpse at all as to have left evident traces of the dragging? ‘A piece,’ says this journal, ‘of one of the unfortunate girl’s petticoats was torn out and tied under her chin, and around the back of her head, probably to prevent screams. That it was not through want of a handkerchief for the purpose imagined by Le Commerciel, that this bandage was employed, is rendered apparent by the handkerchief left in the thicket; and that the object was not ‘to prevent screams’ appears, also, from the bandage having been employed in preference to what would so much better have answered the purpose. But the language of the evidence speaks of the strip in question as ‘found around the neck, fitting loosely, and secured with a hard knot.’ These words are sufficiently vague, but differ materially from those of Le Commerciel. The slip was eighteen inches wide, and therefore, although of muslin, would form a strong band when folded or rumpled longitudinally.

The solitary murderer, having borne the corpse, for some distance, (whether from the thicket or elsewhere) by means of the bandage hitched around its middle, found the weight, in this mode of procedure, too much for his strength. He resolved to drag the burthen--the evidence goes to show that it was dragged. With this object in view, it became necessary to attach something like a rope to one of the extremities.

It could be best attached about the neck, where the head would prevent its slipping off. And, now, the murderer bethought him, unquestionably, of the bandage about the loins. He would have used this, but for its volution about the corpse, the hitch which embarrassed it, and the reflection that it had not been ‘torn off’ from the garment. It was easier to tear a new slip from the petticoat.

He tore it, made it fast about the neck, and so dragged his victim to the brink of the river. That this ‘bandage,’ only attainable with trouble and delay, and but imperfectly answering its purpose--that this bandage was employed at all, demonstrates that the necessity for its employment sprang from circumstances arising at a period when the handkerchief was no longer attainable--that is to say, arising, as we have imagined, after quitting the thicket, (if the thicket it was), and on the road between the thicket and the river. “But the evidence, you will say, of Madame Deluc, (!) points especially to the presence of a gang, in the vicinity of the thicket, at or about the epoch of the murder.

I doubt if there were not a dozen gangs, such as described by Madame Deluc, in and about the vicinity of the Barrière du Roule at or about the period of this tragedy. But the gang which has drawn upon itself the pointed animadversion, although the somewhat tardy and very suspicious evidence of Madame Deluc, is the only gang which is represented by that honest and scrupulous old lady as having eaten her cakes and swallowed her brandy, without putting themselves to the trouble of making her payment.

“But what is the precise evidence of Madame Deluc? ‘A gang of miscreants made their appearance, behaved boisterously, ate and drank without making payment, followed in the route of the young man and girl, returned to the inn about dusk, and recrossed the river as if in great haste.’ “Now this ‘great haste’ very possibly seemed greater haste in the eyes of Madame Deluc, since she dwelt lingeringly and lamentingly upon her violated cakes and ale--cakes and ale for which she might still have entertained a faint hope of compensation. Why, otherwise, since it was about dusk, should she make a point of the haste? “I say approaches; for the night had not yet arrived. It was only about dusk that the indecent haste of these ‘miscreants’ offended the sober eyes of Madame Deluc. But we are told that it was upon this very evening that Madame Deluc, as well as her eldest son, ‘heard the screams of a female in the vicinity of the inn.’ And in what words does Madame Deluc designate the period of the evening at which these screams were heard? Thus it is abundantly clear that the gang quitted the Barrière du Roule prior to the screams overheard (?) by Madame Deluc. And although, in all the many reports of the evidence, the relative expressions in question are distinctly and invariably employed just as I have employed them in this conversation with yourself, no notice whatever of the gross discrepancy has, as yet, been taken by any of the public journals, or by any of the Myrmidons of police.

“I shall add but one to the arguments against a gang; but this one has, to my own understanding at least, a weight altogether irresistible. Under the circumstances of large reward offered, and full pardon to any King’s evidence, it is not to be imagined, for a moment, that some member of a gang of low ruffians, or of any body of men, would not long ago have betrayed his accomplices. That the secret has not been divulged, is the very best of proof that it is, in fact, a secret. The horrors of this dark deed are known only to one, or two, living human beings, and to God. “Let us sum up now the meagre yet certain fruits of our long analysis. We have attained the idea either of a fatal accident under the roof of Madame Deluc, or of a murder perpetrated, in the thicket at the Barrière du Roule, by a lover, or at least by an intimate and secret associate of the deceased. This complexion, the ‘hitch’ in the bandage, and the ‘sailor’s knot,’ with which the bonnet-ribbon is tied, point to a seaman. His companionship with the deceased, a gay, but not an abject young girl, designates him as above the grade of the common sailor.

Here the well written and urgent communications to the journals are much in the way of corroboration.

The circumstance of the first elopement, as mentioned by Le Mercurie, tends to blend the idea of this seaman with that of the ‘naval officer’ who is first known to have led the unfortunate into crime. “And here, most fitly, comes the consideration of the continued absence of him of the dark complexion.

Let me pause to observe that the complexion of this man is dark and swarthy; it was no common swarthiness which constituted the sole point of remembrance, both as regards Valence and Madame Deluc. Was he murdered by the gang? If so, why are there only traces of the assassinated girl? The scene of the two outrages will naturally be supposed identical. The assassins would most probably have disposed of both in the same way. But it may be said that this man lives, and is deterred from making himself known, through dread of being charged with the murder. This consideration might be supposed to operate upon him now--at this late period--since it has been given in evidence that he was seen with Marie--but it would have had no force at the period of the deed. The first impulse of an innocent man would have been to announce the outrage, and to aid in identifying the ruffians. He had been seen with the girl.

He had crossed the river with her in an open ferry-boat. The denouncing of the assassins would have appeared, even to an idiot, the surest and sole means of relieving himself from suspicion. We cannot suppose him, on the night of the fatal Sunday, both innocent himself and incognizant of an outrage committed. Yet only under such circumstances is it possible to imagine that he would have failed, if alive, in the denouncement of the assassins.

“And what means are ours, of attaining the truth? We shall find these means multiplying and gathering distinctness as we proceed. Let us sift to the bottom this affair of the first elopement. Let us know the full history of ‘the officer,’ with his present circumstances, and his whereabouts at the precise period of the murder.

Let us carefully compare with each other the various communications sent to the evening paper, in which the object was to inculpate a gang. This done, let us compare these communications, both as regards style and MS., with those sent to the morning paper, at a previous period, and insisting so vehemently upon the guilt of Mennais. And, all this done, let us again compare these various communications with the known MSS. of the officer. Let us endeavor to ascertain, by repeated questionings of Madame Deluc and her boys, as well as of the omnibus driver, Valence, something more of the personal appearance and bearing of the ‘man of dark complexion.’ Queries, skilfully directed, will not fail to elicit, from some of these parties, information on this particular point (or upon others)--information which the parties themselves may not even be aware of possessing. And let us now trace the boat picked up by the bargeman on the morning of Monday the twenty-third of June, and which was removed from the barge-office, without the cognizance of the officer in attendance, and without the rudder, at some period prior to the discovery of the corpse. With a proper caution and perseverance we shall infallibly trace this boat; for not only can the bargeman who picked it up identify it, but the rudder is at hand.

The rudder of a sail-boat would not have been abandoned, without inquiry, by one altogether at ease in heart. There was no advertisement of the picking up of this boat. It was silently taken to the barge-office, and as silently removed. But its owner or employer--how happened he, at so early a period as Tuesday morning, to be informed, without the agency of advertisement, of the locality of the boat taken up on Monday, unless we imagine some connexion with the navy--some personal permanent connexion leading to cognizance of its minute in interests--its petty local news? “In speaking of the lonely assassin dragging his burden to the shore, I have already suggested the probability of his availing himself of a boat. This would naturally have been the case.

The corpse could not have been trusted to the shallow waters of the shore. The peculiar marks on the back and shoulders of the victim tell of the bottom ribs of a boat. That the body was found without weight is also corroborative of the idea. If thrown from the shore a weight would have been attached. We can only account for its absence by supposing the murderer to have neglected the precaution of supplying himself with it before pushing off. In the act of consigning the corpse to the water, he would unquestionably have noticed his oversight; but then no remedy would have been at hand. Having rid himself of his ghastly charge, the murderer would have hastened to the city. There, at some obscure wharf, he would have leaped on land.

But the boat--would he have secured it? Moreover, in fastening it to the wharf, he would have felt as if securing evidence against himself. He would not only have fled from the wharf, but he would not have permitted the boat to remain. Let us pursue our fancies.--In the morning, the wretch is stricken with unutterable horror at finding that the boat has been picked up and detained at a locality which he is in the daily habit of frequenting --at a locality, perhaps, which his duty compels him to frequent. The next night, without daring to ask for the rudder, he removes it. With the first glimpse we obtain of it, the dawn of our success shall begin. This boat shall guide us, with a rapidity which will surprise even ourselves, to him who employed it in the midnight of the fatal Sabbath. Corroboration will rise upon corroboration, and the murderer will be traced.” [For reasons which we shall not specify, but which to many readers will appear obvious, we have taken the liberty of here omitting, from the MSS. placed in our hands, such portion as details the following up of the apparently slight clew obtained by Dupin.

We feel it advisable only to state, in brief, that the result desired was brought to pass; and that the Prefect fulfilled punctually, although with reluctance, the terms of his compact with the Chevalier. Poe’s article concludes with the following words.--Eds. In my own heart there dwells no faith in præter-nature. That the latter, creating the former, can, at will, control or modify it, is also unquestionable. I say “at will;” for the question is of will, and not, as the insanity of logic has assumed, of power. It is not that the Deity cannot modify his laws, but that we insult him in imagining a possible necessity for modification. In their origin these laws were fashioned to embrace all contingencies which could lie in the Future. I repeat, then, that I speak of these things only as of coincidences. And farther: in what I relate it will be seen that between the fate of the unhappy Mary Cecilia Rogers, so far as that fate is known, and the fate of one Marie Rogêt up to a certain epoch in her history, there has existed a parallel in the contemplation of whose wonderful exactitude the reason becomes embarrassed.

But let it not for a moment be supposed that, in proceeding with the sad narrative of Marie from the epoch just mentioned, and in tracing to its dénouement the mystery which enshrouded her, it is my covert design to hint at an extension of the parallel, or even to suggest that the measures adopted in Paris for the discovery of the assassin of a grisette, or measures founded in any similar ratiocination, would produce any similar result. For, in respect to the latter branch of the supposition, it should be considered that the most trifling variation in the facts of the two cases might give rise to the most important miscalculations, by diverting thoroughly the two courses of events; very much as, in arithmetic, an error which, in its own individuality, may be inappreciable, produces, at length, by dint of multiplication at all points of the process, a result enormously at variance with truth. And, in regard to the former branch, we must not fail to hold in view that the very Calculus of Probabilities to which I have referred, forbids all idea of the extension of the parallel:--forbids it with a positiveness strong and decided just in proportion as this parallel has already been long-drawn and exact. This is one of those anomalous propositions which, seemingly appealing to thought altogether apart from the mathematical, is yet one which only the mathematician can fully entertain. Nothing, for example, is more difficult than to convince the merely general reader that the fact of sixes having been thrown twice in succession by a player at dice, is sufficient cause for betting the largest odds that sixes will not be thrown in the third attempt. A suggestion to this effect is usually rejected by the intellect at once. It does not appear that the two throws which have been completed, and which lie now absolutely in the Past, can have influence upon the throw which exists only in the Future. The chance for throwing sixes seems to be precisely as it was at any ordinary time--that is to say, subject only to the influence of the various other throws which may be made by the dice.

The error here involved--a gross error redolent of mischief--I cannot pretend to expose within the limits assigned me at present; and with the philosophical it needs no exposure. It may be sufficient here to say that it forms one of an infinite series of mistakes which arise in the path of Reason through her propensity for seeking truth in detail. Footnotes--Marie Rogêt (*1) Upon the original publication of “Marie Roget,” the foot-notes now appended were considered unnecessary; but the lapse of several years since the tragedy upon which the tale is based, renders it expedient to give them, and also to say a few words in explanation of the general design. A young girl, Mary Cecilia Rogers, was murdered in the vicinity of New York; and, although her death occasioned an intense and long-enduring excitement, the mystery attending it had remained unsolved at the period when the present paper was written and published (November, 1842). Herein, under pretence of relating the fate of a Parisian grisette, the author has followed in minute detail, the essential, while merely paralleling the inessential facts of the real murder of Mary Rogers. Thus all argument founded upon the fiction is applicable to the truth: and the investigation of the truth was the object.

The “Mystery of Marie Roget” was composed at a distance from the scene of the atrocity, and with no other means of investigation than the newspapers afforded. Thus much escaped the writer of which he could have availed himself had he been upon the spot, and visited the localities. It may not be improper to record, nevertheless, that the confessions of two persons, (one of them the Madame Deluc of the narrative) made, at different periods, long subsequent to the publication, confirmed, in full, not only the general conclusion, but absolutely all the chief hypothetical details by which that conclusion was attained. (*2) The nom de plume of Von Hardenburg. (*5) The Hudson. (*9) The New York “Mercury.” (*10) The New York “Brother Jonathan,” edited by H.

(*13) Adam (*14) See “Murders in the Rue Morgue.” (*15) The New York “Commercial Advertiser,” edited by Col. (*16) “A theory based on the qualities of an object, will prevent its being unfolded according to its objects; and he who arranges topics in reference to their causes, will cease to value them according to their results. Thus the jurisprudence of every nation will show that, when law becomes a science and a system, it ceases to be justice. The errors into which a blind devotion to principles of classification has led the common law, will be seen by observing how often the legislature has been obliged to come forward to restore the equity its scheme had lost.”--Landor.

(*17) New York “Express” (*18) New York “Herald.” (*19) New York “Courier and Inquirer.” (*20) Mennais was one of the parties originally suspected and arrested, but discharged through total lack of evidence. (*21) New York “Courier and Inquirer.” (*22) New York “Evening Post.” (*23) Of the Magazine in which the article was originally published. THE BALLOON-HOAX [Astounding News by Express, via Norfolk!--The Atlantic crossed in Three Days! Harrison Ainsworth, and four others, in the Steering Balloon, “Victoria,” after a passage of Seventy-five Hours from Land to Land! Full Particulars of the Voyage! The subjoined jeu d’esprit with the preceding heading in magnificent capitals, well interspersed with notes of admiration, was originally published, as matter of fact, in the “New York Sun,” a daily newspaper, and therein fully subserved the purpose of creating indigestible aliment for the quidnuncs during the few hours intervening between a couple of the Charleston mails. The rush for the “sole paper which had the news,” was something beyond even the prodigious; and, in fact, if (as some assert) the “Victoria” did not absolutely accomplish the voyage recorded, it will be difficult to assign a reason why she should not have accomplished it.] THE great problem is at length solved! The air, as well as the earth and the ocean, has been subdued by science, and will become a common and convenient highway for mankind.

The Atlantic has been actually crossed in a Balloon! and this too without difficulty--without any great apparent danger--with thorough control of the machine--and in the inconceivably brief period of seventy-five hours from shore to shore! By the energy of an agent at Charleston, S.C., we are enabled to be the first to furnish the public with a detailed account of this most extraordinary voyage, which was performed between Saturday, the 6th instant, at 11, A.M., and 2, P.M., on Tuesday, the 9th instant, by Sir Everard Bringhurst; Mr. Robert Holland, the well-known æronauts; Mr. Henson, the projector of the late unsuccessful flying machine--with two seamen from Woolwich--in all, eight persons. The particulars furnished below may be relied on as authentic and accurate in every respect, as, with a slight exception, they are copied verbatim from the joint diaries of Mr. Harrison Ainsworth, to whose politeness our agent is also indebted for much verbal information respecting the balloon itself, its construction, and other matters of interest. The only alteration in the MS. received, has been made for the purpose of throwing the hurried account of our agent, Mr.

“THE BALLOON. Henson and Sir George Cayley--had much weakened the public interest in the subject of aerial navigation.

Henson’s scheme (which at first was considered very feasible even by men of science,) was founded upon the principle of an inclined plane, started from an eminence by an extrinsic force, applied and continued by the revolution of impinging vanes, in form and number resembling the vanes of a windmill. But, in all the experiments made with models at the Adelaide Gallery, it was found that the operation of these fans not only did not propel the machine, but actually impeded its flight.

The only propelling force it ever exhibited, was the mere impetus acquired from the descent of the inclined plane; and this impetus carried the machine farther when the vanes were at rest, than when they were in motion--a fact which sufficiently demonstrates their inutility; and in the absence of the propelling, which was also the sustaining power, the whole fabric would necessarily descend. This consideration led Sir George Cayley to think only of adapting a propeller to some machine having of itself an independent power of support--in a word, to a balloon; the idea, however, being novel, or original, with Sir George, only so far as regards the mode of its application to practice. He exhibited a model of his invention at the Polytechnic Institution. The propelling principle, or power, was here, also, applied to interrupted surfaces, or vanes, put in revolution. These vanes were four in number, but were found entirely ineffectual in moving the balloon, or in aiding its ascending power. The whole project was thus a complete failure. Monck Mason (whose voyage from Dover to Weilburg in the balloon, “Nassau,” occasioned so much excitement in 1837,) conceived the idea of employing the principle of the Archimedean screw for the purpose of propulsion through the air--rightly attributing the failure of Mr. Henson’s scheme, and of Sir George Cayley’s, to the interruption of surface in the independent vanes.

He made the first public experiment at Willis’s Rooms, but afterward removed his model to the Adelaide Gallery. It contained about three hundred and twenty cubic feet of gas, which, if pure hydrogen, would support twenty-one pounds upon its first inflation, before the gas has time to deteriorate or escape. The weight of the whole machine and apparatus was seventeen pounds--leaving about four pounds to spare. Beneath the centre of the balloon, was a frame of light wood, about nine feet long, and rigged on to the balloon itself with a network in the customary manner.

“The screw consists of an axis of hollow brass tube, eighteen inches in length, through which, upon a semi-spiral inclined at fifteen degrees, pass a series of steel wire radii, two feet long, and thus projecting a foot on either side. These radii are connected at the outer extremities by two bands of flattened wire--the whole in this manner forming the framework of the screw, which is completed by a covering of oiled silk cut into gores, and tightened so as to present a tolerably uniform surface. At each end of its axis this screw is supported by pillars of hollow brass tube descending from the hoop. In the lower ends of these tubes are holes in which the pivots of the axis revolve. From the end of the axis which is next the car, proceeds a shaft of steel, connecting the screw with the pinion of a piece of spring machinery fixed in the car.

By the operation of this spring, the screw is made to revolve with great rapidity, communicating a progressive motion to the whole. By means of the rudder, the machine was readily turned in any direction. The spring was of great power, compared with its dimensions, being capable of raising forty-five pounds upon a barrel of four inches diameter, after the first turn, and gradually increasing as it was wound up. It weighed, altogether, eight pounds six ounces. The rudder was a light frame of cane covered with silk, shaped somewhat like a battle-door, and was about three feet long, and at the widest, one foot. It could be turned flat, and directed upwards or downwards, as well as to the right or left; and thus enabled the æronaut to transfer the resistance of the air which in an inclined position it must generate in its passage, to any side upon which he might desire to act; thus determining the balloon in the opposite direction. “This model (which, through want of time, we have necessarily described in an imperfect manner,) was put in action at the Adelaide Gallery, where it accomplished a velocity of five miles per hour; although, strange to say, it excited very little interest in comparison with the previous complex machine of Mr. Henson--so resolute is the world to despise anything which carries with it an air of simplicity.

To accomplish the great desideratum of ærial navigation, it was very generally supposed that some exceedingly complicated application must be made of some unusually profound principle in dynamics. Mason of the ultimate success of his invention, that he determined to construct immediately, if possible, a balloon of sufficient capacity to test the question by a voyage of some extent--the original design being to cross the British Channel, as before, in the Nassau balloon. To carry out his views, he solicited and obtained the patronage of Sir Everard Bringhurst and Mr. Osborne, two gentlemen well known for scientific acquirement, and especially for the interest they have exhibited in the progress of ærostation.

The project, at the desire of Mr. Osborne, was kept a profound secret from the public--the only persons entrusted with the design being those actually engaged in the construction of the machine, which was built (under the superintendence of Mr. Osborne,) at the seat of the latter gentleman near Penstruthal, in Wales. Ainsworth, was admitted to a private view of the balloon, on Saturday last--when the two gentlemen made final arrangements to be included in the adventure. We are not informed for what reason the two seamen were also included in the party--but, in the course of a day or two, we shall put our readers in possession of the minutest particulars respecting this extraordinary voyage. “The balloon is composed of silk, varnished with the liquid gum caoutchouc. It is of vast dimensions, containing more than 40,000 cubic feet of gas; but as coal gas was employed in place of the more expensive and inconvenient hydrogen, the supporting power of the machine, when fully inflated, and immediately after inflation, is not more than about 2500 pounds.

The coal gas is not only much less costly, but is easily procured and managed. Up to his discovery, the process of inflation was not only exceedingly expensive, but uncertain. Two, and even three days, have frequently been wasted in futile attempts to procure a sufficiency of hydrogen to fill a balloon, from which it had great tendency to escape, owing to its extreme subtlety, and its affinity for the surrounding atmosphere. “The supporting power being estimated at 2500 pounds, and the united weights of the party amounting only to about 1200, there was left a surplus of 1300, of which again 1200 was exhausted by ballast, arranged in bags of different sizes, with their respective weights marked upon them--by cordage, barometers, telescopes, barrels containing provision for a fortnight, water-casks, cloaks, carpet-bags, and various other indispensable matters, including a coffee-warmer, contrived for warming coffee by means of slack-lime, so as to dispense altogether with fire, if it should be judged prudent to do so. All these articles, with the exception of the ballast, and a few trifles, were suspended from the hoop overhead. The car is much smaller and lighter, in proportion, than the one appended to the model. The rudder is also very much larger, in proportion, than that of the model; and the screw is considerably smaller. The balloon is furnished besides with a grapnel, and a guide-rope; which latter is of the most indispensable importance.

A few words, in explanation, will here be necessary for such of our readers as are not conversant with the details of aerostation. “As soon as the balloon quits the earth, it is subjected to the influence of many circumstances tending to create a difference in its weight; augmenting or diminishing its ascending power. For example, there may be a deposition of dew upon the silk, to the extent, even, of several hundred pounds; ballast has then to be thrown out, or the machine may descend. This ballast being discarded, and a clear sunshine evaporating the dew, and at the same time expanding the gas in the silk, the whole will again rapidly ascend. To check this ascent, the only recourse is, (or rather was, until Mr. Green’s invention of the guide-rope,) the permission of the escape of gas from the valve; but, in the loss of gas, is a proportionate general loss of ascending power; so that, in a comparatively brief period, the best-constructed balloon must necessarily exhaust all its resources, and come to the earth.

This was the great obstacle to voyages of length. “The guide-rope remedies the difficulty in the simplest manner conceivable. It is merely a very long rope which is suffered to trail from the car, and the effect of which is to prevent the balloon from changing its level in any material degree. If, for example, there should be a deposition of moisture upon the silk, and the machine begins to descend in consequence, there will be no necessity for discharging ballast to remedy the increase of weight, for it is remedied, or counteracted, in an exactly just proportion, by the deposit on the ground of just so much of the end of the rope as is necessary. If, on the other hand, any circumstances should cause undue levity, and consequent ascent, this levity is immediately counteracted by the additional weight of rope upraised from the earth. Thus, the balloon can neither ascend or descend, except within very narrow limits, and its resources, either in gas or ballast, remain comparatively unimpaired. These float, and serve all the purposes of a mere rope on land. Another most important office of the guide-rope, is to point out the direction of the balloon. The rope drags, either on land or sea, while the balloon is free; the latter, consequently, is always in advance, when any progress whatever is made: a comparison, therefore, by means of the compass, of the relative positions of the two objects, will always indicate the course. In the same way, the angle formed by the rope with the vertical axis of the machine, indicates the velocity.

When there is no angle--in other words, when the rope hangs perpendicularly, the whole apparatus is stationary; but the larger the angle, that is to say, the farther the balloon precedes the end of the rope, the greater the velocity; and the converse. “As the original design was to cross the British Channel, and alight as near Paris as possible, the voyagers had taken the precaution to prepare themselves with passports directed to all parts of the Continent, specifying the nature of the expedition, as in the case of the Nassau voyage, and entitling the adventurers to exemption from the usual formalities of office: unexpected events, however, rendered these passports superfluous. “The inflation was commenced very quietly at daybreak, on Saturday morning, the 6th instant, in the Court-Yard of Weal-Vor House, Mr. Osborne’s seat, about a mile from Penstruthal, in North Wales; and at 7 minutes past 11, every thing being ready for departure, the balloon was set free, rising gently but steadily, in a direction nearly South; no use being made, for the first half hour, of either the screw or the rudder. We proceed now with the journal, as transcribed by Mr. Forsyth from the joint MSS. The body of the journal, as given, is in the hand-writing of Mr. Ainsworth, who has in preparation, and will shortly give the public a more minute, and no doubt, a thrillingly interesting account of the voyage. “THE JOURNAL. “Saturday, April the 6th.--Every preparation likely to embarrass us, having been made over night, we commenced the inflation this morning at daybreak; but owing to a thick fog, which encumbered the folds of the silk and rendered it unmanageable, we did not get through before nearly eleven o’clock.

Cut loose, then, in high spirits, and rose gently but steadily, with a light breeze at North, which bore us in the direction of the British Channel. Found the ascending force greater than we had expected; and as we arose higher and so got clear of the cliffs, and more in the sun’s rays, our ascent became very rapid. I did not wish, however, to lose gas at so early a period of the adventure, and so concluded to ascend for the present. We soon ran out our guide-rope; but even when we had raised it clear of the earth, we still went up very rapidly. The balloon was unusually steady, and looked beautifully. In about ten minutes after starting, the barometer indicated an altitude of 15,000 feet. The weather was remarkably fine, and the view of the subjacent country--a most romantic one when seen from any point,--was now especially sublime. The numerous deep gorges presented the appearance of lakes, on account of the dense vapors with which they were filled, and the pinnacles and crags to the South East, piled in inextricable confusion, resembling nothing so much as the giant cities of eastern fable.

We were rapidly approaching the mountains in the South; but our elevation was more than sufficient to enable us to pass them in safety. In a few minutes we soared over them in fine style; and Mr. Ainsworth, with the seamen, was surprised at their apparent want of altitude when viewed from the car, the tendency of great elevation in a balloon being to reduce inequalities of the surface below, to nearly a dead level. At half-past eleven still proceeding nearly South, we obtained our first view of the Bristol Channel; and, in fifteen minutes afterward, the line of breakers on the coast appeared immediately beneath us, and we were fairly out at sea. We now resolved to let off enough gas to bring our guide-rope, with the buoys affixed, into the water. In about twenty minutes our first buoy dipped, and at the touch of the second soon afterwards, we remained stationary as to elevation. We were all now anxious to test the efficiency of the rudder and screw, and we put them both into requisition forthwith, for the purpose of altering our direction more to the eastward, and in a line for Paris.

By means of the rudder we instantly effected the necessary change of direction, and our course was brought nearly at right angles to that of the wind; when we set in motion the spring of the screw, and were rejoiced to find it propel us readily as desired. Upon this we gave nine hearty cheers, and dropped in the sea a bottle, enclosing a slip of parchment with a brief account of the principle of the invention. The steel rod connecting the spring with the propeller was suddenly jerked out of place, at the car end, (by a swaying of the car through some movement of one of the two seamen we had taken up,) and in an instant hung dangling out of reach, from the pivot of the axis of the screw. While we were endeavoring to regain it, our attention being completely absorbed, we became involved in a strong current of wind from the East, which bore us, with rapidly increasing force, towards the Atlantic. We soon found ourselves driving out to sea at the rate of not less, certainly, than fifty or sixty miles an hour, so that we came up with Cape Clear, at some forty miles to our North, before we had secured the rod, and had time to think what we were about. Holland--viz.: that we should take advantage of the strong gale which bore us on, and in place of beating back to Paris, make an attempt to reach the coast of North America. After slight reflection I gave a willing assent to this bold proposition, which (strange to say) met with objection from the two seamen only.

As the stronger party, however, we overruled their fears, and kept resolutely upon our course. We steered due West; but as the trailing of the buoys materially impeded our progress, and we had the balloon abundantly at command, either for ascent or descent, we first threw out fifty pounds of ballast, and then wound up (by means of a windlass) so much of the rope as brought it quite clear of the sea. We perceived the effect of this manoeuvre immediately, in a vastly increased rate of progress; and, as the gale freshened, we flew with a velocity nearly inconceivable; the guide-rope flying out behind the car, like a streamer from a vessel. It is needless to say that a very short time sufficed us to lose sight of the coast. We passed over innumerable vessels of all kinds, a few of which were endeavoring to beat up, but the most of them lying to. We occasioned the greatest excitement on board all--an excitement greatly relished by ourselves, and especially by our two men, who, now under the influence of a dram of Geneva, seemed resolved to give all scruple, or fear, to the wind. Many of the vessels fired signal guns; and in all we were saluted with loud cheers (which we heard with surprising distinctness) and the waving of caps and handkerchiefs. We kept on in this manner throughout the day, with no material incident, and, as the shades of night closed around us, we made a rough estimate of the distance traversed.

The propeller was kept in constant operation, and, no doubt, aided our progress materially. As the sun went down, the gale freshened into an absolute hurricane, and the ocean beneath was clearly visible on account of its phosphorescence. The wind was from the East all night, and gave us the brightest omen of success. We suffered no little from cold, and the dampness of the atmosphere was most unpleasant; but the ample space in the car enabled us to lie down, and by means of cloaks and a few blankets, we did sufficiently well. Ainsworth.) The last nine hours have been unquestionably the most exciting of my life. I can conceive nothing more sublimating than the strange peril and novelty of an adventure such as this. I ask not success for mere safety to my insignificant person, but for the sake of human knowledge and--for the vastness of the triumph. And yet the feat is only so evidently feasible that the sole wonder is why men have scrupled to attempt it before. One single gale such as now befriends us--let such a tempest whirl forward a balloon for four or five days (these gales often last longer) and the voyager will be easily borne, in that period, from coast to coast.

In view of such a gale the broad Atlantic becomes a mere lake. I am more struck, just now, with the supreme silence which reigns in the sea beneath us, notwithstanding its agitation, than with any other phenomenon presenting itself. The waters give up no voice to the heavens. The immense flaming ocean writhes and is tortured uncomplainingly. The mountainous surges suggest the idea of innumerable dumb gigantic fiends struggling in impotent agony. “Sunday, the seventh.

Mason’s MS.] This morning the gale, by 10, had subsided to an eight or nine--knot breeze, (for a vessel at sea,) and bears us, perhaps, thirty miles per hour, or more.

It has veered, however, very considerably to the north; and now, at sundown, we are holding our course due west, principally by the screw and rudder, which answer their purposes to admiration. I regard the project as thoroughly successful, and the easy navigation of the air in any direction (not exactly in the teeth of a gale) as no longer problematical.

We could not have made head against the strong wind of yesterday; but, by ascending, we might have got out of its influence, if requisite. Against a pretty stiff breeze, I feel convinced, we can make our way with the propeller.

Did this to search for a more direct current, but found none so favorable as the one we are now in. We have an abundance of gas to take us across this small pond, even should the voyage last three weeks. I have not the slightest fear for the result. The difficulty has been strangely exaggerated and misapprehended. I can choose my current, and should I find all currents against me, I can make very tolerable headway with the propeller. The night promises fair. Ainsworth.] I have little to record, except the fact (to me quite a surprising one) that, at an elevation equal to that of Cotopaxi, I experienced neither very intense cold, nor headache, nor difficulty of breathing; neither, I find, did Mr.

Osborne complained of constriction of the chest--but this soon wore off. We have flown at a great rate during the day, and we must be more than half way across the Atlantic. Crossing the ocean in a balloon is not so difficult a feat after all. Mem: at 25,000 feet elevation the sky appears nearly black, and the stars are distinctly visible; while the sea does not seem convex (as one might suppose) but absolutely and most unequivocally concave.(*1) “Monday, the 8th. Mason’s MS.] This morning we had again some little trouble with the rod of the propeller, which must be entirely remodelled, for fear of serious accident--I mean the steel rod--not the vanes. The latter could not be improved. The wind has been blowing steadily and strongly from the north-east all day and so far fortune seems bent upon favoring us. Just before day, we were all somewhat alarmed at some odd noises and concussions in the balloon, accompanied with the apparent rapid subsidence of the whole machine. These phenomena were occasioned by the expansion of the gas, through increase of heat in the atmosphere, and the consequent disruption of the minute particles of ice with which the network had become encrusted during the night. Threw down several bottles to the vessels below.

Saw one of them picked up by a large ship--seemingly one of the New York line packets.

The sea is peculiarly phosphorescent. Ainsworth.] It is now 2, A.M., and nearly calm, as well as I can judge--but it is very difficult to determine this point, since we move with the air so completely. We cannot be far from the American coast. “Tuesday, the 9th. We are in full view of the low coast of South Carolina. The great problem is accomplished.

We have crossed the Atlantic--fairly and easily crossed it in a balloon! Who shall say that anything is impossible hereafter?” The Journal here ceases. Some particulars of the descent were communicated, however, by Mr. It was nearly dead calm when the voyagers first came in view of the coast, which was immediately recognized by both the seamen, and by Mr. The latter gentleman having acquaintances at Fort Moultrie, it was immediately resolved to descend in its vicinity. The balloon was brought over the beach (the tide being out and the sand hard, smooth, and admirably adapted for a descent,) and the grapnel let go, which took firm hold at once. The inhabitants of the island, and of the fort, thronged out, of course, to see the balloon; but it was with the greatest difficulty that any one could be made to credit the actual voyage--the crossing of the Atlantic.

The grapnel caught at 2, P.M., precisely; and thus the whole voyage was completed in seventy-five hours; or rather less, counting from shore to shore. The balloon was exhausted and secured without trouble; and when the MS. from which this narrative is compiled was despatched from Charleston, the party were still at Fort Moultrie. Their farther intentions were not ascertained; but we can safely promise our readers some additional information either on Monday or in the course of the next day, at farthest. This is unquestionably the most stupendous, the most interesting, and the most important undertaking, ever accomplished or even attempted by man. A line dropped from an elevation of 25,000 feet, perpendicularly to the surface of the earth (or sea), would form the perpendicular of a right-angled triangle, of which the base would extend from the right angle to the horizon, and the hypothenuse from the horizon to the balloon.

But the 25,000 feet of altitude is little or nothing, in comparison with the extent of the prospect.

In other words, the base and hypothenuse of the supposed triangle would be so long when compared with the perpendicular, that the two former may be regarded as nearly parallel.

In this manner the horizon of the æronaut would appear to be on a level with the car. But, as the point immediately beneath him seems, and is, at a great distance below him, it seems, of course, also, at a great distance below the horizon. Hence the impression of concavity; and this impression must remain, until the elevation shall bear so great a proportion to the extent of prospect, that the apparent parallelism of the base and hypothenuse disappears--when the earth’s real convexity must become apparent.

Ill usage and length of years have driven me from the one, and estranged me from the other. Hereditary wealth afforded me an education of no common order, and a contemplative turn of mind enabled me to methodize the stores which early study very diligently garnered up.--Beyond all things, the study of the German moralists gave me great delight; not from any ill-advised admiration of their eloquent madness, but from the ease with which my habits of rigid thought enabled me to detect their falsities. I have often been reproached with the aridity of my genius; a deficiency of imagination has been imputed to me as a crime; and the Pyrrhonism of my opinions has at all times rendered me notorious. Indeed, a strong relish for physical philosophy has, I fear, tinctured my mind with a very common error of this age--I mean the habit of referring occurrences, even the least susceptible of such reference, to the principles of that science. Upon the whole, no person could be less liable than myself to be led away from the severe precincts of truth by the ignes fatui of superstition. I have thought proper to premise thus much, lest the incredible tale I have to tell should be considered rather the raving of a crude imagination, than the positive experience of a mind to which the reveries of fancy have been a dead letter and a nullity. After many years spent in foreign travel, I sailed in the year 18--, from the port of Batavia, in the rich and populous island of Java, on a voyage to the Archipelago of the Sunda islands. I went as passenger--having no other inducement than a kind of nervous restlessness which haunted me as a fiend. She was freighted with cotton-wool and oil, from the Lachadive islands.

The stowage was clumsily done, and the vessel consequently crank. We got under way with a mere breath of wind, and for many days stood along the eastern coast of Java, without any other incident to beguile the monotony of our course than the occasional meeting with some of the small grabs of the Archipelago to which we were bound.

One evening, leaning over the taffrail, I observed a very singular, isolated cloud, to the N.W. It was remarkable, as well for its color, as from its being the first we had seen since our departure from Batavia. I watched it attentively until sunset, when it spread all at once to the eastward and westward, girting in the horizon with a narrow strip of vapor, and looking like a long line of low beach. My notice was soon afterwards attracted by the dusky-red appearance of the moon, and the peculiar character of the sea. The latter was undergoing a rapid change, and the water seemed more than usually transparent.

Although I could distinctly see the bottom, yet, heaving the lead, I found the ship in fifteen fathoms. The air now became intolerably hot, and was loaded with spiral exhalations similar to those arising from heat iron. The flame of a candle burned upon the poop without the least perceptible motion, and a long hair, held between the finger and thumb, hung without the possibility of detecting a vibration. However, as the captain said he could perceive no indication of danger, and as we were drifting in bodily to shore, he ordered the sails to be furled, and the anchor let go. No watch was set, and the crew, consisting principally of Malays, stretched themselves deliberately upon deck. I told the captain my fears; but he paid no attention to what I said, and left me without deigning to give a reply. My uneasiness, however, prevented me from sleeping, and about midnight I went upon deck.--As I placed my foot upon the upper step of the companion-ladder, I was startled by a loud, humming noise, like that occasioned by the rapid revolution of a mill-wheel, and before I could ascertain its meaning, I found the ship quivering to its centre.

In the next instant, a wilderness of foam hurled us upon our beam-ends, and, rushing over us fore and aft, swept the entire decks from stem to stern. The extreme fury of the blast proved, in a great measure, the salvation of the ship. Although completely water-logged, yet, as her masts had gone by the board, she rose, after a minute, heavily from the sea, and, staggering awhile beneath the immense pressure of the tempest, finally righted. Stunned by the shock of the water, I found myself, upon recovery, jammed in between the stern-post and rudder. With great difficulty I gained my feet, and looking dizzily around, was, at first, struck with the idea of our being among breakers; so terrific, beyond the wildest imagination, was the whirlpool of mountainous and foaming ocean within which we were engulfed. After a while, I heard the voice of an old Swede, who had shipped with us at the moment of our leaving port.

We soon discovered that we were the sole survivors of the accident. All on deck, with the exception of ourselves, had been swept overboard;--the captain and mates must have perished as they slept, for the cabins were deluged with water. Without assistance, we could expect to do little for the security of the ship, and our exertions were at first paralyzed by the momentary expectation of going down. Our cable had, of course, parted like pack-thread, at the first breath of the hurricane, or we should have been instantaneously overwhelmed. We scudded with frightful velocity before the sea, and the water made clear breaches over us. The frame-work of our stern was shattered excessively, and, in almost every respect, we had received considerable injury; but to our extreme Joy we found the pumps unchoked, and that we had made no great shifting of our ballast. The main fury of the blast had already blown over, and we apprehended little danger from the violence of the wind; but we looked forward to its total cessation with dismay; well believing, that, in our shattered condition, we should inevitably perish in the tremendous swell which would ensue. For five entire days and nights--during which our only subsistence was a small quantity of jaggeree, procured with great difficulty from the forecastle--the hulk flew at a rate defying computation, before rapidly succeeding flaws of wind, which, without equalling the first violence of the Simoom, were still more terrific than any tempest I had before encountered. Our course for the first four days was, with trifling variations, S.E.

and by S.; and we must have run down the coast of New Holland.--On the fifth day the cold became extreme, although the wind had hauled round a point more to the northward.--The sun arose with a sickly yellow lustre, and clambered a very few degrees above the horizon--emitting no decisive light.--There were no clouds apparent, yet the wind was upon the increase, and blew with a fitful and unsteady fury. About noon, as nearly as we could guess, our attention was again arrested by the appearance of the sun. Just before sinking within the turgid sea, its central fires suddenly went out, as if hurriedly extinguished by some unaccountable power. It was a dim, sliver-like rim, alone, as it rushed down the unfathomable ocean.

We waited in vain for the arrival of the sixth day--that day to me has not arrived--to the Swede, never did arrive. Thenceforward we were enshrouded in patchy darkness, so that we could not have seen an object at twenty paces from the ship. Eternal night continued to envelop us, all unrelieved by the phosphoric sea-brilliancy to which we had been accustomed in the tropics. We observed too, that, although the tempest continued to rage with unabated violence, there was no longer to be discovered the usual appearance of surf, or foam, which had hitherto attended us. All around were horror, and thick gloom, and a black sweltering desert of ebony.--Superstitious terror crept by degrees into the spirit of the old Swede, and my own soul was wrapped up in silent wonder. We neglected all care of the ship, as worse than useless, and securing ourselves, as well as possible, to the stump of the mizen-mast, looked out bitterly into the world of ocean. We were, however, well aware of having made farther to the southward than any previous navigators, and felt great amazement at not meeting with the usual impediments of ice. In the meantime every moment threatened to be our last--every mountainous billow hurried to overwhelm us. The swell surpassed anything I had imagined possible, and that we were not instantly buried is a miracle. My companion spoke of the lightness of our cargo, and reminded me of the excellent qualities of our ship; but I could not help feeling the utter hopelessness of hope itself, and prepared myself gloomily for that death which I thought nothing could defer beyond an hour, as, with every knot of way the ship made, the swelling of the black stupendous seas became more dismally appalling.

At times we gasped for breath at an elevation beyond the albatross--at times became dizzy with the velocity of our descent into some watery hell, where the air grew stagnant, and no sound disturbed the slumbers of the kraken. We were at the bottom of one of these abysses, when a quick scream from my companion broke fearfully upon the night. see!” As he spoke, I became aware of a dull, sullen glare of red light which streamed down the sides of the vast chasm where we lay, and threw a fitful brilliancy upon our deck. Casting my eyes upwards, I beheld a spectacle which froze the current of my blood. At a terrific height directly above us, and upon the very verge of the precipitous descent, hovered a gigantic ship of, perhaps, four thousand tons.

Although upreared upon the summit of a wave more than a hundred times her own altitude, her apparent size exceeded that of any ship of the line or East Indiaman in existence.

Her huge hull was of a deep dingy black, unrelieved by any of the customary carvings of a ship. A single row of brass cannon protruded from her open ports, and dashed from their polished surfaces the fires of innumerable battle-lanterns, which swung to and fro about her rigging. But what mainly inspired us with horror and astonishment, was that she bore up under a press of sail in the very teeth of that supernatural sea, and of that ungovernable hurricane. When we first discovered her, her bows were alone to be seen, as she rose slowly from the dim and horrible gulf beyond her. For a moment of intense terror she paused upon the giddy pinnacle, as if in contemplation of her own sublimity, then trembled and tottered, and--came down.

Staggering as far aft as I could, I awaited fearlessly the ruin that was to overwhelm. Our own vessel was at length ceasing from her struggles, and sinking with her head to the sea. The shock of the descending mass struck her, consequently, in that portion of her frame which was already under water, and the inevitable result was to hurl me, with irresistible violence, upon the rigging of the stranger. As I fell, the ship hove in stays, and went about; and to the confusion ensuing I attributed my escape from the notice of the crew. With little difficulty I made my way unperceived to the main hatchway, which was partially open, and soon found an opportunity of secreting myself in the hold.

An indefinite sense of awe, which at first sight of the navigators of the ship had taken hold of my mind, was perhaps the principle of my concealment. I was unwilling to trust myself with a race of people who had offered, to the cursory glance I had taken, so many points of vague novelty, doubt, and apprehension. I therefore thought proper to contrive a hiding-place in the hold. This I did by removing a small portion of the shifting-boards, in such a manner as to afford me a convenient retreat between the huge timbers of the ship. I had scarcely completed my work, when a footstep in the hold forced me to make use of it. There was about it an evidence of great age and infirmity. His knees tottered beneath a load of years, and his entire frame quivered under the burthen. His manner was a wild mixture of the peevishness of second childhood, and the solemn dignity of a God. * * * * * A feeling, for which I have no name, has taken possession of my soul --a sensation which will admit of no analysis, to which the lessons of bygone times are inadequate, and for which I fear futurity itself will offer me no key. To a mind constituted like my own, the latter consideration is an evil.

I shall never--I know that I shall never--be satisfied with regard to the nature of my conceptions. Yet it is not wonderful that these conceptions are indefinite, since they have their origin in sources so utterly novel. * * * * * It is long since I first trod the deck of this terrible ship, and the rays of my destiny are, I think, gathering to a focus.

Wrapped up in meditations of a kind which I cannot divine, they pass me by unnoticed. Concealment is utter folly on my part, for the people will not see.

It was but just now that I passed directly before the eyes of the mate--it was no long while ago that I ventured into the captain’s own private cabin, and took thence the materials with which I write, and have written. It is true that I may not find an opportunity of transmitting it to the world, but I will not fall to make the endeavour. At the last moment I will enclose the MS. in a bottle, and cast it within the sea. Are such things the operation of ungoverned Chance? I had ventured upon deck and thrown myself down, without attracting any notice, among a pile of ratlin-stuff and old sails in the bottom of the yawl. While musing upon the singularity of my fate, I unwittingly daubed with a tar-brush the edges of a neatly-folded studding-sail which lay near me on a barrel.

The studding-sail is now bent upon the ship, and the thoughtless touches of the brush are spread out into the word DISCOVERY.

I have made many observations lately upon the structure of the vessel. I know not how it is, but in scrutinizing her strange model and singular cast of spars, her huge size and overgrown suits of canvas, her severely simple bow and antiquated stern, there will occasionally flash across my mind a sensation of familiar things, and there is always mixed up with such indistinct shadows of recollection, an unaccountable memory of old foreign chronicles and ages long ago. * * * * * I have been looking at the timbers of the ship. There is a peculiar character about the wood which strikes me as rendering it unfit for the purpose to which it has been applied. I mean its extreme porousness, considered independently by the worm-eaten condition which is a consequence of navigation in these seas, and apart from the rottenness attendant upon age. In reading the above sentence a curious apothegm of an old weather-beaten Dutch navigator comes full upon my recollection. “It is as sure,” he was wont to say, when any doubt was entertained of his veracity, “as sure as there is a sea where the ship itself will grow in bulk like the living body of the seaman.” * * * * * About an hour ago, I made bold to thrust myself among a group of the crew. They paid me no manner of attention, and, although I stood in the very midst of them all, seemed utterly unconscious of my presence. Like the one I had at first seen in the hold, they all bore about them the marks of a hoary old age. Their knees trembled with infirmity; their shoulders were bent double with decrepitude; their shrivelled skins rattled in the wind; their voices were low, tremulous and broken; their eyes glistened with the rheum of years; and their gray hairs streamed terribly in the tempest.

Around them, on every part of the deck, lay scattered mathematical instruments of the most quaint and obsolete construction. * * * * * I mentioned some time ago the bending of a studding-sail. From that period the ship, being thrown dead off the wind, has continued her terrific course due south, with every rag of canvas packed upon her, from her trucks to her lower studding-sail booms, and rolling every moment her top-gallant yard-arms into the most appalling hell of water which it can enter into the mind of a man to imagine.

I have just left the deck, where I find it impossible to maintain a footing, although the crew seem to experience little inconvenience.

We are surely doomed to hover continually upon the brink of Eternity, without taking a final plunge into the abyss. From billows a thousand times more stupendous than any I have ever seen, we glide away with the facility of the arrowy sea-gull; and the colossal waters rear their heads above us like demons of the deep, but like demons confined to simple threats and forbidden to destroy.

I am led to attribute these frequent escapes to the only natural cause which can account for such effect.--I must suppose the ship to be within the influence of some strong current, or impetuous under-tow. * * * * * I have seen the captain face to face, and in his own cabin--but, as I expected, he paid me no attention. Although in his appearance there is, to a casual observer, nothing which might bespeak him more or less than man--still a feeling of irrepressible reverence and awe mingled with the sensation of wonder with which I regarded him. He is of a well-knit and compact frame of body, neither robust nor remarkably otherwise.

But it is the singularity of the expression which reigns upon the face--it is the intense, the wonderful, the thrilling evidence of old age, so utter, so extreme, which excites within my spirit a sense--a sentiment ineffable. His forehead, although little wrinkled, seems to bear upon it the stamp of a myriad of years.--His gray hairs are records of the past, and his grayer eyes are Sybils of the future. The cabin floor was thickly strewn with strange, iron-clasped folios, and mouldering instruments of science, and obsolete long-forgotten charts. His head was bowed down upon his hands, and he pored, with a fiery unquiet eye, over a paper which I took to be a commission, and which, at all events, bore the signature of a monarch. He muttered to himself, as did the first seaman whom I saw in the hold, some low peevish syllables of a foreign tongue, and although the speaker was close at my elbow, his voice seemed to reach my ears from the distance of a mile. * * * * * The ship and all in it are imbued with the spirit of Eld. The crew glide to and fro like the ghosts of buried centuries; their eyes have an eager and uneasy meaning; and when their fingers fall athwart my path in the wild glare of the battle-lanterns, I feel as I have never felt before, although I have been all my life a dealer in antiquities, and have imbibed the shadows of fallen columns at Balbec, and Tadmor, and Persepolis, until my very soul has become a ruin. If I trembled at the blast which has hitherto attended us, shall I not stand aghast at a warring of wind and ocean, to convey any idea of which the words tornado and simoom are trivial and ineffective?

All in the immediate vicinity of the ship is the blackness of eternal night, and a chaos of foamless water; but, about a league on either side of us, may be seen, indistinctly and at intervals, stupendous ramparts of ice, towering away into the desolate sky, and looking like the walls of the universe.

* * * * * As I imagined, the ship proves to be in a current; if that appellation can properly be given to a tide which, howling and shrieking by the white ice, thunders on to the southward with a velocity like the headlong dashing of a cataract. * * * * * To conceive the horror of my sensations is, I presume, utterly impossible; yet a curiosity to penetrate the mysteries of these awful regions, predominates even over my despair, and will reconcile me to the most hideous aspect of death. Perhaps this current leads us to the southern pole itself. * * * * * The crew pace the deck with unquiet and tremulous step; but there is upon their countenances an expression more of the eagerness of hope than of the apathy of despair.

In the meantime the wind is still in our poop, and, as we carry a crowd of canvas, the ship is at times lifted bodily from out the sea--Oh, horror upon horror! the ice opens suddenly to the right, and to the left, and we are whirling dizzily, in immense concentric circles, round and round the borders of a gigantic amphitheatre, the summit of whose walls is lost in the darkness and the distance. But little time will be left me to ponder upon my destiny--the circles rapidly grow small--we are plunging madly within the grasp of the whirlpool--and amid a roaring, and bellowing, and thundering of ocean and of tempest, the ship is quivering, oh God! NOTE.--The “MS.

Found in a Bottle,” was originally published in 1831, and it was not until many years afterwards that I became acquainted with the maps of Mercator, in which the ocean is represented as rushing, by four mouths, into the (northern) Polar Gulf, to be absorbed into the bowels of the earth; the Pole itself being represented by a black rock, towering to a prodigious height. THE OVAL PORTRAIT THE chateau into which my valet had ventured to make forcible entrance, rather than permit me, in my desperately wounded condition, to pass a night in the open air, was one of those piles of commingled gloom and grandeur which have so long frowned among the Appennines, not less in fact than in the fancy of Mrs. We established ourselves in one of the smallest and least sumptuously furnished apartments. It lay in a remote turret of the building. Its walls were hung with tapestry and bedecked with manifold and multiform armorial trophies, together with an unusually great number of very spirited modern paintings in frames of rich golden arabesque. In these paintings, which depended from the walls not only in their main surfaces, but in very many nooks which the bizarre architecture of the chateau rendered necessary--in these paintings my incipient delirium, perhaps, had caused me to take deep interest; so that I bade Pedro to close the heavy shutters of the room--since it was already night--to light the tongues of a tall candelabrum which stood by the head of my bed--and to throw open far and wide the fringed curtains of black velvet which enveloped the bed itself. I wished all this done that I might resign myself, if not to sleep, at least alternately to the contemplation of these pictures, and the perusal of a small volume which had been found upon the pillow, and which purported to criticise and describe them. Rapidly and gloriously the hours flew by and the deep midnight came.

The position of the candelabrum displeased me, and outreaching my hand with difficulty, rather than disturb my slumbering valet, I placed it so as to throw its rays more fully upon the book. But the action produced an effect altogether unanticipated. The rays of the numerous candles (for there were many) now fell within a niche of the room which had hitherto been thrown into deep shade by one of the bed-posts. It was the portrait of a young girl just ripening into womanhood. I glanced at the painting hurriedly, and then closed my eyes. But while my lids remained thus shut, I ran over in my mind my reason for so shutting them. In a very few moments I again looked fixedly at the painting. That I now saw aright I could not and would not doubt; for the first flashing of the candles upon that canvas had seemed to dissipate the dreamy stupor which was stealing over my senses, and to startle me at once into waking life. The portrait, I have already said, was that of a young girl. It was a mere head and shoulders, done in what is technically termed a vignette manner; much in the style of the favorite heads of Sully.

The arms, the bosom, and even the ends of the radiant hair melted imperceptibly into the vague yet deep shadow which formed the back-ground of the whole. The frame was oval, richly gilded and filigreed in Moresque. As a thing of art nothing could be more admirable than the painting itself. But it could have been neither the execution of the work, nor the immortal beauty of the countenance, which had so suddenly and so vehemently moved me. Least of all, could it have been that my fancy, shaken from its half slumber, had mistaken the head for that of a living person.

I saw at once that the peculiarities of the design, of the vignetting, and of the frame, must have instantly dispelled such idea--must have prevented even its momentary entertainment. Thinking earnestly upon these points, I remained, for an hour perhaps, half sitting, half reclining, with my vision riveted upon the portrait. At length, satisfied with the true secret of its effect, I fell back within the bed. I had found the spell of the picture in an absolute life-likeliness of expression, which, at first startling, finally confounded, subdued, and appalled me. With deep and reverent awe I replaced the candelabrum in its former position. The cause of my deep agitation being thus shut from view, I sought eagerly the volume which discussed the paintings and their histories. Turning to the number which designated the oval portrait, I there read the vague and quaint words which follow: “She was a maiden of rarest beauty, and not more lovely than full of glee. And evil was the hour when she saw, and loved, and wedded the painter.

He, passionate, studious, austere, and having already a bride in his Art; she a maiden of rarest beauty, and not more lovely than full of glee; all light and smiles, and frolicsome as the young fawn; loving and cherishing all things; hating only the Art which was her rival; dreading only the pallet and brushes and other untoward instruments which deprived her of the countenance of her lover. It was thus a terrible thing for this lady to hear the painter speak of his desire to portray even his young bride.

But she was humble and obedient, and sat meekly for many weeks in the dark, high turret-chamber where the light dripped upon the pale canvas only from overhead. But he, the painter, took glory in his work, which went on from hour to hour, and from day to day. And he was a passionate, and wild, and moody man, who became lost in reveries; so that he would not see that the light which fell so ghastly in that lone turret withered the health and the spirits of his bride, who pined visibly to all but him.

Yet she smiled on and still on, uncomplainingly, because she saw that the painter (who had high renown) took a fervid and burning pleasure in his task, and wrought day and night to depict her who so loved him, yet who grew daily more dispirited and weak. And in sooth some who beheld the portrait spoke of its resemblance in low words, as of a mighty marvel, and a proof not less of the power of the painter than of his deep love for her whom he depicted so surpassingly well. But at length, as the labor drew nearer to its conclusion, there were admitted none into the turret; for the painter had grown wild with the ardor of his work, and turned his eyes from canvas merely, even to regard the countenance of his wife. And he would not see that the tints which he spread upon the canvas were drawn from the cheeks of her who sate beside him. And when many weeks had passed, and but little remained to do, save one brush upon the mouth and one tint upon the eye, the spirit of the lady again flickered up as the flame within the socket of the lamp. And then the brush was given, and then the tint was placed; and, for one moment, the painter stood entranced before the work which he had wrought; but in the next, while he yet gazed, he grew tremulous and very pallid, and aghast, and crying with a loud voice, ‘This is indeed Life itself!’ turned suddenly to regard his beloved:--She was dead!” /

Besides, she won’t overtake us.Besides, there is no such thing as teasing the poor man. Besides, people knew very well from what source M. Besides, what is this bill? Besides, I’m his wife; I’ve paid dearly for him; he’s mine--I won’t yield him to any one else. Besides, all the servants had been changed.

And, besides, he found his present life so delightful, and he obtained so much gratification for his money, that he was unwilling to make any change. People would recognize them at once; besides, they form a part of my stock-in-trade. Besides, it is so difficult to earn a livelihood nowadays, and the love of luxury is so intense that no one knows at night what he may do--or, rather, what he won’t do--the next day. Fortunately for himself, he saw that she was abashed by his cynicism; and so he resumed: “Besides, as our friend, the baron, would say, we are wasting precious time in discussing improbable, and even impossible, suppositions. Besides, she could do this without the least risk of encountering disrespect, so imposing and dignified were her manners and her person. Besides, she was one of those women who have no history, and who find happiness in what others would call duty. She felt that she owed it to Pascal; and, besides, after believing there was no more happiness left for her on earth, her heart rejoiced at her son’s success. The idea of denying his intention never once occurred to him; besides, he was unable to articulate a word. It would cause you a great deal of trouble and annoyance, and I should none the less be obliged to relinquish the practice of my profession--besides, I am especially anxious to be forgotten for a time.” “So be it--I understand you; you hope to discover the traitor, and you do not wish to put him on his guard. Besides, what would it have mattered to her?

Besides, I knew that his escritoire contained something over two millions in gold and bank-notes.” Two millions--there! “And, besides,” continued the magistrate, “who told you that this immense sum would be found here? Besides, he never said a word on the subject--never a decisive word, at least.

And, besides, what good would it do? Besides, she won’t overtake us. I said to myself every night, ‘It shall be done to-morrow; but when the morrow came I said, ‘I will give myself another day--just one more day.’ Indeed, my courage failed me when I thought of the count’s aristocratic prejudices; and besides, I knew how ambitious he was for my future. We will talk it over again to-morrow, and if I can be of service to you in any way, I shall be only too glad.” “But, monsieur--” “Oh--to-morrow, to-morrow--I must go to dinner now; besides, my clerk must be getting terribly impatient.” The clerk was, indeed, out of temper. Besides, I’m like other men, I’m anxious to be rich, and enjoy myself. He was positively afraid of the Marquis de Valorsay’s eloquence; besides, he knew well enough that the person who consents to listen is at least half convinced. Besides, you forget that I possess a copy of our agreement, signed by your own hand, and that I have only to show it to Mademoiselle Marguerite to give her a just opinion of your disinterestedness. Besides, he would have an opportunity of examining this handsome viscount, whom he was certain he had met before, though he could not tell when or where. Besides, those who are poor in the morning are sometimes rich in the evening.

Besides, you are honest. Besides, there are no risks to be encountered. “Where can she be going now, at midnight?” thought Mademoiselle Marguerite; “she who is usually so timid?” At first, the girl resisted her desire to solve the question; her suspicions seemed absurd to her, and, besides, it was distasteful to her to play the spy. /

In equal haste on my side, I ran upstairs to compose myself in my own room before meeting Aunt Ablewhite and Rachel at the luncheon-table.It was hurried over, to my thinking, in indecent haste. In equal haste on my side, I ran upstairs to compose myself in my own room before meeting Aunt Ablewhite and Rachel at the luncheon-table. Luker’s Oriental treasures the workman had attempted to steal.” The inference (as I hastened to acknowledge) was too plain to need being pointed out. I will make haste, and go on again. Jennings’s medical views, I shall be happy to put it away of course.” I hastened to sanction the presence of the embroidery, exactly as I had sanctioned the absence of the burst buzzard and the Cupid’s wing. /

I grew frantically mad, and struggled to force myself upward against the sweep of the fearful scimitar.THE PURLOINED LETTER Nil sapientiae odiosius acumine nimio. At Paris, just after dark one gusty evening in the autumn of 18-, I was enjoying the twofold luxury of meditation and a meerschaum, in company with my friend C. Auguste Dupin, in his little back library, or book-closet, au troisiême, No. Germain. For one hour at least we had maintained a profound silence; while each, to any casual observer, might have seemed intently and exclusively occupied with the curling eddies of smoke that oppressed the atmosphere of the chamber. For myself, however, I was mentally discussing certain topics which had formed matter for conversation between us at an earlier period of the evening; I mean the affair of the Rue Morgue, and the mystery attending the murder of Marie Rogêt. I looked upon it, therefore, as something of a coincidence, when the door of our apartment was thrown open and admitted our old acquaintance, Monsieur G--, the Prefect of the Parisian police. We gave him a hearty welcome; for there was nearly half as much of the entertaining as of the contemptible about the man, and we had not seen him for several years.

We had been sitting in the dark, and Dupin now arose for the purpose of lighting a lamp, but sat down again, without doing so, upon G.’s saying that he had called to consult us, or rather to ask the opinion of my friend, about some official business which had occasioned a great deal of trouble. “If it is any point requiring reflection,” observed Dupin, as he forebore to enkindle the wick, “we shall examine it to better purpose in the dark.” “That is another of your odd notions,” said the Prefect, who had a fashion of calling every thing “odd” that was beyond his comprehension, and thus lived amid an absolute legion of “oddities.” “Very true,” said Dupin, as he supplied his visiter with a pipe, and rolled towards him a comfortable chair. “And what is the difficulty now?” I asked. “Nothing more in the assassination way, I hope?” “Oh no; nothing of that nature. The fact is, the business is very simple indeed, and I make no doubt that we can manage it sufficiently well ourselves; but then I thought Dupin would like to hear the details of it, because it is so excessively odd.” “Simple and odd,” said Dupin. “Why, yes; and not exactly that, either. The fact is, we have all been a good deal puzzled because the affair is so simple, and yet baffles us altogether.” “Perhaps it is the very simplicity of the thing which puts you at fault,” said my friend. “What nonsense you do talk!” replied the Prefect, laughing heartily. “Perhaps the mystery is a little too plain,” said Dupin.

who ever heard of such an idea?” “A little too self-evident.” “Ha! ho!” roared our visiter, profoundly amused, “oh, Dupin, you will be the death of me yet!” “And what, after all, is the matter on hand?” I asked. “Why, I will tell you,” replied the Prefect, as he gave a long, steady and contemplative puff, and settled himself in his chair. “I will tell you in a few words; but, before I begin, let me caution you that this is an affair demanding the greatest secrecy, and that I should most probably lose the position I now hold, were it known that I confided it to any one.” “Proceed,” said I.

“Or not,” said Dupin. “Well, then; I have received personal information, from a very high quarter, that a certain document of the last importance, has been purloined from the royal apartments. The individual who purloined it is known; this beyond a doubt; he was seen to take it. It is known, also, that it still remains in his possession.” “How is this known?” asked Dupin.

“It is clearly inferred,” replied the Prefect, “from the nature of the document, and from the non-appearance of certain results which would at once arise from its passing out of the robber’s possession; that is to say, from his employing it as he must design in the end to employ it.” “Be a little more explicit,” I said. “Well, I may venture so far as to say that the paper gives its holder a certain power in a certain quarter where such power is immensely valuable.” The Prefect was fond of the cant of diplomacy. “Still I do not quite understand,” said Dupin. Well; the disclosure of the document to a third person, who shall be nameless, would bring in question the honor of a personage of most exalted station; and this fact gives the holder of the document an ascendancy over the illustrious personage whose honor and peace are so jeopardized.” “But this ascendancy,” I interposed, “would depend upon the robber’s knowledge of the loser’s knowledge of the robber. Who would dare--” “The thief,” said G., “is the Minister D--, who dares all things, those unbecoming as well as those becoming a man. The method of the theft was not less ingenious than bold. The document in question--a letter, to be frank--had been received by the personage robbed while alone in the royal boudoir. During its perusal she was suddenly interrupted by the entrance of the other exalted personage from whom especially it was her wish to conceal it.

After a hurried and vain endeavor to thrust it in a drawer, she was forced to place it, open as it was, upon a table. The address, however, was uppermost, and, the contents thus unexposed, the letter escaped notice. At this juncture enters the Minister D--. His lynx eye immediately perceives the paper, recognises the handwriting of the address, observes the confusion of the personage addressed, and fathoms her secret. After some business transactions, hurried through in his ordinary manner, he produces a letter somewhat similar to the one in question, opens it, pretends to read it, and then places it in close juxtaposition to the other. Again he converses, for some fifteen minutes, upon the public affairs. At length, in taking leave, he takes also from the table the letter to which he had no claim. Its rightful owner saw, but, of course, dared not call attention to the act, in the presence of the third personage who stood at her elbow.

The minister decamped; leaving his own letter--one of no importance--upon the table.” “Here, then,” said Dupin to me, “you have precisely what you demand to make the ascendancy complete--the robber’s knowledge of the loser’s knowledge of the robber.” “Yes,” replied the Prefect; “and the power thus attained has, for some months past, been wielded, for political purposes, to a very dangerous extent. The personage robbed is more thoroughly convinced, every day, of the necessity of reclaiming her letter.

But this, of course, cannot be done openly. In fine, driven to despair, she has committed the matter to me.” “Than whom,” said Dupin, amid a perfect whirlwind of smoke, “no more sagacious agent could, I suppose, be desired, or even imagined.” “You flatter me,” replied the Prefect; “but it is possible that some such opinion may have been entertained.” “It is clear,” said I, “as you observe, that the letter is still in possession of the minister; since it is this possession, and not any employment of the letter, which bestows the power. With the employment the power departs.” “True,” said G.; “and upon this conviction I proceeded. My first care was to make thorough search of the minister’s hotel; and here my chief embarrassment lay in the necessity of searching without his knowledge. Beyond all things, I have been warned of the danger which would result from giving him reason to suspect our design.” “But,” said I, “you are quite au fait in these investigations. The Parisian police have done this thing often before.” “O yes; and for this reason I did not despair. The habits of the minister gave me, too, a great advantage. He is frequently absent from home all night. His servants are by no means numerous. They sleep at a distance from their master’s apartment, and, being chiefly Neapolitans, are readily made drunk.

I have keys, as you know, with which I can open any chamber or cabinet in Paris.

For three months a night has not passed, during the greater part of which I have not been engaged, personally, in ransacking the D-- Hotel.

My honor is interested, and, to mention a great secret, the reward is enormous. So I did not abandon the search until I had become fully satisfied that the thief is a more astute man than myself. I fancy that I have investigated every nook and corner of the premises in which it is possible that the paper can be concealed.” “But is it not possible,” I suggested, “that although the letter may be in possession of the minister, as it unquestionably is, he may have concealed it elsewhere than upon his own premises?” “This is barely possible,” said Dupin. “The present peculiar condition of affairs at court, and especially of those intrigues in which D-- is known to be involved, would render the instant availability of the document--its susceptibility of being produced at a moment’s notice--a point of nearly equal importance with its possession.” “Its susceptibility of being produced?” said I. “That is to say, of being destroyed,” said Dupin. “True,” I observed; “the paper is clearly then upon the premises.

As for its being upon the person of the minister, we may consider that as out of the question.” “Entirely,” said the Prefect. “He has been twice waylaid, as if by footpads, and his person rigorously searched under my own inspection.” “You might have spared yourself this trouble,” said Dupin. “D--, I presume, is not altogether a fool, and, if not, must have anticipated these waylayings, as a matter of course.” “Not altogether a fool,” said G., “but then he’s a poet, which I take to be only one remove from a fool.” “True,” said Dupin, after a long and thoughtful whiff from his meerschaum, “although I have been guilty of certain doggrel myself.” “Suppose you detail,” said I, “the particulars of your search.” “Why the fact is, we took our time, and we searched every where. I have had long experience in these affairs. I took the entire building, room by room; devoting the nights of a whole week to each. We examined, first, the furniture of each apartment. We opened every possible drawer; and I presume you know that, to a properly trained police agent, such a thing as a secret drawer is impossible. Any man is a dolt who permits a ‘secret’ drawer to escape him in a search of this kind. The thing is so plain.

There is a certain amount of bulk--of space--to be accounted for in every cabinet. The fiftieth part of a line could not escape us. After the cabinets we took the chairs. The cushions we probed with the fine long needles you have seen me employ. From the tables we removed the tops.” “Why so?” “Sometimes the top of a table, or other similarly arranged piece of furniture, is removed by the person wishing to conceal an article; then the leg is excavated, the article deposited within the cavity, and the top replaced. The bottoms and tops of bedposts are employed in the same way.” “But could not the cavity be detected by sounding?” I asked.

“By no means, if, when the article is deposited, a sufficient wadding of cotton be placed around it.

Besides, in our case, we were obliged to proceed without noise.” “But you could not have removed--you could not have taken to pieces all articles of furniture in which it would have been possible to make a deposit in the manner you mention.

A letter may be compressed into a thin spiral roll, not differing much in shape or bulk from a large knitting-needle, and in this form it might be inserted into the rung of a chair, for example. You did not take to pieces all the chairs?” “Certainly not; but we did better--we examined the rungs of every chair in the hotel, and, indeed the jointings of every description of furniture, by the aid of a most powerful microscope. Had there been any traces of recent disturbance we should not have failed to detect it instantly. A single grain of gimlet-dust, for example, would have been as obvious as an apple. Any disorder in the glueing--any unusual gaping in the joints--would have sufficed to insure detection.” “I presume you looked to the mirrors, between the boards and the plates, and you probed the beds and the bed-clothes, as well as the curtains and carpets.” “That of course; and when we had absolutely completed every particle of the furniture in this way, then we examined the house itself. We divided its entire surface into compartments, which we numbered, so that none might be missed; then we scrutinized each individual square inch throughout the premises, including the two houses immediately adjoining, with the microscope, as before.” “The two houses adjoining!” I exclaimed; “you must have had a great deal of trouble.” “We had; but the reward offered is prodigious!” “You include the grounds about the houses?” “All the grounds are paved with brick. They gave us comparatively little trouble. We examined the moss between the bricks, and found it undisturbed.” “You looked among D--‘s papers, of course, and into the books of the library?” “Certainly; we opened every package and parcel; we not only opened every book, but we turned over every leaf in each volume, not contenting ourselves with a mere shake, according to the fashion of some of our police officers. We also measured the thickness of every book-cover, with the most accurate admeasurement, and applied to each the most jealous scrutiny of the microscope. Had any of the bindings been recently meddled with, it would have been utterly impossible that the fact should have escaped observation.

Some five or six volumes, just from the hands of the binder, we carefully probed, longitudinally, with the needles.” “You explored the floors beneath the carpets?” “Beyond doubt.

We removed every carpet, and examined the boards with the microscope.” “And the paper on the walls?” “Yes.” “You looked into the cellars?” “We did.” “Then,” I said, “you have been making a miscalculation, and the letter is not upon the premises, as you suppose.” “I fear you are right there,” said the Prefect. “And now, Dupin, what would you advise me to do?” “To make a thorough re-search of the premises.” “That is absolutely needless,” replied G--. “I am not more sure that I breathe than I am that the letter is not at the Hotel.” “I have no better advice to give you,” said Dupin. “You have, of course, an accurate description of the letter?” “Oh yes!”--And here the Prefect, producing a memorandum-book proceeded to read aloud a minute account of the internal, and especially of the external appearance of the missing document.

Soon after finishing the perusal of this description, he took his departure, more entirely depressed in spirits than I had ever known the good gentleman before. In about a month afterwards he paid us another visit, and found us occupied very nearly as before. He took a pipe and a chair and entered into some ordinary conversation. At length I said,-- “Well, but G--, what of the purloined letter? I presume you have at last made up your mind that there is no such thing as overreaching the Minister?” “Confound him, say I--yes; I made the re-examination, however, as Dupin suggested--but it was all labor lost, as I knew it would be.” “How much was the reward offered, did you say?” asked Dupin. “Why, a very great deal--a very liberal reward--I don’t like to say how much, precisely; but one thing I will say, that I wouldn’t mind giving my individual check for fifty thousand francs to any one who could obtain me that letter. The fact is, it is becoming of more and more importance every day; and the reward has been lately doubled. If it were trebled, however, I could do no more than I have done.” “Why, yes,” said Dupin, drawlingly, between the whiffs of his meerschaum, “I really--think, G--, you have not exerted yourself--to the utmost in this matter. You might--do a little more, I think, eh?” “How?--in what way?’ “Why--puff, puff--you might--puff, puff--employ counsel in the matter, eh?--puff, puff, puff.

hang him and welcome. But, once upon a time, a certain rich miser conceived the design of spunging upon this Abernethy for a medical opinion. Getting up, for this purpose, an ordinary conversation in a private company, he insinuated his case to the physician, as that of an imaginary individual. “‘We will suppose,’ said the miser, ‘that his symptoms are such and such; now, doctor, what would you have directed him to take?’ “‘Take!’ said Abernethy, ‘why, take advice, to be sure.’” “But,” said the Prefect, a little discomposed, “I am perfectly willing to take advice, and to pay for it.

I would really give fifty thousand francs to any one who would aid me in the matter.” “In that case,” replied Dupin, opening a drawer, and producing a check-book, “you may as well fill me up a check for the amount mentioned. When you have signed it, I will hand you the letter.” I was astounded. The Prefect appeared absolutely thunder-stricken. For some minutes he remained speechless and motionless, looking incredulously at my friend with open mouth, and eyes that seemed starting from their sockets; then, apparently recovering himself in some measure, he seized a pen, and after several pauses and vacant stares, finally filled up and signed a check for fifty thousand francs, and handed it across the table to Dupin. The latter examined it carefully and deposited it in his pocket-book; then, unlocking an escritoire, took thence a letter and gave it to the Prefect. This functionary grasped it in a perfect agony of joy, opened it with a trembling hand, cast a rapid glance at its contents, and then, scrambling and struggling to the door, rushed at length unceremoniously from the room and from the house, without having uttered a syllable since Dupin had requested him to fill up the check.

When he had gone, my friend entered into some explanations. “The Parisian police,” he said, “are exceedingly able in their way. They are persevering, ingenious, cunning, and thoroughly versed in the knowledge which their duties seem chiefly to demand. Thus, when G-- detailed to us his mode of searching the premises at the Hotel D--, I felt entire confidence in his having made a satisfactory investigation--so far as his labors extended.” “So far as his labors extended?” said I. “Yes,” said Dupin. “The measures adopted were not only the best of their kind, but carried out to absolute perfection. Had the letter been deposited within the range of their search, these fellows would, beyond a question, have found it.” I merely laughed--but he seemed quite serious in all that he said. “The measures, then,” he continued, “were good in their kind, and well executed; their defect lay in their being inapplicable to the case, and to the man. A certain set of highly ingenious resources are, with the Prefect, a sort of Procrustean bed, to which he forcibly adapts his designs. But he perpetually errs by being too deep or too shallow, for the matter in hand; and many a schoolboy is a better reasoner than he.

I knew one about eight years of age, whose success at guessing in the game of ‘even and odd’ attracted universal admiration. This game is simple, and is played with marbles. One player holds in his hand a number of these toys, and demands of another whether that number is even or odd. If the guess is right, the guesser wins one; if wrong, he loses one. The boy to whom I allude won all the marbles of the school. Of course he had some principle of guessing; and this lay in mere observation and admeasurement of the astuteness of his opponents. For example, an arrant simpleton is his opponent, and, holding up his closed hand, asks, ‘are they even or odd?’ Our schoolboy replies, ‘odd,’ and loses; but upon the second trial he wins, for he then says to himself, ‘the simpleton had them even upon the first trial, and his amount of cunning is just sufficient to make him have them odd upon the second; I will therefore guess odd;’--he guesses odd, and wins. Now, with a simpleton a degree above the first, he would have reasoned thus: ‘This fellow finds that in the first instance I guessed odd, and, in the second, he will propose to himself, upon the first impulse, a simple variation from even to odd, as did the first simpleton; but then a second thought will suggest that this is too simple a variation, and finally he will decide upon putting it even as before. I will therefore guess even;’--he guesses even, and wins. Now this mode of reasoning in the schoolboy, whom his fellows termed ‘lucky,’--what, in its last analysis, is it?” “It is merely,” I said, “an identification of the reasoner’s intellect with that of his opponent.” “It is,” said Dupin; “and, upon inquiring of the boy by what means he effected the thorough identification in which his success consisted, I received answer as follows: ‘When I wish to find out how wise, or how stupid, or how good, or how wicked is any one, or what are his thoughts at the moment, I fashion the expression of my face, as accurately as possible, in accordance with the expression of his, and then wait to see what thoughts or sentiments arise in my mind or heart, as if to match or correspond with the expression.’ This response of the schoolboy lies at the bottom of all the spurious profundity which has been attributed to Rochefoucault, to La Bougive, to Machiavelli, and to Campanella.” “And the identification,” I said, “of the reasoner’s intellect with that of his opponent, depends, if I understand you aright, upon the accuracy with which the opponent’s intellect is admeasured.” “For its practical value it depends upon this,” replied Dupin; “and the Prefect and his cohort fail so frequently, first, by default of this identification, and, secondly, by ill-admeasurement, or rather through non-admeasurement, of the intellect with which they are engaged.

They consider only their own ideas of ingenuity; and, in searching for anything hidden, advert only to the modes in which they would have hidden it. They are right in this much--that their own ingenuity is a faithful representative of that of the mass; but when the cunning of the individual felon is diverse in character from their own, the felon foils them, of course. This always happens when it is above their own, and very usually when it is below. They have no variation of principle in their investigations; at best, when urged by some unusual emergency--by some extraordinary reward--they extend or exaggerate their old modes of practice, without touching their principles. What, for example, in this case of D--, has been done to vary the principle of action?

What is all this boring, and probing, and sounding, and scrutinizing with the microscope and dividing the surface of the building into registered square inches--what is it all but an exaggeration of the application of the one principle or set of principles of search, which are based upon the one set of notions regarding human ingenuity, to which the Prefect, in the long routine of his duty, has been accustomed?

Do you not see he has taken it for granted that all men proceed to conceal a letter,--not exactly in a gimlet hole bored in a chair-leg--but, at least, in some out-of-the-way hole or corner suggested by the same tenor of thought which would urge a man to secrete a letter in a gimlet-hole bored in a chair-leg? And do you not see also, that such recherchés nooks for concealment are adapted only for ordinary occasions, and would be adopted only by ordinary intellects; for, in all cases of concealment, a disposal of the article concealed--a disposal of it in this recherché manner,--is, in the very first instance, presumable and presumed; and thus its discovery depends, not at all upon the acumen, but altogether upon the mere care, patience, and determination of the seekers; and where the case is of importance--or, what amounts to the same thing in the policial eyes, when the reward is of magnitude,--the qualities in question have never been known to fail. You will now understand what I meant in suggesting that, had the purloined letter been hidden any where within the limits of the Prefect’s examination--in other words, had the principle of its concealment been comprehended within the principles of the Prefect--its discovery would have been a matter altogether beyond question. This functionary, however, has been thoroughly mystified; and the remote source of his defeat lies in the supposition that the Minister is a fool, because he has acquired renown as a poet. All fools are poets; this the Prefect feels; and he is merely guilty of a non distributio medii in thence inferring that all poets are fools.” “But is this really the poet?” I asked.

“There are two brothers, I know; and both have attained reputation in letters. The Minister I believe has written learnedly on the Differential Calculus. He is a mathematician, and no poet.” “You are mistaken; I know him well; he is both. As poet and mathematician, he would reason well; as mere mathematician, he could not have reasoned at all, and thus would have been at the mercy of the Prefect.” “You surprise me,” I said, “by these opinions, which have been contradicted by the voice of the world. You do not mean to set at naught the well-digested idea of centuries. The mathematical reason has long been regarded as the reason par excellence.” “‘Il y a à parièr,’” replied Dupin, quoting from Chamfort, “‘que toute idée publique, toute convention reçue est une sottise, car elle a convenue au plus grand nombre.’ The mathematicians, I grant you, have done their best to promulgate the popular error to which you allude, and which is none the less an error for its promulgation as truth. With an art worthy a better cause, for example, they have insinuated the term ‘analysis’ into application to algebra.

The French are the originators of this particular deception; but if a term is of any importance--if words derive any value from applicability--then ‘analysis’ conveys ‘algebra’ about as much as, in Latin, ‘ambitus’ implies ‘ambition,’ ‘religio’ ‘religion,’ or ‘homines honesti,’ a set of honorablemen.” “You have a quarrel on hand, I see,” said I, “with some of the algebraists of Paris; but proceed.” “I dispute the availability, and thus the value, of that reason which is cultivated in any especial form other than the abstractly logical. I dispute, in particular, the reason educed by mathematical study. The mathematics are the science of form and quantity; mathematical reasoning is merely logic applied to observation upon form and quantity.

The great error lies in supposing that even the truths of what is called pure algebra, are abstract or general truths.

And this error is so egregious that I am confounded at the universality with which it has been received. Mathematical axioms are not axioms of general truth.

What is true of relation--of form and quantity--is often grossly false in regard to morals, for example. In this latter science it is very usually untrue that the aggregated parts are equal to the whole. In chemistry also the axiom fails.

In the consideration of motive it fails; for two motives, each of a given value, have not, necessarily, a value when united, equal to the sum of their values apart. There are numerous other mathematical truths which are only truths within the limits of relation. But the mathematician argues, from his finite truths, through habit, as if they were of an absolutely general applicability--as the world indeed imagines them to be. Bryant, in his very learned ‘Mythology,’ mentions an analogous source of error, when he says that ‘although the Pagan fables are not believed, yet we forget ourselves continually, and make inferences from them as existing realities.’ With the algebraists, however, who are Pagans themselves, the ‘Pagan fables’ are believed, and the inferences are made, not so much through lapse of memory, as through an unaccountable addling of the brains. In short, I never yet encountered the mere mathematician who could be trusted out of equal roots, or one who did not clandestinely hold it as a point of his faith that x2+px was absolutely and unconditionally equal to q. Say to one of these gentlemen, by way of experiment, if you please, that you believe occasions may occur where x2+px is not altogether equal to q, and, having made him understand what you mean, get out of his reach as speedily as convenient, for, beyond doubt, he will endeavor to knock you down. “I mean to say,” continued Dupin, while I merely laughed at his last observations, “that if the Minister had been no more than a mathematician, the Prefect would have been under no necessity of giving me this check. I know him, however, as both mathematician and poet, and my measures were adapted to his capacity, with reference to the circumstances by which he was surrounded.

I knew him as a courtier, too, and as a bold intriguant. Such a man, I considered, could not fail to be aware of the ordinary policial modes of action. He could not have failed to anticipate--and events have proved that he did not fail to anticipate--the waylayings to which he was subjected. He must have foreseen, I reflected, the secret investigations of his premises. His frequent absences from home at night, which were hailed by the Prefect as certain aids to his success, I regarded only as ruses, to afford opportunity for thorough search to the police, and thus the sooner to impress them with the conviction to which G--, in fact, did finally arrive--the conviction that the letter was not upon the premises. I felt, also, that the whole train of thought, which I was at some pains in detailing to you just now, concerning the invariable principle of policial action in searches for articles concealed--I felt that this whole train of thought would necessarily pass through the mind of the Minister. It would imperatively lead him to despise all the ordinary nooks of concealment. He could not, I reflected, be so weak as not to see that the most intricate and remote recess of his hotel would be as open as his commonest closets to the eyes, to the probes, to the gimlets, and to the microscopes of the Prefect. I saw, in fine, that he would be driven, as a matter of course, to simplicity, if not deliberately induced to it as a matter of choice. You will remember, perhaps, how desperately the Prefect laughed when I suggested, upon our first interview, that it was just possible this mystery troubled him so much on account of its being so very self-evident.” “Yes,” said I, “I remember his merriment well.

I really thought he would have fallen into convulsions.” “The material world,” continued Dupin, “abounds with very strict analogies to the immaterial; and thus some color of truth has been given to the rhetorical dogma, that metaphor, or simile, may be made to strengthen an argument, as well as to embellish a description. The principle of the vis inertiæ, for example, seems to be identical in physics and metaphysics. It is not more true in the former, that a large body is with more difficulty set in motion than a smaller one, and that its subsequent momentum is commensurate with this difficulty, than it is, in the latter, that intellects of the vaster capacity, while more forcible, more constant, and more eventful in their movements than those of inferior grade, are yet the less readily moved, and more embarrassed and full of hesitation in the first few steps of their progress. Again: have you ever noticed which of the street signs, over the shop-doors, are the most attractive of attention?” “I have never given the matter a thought,” I said. “There is a game of puzzles,” he resumed, “which is played upon a map. One party playing requires another to find a given word--the name of town, river, state or empire--any word, in short, upon the motley and perplexed surface of the chart. A novice in the game generally seeks to embarrass his opponents by giving them the most minutely lettered names; but the adept selects such words as stretch, in large characters, from one end of the chart to the other.

These, like the over-largely lettered signs and placards of the street, escape observation by dint of being excessively obvious; and here the physical oversight is precisely analogous with the moral inapprehension by which the intellect suffers to pass unnoticed those considerations which are too obtrusively and too palpably self-evident.

But this is a point, it appears, somewhat above or beneath the understanding of the Prefect. He never once thought it probable, or possible, that the Minister had deposited the letter immediately beneath the nose of the whole world, by way of best preventing any portion of that world from perceiving it. “But the more I reflected upon the daring, dashing, and discriminating ingenuity of D--; upon the fact that the document must always have been at hand, if he intended to use it to good purpose; and upon the decisive evidence, obtained by the Prefect, that it was not hidden within the limits of that dignitary’s ordinary search--the more satisfied I became that, to conceal this letter, the Minister had resorted to the comprehensive and sagacious expedient of not attempting to conceal it at all. “Full of these ideas, I prepared myself with a pair of green spectacles, and called one fine morning, quite by accident, at the Ministerial hotel. I found D-- at home, yawning, lounging, and dawdling, as usual, and pretending to be in the last extremity of ennui. He is, perhaps, the most really energetic human being now alive--but that is only when nobody sees him. “To be even with him, I complained of my weak eyes, and lamented the necessity of the spectacles, under cover of which I cautiously and thoroughly surveyed the whole apartment, while seemingly intent only upon the conversation of my host. “I paid especial attention to a large writing-table near which he sat, and upon which lay confusedly, some miscellaneous letters and other papers, with one or two musical instruments and a few books.

Here, however, after a long and very deliberate scrutiny, I saw nothing to excite particular suspicion. “At length my eyes, in going the circuit of the room, fell upon a trumpery fillagree card-rack of pasteboard, that hung dangling by a dirty blue ribbon, from a little brass knob just beneath the middle of the mantel-piece. In this rack, which had three or four compartments, were five or six visiting cards and a solitary letter. This last was much soiled and crumpled.

It was torn nearly in two, across the middle--as if a design, in the first instance, to tear it entirely up as worthless, had been altered, or stayed, in the second. It had a large black seal, bearing the D-- cipher very conspicuously, and was addressed, in a diminutive female hand, to D--, the minister, himself. It was thrust carelessly, and even, as it seemed, contemptuously, into one of the uppermost divisions of the rack.

“No sooner had I glanced at this letter, than I concluded it to be that of which I was in search. To be sure, it was, to all appearance, radically different from the one of which the Prefect had read us so minute a description. Here the seal was large and black, with the D-- cipher; there it was small and red, with the ducal arms of the S-- family. Here, the address, to the Minister, diminutive and feminine; there the superscription, to a certain royal personage, was markedly bold and decided; the size alone formed a point of correspondence. But, then, the radicalness of these differences, which was excessive; the dirt; the soiled and torn condition of the paper, so inconsistent with the true methodical habits of D--, and so suggestive of a design to delude the beholder into an idea of the worthlessness of the document; these things, together with the hyper-obtrusive situation of this document, full in the view of every visiter, and thus exactly in accordance with the conclusions to which I had previously arrived; these things, I say, were strongly corroborative of suspicion, in one who came with the intention to suspect. “I protracted my visit as long as possible, and, while I maintained a most animated discussion with the Minister upon a topic which I knew well had never failed to interest and excite him, I kept my attention really riveted upon the letter. In this examination, I committed to memory its external appearance and arrangement in the rack; and also fell, at length, upon a discovery which set at rest whatever trivial doubt I might have entertained.

In scrutinizing the edges of the paper, I observed them to be more chafed than seemed necessary. They presented the broken appearance which is manifested when a stiff paper, having been once folded and pressed with a folder, is refolded in a reversed direction, in the same creases or edges which had formed the original fold. This discovery was sufficient. It was clear to me that the letter had been turned, as a glove, inside out, re-directed, and re-sealed.

I bade the Minister good morning, and took my departure at once, leaving a gold snuff-box upon the table. “The next morning I called for the snuff-box, when we resumed, quite eagerly, the conversation of the preceding day. While thus engaged, however, a loud report, as if of a pistol, was heard immediately beneath the windows of the hotel, and was succeeded by a series of fearful screams, and the shoutings of a terrified mob.

D-- rushed to a casement, threw it open, and looked out. In the meantime, I stepped to the card-rack, took the letter, put it in my pocket, and replaced it by a fac-simile, (so far as regards externals,) which I had carefully prepared at my lodgings--imitating the D-- cipher, very readily, by means of a seal formed of bread. “The disturbance in the street had been occasioned by the frantic behavior of a man with a musket.

He had fired it among a crowd of women and children. It proved, however, to have been without ball, and the fellow was suffered to go his way as a lunatic or a drunkard. When he had gone, D-- came from the window, whither I had followed him immediately upon securing the object in view.

Soon afterwards I bade him farewell. The pretended lunatic was a man in my own pay.” “But what purpose had you,” I asked, “in replacing the letter by a fac-simile? Would it not have been better, at the first visit, to have seized it openly, and departed?” “D--,” replied Dupin, “is a desperate man, and a man of nerve. His hotel, too, is not without attendants devoted to his interests. Had I made the wild attempt you suggest, I might never have left the Ministerial presence alive. The good people of Paris might have heard of me no more. But I had an object apart from these considerations. You know my political prepossessions. In this matter, I act as a partisan of the lady concerned.

For eighteen months the Minister has had her in his power. She has now him in hers--since, being unaware that the letter is not in his possession, he will proceed with his exactions as if it was. Thus will he inevitably commit himself, at once, to his political destruction. His downfall, too, will not be more precipitate than awkward.

It is all very well to talk about the facilis descensus Averni; but in all kinds of climbing, as Catalani said of singing, it is far more easy to get up than to come down. In the present instance I have no sympathy--at least no pity--for him who descends. He is that monstrum horrendum, an unprincipled man of genius. I confess, however, that I should like very well to know the precise character of his thoughts, when, being defied by her whom the Prefect terms ‘a certain personage’ he is reduced to opening the letter which I left for him in the card-rack.” “How?

did you put any thing particular in it?” “Why--it did not seem altogether right to leave the interior blank--that would have been insulting. D--, at Vienna once, did me an evil turn, which I told him, quite good-humoredly, that I should remember. So, as I knew he would feel some curiosity in regard to the identity of the person who had outwitted him, I thought it a pity not to give him a clue. He is well acquainted with my MS., and I just copied into the middle of the blank sheet the words-- “‘-- -- Un dessein si funeste, S’il n’est digne d’Atrée, est digne de Thyeste. They are to be found in Crebillon’s ‘Atrée.’” THE THOUSAND-AND-SECOND TALE OF SCHEHERAZADE Truth is stranger than fiction. OLD SAYING. HAVING had occasion, lately, in the course of some Oriental investigations, to consult the Tellmenow Isitsoornot, a work which (like the Zohar of Simeon Jochaides) is scarcely known at all, even in Europe; and which has never been quoted, to my knowledge, by any American--if we except, perhaps, the author of the “Curiosities of American Literature”;--having had occasion, I say, to turn over some pages of the first-mentioned very remarkable work, I was not a little astonished to discover that the literary world has hitherto been strangely in error respecting the fate of the vizier’s daughter, Scheherazade, as that fate is depicted in the “Arabian Nights”; and that the denouement there given, if not altogether inaccurate, as far as it goes, is at least to blame in not having gone very much farther. For full information on this interesting topic, I must refer the inquisitive reader to the “Isitsoornot” itself, but in the meantime, I shall be pardoned for giving a summary of what I there discovered.

It will be remembered, that, in the usual version of the tales, a certain monarch having good cause to be jealous of his queen, not only puts her to death, but makes a vow, by his beard and the prophet, to espouse each night the most beautiful maiden in his dominions, and the next morning to deliver her up to the executioner. Having fulfilled this vow for many years to the letter, and with a religious punctuality and method that conferred great credit upon him as a man of devout feeling and excellent sense, he was interrupted one afternoon (no doubt at his prayers) by a visit from his grand vizier, to whose daughter, it appears, there had occurred an idea. Her name was Scheherazade, and her idea was, that she would either redeem the land from the depopulating tax upon its beauty, or perish, after the approved fashion of all heroines, in the attempt. Accordingly, and although we do not find it to be leap-year (which makes the sacrifice more meritorious), she deputes her father, the grand vizier, to make an offer to the king of her hand.

This hand the king eagerly accepts--(he had intended to take it at all events, and had put off the matter from day to day, only through fear of the vizier),--but, in accepting it now, he gives all parties very distinctly to understand, that, grand vizier or no grand vizier, he has not the slightest design of giving up one iota of his vow or of his privileges. When, therefore, the fair Scheherazade insisted upon marrying the king, and did actually marry him despite her father’s excellent advice not to do any thing of the kind--when she would and did marry him, I say, will I, nill I, it was with her beautiful black eyes as thoroughly open as the nature of the case would allow. It seems, however, that this politic damsel (who had been reading Machiavelli, beyond doubt), had a very ingenious little plot in her mind. On the night of the wedding, she contrived, upon I forget what specious pretence, to have her sister occupy a couch sufficiently near that of the royal pair to admit of easy conversation from bed to bed; and, a little before cock-crowing, she took care to awaken the good monarch, her husband (who bore her none the worse will because he intended to wring her neck on the morrow),--she managed to awaken him, I say, (although on account of a capital conscience and an easy digestion, he slept well) by the profound interest of a story (about a rat and a black cat, I think) which she was narrating (all in an undertone, of course) to her sister. When the day broke, it so happened that this history was not altogether finished, and that Scheherazade, in the nature of things could not finish it just then, since it was high time for her to get up and be bowstrung--a thing very little more pleasant than hanging, only a trifle more genteel. The king’s curiosity, however, prevailing, I am sorry to say, even over his sound religious principles, induced him for this once to postpone the fulfilment of his vow until next morning, for the purpose and with the hope of hearing that night how it fared in the end with the black cat (a black cat, I think it was) and the rat. The night having arrived, however, the lady Scheherazade not only put the finishing stroke to the black cat and the rat (the rat was blue) but before she well knew what she was about, found herself deep in the intricacies of a narration, having reference (if I am not altogether mistaken) to a pink horse (with green wings) that went, in a violent manner, by clockwork, and was wound up with an indigo key.

With this history the king was even more profoundly interested than with the other--and, as the day broke before its conclusion (notwithstanding all the queen’s endeavors to get through with it in time for the bowstringing), there was again no resource but to postpone that ceremony as before, for twenty-four hours. The next night there happened a similar accident with a similar result; and then the next--and then again the next; so that, in the end, the good monarch, having been unavoidably deprived of all opportunity to keep his vow during a period of no less than one thousand and one nights, either forgets it altogether by the expiration of this time, or gets himself absolved of it in the regular way, or (what is more probable) breaks it outright, as well as the head of his father confessor. At all events, Scheherazade, who, being lineally descended from Eve, fell heir, perhaps, to the whole seven baskets of talk, which the latter lady, we all know, picked up from under the trees in the garden of Eden--Scheherazade, I say, finally triumphed, and the tariff upon beauty was repealed. Now, this conclusion (which is that of the story as we have it upon record) is, no doubt, excessively proper and pleasant--but alas! like a great many pleasant things, is more pleasant than true, and I am indebted altogether to the “Isitsoornot” for the means of correcting the error. “Le mieux,” says a French proverb, “est l’ennemi du bien,” and, in mentioning that Scheherazade had inherited the seven baskets of talk, I should have added that she put them out at compound interest until they amounted to seventy-seven. “My dear sister,” said she, on the thousand-and-second night, (I quote the language of the “Isitsoornot” at this point, verbatim) “my dear sister,” said she, “now that all this little difficulty about the bowstring has blown over, and that this odious tax is so happily repealed, I feel that I have been guilty of great indiscretion in withholding from you and the king (who I am sorry to say, snores--a thing no gentleman would do) the full conclusion of Sinbad the sailor.

This person went through numerous other and more interesting adventures than those which I related; but the truth is, I felt sleepy on the particular night of their narration, and so was seduced into cutting them short--a grievous piece of misconduct, for which I only trust that Allah will forgive me. But even yet it is not too late to remedy my great neglect--and as soon as I have given the king a pinch or two in order to wake him up so far that he may stop making that horrible noise, I will forthwith entertain you (and him if he pleases) with the sequel of this very remarkable story.” Hereupon the sister of Scheherazade, as I have it from the “Isitsoornot,” expressed no very particular intensity of gratification; but the king, having been sufficiently pinched, at length ceased snoring, and finally said, “hum!” and then “hoo!” when the queen, understanding these words (which are no doubt Arabic) to signify that he was all attention, and would do his best not to snore any more--the queen, I say, having arranged these matters to her satisfaction, re-entered thus, at once, into the history of Sinbad the sailor: “‘At length, in my old age,’ --‘at length, in my old age, and after enjoying many years of tranquillity at home, I became once more possessed of a desire of visiting foreign countries; and one day, without acquainting any of my family with my design, I packed up some bundles of such merchandise as was most precious and least bulky, and, engaged a porter to carry them, went with him down to the sea-shore, to await the arrival of any chance vessel that might convey me out of the kingdom into some region which I had not as yet explored. “‘Having deposited the packages upon the sands, we sat down beneath some trees, and looked out into the ocean in the hope of perceiving a ship, but during several hours we saw none whatever. At length I fancied that I could hear a singular buzzing or humming sound; and the porter, after listening awhile, declared that he also could distinguish it. Presently it grew louder, and then still louder, so that we could have no doubt that the object which caused it was approaching us. At length, on the edge of the horizon, we discovered a black speck, which rapidly increased in size until we made it out to be a vast monster, swimming with a great part of its body above the surface of the sea. It came toward us with inconceivable swiftness, throwing up huge waves of foam around its breast, and illuminating all that part of the sea through which it passed, with a long line of fire that extended far off into the distance. “‘As the thing drew near we saw it very distinctly.

Its length was equal to that of three of the loftiest trees that grow, and it was as wide as the great hall of audience in your palace, O most sublime and munificent of the Caliphs. Its body, which was unlike that of ordinary fishes, was as solid as a rock, and of a jetty blackness throughout all that portion of it which floated above the water, with the exception of a narrow blood-red streak that completely begirdled it. The belly, which floated beneath the surface, and of which we could get only a glimpse now and then as the monster rose and fell with the billows, was entirely covered with metallic scales, of a color like that of the moon in misty weather.

The back was flat and nearly white, and from it there extended upwards of six spines, about half the length of the whole body. “‘The horrible creature had no mouth that we could perceive, but, as if to make up for this deficiency, it was provided with at least four score of eyes, that protruded from their sockets like those of the green dragon-fly, and were arranged all around the body in two rows, one above the other, and parallel to the blood-red streak, which seemed to answer the purpose of an eyebrow. Two or three of these dreadful eyes were much larger than the others, and had the appearance of solid gold. “‘Although this beast approached us, as I have before said, with the greatest rapidity, it must have been moved altogether by necromancy--for it had neither fins like a fish nor web-feet like a duck, nor wings like the seashell which is blown along in the manner of a vessel; nor yet did it writhe itself forward as do the eels. Its head and its tail were shaped precisely alike, only, not far from the latter, were two small holes that served for nostrils, and through which the monster puffed out its thick breath with prodigious violence, and with a shrieking, disagreeable noise. “‘Our terror at beholding this hideous thing was very great, but it was even surpassed by our astonishment, when upon getting a nearer look, we perceived upon the creature’s back a vast number of animals about the size and shape of men, and altogether much resembling them, except that they wore no garments (as men do), being supplied (by nature, no doubt) with an ugly uncomfortable covering, a good deal like cloth, but fitting so tight to the skin, as to render the poor wretches laughably awkward, and put them apparently to severe pain.

On the very tips of their heads were certain square-looking boxes, which, at first sight, I thought might have been intended to answer as turbans, but I soon discovered that they were excessively heavy and solid, and I therefore concluded they were contrivances designed, by their great weight, to keep the heads of the animals steady and safe upon their shoulders. Around the necks of the creatures were fastened black collars, (badges of servitude, no doubt,) such as we keep on our dogs, only much wider and infinitely stiffer, so that it was quite impossible for these poor victims to move their heads in any direction without moving the body at the same time; and thus they were doomed to perpetual contemplation of their noses--a view puggish and snubby in a wonderful, if not positively in an awful degree. “‘When the monster had nearly reached the shore where we stood, it suddenly pushed out one of its eyes to a great extent, and emitted from it a terrible flash of fire, accompanied by a dense cloud of smoke, and a noise that I can compare to nothing but thunder. As the smoke cleared away, we saw one of the odd man-animals standing near the head of the large beast with a trumpet in his hand, through which (putting it to his mouth) he presently addressed us in loud, harsh, and disagreeable accents, that, perhaps, we should have mistaken for language, had they not come altogether through the nose. “‘Being thus evidently spoken to, I was at a loss how to reply, as I could in no manner understand what was said; and in this difficulty I turned to the porter, who was near swooning through affright, and demanded of him his opinion as to what species of monster it was, what it wanted, and what kind of creatures those were that so swarmed upon its back. To this the porter replied, as well as he could for trepidation, that he had once before heard of this sea-beast; that it was a cruel demon, with bowels of sulphur and blood of fire, created by evil genii as the means of inflicting misery upon mankind; that the things upon its back were vermin, such as sometimes infest cats and dogs, only a little larger and more savage; and that these vermin had their uses, however evil--for, through the torture they caused the beast by their nibbling and stingings, it was goaded into that degree of wrath which was requisite to make it roar and commit ill, and so fulfil the vengeful and malicious designs of the wicked genii. “This account determined me to take to my heels, and, without once even looking behind me, I ran at full speed up into the hills, while the porter ran equally fast, although nearly in an opposite direction, so that, by these means, he finally made his escape with my bundles, of which I have no doubt he took excellent care--although this is a point I cannot determine, as I do not remember that I ever beheld him again.

“‘For myself, I was so hotly pursued by a swarm of the men-vermin (who had come to the shore in boats) that I was very soon overtaken, bound hand and foot, and conveyed to the beast, which immediately swam out again into the middle of the sea. “‘I now bitterly repented my folly in quitting a comfortable home to peril my life in such adventures as this; but regret being useless, I made the best of my condition, and exerted myself to secure the goodwill of the man-animal that owned the trumpet, and who appeared to exercise authority over his fellows. I succeeded so well in this endeavor that, in a few days, the creature bestowed upon me various tokens of his favor, and in the end even went to the trouble of teaching me the rudiments of what it was vain enough to denominate its language; so that, at length, I was enabled to converse with it readily, and came to make it comprehend the ardent desire I had of seeing the world. “‘Washish squashish squeak, Sinbad, hey-diddle diddle, grunt unt grumble, hiss, fiss, whiss,’ said he to me, one day after dinner--but I beg a thousand pardons, I had forgotten that your majesty is not conversant with the dialect of the Cock-neighs (so the man-animals were called; I presume because their language formed the connecting link between that of the horse and that of the rooster). With your permission, I will translate. ‘Washish squashish,’ and so forth:--that is to say, ‘I am happy to find, my dear Sinbad, that you are really a very excellent fellow; we are now about doing a thing which is called circumnavigating the globe; and since you are so desirous of seeing the world, I will strain a point and give you a free passage upon back of the beast.’” When the Lady Scheherazade had proceeded thus far, relates the “Isitsoornot,” the king turned over from his left side to his right, and said: “It is, in fact, very surprising, my dear queen, that you omitted, hitherto, these latter adventures of Sinbad. Do you know I think them exceedingly entertaining and strange?” The king having thus expressed himself, we are told, the fair Scheherazade resumed her history in the following words: “Sinbad went on in this manner with his narrative to the caliph--‘I thanked the man-animal for its kindness, and soon found myself very much at home on the beast, which swam at a prodigious rate through the ocean; although the surface of the latter is, in that part of the world, by no means flat, but round like a pomegranate, so that we went--so to say--either up hill or down hill all the time.’ “That I think, was very singular,” interrupted the king.

“Nevertheless, it is quite true,” replied Scheherazade. “I have my doubts,” rejoined the king; “but, pray, be so good as to go on with the story.” “I will,” said the queen. “‘The beast,’ continued Sinbad to the caliph, ‘swam, as I have related, up hill and down hill until, at length, we arrived at an island, many hundreds of miles in circumference, but which, nevertheless, had been built in the middle of the sea by a colony of little things like caterpillars’” (*1) “Hum!” said the king. “‘Leaving this island,’ said Sinbad--(for Scheherazade, it must be understood, took no notice of her husband’s ill-mannered ejaculation) ‘leaving this island, we came to another where the forests were of solid stone, and so hard that they shivered to pieces the finest-tempered axes with which we endeavoured to cut them down.”’ (*2) “Hum!” said the king, again; but Scheherazade, paying him no attention, continued in the language of Sinbad. “‘Passing beyond this last island, we reached a country where there was a cave that ran to the distance of thirty or forty miles within the bowels of the earth, and that contained a greater number of far more spacious and more magnificent palaces than are to be found in all Damascus and Bagdad. From the roofs of these palaces there hung myriads of gems, like diamonds, but larger than men; and in among the streets of towers and pyramids and temples, there flowed immense rivers as black as ebony, and swarming with fish that had no eyes.’” (*3) “Hum!” said the king. “‘We then swam into a region of the sea where we found a lofty mountain, down whose sides there streamed torrents of melted metal, some of which were twelve miles wide and sixty miles long (*4); while from an abyss on the summit, issued so vast a quantity of ashes that the sun was entirely blotted out from the heavens, and it became darker than the darkest midnight; so that when we were even at the distance of a hundred and fifty miles from the mountain, it was impossible to see the whitest object, however close we held it to our eyes.’” (*5) “Hum!” said the king.

“‘After quitting this coast, the beast continued his voyage until we met with a land in which the nature of things seemed reversed--for we here saw a great lake, at the bottom of which, more than a hundred feet beneath the surface of the water, there flourished in full leaf a forest of tall and luxuriant trees.’” (*6) “Hoo!” said the king.

“Some hundred miles farther on brought us to a climate where the atmosphere was so dense as to sustain iron or steel, just as our own does feather.’” (*7) “Fiddle de dee,” said the king. “Proceeding still in the same direction, we presently arrived at the most magnificent region in the whole world. Through it there meandered a glorious river for several thousands of miles. This river was of unspeakable depth, and of a transparency richer than that of amber.

It was from three to six miles in width; and its banks which arose on either side to twelve hundred feet in perpendicular height, were crowned with ever-blossoming trees and perpetual sweet-scented flowers, that made the whole territory one gorgeous garden; but the name of this luxuriant land was the Kingdom of Horror, and to enter it was inevitable death’” (*8) “Humph!” said the king. “‘We left this kingdom in great haste, and, after some days, came to another, where we were astonished to perceive myriads of monstrous animals with horns resembling scythes upon their heads. These hideous beasts dig for themselves vast caverns in the soil, of a funnel shape, and line the sides of them with rocks, so disposed one upon the other that they fall instantly, when trodden upon by other animals, thus precipitating them into the monster’s dens, where their blood is immediately sucked, and their carcasses afterwards hurled contemptuously out to an immense distance from “the caverns of death.”’” (*9) “Pooh!” said the king. “‘Continuing our progress, we perceived a district with vegetables that grew not upon any soil but in the air. (*10) There were others that sprang from the substance of other vegetables; (*11) others that derived their substance from the bodies of living animals; (*12) and then again, there were others that glowed all over with intense fire; (*13) others that moved from place to place at pleasure, (*14) and what was still more wonderful, we discovered flowers that lived and breathed and moved their limbs at will and had, moreover, the detestable passion of mankind for enslaving other creatures, and confining them in horrid and solitary prisons until the fulfillment of appointed tasks.’” (*15) “Pshaw!” said the king. “‘Quitting this land, we soon arrived at another in which the bees and the birds are mathematicians of such genius and erudition, that they give daily instructions in the science of geometry to the wise men of the empire. The king of the place having offered a reward for the solution of two very difficult problems, they were solved upon the spot--the one by the bees, and the other by the birds; but the king keeping their solution a secret, it was only after the most profound researches and labor, and the writing of an infinity of big books, during a long series of years, that the men-mathematicians at length arrived at the identical solutions which had been given upon the spot by the bees and by the birds.’” (*16) “Oh my!” said the king. “‘We had scarcely lost sight of this empire when we found ourselves close upon another, from whose shores there flew over our heads a flock of fowls a mile in breadth, and two hundred and forty miles long; so that, although they flew a mile during every minute, it required no less than four hours for the whole flock to pass over us--in which there were several millions of millions of fowl.’” (*17) “Oh fy!” said the king. “‘No sooner had we got rid of these birds, which occasioned us great annoyance, than we were terrified by the appearance of a fowl of another kind, and infinitely larger than even the rocs which I met in my former voyages; for it was bigger than the biggest of the domes on your seraglio, oh, most Munificent of Caliphs.

This terrible fowl had no head that we could perceive, but was fashioned entirely of belly, which was of a prodigious fatness and roundness, of a soft-looking substance, smooth, shining and striped with various colors. In its talons, the monster was bearing away to his eyrie in the heavens, a house from which it had knocked off the roof, and in the interior of which we distinctly saw human beings, who, beyond doubt, were in a state of frightful despair at the horrible fate which awaited them.

We shouted with all our might, in the hope of frightening the bird into letting go of its prey, but it merely gave a snort or puff, as if of rage and then let fall upon our heads a heavy sack which proved to be filled with sand!’” “Stuff!” said the king. “‘It was just after this adventure that we encountered a continent of immense extent and prodigious solidity, but which, nevertheless, was supported entirely upon the back of a sky-blue cow that had no fewer than four hundred horns.’” (*18) “That, now, I believe,” said the king, “because I have read something of the kind before, in a book.” “‘We passed immediately beneath this continent, (swimming in between the legs of the cow), and, after some hours, found ourselves in a wonderful country indeed, which, I was informed by the man-animal, was his own native land, inhabited by things of his own species. This elevated the man-animal very much in my esteem, and in fact, I now began to feel ashamed of the contemptuous familiarity with which I had treated him; for I found that the man-animals in general were a nation of the most powerful magicians, who lived with worms in their brain, (*19) which, no doubt, served to stimulate them by their painful writhings and wrigglings to the most miraculous efforts of imagination!’” “Nonsense!” said the king. “‘Among the magicians, were domesticated several animals of very singular kinds; for example, there was a huge horse whose bones were iron and whose blood was boiling water. In place of corn, he had black stones for his usual food; and yet, in spite of so hard a diet, he was so strong and swift that he would drag a load more weighty than the grandest temple in this city, at a rate surpassing that of the flight of most birds.’” (*20) “Twattle!” said the king.

“‘I saw, also, among these people a hen without feathers, but bigger than a camel; instead of flesh and bone she had iron and brick; her blood, like that of the horse, (to whom, in fact, she was nearly related,) was boiling water; and like him she ate nothing but wood or black stones. This hen brought forth very frequently, a hundred chickens in the day; and, after birth, they took up their residence for several weeks within the stomach of their mother.’” (*21) “Fa!

lal!” said the king. “‘One of this nation of mighty conjurors created a man out of brass and wood, and leather, and endowed him with such ingenuity that he would have beaten at chess, all the race of mankind with the exception of the great Caliph, Haroun Alraschid. (*22) Another of these magi constructed (of like material) a creature that put to shame even the genius of him who made it; for so great were its reasoning powers that, in a second, it performed calculations of so vast an extent that they would have required the united labor of fifty thousand fleshy men for a year. (*23) But a still more wonderful conjuror fashioned for himself a mighty thing that was neither man nor beast, but which had brains of lead, intermixed with a black matter like pitch, and fingers that it employed with such incredible speed and dexterity that it would have had no trouble in writing out twenty thousand copies of the Koran in an hour, and this with so exquisite a precision, that in all the copies there should not be found one to vary from another by the breadth of the finest hair. This thing was of prodigious strength, so that it erected or overthrew the mightiest empires at a breath; but its powers were exercised equally for evil and for good.’” “Ridiculous!” said the king. “‘Among this nation of necromancers there was also one who had in his veins the blood of the salamanders; for he made no scruple of sitting down to smoke his chibouc in a red-hot oven until his dinner was thoroughly roasted upon its floor. (*24) Another had the faculty of converting the common metals into gold, without even looking at them during the process. (*25) Another had such a delicacy of touch that he made a wire so fine as to be invisible. (*26) Another had such quickness of perception that he counted all the separate motions of an elastic body, while it was springing backward and forward at the rate of nine hundred millions of times in a second.’” (*27) “Absurd!” said the king.

“‘Another of these magicians, by means of a fluid that nobody ever yet saw, could make the corpses of his friends brandish their arms, kick out their legs, fight, or even get up and dance at his will. (*28) Another had cultivated his voice to so great an extent that he could have made himself heard from one end of the world to the other. (*29) Another had so long an arm that he could sit down in Damascus and indite a letter at Bagdad--or indeed at any distance whatsoever. (*30) Another commanded the lightning to come down to him out of the heavens, and it came at his call; and served him for a plaything when it came. Another took two loud sounds and out of them made a silence.

Another constructed a deep darkness out of two brilliant lights. (*31) Another made ice in a red-hot furnace. (*32) Another directed the sun to paint his portrait, and the sun did. (*33) Another took this luminary with the moon and the planets, and having first weighed them with scrupulous accuracy, probed into their depths and found out the solidity of the substance of which they were made. But the whole nation is, indeed, of so surprising a necromantic ability, that not even their infants, nor their commonest cats and dogs have any difficulty in seeing objects that do not exist at all, or that for twenty millions of years before the birth of the nation itself had been blotted out from the face of creation.”’ (*34) “Preposterous!” said the king. “‘The wives and daughters of these incomparably great and wise magi,’” continued Scheherazade, without being in any manner disturbed by these frequent and most ungentlemanly interruptions on the part of her husband--“‘the wives and daughters of these eminent conjurers are every thing that is accomplished and refined; and would be every thing that is interesting and beautiful, but for an unhappy fatality that besets them, and from which not even the miraculous powers of their husbands and fathers has, hitherto, been adequate to save. Some fatalities come in certain shapes, and some in others--but this of which I speak has come in the shape of a crotchet.’” “A what?” said the king. “‘A crotchet’” said Scheherazade.

“‘One of the evil genii, who are perpetually upon the watch to inflict ill, has put it into the heads of these accomplished ladies that the thing which we describe as personal beauty consists altogether in the protuberance of the region which lies not very far below the small of the back. Perfection of loveliness, they say, is in the direct ratio of the extent of this lump. Having been long possessed of this idea, and bolsters being cheap in that country, the days have long gone by since it was possible to distinguish a woman from a dromedary-’” “Stop!” said the king--“I can’t stand that, and I won’t. You have already given me a dreadful headache with your lies. The day, too, I perceive, is beginning to break. How long have we been married?--my conscience is getting to be troublesome again. Upon the whole, you might as well get up and be throttled.” These words, as I learn from the “Isitsoornot,” both grieved and astonished Scheherazade; but, as she knew the king to be a man of scrupulous integrity, and quite unlikely to forfeit his word, she submitted to her fate with a good grace. She derived, however, great consolation, (during the tightening of the bowstring,) from the reflection that much of the history remained still untold, and that the petulance of her brute of a husband had reaped for him a most righteous reward, in depriving him of many inconceivable adventures. A DESCENT INTO THE MAELSTRÖM.

The ways of God in Nature, as in Providence, are not as our ways; nor are the models that we frame any way commensurate to the vastness, profundity, and unsearchableness of His works, which have a depth in them greater than the well of Democritus. Joseph Glanville.

WE had now reached the summit of the loftiest crag. For some minutes the old man seemed too much exhausted to speak.

“Not long ago,” said he at length, “and I could have guided you on this route as well as the youngest of my sons; but, about three years past, there happened to me an event such as never happened to mortal man--or at least such as no man ever survived to tell of--and the six hours of deadly terror which I then endured have broken me up body and soul.

You suppose me a very old man--but I am not. It took less than a single day to change these hairs from a jetty black to white, to weaken my limbs, and to unstring my nerves, so that I tremble at the least exertion, and am frightened at a shadow. Do you know I can scarcely look over this little cliff without getting giddy?” The “little cliff,” upon whose edge he had so carelessly thrown himself down to rest that the weightier portion of his body hung over it, while he was only kept from falling by the tenure of his elbow on its extreme and slippery edge--this “little cliff” arose, a sheer unobstructed precipice of black shining rock, some fifteen or sixteen hundred feet from the world of crags beneath us. Nothing would have tempted me to within half a dozen yards of its brink. In truth so deeply was I excited by the perilous position of my companion, that I fell at full length upon the ground, clung to the shrubs around me, and dared not even glance upward at the sky--while I struggled in vain to divest myself of the idea that the very foundations of the mountain were in danger from the fury of the winds. It was long before I could reason myself into sufficient courage to sit up and look out into the distance. “You must get over these fancies,” said the guide, “for I have brought you here that you might have the best possible view of the scene of that event I mentioned--and to tell you the whole story with the spot just under your eye.” “We are now,” he continued, in that particularizing manner which distinguished him--“we are now close upon the Norwegian coast--in the sixty-eighth degree of latitude--in the great province of Nordland--and in the dreary district of Lofoden. The mountain upon whose top we sit is Helseggen, the Cloudy. Now raise yourself up a little higher--hold on to the grass if you feel giddy--so--and look out, beyond the belt of vapor beneath us, into the sea.” I looked dizzily, and beheld a wide expanse of ocean, whose waters wore so inky a hue as to bring at once to my mind the Nubian geographer’s account of the Mare Tenebrarum.

A panorama more deplorably desolate no human imagination can conceive. To the right and left, as far as the eye could reach, there lay outstretched, like ramparts of the world, lines of horridly black and beetling cliff, whose character of gloom was but the more forcibly illustrated by the surf which reared high up against its white and ghastly crest, howling and shrieking forever. Just opposite the promontory upon whose apex we were placed, and at a distance of some five or six miles out at sea, there was visible a small, bleak-looking island; or, more properly, its position was discernible through the wilderness of surge in which it was enveloped. About two miles nearer the land, arose another of smaller size, hideously craggy and barren, and encompassed at various intervals by a cluster of dark rocks. The appearance of the ocean, in the space between the more distant island and the shore, had something very unusual about it. Although, at the time, so strong a gale was blowing landward that a brig in the remote offing lay to under a double-reefed trysail, and constantly plunged her whole hull out of sight, still there was here nothing like a regular swell, but only a short, quick, angry cross dashing of water in every direction--as well in the teeth of the wind as otherwise.

Of foam there was little except in the immediate vicinity of the rocks. “The island in the distance,” resumed the old man, “is called by the Norwegians Vurrgh. The one midway is Moskoe. That a mile to the northward is Ambaaren.

Yonder are Islesen, Hotholm, Keildhelm, Suarven, and Buckholm. Farther off--between Moskoe and Vurrgh--are Otterholm, Flimen, Sandflesen, and Stockholm.

These are the true names of the places--but why it has been thought necessary to name them at all, is more than either you or I can understand. Do you hear anything? Do you see any change in the water?” We had now been about ten minutes upon the top of Helseggen, to which we had ascended from the interior of Lofoden, so that we had caught no glimpse of the sea until it had burst upon us from the summit. As the old man spoke, I became aware of a loud and gradually increasing sound, like the moaning of a vast herd of buffaloes upon an American prairie; and at the same moment I perceived that what seamen term the chopping character of the ocean beneath us, was rapidly changing into a current which set to the eastward. Even while I gazed, this current acquired a monstrous velocity. Each moment added to its speed--to its headlong impetuosity. In five minutes the whole sea, as far as Vurrgh, was lashed into ungovernable fury; but it was between Moskoe and the coast that the main uproar held its sway. Here the vast bed of the waters, seamed and scarred into a thousand conflicting channels, burst suddenly into phrensied convulsion--heaving, boiling, hissing--gyrating in gigantic and innumerable vortices, and all whirling and plunging on to the eastward with a rapidity which water never elsewhere assumes except in precipitous descents. In a few minutes more, there came over the scene another radical alteration.

The general surface grew somewhat more smooth, and the whirlpools, one by one, disappeared, while prodigious streaks of foam became apparent where none had been seen before. These streaks, at length, spreading out to a great distance, and entering into combination, took unto themselves the gyratory motion of the subsided vortices, and seemed to form the germ of another more vast. Suddenly--very suddenly--this assumed a distinct and definite existence, in a circle of more than a mile in diameter.

The edge of the whirl was represented by a broad belt of gleaming spray; but no particle of this slipped into the mouth of the terrific funnel, whose interior, as far as the eye could fathom it, was a smooth, shining, and jet-black wall of water, inclined to the horizon at an angle of some forty-five degrees, speeding dizzily round and round with a swaying and sweltering motion, and sending forth to the winds an appalling voice, half shriek, half roar, such as not even the mighty cataract of Niagara ever lifts up in its agony to Heaven. The mountain trembled to its very base, and the rock rocked. I threw myself upon my face, and clung to the scant herbage in an excess of nervous agitation. “This,” said I at length, to the old man--“this can be nothing else than the great whirlpool of the Maelström.” “So it is sometimes termed,” said he. “We Norwegians call it the Moskoe-ström, from the island of Moskoe in the midway.” The ordinary accounts of this vortex had by no means prepared me for what I saw.

That of Jonas Ramus, which is perhaps the most circumstantial of any, cannot impart the faintest conception either of the magnificence, or of the horror of the scene--or of the wild bewildering sense of the novel which confounds the beholder. I am not sure from what point of view the writer in question surveyed it, nor at what time; but it could neither have been from the summit of Helseggen, nor during a storm.

There are some passages of his description, nevertheless, which may be quoted for their details, although their effect is exceedingly feeble in conveying an impression of the spectacle. “Between Lofoden and Moskoe,” he says, “the depth of the water is between thirty-six and forty fathoms; but on the other side, toward Ver (Vurrgh) this depth decreases so as not to afford a convenient passage for a vessel, without the risk of splitting on the rocks, which happens even in the calmest weather. When it is flood, the stream runs up the country between Lofoden and Moskoe with a boisterous rapidity; but the roar of its impetuous ebb to the sea is scarce equalled by the loudest and most dreadful cataracts; the noise being heard several leagues off, and the vortices or pits are of such an extent and depth, that if a ship comes within its attraction, it is inevitably absorbed and carried down to the bottom, and there beat to pieces against the rocks; and when the water relaxes, the fragments thereof are thrown up again. But these intervals of tranquility are only at the turn of the ebb and flood, and in calm weather, and last but a quarter of an hour, its violence gradually returning. When the stream is most boisterous, and its fury heightened by a storm, it is dangerous to come within a Norway mile of it. Boats, yachts, and ships have been carried away by not guarding against it before they were within its reach. It likewise happens frequently, that whales come too near the stream, and are overpowered by its violence; and then it is impossible to describe their howlings and bellowings in their fruitless struggles to disengage themselves. A bear once, attempting to swim from Lofoden to Moskoe, was caught by the stream and borne down, while he roared terribly, so as to be heard on shore. Large stocks of firs and pine trees, after being absorbed by the current, rise again broken and torn to such a degree as if bristles grew upon them. This plainly shows the bottom to consist of craggy rocks, among which they are whirled to and fro.

This stream is regulated by the flux and reflux of the sea--it being constantly high and low water every six hours. In the year 1645, early in the morning of Sexagesima Sunday, it raged with such noise and impetuosity that the very stones of the houses on the coast fell to the ground.” In regard to the depth of the water, I could not see how this could have been ascertained at all in the immediate vicinity of the vortex. The “forty fathoms” must have reference only to portions of the channel close upon the shore either of Moskoe or Lofoden. The depth in the centre of the Moskoe-ström must be immeasurably greater; and no better proof of this fact is necessary than can be obtained from even the sidelong glance into the abyss of the whirl which may be had from the highest crag of Helseggen. Looking down from this pinnacle upon the howling Phlegethon below, I could not help smiling at the simplicity with which the honest Jonas Ramus records, as a matter difficult of belief, the anecdotes of the whales and the bears; for it appeared to me, in fact, a self-evident thing, that the largest ship of the line in existence, coming within the influence of that deadly attraction, could resist it as little as a feather the hurricane, and must disappear bodily and at once. The attempts to account for the phenomenon--some of which, I remember, seemed to me sufficiently plausible in perusal--now wore a very different and unsatisfactory aspect. The idea generally received is that this, as well as three smaller vortices among the Ferroe islands, “have no other cause than the collision of waves rising and falling, at flux and reflux, against a ridge of rocks and shelves, which confines the water so that it precipitates itself like a cataract; and thus the higher the flood rises, the deeper must the fall be, and the natural result of all is a whirlpool or vortex, the prodigious suction of which is sufficiently known by lesser experiments.”--These are the words of the Encyclopædia Britannica. Kircher and others imagine that in the centre of the channel of the Maelström is an abyss penetrating the globe, and issuing in some very remote part--the Gulf of Bothnia being somewhat decidedly named in one instance.

This opinion, idle in itself, was the one to which, as I gazed, my imagination most readily assented; and, mentioning it to the guide, I was rather surprised to hear him say that, although it was the view almost universally entertained of the subject by the Norwegians, it nevertheless was not his own. As to the former notion he confessed his inability to comprehend it; and here I agreed with him--for, however conclusive on paper, it becomes altogether unintelligible, and even absurd, amid the thunder of the abyss. “You have had a good look at the whirl now,” said the old man, “and if you will creep round this crag, so as to get in its lee, and deaden the roar of the water, I will tell you a story that will convince you I ought to know something of the Moskoe-ström.” I placed myself as desired, and he proceeded. “Myself and my two brothers once owned a schooner-rigged smack of about seventy tons burthen, with which we were in the habit of fishing among the islands beyond Moskoe, nearly to Vurrgh. In all violent eddies at sea there is good fishing, at proper opportunities, if one has only the courage to attempt it; but among the whole of the Lofoden coastmen, we three were the only ones who made a regular business of going out to the islands, as I tell you. There fish can be got at all hours, without much risk, and therefore these places are preferred. The choice spots over here among the rocks, however, not only yield the finest variety, but in far greater abundance; so that we often got in a single day, what the more timid of the craft could not scrape together in a week. In fact, we made it a matter of desperate speculation--the risk of life standing instead of labor, and courage answering for capital.

“We kept the smack in a cove about five miles higher up the coast than this; and it was our practice, in fine weather, to take advantage of the fifteen minutes’ slack to push across the main channel of the Moskoe-ström, far above the pool, and then drop down upon anchorage somewhere near Otterholm, or Sandflesen, where the eddies are not so violent as elsewhere. Here we used to remain until nearly time for slack-water again, when we weighed and made for home. We never set out upon this expedition without a steady side wind for going and coming--one that we felt sure would not fail us before our return--and we seldom made a mis-calculation upon this point. Twice, during six years, we were forced to stay all night at anchor on account of a dead calm, which is a rare thing indeed just about here; and once we had to remain on the grounds nearly a week, starving to death, owing to a gale which blew up shortly after our arrival, and made the channel too boisterous to be thought of. Upon this occasion we should have been driven out to sea in spite of everything, (for the whirlpools threw us round and round so violently, that, at length, we fouled our anchor and dragged it) if it had not been that we drifted into one of the innumerable cross currents--here to-day and gone to-morrow--which drove us under the lee of Flimen, where, by good luck, we brought up. “I could not tell you the twentieth part of the difficulties we encountered ‘on the grounds’--it is a bad spot to be in, even in good weather--but we made shift always to run the gauntlet of the Moskoe-ström itself without accident; although at times my heart has been in my mouth when we happened to be a minute or so behind or before the slack. The wind sometimes was not as strong as we thought it at starting, and then we made rather less way than we could wish, while the current rendered the smack unmanageable.

My eldest brother had a son eighteen years old, and I had two stout boys of my own. These would have been of great assistance at such times, in using the sweeps, as well as afterward in fishing--but, somehow, although we ran the risk ourselves, we had not the heart to let the young ones get into the danger--for, after all is said and done, it was a horrible danger, and that is the truth. “It is now within a few days of three years since what I am going to tell you occurred. It was on the tenth day of July, 18-, a day which the people of this part of the world will never forget--for it was one in which blew the most terrible hurricane that ever came out of the heavens. And yet all the morning, and indeed until late in the afternoon, there was a gentle and steady breeze from the south-west, while the sun shone brightly, so that the oldest seaman among us could not have foreseen what was to follow.

“The three of us--my two brothers and myself--had crossed over to the islands about two o’clock P. M., and had soon nearly loaded the smack with fine fish, which, we all remarked, were more plenty that day than we had ever known them. It was just seven, by my watch, when we weighed and started for home, so as to make the worst of the Ström at slack water, which we knew would be at eight. “We set out with a fresh wind on our starboard quarter, and for some time spanked along at a great rate, never dreaming of danger, for indeed we saw not the slightest reason to apprehend it. This was most unusual--something that had never happened to us before--and I began to feel a little uneasy, without exactly knowing why. We put the boat on the wind, but could make no headway at all for the eddies, and I was upon the point of proposing to return to the anchorage, when, looking astern, we saw the whole horizon covered with a singular copper-colored cloud that rose with the most amazing velocity. “In the meantime the breeze that had headed us off fell away, and we were dead becalmed, drifting about in every direction. This state of things, however, did not last long enough to give us time to think about it. In less than a minute the storm was upon us--in less than two the sky was entirely overcast--and what with this and the driving spray, it became suddenly so dark that we could not see each other in the smack. “Such a hurricane as then blew it is folly to attempt describing.

The oldest seaman in Norway never experienced any thing like it. We had let our sails go by the run before it cleverly took us; but, at the first puff, both our masts went by the board as if they had been sawed off--the mainmast taking with it my youngest brother, who had lashed himself to it for safety.

“Our boat was the lightest feather of a thing that ever sat upon water.

It had a complete flush deck, with only a small hatch near the bow, and this hatch it had always been our custom to batten down when about to cross the Ström, by way of precaution against the chopping seas. But for this circumstance we should have foundered at once--for we lay entirely buried for some moments. How my elder brother escaped destruction I cannot say, for I never had an opportunity of ascertaining. For my part, as soon as I had let the foresail run, I threw myself flat on deck, with my feet against the narrow gunwale of the bow, and with my hands grasping a ring-bolt near the foot of the fore-mast. It was mere instinct that prompted me to do this--which was undoubtedly the very best thing I could have done--for I was too much flurried to think. “For some moments we were completely deluged, as I say, and all this time I held my breath, and clung to the bolt. When I could stand it no longer I raised myself upon my knees, still keeping hold with my hands, and thus got my head clear.

Presently our little boat gave herself a shake, just as a dog does in coming out of the water, and thus rid herself, in some measure, of the seas. I was now trying to get the better of the stupor that had come over me, and to collect my senses so as to see what was to be done, when I felt somebody grasp my arm. It was my elder brother, and my heart leaped for joy, for I had made sure that he was overboard--but the next moment all this joy was turned into horror--for he put his mouth close to my ear, and screamed out the word ‘Moskoe-ström!’ “No one ever will know what my feelings were at that moment. I shook from head to foot as if I had had the most violent fit of the ague. I knew what he meant by that one word well enough--I knew what he wished to make me understand. With the wind that now drove us on, we were bound for the whirl of the Ström, and nothing could save us! “You perceive that in crossing the Ström channel, we always went a long way up above the whirl, even in the calmest weather, and then had to wait and watch carefully for the slack--but now we were driving right upon the pool itself, and in such a hurricane as this! ‘To be sure,’ I thought, ‘we shall get there just about the slack--there is some little hope in that’--but in the next moment I cursed myself for being so great a fool as to dream of hope at all. I knew very well that we were doomed, had we been ten times a ninety-gun ship.

“By this time the first fury of the tempest had spent itself, or perhaps we did not feel it so much, as we scudded before it, but at all events the seas, which at first had been kept down by the wind, and lay flat and frothing, now got up into absolute mountains. A singular change, too, had come over the heavens.

Around in every direction it was still as black as pitch, but nearly overhead there burst out, all at once, a circular rift of clear sky--as clear as I ever saw--and of a deep bright blue--and through it there blazed forth the full moon with a lustre that I never before knew her to wear. She lit up every thing about us with the greatest distinctness--but, oh God, what a scene it was to light up! “I now made one or two attempts to speak to my brother--but, in some manner which I could not understand, the din had so increased that I could not make him hear a single word, although I screamed at the top of my voice in his ear. Presently he shook his head, looking as pale as death, and held up one of his fingers, as if to say ‘listen! ‘ “At first I could not make out what he meant--but soon a hideous thought flashed upon me. I dragged my watch from its fob. It was not going. I glanced at its face by the moonlight, and then burst into tears as I flung it far away into the ocean. It had run down at seven o’clock! We were behind the time of the slack, and the whirl of the Ström was in full fury! “When a boat is well built, properly trimmed, and not deep laden, the waves in a strong gale, when she is going large, seem always to slip from beneath her--which appears very strange to a landsman--and this is what is called riding, in sea phrase.

Well, so far we had ridden the swells very cleverly; but presently a gigantic sea happened to take us right under the counter, and bore us with it as it rose--up--up--as if into the sky. I would not have believed that any wave could rise so high. And then down we came with a sweep, a slide, and a plunge, that made me feel sick and dizzy, as if I was falling from some lofty mountain-top in a dream. But while we were up I had thrown a quick glance around--and that one glance was all sufficient. I saw our exact position in an instant. The Moskoe-Ström whirlpool was about a quarter of a mile dead ahead--but no more like the every-day Moskoe-Ström, than the whirl as you now see it is like a mill-race. If I had not known where we were, and what we had to expect, I should not have recognised the place at all. As it was, I involuntarily closed my eyes in horror.

The lids clenched themselves together as if in a spasm. “It could not have been more than two minutes afterward until we suddenly felt the waves subside, and were enveloped in foam. The boat made a sharp half turn to larboard, and then shot off in its new direction like a thunderbolt.

At the same moment the roaring noise of the water was completely drowned in a kind of shrill shriek--such a sound as you might imagine given out by the waste-pipes of many thousand steam-vessels, letting off their steam all together. We were now in the belt of surf that always surrounds the whirl; and I thought, of course, that another moment would plunge us into the abyss--down which we could only see indistinctly on account of the amazing velocity with which we wore borne along. The boat did not seem to sink into the water at all, but to skim like an air-bubble upon the surface of the surge. Her starboard side was next the whirl, and on the larboard arose the world of ocean we had left.

It stood like a huge writhing wall between us and the horizon. “It may appear strange, but now, when we were in the very jaws of the gulf, I felt more composed than when we were only approaching it. Having made up my mind to hope no more, I got rid of a great deal of that terror which unmanned me at first. I suppose it was despair that strung my nerves. “It may look like boasting--but what I tell you is truth--I began to reflect how magnificent a thing it was to die in such a manner, and how foolish it was in me to think of so paltry a consideration as my own individual life, in view of so wonderful a manifestation of God’s power. I do believe that I blushed with shame when this idea crossed my mind. After a little while I became possessed with the keenest curiosity about the whirl itself. I positively felt a wish to explore its depths, even at the sacrifice I was going to make; and my principal grief was that I should never be able to tell my old companions on shore about the mysteries I should see. These, no doubt, were singular fancies to occupy a man’s mind in such extremity--and I have often thought since, that the revolutions of the boat around the pool might have rendered me a little light-headed.

“There was another circumstance which tended to restore my self-possession; and this was the cessation of the wind, which could not reach us in our present situation--for, as you saw yourself, the belt of surf is considerably lower than the general bed of the ocean, and this latter now towered above us, a high, black, mountainous ridge.

If you have never been at sea in a heavy gale, you can form no idea of the confusion of mind occasioned by the wind and spray together. They blind, deafen, and strangle you, and take away all power of action or reflection. But we were now, in a great measure, rid of these annoyances--just as death-condemned felons in prison are allowed petty indulgences, forbidden them while their doom is yet uncertain. “How often we made the circuit of the belt it is impossible to say. We careered round and round for perhaps an hour, flying rather than floating, getting gradually more and more into the middle of the surge, and then nearer and nearer to its horrible inner edge. All this time I had never let go of the ring-bolt. My brother was at the stern, holding on to a small empty water-cask which had been securely lashed under the coop of the counter, and was the only thing on deck that had not been swept overboard when the gale first took us. As we approached the brink of the pit he let go his hold upon this, and made for the ring, from which, in the agony of his terror, he endeavored to force my hands, as it was not large enough to afford us both a secure grasp.

I never felt deeper grief than when I saw him attempt this act--although I knew he was a madman when he did it--a raving maniac through sheer fright. I did not care, however, to contest the point with him. I knew it could make no difference whether either of us held on at all; so I let him have the bolt, and went astern to the cask. This there was no great difficulty in doing; for the smack flew round steadily enough, and upon an even keel--only swaying to and fro, with the immense sweeps and swelters of the whirl. Scarcely had I secured myself in my new position, when we gave a wild lurch to starboard, and rushed headlong into the abyss. I muttered a hurried prayer to God, and thought all was over. “As I felt the sickening sweep of the descent, I had instinctively tightened my hold upon the barrel, and closed my eyes.

For some seconds I dared not open them--while I expected instant destruction, and wondered that I was not already in my death-struggles with the water. I still lived. The sense of falling had ceased; and the motion of the vessel seemed much as it had been before, while in the belt of foam, with the exception that she now lay more along. I took courage, and looked once again upon the scene. “Never shall I forget the sensations of awe, horror, and admiration with which I gazed about me. The boat appeared to be hanging, as if by magic, midway down, upon the interior surface of a funnel vast in circumference, prodigious in depth, and whose perfectly smooth sides might have been mistaken for ebony, but for the bewildering rapidity with which they spun around, and for the gleaming and ghastly radiance they shot forth, as the rays of the full moon, from that circular rift amid the clouds which I have already described, streamed in a flood of golden glory along the black walls, and far away down into the inmost recesses of the abyss. “At first I was too much confused to observe anything accurately. The general burst of terrific grandeur was all that I beheld. When I recovered myself a little, however, my gaze fell instinctively downward. In this direction I was able to obtain an unobstructed view, from the manner in which the smack hung on the inclined surface of the pool.

She was quite upon an even keel--that is to say, her deck lay in a plane parallel with that of the water--but this latter sloped at an angle of more than forty-five degrees, so that we seemed to be lying upon our beam-ends. I could not help observing, nevertheless, that I had scarcely more difficulty in maintaining my hold and footing in this situation, than if we had been upon a dead level; and this, I suppose, was owing to the speed at which we revolved. “The rays of the moon seemed to search the very bottom of the profound gulf; but still I could make out nothing distinctly, on account of a thick mist in which everything there was enveloped, and over which there hung a magnificent rainbow, like that narrow and tottering bridge which Mussulmen say is the only pathway between Time and Eternity. This mist, or spray, was no doubt occasioned by the clashing of the great walls of the funnel, as they all met together at the bottom--but the yell that went up to the Heavens from out of that mist, I dare not attempt to describe. “Our first slide into the abyss itself, from the belt of foam above, had carried us a great distance down the slope; but our farther descent was by no means proportionate. Round and round we swept--not with any uniform movement--but in dizzying swings and jerks, that sent us sometimes only a few hundred yards--sometimes nearly the complete circuit of the whirl. Our progress downward, at each revolution, was slow, but very perceptible. “Looking about me upon the wide waste of liquid ebony on which we were thus borne, I perceived that our boat was not the only object in the embrace of the whirl. Both above and below us were visible fragments of vessels, large masses of building timber and trunks of trees, with many smaller articles, such as pieces of house furniture, broken boxes, barrels and staves. I have already described the unnatural curiosity which had taken the place of my original terrors.

It appeared to grow upon me as I drew nearer and nearer to my dreadful doom. I now began to watch, with a strange interest, the numerous things that floated in our company. I must have been delirious--for I even sought amusement in speculating upon the relative velocities of their several descents toward the foam below. ‘This fir tree,’ I found myself at one time saying, ‘will certainly be the next thing that takes the awful plunge and disappears,’--and then I was disappointed to find that the wreck of a Dutch merchant ship overtook it and went down before. At length, after making several guesses of this nature, and being deceived in all--this fact--the fact of my invariable miscalculation--set me upon a train of reflection that made my limbs again tremble, and my heart beat heavily once more. “It was not a new terror that thus affected me, but the dawn of a more exciting hope. This hope arose partly from memory, and partly from present observation. I called to mind the great variety of buoyant matter that strewed the coast of Lofoden, having been absorbed and then thrown forth by the Moskoe-ström. By far the greater number of the articles were shattered in the most extraordinary way--so chafed and roughened as to have the appearance of being stuck full of splinters--but then I distinctly recollected that there were some of them which were not disfigured at all.

Now I could not account for this difference except by supposing that the roughened fragments were the only ones which had been completely absorbed--that the others had entered the whirl at so late a period of the tide, or, for some reason, had descended so slowly after entering, that they did not reach the bottom before the turn of the flood came, or of the ebb, as the case might be.

I conceived it possible, in either instance, that they might thus be whirled up again to the level of the ocean, without undergoing the fate of those which had been drawn in more early, or absorbed more rapidly. I made, also, three important observations. The first was, that, as a general rule, the larger the bodies were, the more rapid their descent--the second, that, between two masses of equal extent, the one spherical, and the other of any other shape, the superiority in speed of descent was with the sphere--the third, that, between two masses of equal size, the one cylindrical, and the other of any other shape, the cylinder was absorbed the more slowly. Since my escape, I have had several conversations on this subject with an old school-master of the district; and it was from him that I learned the use of the words ‘cylinder’ and ‘sphere.’ He explained to me--although I have forgotten the explanation--how what I observed was, in fact, the natural consequence of the forms of the floating fragments--and showed me how it happened that a cylinder, swimming in a vortex, offered more resistance to its suction, and was drawn in with greater difficulty than an equally bulky body, of any form whatever. (*1) “There was one startling circumstance which went a great way in enforcing these observations, and rendering me anxious to turn them to account, and this was that, at every revolution, we passed something like a barrel, or else the yard or the mast of a vessel, while many of these things, which had been on our level when I first opened my eyes upon the wonders of the whirlpool, were now high up above us, and seemed to have moved but little from their original station. “I no longer hesitated what to do. I resolved to lash myself securely to the water cask upon which I now held, to cut it loose from the counter, and to throw myself with it into the water. I attracted my brother’s attention by signs, pointed to the floating barrels that came near us, and did everything in my power to make him understand what I was about to do.

I thought at length that he comprehended my design--but, whether this was the case or not, he shook his head despairingly, and refused to move from his station by the ring-bolt. It was impossible to reach him; the emergency admitted of no delay; and so, with a bitter struggle, I resigned him to his fate, fastened myself to the cask by means of the lashings which secured it to the counter, and precipitated myself with it into the sea, without another moment’s hesitation. “The result was precisely what I had hoped it might be. As it is myself who now tell you this tale--as you see that I did escape--and as you are already in possession of the mode in which this escape was effected, and must therefore anticipate all that I have farther to say--I will bring my story quickly to conclusion. It might have been an hour, or thereabout, after my quitting the smack, when, having descended to a vast distance beneath me, it made three or four wild gyrations in rapid succession, and, bearing my loved brother with it, plunged headlong, at once and forever, into the chaos of foam below.

The barrel to which I was attached sunk very little farther than half the distance between the bottom of the gulf and the spot at which I leaped overboard, before a great change took place in the character of the whirlpool. The slope of the sides of the vast funnel became momently less and less steep. The gyrations of the whirl grew, gradually, less and less violent. By degrees, the froth and the rainbow disappeared, and the bottom of the gulf seemed slowly to uprise. The sky was clear, the winds had gone down, and the full moon was setting radiantly in the west, when I found myself on the surface of the ocean, in full view of the shores of Lofoden, and above the spot where the pool of the Moskoe-ström had been.

It was the hour of the slack--but the sea still heaved in mountainous waves from the effects of the hurricane. I was borne violently into the channel of the Ström, and in a few minutes was hurried down the coast into the ‘grounds’ of the fishermen. A boat picked me up--exhausted from fatigue--and (now that the danger was removed) speechless from the memory of its horror. Those who drew me on board were my old mates and daily companions--but they knew me no more than they would have known a traveller from the spirit-land. My hair which had been raven-black the day before, was as white as you see it now. They say too that the whole expression of my countenance had changed. I told them my story--they did not believe it. I now tell it to you--and I can scarcely expect you to put more faith in it than did the merry fishermen of Lofoden.” VON KEMPELEN AND HIS DISCOVERY AFTER THE very minute and elaborate paper by Arago, to say nothing of the summary in ‘Silliman’s Journal,’ with the detailed statement just published by Lieutenant Maury, it will not be supposed, of course, that in offering a few hurried remarks in reference to Von Kempelen’s discovery, I have any design to look at the subject in a scientific point of view. My object is simply, in the first place, to say a few words of Von Kempelen himself (with whom, some years ago, I had the honor of a slight personal acquaintance), since every thing which concerns him must necessarily, at this moment, be of interest; and, in the second place, to look in a general way, and speculatively, at the results of the discovery.

It may be as well, however, to premise the cursory observations which I have to offer, by denying, very decidedly, what seems to be a general impression (gleaned, as usual in a case of this kind, from the newspapers), viz.: that this discovery, astounding as it unquestionably is, is unanticipated. By reference to the ‘Diary of Sir Humphrey Davy’ (Cottle and Munroe, London, pp. 150), it will be seen at pp.

53 and 82, that this illustrious chemist had not only conceived the idea now in question, but had actually made no inconsiderable progress, experimentally, in the very identical analysis now so triumphantly brought to an issue by Von Kempelen, who although he makes not the slightest allusion to it, is, without doubt (I say it unhesitatingly, and can prove it, if required), indebted to the ‘Diary’ for at least the first hint of his own undertaking. The paragraph from the ‘Courier and Enquirer,’ which is now going the rounds of the press, and which purports to claim the invention for a Mr. Kissam, of Brunswick, Maine, appears to me, I confess, a little apocryphal, for several reasons; although there is nothing either impossible or very improbable in the statement made. I need not go into details. My opinion of the paragraph is founded principally upon its manner. It does not look true. Persons who are narrating facts, are seldom so particular as Mr.

Kissam seems to be, about day and date and precise location. Besides, if Mr. Kissam actually did come upon the discovery he says he did, at the period designated--nearly eight years ago--how happens it that he took no steps, on the instant, to reap the immense benefits which the merest bumpkin must have known would have resulted to him individually, if not to the world at large, from the discovery?

It seems to me quite incredible that any man of common understanding could have discovered what Mr. Kissam says he did, and yet have subsequently acted so like a baby--so like an owl--as Mr. Kissam admits that he did. By-the-way, who is Mr.

Kissam? and is not the whole paragraph in the ‘Courier and Enquirer’ a fabrication got up to ‘make a talk’? It must be confessed that it has an amazingly moon-hoaxy-air. Very little dependence is to be placed upon it, in my humble opinion; and if I were not well aware, from experience, how very easily men of science are mystified, on points out of their usual range of inquiry, I should be profoundly astonished at finding so eminent a chemist as Professor Draper, discussing Mr. Kissam’s (or is it Mr. Quizzem’s?) pretensions to the discovery, in so serious a tone. But to return to the ‘Diary’ of Sir Humphrey Davy.

This pamphlet was not designed for the public eye, even upon the decease of the writer, as any person at all conversant with authorship may satisfy himself at once by the slightest inspection of the style.

At page 13, for example, near the middle, we read, in reference to his researches about the protoxide of azote: ‘In less than half a minute the respiration being continued, diminished gradually and were succeeded by analogous to gentle pressure on all the muscles.’ That the respiration was not ‘diminished,’ is not only clear by the subsequent context, but by the use of the plural, ‘were.’ The sentence, no doubt, was thus intended: ‘In less than half a minute, the respiration analogous to gentle pressure on all the muscles.’ A hundred similar instances go to show that the MS. so inconsiderately published, was merely a rough note-book, meant only for the writer’s own eye, but an inspection of the pamphlet will convince almost any thinking person of the truth of my suggestion.

The fact is, Sir Humphrey Davy was about the last man in the world to commit himself on scientific topics. Not only had he a more than ordinary dislike to quackery, but he was morbidly afraid of appearing empirical; so that, however fully he might have been convinced that he was on the right track in the matter now in question, he would never have spoken out, until he had every thing ready for the most practical demonstration. I verily believe that his last moments would have been rendered wretched, could he have suspected that his wishes in regard to burning this ‘Diary’ (full of crude speculations) would have been unattended to; as, it seems, they were.

I say ‘his wishes,’ for that he meant to include this note-book among the miscellaneous papers directed ‘to be burnt,’ I think there can be no manner of doubt. Whether it escaped the flames by good fortune or by bad, yet remains to be seen. That the passages quoted above, with the other similar ones referred to, gave Von Kempelen the hint, I do not in the slightest degree question; but I repeat, it yet remains to be seen whether this momentous discovery itself (momentous under any circumstances) will be of service or disservice to mankind at large. That Von Kempelen and his immediate friends will reap a rich harvest, it would be folly to doubt for a moment. They will scarcely be so weak as not to ‘realize,’ in time, by large purchases of houses and land, with other property of intrinsic value.

In the brief account of Von Kempelen which appeared in the ‘Home Journal,’ and has since been extensively copied, several misapprehensions of the German original seem to have been made by the translator, who professes to have taken the passage from a late number of the Presburg ‘Schnellpost.’ ‘Viele’ has evidently been misconceived (as it often is), and what the translator renders by ‘sorrows,’ is probably ‘lieden,’ which, in its true version, ‘sufferings,’ would give a totally different complexion to the whole account; but, of course, much of this is merely guess, on my part.

Von Kempelen, however, is by no means ‘a misanthrope,’ in appearance, at least, whatever he may be in fact. My acquaintance with him was casual altogether; and I am scarcely warranted in saying that I know him at all; but to have seen and conversed with a man of so prodigious a notoriety as he has attained, or will attain in a few days, is not a small matter, as times go. ‘The Literary World’ speaks of him, confidently, as a native of Presburg (misled, perhaps, by the account in ‘The Home Journal’) but I am pleased in being able to state positively, since I have it from his own lips, that he was born in Utica, in the State of New York, although both his parents, I believe, are of Presburg descent. The family is connected, in some way, with Maelzel, of Automaton-chess-player memory. In person, he is short and stout, with large, fat, blue eyes, sandy hair and whiskers, a wide but pleasing mouth, fine teeth, and I think a Roman nose.

There is some defect in one of his feet. His address is frank, and his whole manner noticeable for bonhomie. Altogether, he looks, speaks, and acts as little like ‘a misanthrope’ as any man I ever saw. We were fellow-sojourners for a week about six years ago, at Earl’s Hotel, in Providence, Rhode Island; and I presume that I conversed with him, at various times, for some three or four hours altogether. His principal topics were those of the day, and nothing that fell from him led me to suspect his scientific attainments.

He left the hotel before me, intending to go to New York, and thence to Bremen; it was in the latter city that his great discovery was first made public; or, rather, it was there that he was first suspected of having made it. This is about all that I personally know of the now immortal Von Kempelen; but I have thought that even these few details would have interest for the public. There can be little question that most of the marvellous rumors afloat about this affair are pure inventions, entitled to about as much credit as the story of Aladdin’s lamp; and yet, in a case of this kind, as in the case of the discoveries in California, it is clear that the truth may be stranger than fiction. The following anecdote, at least, is so well authenticated, that we may receive it implicitly. Von Kempelen had never been even tolerably well off during his residence at Bremen; and often, it was well known, he had been put to extreme shifts in order to raise trifling sums. When the great excitement occurred about the forgery on the house of Gutsmuth & Co., suspicion was directed toward Von Kempelen, on account of his having purchased a considerable property in Gasperitch Lane, and his refusing, when questioned, to explain how he became possessed of the purchase money. He was at length arrested, but nothing decisive appearing against him, was in the end set at liberty. The police, however, kept a strict watch upon his movements, and thus discovered that he left home frequently, taking always the same road, and invariably giving his watchers the slip in the neighborhood of that labyrinth of narrow and crooked passages known by the flash name of the ‘Dondergat.’ Finally, by dint of great perseverance, they traced him to a garret in an old house of seven stories, in an alley called Flatzplatz,--and, coming upon him suddenly, found him, as they imagined, in the midst of his counterfeiting operations.

His agitation is represented as so excessive that the officers had not the slightest doubt of his guilt. After hand-cuffing him, they searched his room, or rather rooms, for it appears he occupied all the mansarde. Opening into the garret where they caught him, was a closet, ten feet by eight, fitted up with some chemical apparatus, of which the object has not yet been ascertained.

In one corner of the closet was a very small furnace, with a glowing fire in it, and on the fire a kind of duplicate crucible--two crucibles connected by a tube. One of these crucibles was nearly full of lead in a state of fusion, but not reaching up to the aperture of the tube, which was close to the brim. The other crucible had some liquid in it, which, as the officers entered, seemed to be furiously dissipating in vapor. They relate that, on finding himself taken, Kempelen seized the crucibles with both hands (which were encased in gloves that afterwards turned out to be asbestic), and threw the contents on the tiled floor. It was now that they hand-cuffed him; and before proceeding to ransack the premises they searched his person, but nothing unusual was found about him, excepting a paper parcel, in his coat-pocket, containing what was afterward ascertained to be a mixture of antimony and some unknown substance, in nearly, but not quite, equal proportions. All attempts at analyzing the unknown substance have, so far, failed, but that it will ultimately be analyzed, is not to be doubted. Passing out of the closet with their prisoner, the officers went through a sort of ante-chamber, in which nothing material was found, to the chemist’s sleeping-room.

They here rummaged some drawers and boxes, but discovered only a few papers, of no importance, and some good coin, silver and gold. At length, looking under the bed, they saw a large, common hair trunk, without hinges, hasp, or lock, and with the top lying carelessly across the bottom portion. Upon attempting to draw this trunk out from under the bed, they found that, with their united strength (there were three of them, all powerful men), they ‘could not stir it one inch.’ Much astonished at this, one of them crawled under the bed, and looking into the trunk, said: ‘No wonder we couldn’t move it--why it’s full to the brim of old bits of brass!’ Putting his feet, now, against the wall so as to get a good purchase, and pushing with all his force, while his companions pulled with all theirs, the trunk, with much difficulty, was slid out from under the bed, and its contents examined. The supposed brass with which it was filled was all in small, smooth pieces, varying from the size of a pea to that of a dollar; but the pieces were irregular in shape, although more or less flat-looking, upon the whole, ‘very much as lead looks when thrown upon the ground in a molten state, and there suffered to grow cool.’ Now, not one of these officers for a moment suspected this metal to be any thing but brass. The idea of its being gold never entered their brains, of course; how could such a wild fancy have entered it? And their astonishment may be well conceived, when the next day it became known, all over Bremen, that the ‘lot of brass’ which they had carted so contemptuously to the police office, without putting themselves to the trouble of pocketing the smallest scrap, was not only gold--real gold--but gold far finer than any employed in coinage-gold, in fact, absolutely pure, virgin, without the slightest appreciable alloy. I need not go over the details of Von Kempelen’s confession (as far as it went) and release, for these are familiar to the public.

That he has actually realized, in spirit and in effect, if not to the letter, the old chimaera of the philosopher’s stone, no sane person is at liberty to doubt. The opinions of Arago are, of course, entitled to the greatest consideration; but he is by no means infallible; and what he says of bismuth, in his report to the Academy, must be taken cum grano salis. The simple truth is, that up to this period all analysis has failed; and until Von Kempelen chooses to let us have the key to his own published enigma, it is more than probable that the matter will remain, for years, in statu quo. All that as yet can fairly be said to be known is, that ‘Pure gold can be made at will, and very readily from lead in connection with certain other substances, in kind and in proportions, unknown.’ Speculation, of course, is busy as to the immediate and ultimate results of this discovery--a discovery which few thinking persons will hesitate in referring to an increased interest in the matter of gold generally, by the late developments in California; and this reflection brings us inevitably to another--the exceeding inopportuneness of Von Kempelen’s analysis. If many were prevented from adventuring to California, by the mere apprehension that gold would so materially diminish in value, on account of its plentifulness in the mines there, as to render the speculation of going so far in search of it a doubtful one--what impression will be wrought now, upon the minds of those about to emigrate, and especially upon the minds of those actually in the mineral region, by the announcement of this astounding discovery of Von Kempelen? a discovery which declares, in so many words, that beyond its intrinsic worth for manufacturing purposes (whatever that worth may be), gold now is, or at least soon will be (for it cannot be supposed that Von Kempelen can long retain his secret), of no greater value than lead, and of far inferior value to silver. It is, indeed, exceedingly difficult to speculate prospectively upon the consequences of the discovery, but one thing may be positively maintained--that the announcement of the discovery six months ago would have had material influence in regard to the settlement of California. In Europe, as yet, the most noticeable results have been a rise of two hundred per cent. in the price of lead, and nearly twenty-five per cent. that of silver.

MESMERIC REVELATION WHATEVER doubt may still envelop the rationale of mesmerism, its startling facts are now almost universally admitted. Of these latter, those who doubt, are your mere doubters by profession--an unprofitable and disreputable tribe. There can be no more absolute waste of time than the attempt to prove, at the present day, that man, by mere exercise of will, can so impress his fellow, as to cast him into an abnormal condition, of which the phenomena resemble very closely those of death, or at least resemble them more nearly than they do the phenomena of any other normal condition within our cognizance; that, while in this state, the person so impressed employs only with effort, and then feebly, the external organs of sense, yet perceives, with keenly refined perception, and through channels supposed unknown, matters beyond the scope of the physical organs; that, moreover, his intellectual faculties are wonderfully exalted and invigorated; that his sympathies with the person so impressing him are profound; and, finally, that his susceptibility to the impression increases with its frequency, while, in the same proportion, the peculiar phenomena elicited are more extended and more pronounced. I say that these--which are the laws of mesmerism in its general features--it would be supererogation to demonstrate; nor shall I inflict upon my readers so needless a demonstration; to-day. My purpose at present is a very different one indeed. I am impelled, even in the teeth of a world of prejudice, to detail without comment the very remarkable substance of a colloquy, occurring between a sleep-waker and myself. I had been long in the habit of mesmerizing the person in question, (Mr. Vankirk,) and the usual acute susceptibility and exaltation of the mesmeric perception had supervened. For many months he had been laboring under confirmed phthisis, the more distressing effects of which had been relieved by my manipulations; and on the night of Wednesday, the fifteenth instant, I was summoned to his bedside.

The invalid was suffering with acute pain in the region of the heart, and breathed with great difficulty, having all the ordinary symptoms of asthma.

In spasms such as these he had usually found relief from the application of mustard to the nervous centres, but to-night this had been attempted in vain. As I entered his room he greeted me with a cheerful smile, and although evidently in much bodily pain, appeared to be, mentally, quite at ease. “I sent for you to-night,” he said, “not so much to administer to my bodily ailment, as to satisfy me concerning certain psychal impressions which, of late, have occasioned me much anxiety and surprise. I need not tell you how sceptical I have hitherto been on the topic of the soul’s immortality. I cannot deny that there has always existed, as if in that very soul which I have been denying, a vague half-sentiment of its own existence. But this half-sentiment at no time amounted to conviction. With it my reason had nothing to do. All attempts at logical inquiry resulted, indeed, in leaving me more sceptical than before. I had been advised to study Cousin.

I studied him in his own works as well as in those of his European and American echoes. Brownson, for example, was placed in my hands. I read it with profound attention. Throughout I found it logical, but the portions which were not merely logical were unhappily the initial arguments of the disbelieving hero of the book. In his summing up it seemed evident to me that the reasoner had not even succeeded in convincing himself. His end had plainly forgotten his beginning, like the government of Trinculo. In short, I was not long in perceiving that if man is to be intellectually convinced of his own immortality, he will never be so convinced by the mere abstractions which have been so long the fashion of the moralists of England, of France, and of Germany. Abstractions may amuse and exercise, but take no hold on the mind. Here upon earth, at least, philosophy, I am persuaded, will always in vain call upon us to look upon qualities as things.

The will may assent--the soul--the intellect, never. “I repeat, then, that I only half felt, and never intellectually believed. But latterly there has been a certain deepening of the feeling, until it has come so nearly to resemble the acquiescence of reason, that I find it difficult to distinguish between the two. I am enabled, too, plainly to trace this effect to the mesmeric influence. I cannot better explain my meaning than by the hypothesis that the mesmeric exaltation enables me to perceive a train of ratiocination which, in my abnormal existence, convinces, but which, in full accordance with the mesmeric phenomena, does not extend, except through its effect, into my normal condition. In sleep-waking, the reasoning and its conclusion--the cause and its effect--are present together. In my natural state, the cause vanishing, the effect only, and perhaps only partially, remains. “These considerations have led me to think that some good results might ensue from a series of well-directed questions propounded to me while mesmerized. You have often observed the profound self-cognizance evinced by the sleep-waker--the extensive knowledge he displays upon all points relating to the mesmeric condition itself; and from this self-cognizance may be deduced hints for the proper conduct of a catechism.” I consented of course to make this experiment.

Vankirk into the mesmeric sleep. His breathing became immediately more easy, and he seemed to suffer no physical uneasiness. The following conversation then ensued:--V. in the dialogue representing the patient, and P. V. Yes--no I would rather sleep more soundly. P. How do you think your present illness will result?

V. I must die. P. Does the idea of death afflict you? V. No--no! P. Are you pleased with the prospect? V. If I were awake I should like to die, but now it is no matter. The mesmeric condition is so near death as to content me. P. I wish you would explain yourself, Mr. Vankirk. V. I am willing to do so, but it requires more effort than I feel able to make.

You do not question me properly. P. What then shall I ask? V. You must begin at the beginning. P. The beginning! but where is the beginning? V. You know that the beginning is GOD. P. What then is God? V. I cannot tell.

P. Is not God spirit? V. While I was awake I knew what you meant by “spirit,” but now it seems only a word--such for instance as truth, beauty--a quality, I mean. P. Is not God immaterial? V. There is no immateriality--it is a mere word. That which is not matter, is not at all--unless qualities are things.

P. Is God, then, material? P. What then is he? V. I see--but it is a thing difficult to tell. He is not spirit, for he exists. Nor is he matter, as you understand it. But there are gradations of matter of which man knows nothing; the grosser impelling the finer, the finer pervading the grosser. The atmosphere, for example, impels the electric principle, while the electric principle permeates the atmosphere. These gradations of matter increase in rarity or fineness, until we arrive at a matter unparticled--without particles--indivisible--one and here the law of impulsion and permeation is modified. The ultimate, or unparticled matter, not only permeates all things but impels all things--and thus is all things within itself.

This matter is God. What men attempt to embody in the word “thought,” is this matter in motion. P. The metaphysicians maintain that all action is reducible to motion and thinking, and that the latter is the origin of the former. V. Yes; and I now see the confusion of idea. Motion is the action of mind--not of thinking. The unparticled matter, or God, in quiescence, is (as nearly as we can conceive it) what men call mind.

And the power of self-movement (equivalent in effect to human volition) is, in the unparticled matter, the result of its unity and omniprevalence; how I know not, and now clearly see that I shall never know. But the unparticled matter, set in motion by a law, or quality, existing within itself, is thinking. P. Can you give me no more precise idea of what you term the unparticled matter? V. The matters of which man is cognizant, escape the senses in gradation. We have, for example, a metal, a piece of wood, a drop of water, the atmosphere, a gas, caloric, electricity, the luminiferous ether. Now we call all these things matter, and embrace all matter in one general definition; but in spite of this, there can be no two ideas more essentially distinct than that which we attach to a metal, and that which we attach to the luminiferous ether. When we reach the latter, we feel an almost irresistible inclination to class it with spirit, or with nihility. The only consideration which restrains us is our conception of its atomic constitution; and here, even, we have to seek aid from our notion of an atom, as something possessing in infinite minuteness, solidity, palpability, weight. Destroy the idea of the atomic constitution and we should no longer be able to regard the ether as an entity, or at least as matter.

For want of a better word we might term it spirit. Take, now, a step beyond the luminiferous ether--conceive a matter as much more rare than the ether, as this ether is more rare than the metal, and we arrive at once (in spite of all the school dogmas) at a unique mass--an unparticled matter. For although we may admit infinite littleness in the atoms themselves, the infinitude of littleness in the spaces between them is an absurdity.

There will be a point--there will be a degree of rarity, at which, if the atoms are sufficiently numerous, the interspaces must vanish, and the mass absolutely coalesce. But the consideration of the atomic constitution being now taken away, the nature of the mass inevitably glides into what we conceive of spirit. It is clear, however, that it is as fully matter as before. The truth is, it is impossible to conceive spirit, since it is impossible to imagine what is not. When we flatter ourselves that we have formed its conception, we have merely deceived our understanding by the consideration of infinitely rarified matter.

P. There seems to me an insurmountable objection to the idea of absolute coalescence;--and that is the very slight resistance experienced by the heavenly bodies in their revolutions through space--a resistance now ascertained, it is true, to exist in some degree, but which is, nevertheless, so slight as to have been quite overlooked by the sagacity even of Newton. We know that the resistance of bodies is, chiefly, in proportion to their density.

Absolute coalescence is absolute density. Where there are no interspaces, there can be no yielding. An ether, absolutely dense, would put an infinitely more effectual stop to the progress of a star than would an ether of adamant or of iron. V. Your objection is answered with an ease which is nearly in the ratio of its apparent unanswerability.--As regards the progress of the star, it can make no difference whether the star passes through the ether or the ether through it. There is no astronomical error more unaccountable than that which reconciles the known retardation of the comets with the idea of their passage through an ether: for, however rare this ether be supposed, it would put a stop to all sidereal revolution in a very far briefer period than has been admitted by those astronomers who have endeavored to slur over a point which they found it impossible to comprehend. The retardation actually experienced is, on the other hand, about that which might be expected from the friction of the ether in the instantaneous passage through the orb. In the one case, the retarding force is momentary and complete within itself--in the other it is endlessly accumulative. P. But in all this--in this identification of mere matter with God--is there nothing of irreverence? V. Can you say why matter should be less reverenced than mind?

But you forget that the matter of which I speak is, in all respects, the very “mind” or “spirit” of the schools, so far as regards its high capacities, and is, moreover, the “matter” of these schools at the same time. God, with all the powers attributed to spirit, is but the perfection of matter. P. You assert, then, that the unparticled matter, in motion, is thought? V. In general, this motion is the universal thought of the universal mind. This thought creates. All created things are but the thoughts of God. P. You say, “in general.” V. Yes. The universal mind is God.

For new individualities, matter is necessary. P. But you now speak of “mind” and “matter” as do the metaphysicians. V. Yes--to avoid confusion. When I say “mind,” I mean the unparticled or ultimate matter; by “matter,” I intend all else. P. You were saying that “for new individualities matter is necessary.” V. Yes; for mind, existing unincorporate, is merely God. To create individual, thinking beings, it was necessary to incarnate portions of the divine mind.

Thus man is individualized. Divested of corporate investiture, he were God. Now, the particular motion of the incarnated portions of the unparticled matter is the thought of man; as the motion of the whole is that of God. P. You say that divested of the body man will be God? V. I could not have said this; it is an absurdity.

P. You did say that “divested of corporate investiture man were God.” V. And this is true. Man thus divested would be God--would be unindividualized. But he can never be thus divested--at least never will be--else we must imagine an action of God returning upon itself--a purposeless and futile action. Man is a creature. It is the nature of thought to be irrevocable. P. I do not comprehend. You say that man will never put off the body? V. I say that he will never be bodiless.

P. Explain. V. There are two bodies--the rudimental and the complete; corresponding with the two conditions of the worm and the butterfly. What we call “death,” is but the painful metamorphosis. Our present incarnation is progressive, preparatory, temporary. Our future is perfected, ultimate, immortal. The ultimate life is the full design. P. But of the worm’s metamorphosis we are palpably cognizant.

V. We, certainly--but not the worm. The matter of which our rudimental body is composed, is within the ken of the organs of that body; or, more distinctly, our rudimental organs are adapted to the matter of which is formed the rudimental body; but not to that of which the ultimate is composed. The ultimate body thus escapes our rudimental senses, and we perceive only the shell which falls, in decaying, from the inner form; not that inner form itself; but this inner form, as well as the shell, is appreciable by those who have already acquired the ultimate life. P. You have often said that the mesmeric state very nearly resembles death. How is this? V. When I say that it resembles death, I mean that it resembles the ultimate life; for when I am entranced the senses of my rudimental life are in abeyance, and I perceive external things directly, without organs, through a medium which I shall employ in the ultimate, unorganized life. P. Unorganized? V. Yes; organs are contrivances by which the individual is brought into sensible relation with particular classes and forms of matter, to the exclusion of other classes and forms.

The organs of man are adapted to his rudimental condition, and to that only; his ultimate condition, being unorganized, is of unlimited comprehension in all points but one--the nature of the volition of God--that is to say, the motion of the unparticled matter. You will have a distinct idea of the ultimate body by conceiving it to be entire brain. This it is not; but a conception of this nature will bring you near a comprehension of what it is.

A luminous body imparts vibration to the luminiferous ether. The vibrations generate similar ones within the retina; these again communicate similar ones to the optic nerve. The nerve conveys similar ones to the brain; the brain, also, similar ones to the unparticled matter which permeates it. The motion of this latter is thought, of which perception is the first undulation. This is the mode by which the mind of the rudimental life communicates with the external world; and this external world is, to the rudimental life, limited, through the idiosyncrasy of its organs. But in the ultimate, unorganized life, the external world reaches the whole body, (which is of a substance having affinity to brain, as I have said,) with no other intervention than that of an infinitely rarer ether than even the luminiferous; and to this ether--in unison with it--the whole body vibrates, setting in motion the unparticled matter which permeates it. It is to the absence of idiosyncratic organs, therefore, that we must attribute the nearly unlimited perception of the ultimate life.

To rudimental beings, organs are the cages necessary to confine them until fledged. P. You speak of rudimental “beings.” Are there other rudimental thinking beings than man?

V. The multitudinous conglomeration of rare matter into nebulæ, planets, suns, and other bodies which are neither nebulæ, suns, nor planets, is for the sole purpose of supplying pabulum for the idiosyncrasy of the organs of an infinity of rudimental beings. But for the necessity of the rudimental, prior to the ultimate life, there would have been no bodies such as these. Each of these is tenanted by a distinct variety of organic, rudimental, thinking creatures. In all, the organs vary with the features of the place tenanted. At death, or metamorphosis, these creatures, enjoying the ultimate life--immortality--and cognizant of all secrets but the one, act all things and pass everywhere by mere volition:--indwelling, not the stars, which to us seem the sole palpabilities, and for the accommodation of which we blindly deem space created--but that SPACE itself--that infinity of which the truly substantive vastness swallows up the star-shadows--blotting them out as non-entities from the perception of the angels. P. You say that “but for the necessity of the rudimental life” there would have been no stars. But why this necessity? V. In the inorganic life, as well as in the inorganic matter generally, there is nothing to impede the action of one simple unique law--the Divine Volition.

With the view of producing impediment, the organic life and matter, (complex, substantial, and law-encumbered,) were contrived. P. But again--why need this impediment have been produced? V. The result of law inviolate is perfection--right--negative happiness. The result of law violate is imperfection, wrong, positive pain.

Through the impediments afforded by the number, complexity, and substantiality of the laws of organic life and matter, the violation of law is rendered, to a certain extent, practicable. Thus pain, which in the inorganic life is impossible, is possible in the organic. P. But to what good end is pain thus rendered possible? V. All things are either good or bad by comparison. A sufficient analysis will show that pleasure, in all cases, is but the contrast of pain.

Positive pleasure is a mere idea. To be happy at any one point we must have suffered at the same. But it has been shown that, in the inorganic life, pain cannot be thus the necessity for the organic. The pain of the primitive life of Earth, is the sole basis of the bliss of the ultimate life in Heaven.

P. Still, there is one of your expressions which I find it impossible to comprehend--“the truly substantive vastness of infinity.” V. This, probably, is because you have no sufficiently generic conception of the term “substance” itself.

We must not regard it as a quality, but as a sentiment:--it is the perception, in thinking beings, of the adaptation of matter to their organization. There are many things on the Earth, which would be nihility to the inhabitants of Venus--many things visible and tangible in Venus, which we could not be brought to appreciate as existing at all. But to the inorganic beings--to the angels--the whole of the unparticled matter is substance--that is to say, the whole of what we term “space” is to them the truest substantiality;--the stars, meantime, through what we consider their materiality, escaping the angelic sense, just in proportion as the unparticled matter, through what we consider its immateriality, eludes the organic. As the sleep-waker pronounced these latter words, in a feeble tone, I observed on his countenance a singular expression, which somewhat alarmed me, and induced me to awake him at once.

No sooner had I done this, than, with a bright smile irradiating all his features, he fell back upon his pillow and expired. I noticed that in less than a minute afterward his corpse had all the stern rigidity of stone.

His brow was of the coldness of ice.

Thus, ordinarily, should it have appeared, only after long pressure from Azrael’s hand. Had the sleep-waker, indeed, during the latter portion of his discourse, been addressing me from out the region of the shadows? THE FACTS IN THE CASE OF M.

VALDEMAR OF course I shall not pretend to consider it any matter for wonder, that the extraordinary case of M.

Valdemar has excited discussion. It would have been a miracle had it not-especially under the circumstances. Through the desire of all parties concerned, to keep the affair from the public, at least for the present, or until we had farther opportunities for investigation--through our endeavors to effect this--a garbled or exaggerated account made its way into society, and became the source of many unpleasant misrepresentations, and, very naturally, of a great deal of disbelief. It is now rendered necessary that I give the facts--as far as I comprehend them myself. They are, succinctly, these: My attention, for the last three years, had been repeatedly drawn to the subject of Mesmerism; and, about nine months ago it occurred to me, quite suddenly, that in the series of experiments made hitherto, there had been a very remarkable and most unaccountable omission:--no person had as yet been mesmerized in articulo mortis. It remained to be seen, first, whether, in such condition, there existed in the patient any susceptibility to the magnetic influence; secondly, whether, if any existed, it was impaired or increased by the condition; thirdly, to what extent, or for how long a period, the encroachments of Death might be arrested by the process. There were other points to be ascertained, but these most excited my curiosity--the last in especial, from the immensely important character of its consequences. In looking around me for some subject by whose means I might test these particulars, I was brought to think of my friend, M. Ernest Valdemar, the well-known compiler of the “Bibliotheca Forensica,” and author (under the nom de plume of Issachar Marx) of the Polish versions of “Wallenstein” and “Gargantua.” M. Valdemar, who has resided principally at Harlaem, N.Y., since the year 1839, is (or was) particularly noticeable for the extreme spareness of his person--his lower limbs much resembling those of John Randolph; and, also, for the whiteness of his whiskers, in violent contrast to the blackness of his hair--the latter, in consequence, being very generally mistaken for a wig.

His temperament was markedly nervous, and rendered him a good subject for mesmeric experiment. On two or three occasions I had put him to sleep with little difficulty, but was disappointed in other results which his peculiar constitution had naturally led me to anticipate. His will was at no period positively, or thoroughly, under my control, and in regard to clairvoyance, I could accomplish with him nothing to be relied upon. I always attributed my failure at these points to the disordered state of his health. For some months previous to my becoming acquainted with him, his physicians had declared him in a confirmed phthisis. It was his custom, indeed, to speak calmly of his approaching dissolution, as of a matter neither to be avoided nor regretted. When the ideas to which I have alluded first occurred to me, it was of course very natural that I should think of M. I knew the steady philosophy of the man too well to apprehend any scruples from him; and he had no relatives in America who would be likely to interfere. I spoke to him frankly upon the subject; and, to my surprise, his interest seemed vividly excited.

I say to my surprise, for, although he had always yielded his person freely to my experiments, he had never before given me any tokens of sympathy with what I did. His disease was of that character which would admit of exact calculation in respect to the epoch of its termination in death; and it was finally arranged between us that he would send for me about twenty-four hours before the period announced by his physicians as that of his decease. It is now rather more than seven months since I received, from M. Valdemar himself, the subjoined note: My DEAR P---, You may as well come now. D---- and F---- are agreed that I cannot hold out beyond to-morrow midnight; and I think they have hit the time very nearly. VALDEMAR I received this note within half an hour after it was written, and in fifteen minutes more I was in the dying man’s chamber. I had not seen him for ten days, and was appalled by the fearful alteration which the brief interval had wrought in him. His face wore a leaden hue; the eyes were utterly lustreless; and the emaciation was so extreme that the skin had been broken through by the cheek-bones. His expectoration was excessive.

The pulse was barely perceptible. He retained, nevertheless, in a very remarkable manner, both his mental power and a certain degree of physical strength. He spoke with distinctness--took some palliative medicines without aid--and, when I entered the room, was occupied in penciling memoranda in a pocket-book. He was propped up in the bed by pillows. Doctors D---- and F---- were in attendance. After pressing Valdemar’s hand, I took these gentlemen aside, and obtained from them a minute account of the patient’s condition. The left lung had been for eighteen months in a semi-osseous or cartilaginous state, and was, of course, entirely useless for all purposes of vitality. The right, in its upper portion, was also partially, if not thoroughly, ossified, while the lower region was merely a mass of purulent tubercles, running one into another.

Several extensive perforations existed; and, at one point, permanent adhesion to the ribs had taken place. These appearances in the right lobe were of comparatively recent date. The ossification had proceeded with very unusual rapidity; no sign of it had been discovered a month before, and the adhesion had only been observed during the three previous days.

Independently of the phthisis, the patient was suspected of aneurism of the aorta; but on this point the osseous symptoms rendered an exact diagnosis impossible. It was the opinion of both physicians that M. Valdemar would die about midnight on the morrow (Sunday). It was then seven o’clock on Saturday evening. On quitting the invalid’s bed-side to hold conversation with myself, Doctors D---- and F---- had bidden him a final farewell. It had not been their intention to return; but, at my request, they agreed to look in upon the patient about ten the next night. When they had gone, I spoke freely with M. Valdemar on the subject of his approaching dissolution, as well as, more particularly, of the experiment proposed.

He still professed himself quite willing and even anxious to have it made, and urged me to commence it at once. A male and a female nurse were in attendance; but I did not feel myself altogether at liberty to engage in a task of this character with no more reliable witnesses than these people, in case of sudden accident, might prove. I therefore postponed operations until about eight the next night, when the arrival of a medical student with whom I had some acquaintance, (Mr. Theodore L--l,) relieved me from farther embarrassment.

It had been my design, originally, to wait for the physicians; but I was induced to proceed, first, by the urgent entreaties of M. Valdemar, and secondly, by my conviction that I had not a moment to lose, as he was evidently sinking fast.

L--l was so kind as to accede to my desire that he would take notes of all that occurred, and it is from his memoranda that what I now have to relate is, for the most part, either condensed or copied verbatim. It wanted about five minutes of eight when, taking the patient’s hand, I begged him to state, as distinctly as he could, to Mr. Valdemar) was entirely willing that I should make the experiment of mesmerizing him in his then condition. He replied feebly, yet quite audibly, “Yes, I wish to be. I fear you have mesmerized”--adding immediately afterwards, “deferred it too long.” While he spoke thus, I commenced the passes which I had already found most effectual in subduing him. He was evidently influenced with the first lateral stroke of my hand across his forehead; but although I exerted all my powers, no further perceptible effect was induced until some minutes after ten o’clock, when Doctors D-- and F-- called, according to appointment. I explained to them, in a few words, what I designed, and as they opposed no objection, saying that the patient was already in the death agony, I proceeded without hesitation--exchanging, however, the lateral passes for downward ones, and directing my gaze entirely into the right eye of the sufferer. By this time his pulse was imperceptible and his breathing was stertorous, and at intervals of half a minute. This condition was nearly unaltered for a quarter of an hour. At the expiration of this period, however, a natural although a very deep sigh escaped the bosom of the dying man, and the stertorous breathing ceased--that is to say, its stertorousness was no longer apparent; the intervals were undiminished.

The patient’s extremities were of an icy coldness. At five minutes before eleven I perceived unequivocal signs of the mesmeric influence. The glassy roll of the eye was changed for that expression of uneasy inward examination which is never seen except in cases of sleep-waking, and which it is quite impossible to mistake. With a few rapid lateral passes I made the lids quiver, as in incipient sleep, and with a few more I closed them altogether. I was not satisfied, however, with this, but continued the manipulations vigorously, and with the fullest exertion of the will, until I had completely stiffened the limbs of the slumberer, after placing them in a seemingly easy position. The legs were at full length; the arms were nearly so, and reposed on the bed at a moderate distance from the loin. The head was very slightly elevated. When I had accomplished this, it was fully midnight, and I requested the gentlemen present to examine M.

Valdemar’s condition. After a few experiments, they admitted him to be an unusually perfect state of mesmeric trance. The curiosity of both the physicians was greatly excited.

D---- resolved at once to remain with the patient all night, while Dr. F---- took leave with a promise to return at daybreak. L--l and the nurses remained. Valdemar entirely undisturbed until about three o’clock in the morning, when I approached him and found him in precisely the same condition as when Dr. F--went away--that is to say, he lay in the same position; the pulse was imperceptible; the breathing was gentle (scarcely noticeable, unless through the application of a mirror to the lips); the eyes were closed naturally; and the limbs were as rigid and as cold as marble. Still, the general appearance was certainly not that of death. As I approached M. Valdemar I made a kind of half effort to influence his right arm into pursuit of my own, as I passed the latter gently to and fro above his person. In such experiments with this patient I had never perfectly succeeded before, and assuredly I had little thought of succeeding now; but to my astonishment, his arm very readily, although feebly, followed every direction I assigned it with mine.

I determined to hazard a few words of conversation. Valdemar,” I said, “are you asleep?” He made no answer, but I perceived a tremor about the lips, and was thus induced to repeat the question, again and again. At its third repetition, his whole frame was agitated by a very slight shivering; the eyelids unclosed themselves so far as to display a white line of the ball; the lips moved sluggishly, and from between them, in a barely audible whisper, issued the words: “Yes;--asleep now. Do not wake me!--let me die so!” I here felt the limbs and found them as rigid as ever. The right arm, as before, obeyed the direction of my hand. I questioned the sleep-waker again: “Do you still feel pain in the breast, M.

Valdemar?” The answer now was immediate, but even less audible than before: “No pain--I am dying.” I did not think it advisable to disturb him farther just then, and nothing more was said or done until the arrival of Dr. F--, who came a little before sunrise, and expressed unbounded astonishment at finding the patient still alive. After feeling the pulse and applying a mirror to the lips, he requested me to speak to the sleep-waker again. I did so, saying: “M. Valdemar, do you still sleep?” As before, some minutes elapsed ere a reply was made; and during the interval the dying man seemed to be collecting his energies to speak. At my fourth repetition of the question, he said very faintly, almost inaudibly: “Yes; still asleep--dying.” It was now the opinion, or rather the wish, of the physicians, that M. Valdemar should be suffered to remain undisturbed in his present apparently tranquil condition, until death should supervene--and this, it was generally agreed, must now take place within a few minutes. I concluded, however, to speak to him once more, and merely repeated my previous question.

While I spoke, there came a marked change over the countenance of the sleep-waker. The eyes rolled themselves slowly open, the pupils disappearing upwardly; the skin generally assumed a cadaverous hue, resembling not so much parchment as white paper; and the circular hectic spots which, hitherto, had been strongly defined in the centre of each cheek, went out at once. I use this expression, because the suddenness of their departure put me in mind of nothing so much as the extinguishment of a candle by a puff of the breath. The upper lip, at the same time, writhed itself away from the teeth, which it had previously covered completely; while the lower jaw fell with an audible jerk, leaving the mouth widely extended, and disclosing in full view the swollen and blackened tongue.

I presume that no member of the party then present had been unaccustomed to death-bed horrors; but so hideous beyond conception was the appearance of M. Valdemar at this moment, that there was a general shrinking back from the region of the bed. I now feel that I have reached a point of this narrative at which every reader will be startled into positive disbelief. It is my business, however, simply to proceed.

There was no longer the faintest sign of vitality in M. Valdemar; and concluding him to be dead, we were consigning him to the charge of the nurses, when a strong vibratory motion was observable in the tongue. This continued for perhaps a minute. At the expiration of this period, there issued from the distended and motionless jaws a voice--such as it would be madness in me to attempt describing.

There are, indeed, two or three epithets which might be considered as applicable to it in part; I might say, for example, that the sound was harsh, and broken and hollow; but the hideous whole is indescribable, for the simple reason that no similar sounds have ever jarred upon the ear of humanity.

There were two particulars, nevertheless, which I thought then, and still think, might fairly be stated as characteristic of the intonation--as well adapted to convey some idea of its unearthly peculiarity. In the first place, the voice seemed to reach our ears--at least mine--from a vast distance, or from some deep cavern within the earth. In the second place, it impressed me (I fear, indeed, that it will be impossible to make myself comprehended) as gelatinous or glutinous matters impress the sense of touch. I have spoken both of “sound” and of “voice.” I mean to say that the sound was one of distinct--of even wonderfully, thrillingly distinct--syllabification. Valdemar spoke--obviously in reply to the question I had propounded to him a few minutes before. I had asked him, it will be remembered, if he still slept.

He now said: “Yes;--no;--I have been sleeping--and now--now--I am dead.” No person present even affected to deny, or attempted to repress, the unutterable, shuddering horror which these few words, thus uttered, were so well calculated to convey.

The nurses immediately left the chamber, and could not be induced to return. My own impressions I would not pretend to render intelligible to the reader.

For nearly an hour, we busied ourselves, silently--without the utterance of a word--in endeavors to revive Mr. When he came to himself, we addressed ourselves again to an investigation of M. Valdemar’s condition.

It remained in all respects as I have last described it, with the exception that the mirror no longer afforded evidence of respiration. An attempt to draw blood from the arm failed. I should mention, too, that this limb was no farther subject to my will. I endeavored in vain to make it follow the direction of my hand. The only real indication, indeed, of the mesmeric influence, was now found in the vibratory movement of the tongue, whenever I addressed M.

Valdemar a question. He seemed to be making an effort to reply, but had no longer sufficient volition. To queries put to him by any other person than myself he seemed utterly insensible--although I endeavored to place each member of the company in mesmeric rapport with him. I believe that I have now related all that is necessary to an understanding of the sleep-waker’s state at this epoch. Other nurses were procured; and at ten o’clock I left the house in company with the two physicians and Mr. In the afternoon we all called again to see the patient. His condition remained precisely the same.

We had now some discussion as to the propriety and feasibility of awakening him; but we had little difficulty in agreeing that no good purpose would be served by so doing. It was evident that, so far, death (or what is usually termed death) had been arrested by the mesmeric process. It seemed clear to us all that to awaken M. Valdemar would be merely to insure his instant, or at least his speedy dissolution. From this period until the close of last week--an interval of nearly seven months--we continued to make daily calls at M. Valdemar’s house, accompanied, now and then, by medical and other friends. All this time the sleeper-waker remained exactly as I have last described him.

The nurses’ attentions were continual. It was on Friday last that we finally resolved to make the experiment of awakening or attempting to awaken him; and it is the (perhaps) unfortunate result of this latter experiment which has given rise to so much discussion in private circles--to so much of what I cannot help thinking unwarranted popular feeling. For the purpose of relieving M. Valdemar from the mesmeric trance, I made use of the customary passes. These, for a time, were unsuccessful.

The first indication of revival was afforded by a partial descent of the iris. It was observed, as especially remarkable, that this lowering of the pupil was accompanied by the profuse out-flowing of a yellowish ichor (from beneath the lids) of a pungent and highly offensive odor. It was now suggested that I should attempt to influence the patient’s arm, as heretofore. I made the attempt and failed. F--then intimated a desire to have me put a question. I did so, as follows: “M. Valdemar, can you explain to us what are your feelings or wishes now?” There was an instant return of the hectic circles on the cheeks; the tongue quivered, or rather rolled violently in the mouth (although the jaws and lips remained rigid as before;) and at length the same hideous voice which I have already described, broke forth: “For God’s sake!--quick!--quick!--put me to sleep--or, quick!--waken me!--quick!--I say to you that I am dead!” I was thoroughly unnerved, and for an instant remained undecided what to do. At first I made an endeavor to re-compose the patient; but, failing in this through total abeyance of the will, I retraced my steps and as earnestly struggled to awaken him. In this attempt I soon saw that I should be successful--or at least I soon fancied that my success would be complete--and I am sure that all in the room were prepared to see the patient awaken. For what really occurred, however, it is quite impossible that any human being could have been prepared.

As I rapidly made the mesmeric passes, amid ejaculations of “dead! dead!” absolutely bursting from the tongue and not from the lips of the sufferer, his whole frame at once--within the space of a single minute, or even less, shrunk--crumbled--absolutely rotted away beneath my hands. Upon the bed, before that whole company, there lay a nearly liquid mass of loathsome--of detestable putridity. FOR the most wild, yet most homely narrative which I am about to pen, I neither expect nor solicit belief. Mad indeed would I be to expect it, in a case where my very senses reject their own evidence. Yet, mad am I not--and very surely do I not dream. But to-morrow I die, and to-day I would unburthen my soul. My immediate purpose is to place before the world, plainly, succinctly, and without comment, a series of mere household events. In their consequences, these events have terrified--have tortured--have destroyed me.

Yet I will not attempt to expound them. To me, they have presented little but Horror--to many they will seem less terrible than barroques. Hereafter, perhaps, some intellect may be found which will reduce my phantasm to the common-place--some intellect more calm, more logical, and far less excitable than my own, which will perceive, in the circumstances I detail with awe, nothing more than an ordinary succession of very natural causes and effects. From my infancy I was noted for the docility and humanity of my disposition. My tenderness of heart was even so conspicuous as to make me the jest of my companions. I was especially fond of animals, and was indulged by my parents with a great variety of pets.

With these I spent most of my time, and never was so happy as when feeding and caressing them. This peculiarity of character grew with my growth, and in my manhood, I derived from it one of my principal sources of pleasure. To those who have cherished an affection for a faithful and sagacious dog, I need hardly be at the trouble of explaining the nature or the intensity of the gratification thus derivable.

There is something in the unselfish and self-sacrificing love of a brute, which goes directly to the heart of him who has had frequent occasion to test the paltry friendship and gossamer fidelity of mere Man. I married early, and was happy to find in my wife a disposition not uncongenial with my own. Observing my partiality for domestic pets, she lost no opportunity of procuring those of the most agreeable kind. We had birds, gold-fish, a fine dog, rabbits, a small monkey, and a cat. This latter was a remarkably large and beautiful animal, entirely black, and sagacious to an astonishing degree. In speaking of his intelligence, my wife, who at heart was not a little tinctured with superstition, made frequent allusion to the ancient popular notion, which regarded all black cats as witches in disguise. Not that she was ever serious upon this point--and I mention the matter at all for no better reason than that it happens, just now, to be remembered. Pluto--this was the cat’s name--was my favorite pet and playmate. I alone fed him, and he attended me wherever I went about the house. It was even with difficulty that I could prevent him from following me through the streets.

Our friendship lasted, in this manner, for several years, during which my general temperament and character--through the instrumentality of the Fiend Intemperance--had (I blush to confess it) experienced a radical alteration for the worse. I grew, day by day, more moody, more irritable, more regardless of the feelings of others. I suffered myself to use intemperate language to my wife. At length, I even offered her personal violence. My pets, of course, were made to feel the change in my disposition.

I not only neglected, but ill-used them.

For Pluto, however, I still retained sufficient regard to restrain me from maltreating him, as I made no scruple of maltreating the rabbits, the monkey, or even the dog, when by accident, or through affection, they came in my way. But my disease grew upon me--for what disease is like Alcohol!--and at length even Pluto, who was now becoming old, and consequently somewhat peevish--even Pluto began to experience the effects of my ill temper. One night, returning home, much intoxicated, from one of my haunts about town, I fancied that the cat avoided my presence. I seized him; when, in his fright at my violence, he inflicted a slight wound upon my hand with his teeth. The fury of a demon instantly possessed me. I knew myself no longer. My original soul seemed, at once, to take its flight from my body and a more than fiendish malevolence, gin-nurtured, thrilled every fibre of my frame. I took from my waistcoat-pocket a pen-knife, opened it, grasped the poor beast by the throat, and deliberately cut one of its eyes from the socket! I blush, I burn, I shudder, while I pen the damnable atrocity.

When reason returned with the morning--when I had slept off the fumes of the night’s debauch--I experienced a sentiment half of horror, half of remorse, for the crime of which I had been guilty; but it was, at best, a feeble and equivocal feeling, and the soul remained untouched. I again plunged into excess, and soon drowned in wine all memory of the deed. In the meantime the cat slowly recovered.

The socket of the lost eye presented, it is true, a frightful appearance, but he no longer appeared to suffer any pain. He went about the house as usual, but, as might be expected, fled in extreme terror at my approach. I had so much of my old heart left, as to be at first grieved by this evident dislike on the part of a creature which had once so loved me. But this feeling soon gave place to irritation.

And then came, as if to my final and irrevocable overthrow, the spirit of PERVERSENESS. Of this spirit philosophy takes no account. Yet I am not more sure that my soul lives, than I am that perverseness is one of the primitive impulses of the human heart--one of the indivisible primary faculties, or sentiments, which give direction to the character of Man. Who has not, a hundred times, found himself committing a vile or a silly action, for no other reason than because he knows he should not? Have we not a perpetual inclination, in the teeth of our best judgment, to violate that which is Law, merely because we understand it to be such? This spirit of perverseness, I say, came to my final overthrow.

It was this unfathomable longing of the soul to vex itself--to offer violence to its own nature--to do wrong for the wrong’s sake only--that urged me to continue and finally to consummate the injury I had inflicted upon the unoffending brute. One morning, in cool blood, I slipped a noose about its neck and hung it to the limb of a tree;--hung it with the tears streaming from my eyes, and with the bitterest remorse at my heart;--hung it because I knew that it had loved me, and because I felt it had given me no reason of offence;--hung it because I knew that in so doing I was committing a sin--a deadly sin that would so jeopardize my immortal soul as to place it--if such a thing wore possible--even beyond the reach of the infinite mercy of the Most Merciful and Most Terrible God. On the night of the day on which this cruel deed was done, I was aroused from sleep by the cry of fire. The curtains of my bed were in flames. The whole house was blazing. It was with great difficulty that my wife, a servant, and myself, made our escape from the conflagration.

The destruction was complete. My entire worldly wealth was swallowed up, and I resigned myself thenceforward to despair. I am above the weakness of seeking to establish a sequence of cause and effect, between the disaster and the atrocity. But I am detailing a chain of facts--and wish not to leave even a possible link imperfect. On the day succeeding the fire, I visited the ruins.

The walls, with one exception, had fallen in. This exception was found in a compartment wall, not very thick, which stood about the middle of the house, and against which had rested the head of my bed. The plastering had here, in great measure, resisted the action of the fire--a fact which I attributed to its having been recently spread. About this wall a dense crowd were collected, and many persons seemed to be examining a particular portion of it with very minute and eager attention. The words “strange!” “singular!” and other similar expressions, excited my curiosity. I approached and saw, as if graven in bas relief upon the white surface, the figure of a gigantic cat.

The impression was given with an accuracy truly marvellous. There was a rope about the animal’s neck. When I first beheld this apparition--for I could scarcely regard it as less--my wonder and my terror were extreme.

But at length reflection came to my aid. The cat, I remembered, had been hung in a garden adjacent to the house. Upon the alarm of fire, this garden had been immediately filled by the crowd--by some one of whom the animal must have been cut from the tree and thrown, through an open window, into my chamber. This had probably been done with the view of arousing me from sleep. The falling of other walls had compressed the victim of my cruelty into the substance of the freshly-spread plaster; the lime of which, with the flames, and the ammonia from the carcass, had then accomplished the portraiture as I saw it. Although I thus readily accounted to my reason, if not altogether to my conscience, for the startling fact just detailed, it did not the less fail to make a deep impression upon my fancy. For months I could not rid myself of the phantasm of the cat; and, during this period, there came back into my spirit a half-sentiment that seemed, but was not, remorse. I went so far as to regret the loss of the animal, and to look about me, among the vile haunts which I now habitually frequented, for another pet of the same species, and of somewhat similar appearance, with which to supply its place.

One night as I sat, half stupified, in a den of more than infamy, my attention was suddenly drawn to some black object, reposing upon the head of one of the immense hogsheads of Gin, or of Rum, which constituted the chief furniture of the apartment. I had been looking steadily at the top of this hogshead for some minutes, and what now caused me surprise was the fact that I had not sooner perceived the object thereupon. I approached it, and touched it with my hand. It was a black cat--a very large one--fully as large as Pluto, and closely resembling him in every respect but one. Pluto had not a white hair upon any portion of his body; but this cat had a large, although indefinite splotch of white, covering nearly the whole region of the breast.

Upon my touching him, he immediately arose, purred loudly, rubbed against my hand, and appeared delighted with my notice. This, then, was the very creature of which I was in search. I at once offered to purchase it of the landlord; but this person made no claim to it--knew nothing of it--had never seen it before. I continued my caresses, and, when I prepared to go home, the animal evinced a disposition to accompany me. I permitted it to do so; occasionally stooping and patting it as I proceeded. When it reached the house it domesticated itself at once, and became immediately a great favorite with my wife. For my own part, I soon found a dislike to it arising within me. This was just the reverse of what I had anticipated; but--I know not how or why it was--its evident fondness for myself rather disgusted and annoyed. By slow degrees, these feelings of disgust and annoyance rose into the bitterness of hatred.

I avoided the creature; a certain sense of shame, and the remembrance of my former deed of cruelty, preventing me from physically abusing it. I did not, for some weeks, strike, or otherwise violently ill use it; but gradually--very gradually--I came to look upon it with unutterable loathing, and to flee silently from its odious presence, as from the breath of a pestilence. What added, no doubt, to my hatred of the beast, was the discovery, on the morning after I brought it home, that, like Pluto, it also had been deprived of one of its eyes. This circumstance, however, only endeared it to my wife, who, as I have already said, possessed, in a high degree, that humanity of feeling which had once been my distinguishing trait, and the source of many of my simplest and purest pleasures. With my aversion to this cat, however, its partiality for myself seemed to increase.

It followed my footsteps with a pertinacity which it would be difficult to make the reader comprehend. Whenever I sat, it would crouch beneath my chair, or spring upon my knees, covering me with its loathsome caresses. If I arose to walk it would get between my feet and thus nearly throw me down, or, fastening its long and sharp claws in my dress, clamber, in this manner, to my breast. At such times, although I longed to destroy it with a blow, I was yet withheld from so doing, partly by a memory of my former crime, but chiefly--let me confess it at once--by absolute dread of the beast. This dread was not exactly a dread of physical evil--and yet I should be at a loss how otherwise to define it. I am almost ashamed to own--yes, even in this felon’s cell, I am almost ashamed to own--that the terror and horror with which the animal inspired me, had been heightened by one of the merest chimaeras it would be possible to conceive. My wife had called my attention, more than once, to the character of the mark of white hair, of which I have spoken, and which constituted the sole visible difference between the strange beast and the one I had destroyed. The reader will remember that this mark, although large, had been originally very indefinite; but, by slow degrees--degrees nearly imperceptible, and which for a long time my Reason struggled to reject as fanciful--it had, at length, assumed a rigorous distinctness of outline.

It was now the representation of an object that I shudder to name--and for this, above all, I loathed, and dreaded, and would have rid myself of the monster had I dared--it was now, I say, the image of a hideous--of a ghastly thing--of the GALLOWS!--oh, mournful and terrible engine of Horror and of Crime--of Agony and of Death! And now was I indeed wretched beyond the wretchedness of mere Humanity.

And a brute beast --whose fellow I had contemptuously destroyed--a brute beast to work out for me--for me a man, fashioned in the image of the High God--so much of insufferable wo! neither by day nor by night knew I the blessing of Rest any more! During the former the creature left me no moment alone; and, in the latter, I started, hourly, from dreams of unutterable fear, to find the hot breath of the thing upon my face, and its vast weight--an incarnate Night-Mare that I had no power to shake off--incumbent eternally upon my heart! Beneath the pressure of torments such as these, the feeble remnant of the good within me succumbed. Evil thoughts became my sole intimates--the darkest and most evil of thoughts. The moodiness of my usual temper increased to hatred of all things and of all mankind; while, from the sudden, frequent, and ungovernable outbursts of a fury to which I now blindly abandoned myself, my uncomplaining wife, alas! was the most usual and the most patient of sufferers. One day she accompanied me, upon some household errand, into the cellar of the old building which our poverty compelled us to inhabit. The cat followed me down the steep stairs, and, nearly throwing me headlong, exasperated me to madness. Uplifting an axe, and forgetting, in my wrath, the childish dread which had hitherto stayed my hand, I aimed a blow at the animal which, of course, would have proved instantly fatal had it descended as I wished.

But this blow was arrested by the hand of my wife. Goaded, by the interference, into a rage more than demoniacal, I withdrew my arm from her grasp and buried the axe in her brain. She fell dead upon the spot, without a groan. This hideous murder accomplished, I set myself forthwith, and with entire deliberation, to the task of concealing the body. I knew that I could not remove it from the house, either by day or by night, without the risk of being observed by the neighbors. Many projects entered my mind. At one period I thought of cutting the corpse into minute fragments, and destroying them by fire. At another, I resolved to dig a grave for it in the floor of the cellar.

Again, I deliberated about casting it in the well in the yard--about packing it in a box, as if merchandize, with the usual arrangements, and so getting a porter to take it from the house. Finally I hit upon what I considered a far better expedient than either of these. I determined to wall it up in the cellar--as the monks of the middle ages are recorded to have walled up their victims. For a purpose such as this the cellar was well adapted. Its walls were loosely constructed, and had lately been plastered throughout with a rough plaster, which the dampness of the atmosphere had prevented from hardening. Moreover, in one of the walls was a projection, caused by a false chimney, or fireplace, that had been filled up, and made to resemble the red of the cellar. I made no doubt that I could readily displace the bricks at this point, insert the corpse, and wall the whole up as before, so that no eye could detect any thing suspicious. And in this calculation I was not deceived.

By means of a crow-bar I easily dislodged the bricks, and, having carefully deposited the body against the inner wall, I propped it in that position, while, with little trouble, I re-laid the whole structure as it originally stood. Having procured mortar, sand, and hair, with every possible precaution, I prepared a plaster which could not be distinguished from the old, and with this I very carefully went over the new brickwork. When I had finished, I felt satisfied that all was right. The wall did not present the slightest appearance of having been disturbed. The rubbish on the floor was picked up with the minutest care. I looked around triumphantly, and said to myself--“Here at least, then, my labor has not been in vain.” My next step was to look for the beast which had been the cause of so much wretchedness; for I had, at length, firmly resolved to put it to death. Had I been able to meet with it, at the moment, there could have been no doubt of its fate; but it appeared that the crafty animal had been alarmed at the violence of my previous anger, and forebore to present itself in my present mood. It is impossible to describe, or to imagine, the deep, the blissful sense of relief which the absence of the detested creature occasioned in my bosom. It did not make its appearance during the night--and thus for one night at least, since its introduction into the house, I soundly and tranquilly slept; aye, slept even with the burden of murder upon my soul! The second and the third day passed, and still my tormentor came not.

Once again I breathed as a freeman. The monster, in terror, had fled the premises forever! I should behold it no more! My happiness was supreme! The guilt of my dark deed disturbed me but little. Some few inquiries had been made, but these had been readily answered. Even a search had been instituted--but of course nothing was to be discovered. I looked upon my future felicity as secured. Upon the fourth day of the assassination, a party of the police came, very unexpectedly, into the house, and proceeded again to make rigorous investigation of the premises. Secure, however, in the inscrutability of my place of concealment, I felt no embarrassment whatever.

The officers bade me accompany them in their search.

At length, for the third or fourth time, they descended into the cellar. I quivered not in a muscle. My heart beat calmly as that of one who slumbers in innocence. I walked the cellar from end to end.

I folded my arms upon my bosom, and roamed easily to and fro. The police were thoroughly satisfied and prepared to depart. The glee at my heart was too strong to be restrained. I burned to say if but one word, by way of triumph, and to render doubly sure their assurance of my guiltlessness. “Gentlemen,” I said at last, as the party ascended the steps, “I delight to have allayed your suspicions. I wish you all health, and a little more courtesy.

By the bye, gentlemen, this--this is a very well constructed house.” --“I may say an excellently well constructed house. These walls--are you going, gentlemen?--these walls are solidly put together;” and here, through the mere phrenzy of bravado, I rapped heavily, with a cane which I held in my hand, upon that very portion of the brick-work behind which stood the corpse of the wife of my bosom. But may God shield and deliver me from the fangs of the Arch-Fiend! No sooner had the reverberation of my blows sunk into silence, than I was answered by a voice from within the tomb!--by a cry, at first muffled and broken, like the sobbing of a child, and then quickly swelling into one long, loud, and continuous scream, utterly anomalous and inhuman--a howl--a wailing shriek, half of horror and half of triumph, such as might have arisen only out of hell, conjointly from the throats of the dammed in their agony and of the demons that exult in the damnation. Of my own thoughts it is folly to speak. Swooning, I staggered to the opposite wall. For one instant the party upon the stairs remained motionless, through extremity of terror and of awe.

In the next, a dozen stout arms were toiling at the wall. It fell bodily. The corpse, already greatly decayed and clotted with gore, stood erect before the eyes of the spectators. Upon its head, with red extended mouth and solitary eye of fire, sat the hideous beast whose craft had seduced me into murder, and whose informing voice had consigned me to the hangman. I had walled the monster up within the tomb! THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER Son coeur est un luth suspendu; Sitôt qu’on le touche il rèsonne.. DURING the whole of a dull, dark, and soundless day in the autumn of the year, when the clouds hung oppressively low in the heavens, I had been passing alone, on horseback, through a singularly dreary tract of country; and at length found myself, as the shades of the evening drew on, within view of the melancholy House of Usher. I know not how it was--but, with the first glimpse of the building, a sense of insufferable gloom pervaded my spirit. I say insufferable; for the feeling was unrelieved by any of that half-pleasurable, because poetic, sentiment, with which the mind usually receives even the sternest natural images of the desolate or terrible.

I looked upon the scene before me--upon the mere house, and the simple landscape features of the domain--upon the bleak walls--upon the vacant eye-like windows--upon a few rank sedges--and upon a few white trunks of decayed trees--with an utter depression of soul which I can compare to no earthly sensation more properly than to the after-dream of the reveller upon opium--the bitter lapse into everyday life--the hideous dropping off of the veil. There was an iciness, a sinking, a sickening of the heart--an unredeemed dreariness of thought which no goading of the imagination could torture into aught of the sublime. What was it--I paused to think--what was it that so unnerved me in the contemplation of the House of Usher? It was a mystery all insoluble; nor could I grapple with the shadowy fancies that crowded upon me as I pondered. I was forced to fall back upon the unsatisfactory conclusion, that while, beyond doubt, there are combinations of very simple natural objects which have the power of thus affecting us, still the analysis of this power lies among considerations beyond our depth. It was possible, I reflected, that a mere different arrangement of the particulars of the scene, of the details of the picture, would be sufficient to modify, or perhaps to annihilate its capacity for sorrowful impression; and, acting upon this idea, I reined my horse to the precipitous brink of a black and lurid tarn that lay in unruffled lustre by the dwelling, and gazed down--but with a shudder even more thrilling than before--upon the remodelled and inverted images of the gray sedge, and the ghastly tree-stems, and the vacant and eye-like windows.

Nevertheless, in this mansion of gloom I now proposed to myself a sojourn of some weeks. Its proprietor, Roderick Usher, had been one of my boon companions in boyhood; but many years had elapsed since our last meeting. A letter, however, had lately reached me in a distant part of the country--a letter from him--which, in its wildly importunate nature, had admitted of no other than a personal reply. gave evidence of nervous agitation. The writer spoke of acute bodily illness--of a mental disorder which oppressed him--and of an earnest desire to see me, as his best, and indeed his only personal friend, with a view of attempting, by the cheerfulness of my society, some alleviation of his malady. It was the manner in which all this, and much more, was said--it was the apparent heart that went with his request--which allowed me no room for hesitation; and I accordingly obeyed forthwith what I still considered a very singular summons.

Although, as boys, we had been even intimate associates, yet I really knew little of my friend. His reserve had been always excessive and habitual. I was aware, however, that his very ancient family had been noted, time out of mind, for a peculiar sensibility of temperament, displaying itself, through long ages, in many works of exalted art, and manifested, of late, in repeated deeds of munificent yet unobtrusive charity, as well as in a passionate devotion to the intricacies, perhaps even more than to the orthodox and easily recognisable beauties, of musical science. I had learned, too, the very remarkable fact, that the stem of the Usher race, all time-honored as it was, had put forth, at no period, any enduring branch; in other words, that the entire family lay in the direct line of descent, and had always, with very trifling and very temporary variation, so lain.

It was this deficiency, I considered, while running over in thought the perfect keeping of the character of the premises with the accredited character of the people, and while speculating upon the possible influence which the one, in the long lapse of centuries, might have exercised upon the other--it was this deficiency, perhaps, of collateral issue, and the consequent undeviating transmission, from sire to son, of the patrimony with the name, which had, at length, so identified the two as to merge the original title of the estate in the quaint and equivocal appellation of the “House of Usher”--an appellation which seemed to include, in the minds of the peasantry who used it, both the family and the family mansion. I have said that the sole effect of my somewhat childish experiment--that of looking down within the tarn--had been to deepen the first singular impression. There can be no doubt that the consciousness of the rapid increase of my superstition--for why should I not so term it?--served mainly to accelerate the increase itself. Such, I have long known, is the paradoxical law of all sentiments having terror as a basis. And it might have been for this reason only, that, when I again uplifted my eyes to the house itself, from its image in the pool, there grew in my mind a strange fancy--a fancy so ridiculous, indeed, that I but mention it to show the vivid force of the sensations which oppressed me. I had so worked upon my imagination as really to believe that about the whole mansion and domain there hung an atmosphere peculiar to themselves and their immediate vicinity--an atmosphere which had no affinity with the air of heaven, but which had reeked up from the decayed trees, and the gray wall, and the silent tarn--a pestilent and mystic vapor, dull, sluggish, faintly discernible, and leaden-hued. Shaking off from my spirit what must have been a dream, I scanned more narrowly the real aspect of the building. Its principal feature seemed to be that of an excessive antiquity. The discoloration of ages had been great.

Minute fungi overspread the whole exterior, hanging in a fine tangled web-work from the eaves. Yet all this was apart from any extraordinary dilapidation. No portion of the masonry had fallen; and there appeared to be a wild inconsistency between its still perfect adaptation of parts, and the crumbling condition of the individual stones. In this there was much that reminded me of the specious totality of old wood-work which has rotted for long years in some neglected vault, with no disturbance from the breath of the external air. Beyond this indication of extensive decay, however, the fabric gave little token of instability.

Perhaps the eye of a scrutinizing observer might have discovered a barely perceptible fissure, which, extending from the roof of the building in front, made its way down the wall in a zigzag direction, until it became lost in the sullen waters of the tarn. Noticing these things, I rode over a short causeway to the house. A servant in waiting took my horse, and I entered the Gothic archway of the hall. A valet, of stealthy step, thence conducted me, in silence, through many dark and intricate passages in my progress to the studio of his master. Much that I encountered on the way contributed, I know not how, to heighten the vague sentiments of which I have already spoken. While the objects around me--while the carvings of the ceilings, the sombre tapestries of the walls, the ebon blackness of the floors, and the phantasmagoric armorial trophies which rattled as I strode, were but matters to which, or to such as which, I had been accustomed from my infancy--while I hesitated not to acknowledge how familiar was all this--I still wondered to find how unfamiliar were the fancies which ordinary images were stirring up. On one of the staircases, I met the physician of the family. His countenance, I thought, wore a mingled expression of low cunning and perplexity. He accosted me with trepidation and passed on.

The valet now threw open a door and ushered me into the presence of his master. The room in which I found myself was very large and lofty. The windows were long, narrow, and pointed, and at so vast a distance from the black oaken floor as to be altogether inaccessible from within. Feeble gleams of encrimsoned light made their way through the trellissed panes, and served to render sufficiently distinct the more prominent objects around; the eye, however, struggled in vain to reach the remoter angles of the chamber, or the recesses of the vaulted and fretted ceiling. Dark draperies hung upon the walls. The general furniture was profuse, comfortless, antique, and tattered. Many books and musical instruments lay scattered about, but failed to give any vitality to the scene. I felt that I breathed an atmosphere of sorrow. An air of stern, deep, and irredeemable gloom hung over and pervaded all.

Upon my entrance, Usher arose from a sofa on which he had been lying at full length, and greeted me with a vivacious warmth which had much in it, I at first thought, of an overdone cordiality--of the constrained effort of the ennuyé man of the world. A glance, however, at his countenance, convinced me of his perfect sincerity. We sat down; and for some moments, while he spoke not, I gazed upon him with a feeling half of pity, half of awe.

Surely, man had never before so terribly altered, in so brief a period, as had Roderick Usher!

It was with difficulty that I could bring myself to admit the identity of the wan being before me with the companion of my early boyhood. Yet the character of his face had been at all times remarkable.

A cadaverousness of complexion; an eye large, liquid, and luminous beyond comparison; lips somewhat thin and very pallid, but of a surpassingly beautiful curve; a nose of a delicate Hebrew model, but with a breadth of nostril unusual in similar formations; a finely moulded chin, speaking, in its want of prominence, of a want of moral energy; hair of a more than web-like softness and tenuity; these features, with an inordinate expansion above the regions of the temple, made up altogether a countenance not easily to be forgotten. And now in the mere exaggeration of the prevailing character of these features, and of the expression they were wont to convey, lay so much of change that I doubted to whom I spoke. The now ghastly pallor of the skin, and the now miraculous lustre of the eye, above all things startled and even awed me. The silken hair, too, had been suffered to grow all unheeded, and as, in its wild gossamer texture, it floated rather than fell about the face, I could not, even with effort, connect its Arabesque expression with any idea of simple humanity. In the manner of my friend I was at once struck with an incoherence--an inconsistency; and I soon found this to arise from a series of feeble and futile struggles to overcome an habitual trepidancy--an excessive nervous agitation. For something of this nature I had indeed been prepared, no less by his letter, than by reminiscences of certain boyish traits, and by conclusions deduced from his peculiar physical conformation and temperament. His action was alternately vivacious and sullen. His voice varied rapidly from a tremulous indecision (when the animal spirits seemed utterly in abeyance) to that species of energetic concision--that abrupt, weighty, unhurried, and hollow-sounding enunciation--that leaden, self-balanced and perfectly modulated guttural utterance, which may be observed in the lost drunkard, or the irreclaimable eater of opium, during the periods of his most intense excitement.

It was thus that he spoke of the object of my visit, of his earnest desire to see me, and of the solace he expected me to afford him. He entered, at some length, into what he conceived to be the nature of his malady. It was, he said, a constitutional and a family evil, and one for which he despaired to find a remedy--a mere nervous affection, he immediately added, which would undoubtedly soon pass off. It displayed itself in a host of unnatural sensations. Some of these, as he detailed them, interested and bewildered me; although, perhaps, the terms, and the general manner of the narration had their weight. He suffered much from a morbid acuteness of the senses; the most insipid food was alone endurable; he could wear only garments of certain texture; the odors of all flowers were oppressive; his eyes were tortured by even a faint light; and there were but peculiar sounds, and these from stringed instruments, which did not inspire him with horror.

To an anomalous species of terror I found him a bounden slave. “I shall perish,” said he, “I must perish in this deplorable folly. Thus, thus, and not otherwise, shall I be lost. I dread the events of the future, not in themselves, but in their results. I shudder at the thought of any, even the most trivial, incident, which may operate upon this intolerable agitation of soul. I have, indeed, no abhorrence of danger, except in its absolute effect--in terror. In this unnerved--in this pitiable condition--I feel that the period will sooner or later arrive when I must abandon life and reason together, in some struggle with the grim phantasm, FEAR.” I learned, moreover, at intervals, and through broken and equivocal hints, another singular feature of his mental condition.

He was enchained by certain superstitious impressions in regard to the dwelling which he tenanted, and whence, for many years, he had never ventured forth--in regard to an influence whose supposititious force was conveyed in terms too shadowy here to be re-stated--an influence which some peculiarities in the mere form and substance of his family mansion, had, by dint of long sufferance, he said, obtained over his spirit--an effect which the physique of the gray walls and turrets, and of the dim tarn into which they all looked down, had, at length, brought about upon the morale of his existence. He admitted, however, although with hesitation, that much of the peculiar gloom which thus afflicted him could be traced to a more natural and far more palpable origin--to the severe and long-continued illness--indeed to the evidently approaching dissolution--of a tenderly beloved sister--his sole companion for long years--his last and only relative on earth. “Her decease,” he said, with a bitterness which I can never forget, “would leave him (him the hopeless and the frail) the last of the ancient race of the Ushers.” While he spoke, the lady Madeline (for so was she called) passed slowly through a remote portion of the apartment, and, without having noticed my presence, disappeared. I regarded her with an utter astonishment not unmingled with dread--and yet I found it impossible to account for such feelings.

A sensation of stupor oppressed me, as my eyes followed her retreating steps. When a door, at length, closed upon her, my glance sought instinctively and eagerly the countenance of the brother--but he had buried his face in his hands, and I could only perceive that a far more than ordinary wanness had overspread the emaciated fingers through which trickled many passionate tears. The disease of the lady Madeline had long baffled the skill of her physicians. A settled apathy, a gradual wasting away of the person, and frequent although transient affections of a partially cataleptical character, were the unusual diagnosis. Hitherto she had steadily borne up against the pressure of her malady, and had not betaken herself finally to bed; but, on the closing in of the evening of my arrival at the house, she succumbed (as her brother told me at night with inexpressible agitation) to the prostrating power of the destroyer; and I learned that the glimpse I had obtained of her person would thus probably be the last I should obtain--that the lady, at least while living, would be seen by me no more. For several days ensuing, her name was unmentioned by either Usher or myself: and during this period I was busied in earnest endeavors to alleviate the melancholy of my friend. We painted and read together; or I listened, as if in a dream, to the wild improvisations of his speaking guitar. And thus, as a closer and still closer intimacy admitted me more unreservedly into the recesses of his spirit, the more bitterly did I perceive the futility of all attempt at cheering a mind from which darkness, as if an inherent positive quality, poured forth upon all objects of the moral and physical universe, in one unceasing radiation of gloom. I shall ever bear about me a memory of the many solemn hours I thus spent alone with the master of the House of Usher.

Yet I should fail in any attempt to convey an idea of the exact character of the studies, or of the occupations, in which he involved me, or led me the way. An excited and highly distempered ideality threw a sulphureous lustre over all. His long improvised dirges will ring forever in my ears. Among other things, I hold painfully in mind a certain singular perversion and amplification of the wild air of the last waltz of Von Weber.

From the paintings over which his elaborate fancy brooded, and which grew, touch by touch, into vaguenesses at which I shuddered the more thrillingly, because I shuddered knowing not why;--from these paintings (vivid as their images now are before me) I would in vain endeavor to educe more than a small portion which should lie within the compass of merely written words. By the utter simplicity, by the nakedness of his designs, he arrested and overawed attention. If ever mortal painted an idea, that mortal was Roderick Usher. For me at least--in the circumstances then surrounding me--there arose out of the pure abstractions which the hypochondriac contrived to throw upon his canvass, an intensity of intolerable awe, no shadow of which felt I ever yet in the contemplation of the certainly glowing yet too concrete reveries of Fuseli. One of the phantasmagoric conceptions of my friend, partaking not so rigidly of the spirit of abstraction, may be shadowed forth, although feebly, in words. A small picture presented the interior of an immensely long and rectangular vault or tunnel, with low walls, smooth, white, and without interruption or device. Certain accessory points of the design served well to convey the idea that this excavation lay at an exceeding depth below the surface of the earth. No outlet was observed in any portion of its vast extent, and no torch, or other artificial source of light was discernible; yet a flood of intense rays rolled throughout, and bathed the whole in a ghastly and inappropriate splendor.

I have just spoken of that morbid condition of the auditory nerve which rendered all music intolerable to the sufferer, with the exception of certain effects of stringed instruments. It was, perhaps, the narrow limits to which he thus confined himself upon the guitar, which gave birth, in great measure, to the fantastic character of his performances. But the fervid facility of his impromptus could not be so accounted for. They must have been, and were, in the notes, as well as in the words of his wild fantasias (for he not unfrequently accompanied himself with rhymed verbal improvisations), the result of that intense mental collectedness and concentration to which I have previously alluded as observable only in particular moments of the highest artificial excitement. The words of one of these rhapsodies I have easily remembered. I was, perhaps, the more forcibly impressed with it, as he gave it, because, in the under or mystic current of its meaning, I fancied that I perceived, and for the first time, a full consciousness on the part of Usher, of the tottering of his lofty reason upon her throne. The verses, which were entitled “The Haunted Palace,” ran very nearly, if not accurately, thus: I. In the greenest of our valleys, By good angels tenanted, Once a fair and stately palace-- Radiant palace--reared its head.

In the monarch Thought’s dominion-- It stood there! Never seraph spread a pinion Over fabric half so fair. II. Banners yellow, glorious, golden, On its roof did float and flow; (This--all this--was in the olden Time long ago) And every gentle air that dallied, In that sweet day, Along the ramparts plumed and pallid, A winged odor went away. III. Wanderers in that happy valley Through two luminous windows saw Spirits moving musically To a lute’s well-tunéd law, Round about a throne, where sitting (Porphyrogene!) In state his glory well befitting, The ruler of the realm was seen. IV. And all with pearl and ruby glowing Was the fair palace door, Through which came flowing, flowing, flowing, And sparkling evermore, A troop of Echoes whose sweet duty Was but to sing, In voices of surpassing beauty, The wit and wisdom of their king. But evil things, in robes of sorrow, Assailed the monarch’s high estate; (Ah, let us mourn, for never morrow Shall dawn upon him, desolate!) And, round about his home, the glory That blushed and bloomed Is but a dim-remembered story Of the old time entombed.

VI. And travellers now within that valley, Through the red-litten windows, see Vast forms that move fantastically To a discordant melody; While, like a rapid ghastly river, Through the pale door, A hideous throng rush out forever, And laugh--but smile no more. I well remember that suggestions arising from this ballad, led us into a train of thought wherein there became manifest an opinion of Usher’s which I mention not so much on account of its novelty, (for other men * have thought thus,) as on account of the pertinacity with which he maintained it. This opinion, in its general form, was that of the sentience of all vegetable things. But, in his disordered fancy, the idea had assumed a more daring character, and trespassed, under certain conditions, upon the kingdom of inorganization.

I lack words to express the full extent, or the earnest abandon of his persuasion. The belief, however, was connected (as I have previously hinted) with the gray stones of the home of his forefathers. The conditions of the sentience had been here, he imagined, fulfilled in the method of collocation of these stones--in the order of their arrangement, as well as in that of the many fungi which overspread them, and of the decayed trees which stood around--above all, in the long undisturbed endurance of this arrangement, and in its reduplication in the still waters of the tarn. Its evidence--the evidence of the sentience--was to be seen, he said, (and I here started as he spoke,) in the gradual yet certain condensation of an atmosphere of their own about the waters and the walls. The result was discoverable, he added, in that silent, yet importunate and terrible influence which for centuries had moulded the destinies of his family, and which made him what I now saw him--what he was. Such opinions need no comment, and I will make none. Percival, Spallanzani, and especially the Bishop of Landaff.--See “Chemical Essays,” vol v. Our books--the books which, for years, had formed no small portion of the mental existence of the invalid--were, as might be supposed, in strict keeping with this character of phantasm. We pored together over such works as the Ververt et Chartreuse of Gresset; the Belphegor of Machiavelli; the Heaven and Hell of Swedenborg; the Subterranean Voyage of Nicholas Klimm by Holberg; the Chiromancy of Robert Flud, of Jean D’Indaginé, and of De la Chambre; the Journey into the Blue Distance of Tieck; and the City of the Sun of Campanella.

One favorite volume was a small octavo edition of the Directorium Inquisitorium, by the Dominican Eymeric de Gironne; and there were passages in Pomponius Mela, about the old African Satyrs and OEgipans, over which Usher would sit dreaming for hours. His chief delight, however, was found in the perusal of an exceedingly rare and curious book in quarto Gothic--the manual of a forgotten church--the Vigiliae Mortuorum secundum Chorum Ecclesiae Maguntinae. I could not help thinking of the wild ritual of this work, and of its probable influence upon the hypochondriac, when, one evening, having informed me abruptly that the lady Madeline was no more, he stated his intention of preserving her corpse for a fortnight, (previously to its final interment,) in one of the numerous vaults within the main walls of the building. The worldly reason, however, assigned for this singular proceeding, was one which I did not feel at liberty to dispute. The brother had been led to his resolution (so he told me) by consideration of the unusual character of the malady of the deceased, of certain obtrusive and eager inquiries on the part of her medical men, and of the remote and exposed situation of the burial-ground of the family. I will not deny that when I called to mind the sinister countenance of the person whom I met upon the staircase, on the day of my arrival at the house, I had no desire to oppose what I regarded as at best but a harmless, and by no means an unnatural, precaution. At the request of Usher, I personally aided him in the arrangements for the temporary entombment.

The body having been encoffined, we two alone bore it to its rest. The vault in which we placed it (and which had been so long unopened that our torches, half smothered in its oppressive atmosphere, gave us little opportunity for investigation) was small, damp, and entirely without means of admission for light; lying, at great depth, immediately beneath that portion of the building in which was my own sleeping apartment. It had been used, apparently, in remote feudal times, for the worst purposes of a donjon-keep, and, in later days, as a place of deposit for powder, or some other highly combustible substance, as a portion of its floor, and the whole interior of a long archway through which we reached it, were carefully sheathed with copper.

The door, of massive iron, had been, also, similarly protected. Its immense weight caused an unusually sharp grating sound, as it moved upon its hinges. Having deposited our mournful burden upon tressels within this region of horror, we partially turned aside the yet unscrewed lid of the coffin, and looked upon the face of the tenant. A striking similitude between the brother and sister now first arrested my attention; and Usher, divining, perhaps, my thoughts, murmured out some few words from which I learned that the deceased and himself had been twins, and that sympathies of a scarcely intelligible nature had always existed between them. The disease which had thus entombed the lady in the maturity of youth, had left, as usual in all maladies of a strictly cataleptical character, the mockery of a faint blush upon the bosom and the face, and that suspiciously lingering smile upon the lip which is so terrible in death. We replaced and screwed down the lid, and, having secured the door of iron, made our way, with toil, into the scarcely less gloomy apartments of the upper portion of the house. And now, some days of bitter grief having elapsed, an observable change came over the features of the mental disorder of my friend.

His ordinary manner had vanished. His ordinary occupations were neglected or forgotten. He roamed from chamber to chamber with hurried, unequal, and objectless step. The pallor of his countenance had assumed, if possible, a more ghastly hue--but the luminousness of his eye had utterly gone out. The once occasional huskiness of his tone was heard no more; and a tremulous quaver, as if of extreme terror, habitually characterized his utterance. There were times, indeed, when I thought his unceasingly agitated mind was laboring with some oppressive secret, to divulge which he struggled for the necessary courage.

At times, again, I was obliged to resolve all into the mere inexplicable vagaries of madness, for I beheld him gazing upon vacancy for long hours, in an attitude of the profoundest attention, as if listening to some imaginary sound. It was no wonder that his condition terrified--that it infected me. I felt creeping upon me, by slow yet certain degrees, the wild influences of his own fantastic yet impressive superstitions.

It was, especially, upon retiring to bed late in the night of the seventh or eighth day after the placing of the lady Madeline within the donjon, that I experienced the full power of such feelings. Sleep came not near my couch--while the hours waned and waned away. I struggled to reason off the nervousness which had dominion over me. I endeavored to believe that much, if not all of what I felt, was due to the bewildering influence of the gloomy furniture of the room--of the dark and tattered draperies, which, tortured into motion by the breath of a rising tempest, swayed fitfully to and fro upon the walls, and rustled uneasily about the decorations of the bed. But my efforts were fruitless. An irrepressible tremor gradually pervaded my frame; and, at length, there sat upon my very heart an incubus of utterly causeless alarm. Shaking this off with a gasp and a struggle, I uplifted myself upon the pillows, and, peering earnestly within the intense darkness of the chamber, harkened--I know not why, except that an instinctive spirit prompted me--to certain low and indefinite sounds which came, through the pauses of the storm, at long intervals, I knew not whence.

Overpowered by an intense sentiment of horror, unaccountable yet unendurable, I threw on my clothes with haste (for I felt that I should sleep no more during the night), and endeavored to arouse myself from the pitiable condition into which I had fallen, by pacing rapidly to and fro through the apartment. I had taken but few turns in this manner, when a light step on an adjoining staircase arrested my attention. I presently recognised it as that of Usher. In an instant afterward he rapped, with a gentle touch, at my door, and entered, bearing a lamp. His countenance was, as usual, cadaverously wan--but, moreover, there was a species of mad hilarity in his eyes--an evidently restrained hysteria in his whole demeanor. His air appalled me--but anything was preferable to the solitude which I had so long endured, and I even welcomed his presence as a relief. “And you have not seen it?” he said abruptly, after having stared about him for some moments in silence--“you have not then seen it?--but, stay! you shall.” Thus speaking, and having carefully shaded his lamp, he hurried to one of the casements, and threw it freely open to the storm. The impetuous fury of the entering gust nearly lifted us from our feet. It was, indeed, a tempestuous yet sternly beautiful night, and one wildly singular in its terror and its beauty.

A whirlwind had apparently collected its force in our vicinity; for there were frequent and violent alterations in the direction of the wind; and the exceeding density of the clouds (which hung so low as to press upon the turrets of the house) did not prevent our perceiving the life-like velocity with which they flew careering from all points against each other, without passing away into the distance. I say that even their exceeding density did not prevent our perceiving this--yet we had no glimpse of the moon or stars--nor was there any flashing forth of the lightning. But the under surfaces of the huge masses of agitated vapor, as well as all terrestrial objects immediately around us, were glowing in the unnatural light of a faintly luminous and distinctly visible gaseous exhalation which hung about and enshrouded the mansion. “You must not--you shall not behold this!” said I, shudderingly, to Usher, as I led him, with a gentle violence, from the window to a seat. “These appearances, which bewilder you, are merely electrical phenomena not uncommon--or it may be that they have their ghastly origin in the rank miasma of the tarn. Let us close this casement;--the air is chilling and dangerous to your frame. Here is one of your favorite romances. I will read, and you shall listen;--and so we will pass away this terrible night together.” The antique volume which I had taken up was the “Mad Trist” of Sir Launcelot Canning; but I had called it a favorite of Usher’s more in sad jest than in earnest; for, in truth, there is little in its uncouth and unimaginative prolixity which could have had interest for the lofty and spiritual ideality of my friend. It was, however, the only book immediately at hand; and I indulged a vague hope that the excitement which now agitated the hypochondriac, might find relief (for the history of mental disorder is full of similar anomalies) even in the extremeness of the folly which I should read.

Could I have judged, indeed, by the wild overstrained air of vivacity with which he harkened, or apparently harkened, to the words of the tale, I might well have congratulated myself upon the success of my design. I had arrived at that well-known portion of the story where Ethelred, the hero of the Trist, having sought in vain for peaceable admission into the dwelling of the hermit, proceeds to make good an entrance by force. Here, it will be remembered, the words of the narrative run thus: “And Ethelred, who was by nature of a doughty heart, and who was now mighty withal, on account of the powerfulness of the wine which he had drunken, waited no longer to hold parley with the hermit, who, in sooth, was of an obstinate and maliceful turn, but, feeling the rain upon his shoulders, and fearing the rising of the tempest, uplifted his mace outright, and, with blows, made quickly room in the plankings of the door for his gauntleted hand; and now pulling therewith sturdily, he so cracked, and ripped, and tore all asunder, that the noise of the dry and hollow-sounding wood alarummed and reverberated throughout the forest.” At the termination of this sentence I started, and for a moment, paused; for it appeared to me (although I at once concluded that my excited fancy had deceived me)--it appeared to me that, from some very remote portion of the mansion, there came, indistinctly, to my ears, what might have been, in its exact similarity of character, the echo (but a stifled and dull one certainly) of the very cracking and ripping sound which Sir Launcelot had so particularly described. It was, beyond doubt, the coincidence alone which had arrested my attention; for, amid the rattling of the sashes of the casements, and the ordinary commingled noises of the still increasing storm, the sound, in itself, had nothing, surely, which should have interested or disturbed me.

I continued the story: “But the good champion Ethelred, now entering within the door, was sore enraged and amazed to perceive no signal of the maliceful hermit; but, in the stead thereof, a dragon of a scaly and prodigious demeanor, and of a fiery tongue, which sate in guard before a palace of gold, with a floor of silver; and upon the wall there hung a shield of shining brass with this legend enwritten-- Who entereth herein, a conqueror hath bin; Who slayeth the dragon, the shield he shall win; And Ethelred uplifted his mace, and struck upon the head of the dragon, which fell before him, and gave up his pesty breath, with a shriek so horrid and harsh, and withal so piercing, that Ethelred had fain to close his ears with his hands against the dreadful noise of it, the like whereof was never before heard.” Here again I paused abruptly, and now with a feeling of wild amazement--for there could be no doubt whatever that, in this instance, I did actually hear (although from what direction it proceeded I found it impossible to say) a low and apparently distant, but harsh, protracted, and most unusual screaming or grating sound--the exact counterpart of what my fancy had already conjured up for the dragon’s unnatural shriek as described by the romancer. Oppressed, as I certainly was, upon the occurrence of this second and most extraordinary coincidence, by a thousand conflicting sensations, in which wonder and extreme terror were predominant, I still retained sufficient presence of mind to avoid exciting, by any observation, the sensitive nervousness of my companion. I was by no means certain that he had noticed the sounds in question; although, assuredly, a strange alteration had, during the last few minutes, taken place in his demeanor. From a position fronting my own, he had gradually brought round his chair, so as to sit with his face to the door of the chamber; and thus I could but partially perceive his features, although I saw that his lips trembled as if he were murmuring inaudibly. His head had dropped upon his breast--yet I knew that he was not asleep, from the wide and rigid opening of the eye as I caught a glance of it in profile. The motion of his body, too, was at variance with this idea--for he rocked from side to side with a gentle yet constant and uniform sway. Having rapidly taken notice of all this, I resumed the narrative of Sir Launcelot, which thus proceeded: “And now, the champion, having escaped from the terrible fury of the dragon, bethinking himself of the brazen shield, and of the breaking up of the enchantment which was upon it, removed the carcass from out of the way before him, and approached valorously over the silver pavement of the castle to where the shield was upon the wall; which in sooth tarried not for his full coming, but feel down at his feet upon the silver floor, with a mighty great and terrible ringing sound.” No sooner had these syllables passed my lips, than--as if a shield of brass had indeed, at the moment, fallen heavily upon a floor of silver--I became aware of a distinct, hollow, metallic, and clangorous, yet apparently muffled reverberation. Completely unnerved, I leaped to my feet; but the measured rocking movement of Usher was undisturbed.

I rushed to the chair in which he sat. His eyes were bent fixedly before him, and throughout his whole countenance there reigned a stony rigidity. But, as I placed my hand upon his shoulder, there came a strong shudder over his whole person; a sickly smile quivered about his lips; and I saw that he spoke in a low, hurried, and gibbering murmur, as if unconscious of my presence. Bending closely over him, I at length drank in the hideous import of his words. “Not hear it?--yes, I hear it, and have heard it.

Long--long--long--many minutes, many hours, many days, have I heard it--yet I dared not--oh, pity me, miserable wretch that I am!--I dared not--I dared not speak! We have put her living in the tomb! Said I not that my senses were acute? I now tell you that I heard her first feeble movements in the hollow coffin. I heard them--many, many days ago--yet I dared not--I dared not speak! And now--to-night--Ethelred--ha! ha!--the breaking of the hermit’s door, and the death-cry of the dragon, and the clangor of the shield!--say, rather, the rending of her coffin, and the grating of the iron hinges of her prison, and her struggles within the coppered archway of the vault! Oh whither shall I fly? Will she not be here anon? Is she not hurrying to upbraid me for my haste? Have I not heard her footstep on the stair?

Do I not distinguish that heavy and horrible beating of her heart?

Madman!”--here he sprang furiously to his feet, and shrieked out his syllables, as if in the effort he were giving up his soul--“Madman! I tell you that she now stands without the door!” As if in the superhuman energy of his utterance there had been found the potency of a spell--the huge antique pannels to which the speaker pointed, threw slowly back, upon the instant, their ponderous and ebony jaws. It was the work of the rushing gust--but then without those doors there did stand the lofty and enshrouded figure of the lady Madeline of Usher.

There was blood upon her white robes, and the evidence of some bitter struggle upon every portion of her emaciated frame. For a moment she remained trembling and reeling to and fro upon the threshold--then, with a low moaning cry, fell heavily inward upon the person of her brother, and in her violent and now final death-agonies, bore him to the floor a corpse, and a victim to the terrors he had anticipated. From that chamber, and from that mansion, I fled aghast. The storm was still abroad in all its wrath as I found myself crossing the old causeway.

Suddenly there shot along the path a wild light, and I turned to see whence a gleam so unusual could have issued; for the vast house and its shadows were alone behind me. The radiance was that of the full, setting, and blood-red moon, which now shone vividly through that once barely-discernible fissure, of which I have before spoken as extending from the roof of the building, in a zigzag direction, to the base. While I gazed, this fissure rapidly widened--there came a fierce breath of the whirlwind--the entire orb of the satellite burst at once upon my sight--my brain reeled as I saw the mighty walls rushing asunder--there was a long tumultuous shouting sound like the voice of a thousand waters--and the deep and dank tarn at my feet closed sullenly and silently over the fragments of the “House of Usher.” SILENCE--A FABLE ALCMAN. The mountain pinnacles slumber; valleys, crags and caves are silent. “LISTEN to me,” said the Demon as he placed his hand upon my head. “The region of which I speak is a dreary region in Libya, by the borders of the river Zaire. And there is no quiet there, nor silence. “The waters of the river have a saffron and sickly hue; and they flow not onwards to the sea, but palpitate forever and forever beneath the red eye of the sun with a tumultuous and convulsive motion. For many miles on either side of the river’s oozy bed is a pale desert of gigantic water-lilies. They sigh one unto the other in that solitude, and stretch towards the heaven their long and ghastly necks, and nod to and fro their everlasting heads.

And there is an indistinct murmur which cometh out from among them like the rushing of subterrene water. And they sigh one unto the other.

“But there is a boundary to their realm--the boundary of the dark, horrible, lofty forest. There, like the waves about the Hebrides, the low underwood is agitated continually. But there is no wind throughout the heaven. And the tall primeval trees rock eternally hither and thither with a crashing and mighty sound. And from their high summits, one by one, drop everlasting dews. And at the roots strange poisonous flowers lie writhing in perturbed slumber.

And overhead, with a rustling and loud noise, the gray clouds rush westwardly forever, until they roll, a cataract, over the fiery wall of the horizon. But there is no wind throughout the heaven. And by the shores of the river Zaire there is neither quiet nor silence. “It was night, and the rain fell; and falling, it was rain, but, having fallen, it was blood. And I stood in the morass among the tall and the rain fell upon my head--and the lilies sighed one unto the other in the solemnity of their desolation. “And, all at once, the moon arose through the thin ghastly mist, and was crimson in color. And mine eyes fell upon a huge gray rock which stood by the shore of the river, and was lighted by the light of the moon. Upon its front were characters engraven in the stone; and I walked through the morass of water-lilies, until I came close unto the shore, that I might read the characters upon the stone. But I could not decypher them. And I was going back into the morass, when the moon shone with a fuller red, and I turned and looked again upon the rock, and upon the characters;--and the characters were DESOLATION.

“And I looked upwards, and there stood a man upon the summit of the rock; and I hid myself among the water-lilies that I might discover the actions of the man. And the man was tall and stately in form, and was wrapped up from his shoulders to his feet in the toga of old Rome. And the outlines of his figure were indistinct--but his features were the features of a deity; for the mantle of the night, and of the mist, and of the moon, and of the dew, had left uncovered the features of his face. And his brow was lofty with thought, and his eye wild with care; and, in the few furrows upon his cheek I read the fables of sorrow, and weariness, and disgust with mankind, and a longing after solitude.

“And the man sat upon the rock, and leaned his head upon his hand, and looked out upon the desolation. He looked down into the low unquiet shrubbery, and up into the tall primeval trees, and up higher at the rustling heaven, and into the crimson moon. And I lay close within shelter of the lilies, and observed the actions of the man. And the man trembled in the solitude;--but the night waned, and he sat upon the rock.

“And the man turned his attention from the heaven, and looked out upon the dreary river Zaire, and upon the yellow ghastly waters, and upon the pale legions of the water-lilies. And the man listened to the sighs of the water-lilies, and to the murmur that came up from among them. And I lay close within my covert and observed the actions of the man. And the man trembled in the solitude;--but the night waned and he sat upon the rock. “Then I went down into the recesses of the morass, and waded afar in among the wilderness of the lilies, and called unto the hippopotami which dwelt among the fens in the recesses of the morass. And the hippopotami heard my call, and came, with the behemoth, unto the foot of the rock, and roared loudly and fearfully beneath the moon.

And I lay close within my covert and observed the actions of the man. And the man trembled in the solitude;--but the night waned and he sat upon the rock. “Then I cursed the elements with the curse of tumult; and a frightful tempest gathered in the heaven where, before, there had been no wind. And the heaven became livid with the violence of the tempest--and the rain beat upon the head of the man--and the floods of the river came down--and the river was tormented into foam--and the water-lilies shrieked within their beds--and the forest crumbled before the wind--and the thunder rolled--and the lightning fell--and the rock rocked to its foundation. And I lay close within my covert and observed the actions of the man. And the man trembled in the solitude;--but the night waned and he sat upon the rock. “Then I grew angry and cursed, with the curse of silence, the river, and the lilies, and the wind, and the forest, and the heaven, and the thunder, and the sighs of the water-lilies. And they became accursed, and were still. And the moon ceased to totter up its pathway to heaven--and the thunder died away--and the lightning did not flash--and the clouds hung motionless--and the waters sunk to their level and remained--and the trees ceased to rock--and the water-lilies sighed no more--and the murmur was heard no longer from among them, nor any shadow of sound throughout the vast illimitable desert. And I looked upon the characters of the rock, and they were changed;--and the characters were SILENCE.

“And mine eyes fell upon the countenance of the man, and his countenance was wan with terror. And, hurriedly, he raised his head from his hand, and stood forth upon the rock and listened. But there was no voice throughout the vast illimitable desert, and the characters upon the rock were SILENCE. And the man shuddered, and turned his face away, and fled afar off, in haste, so that I beheld him no more.” Now there are fine tales in the volumes of the Magi--in the iron-bound, melancholy volumes of the Magi. Therein, I say, are glorious histories of the Heaven, and of the Earth, and of the mighty sea--and of the Genii that over-ruled the sea, and the earth, and the lofty heaven. There was much lore too in the sayings which were said by the Sybils; and holy, holy things were heard of old by the dim leaves that trembled around Dodona--but, as Allah liveth, that fable which the Demon told me as he sat by my side in the shadow of the tomb, I hold to be the most wonderful of all! And as the Demon made an end of his story, he fell back within the cavity of the tomb and laughed.

And I could not laugh with the Demon, and he cursed me because I could not laugh. And the lynx which dwelleth forever in the tomb, came out therefrom, and lay down at the feet of the Demon, and looked at him steadily in the face. No pestilence had ever been so fatal, or so hideous. Blood was its Avatar and its seal--the redness and the horror of blood. There were sharp pains, and sudden dizziness, and then profuse bleeding at the pores, with dissolution.

The scarlet stains upon the body and especially upon the face of the victim, were the pest ban which shut him out from the aid and from the sympathy of his fellow-men. And the whole seizure, progress and termination of the disease, were the incidents of half an hour. But the Prince Prospero was happy and dauntless and sagacious. When his dominions were half depopulated, he summoned to his presence a thousand hale and light-hearted friends from among the knights and dames of his court, and with these retired to the deep seclusion of one of his castellated abbeys.

This was an extensive and magnificent structure, the creation of the prince’s own eccentric yet august taste. A strong and lofty wall girdled it in. This wall had gates of iron. The courtiers, having entered, brought furnaces and massy hammers and welded the bolts. They resolved to leave means neither of ingress or egress to the sudden impulses of despair or of frenzy from within.

The abbey was amply provisioned. With such precautions the courtiers might bid defiance to contagion.

The external world could take care of itself. In the meantime it was folly to grieve, or to think.

The prince had provided all the appliances of pleasure. There were buffoons, there were improvisatori, there were ballet-dancers, there were musicians, there was Beauty, there was wine. All these and security were within. Without was the “Red Death.” It was toward the close of the fifth or sixth month of his seclusion, and while the pestilence raged most furiously abroad, that the Prince Prospero entertained his thousand friends at a masked ball of the most unusual magnificence. It was a voluptuous scene, that masquerade. But first let me tell of the rooms in which it was held. There were seven--an imperial suite. In many palaces, however, such suites form a long and straight vista, while the folding doors slide back nearly to the walls on either hand, so that the view of the whole extent is scarcely impeded. Here the case was very different; as might have been expected from the duke’s love of the bizarre. The apartments were so irregularly disposed that the vision embraced but little more than one at a time.

There was a sharp turn at every twenty or thirty yards, and at each turn a novel effect.

To the right and left, in the middle of each wall, a tall and narrow Gothic window looked out upon a closed corridor which pursued the windings of the suite. These windows were of stained glass whose color varied in accordance with the prevailing hue of the decorations of the chamber into which it opened. That at the eastern extremity was hung, for example, in blue--and vividly blue were its windows. The second chamber was purple in its ornaments and tapestries, and here the panes were purple. The third was green throughout, and so were the casements. The fourth was furnished and lighted with orange--the fifth with white--the sixth with violet. The seventh apartment was closely shrouded in black velvet tapestries that hung all over the ceiling and down the walls, falling in heavy folds upon a carpet of the same material and hue. But in this chamber only, the color of the windows failed to correspond with the decorations. Now in no one of the seven apartments was there any lamp or candelabrum, amid the profusion of golden ornaments that lay scattered to and fro or depended from the roof.

There was no light of any kind emanating from lamp or candle within the suite of chambers. But in the corridors that followed the suite, there stood, opposite to each window, a heavy tripod, bearing a brazier of fire that projected its rays through the tinted glass and so glaringly illumined the room. And thus were produced a multitude of gaudy and fantastic appearances.

But in the western or black chamber the effect of the fire-light that streamed upon the dark hangings through the blood-tinted panes, was ghastly in the extreme, and produced so wild a look upon the countenances of those who entered, that there were few of the company bold enough to set foot within its precincts at all. It was in this apartment, also, that there stood against the western wall, a gigantic clock of ebony. Its pendulum swung to and fro with a dull, heavy, monotonous clang; and when the minute-hand made the circuit of the face, and the hour was to be stricken, there came from the brazen lungs of the clock a sound which was clear and loud and deep and exceedingly musical, but of so peculiar a note and emphasis that, at each lapse of an hour, the musicians of the orchestra were constrained to pause, momentarily, in their performance, to hearken to the sound; and thus the waltzers perforce ceased their evolutions; and there was a brief disconcert of the whole gay company; and, while the chimes of the clock yet rang, it was observed that the giddiest grew pale, and the more aged and sedate passed their hands over their brows as if in confused reverie or meditation. But when the echoes had fully ceased, a light laughter at once pervaded the assembly; the musicians looked at each other and smiled as if at their own nervousness and folly, and made whispering vows, each to the other, that the next chiming of the clock should produce in them no similar emotion; and then, after the lapse of sixty minutes, (which embrace three thousand and six hundred seconds of the Time that flies,) there came yet another chiming of the clock, and then were the same disconcert and tremulousness and meditation as before. But, in spite of these things, it was a gay and magnificent revel. The tastes of the duke were peculiar. He had a fine eye for colors and effects.

He disregarded the decora of mere fashion. His plans were bold and fiery, and his conceptions glowed with barbaric lustre. There are some who would have thought him mad. His followers felt that he was not.

It was necessary to hear and see and touch him to be sure that he was not. He had directed, in great part, the moveable embellishments of the seven chambers, upon occasion of this great fete; and it was his own guiding taste which had given character to the masqueraders. There were much glare and glitter and piquancy and phantasm--much of what has been since seen in “Hernani.” There were arabesque figures with unsuited limbs and appointments. There were delirious fancies such as the madman fashions. There was much of the beautiful, much of the wanton, much of the bizarre, something of the terrible, and not a little of that which might have excited disgust.

To and fro in the seven chambers there stalked, in fact, a multitude of dreams. And these--the dreams--writhed in and about, taking hue from the rooms, and causing the wild music of the orchestra to seem as the echo of their steps. And, anon, there strikes the ebony clock which stands in the hall of the velvet. And then, for a moment, all is still, and all is silent save the voice of the clock.

The dreams are stiff-frozen as they stand. But the echoes of the chime die away--they have endured but an instant--and a light, half-subdued laughter floats after them as they depart. And now again the music swells, and the dreams live, and writhe to and fro more merrily than ever, taking hue from the many-tinted windows through which stream the rays from the tripods.

But to the chamber which lies most westwardly of the seven, there are now none of the maskers who venture; for the night is waning away; and there flows a ruddier light through the blood-colored panes; and the blackness of the sable drapery appals; and to him whose foot falls upon the sable carpet, there comes from the near clock of ebony a muffled peal more solemnly emphatic than any which reaches their ears who indulge in the more remote gaieties of the other apartments. But these other apartments were densely crowded, and in them beat feverishly the heart of life. And the revel went whirlingly on, until at length there commenced the sounding of midnight upon the clock. And then the music ceased, as I have told; and the evolutions of the waltzers were quieted; and there was an uneasy cessation of all things as before.

But now there were twelve strokes to be sounded by the bell of the clock; and thus it happened, perhaps, that more of thought crept, with more of time, into the meditations of the thoughtful among those who revelled. And thus, too, it happened, perhaps, that before the last echoes of the last chime had utterly sunk into silence, there were many individuals in the crowd who had found leisure to become aware of the presence of a masked figure which had arrested the attention of no single individual before. And the rumor of this new presence having spread itself whisperingly around, there arose at length from the whole company a buzz, or murmur, expressive of disapprobation and surprise--then, finally, of terror, of horror, and of disgust. In an assembly of phantasms such as I have painted, it may well be supposed that no ordinary appearance could have excited such sensation. In truth the masquerade license of the night was nearly unlimited; but the figure in question had out-Heroded Herod, and gone beyond the bounds of even the prince’s indefinite decorum. There are chords in the hearts of the most reckless which cannot be touched without emotion. Even with the utterly lost, to whom life and death are equally jests, there are matters of which no jest can be made. The whole company, indeed, seemed now deeply to feel that in the costume and bearing of the stranger neither wit nor propriety existed.

The figure was tall and gaunt, and shrouded from head to foot in the habiliments of the grave.

The mask which concealed the visage was made so nearly to resemble the countenance of a stiffened corpse that the closest scrutiny must have had difficulty in detecting the cheat. And yet all this might have been endured, if not approved, by the mad revellers around. His vesture was dabbled in blood--and his broad brow, with all the features of the face, was besprinkled with the scarlet horror. When the eyes of Prince Prospero fell upon this spectral image (which with a slow and solemn movement, as if more fully to sustain its role, stalked to and fro among the waltzers) he was seen to be convulsed, in the first moment with a strong shudder either of terror or distaste; but, in the next, his brow reddened with rage. “Who dares?” he demanded hoarsely of the courtiers who stood near him--“who dares insult us with this blasphemous mockery? Seize him and unmask him--that we may know whom we have to hang at sunrise, from the battlements!” It was in the eastern or blue chamber in which stood the Prince Prospero as he uttered these words. They rang throughout the seven rooms loudly and clearly--for the prince was a bold and robust man, and the music had become hushed at the waving of his hand. It was in the blue room where stood the prince, with a group of pale courtiers by his side. At first, as he spoke, there was a slight rushing movement of this group in the direction of the intruder, who at the moment was also near at hand, and now, with deliberate and stately step, made closer approach to the speaker.

But from a certain nameless awe with which the mad assumptions of the mummer had inspired the whole party, there were found none who put forth hand to seize him; so that, unimpeded, he passed within a yard of the prince’s person; and, while the vast assembly, as if with one impulse, shrank from the centres of the rooms to the walls, he made his way uninterruptedly, but with the same solemn and measured step which had distinguished him from the first, through the blue chamber to the purple--through the purple to the green--through the green to the orange--through this again to the white--and even thence to the violet, ere a decided movement had been made to arrest him. It was then, however, that the Prince Prospero, maddening with rage and the shame of his own momentary cowardice, rushed hurriedly through the six chambers, while none followed him on account of a deadly terror that had seized upon all. He bore aloft a drawn dagger, and had approached, in rapid impetuosity, to within three or four feet of the retreating figure, when the latter, having attained the extremity of the velvet apartment, turned suddenly and confronted his pursuer. There was a sharp cry--and the dagger dropped gleaming upon the sable carpet, upon which, instantly afterwards, fell prostrate in death the Prince Prospero. Then, summoning the wild courage of despair, a throng of the revellers at once threw themselves into the black apartment, and, seizing the mummer, whose tall figure stood erect and motionless within the shadow of the ebony clock, gasped in unutterable horror at finding the grave-cerements and corpse-like mask which they handled with so violent a rudeness, untenanted by any tangible form. He had come like a thief in the night. And one by one dropped the revellers in the blood-bedewed halls of their revel, and died each in the despairing posture of his fall.

And the life of the ebony clock went out with that of the last of the gay.

And the flames of the tripods expired. And Darkness and Decay and the Red Death held illimitable dominion over all.

THE CASK OF AMONTILLADO. THE thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could; but when he ventured upon insult, I vowed revenge. You, who so well know the nature of my soul, will not suppose, however, that I gave utterance to a threat. At length I would be avenged; this was a point definitively settled--but the very definitiveness with which it was resolved, precluded the idea of risk. I must not only punish, but punish with impunity. A wrong is unredressed when retribution overtakes its redresser. It is equally unredressed when the avenger fails to make himself felt as such to him who has done the wrong. It must be understood, that neither by word nor deed had I given Fortunato cause to doubt my good will. I continued, as was my wont, to smile in his face, and he did not perceive that my smile now was at the thought of his immolation. He had a weak point--this Fortunato--although in other regards he was a man to be respected and even feared.

He prided himself on his connoisseurship in wine. Few Italians have the true virtuoso spirit. For the most part their enthusiasm is adopted to suit the time and opportunity--to practise imposture upon the British and Austrian millionaires. In painting and gemmary, Fortunato, like his countrymen, was a quack--but in the matter of old wines he was sincere. In this respect I did not differ from him materially: I was skilful in the Italian vintages myself, and bought largely whenever I could. It was about dusk, one evening during the supreme madness of the carnival season, that I encountered my friend. He accosted me with excessive warmth, for he had been drinking much. He had on a tight-fitting parti-striped dress, and his head was surmounted by the conical cap and bells. I was so pleased to see him, that I thought I should never have done wringing his hand. I said to him--“My dear Fortunato, you are luckily met.

How remarkably well you are looking to-day! But I have received a pipe of what passes for Amontillado, and I have my doubts.” “How?” said he. “Amontillado?

A pipe? Impossible! And in the middle of the carnival!” “I have my doubts,” I replied; “and I was silly enough to pay the full Amontillado price without consulting you in the matter. You were not to be found, and I was fearful of losing a bargain.” “Amontillado!” “I have my doubts.” “Amontillado!” “And I must satisfy them.” “Amontillado!” “As you are engaged, I am on my way to Luchesi. If any one has a critical turn, it is he.

He will tell me--” “Luchesi cannot tell Amontillado from Sherry.” “And yet some fools will have it that his taste is a match for your own.” “Come, let us go.” “Whither?” “To your vaults.” “My friend, no; I will not impose upon your good nature. I perceive you have an engagement. Luchesi--” “I have no engagement;--come.” “My friend, no. It is not the engagement, but the severe cold with which I perceive you are afflicted. The vaults are insufferably damp. They are encrusted with nitre.” “Let us go, nevertheless. The cold is merely nothing. Amontillado! You have been imposed upon. And as for Luchesi, he cannot distinguish Sherry from Amontillado.” Thus speaking, Fortunato possessed himself of my arm.

Putting on a mask of black silk, and drawing a roquelaire closely about my person, I suffered him to hurry me to my palazzo. There were no attendants at home; they had absconded to make merry in honor of the time. I had told them that I should not return until the morning, and had given them explicit orders not to stir from the house. These orders were sufficient, I well knew, to insure their immediate disappearance, one and all, as soon as my back was turned. I took from their sconces two flambeaux, and giving one to Fortunato, bowed him through several suites of rooms to the archway that led into the vaults. I passed down a long and winding staircase, requesting him to be cautious as he followed. The gait of my friend was unsteady, and the bells upon his cap jingled as he strode.

“The pipe,” said he. “It is farther on,” said I; “but observe the white web-work which gleams from these cavern walls.” He turned towards me, and looked into my eyes with two filmy orbs that distilled the rheum of intoxication. “Nitre?” he asked, at length. “Nitre,” I replied. ugh!” My poor friend found it impossible to reply for many minutes. “It is nothing,” he said, at last. “Come,” I said, with decision, “we will go back; your health is precious. You are rich, respected, admired, beloved; you are happy, as once I was.

You are a man to be missed. For me it is no matter. We will go back; you will be ill, and I cannot be responsible. Besides, there is Luchesi--” “Enough,” he said; “the cough is a mere nothing; it will not kill me. I shall not die of a cough.” “True--true,” I replied; “and, indeed, I had no intention of alarming you unnecessarily--but you should use all proper caution. A draught of this Medoc will defend us from the damps.” Here I knocked off the neck of a bottle which I drew from a long row of its fellows that lay upon the mould.

“Drink,” I said, presenting him the wine. He raised it to his lips with a leer. He paused and nodded to me familiarly, while his bells jingled. “I drink,” he said, “to the buried that repose around us.” “And I to your long life.” He again took my arm, and we proceeded. “These vaults,” he said, “are extensive.” “The Montresors,” I replied, “were a great and numerous family.” “I forget your arms.” “A huge human foot d’or, in a field azure; the foot crushes a serpent rampant whose fangs are imbedded in the heel.” “And the motto?” “Nemo me impune lacessit.” “Good!” he said. The wine sparkled in his eyes and the bells jingled. My own fancy grew warm with the Medoc.

We had passed through walls of piled bones, with casks and puncheons intermingling, into the inmost recesses of the catacombs. I paused again, and this time I made bold to seize Fortunato by an arm above the elbow. “The nitre!” I said: “see, it increases. It hangs like moss upon the vaults. We are below the river’s bed.

The drops of moisture trickle among the bones. Come, we will go back ere it is too late. Your cough--” “It is nothing,” he said; “let us go on. But first, another draught of the Medoc.” I broke and reached him a flagon of De Grâve. He emptied it at a breath. His eyes flashed with a fierce light. He laughed and threw the bottle upwards with a gesticulation I did not understand. I looked at him in surprise. “You do not comprehend?” he said. “Not I,” I replied.

“Then you are not of the brotherhood.” “How?” “You are not of the masons.” “Yes, yes,” I said, “yes, yes.” “You? Impossible! A mason?” “A mason,” I replied. “A sign,” he said. “It is this,” I answered, producing a trowel from beneath the folds of my roquelaire. “You jest,” he exclaimed, recoiling a few paces. “But let us proceed to the Amontillado.” “Be it so,” I said, replacing the tool beneath the cloak, and again offering him my arm. He leaned upon it heavily. We continued our route in search of the Amontillado. We passed through a range of low arches, descended, passed on, and descending again, arrived at a deep crypt, in which the foulness of the air caused our flambeaux rather to glow than flame.

At the most remote end of the crypt there appeared another less spacious. Its walls had been lined with human remains, piled to the vault overhead, in the fashion of the great catacombs of Paris. Three sides of this interior crypt were still ornamented in this manner. From the fourth the bones had been thrown down, and lay promiscuously upon the earth, forming at one point a mound of some size. Within the wall thus exposed by the displacing of the bones, we perceived a still interior recess, in depth about four feet, in width three, in height six or seven. It seemed to have been constructed for no especial use in itself, but formed merely the interval between two of the colossal supports of the roof of the catacombs, and was backed by one of their circumscribing walls of solid granite. It was in vain that Fortunato, uplifting his dull torch, endeavored to pry into the depths of the recess. Its termination the feeble light did not enable us to see. “Proceed,” I said; “herein is the Amontillado.

As for Luchesi--” “He is an ignoramus,” interrupted my friend, as he stepped unsteadily forward, while I followed immediately at his heels. In an instant he had reached the extremity of the niche, and finding his progress arrested by the rock, stood stupidly bewildered.

A moment more and I had fettered him to the granite.

In its surface were two iron staples, distant from each other about two feet, horizontally. From one of these depended a short chain, from the other a padlock. Throwing the links about his waist, it was but the work of a few seconds to secure it. He was too much astounded to resist. Withdrawing the key I stepped back from the recess. “Pass your hand,” I said, “over the wall; you cannot help feeling the nitre. Indeed it is very damp. Once more let me implore you to return.

Then I must positively leave you. But I must first render you all the little attentions in my power.” “The Amontillado!” ejaculated my friend, not yet recovered from his astonishment.

“True,” I replied; “the Amontillado.” As I said these words I busied myself among the pile of bones of which I have before spoken. Throwing them aside, I soon uncovered a quantity of building stone and mortar. With these materials and with the aid of my trowel, I began vigorously to wall up the entrance of the niche. I had scarcely laid the first tier of my masonry when I discovered that the intoxication of Fortunato had in a great measure worn off. The earliest indication I had of this was a low moaning cry from the depth of the recess. It was not the cry of a drunken man. There was then a long and obstinate silence. I laid the second tier, and the third, and the fourth; and then I heard the furious vibrations of the chain. The noise lasted for several minutes, during which, that I might hearken to it with the more satisfaction, I ceased my labors and sat down upon the bones. When at last the clanking subsided, I resumed the trowel, and finished without interruption the fifth, the sixth, and the seventh tier.

The wall was now nearly upon a level with my breast. I again paused, and holding the flambeaux over the mason-work, threw a few feeble rays upon the figure within. A succession of loud and shrill screams, bursting suddenly from the throat of the chained form, seemed to thrust me violently back. For a brief moment I hesitated--I trembled. Unsheathing my rapier, I began to grope with it about the recess: but the thought of an instant reassured me. I placed my hand upon the solid fabric of the catacombs, and felt satisfied. I reapproached the wall. I replied to the yells of him who clamored. I re-echoed--I aided--I surpassed them in volume and in strength. I did this, and the clamorer grew still.

It was now midnight, and my task was drawing to a close. I had completed the eighth, the ninth, and the tenth tier. I had finished a portion of the last and the eleventh; there remained but a single stone to be fitted and plastered in. I struggled with its weight; I placed it partially in its destined position. But now there came from out the niche a low laugh that erected the hairs upon my head. It was succeeded by a sad voice, which I had difficulty in recognising as that of the noble Fortunato. The voice said-- “Ha! he!--a very good joke indeed--an excellent jest. We will have many a rich laugh about it at the palazzo--he!

he!--over our wine--he! he!” “The Amontillado!” I said. he!--yes, the Amontillado.

But is it not getting late? Will not they be awaiting us at the palazzo, the Lady Fortunato and the rest? Let us be gone.” “Yes,” I said, “let us be gone.” “For the love of God, Montressor!” “Yes,” I said, “for the love of God!” But to these words I hearkened in vain for a reply. I grew impatient. I called aloud-- “Fortunato!” No answer.

I called again-- “Fortunato!” No answer still. I thrust a torch through the remaining aperture and let it fall within. There came forth in return only a jingling of the bells.

My heart grew sick--on account of the dampness of the catacombs. I hastened to make an end of my labor. I forced the last stone into its position; I plastered it up. Against the new masonry I re-erected the old rampart of bones. For the half of a century no mortal has disturbed them. In pace requiescat! THE IMP OF THE PERVERSE IN THE consideration of the faculties and impulses--of the prima mobilia of the human soul, the phrenologists have failed to make room for a propensity which, although obviously existing as a radical, primitive, irreducible sentiment, has been equally overlooked by all the moralists who have preceded them.

In the pure arrogance of the reason, we have all overlooked it. We have suffered its existence to escape our senses, solely through want of belief--of faith;--whether it be faith in Revelation, or faith in the Kabbala. The idea of it has never occurred to us, simply because of its supererogation. We saw no need of the impulse--for the propensity. We could not perceive its necessity. We could not understand, that is to say, we could not have understood, had the notion of this primum mobile ever obtruded itself;--we could not have understood in what manner it might be made to further the objects of humanity, either temporal or eternal. It cannot be denied that phrenology and, in great measure, all metaphysicianism have been concocted a priori. The intellectual or logical man, rather than the understanding or observant man, set himself to imagine designs--to dictate purposes to God. Having thus fathomed, to his satisfaction, the intentions of Jehovah, out of these intentions he built his innumerable systems of mind.

In the matter of phrenology, for example, we first determined, naturally enough, that it was the design of the Deity that man should eat. We then assigned to man an organ of alimentiveness, and this organ is the scourge with which the Deity compels man, will-I nill-I, into eating. Secondly, having settled it to be God’s will that man should continue his species, we discovered an organ of amativeness, forthwith. And so with combativeness, with ideality, with causality, with constructiveness,--so, in short, with every organ, whether representing a propensity, a moral sentiment, or a faculty of the pure intellect. And in these arrangements of the Principia of human action, the Spurzheimites, whether right or wrong, in part, or upon the whole, have but followed, in principle, the footsteps of their predecessors: deducing and establishing every thing from the preconceived destiny of man, and upon the ground of the objects of his Creator. It would have been wiser, it would have been safer, to classify (if classify we must) upon the basis of what man usually or occasionally did, and was always occasionally doing, rather than upon the basis of what we took it for granted the Deity intended him to do. If we cannot comprehend God in his visible works, how then in his inconceivable thoughts, that call the works into being? If we cannot understand him in his objective creatures, how then in his substantive moods and phases of creation? Induction, a posteriori, would have brought phrenology to admit, as an innate and primitive principle of human action, a paradoxical something, which we may call perverseness, for want of a more characteristic term. In the sense I intend, it is, in fact, a mobile without motive, a motive not motivirt.

Through its promptings we act without comprehensible object; or, if this shall be understood as a contradiction in terms, we may so far modify the proposition as to say, that through its promptings we act, for the reason that we should not. In theory, no reason can be more unreasonable, but, in fact, there is none more strong. With certain minds, under certain conditions, it becomes absolutely irresistible. I am not more certain that I breathe, than that the assurance of the wrong or error of any action is often the one unconquerable force which impels us, and alone impels us to its prosecution. Nor will this overwhelming tendency to do wrong for the wrong’s sake, admit of analysis, or resolution into ulterior elements. It is a radical, a primitive impulse-elementary.

It will be said, I am aware, that when we persist in acts because we feel we should not persist in them, our conduct is but a modification of that which ordinarily springs from the combativeness of phrenology. But a glance will show the fallacy of this idea. The phrenological combativeness has for its essence, the necessity of self-defence. It is our safeguard against injury. Its principle regards our well-being; and thus the desire to be well is excited simultaneously with its development. It follows, that the desire to be well must be excited simultaneously with any principle which shall be merely a modification of combativeness, but in the case of that something which I term perverseness, the desire to be well is not only not aroused, but a strongly antagonistical sentiment exists. An appeal to one’s own heart is, after all, the best reply to the sophistry just noticed.

No one who trustingly consults and thoroughly questions his own soul, will be disposed to deny the entire radicalness of the propensity in question. It is not more incomprehensible than distinctive. There lives no man who at some period has not been tormented, for example, by an earnest desire to tantalize a listener by circumlocution. The speaker is aware that he displeases; he has every intention to please, he is usually curt, precise, and clear, the most laconic and luminous language is struggling for utterance upon his tongue, it is only with difficulty that he restrains himself from giving it flow; he dreads and deprecates the anger of him whom he addresses; yet, the thought strikes him, that by certain involutions and parentheses this anger may be engendered. That single thought is enough. The impulse increases to a wish, the wish to a desire, the desire to an uncontrollable longing, and the longing (to the deep regret and mortification of the speaker, and in defiance of all consequences) is indulged. We have a task before us which must be speedily performed.

We know that it will be ruinous to make delay. The most important crisis of our life calls, trumpet-tongued, for immediate energy and action. We glow, we are consumed with eagerness to commence the work, with the anticipation of whose glorious result our whole souls are on fire. It must, it shall be undertaken to-day, and yet we put it off until to-morrow, and why? There is no answer, except that we feel perverse, using the word with no comprehension of the principle. To-morrow arrives, and with it a more impatient anxiety to do our duty, but with this very increase of anxiety arrives, also, a nameless, a positively fearful, because unfathomable, craving for delay. This craving gathers strength as the moments fly.

The last hour for action is at hand. We tremble with the violence of the conflict within us,--of the definite with the indefinite--of the substance with the shadow. But, if the contest have proceeded thus far, it is the shadow which prevails,--we struggle in vain. The clock strikes, and is the knell of our welfare. At the same time, it is the chanticleer--note to the ghost that has so long overawed us. It flies--it disappears--we are free. We will labor now. Alas, it is too late! We stand upon the brink of a precipice.

We peer into the abyss--we grow sick and dizzy. Our first impulse is to shrink from the danger. Unaccountably we remain. By slow degrees our sickness and dizziness and horror become merged in a cloud of unnamable feeling. By gradations, still more imperceptible, this cloud assumes shape, as did the vapor from the bottle out of which arose the genius in the Arabian Nights. But out of this our cloud upon the precipice’s edge, there grows into palpability, a shape, far more terrible than any genius or any demon of a tale, and yet it is but a thought, although a fearful one, and one which chills the very marrow of our bones with the fierceness of the delight of its horror.

It is merely the idea of what would be our sensations during the sweeping precipitancy of a fall from such a height. And this fall--this rushing annihilation--for the very reason that it involves that one most ghastly and loathsome of all the most ghastly and loathsome images of death and suffering which have ever presented themselves to our imagination--for this very cause do we now the most vividly desire it. And because our reason violently deters us from the brink, therefore do we the most impetuously approach it. There is no passion in nature so demoniacally impatient, as that of him who, shuddering upon the edge of a precipice, thus meditates a Plunge. To indulge, for a moment, in any attempt at thought, is to be inevitably lost; for reflection but urges us to forbear, and therefore it is, I say, that we cannot. If there be no friendly arm to check us, or if we fail in a sudden effort to prostrate ourselves backward from the abyss, we plunge, and are destroyed. Examine these similar actions as we will, we shall find them resulting solely from the spirit of the Perverse.

Beyond or behind this there is no intelligible principle; and we might, indeed, deem this perverseness a direct instigation of the Arch-Fiend, were it not occasionally known to operate in furtherance of good.

I have said thus much, that in some measure I may answer your question, that I may explain to you why I am here, that I may assign to you something that shall have at least the faint aspect of a cause for my wearing these fetters, and for my tenanting this cell of the condemned.

Had I not been thus prolix, you might either have misunderstood me altogether, or, with the rabble, have fancied me mad. As it is, you will easily perceive that I am one of the many uncounted victims of the Imp of the Perverse. It is impossible that any deed could have been wrought with a more thorough deliberation. For weeks, for months, I pondered upon the means of the murder. I rejected a thousand schemes, because their accomplishment involved a chance of detection. At length, in reading some French Memoirs, I found an account of a nearly fatal illness that occurred to Madame Pilau, through the agency of a candle accidentally poisoned. The idea struck my fancy at once.

I knew my victim’s habit of reading in bed. I knew, too, that his apartment was narrow and ill-ventilated. But I need not vex you with impertinent details. I need not describe the easy artifices by which I substituted, in his bed-room candle-stand, a wax-light of my own making for the one which I there found. The next morning he was discovered dead in his bed, and the Coroner’s verdict was--“Death by the visitation of God.” Having inherited his estate, all went well with me for years. The idea of detection never once entered my brain. Of the remains of the fatal taper I had myself carefully disposed. I had left no shadow of a clew by which it would be possible to convict, or even to suspect me of the crime.

It is inconceivable how rich a sentiment of satisfaction arose in my bosom as I reflected upon my absolute security. For a very long period of time I was accustomed to revel in this sentiment. It afforded me more real delight than all the mere worldly advantages accruing from my sin. But there arrived at length an epoch, from which the pleasurable feeling grew, by scarcely perceptible gradations, into a haunting and harassing thought. It harassed because it haunted. I could scarcely get rid of it for an instant. It is quite a common thing to be thus annoyed with the ringing in our ears, or rather in our memories, of the burthen of some ordinary song, or some unimpressive snatches from an opera. Nor will we be the less tormented if the song in itself be good, or the opera air meritorious. In this manner, at last, I would perpetually catch myself pondering upon my security, and repeating, in a low undertone, the phrase, “I am safe.” One day, whilst sauntering along the streets, I arrested myself in the act of murmuring, half aloud, these customary syllables.

In a fit of petulance, I remodelled them thus; “I am safe--I am safe--yes--if I be not fool enough to make open confession!” No sooner had I spoken these words, than I felt an icy chill creep to my heart. I had had some experience in these fits of perversity, (whose nature I have been at some trouble to explain), and I remembered well that in no instance I had successfully resisted their attacks. And now my own casual self-suggestion that I might possibly be fool enough to confess the murder of which I had been guilty, confronted me, as if the very ghost of him whom I had murdered--and beckoned me on to death.

At first, I made an effort to shake off this nightmare of the soul. I walked vigorously--faster--still faster--at length I ran. I felt a maddening desire to shriek aloud. Every succeeding wave of thought overwhelmed me with new terror, for, alas!

I well, too well understood that to think, in my situation, was to be lost. I still quickened my pace. I bounded like a madman through the crowded thoroughfares.

I felt then the consummation of my fate. Could I have torn out my tongue, I would have done it, but a rough voice resounded in my ears--a rougher grasp seized me by the shoulder.

I turned--I gasped for breath. For a moment I experienced all the pangs of suffocation; I became blind, and deaf, and giddy; and then some invisible fiend, I thought, struck me with his broad palm upon the back. The long imprisoned secret burst forth from my soul.

They say that I spoke with a distinct enunciation, but with marked emphasis and passionate hurry, as if in dread of interruption before concluding the brief, but pregnant sentences that consigned me to the hangman and to hell. Having related all that was necessary for the fullest judicial conviction, I fell prostrate in a swoon.

But why shall I say more? To-day I wear these chains, and am here! To-morrow I shall be fetterless!--but where? THE ISLAND OF THE FAY Nullus enim locus sine genio est.--Servius.

“LA MUSIQUE,” says Marmontel, in those “Contes Moraux” (*1) which in all our translations, we have insisted upon calling “Moral Tales,” as if in mockery of their spirit--“la musique est le seul des talents qui jouissent de lui-meme; tous les autres veulent des temoins.” He here confounds the pleasure derivable from sweet sounds with the capacity for creating them. No more than any other talent, is that for music susceptible of complete enjoyment, where there is no second party to appreciate its exercise. And it is only in common with other talents that it produces effects which may be fully enjoyed in solitude. The idea which the raconteur has either failed to entertain clearly, or has sacrificed in its expression to his national love of point, is, doubtless, the very tenable one that the higher order of music is the most thoroughly estimated when we are exclusively alone.

The proposition, in this form, will be admitted at once by those who love the lyre for its own sake, and for its spiritual uses. But there is one pleasure still within the reach of fallen mortality and perhaps only one--which owes even more than does music to the accessory sentiment of seclusion. I mean the happiness experienced in the contemplation of natural scenery. In truth, the man who would behold aright the glory of God upon earth must in solitude behold that glory. To me, at least, the presence--not of human life only, but of life in any other form than that of the green things which grow upon the soil and are voiceless--is a stain upon the landscape--is at war with the genius of the scene. I love, indeed, to regard the dark valleys, and the gray rocks, and the waters that silently smile, and the forests that sigh in uneasy slumbers, and the proud watchful mountains that look down upon all,--I love to regard these as themselves but the colossal members of one vast animate and sentient whole--a whole whose form (that of the sphere) is the most perfect and most inclusive of all; whose path is among associate planets; whose meek handmaiden is the moon, whose mediate sovereign is the sun; whose life is eternity, whose thought is that of a God; whose enjoyment is knowledge; whose destinies are lost in immensity, whose cognizance of ourselves is akin with our own cognizance of the animalculae which infest the brain--a being which we, in consequence, regard as purely inanimate and material much in the same manner as these animalculae must thus regard us. Our telescopes and our mathematical investigations assure us on every hand--notwithstanding the cant of the more ignorant of the priesthood--that space, and therefore that bulk, is an important consideration in the eyes of the Almighty. The cycles in which the stars move are those best adapted for the evolution, without collision, of the greatest possible number of bodies. The forms of those bodies are accurately such as, within a given surface, to include the greatest possible amount of matter;--while the surfaces themselves are so disposed as to accommodate a denser population than could be accommodated on the same surfaces otherwise arranged. Nor is it any argument against bulk being an object with God, that space itself is infinite; for there may be an infinity of matter to fill it.

And since we see clearly that the endowment of matter with vitality is a principle--indeed, as far as our judgments extend, the leading principle in the operations of Deity,--it is scarcely logical to imagine it confined to the regions of the minute, where we daily trace it, and not extending to those of the august. As we find cycle within cycle without end,--yet all revolving around one far-distant centre which is the God-head, may we not analogically suppose in the same manner, life within life, the less within the greater, and all within the Spirit Divine? In short, we are madly erring, through self-esteem, in believing man, in either his temporal or future destinies, to be of more moment in the universe than that vast “clod of the valley” which he tills and contemns, and to which he denies a soul for no more profound reason than that he does not behold it in operation. (*2) These fancies, and such as these, have always given to my meditations among the mountains and the forests, by the rivers and the ocean, a tinge of what the everyday world would not fail to term fantastic. My