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sented itself to the alarmed Crispino. Countless rows of lamps were disposed in every direction, extending in interminable perspective. “Behold,” said she of the sable garb, "Behold the LIGHTS OF LIFE in the Cavern of Death. Each lamp contains the life of a human being. As the oil consumes, so decays the existence of man.”
Crispino stared, and exclaimed, « There is one almost extinguished !”
" That is the life of a miser,” replied the phantom; “one who during many years practised self-denial to accumulate wealth: he is now at his last extremity: his relatives have seized his idol riches, and leave him to die on'a pallet. See, the lamp expires!” Pointing to another, “ Behold,” said she, “ that is the fluttering existence of a haughty despot. One who, to uphold an artificial consequence, has led armies to battle, and sent thousands bleeding to their graves. The glaring meteor of ambition has fallen to this little flickering light. 'Tis gone, and leaves the wretch benighted in his errors !"
Crispino, shaking with terror, asked, “Is—is my life there? ”
« Yes. It has but few minutes of existence. Hear me. Ingrate! you were in despair and wretchedness. It was ordained that I should deliver you, and point the path to fortune. How have you returned these benefits? Instead of employing your wealth in good deeds, or training your children in the right way, hardened and obdurate, you have acted repugnantly to humanity, But it was time to check your iniquity. You at length have arrived at DEATH's Door. See, the light dwindles ! one breath from my lips would instantly annihilate it."
The lamp flickered, and the female in black leant over, prepared to extinguish it ; when Crispino, filled with fear and remorse, cried out, throwing himself on his knees, “ Mercy! mercy! Repentance ! sincere repentance.”
The light burns bright again !" solemnly exclaimed the phantom. “One trial more! Mortal, return to the world, and your du. ties. But, remember!”
As the morning dawned, the cobbler awoke from an uneasy slumber. He was seated at the table ; and had been sleeping in the chair which he had occupied the previous night. He endeavoured to collect his scattered senses, and then recollected distinctly all he had seen. He trembled at the remembrance.
Crispino ascended to the chamber occupied by his wife, who was seated with an open missal before her. As he entered the door, Nina exclaimed, " It is my father!”
“Yes,” replied Crispino; “a father come to ask forgiveness of Heaven, and of you, for all neglect and unkindness," and he knelt by the bed, and said, “ Pray on, Nina. Return thanks to Heaven that your father has bade farewell to his follies.” The poor wife, rejoicing in the sincerity of his tone, shed tears plentifully.
The Count di Vicenza was convinced of the death of Albano ; and Valentina having partially recovered, was suffered to quit the turretchamber. The Count gave orders for a fête, at which he intended Valentina should appear, and that then the subtle poison to be brought by Crispino should be given to her. Should this plan fail, he had still the ready knife of Andrea. He accordingly ordered Abilemecco, to bring Andrea to him.
“Close the door, brave Andrea," said the Count. “I would unfold to you the wish of my heart. You have experienced my liberality. You must be prepared, perhaps this night, with your trusty stiletto.”
The young Lieutenant for the instant forgot himself, and exclaimed, « Detested coward and villain !”
The Commandant rose in surprise; it was not the sound of the voice of his emissary; and he called lustily, “Ho! Abilemecco ! treachery!” The steward was rapidly on the spot; the visor was torn off, and the Count stood aghast at the sight of Albano.
“Yes, monster ! I am a witness of your guilt, and live to denounce you."
He was instantly seized. “ Abilemecco," exclaimed the Coinmandant, “ Convey your prisoner to the oubliette beneath the moat. “By what cursed fatality has this event occurred?” thought the Count.
The guests were assembling. The spacious apartments of the palace were brilliantly illuminated. Strains of music floated around, and beauty crowned the fascination of the scene.
Meantime Crispino arrived in the court of the palace : he knew not how to face the Count, for he had not brought the drug. “Now I have discovered that I have a conscience,” said he, “I am mighty chary of my proceedings. Bless my heart ! only think, if my light had been puffed out."
The tall lady glided from behind a column, and ejaculated, “Crispino."
“I assure you, Signora, that I have been on my best behaviour ever since I left your door.”
The phantom said, “You promised the Count to procure him a certain drug.”
“I have promised to be honest and virtuous for the future,” replied Crispino
« Keep both promises,” and she put a phial in his hand; "here is the drug ; take an opportunity to give it to the Commandant. I shall not be idle! A few minutes more, Crispino, and I relieve you of my presence for ever.”
Notwithstanding the hell in his breast, the hypocritical Count di Vicenza appeared to be conversing with great affability among his guests. “Thanks, my charming friends. The Lady Valentina, partially restored to the blessing of health, welcomes ye beneath this roof. She is yet an invalid ; but could not feel happiness until again surrounded by those she has the pleasure to esteem.”
And now the dancing commenced ; the music sounded; the feathers waved, and the gems glittered. The valets, in richly-laced liveries handed round the ices, confectionary, and sorbets.
Crispino entered; his heart beating. The Count approached, and, taking him on one side, demanded the potion. Crispino gave him the phial, and said to himself, “ Heaven forgive me, if I have done wrong!”
The Commandant took a crystal goblet of lemonade, and secret. ly emptied the contents of the phial into it. He then sent Abile
mecco to order Crispino to come to him. “Carry,” said he to the cobbler-physician, “ carry that restoring draught to Valentina !”
Crispino dared not disobey, for the eye of the Count was watching him narrowly. He crossed to the sofa, on which Valentina was seated, and delivered the fatal goblet into the hand of Camilla, who stood by the side of her mistress. He was quaking with dread, when his mind was relieved by the figure, which he supposed to be Camilla, turning; to his great surprise he saw the head of the godmother. She produced instantaneously a second goblet, exactly resembling the other, which Valentina received, and drank therefrom.
The Count, who had been looking on from a distance, exultingly observed that Valentina had tasted of the goblet. “ She has imbibed the poison,” thought he, and he called to Abilemecco for wine.
Abilemecco advanced towards a page, who was bearing a silver salver covered with crystal drinking-cups, when Crispino saw the phantom suddenly place the goblet which she held on the salver. The next moment it was borne by Abilemecco to the Commandant, who, putting it to his lips, drank greedily. Crispino was transfixed with astonishment. In an instant the Count exclaimed wildly, “Treachery! treachery! I am poisoned ! Abilemecco ! faithless villain, thou hast betrayed thy master !” He rushed franticly at the steward, and plunged a poniard into his breast. The Count fell writhing on the floor. A scene of great confusion immediately ensued.
Crispino thought, “ All is as it should be," and he looked round for the last time for the HEAD. It was there. The Commandant became livid; he gnashed his teeth, and expired in the greatest tortures.
Our historian here breaks off. He does not wind up his tale to a conclusion, nor assure us of its truth; but, many years afterwards, when that great philosopher, Lord Bacon, had his sentence of imprisonment and fine remitted by King James, and shone out in those literary productions which have made his weaknesses to be forgotten by posterity, he had occasion to send over a learned clerk to Padua to obtain a copy of a curious controversial work connected with the then subject of his studies. This gentleman heard the singular history of the person who had been called the cobbler-physician, and also of the supposed appearance of one of the PARCE family, ATROPOS; but, learned as he was, he could not quite reconcile the Heathen Mythology with the existing state of affairs. It appeared, however, that a hale old fellow, one Giuseppe Loba, commonly called Crispino, had retired on a little independence acquired by making and vending boots and shoes; that he bore a good character: was patronized by a Colonel Albano, who allowed him an annuity; and that an undersized young fellow, of voracious appetite, Stefano by name, who boasted that Crispino was his father, held the honourable post of a drummer in the Colonel's regiment; and that was all the student could gather of the history of the COBBLER PHYSICIAN, OR THE WELL OF DEATH!
WRECK OF THE HESPERUS.
BY HENRY W. LONGFELLOW. It was the schooner Hesperus
“O father! I see a gleaming lightThat saild the wintry sea;
Oh! say, what may it be?” And the skipper had ta'en his little But the father answer'd never a word, daughter
A frozen corpse was he. To bear him company.
Lash'd to the helm, all stiff and stark, Blue were her eyes as the fairy-flax, With his face to the skies,
Her cheeks like the dawn of day, The lantern gleam'd through the gleamAnd her bosom sweet as the hawthorn
ing snow buds
On his fix'd and glassy eyes. That ope in the month of May.
Then the maiden clasp'd her bands, and The skipper he stood beside the helm,
pray'd With his pipe in his mouth,
That saved she might be; And watch'd how the veering flaw did And she thought of Christ, who still'd blow
the wave The smoke now west, now south. On the lake of Galilee. Then up and spake an old sailor, And fast through the midnight dark Had sail'd the Spanish Main,
and drear, “I pray thee put into youder port, Through the whistling sleet and snow, For I fear a hurricane.
Like a sheeted ghost the vessel swept “Last night the moon had a golden ring,
Toward the reef of Norman's Woe. And to-night no moon we see!” And ever the fitful gusts between The skipper he blew a whiff from his A sound came from the land ; pipe,
It was the sound of the trampling surf And a scornful laugh laugh'd he. On the rocks and the hard sea-sand. Colder and louder blew the wind, The breakers were right beneath her: A gale from the north-east;
bows, The snow fell hissing in the brine, She drifted a dreary wreck,
And the billows froth'd like yeast. And a whooping billow swept the crew Down came the storm, and smote
Like icicles from her deck. amain
She struck where the white and fleecy The vessel in its strength;
waves She shudder'd and paused, like a Look'd soft as carded wool; frighted steed,
But the cruel rocks they gored her side Then leap'd her cable's length. Like the horns of an angry bull. “Come hither! come hither! my little Her rattling shrouds, all sheathed in daughter,
ice, And do not tremble so;
With the masts went by the board, For I can weather the roughest gale Like a vessel of glass, she stove and That ever wind did blow.”
sank. He wrapp'd her warm in his seaman's Ho! ho! the breakers roard! coat
At daybreak, on the bleak sea-beach, Against the stinging blast;
A fisherman stood aghast
Lash'd close to a drifting mast. “O father! I hear the church-bells The salt sea was frozen on her breast, ring
The salt tears in her eyes; Oh! say, what may it be?”
And he saw her hair, like the brown “ 'Tis a fog-bell on a rock-bound coast!”
sea-weed, And he steer'd for the open sea. On the billows fall and rise. “O father! I hear the sound of guns- Such was the wreck of the Hesperus, Oh! say, what may it be?”.
In the midnight and the snow! “ Some ship in distress, that cannot live Christ save us all from a death like this In such an angry sea ! ”
On the reef of Norman's Woe!
THE CORPUS MSS.
This is an age essentially rationalistic and inquiring. Beyond the certainty of nothing being certain, there is no fact of which we can be so certain as to be certain of it. Have we grown up from boyhood in some fondly-cherished belief? Straight an academic, who has gradu. ated at the London University, arises to assure us that we are quite in error. “All very well, you know, twenty years ago, but no man of common sense will believe such stuff now o' days. Haven't you seen Professor Hitemhard's Enquiry? (last number of the Cabinet Cyclopædia). 'Egad! he handles it in pretty style—all a fallacy.” — We are required to doff all our old poetic feeling, to cut the poor things, "and in the street, too,” whilst we must, forsooth, cap the mammoths, megalotheria, and other beasts of burthen of the like nature. Pity the whole tribe of innovators is not in the transition state they are so fond of talking about;-the end of the transit, Botany Bay.
Thinking thus on these points, and being content to remain in my dark Egypt as compared with this so much talked-of Goshen, it was no small delight to me to find the wherewithal to crush one of the class of reptiles, whom my soul abhors, on their own dunghill. It is or ought to be known to all the male portion of the lieges, that of late years a strong attack has been made upon the earlier portion of the Roman History, by a certain stolid German, called Niebuhr, who has knit Romulus and Cheeks the Marine by an airy copula ; and made Numa Pompilius, like Jack Robinson or Jem Crow, figure as the hero of a popular song. It had been better for this learned pundit had he been contented to stick to his meerschaum and sauerkraut amid the nolonger classic shades of Göttingen, Bonn, or any other of those studious universities. I will spare him, under the idea that before this Romulus has brought an action for defamation of character against him before my Lord Chief Justice Minos, and a respectable and enlightened jury of twelve ancient Romans, wrapped up in their visionary toga.
But to the point, and let Dr. Arnold beware how he proceeds with his crude history — history, indeed! In the library of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, it has been my good fortune to meet with some ancient Palimpsests, written over with monkish legends, similar to those recently brought before the public by Thomas Ingoldsby. Suspecting from their appearance that there was something in them more than met the eye, I instantly determined to apply to the very enlightened and liberal Master of the college, who received me with his usual urbanity. I stated the object of my visit, mentioning that I had disco
vered in the library of the college some MSS. which appeared to me a to possess a good deal of interest, and I was, therefore, anxious to try upon them Angelo Mai's Albolutrum or bleaching liquid, which the learned Abbé has already used with great effect in the noble library of the Vatican. The Master replied, with great courtesy, “that he wished somebody would take the batch cheap, as, from the nature of the paper, they were scarcely capable of being applied to their usual purpose of gun-wads. Indeed, sir,” added he, “to tell the truth, I should be glad to exchange the whole lot with Mr. Stevenson, for his magnificent collection of Romances, or anything that the Fellows would read. I may tell you, sir,—but it need not go any further — that, except about this VOL. VIII.