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sky was all that betokened sunrise. More limp, dis- His lovers are too enraptured to be able to check off creditable-looking persons than X, Y, Z, and myself, each particular excellence of their mistresses with when we came down from Fairfield, can scarcely be clerkly precision; and we can gather little from other imagined. We did not thoroughly appreciate our miserable condition until somebody at Rydal offered
sources respecting the features, form, or complexion to lend us umbrellas! He might as well have offered of Shakspeare's heroines, to enable us to see them in Macintoshes to a family of otters !
our mind's eye, as he saw them in his. Most of this I take from my notes written imme
Prince Ferdinand extols frank-spoken Miranda as diately after this celebrated feat, so that they are being strictly reliable; but I have often heard my three
Created friends, and have even caught myself, representing
Of every creature's best. this our night on Fairfield as the most glorious in The faint-hearted Claudio tells Lucio how Isabella all our lives, “passed in close communion,' as it was, hath with nature in her grandest aspect, and with no trace of the living world in sight to mar the solemn
When she will play with reason and discourse, emotions of the soul;' the moonlight 'lying cold and
And well she can persuade. silvery on the mountain-tops ;' the march of the red sunrise driving before it the clouds of night along Hamlet calls his misused mistress 'tlie fair Ophelia.' the eastern hills.' So different, to even the most Sebastian declares his sister Viola 'was of many accurate of men, are the realities of a tremendous accounted beautiful.' Othello vouches for Desdemona's ascent from its reminiscences.
abilities as a musician and housewife. Perdita is
complimented as SHAKSPEARE'S BEAUTIES.
The prettiest loir-born lass that e'er ANOTHER illustrated Shakspeare ?
Ran on the green-sward. A certain Leadenhall Street clerk, who appreciated And all we learn of fair and faithful Juliet is : our elder dramatists, and did not despise roast-pig, in
On Lammas eve at night shall she be fourteenone of his delightful letters exclaims: “What injury did not Boydell's Shakspeare Gallery do me with a forward chick indeed! Shakspeare? To have Opie's Shakspeare, Northcote's
Lord Byron somewhat curtly declares : 'I hate Shakspeare, light-headed Fuseli's Shakspeare, heavy- universal. It was Bertram's scorned wife, the physi
a dumpy woman!' Shakspeare's taste was headed Romney's Shakspeare, wooden-headed West's cian's daughter, ‘Little' Helen, whose Shakspeare, deaf-headed Reynolds's Shakspeare, instead of my and everybody's Shakspeare! to be tied down
Beauty did astonish the survey to an authentic face of Juliet! to have Imogen's
Of richest eyes; whose words all ears took captive;
Whose dear perfection, hearts that scorned to serve portrait! to confine the illimitable!'
Humbly called mistress. We must endorse Elia's indignant remonstrance, treason though it be considered now, when every week Our poet was fond of contrasting ladies of high with brings forth some old familiar friend, so bedizened in ladies of low stature, the latter being invariably the dandyism of tinted leaves, elegant engravings, and brunettes. Thus, when Lysander, bewitched by percrimson and gold covers, that we are afraid to touch with the rude ungallant words:
verse Puck, shakes off the wonder-stricken Hermia him lest we soil his finery. We cannot relish our favourite authors turned into 'pretty books.'
Out, tawny Tartar !-out! What true reader of Shakspeare would exchange his the poor lady, unable otherwise to account for his own ideal Rosalinds and Beatrices, Titanias and Ariels, fickleness, accuses her unwitting rival, Helena, of for those of the best artist that ever wielded brush or
having burin? Some paintings once seen are never forgotten;
Made compare they impress themselves as indelibly on the memory
Between our statures, she hath urged her height, as reality itself. Can any of us thus recollect a Shak- And with her personage, her tall personage, spearian picture? Why, a conclave of all who write, Her height forsooth! she hath prevailed with him! and all who hope to write R.A. after their names, our favourite masquerading heroine, Rosalind, is would fail to do justice to the prince of dramatists, and yet more than one artist has had the hardihood fair, and more than common tall;' thereby suggesting
the adoption of doublet and hose by the banished to attempt to illustrate the whole of his plays; the duke's fair daughter, and that of a brother by her presumption to suppose he could throw off in a pretty little coz, Celia, who is 'low and browner.' couple of years or so, some hundred or more designs The slandered Hero, 'Leonato's short daughter,' is worthy to be printed with Shakspeare's text! Give summarily appraised by Benedick as 'too low for a us Shakspeare undefiled, free from irritating initials high praise, too brown for a fair praise, and too little interrupting his dialogue, free from nonsensical notes for a great praise. Only this commendation can I obscuring his meaning, and, above all, free from pre- afford her, that were she other than as she is, she were sumptuous engravings, marring his men, and libelling unhandsome; and being no other than as she is, I do
not like her.' Short and dark are evidently not to his women. It is a sacrilege to have the latter dragged Benedick's taste; and as he declares that “her cousin, down to a level with the simpering advertisements of were she not possessed with a fury, exceeds hier as our Books of Beauty.
much in beauty as the first of May doth the last In sweet Will's sweet world, our fancy must be the of December," we may reasonably infer that dear only limner: he himself has so willed it. While our Lady Disdain, merry-hearted, quick-witted Beatrice modern rhymers delight in giving us minute portraits resembled Rosalind. and was tall and fair, although of each fair lady of their song—from head to foot, from her prototype Rosaline, in Love's Labour's Lost, was top to toe, we have the catalogue of her condition- A witty wanton with a velvet broir, we shall find Shakspeare very chary of such details. With two pitch-balls stuck in her face for eyes.
Kate the curst, another bitter-tongued damsel, was Merry Lady Rosaline, in Love's Labour's Lost, twits her also dark-skinned :
pock-marked companion, Katharine, as Straight and slender, and as brown in hue
My golden letter: As hazel-nuts.
O that your face were not so full of O's;
Her amber hairs for foul have amber coted.
False Cressid, on parting from Troilus, threatens to With blue of heaven's own tinct.
tear her bright hair, of which her officious uncle Unless we allow, as we suspect we must, that with says: 'An her hair were not somewhat darker than
no comparison between the him blue and gray eyes are synonymous, as in Venus Helen's, there were and Adonis he makes the goddess say:
women;' proving the lighter the hair, the higher its
estimation. Chaste Lucrece's tresses, My eyes are gray and bright;
Like golden threads, played with her breath; and immediately afterwards designates them as her and we are told of Portia, the wise young judge, blue windows.' Malvolio's mistress, the Lady Olivia, whose maiden assize was such a success, that her enumerates among her facial possessions : 'Item, two gray eyes with lids to them; and both Silvia and
Sunny locks Julia own orbs of that hue. The latter says:
Hang on her temples like a golden fleece,
forming a Her eyes are gray as glass, and so are mine.
Golden mesh to entrap the hearts of men, Mr Collier's annotator, we are aware, makes this Easier than gnats in cobwebs. 'green as glass,' a reading that, with all due deference to the illustrious unknown, we unhesitatingly reject:
Tasso's witch-beauty, Armida, had amber locks, that first, because the comparison of eyes with glass is of behind her veil shewed like frequent occurrence in Shakspeare; secondly, because
The golden sun behind a silver cloud; ladies with eyes of that jealous tint are not common enough to render it at all likely that both the Gentle- and amazonian Clorinda, unhelmed by Tancred, on men of Verona should be smitten with cat-eyed her shoulders displayed maidens; and, lastly, because we are sure most men
Her golden locks, agree with the song, that
Like sunny beams on alabaster rocks.
Milton, too, swells the throng of gold-worshippers; Of the many good gifts necessary to make up
he sings of Mother Eve, who, that earthly divinity, a perfect woman, none is more
As a veil, down to her slender waist indispensable than a pleasant voice, like Cordelia's,
Her unadorned golden tresses wore,
Dishevelled, but in wanton ringlets waved,
As the vine curls her tendrils.
The golden-haired age seems to have passed away; Sweet Anne Page
we rarely see any now. We judge beauty by a more Has brown hair, and speaks small;
mercenary metallic standard than that of tresses of
angel-gold. Lucrezia Borgia had such locks; we and Marc Antony's second wife, Octavia, according to believe the Vatican still counts one of them among its the poet, was “low-voiced. However, in the opinion treasures. The beautiful ill-fated Beatrice Cenci is of the lovely serpent of Old Nile, this was a defect also described as having hair 'like threads of gold, rather than a merit; on hearing it, Cleopatra exclaims: which, when she let it flow loosely, the wavy splendour "He cannot like her long!' Her rival, moreover, is of it was astonishing.' Some assert that what our dwarfish, round-faced, with a low forehead and brown gallant forefathers complimented as golden, we, their hair; an inventory of charms that leaves the lass more matter-of-fact sons, admire as auburn, or abomunparalleled' undismayed. “This creature's no such inate as red. Auburn, we take to be a reddish brown, thing,' is the verdict of the famous gipsy whose hand and we cannot believe that the fiery hue itself could
have called forth such panegyrics; besides, Kings Have lipped, and trembled kissing.
Shakspeare's Julia, comparing her hair with that of
Silvia, says: Shakspeare's mysterious mistress, whose
Her hair is auburn, mine is perfect yellow. treachery he so beautifully bewails in the Sonnets, was apparently a dark lady:
So we must allow that golden-haired lasses existed If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;
to charm our ancestors, if none are left to witch If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.
Having some reason to upbraid womankind, it is And he seems astonished and half-ashamed of his taste, to the credit of Shakspeare and the ladies of his writing as if in wonderment:
time, that in all his plays we find but three incon
stant dames—the false Greek Cressida, and Lear's In the old age black was not counted fair,
cruel daughters. The dramatist's fair creations were Or if it were, it bore not beauty's name.
undoubtedly founded on his own countrywomen, and Indeed, jetty, and even brown locks were out of do them honour; but we wonder if they were as favour with the poets then; they all agree in paying ready to take the initiative as his heroines, of whom
no less than sevenmeasured tribute to ladies
- Miranda, Juliet, Olivia, Viola,
Rosalind, Helena, and Desdemona—use the privilege Golden tressed
popularly conceded in leap-year only. But then how Like Apollo.
sweetly they do it! He were more or less than man
to refuse affection so daintily proffered. If the maiden than our own. (We do not speak of the cookery of subjects of good Queen Bess resembled them in this the wealthy classes, who, in all countries of Europe, particular, bachelors must have had a hard time of it. have an eclectic system, of which the French school is
the basis.) Mature beef was, until lately, rarely roasted THE DINNER COMMISSARIAT.
in Germany, being reserved for the eternal bouilli;
veal was usually committed to the spit. Vegetables are A THOROUGH account of the gastronomic tastes of the much better prepared in Germany than in England; principal nations of the world would almost comprise and the variety called sauerkraut has now been a physical description of the globe, so much does the naturalised in the cookery of France.
We may say food of each nation depend upon its soil, its climate, the same of the sausage, which now figures frequently and its inland or maritime position. The humble on the tables of the best restaurants on the Boulevard inhabitant of Yarmouth or Schevening has a variety or the Palais Royal. of crustaceous delicacies at a moderate cost, which There are, however, considerable differences in the would make the mouths of the inhabitants of the Alps cookery of the various parts of Germany. In Westwater. On the other hand, the truffles and ortolans phalia, Hanover, and Lower Germany, generally, it of Central France, the chamois of the Styrian moun ) is greasy. In Berlin and Old Prussia, the meat and tains, and the pheasants of Bohemia, which are con- game are poor, in consequence of the extensive tracts sidered the greatest delicacies of the wealthy in the of sandy and fir-grown country. Travellers have often other parts of Europe, may be seen at the tables of been surprised at the great superiority of the food of the peasant in these countries; and are altogether Berlin now, as compared with what it was twenty years inaccessible, and almost unknown, to the daintiest fish- ago. The soil and climate have in nowise altered; but taverns of the coasts of Holland and England. Game the fact is, the railways which now stretch into the is usually considered the greatest delicacy of the richest parts of Silesia, and other productive countries, European table. But in those mountainous countries have brought about this gastronomic revolution, which where it abounds, sea-fish and colonial luxuries has caused an extraordinary rise of prices in those scarcely penetrate. And, on the other hand, the rural districts. poorer and middling classes of maritime districts On the Upper Rhine, in Würtemberg and Bavaria, have, in addition to great varieties of fish, those the cuisine is closely assimilated to that of France. In numerous luxuries which commerce transports from fact, Alsace produces one of the most fatal delicacies the productive tropics to the colder regions of Europe. of the French table—the pâté de foie gras of Strasbourg,
In Britain, the domestic cuisine is poor in all that the excellence of which was the great pride of the relates to art; but this is made up for by the humidity dinners of Cambacérès. It is well known that the of the climate producing pastures of unsurpassed rich- liver of the goose is unnaturally swelled and fattened ; ness, and, consequently, animal food of the best quality, but, however great a delicacy the pâté may be conwhich does not require so much art in preparation. sidered, there can be no doubt of its being most indiThe great business of assimilation is carried on not in gestible, if taken in any but infinitesimal doses. The pots and pans, but in the digestive organs of the sheep recipe of a French reprobate for killing off a rich uncle, and cattle. We are very far from having acquired the was to give him (a gourmand, it may be presumed) a French art of combining varieties of fragrant veget- dish of pâté de foie gras of extraordinary richness, and ables with animal food; for in that lies the undoubted to announce during the process of laborious digestion superiority of French cookery to our own. But our the failure of his banker. large colonial trade enables us to present a great mul- The cookery of Vienna is excellent, and is a comtitude of accessories, which may be had at a moderate bination of that of France, introduced by the imported price, and seen habitually on the tables of our cooks of the wealthy noblesse, and the native school. middle classes. Our fish is also so excellent, that Game is prominent in it, as every one knows, who fastidious foreigners, who apply the word gargote to considers the natural facilities of the country, and certain popular French restaurants of London, gener- who has seen the Wildpret Markt in Vienna, for there ally pronounce themselves satisfied with Greenwich is a market exclusively for game. The Bohemian fish-dinners. Still, notwithstanding the freshness and pheasants are considered the best in Europe ; and of excellence of our fish, there can be no doubt of certain quadruped game, undoubtedly the most succulent, French preparations being superior to our own; such, without producing satiety, is the chamois, when fat, for instance, as a matelote of eels, and certain other fish well grown, and of the right age. In Hungary, there combined in frying with fine herbs, or in sauce with are two national dishes-the paprika fowl; that is to choice tubercules.
say, the ordinary fowl dressed with a sauce in which Great Britain does not produce wines; our con- the native red pepper of Hungary figures. In colour, sumption is therefore much less than on the continent; this resembles cayenne, but has nothing of the pungent but the average quality is better, as an inferior article strength of the South American plant. The other would not pay the expense of importation. A great national dish is the golàs; but any one familiar with change, however, has taken place in our customs oriental cookery, at once recognises its origin. It is, respecting wine, which, two centuries ago, was the in fact, the stew or yahni of the Arabs and Turks. In habitual drink, not only of the middle, but even of the the south of Hungary, where there is a large growth lower classes.' In Edinburgh, there was, up to a very of maize, it is extensively used, both in savoury and recent period, a large consumption of French wine by sweet preparations. When kneaded in small lumps the middle classes; and in the last century, previous or balls, it is excellent in soup, and it is equally delito the French revolutionary war, every tavern_in cious in puddings ; so that we have always felt surthe High Street had its hogsheads of claret. We prised that so cheap, nutritious, and agreeable farina have heard, in our younger days, the late venerable should not be more extensively used in this country. Alexander Naysmith say, that when a publican The game in Hungary is abundant and excellent; the broached a particularly good hogshead, his house was quails are fat, as they find in this region abundant full until it was emptied. But our ales and beers are food during their migration. The wild boar of the justly renowned all over the world; although, to our Carpathians is not to be omitted in our list of the taste, nothing of the kind, not even India Pale Ale, gastronomic delicacies of Hungary. Certain wines are is equal in flavour to good Bavarian beer.
also good, and are largely consumed in Galicia and The meat of Germany is not by any means so good other parts of Poland; but unquestionably they do as that of Britain; but the cookery is good, when one not by any means please the British palate so well gets used to it-in fact, all things considered, better as the wines of France, Spain, Portugal, and the The yaourt
Rhine. We must except Tokay, however, which is a animal corruption. We have more than once seen very sweet wine, like a liqueur; being less dry than ham on a table when a true Mussulman was present, Cyprus, and not so sweet as Malaga. The other and the feeling he manifested was not simply religious wines celebrated in books of geography have rather a aversion, but positive loathing, such as the flesh of a medicinal taste to a British or French palate. Meneser rat might excite in us. is, however, dark and sweet, and has a much nearer The Turkish preparation of rice, called pilaff, resemblance to Malaga than any wine we know. The has become celebrated; the principle of which is, Rhine grape has been lately introduced into Hungary that every grain should be separate. with great success, as we have the Rhine flavour with or curdled milk is also celebrated, and when taken perhaps less acidity. The peasantry consume much with a little sugar, is most refreshing. Caimak or bacon and brandy, and never taste tea from one end clotted cream is another delicious lactic preparation, of the year to another.
which all travellers relish. The Ottoman Empire In Italy, we find the gastronomy determined in being very large, and having a great variety of a great measure by the climate. The plains of the climates and populations, and the Ottomans being, Po produce large quantities of rice, which figure both except in Asia Minor, not a nation, but a dominant in the mid-day and evening meal. Maize or Indian military caste, almost each province, or at least division corn, called polenta, is also a staple food, to which we of the empire, has its own culinary customs. In may also add various preparations of paste called Albania, for instance, milk and the juices of animal macaroni, vermicelli, and tagliarini, so that the con- food are mingled together, contrary to custom in sumption of animal food is moderate; and, owing to other parts of Europe. In Servia and Bulgaria, the abundance of grain, poultry is cheap and good. soups are slightly acidulated with vinegar; and in the The rich pastures of the Lombard territory are used latter country, cabbage is eaten in a state of putrenot so much for cattle intended for the shambles, as faction; yet so abundant is grain in this province, for milch cows. Hence the rich cheeses known as that roast turkey is the traveller's daily fare. In all Gorgonzola and Parmesan, which latter is produced Turkish countries, lamb and mutton are roasted with principally in the neighbourhood of Lodi. Of all great delicacy, sometimes with chopped vine-twigs cheeses used for culinary purposes, Parmesan is below them, which gives a slight but delicious vinous preferred. Most cheeses that grate easily are poor; flavour to the meat. Another excellent method of Parmesan grates easily, and is rich. It is therefore roasting lamb or mutton, is to place rice below it, extensively used, not only to powder all the native so as to absorb all the gravy. The choice dishes of pastes, but no soup is ever presented in Italy without a good Turkish kitchen are not few: one of the most à plate of grated Parmesan; and the custom has succulent is a preparation of the feet of sheep with been gradually extended to the well-appointed tables herbs and white sauce, not unlike the French pied de of London. There is another characteristic of the veau à la poulette ; but, as we think, superior. geographical distribution of culinary art worthy of The great characteristic of the food of the Egyptians mention. The low banks of the Po and the Adige is the universal use of the date and of onions. With near their mouths, and all the territory of Ravenna, this fruit and vegetable, and a little rice, the Egyptian furnish excellent food for the domestic hog in the peasant is satisfied with very little animal food, roots found on the banks of the rivers ; hence the pork although it is very cheap, or at least was so some is much more cleanly fed than in the neighbourhood years ago. Fowls are largely used in Egypt, but of large towns, where porcine food is often corrupt being produced by artificial incubation, they are poor animal matter. From this is made the famed Bologna in flavour, lean and small. This artificial process sausages, exported to all parts of Europe. The chief brings forward the fowl ab ovo; but it would appear delicacy of the locality the fresh-pork chops served that, independently of mere warmth and covering, up on a basis of Indian corn resembling our Yorkshire there are occult currents of animal fluid for which pudding.
no ingenuity can provide a substitute. The fish of the Italian coasts is not, in our opinion, equal to that of the northern seas; for what reason, we cannot divine. The tunny and sturgeon, although
OÇ E O L A: satisfying, are not delicate fish; but the barbone or
A ROMANCE. red mullet is remembered by all travellers. Oysters are generally diminutive. We have not had the advantage of travelling in
I LOOKED around. Sure enough, the mulatto was Spain, nor have we heard very favourable accounts of
making off. the cuisine of that country; but it were superfluous
The rencontre between Ringgold and the Indian to praise her fruits and wines, which are so highly monopolised attention, and the criminal was for the esteemed, and so extensively used in this country. Her moment forgotten. The knife knocked out of Powell's large juicy olives, her Valencia almonds, her Malaga hands had fallen at the feet of Yellow Jake. Unobraisins, her Seville oranges, and her Cadiz wines, are served in the confusion, he had snatched it up, cut the seen on every table. But an extensive use of garlic fastenings from his limbs, and glided off before any has not yet been made, even by those in this country one could intercept him. Several clutched at him as who admire the continental schools of recondite he passed through the straggled groups; but, being cookery.
The cookery of the Turks is excellent, and chiefly naked, lie was able to glide out of their grasp, and in a consists of rice, fowls, mutton, and vegetables. Beef dozen bounds he had cleared the crowd, and was is unknown, except in a campaign, and is classed with running towards the shore of the lake. horseflesh, and considered penitential fare ; in fact, It seemed a mad attempt he would be shot down many Turks prefer horseflesh sausages to the best or overtaken. Even so; it was not madness to fly roast-beef. We need not say that the flesh of the hog from certain death-and such a death. is most rigorously forbidden. We are of opinion that in hot countries, the prohibition of the food of this of pistols. The guns had been laid aside, and were
Shots were ringing; at first they were the reports animal may be supported on good sanitary grounds. It is unquestionably an impure feeding animal; and leaning against trees and the adjacent fence. many piggeries in such countries as Egypt and Syria,
Their owners now ran to seize them. One after would unquestionably promote plague, which is simply another was levelled; and then followed a sharp rapid a virulent fever, having its cause in accumulations of cracking, like file-firing from a corps of riflemen.
CHAPTER XIII.-THE CHASE.
There may have been good marksmen among the woods, and certainly his chances of escape seemed party-there were some of the best-but a man better. running for his life, and bounding from side to side, After all, he could not escape. The island for which to avoid the stumps and bushes, offers but a very he was making was about half a mile from the shore ; uncertain aim; and the best shot may miss.
but beyond was a stretch of clear water of more than So it appeared on this occasion. After the last rifle a mile in width. He would arrive at the island before rang, the runaway was still seen keeping his onward any of his pursuers ; but what then? Did he purpose course, apparently unscathed.
to remain there, in hopes of concealing himself among The moment after, he plunged into the water, and the bushes ? Its surface of several acres was covered swam boldly out from the shore.
with a thick growth of large trees. Some stood close Some set to reloading their guns; others, despairing by the shore, their branches draped with silvery of the time, fling them away, and hastily pulling off tillandsia, overhanging the water. But what of this ? hats, coats, and boots, rushed down to the lake, and There might have been cover enough to have given plunged in after the fugitive.
shelter to a bear or a hunted wolf, but not to a In less than three minutes from the time that the hunted man--not to a slave who had drawn the knife mulatto started off, a new tableau was formed. The upon his master. No, no. Every inch of the thicket spot that was to have been the scene of execution was would be searched: to escape by concealing himself he completely deserted. One half the crowd was down by might not. the shore, shouting and gesticulating; the other half- Perhaps he only meant to use the island as a restingfull twenty in all-had taken to the water, and were place; and, after breathing himself, take once more to swimming in perfect silence-their heads alone shew- the water, and swim on for the opposite shore. It was ing above the surface. Away beyond-full fifty paces possible for a strong swimmer to reach it; but it in advance of the foremost-appeared that solitary would not be possible for him. There were skiffs and swimmer—the object of pursuit; his head of black pirogues upon the river, both up and down. Men had tangled curls conspicuous above the water, and now already gone after them; and, long before he could and then the yellow neck and shoulders, as he forged work his way across that wide reach, half-a-dozen forward in the desperate struggle for life.
keels would be cutting after him. No, no—he could A strange tableau it was; and bore strong resem- not escape: either upon the island, or in the water blance to a deer-hunt—when the stag, close pressed, beyond, he would be captured. takes to the water; and the hounds, in full cry, plunge Thus reasoned the spectators, as they stood watching boldly after—but in this chase were the elements of a the pursuit. still grander excitement: both the quarry and the pack The excitement rose higher as the swimmers neared were human.
the island. It is always so at the approach of a crisis ; Not all human-there were dogs as well-hounds and a crisis was near, though not such a one as the and mastiffs mingled among the men, side by side spectators anticipated. They looked to see the runwith their masters in the eager purpose of pursuit. A away reach the island, mount up the bank, and disstrange tableau indeed !
appear among the trees. They looked to see his Stray shots were still fired from the shore. Rifles pursuers climb out close upon his heels, and perhaps had been reloaded by those who remained; and now hear of his capture before he could cross through the and then the plash of the tiny pellet could be seen, timber, and take to the water on the other side. where it struck the water far short of the distant Some such crisis were they expecting; and it could swimmer. He needed no longer have a dread of not be distant, for the mulatto was now close into the danger from that source; he was beyond the range of edge of the island; a few strokes would bring him to the rifles.
the shore: he was swimming under the black shadows The whole scene had the semblance of a dream. So of the trees-it seemed as if the branches were over sudden had been the change of events, I could scarcely his head as if he might have thrown up his hands give credit to my senses, and believe it a reality. and clutched them. But the moment before, the criminal lay bound and The main body of his pursuers was still fifty yards helpless, beside him the pile upon which he was to be in his rear; but some, who had forged ahead of the burnt-now was he swimming far and free, his execu- rest, were within half that distance. From where we tioners a hopeless distance behind him. Rapid had viewed them, they seemed far nearer; in fact, it was been the transformation—it hardly appeared real. easy to fancy that they were swimming alongside, and Nevertheless, it was real-it was before the eyes. could have laid hands on him at any moment.
A long time, too, before our eyes. A chase in the The crisis was approaching, but not that which was water is a very different affair from a pursuit on dry looked for. The pursuit was destined to a far different land; and, notwithstanding there was life and death ending from that anticipated either by spectators or on the issue, slow was the progress both of pursuers pursuers. The pursued himself little dreamed of the and pursued. For nearly half an hour we who doom that was so near-a doom awfully appropriate. remained upon the shore continued spectators of this The swimmer was cleaving his way across the belt singular contest.
of black shadow; we expected next moment to see The frenzy of the first moments had passed away; him enter among the trees, when all at once he was but there was sufficient interest to sustain a strong seen to turn side towards us, and direct his course excitement to the last ; and some continued to shout along the edge of the island ! and gesticulate, though neither their cries nor actions We observed this manæuvre with some astonishcould in anywise influence the result. No words of ment-we could not account for it; it was clearly to encouragement could have increased the speed of the the advantage of his pursuers, who now swam in a pursuers; no threats were needed to urge forward the diagonal line to intercept him. fugitive.
What could be his motive? Had he failed to find We who remained inactive had time enough to a landing-place? Even so, he might have clutched reflect; and upon reflection, it became apparent why the branches, and by that means drawn himself the runaway had taken to the water. Had he ashore ? attempted to escape by the fields, he would have been Ha! our conjectures are answered; yonder is the pulled down by the dogs, or else overtaken by swift answer; yonder brown log that floats on the black runners, for there were many swifter than he. There water is not the trunk of a dead tree. It is not dead; were few better swimmers, however, and he knew it. it has life and motion. See! it assumes a form—the For this reason, then, had he preferred the water to the form of the great saurian, the hideous alligator!