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exclaim against the modern composers for their preference of noise to melody. For one person that can relish a good melody, fifty derive enjoyment from a good bang at the "long drum;" and there are hundreds who are kept awake by the clangor and crash of a brass orchestra, who would sleep over the sweetest strains of Paesiello, the most cheerful airs of Rossini, or the tenderest and most impassioned notes of the unfortunate Bellini. Why then should not the composer suit his goods to his market, like any other manufacturer? or why should he not work up the materials that cost the least, if they are more in request than those of more difficult acquirement?
But of all the pleasures incidental to shooting the most undeniable are the appetite it gives for a good dinner, and the sweet, sound sleep that succeeds repletion; to say nothing of that feast for the gods, the bread and cheese and stout ale which the village pot-house offers for the refreshment of the sportsman, what time the sun is mounted in the zenith, and the first half of his day's sport is over and complete. I am a devoted admirer of Ude, and Carème was my idol; but neither they, nor the whole tribe of bonnets blancs put together, ever produced a dish whose flavour was so highly relished as is that of these simple cates. These are pleasures which all may understand, and in which all may participate; and with them, therefore, I may as well end my illustration.
With respect to the relative pleasures of shooting and of other modes of killing time, I would willingly grant the utmost tolerance to all. "To each his taste allow" is as good philosophy, as it is morals. Shooting, fishing, hunting, fiddling, and omne quod exit in ing, stand exactly on the same ground of preference-the matter-of-fact that they please. To interfere with a neighbour's pleasures is not less illiberal, than to prescribe his religion. It is not enough that I may not perceive the attractions of shooting or field preaching, of hunting, or transubstantiation; that is no reason why I should stigmatise all persons as rogues or fools whose perceptions on these points are more acute than my own. Nay, so constitutionally tolerant am I, that I would not willingly look down on a Frenchman playing dominos, nor on a tailor devouring cabbage. I can, therefore, readily believe that a man may be intellectual, and follow a pointer; I do not hold that every rod which has a worm at one end, has a fool at the other. It is possible that there may be a sufficing reason even for breaking one's horse's neck, or one's own, in a fox-hunt, or, more inexplicable still, in a steeple-chase-though, on a coroner's inquest, conscience might decide against the perfect sanity of the parties. But the first of October is come, the birds are plenty, the dogs fresh, and the scent high. Up, then, ye sons of the trigger"up and be at them," and good luck attend ye. Only this: when you return with a loaded bag, and you have duly supplied friends, patrons, mistresses, money-lenders, and returning-officers, pray, in the further distribution, don't forget your obedient servant,
Ir was about three months after this conversation that Amine and Philip were again seated upon the mossy bank, which we have mentioned, and which had become their favourite resort. Father Mathias had contracted a great intimacy with Father Seysen, and the two priests were almost as inseparable as were Philip and Amine. Having determined to wait a summons previous to Philip's again entering upon his strange and fearful task; and, happy in the possession of each other, the subject was seldom revived. Philip, who had, on his return, expressed his wish to the Directors of the Company for immediate employment, and, if possible, to have the command of a vessel, had since that period, taken no further steps, or had had any communication with Amsterdam. "I am fond of this bank, Philip," said Amine; "I appear to have formed an intimacy with it. It was here, if you recollect, that we debated the subject of the lawfulness of obtaining dreams; and it was here, dear Philip, that you told me your dream, and that I expounded it."
"You did so, Amine; but, if you ask the opinion of Father Seysen, you will find that he would give rather a strong decision against you— he would call it heretical and damnable."
"Let him, if he pleases. I have no objection to tell him."
"I pray not, Amine; let the secret be intrusted to ourselves only.” "Think you Father Mathias would blame me?"
"I certainly do."
"Well, I do not; there is a kindness and liberality about the old man that I admire. I should like to argue the question with him."
As Amine spoke, Philip felt something touch his shoulder, and a sudden chill ran through his frame. In a moment his ideas reverted to the probable cause: he turned round his head, and, to his amazement, beheld the (supposed to be drowned) mate of the Ter Schilling, the one-eyed Schriften, who stood behind him with a letter in his hand. The sudden apparition of this malignant wretch induced Philip to exclaim,
"Merciful Heaven! is it possible?"
Amine, who had turned her head round at the exclamation of Philip, covered up her face, and burst into tears. It was not fear that caused this unusual emotion on her part, but the conviction that her husband was never to be at rest but in the grave.
"Philip Vanderdecken," said Schriften, "he he! I've a letter for you-it is from the Company."
Philip took the letter, but, previous to opening it, he fixed his eyes upon Schriften. "I thought," said he, "that you were drowned when the ship was wrecked in False Bay. How did you escape?"
"How did I escape ?" replied Schriften. "Allow me to ask how did you escape?"
*Continued from page 58, No. cci.
"I was thrown up by the waves," replied Philip; "but"But," interrupted Schriften, "he! he! the waves ought not to have thrown me up."
"And why not, pray? I did not say that."
"No! but I presume you wish that it had been so ; but, on the contrary, I escaped in the same way as you did-I was thrown up by the waves-he! he! but I can't wait here. I have done my bidding."
Stop!" replied Philip; answer me one question. Do you sail in the same vessel with me this time?"
"I'd rather be excused," replied Schriften; "I am not looking for the Phantom Ship, Mynheer Vanderdecken;" and, with this reply, the little man turned round and went away at a rapid pace.
"Is not this a summons, Amine?" said Philip, after a pause, still holding the letter in his hand, with the seal unbroken.
"I will not deny it, dearest Philip. It is most surely so; the hateful messenger appears to have risen from the grave that he might deliver it. Forgive me, Philip; but I was taken by surprise. I will not again. annoy you with a woman's weakness."
"My poor Amine," replied Philip, mournfully. "Alas! why did I not perform my pilgrimage alone? It was selfish of me to link you with so much wretchedness, and join you with me in bearing a fardel of never-ending anxiety and suspense."
"And who should bear it with you, my dearest Philip, if it is not the wife of your bosom? You little know my heart if you think I shrink from the duty. No, Philip, it is a pleasure, even in its most acute pangs; for I consider that I am, by partaking with, relieving you of a portion of your sorrow, and I feel proud that I am the wife of one who has been selected to be so peculiarly tried. But, dearest, no more of this. You must read the letter."
Philip did not answer. He broke the seal, and found that the letter intimated to him that he was appointed as first mate to the Vrow Katerina, a vessel which sailed with the next fleet, and requesting he would join so soon as possible, as she would soon be ready to receive her cargo. The letter, which was from the secretary, further informed him that, after this voyage, he might be certain of having the command of a vessel as captain, upon conditions which would be explained when he called upon the Board.
"I thought, Philip, that you had requested the command of a vessel for this voyage," observed Amine, mournfully.
"I did," replied Philip; "but not having followed up my application, it appears not to have been attended to. It has been my own fault."
"And now it is too late?"
"Yes, dearest, most assuredly so: but it matters not; I would as soon, perhaps sooner, sail this voyage as first mate."
Philip, I may as well speak now. That I am disappointed, I must confess I fully expected that you would have had the command of a vessel, and you may remember that I exacted a promise from you, on this very bank upon which we now sit, at the time that you told me your dream. That promise I shall still exact, and I now tell you what I had intended to ask. It was, my dear Philip, to sail with you. With you, I care for nothing. I can be happy under every privation or danger; Oct.-VOL. LI. NO. CCII.
but to be left alone for so long, brooding over my painful thoughts, devoured by suspense,impatient, restless, and incapable of applying to any one thing-that, dear Philip, is the height of misery, and that is what I feel when you are absent. Recollect, I have your promise, Philip. As captain, you have the means of receiving your wife on board. I am bitterly disappointed in being left this time; do, therefore, to a certain degree, console me by promising that I shall sail with you next voyage, if Heaven permit your return."
"I promise it, Amine, since you are so earnest. I can refuse you nothing; but I have a foreboding that your and my happiness will be wrecked for ever. I am not a visionary, but it does appear to me that, strangely mixed up at once with this world and the next as I am, some little portion of futurity is opened to me. I have given my promise, Amine, but from it I would fain be released."
"And if ill do come, Philip, it is our destiny. Who can avert fate ?" "Amine, we are free agents, and to a certain extent are permitted to direct our own destinies."
Ay, so would Father Seysen fain have made me believe; but what he said in support of his assertion was to me incomprehensible, And yet he said that it was a part of the Catholic faith. It may be so-I am unable to understand many other points. I wish your faith were made more simple. As yet the good man-for good he really is-has only led me into doubt."
"Passing through doubt, you will arrive at conviction, Amine."
"Perhaps so," replied Amine; "but it appears to me that I am as yet but on the outset of my journey. But come, Philip, let us return. You must to Amsterdam, and I will go with you. After your labours of the day, at least until you sail, your Amine's smiles must still enliven you. Is it not so?
"Yes, dearest, I would have proposed it. I wonder much how Schriften could come here. I did not see his body it is certain, but his escape is to me miraculous. Why did he not appear when saved? where could he have been? What think you, Amine ?"
"What I have long thought, Philip. He is a Ghoul with an evil eye, permitted for some cause to walk the earth in human form; and, certainly, in some way connected with your strange destiny. If there requires anything to convince me of the truth of all that has passed it is his appearance-the wretched Afrit! Oh, that I had my mother's powers! -but I forget, it displeases you, Philip, that I ever talk of such things, and I am silent."
Philip replied not, and both absorbed in their own meditations walked back in silence to the cottage. Although Philip had made up his own mind he immediately sent the Portuguese priest to summon Father Seysen, that he might communicate to them and take their opinion as to the summons he had received. Having entered into a fresh detail of the supposed death of Schriften, and his reappearance as a messenger, he then left the two priests to consult together, and went up stairs to Amine. It was more than two hours before Philip was called down, and Father Seysen appeared to be in a state of much perplexity.
"My son," said he, we are much puzzled. We had hoped that our ideas upon this strange communication were correct, and that, allowing all that you have obtained from your mother, and have seen yourself, to
have been no deception, still that it was the work of the evil one; and, if so, our prayers and masses would have destroyed this power. We advised you to await another summons, and you have received it. The letter itself is of course nothing, but the reappearance of the bearer of the letter is the question to be considered. Tell me, Philip, what is your opinion on this point? It is possible he might have been saved -why not as well as yourself?"
"I acknowledge the probability, Father," replied Philip; "he may have been cast on shore and wandered in another direction. It is possible, although anything but probable; but since you ask me my opinion, I must say candidly that I consider he is no earthly messenger-nay, I am sure of it. That he is mysteriously connected with my destiny is certain. But who he is, and what he is, of course I cannot tell."
"Then, my son, we have come to the determination, in this instance, not to advise. You must act now upon your own responsibility and your own judgment. Whatever you may decide upon we shall not blame you. Our prayers shall be, that Heaven may still have you in
its holy keeping."
"My decision, holy Father, is to obey the summons."
"Be it so, my son; something may occur which may assist to work out the mystery, which I acknowledge to be beyond my comprehension, and of too painful a nature for me to dwell upon."
Philip said no more, for he perceived that the priest was not at all inclined to answer. Father Mathias took this opportunity of thanking Philip for his hospitality and kindness, and stated his intention of returning to Lisbon by the first opportunity that might offer.
In a few days Amine and Philip took leave of the priests, and quitted for Amsterdam, Father Seysen taking charge of the cottage until Amine's return. On his arrival, Philip called upon the Directors of the Company, who promised him a ship upon his return from the voyage he was about to enter upon, making a condition that he should become part owner of the vessel. To this Philip consented, and then went down to visit the Vrow Katerina, the ship to which he had been appointed as first mate. She was still unrigged, and the fleet was not expected to sail for two months. Only part of the crew were on board, and the captain, who lived at Dort, had not yet arrived.
So far as Philip could judge, the Vrow Katerina was a very inferior vessel; she was larger than many of the others, but old, and badly constructed; nevertheless, as she had been several voyages to the Indies, and had returned in safety, it was to be presumed that she could not have been taken up by the Company if they had not been satisfied as to her sea-worthiness. Having given a few directions to the men who were on board, Philip returned to the hostelrie, where he had secured apartments for himself and Amine.
The next day, as Philip was superintending the fitting of the rigging, the captain of the Vrow Katerina arrived on the quay, and, stepping on board of her by the plank which communicated with it, the first thing that he did was to run to the mainmast and embrace it with both arms, as much as he could, although there was no small portion of tallow to smear the cloth of his coat. "Oh, my dear Vrow, my Katerina !" cried he, as if he were speaking to a female, "How do you do? I'm glad to see you again; you have been quite well, I hope? You do not