Imágenes de páginas

Montgomery, the friend who had watched was irresistible-in short, she was a seover him in his illness, to a Presbyterian · cond Corinne. All the fashionables of church, where his pallid appearance at- Dublin were emulous of the intimacy of tracted the attention of a pious lady, who Madame Dalmatiani, whose income enakindly gave him a seat in her pew. This bled her to maintain a style, equal to lady proved to be Mrs. Wentworth, and that of the proudest of the nobility. De in a sweet little girl of about fourteen, he Courcy was overcome by her charms, discovered his inamorata. On this re- and sought and obtained admission to cognition, he was invited to Mr. Went- her society. At her house, all the literati worth's house. Here he ever found as- of the metropolis were assiduous in their sembled professors of evangelical reli- attendance, and vied with each other in gion, in the mysteries of which, Mr. deference to her superiority. Her knowWentworth was profoundly versed, and ledge was not confined to a perfect acon wbich he was delighted to descant. quaintance with the modern languages Disputation and prayer, alternately oc- and modern philosophy, she had possescupied the host and his guests, and poor sed herself of all the hoards of classic De Courcy had no enjoyment, but in lore. At the first conversazioni, at which looking wishfully at Eva, with rarely an our hero was present, we find her drawopportunity of addressing to her the most ing a comparison between “ the Orestes indifferent discourse. This tantalizing in the Eumenides of Eschylus, and Shake. intercourse he could not long endure. speares’s Hamlet.” To cap the climax, He had imparted his secret attachment De Courcy begins to quote Schlegel on to no one but it preyed upon his health. the drama, and adds “ the remark of an He fell into another fever, and again be- English critic, that the characters of Eleccame delirious. In his ravings, he be- tra and Hamlet, bear a closer resem: trayed the latent cause of his malady. blance to each other than any that the The watchful Montgomery communica. ancient and modern drama furnish." De ted it to his guardian, who, touched with Courcy spoke in French too, and by the the condition of his ward, made imme- purity of his language, and propriety of diate overtures, in his behalf, to Mr. his pronunciation, drew the attention of Wentworth. The unregenerate state of the wonderful Italian,--whom we must De Courcy, formed in the minds of Mr. henceforth designate by the name of Zaira, Wentworth, and his amiable wife, an al- His beauty and talents made not a less most insuperable objection to his pro- vivid impression upon her, than had her's posals—but the eligibility of the match, on him. We cannot describe minutely in a worldly point of view, weighed with all the gradations and Auctuations of senthe former, and the attachment of the timent, through which the lovers passed parties with the latter, to induce them to suffice it to say, that De Courcy abanallow De Courcy's visits as the acknow- doned Eva, and followed Zaira to the ledge suitor of Eva. Mr. Wentworth continent. But Zaira had not sufficient indulged, too, a hope of converting him confidence in the stability of his affecby his logical powers-at any rate he tion, to yield to his wishes, and unite would have a pretext for exercising them. her fate with his. They met in Paris, But De Courcy proved a refactory pupil, and visited in the same societies. Her and far from improving by the godly con- caution was not superfluous. No sooner versation of Mr. Wentworth, became was De Courcy seen in the Parisian cirdaily more disgusted, with what he deem- cles, than he was admired; and vanity ed, the cant of orthodoxy. He was dis- soon stifled every tender sentiment in his satisfied too, that he could not elicit from bosom. He became tired of his situation. Eva, demonstrations of the same wild pas. The charms of Zaira's conversation no sion which consumed him. Her placid longer rivetted him. His attention was and equable manner, seemed to him fri- caught by every lure that was thrown gid; and though he was occasionally re- out by rival belles, to ensnare him. In freshed with a smile, he could not con- this state of vaccillation and listlessness, tent himself with so infrequent and so un- he learns from Montgomery, who hapsubstantial a condescension. Whilst he pens opportunely to arrive in Paris, that was thus lingering out his period of pro- his barbarity has driven Eva to the verge bation, a Madame Dalmatiani was an- of the grave. The compunctious visitnounced to make her appearance on the ings of conscience, bring on another Dublin boards. This lady was an abso. fever and a new fit of insanity. He relute prodigy. Her personal beauty was covers, deserts Zaira, and returns to dazzling, her talents were transcendant, Ireland. Zaira grows delirious, and demer vocal powers unrivallel-lier pathos termines on suicide,-but at last, in obc

[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

dience to a supernatural impulse, follows Eva, and which she had bequeathed to
the footsteps of De Courcy. On his ar. him as a token of reconciliation.
rival, our hero learns that the condition “ De Courcy took the ring, and press.
of Eva is desperate indeed. He writes ed it to his pale lips. Encouraged by
her a penitent letter, which she receives, the permission to speak to bim, Montgo-
and which revives in her feelings she had mery pressed him to recline on the so-
hoped for ever to have laid at rest. She pha, and try to get some rest. De Cour-
had essayed to devote her heart to God, cy lay down-slept—and awoke no more.
and she shrinks fro the idea of admitting As Montgomery beheld the cal

ness of
an unworthy mortal to share in her affec. his exquisite features, be · trụsted his
tions. She resolutely declines seeing soul had gotten grace.' He was inter-
him; and he is brought into a state as red near Eva, for Montgomery knew the
hopeless as her own. We had forgotten wish of his heart, though death had pre-
to mention that the old hag, in whose hut vented his uttering it. On his grave-
De Courcy had first found Eva, had fre- stone was this simple line :-
quently afterwards crossed his path, and

CHARLES DE COURCY. uttered her malisons upon him and Zaira. Obiit Mense Novembris, anno Domini, 1814. After her return, Zaira kept herself se

Ætatis suæ 19.” cluded, but secretly indulged herself with

Eva was not sixteen when she died. the distant view of De Courcy, as he Zaira we are told still lives, a monu: rambled through the streets of Dublin. ment of misery. Retracing her way to her villa, one even- Comment on such a tale, seems superįng, a shower forced her to take refuge fluous. It is too tragi-farcical for delibein a hovel by the road side. In a corner rate criticism. of this miserable habitation, she descried

That our readers may be enabled to the maniac who had so often persecuted judge as well of Mr. Maturin's powers her. The poor creature was dying; and of description, as of the perfections of his in this hour, her reason revisited her. heroines and hero, we will select a por. She disclosed herself to Zaira, as her trait of each of them. mother. Zaira was the illegitimate child It will be recollected that De Courcy of a man of fortunę, in Ireland, who bad accidentally recognized Eva at church. educated her with the greatest pains, and designed her to inherit bis fortune. But « As he leaned near her, the young fehe was an infidel, and had discarded the male, with that liberty which seems to in. mother of his child, on account of her spire confidence, but not to express it, offerbigotry. Having failed to impress Zaira ed him ber hymn-book, and pointing with with any sound principles, she yielded to cred song with as little emotion as if her

her white finger to the page, pursued her saber inclinations, and secretly married Fio- sister held the other leaf. De Courcy bent retti, her instructor in music. Circum

over the book, which was so small that their stances at last compelled a disclosure of hands almost touched each other; his eyes, the connexion. Her father banished her fixed on the white fairy fingers so near, from his presence. Fioretti showed him- wandered over the lines without distinguishself a base and mercenary wretch. On ing them ;—that thrilling voice so close to the birth of Zaira's child, he took it from him, those tones that seemed to turn the ber, and she could never learn its fate. very air into music, gave him sensations of Fioretti carried his wife to Italy, and re- delight, such as Milton felt, when he said, solved to turn her accomplishments to ac

Intremuit læto florea terra sono.' He did count, brought her forward on the stage. glimpse of her face-he felt as if the pre

not wish for some moments to catch a He soon died, but Zaira pursued her pro- sent moments were to last forever-as if fession till she had acquired a fortune. the sounds which he then heard were never She now learned from the lips of her dy- to cease. It was only at the conclusion of ing mother, that her child lived-and was the hymn (when the lady attempted to withEva Wentworth! Zaira only waited to draw the book, which he still held unconclose her parent's eyes, and hurried to sciously, looked up with a slight expression Mr. Wentworth's. She came too late of surprise) that he beheld a countenance Eva had just breathed her last. She which gleamed on him like a vision of the reproached herself as her daughter's past. The ringlets of pale gold, curling like murderer. Zaira and De Courcy attend the untutored locks of childhood, falling ed the funeral of Eva, as the principal foilage over a bed of blossoms; the eyes of

over her cheek, like the shade of brilliant mourners—but without an interchange of heaven's own blue, in which every feeling recognition. On the evening of the next of the pure heart was written, and not a day, Montgomery delivered to De Cour- feeling that might not be avowed to men çy the ring wbich was his first present to and angels; the lips, over whose young

[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

roses no breath but of devotion had ever tractive and commanding, and her voice
sighed; her whole aspect reflecting the mild developing all that nature could give, or art
glory of that holy harmony, whose last notes could teach, maddening the ignorant with
trembled on her half-open lips, and her the discovery of a new sense, and daring
glance so suddenly raised, so suddenly with the scientific beyond the bounds of expec-
drawn,-he recognised all-it was herself— tation or of experience, mocking their
the very female he had saved-she evident- amazement, and leaving the ear breathless.
ly did not know him,-he was much altered All these burst at once on Charles, whose
by his illness, and this was the first time heart, and senses, and mind, reeled in in-
he thought or felt he was. He still con• toxication, and felt pleasure annihilated by
tinued to gaze on her, as we watch the its own excess."
sleep of a beautiful infant, delighted with Now for a picture of the nonpareil De
its calm unconscious beauty, and feeling Courcy-tbis Adonis, Apollo, and Her-
that when

it awakes it will turn to us with cules of eighteen. We have it in a letlooks of love.".

ter from M. de Viosmenil to Madame St. He first saw Madame Dalmatiani, or Maure, the bosom friend and confidante Zaira, as she chose to be called, at the of Zaira. theatre.

“ Well-my beloved Delphine, I have “The performance on this night was a suc- seen your friends; your friend rather I cession of scenes from the most distinguish- should say, for you have not seen M. De ed Italian operas. The house was crowded, Courcy. I have seen him, and have half and the overture just over as they entered. forgiven Zaira. I have studied him, and A brilliant audience, lights, music, and the trembled for her. He is the most perfect murmur of delighted expectation, prepared human form I ever beheld ; nothing like Charles for a far different object from Eva. him has ever trod the earth ; and the genWhat a contrast in the very introduction, tleness of his manners makes a contrast al. between the dark habits, pale lights, solemn most ludicrous with his gigantic stature and music, and awful language of a conventicle, commanding presence. His manners are and the gayety and splendour of a theatre! singular, a mixture of diffidence and enthuHe felt already disposed to look with de- siasm altogether incredible, totally un-Parilight on one who was so brightly harbinger. sian—destitute of our inimitable ease, and ed, though it was amid a scene so different borrowing their chiefest charm from that his first impressions of passion had been re- destitution. This stranger enslaves us, by ceived and felt. The curtain rose, and a fighting with weapons unknown to us befew moments after Madame Dalmatiani en- fore. He blushes like a girl, frolics like a tered : she rushed so rapidly on the stage, boy, talks like a man, and looks like a hero. and burst with such an overwhelming cata

in the language of that inimita : ract of sound on the ear, in a bavura that ble poet you taught me to readseemed composed apparently not to task, “Who could win woman's heart, ruin and leave but to defy the human voice, that all eyes

her.' were dazzled, and all ears stunned; and several minutes elapsed before a thunder of “ Believe me, it is this class of men, so seapplause testified the astonishment from ductive from their softness, who are the dewhich the audience appeared scarcely then struction of women; that very gentleness to respire. She was in the character of a and Alexibility that lends its dangerous princess, alternately reproaching and sup- charm to their manners, extends its influence plicating a tyrant for the fate of her lover ; to their character, and the idol of yesterday and such was her perfect self-possession, or is trod into dust, while they rush to offer rather the force with which she entered into their worship to the deity of to-morrow over the character, that she no more noticed the the fragments.”. applauses that thundered round her, than if she had been the individual she represent

We have not patience to cony any ed; and such was the illusion of her figure,

more of this ridiculous stuff. her costume, her voice, and her attitudes,

But laying aside the plot, and the printhat in a few moments the inspiration with cipal personages in the piece, we may find which she was agitated was communicated some amusement in the by-play. Mr. Mato every spectator. The sublime and sculp- turin has exercised his wit chiefly at the ture-like perfection of her form, the classi- expense of that class of religious people, cal, yet unstudied undulation of her atti- who in Ireland assume the exclusive title tudes, almost conveying the idea of a sybil, of Evangelical. We have already menor a prophetess, under the force of ancient tioned that Mr. Wentworth's house was a inspiration, the resplendent and almostoverpowering lustre of her beauty, her sun-like great resort of this sort of people, Mr. W. eyes, her snowy arms, her drapery blazing being a man of wealth, keeping a hospitawith diamonds, yet falling round her figure ble board, and withal having a strong in folds as light as if the zephyrs had flung it penchant for theological controversy there, and delighted to sport among its wav- which he justified himself in, by what he ings ; her imperial loveliness, at once at- deemed a very apposite quotation froin


He is a man,

[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

scripture ; Without controversy, great is mation, and amply equipped with weapons the mystery of godliness. The follow- from the old armoury of Geneva, well furing is an account given of De Courcy's bished by modern artists, which he wielded first visit in this family.

with equal force and dexterity. But his

manners, his habits of disputation, and even - The next day he dined at Dominick- his pulpit oratory, powerful as it was, were street, and found that Mrs. Wentworth's

strongly tinged with the original vulgarity qualifying manner was not without a mean

of his origin and nature. ing, for he was introduced to a class of so

“ He was the son of a poor labourer, the ciety whom he had never before met with.

tenant of a wealthy gentleman in Cork, A large evangelical party dined at the house, whose wife was evangelical ; she instructed (for the evangelical people remunerate the children of her husband's tenants in themselves for renouncing the mixed assem- her own system; her husband gave her no blies of the world by frequent meetings disturbance; he followed his fox-hounds all among themselves,) and the men and wo day, and damned his wife's methodism over men were unlike any men and women De his claret all night. The good lady went Courcy had ever encountered before. The her own way, and discovering in this lad, women all dressed with the utmost simpli- maugre his fierce red hair and bare broad city, with absolute plainness, arms covered feet, evident marks of his being a grow. to the wrists, and necks to the ears: no dis- ing and gracious character;' and astonishtinction of appearance between maid and ed at the fluency and eloquence with which matron, except that the former wore their he repeated his acquired creed, and gave hair very simply arranged; and the latter, the word of exhortation to his ragged family, however young, had their heads invariably wandering round the mud-walls of his na. covered. The men—they neither paid the tive cabin, and exhorted the old women, general attention to women that is usual in (who, gossiping, squabbling, and even drinkinixed companies, nor saparated in groups ing forty yards distant from the chapel door, to talk of politics; they sat apart on their fell on their knees in the mire at the tinkchairs sublime, in thought more elevate, and ling of the bell which announced the elevareasoned high.' De Courcy heard terms used tion of the Host,) to turn from the error of by them, some of which he did not under their ways, and seek the Lord. She prostand, and others which he did, he thought posed a subscription among her friends to quite unfit for loose and general discussion. enable him to enter the university, and be He felt himself quite disconsolate; and ap- qualified to minister at the altar.' proaching a gentleman who stood leaning “The subscription went on zealously, and against one of the windows, he ventured a young Macowen entered college; but when few observations on the position of the allied once there, his views, as they were called, armies, then sufficiently interesting and criti- expanded so rapidly, that no church Episcal, for it was in the close of the eventful year copalian, Presbyterian, or Independent, had 1813.

the good fortune precisely to suit his senti* Very true sir,' said the gentleman, with ments in orthodoxy of system, or purity of a contraction of countenance that appeared, discipline. Thus he moved a splendid and to De Courcy quite pantomimic, ' very true; erratick meteor, shedding his light on the you are speaking of the downfal of the churches as he passed, but defying them all power of Buonaparte, but have you ever to calculate his orbit, or ascertain his directhought of the means of overthrowing the tion. In the mean time, it had been sugpower of satan, and extending the kingdom gested to him that many evangelical feof Christ.'

males, of large fortune, would not be unwil66 Dinner was announced at the end of ling to share his fate. This hint, often rethis triumphant sentence—the party mixed peated and readily believed, threw a most -the dinner was excellent, but without odious suavity into his manner; his overparade; the first course contained the sub- blown vulgar courtesy was like the flowers stance of two or three more splendid but of the poppy, all glare and stench. Under less substantial. De Courcy remarked par- these circumstances, he had become the inticularly the man who had rebutted him just timate of the Wentforth family, and from as they went down to dinner. He was tall, the moment he beheld Eva, his feelings but very ungraceful; a strange conscious- were what he could not describe, and would ness of importance mingled itself most un- not account for even to himself, but what he couthly with his coarse figure and awkward was determined implicitly to follow. Hil manners ; his hair was red; his eye small, system took part with his inclinations, and in but keen and piercing; his voice powerful, a short time he believed it a duty to impress but not melodious; most repulsively soften- her with the conviction that her salvation ed when he addressed females, to whom, must depend on her being united with him. however, he paid obvious attention. He When a perverted conscience is in league never spoke but on one subject; and on that with the passions, their joint influence is jrhis eloquence was overpowering, and his resistible. information profound, but it was only on “ There is, among the evangelical peoone side; he was a sturdy orthodox Calvin- ple, an establishment something like the ist, skilful in argument, vehement in decla- Court of Wards, abolished under Jaines the

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]









first; a determination to dispose of wealthy cal time-keeper ;-the same ceaseless ticking unmarried females to distinguished profes- sound;

the same vacillating motion of the sors or preachers, who are not equally fa- head and body ; and his whole conversavoured by fortune, and the families of the tion turning on the various lengths of the former conceive themselves not only ho- sermons he had heard, of which, it appearnoured, but benefitted by the exchange. ed, he was in the habit of listening to four Thus the evangelical system is rapidly as- every Sunday. suming the aspect of the papal, and, by the “ i Mr. Matthias preached exactly fortyunion of intellectual influence with actual eight minutes. I was at Mr. Cooper's exwealth, bids fair to rival it in power as well hortation at Plunket-street in the evening, as in pretensions. On this Macowen relied and it was precisely fifty-three minutes.' much, and, strange to say, on his personal And how many seconds ?” said Mrs. advantages still more.

Wentworth smiling, for she felt the ridicule

of this. 6 The dinner went on; the men and wo- • Close to De Courcy were two very men, seated alternately, spoke of their po- young men, who were comparing the repular preachers, and of popular works of spective progress they had made in the conevangelical divinity, and of eloquent speech. version of some of their relations. They es made at the meetings of the Bible Society, spoke on this subject with a familiarity that and of the diffusion of the gospel through-' certainly made De Courcy start. out Ireland ; and they uttered sundry stric- "My aunt is almost entirely converted,' tures on the parochial clergy, who opposed said one. "She never goes to church now, the circulation of evangelical tracts, with though she never missed early prayers at many a by-blow at the contrast between the St. Thomas's for forty years before. Now,' Calvinistic articles of the church of Eng- with a strange tone of triumph, now is land, and the Arminian creed of her modern your sister converted as much as that?'

"Yes--yes-she is,' answered the other, « Such was the conversation : and when eagerly; for she burned her week's prethe women retired, it was not a whit more paration yesterday, and my mother's too enlarged. One man talked incessantly of along with it.' the election of grace ;' his mind literally seemed not to have room for another idea ; After De Courcy was admitted on a every sentence, if it did not begin, ended more familiar footing, and for the avowwith the same phrase, and every subjected purpose of paying his court to Eva, only furnished matter for its introduction. he still experienced what he considered Dr. Thorpe's last sermon at Bethesda was vexatious interruptions. spoken of in terms of high and merited panegyric.

“Every morning, though a constant visi. Very true,' said he ; ' but ama--Did tor, he felt like a stranger to himself and those you think there was enough of election in around him; the house was filled with reit?

ligious persons of various denominations ; «A late work of the same author (his all met for the purpose of controversy or clever pamphlet on the Catholic petition) devotion, or both; and, after the protractwas mentioned.

ed and luxurious breakfast, the signal for “But does he say any thing of eleetion battle was generally given by some spiritual in it?'

leader. Predestination or Perseverance 6. There was no opportunity,' said Mr. sounded their tocsin in the ear of some jeaWentworth.

lous and startled Arminian, the conflict com** Then he should have made one -Ah, I menced, and they would talk,-- Good would give very little for a book that did gods, how they would talk !' -till their not assert the election of grace !

minds, inflamed with the fiercest passion, « Once seated in his election-saddle, he and their tongues on fire with the most tera posted on with alarming speed, and ended rible anathemas, and scarce hiding their abwith declaring, that Elisha Coles, on God's horrence of persons under a denunciation of Sovereignty, was worth all the divinity that principles, almost dooming each other to ever was written. I have a large collec. eternal torment, while they affected to suption of the works of godly writers,' said plicate the Divine Mercy on the professor's he, turning to De Courcy, but not one of imputed error; on another signal given, work that ever was, would I resign for that they would sink on their knees together, of Elisha Coles.'

but still continue the warfare under the Won't you except the Bible ?” said De shelter of an address to the Deity, by apCourcy, smiling.

pealing to him for the defence of his own “Oh, yes--the Bible--ay, to be sure, the truth, and imploring him with that kind of Bible,' said the discomfitted champion of charitable malignity peculiar to religious election ; but still you know and be people, to turn their erring brethren from continued to mutter something about Elisha darkness to light, to give them the heart Coles, on God's Sovereignty.

of flesh for the heart of stone,' &c. &c. &c. “Another, who never stopped talking, ap- Such was the morning, and such was the peared to De Courcy a complete evangeli- evening too; and the evening and the morn

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »