ページの画像
PDF
ePub

ter of an hour did this victim of dis- on mine—“I always strive to bear in ease continue writhing on the floor, mind that I am in the hands of a God and we standing by, physicians of as good as great, and that I am not no value !” The violence of the par- to doubt his goodness, because I oxysm abated at length, and again cannot exactly see how he brings it we stooped, for the purpose of rai- about. Doubtless there are reasons sing him and carrying him to the for my suffering what I do, which, sofa—but he motioned us off, ex- though at present incomprehensible claiming so faintly as to be almost to me, would appear abundantly sainaudible—“ No, no, thank you- tisfactory could I be made acquaintmust not be moved for this hour- ed with them. Oh, Dr D- what and when I am, it must be to bed.” would become of me,” said E-". Then we will bid you good solemnly, “ were 1, instead of the evening, and pray to God you may rich consolations of religion, to have be better in the morning.”-“ Yes nothing to rely on but the disheartyes.—Better-better; good-goodening speculations of infidelity !-If by,” he muttered indistinctly. in this world only I have hope,” he

“ Master's falling asleep, gentle- continued, looking steadfastly upmen, as he always does after these wards, “ I am, of all men, most mi. fits,” said Joseph, who had his arm serable !"-Is not it dangerous to round his suffering master's neck. know such a man, lest one should We, of course, left immediately, and feel inclined to fall down and wormet Miss E- in the passage, muf- ship him ?” enquired my friend. Infled in her shawl, and sobbing as if deed I thought so. Surely Ewas she would break her heart.

a miracle of patience and fortitude ! Dr D- told me, as we were and how he had contrived to make walking home, that, about two years' bis splendid advancements in sciago,

E made a week's stay with ence, while subject to such almost him; and that, on one occasion, he unheard-of tortures, both as to duendured agonies of such horrible in- ration and intensity—had devoted tensity, as nothing could abate, or in himself so successfully to the proseany measure alleviate, but two doses cution of studies requiring habits of of laudanum, of nearly six drachms long, patient, profound abstractioneach, within half an hour of each was to me inconceivable. other; and that even then he did not How few of us are aware of what sleep for more than two hours. is suffered by those with whom we “ When he awoke," continued my are most intimate! How few know friend," he was lying on the sofa in the heavy counter-balancings of poa state of dreadful exhaustion, the pularity and eminence; the exquiperspiration running from him like site agonies, whether physical or inwater. I asked him if he did not tellectual, inflicted by one irremosometimes yield to such thoughts as veable “ thorn in the flesh !” Oh! were suggested to Job by his impe- the miseries of that eminence whose tuous friends—to curse God and chief prerogative too often isdie,'—to repine at the long and lingering tortures he had endured near

" Above the vulgar herd to rot in state !" ly all his life, for no apparent crime How little had I thought, while gaof his owu ?"

zing, at the

rooms, on this ad“ No, no,” he replied calmly; mirable man, first fascinated with the “ I've suffered too long an appren- placidity of his noble features, that I ticeship to pain for that! I own I was looked at one who had equal claims at first a little disobedient-a little to the character of a MARTYR and a restive—but now I am learning, re- philosopher! How my own petty signation! Would not useless fret- grievances dwindled away in comting serve to enhance—to aggravate parison of those endured by E! my pains !"

How contemptible the pusillanimity “Well!” I exclaimed," it puzzles I had often exhibited! my theology-if any thing could And do you, reader, who, if a man, make me sceptica).”—

Esaw the are, perhaps, in the habit of cursing train of my thoughts, and interrupt- and blaspheming while smarting uned me, laying his white wasted hand der the toothach, or any of those

minor “ ills that flesh is heir to," you for the present, Doctor," said think, at such times, of poor, meek, E , looking at me through a huge suffering E-, and be silent! pair of tortoise-shell spectacles," for

I could not dismiss from my mind both hands are engaged, you see. My the painful image of Ewrithing friend Dr. has just sent me a on the floor, as I have above descri- piece of platina, and you sce I'm albed, but lay the greater part of the ready playing pranks with it! Really, night, reflecting on the probable na I'm as eager to spoil a plaything to ture of his unusual disorder. Was it see what my rattle's made of, as any any thing of a spasmodic nature ? philosophical child in the kingdom! Would not such attacks have worn Here I am analyzing--dissolvinghim out long ago ? Was it one of the transmuting—and so on :-But I've remoter effects of partial paralysis ? really an important end in view here, Was it a preternatural pressure on trying a new combination of metal, the spinal chord, occasioned by frac- and Dr is anxious to know if ture of one of the vertebræ, or en the result of my process corresponds largement of the intervertebral liga- with his-10w, now, Joseph,” said ments ?-Or was it owing to a thick. E-, breaking off suddenly, “ it is ening of the medulla-spinalis itself? ready; bring the ” At this cri

Fifty similar conjectures passed tical instant, by some unlucky accithrough my mind, excited, as well by dent, poor Joseph suddenly overthe singularity of the disease, as by threw the whole apparatus-and the sympathy for the sufferer. Before compounds, ashes, fragments, &c. I fell asleep, I resolved to call on were spilled on the floor! Really, him during the next day, and enquire I quite lost my own temper with carefully into the nature of his symp- thinking of the vexatious disappointtoms—in the forlorn hope of hitting ment it would be to Em. Not so, on some means of mitigating his suf- however, with him. ferings.

“ Oh, dear-dear, dear me! Well, By twelve o'clock at noon I was here's an end of our day's work beset down again at his door. A maid- fore we thought for it! How did you servant answered my summons, and do it, Joseph, eh?" said Em with told me that Mr Eand Joseph an air of chagrin, but with perfect were busily engaged in the “ Lab- mildness of tone. What a ludicrous bory !She took in my card to him, contrast between the philosopher and and returned with her master's com his assistant! The latter, an obese pliments, and he would thank me to little fellow, with a droll cast of one step in. I followed the girl to the eye-was quite red in the face, and laboratory. On opening the door, I wringing his hands, exclaimed—“Oh

and his trusty work-fel. Lord-oh Lord-oh Lord! what could low, Joseph, busily engaged fusing I have been doing, master?"_"Why, some species of metal. The former that's surely your concern more than was dressed as on the preceding mine," replied E-, smiling at me. evening, with the addition of a long “ Come, come, it can't be helpedblack apron,-looked heated and you've done yourself more harm flushed with exercise ; and, with his than me-by giving Dr

such a stooping gait, was holding some small specimen of your awkwardness as I implement over the furnace, while have not seen for many a month. See Joseph, on his knees, was puffing and set things to rights as soon as away at the fire with a small pair of possible,” said E-, calmly, and bellows.-Toanticipate for a moment. putting away his spectacles. How little did E- or I imagine, “Well, Dr what do you think that this was very nearly the last of my little workshop ?” he contime of his ever again entering the tinued, addressing me, who still scene of his long and useful scien stood with my hat and gloves ontific labours !

surprised and delighted to see that I was utterly astonished to see his temper had stood this trial, and one whose sufferings over night had that such a provoking contre-temps been so dreadful, quietly pursuing had really not at all ruffled him. From his avocations in the morning, as the position in which he stood, the though nothing had happened to him! light fell strongly on his face, and I “Excuse my shaking hands with saw his features more distinctly than VOL. XXIX. NO. CLXXVIII.

2 1

saw E

heretofore. I noticed that sure in- ring the pain to that which might foldex of a thinking countenance-three low the incessant stinging of a wasp strong perpendicular marks or folds at the spinal marrow-sudden, labetween the eyebrows, at right- cerating, accompanied by quivering angles with the deep wrinkles that sensations throughout the whole furrowed his forehead, and then nervous system — followed by a the “untroubled lustre" of his cold, strange sense of numbness. He said clear, full, blue eyes, rich and se that at other times it was as though rene as that

some one was in the act of drilling

a hole through his backbone, and through whose clear medium the

piercing the marrow! Sometimes, great sun Loveth to shoot his beams, all brightning, all during the moments of his most Turning to gold.”

ecstatic agonies, he felt as though his

backbone was rent asunder all the Reader, when you see a face of this way up. The pain was on the whole stamp, so marked, and with such local-confined to the first of the eyes and forehead, rest assured you lumbar vertebræ; but occasionally are looking at a gifted, if not an ex- fluctuating between them and the traordinary man. The lower features dorsal. When he had finished the were somewhat shrunk and sallow dreary details of his disease, I was - as well they might, if only from a obliged to acknowledge, with a sigh, thousand hours of agony, setting that nothing suggested itself to me aside the constant wearing of his as a remedy, but what I understood “ ever-waking mind;" yet a smile from Dr D had been tried over of cheerfulness-call it rather resig- and over, and over again." You nation-irradiated his pale coun are right,” he replied, sorrowfully. tenance, like twilight on a sepulchre. “ Dreadful as are my sufferings, the He shewed me round his laboratory, bare thought of undergoing more which was kept in most exemplary medical or surgical treatment, makes cleanliness and order ; and then, me shudder. My back is already opening a door, we entered the frightfully disfigured with the sear“ sanctum sanctorum”—his study, ings of caustic, seaton-marks, cupIt had not more, I should think, than ping, and blistering ;-and I hope five or six hundred books; but all of God will give me patience to wait them-in plain substantial bindings till their perpetual knockings, as it

- had manifestly seen good service. were, shall have at length battered Immediately beneath the window down this frail structure.” stood several portions of a splendid “ Mr Eyou rival some of the astronomical apparatus-a very large old martyrs !” said I, as we rose to telescope, in exquisite order-a re- leave the study. cently invented instrument for cal “ In point of bodily suffering, I culating the parallaxes of the fixed may; but their holiness! those who stars-a chronometer of his own con are put into the keenest parts—the struction,&c. “Do you see this piece very heart of the fiery furnace'of furniture ?” he enquired, direct will come out most refined at last !” ing my attention to a sort of sideless “ Well, you may be earning a sofa, or broad inclined plane, stuffed, glorious reward hereafter, for your the extremity turned up, to rest the constancy feet against-and being at an angle " Or I may be merely smarting for of about forty-five degrees with the the sins of my forefathers !” exclaimfloor. “Ah! could that thing speak, ed E-mournfully. it might tell a tale of my tortures, such as no living being may! For, Monday, July 18–. Having been when I feel my daily paroxysms called to a patient in the neighbourcoming on me, if I am anywhere hood of E

I took that oppornear my study, I lay my wearied tunity of calling upon him on my limbs here, and continue" till I find return. It was about nine o'clock in relief !” This put conversation into the evening; and I found the philothe very train I wished. I begged sopher sitting pensively in the parhim to favour me with a description lour alone; for his niece, I learned, of his disease; and he sat down and had retired early, owing to indiscomplied. I recollect him compa- position. A peculiar semi-circular

[ocr errors]

lamp, of his own contrivance, stood done any thing good in my time, as I on the table, which was strewn with have honestly tried to do, sensible books, pamphlets, and papers. He people won't believe me an imreceived me with his usual gentle postor, at any man's bidding. Those affability.

who would be so influenced, are “ I don't know how it is, but I feel hardly worth undeceiving."* in a singular mood of mind to-night,” ** " There's a good deal of acutesaid he; “ I ought to say rather many ness in the paper, and in one partimoods : sometimes so suddenly and cular, the reviewer has fairly caught strongly excited, as to lose the con me tripping. He may laugh at me trol over my emotions—at others, as much as he pleases; but why go sinking into the depths of despond- about to put himself in a passion ? ency. I've been trying for these two The subject did not require it. But hours to glance over this new view if he is in a passion, should I not be of the Neptunian theory," pointing foolish to be in one too ?-Passion to an open book on the table, serves only to put out truth; and no " which

has sent me, to review one would indulge it that had truth for him in the -; but'tis useless; only in view. * * The real occaI cannot command my thoughts.” sion of my nervousness," he conI felt his pulse: it was one of the tinued, “ is far different from what most irregular I had ever known. “I you have supposed-a little incident know what you suspect,” said he, which occurred only this evening observing my eyes fixed with a and I will tell it you. puzzled air on my watch, and my “ My niece, feeling poorly with a finger at his wrist, for several cold, retired to bed as soon as she minutes ; some organic mischief had done tea; and after sitting here at the heart. Several of your fra- about a quarter of an hour, I took ternity have latterly comforted me one of the candles, and walked to the with assurances to that effect." I laboratory, to see whether all was assured him I did not apprehend right-as is my custom every evenany thing of the kind, but merely that ing. On opening the door, to my his circulation was a little disturbed very great amazement, I saw by recent excitement.

a

stranger in it, a gentleman in dark“ True-true,” he replied, “ I am coloured clothes, holding a dim taper a little flustered, as the phrase is" in one hand, and engaged in going

“ Oh-here's the secret, I sup- round the room, apparently putting pose?” said I, reaching to a periodic all my instruments in order. I stood cal publication of the month, lying at the door almost petrified, watchon the table, and in which I had å ing his movements, without thinking few days ago read a somewhat viru- of interrupting them, for a sudden lent attack on him. “ You're very feeling of something like awe crept rudely handled here, I think ?” said i.

He made no noise what“ What do you think that has dis- ever, and did not seem aware that composed me?" he enquired with a any one was looking at him or if he smile. “No, noI'm past feeling was, he did not seem disposed to nothese things long ago! Abuse-mere tice the interruption. I saw him as personality—now excites in me no clearly, and what he was doing, as I emotion of

any
kind !”

now see you playing with your “ Why, Mr E-, surely you are gloves ! He was engaged leisurely not indifferent to the opinion of the putting away all my loose implepublic, which may be misled by such ments,-shutting boxes, cases, and things as these, if suffered to go un- cupboards, with the accuracy of one answered ?”

who was perfectly well acquainted “ I am not afraid of that. If I've with his work. Having thus disposed

over me.

* " This gentleman's speculations have long served to amuse children and old people : now that he has become old himself, he also may hope for amusement from them." “ This mountain has so long brought forth mice, that, now it has become enfeebled and worn out, it may amuse itself with looking after its progeny."-" Chimeras of a diseased brain.”—“Quackery." —Review. [Neither the Edinburgh nor Quarterly.] Mr Eknew who was the writer of this article.

of all the instruments and apparatus nouse-the pens worn to stumps, and which had been used to-day—and we the ink thick and clotted—too much have had very many more than usual gum in it. He was evidently astoout-he opened the inner-door lead- nished at being asked such questions ing to the study, and entered-1 fol. -and was going to explain further, lowing in mute astonishment. He when I said simply,' that will do, went to work the same way in the and he retired. Now, what am I to study; shutting up several volumes think of all this? If it were a mere that lay open on the table, and care- ocular spectrum, clothed with its fully replacing them in their proper functions from my own excited fanplaces on the shelves.

cy, there was yet a unity of purpose “Having cleared away these, he ap- in its doings that is extraordinary ! proached the astronomical apparatus Something very much like 'shutting near the window, put the cap on the up the shop'-eh ?” enquired Eobject-end of the telescope, pushed with a melancholy smile. in the joints, all noiselessly, closed “ 'Tis touching-very! I never up in its case my new chronometer, heard a more singular incident,” I and then returned to the table where replied abstractedly, without remomy desk lay, took up the ink-stand, ving my eyes from the fire; for my poured out the ink into the fire-place, reading of the occurrence was a Aung all the pens under the grate, sudden and strong conviction, that, and then shut the desk, locked it, and ghost or no ghost, Ehad toiled laid the key on the top of it. When his last in the behalf of science-that he bad done all this, he walked to- he would never again have occasion wards the wall, and turned slowly to use his philosophical machinery! towards me, looked me full in the This melancholy presentiment inface, and shook his head mournfully. vested E-, and all he said or did, The taper he held in his hand slowly with tenfold interest in my eyes. expired-and the spectre, if such it “ Don't suppose, doctor, that I am were, disappeared. The strangest weak enough to be seriously dispart of the story is yet to follow. turbed by the occurrence I have just The pale, fixed features seemed per- been mentioning; Whether or not fectly familiar to me,they were it really portends my approaching those which I had often gazed at, in death, I know not. Though I am a portrait of Mr Boyle, prefixed to not presumptuous enough to supmy quarto copy of his « Treatise of pose myself so important as to warAtmospheric Air.' As soon as I had rant any special interference of Proa little recovered my self-possession, vidence on my behalf-yet I cannot I took down the work in question, help thinking I am to look on this as and examined the portrait. I was a warning-a solemn premonitionright! I cannot account for my not that I may set my house in order, having spoken to the figure, or gone and die.'' Our conversation, during close up to it. I think I could have the remainder of our interview, turndone either, as far as courage went. ed on the topic suggested by the afMy prevailing idea was, that a single fecting incident just related. I lisword would have dissolved the charm, tened to all he uttered, as to the and my curiosity prompted me to words of a doomed-a dying man! see it out. I returned to the parlour All E-advanced on this difficult and rung the bell for Joseph. and interesting subject, was marked

“«Joseph,' said I, ' have you set not less by sound philosophy, than things to rights in the laboratory and unfeigned piety. He ended with study to-night ??— Yes, master," he avowing his

belief

, that the Omniporeplied, with surprise in his man- tent Being who formed both the body ner; ' I finished it before tea-time, and the soul, and willed them to exand set things in particular good or- ist unitedly, could surely, nevertheder-I gave both the rooms a right less, if he saw good, cause the one good cleaning out-I'm sure there's to exist separately from the other; not even a pin in its wrong place.' either by endowing it with new pro

“• What made you Aling the pens perties for that special purpose, or and ink in the fire-place and under by enabling it to exercise, in its disthe grate ?'

embodied state, those powers which Because I thought they were of continued latent in it during its con

« 前へ次へ »