ページの画像
PDF
ePub

you will find on the banks of the lake. The posing themselves seen, positively floate i on the Princess will then be completely in your power,

surface. As soon as it was sufficiently light to having no longer the power to resume her flight, allow me to discover their features, I beheld,-0, Love will teach you how to profit by the advan. transport indescribable! beautiful Zoe herself. My tage.

heart beat with tumul:nous delight, and such was “ Theophrastus ceased 10 speak, and I reniain the agitation of my soul, that I entirely forgot erl silent, ignorant whether I ought to consider the important instruction I had received from my what I had heard as no more than a fiction, in friend Theophrastus. Instead of securing the vented solely to delude me. He swore to me, possession of my acgel, by seizing the plumage however, in the most solemn manner, that he which had Aoated to the brink, in the excess of had asserted nothing but what was true, and my joy I darted from my concealment, and ex. with a tone of sincerity that left me without the lending my arms, exclaimed, -" Enchanting power of distrusting him any longer. Embracing Princess of Naxos! soul of my existence! thou him, therefore, with transport, I submitted my whom I have never ceased to adore! recognize self to his guidance, and was conducted on board your faithful lover, who for four years has attend. the vessel of which he had spoke to me.

ed at the fountain of beauty, with all the arduur “I crossed the Hellespont, and arrived at and impatience the most impassioned tenderness Constantinople, where I purchased the habit of can inspire." a pilgrim. I then set out for Germany, in which “The nymphs, astonished and terrified, uttered country I wandered a considerable time before I a general shriek, and collecting water in the discovered the object of my search, the tranquil palms of their hands, threw it in my face to Lake of the Swans. At last I found it, and here prevent me froin seeing them. This brought to I fornied this hermitage, concealing my real views my recollection the fate of Acteon, and instan:ly under the hypocritical mask of devotion. I was relseating, they slid among soine rushes, and represently visited by several pious men, who be mained there concealed. But presently seven swans lieved me to be a saint, and came to be enlighien rose from the lake, and Aapping the air with ed by iny experience. Liitle did they suspect their wings, elevaled themselves in the horizon that my desires were all terrestrial, that I nourishied and presently disappeared. It was then, and then in my heart an ardent passion for a bewitching only, I remembered my fatal omission. I tore morial, and that nothing occupied me less than the clothes from my back, the hair from my cares and preparations for that slate towards which head, and committed a thousand acts of phrenzy. they believed all my views directed. My eyes, A sort of stupor succeeded this despair, and I it is true, are continually elevated towards heaven, began to retrace, almost unconsciously, the but it was to feast them with the sight of tracks paih to this my hermitage. In passing the spot which I trusted would soon be pursued by where the cygnets had commenced iheir Night, I the lovely descendants of the race of the im. saw on the sand the impression of a delicate fooi, mortals.

which I knew to be that of Zoe, and near it a “ One of my first cares was to construct, on small packet, which I eagerly seizel. On opening the brink of the lake, a cabin of rushes, to serve it, I found a white silk glove, which could have me as a place of observation, when the time been formed for no hand but hers, and a ring, in arrived for the beauteous bathers to make their the centre of which was a ruby of exquisite appearance, There I passed the greatest part of beauty, in the form of a heart. Imagining these every day, and I soon found that Theophrastus objects were left by design, I pressed them to my had not imposed upon me.

lips as a happy omen of my future success. “ Just before the summer solstice, I beheld “ Without doubt,” I exclaimed, “ Zoe is will. with transport several groupes of swans arrive at ing I should understand that she leaves her heart the lake. They plunged into its undulating behind her; and that though the laws of decency waters, and instantly losing the form of birds, would not permit her to quit hier companions to appeared as so many divinities. But she for remain with me, I may expect she will return whom I anxiously looked, arrived not.

I saw

alone as soon as she finds it possible.” not Zoe, and no other beauty could fix my eyes “ This sweet hope served even for years to for a single instant. For three successive sum console me, and sustain my patience, under remers my hopes were disappointed in like manner; peated disappointments. Each year Aights of yet I remained constantly at my post; despair swans appeared at the usual liine, and I cautiously did not yet a sail me.

carried on my ubservations, which discovered 10 “ Towards the solstice of the fourth summer, me forms celestial, but not that which alone was I heard one night the sound of the flapping of capable of moving my heart or gratifying my wings, and presently after I perceived several senses. My eyes sought Zoe only ; ajas! sbe nyinphs bathing in the lake, and who, not sup returned no nuore. I preserved her ring and her

glove in a casket, her image was impressed on proaches without finding me in possession of one my heart.

consolation, but what arises from the conviction “ Around the place where I found my treasures, that my fate has been tbat of millions of others. I planted odoriferous shrubs and flowers, and thus || The life of man is a dream; he is continually arose my little garden. Year after year flew away accupied in the pursuit of pleasure, Aying after in the hope, always disappointed, of seeing the that which he is not destined to seize, and spendbeloved of my soul return. My limbs are now ing his strength in vain efforts to accomplish what tremulous with age, which has also furrowed my || mocks his exertion. To marry, and dewte his cheeks, and bleached my hair: nevertheless, the days to promoting the happiness of his wife, and arrival of the swans never fails to agitate me with the interests of his rising family, is what man pleasure, to recall the memory of the pleasures was designed for. Fulfil then, my son, this and hopes of my youth, and the dreams of felicity destiny; when my eyes are closed, watch at the which then gave the highest zest to every enjoy. lake, and if fortune favours thee, thou mayest ment which I found in the society of Zoe. It is procure an amiable wife of the race of faries. true, that when I reflect on the occupations of || Thou knowest how to secure her; if she is willmy early life, and the frustration of some of my ling to live with thee, try to indemnify her by fondest hopes, I cannot but regard myself as an love for what she renounces; if her heart be iaconsiderate prodigal, who squanders his wealth already given, and she cannot recal it, set her without enjoying it. My days have vanished free: thou hast no right to constrain her." like a vision of night, and the close of life ap

[Tu be continued.]

DIALOGUE OF THE DEAD.

BETWEEN A FAKIR AND A VESTAL.

Fakir. What benefit have I received for Fakir. Why? The deeds we have committed having for forty years sat upon nails, slept stand- || in the terrestrial world with our bodies, no ing, suspended myself by a rope, and hung over longer concern us ; it is a sort of covering which Dames un'il my nose began to take fire? 1| we have thrown off, and which now does not thought I should have ascended in a direct line belong to us. Let us candiilly confess our past to the paradise of the Holy Prophet, and there follies. I have been a fool all my life--starving, inclose in my arms the lovely forms of the blue lashing, and lacerating my poor boily, that was eyed Houris. But how sadly I have been de ready to sink under the torinents 1 inflicted upon ceived! I have neither wife nor body; I am it. But you do not appear to have done the only a poor wandering shade, that a blast of same.-Come, come, do not blush ; tell me all; wind beats to and fro; I have no longer the same what signifies the stains of a garinent which is desires, which I heretofore curbed that I might no longer our property? be better enabled to enjoy celestial happiness. Vestal (sighing.) Have you heard of Rome?

Vestal. It well becomes you to complain! - Fakir. Never. You were not buried alive. I suppose they did Vestal, How! It has conquered the whole not confine you in the sepulchre before you had world. ceased to breathe.

Fukir. The whole world! Not quite ; for I Fakir. You must then have fallen into a ter protest I never heard this Rome mentioned. But rible swoon.

what concern is there between this city and your Vestal. No; a senate who called themselves extraordinary burial. the legislators of the whole world, and a people Vestal. This city, which swayed the universe, celebrated for their conquest, condemned me to saw me born. The inhabitants thought their this dreadful punishment.

preservation depended upon twelve shields, which Fakir. You had then betrayed the state ? were said to have fallen from heaven, and the Vestal. No.

existence of a fire said to have descended from Fakir. What then was your crime?

the same channel. Vestal. Ah! my crime !

Fakir. A singular superstition truly, to be Fakir. You hesitate,

credited by a peuple, whom you represent as Vestal. There are some things which are having swayed the earth by their laws and force painful to relate

of arms.

Vestal. The care of this sacred fire, which time I saw him in the temple, he was attentively burned in a temple, was confided to the care of observing me; and I felt as though a burning young maidens. I was chosen to watch beside

arrow hail stung my heart ; I met one of his this celestial flame; and as the empire would be glances, and it seemed as though a new day considered in danger if it were extinguished, our shone around me, and a new existence thrilled negligence was punished with death. We were through my veins. Nature smiled more lovely, also ordered to remain virgins, under the theat and for the first time I enjoyed a foretaste of of being buried alive.

happiness. Whenever I fancied my lover had Fakır. Ah, madam! I now plainly guess, entered the temple, my walk becaine more why you have descended into the tomb before graceful and dignified: concealed in the midst your death. But I cannot help admiring this of the crowd, I thought he contemplated me, mighty and powerful nation who entrust their fu- and often while acclamations of praise rose around cure grandeur to the frail seal of virginity.

me during our festivals, those who attended ihem Vestal. They did every thing to make us for were ignorant of the cause which induced me to get our sacrifice. Rank, dignities, honours, display the elegance of my shape, and increase the riches, all was bestowed on us. The best seats solemnity of the sacrifice. But when the crowd at the theatre were consecrated to our use. The departed, the temple gates were closed-all axe and the fasces preceded us, and those of the around me seemed desolate; and my soul felt consuls were lowered in our presence. If a cri no other sensations than those of melancholy minal crossed our path, this ineering determined and despair. With stified sighs I hailed the his pardon, and saved him from death.

awful solitude of the edifice." I love," said I, Fakir. These are fine privileges; but sur " and far from ine, surrounded by numerous rounded by all these honours, still you did not fascinating females, Valerius will disdain a think yourselves sufficiently repaid.

triumph that will cost him so much; for ine Vestal. Notwithstanding the dreadful law, the he will not have the courage to brave death; he disgrace, the cruel death with which I was ine will only have to choose among the Roman naced, I became-sacrilegious.

ladies, who are all endeavouring to ensnare Fakir. Your temptations must have been very him. Shall I then never know whether he great to make you brave so awfala punishment. loves me, and am I condemned to remain in

Vestal. The satallites, the executionery, the this cruel suspence?" desolation of Rome, of my family, of the pontiffs, Fakir. Your lover, perhaps, on his side, was the threats of heaven and earth-all disappeared making similar reflections. at the sight of my lover's tears.--He had as much Vestal. He had read my thoughts, and from to fear as myself.

that moment he became worthy of me. The Fakir. I can say no more.

next festival he repaired to the temple; my Vestal. When I took the vow, an universal companions and myself, ranged in order for a procalmness filled my soul, and the innocence in cesssion, and bearing in our hands the sacred which I lived could not teach me the extent of vases, with slow steps traversed the interior of my sacrifice. Soon, in solitude, the veil of in of the sanctuary; a thin veil permitted us to see fancy was torrt asunder-I felt an insupportable around us, though it partially concealed us from void; my imagination pierced the temple’s walls, the gaze of others. Valerius had placed himand from its gloomy vaults wandered in search of self among the first row of spectators; when the being whom I fondly believed was possessed I arrived near him, I cast a look at him which of every earthly perfection. The duties of my was half extinguished by iny veil; for answer, he office became tiresome and appeared too severe; laid his hand upon his heart, and instantly I peroverwhelmed with honours, I longed to enjoy ceived his eyes illumed, and then filled with tears, the small portion of liberty granted the wife of wliile mine were nearly deprived of the faculty of the most obscure citizen, and in that sacred fire seeing. Almost fainting, I endeavoured to grasp lighted on Vesta's altar, I beheld a faint image of the vase, which nearly fell from my trembling the flame which devoured my heart.

hand; but joy and hope filled my heart: proud and Fakir. Your blindness at least was not equal | satisfied, 1 advanced with a more steady step toto mine; I was really the dupe of all my extra wards the altar, not doubting but my lover would vagaricies before I proved their victim. In the undertake and overcome every difficulty. simplicity of my heart I became a martyr, and Fahir. You interest me, Priestess; I, who that is more than many others have done. But never would speak of love during my life, you let me hear more of your lover.-Tell me his make me listen to its picture after my death. I name; for I am interested in your restiny. still feel it is something: come, go on, aud let

Vestal. His name was Valerius ; the first me know the end of your adventures.

us!

Vestal. The following night I was watching Fakir. How fervently you must have thanked in the temple; we alternately passed the whole Vesta! night beside the sacred fire to supply it with fuel. Vestal. How fervently I thanked love! Va. This trembling Aime alone served to light the lerius appeared to me a thousand times more majestic enclosure; when it became pale, the amiable; the danger I had ruu endeared him distant vaults inspired me with religious dread; I still more to my heart, and the tears of gratibut in this imposing solitude, I seemed to see tude for once, equalled those of love. the image of my lover floating around me: I Fakir. It appears you were not ungrateful ? stretched my arms towards heaven, uttering in Vestal. Alas! in the midst of his vows of articulate moans, not daring to offer up my guilty | eternal love, I did not feel happy; I already exvows; and embracing the statue of Vesta from

perienced the horrors of separation.--The day a contrary sentiment, 1 exclaimed, “Oh, god. || began to dawn, and I was obliged to exerl more dess! if I offend thee, make the coldness of than mortal courage to drive him from the this marble enter my heart! I burn, and I belong || temple. The seventh day again brought my to another god! Of what importance is it to office of priestess. thee, that the sacred fire be constantly replenish Fukir. How much you must have been ated by the hand of a virgin? Why should my tached to each other? homage be less pure, if my heart were di. Vestal. I directed him to come to the same vided between religion and love ?" In pro

spot at the same hour; he was very certain of nouncing these words, I heard a noise in the

my love, for I could have wished to bury in oblivaults of the temple; I turned my head, and at vion the six tedious days which would separate one of the open windows beheld a man in the act of leaping from the height which separated

Fakir. You made me shudder at your danger, us. I would have screamed, but my voice died

at the moment when I thought the flame had ex. away. With the help of a cord he slid, and fell || pired; and how came you to dare again the with all the weight of his body upon his knees.

same peril? I shuddered, and thought he must have covered

Vestal. Ah, Fakir! you have never loved! I the pavement with his blood. I ran towards him,

see ic plainly; you have only viewed houris in and raised him, but he could not speak. For some imagination.-Learn then what you have never time he leaned his head and hands against one of before conceived-learn that youth and inexpe. the pillars : my heart was torn with fear; but he

rience might have induced me to take the first soon recovered, and we wandered through the

step; but love compelled me to the second. I deep and solitary recesses of the temple; our

was proud of iny passion; so new a sentiment hands were joined together, and our souls melt

gave every object that accelerated my happiness ed with love, whose inebriating delirium snatched

the same warmth with which I was penetrated, away every idea of my situation and the fire en

I called upon the seventh day; I gazed on the trusted to my care. Overwhelmed with transports

sun, and accused its tardiness: I always longed of joy I had never felt before, the rapid hours

for its going down, and could have wished to winged their flight; but the past and the present

make it accomplish in one day, its course of seven. were equally indifferent to me; I existed for Valerius alone he was the god of the temple; || all its extent, a weakness which I have so cruelly

Ah, Fakir! I may be allowed now to expose in and, entirely occupied in listening to him, I did not heed that darkness which began to envelope

expiated.

Fakir. I cannot help admiring, madam, huw us on all sides; it increased, and soon would have reached the sacred spot. The fire still

much you were an anti-gestal.

Vestal. Placed far from this horrid temple, I threw a wavering flame, but perhaps it might be

should have been a wife, and a mother. the last ; 1 perceived the danger, and tearing myself from my lover, ran towards it-the flame be

Fakir. That is well said. And I, who have came paler, trenibled, seemed to spring up again | Aagellated in yself fur forty-five years, what benefit for an instant, but its last spark expired as I ar

has it produced to the world ? I piously thought rived at the altar. A light smoke seemed to pro

this was a virtuous act. The people of Rome, nounce my dreadful sentence. Valerius follow. || then, were as mad as those of my country; this ed my steps, took my cold hand, and supported

at least is consoling, and I imagine that this my almost dying frame. I implored Vesta, 1 epidemical distemper is universal.-- Well, did implored love.-- Valerius blew the sparkless em.

Valerius return on the seventh day? bers; ye gods! he was not then guilty, for on a Vestal. Alas! he did, for our mutual mise sudden I saw the sacred fire light up, sparkle, and

fortune. spring up from its ashes.

Fakir. How? No. XVIII. Vol. II,

[ocr errors]

Vestal. We were suspected - his footsteps | their eyes fixed on the earth, kept a dismal had been discovered.

silence. The grand Pontiff, on the point of mak· Fakir. Ah! I tremble for him; this was much || ing me descend the fatal ladder which was to worse than the extinguished fire.

separate me from the living, wished to exhort V'estal. Vesta was avenged, Fakir.

ine, and spoke to me of his gods; but I silenced Fakir. Here is a cruel goddess but why in- || him.-" Stop, barbarian,” said I, “ touch me vent such ?

not, I will descend into the bowels of the earth Vestal. She reigned before me, and in coming without thy assistance; there I shall no longer into the world I was subjected to her laws.-An, ll hear thy bloody rites mentioned. Does it belong Fakir, pity me! I abandoned myself wholly to to thee to dare to judge of love? If Valerius be the delight of again seeing my lover. Fear was not condemned, I die content. I have transgressed

entirely banished from my mind; but how shall || against the laws of Vesta, but those of nature * I pourtray the horrors which disturbed our hap. are more ancient and more sacred. If at an un

piness, when loud and repeated shouts resounded experienced age I blindly bore the chains of through the depths of the temple, and when arm superstition, I had a right to burst from my ed satellites, carrying flaming torches, dispelled bondage at that of reason and sentiment. The the obscurity of the place, and angry priests. fire which you feed op Vesta's altar will die away,

Fakir. Priests! did you say !-Ah, then all but love will never be extinguished, because it is is over! I already see you in the fatal tomb. lighted by the mighty hand of Nature. This is

Vestal. The affliction of my sister vestals, the the fire which I have cherished, which I have reproaches I saw written in every face, the in preserved with care, and which I never will dignation I read in every look, and more then all, abandon but in death, or rather which will sure the sight of my lover chained, vainly struggling, || vive my mortal frame.” and casting a last look at me; consider these ob Fakir. Did not this speech affect the priest. jects, they all attacked at the same instant my Vestal. No; I descended into the tomb which eyes, my heart, and my ears; I saw the con awaited

and was enclosed in it. Judge of my sternation, which from the narrow limits of the feelings when I saw the earth fall around me, and temple, would soon extend throughout Rome bury me in a narrow grave, beside a lamp which and its empire; and one would have thought would be extinguished with my life. What reit verged upon its ruin. The ornaments that I wore mains for me to tell cannot be expressed. Suffer. as a priestess, were torn from me and only touched ing a thousand deaths, passing from despair to with fearful hands; the state expected nothing annihilation, and from annihilation to despair; but the most dreadful disasters; all affairs, as well what anguish l endured for the crime of having public as private, were suspended; and one loved ! But amidst all my pangs of misery I ne. would have said that Valerius had broken the ver once reproached love; it was still in my talisman that supported the empire.

heart, and seemed to calm my torments. I proFakir. It is very singular that so austere a nounced the name of Valerius, and my most people should have chosen such a talisman. acute pain was the reflection of having caused

Vestal. Soon a sentence was pronounced by his misfortune; I forgot my own, and only cease! all the Pontiffs, which condemned me to descend, to think of my lover when I had ceased to exist. Įiving, into a species of vault, where, thro’an in Fakir. We must forget the past, as it is now sulting pity, would be deposited some bread, some nearly the same, whether we have lived happy milk and water, and a gloomy lamp, as though or miserable. Life is for us but a confused dream, to make the victim taste the preparations of her and let no unpleasant remembrance trouble the death, and the prolongation of her punishment. peace we enjoy. Leave that miserable Rome and Çonducted to the place of my sepulchre, the its priests. Do you believe that they still bave crowd dared not cross my path; friends, parents, || vestals? all abandoned me: I found myself only surround Vestal. Do you think that fakirs still exist ? * by priestsg judges, and executioners, who, with Fukir. Yes. Adieu, priestess.

I. R.

me,

« 前へ次へ »