Cheops was near

The day following was appointed for the departure of the two families
of the duke and Sir Ambrose for the country; and the whole preceding
evening was passed by the two old men in arranging their plans, and
forming new schemes to ensure success. Elvira took no part in this
conversation, though certainly the person most interested: she was
thoughtful and _distraite_; she was too restless to remain in one
place. She walked to the window; she returned, and she again sat down.
She attempted to work, to read, to draw–all was in vain; all seemed
tasteless and insipid. Again she went to the window, and, opening its
folding doors, stepped out upon the balcony. It was a delightful night,
and the air felt soft and warm. Vines, laden with their luscious fruit,
twined from pillar to pillar of the balcony, forming a kind of verdant
network, whilst the moon shone bright upon the lovely scene beyond.
Below, a smooth green lawn stretched forth like a velvet carpet,
bounded on each side by Chinese rose-trees, the delicate tints of which
looked still more transparently beautiful in the lovely light. Behind
these, rose trees of a loftier height and deeper shade, whilst at the
extremity of the lawn wound the river. The clear moon-beams trembled on
the gently rippling stream, and gave a transparent brightness to the
graceful foliage of a weeping willow, which hung over the water, and
quivered in every passing breeze.

Elvira gazed upon the fair scene before her, and sighed heavily as she
gazed. A gentle sigh softly echoed hers, and she started to find that
Henry Seymour was standing before her.

“How beautiful is Nature,” said he, “when undefiled by the follies
and sins of man. Here one might forget the world, and all its busy
turmoil of deceit. When one gazes thus upon the sublime and lovely face
of Nature, how poor do all the arts, the ambition, and the pitiful
contrivances of man appear. The soul seems elevated to its proper
sphere, and to long to throw off the frail covering of clay, which
yet chains it down to the grovelling passions of earth, and to soar
triumphant to its native skies.”

His fine eyes were turned to heaven as he spoke; and Elvira gazed upon
them and his noble countenance beaming; with enthusiasm, till she quite
forgot to reply.

“Do you not agree with me, Elvira!” said he, in a tone of the softest
melody, fixing his eyes upon hers with a look that sank deep into her
heart. Again she sighed deeply, but she could not speak. “Oh, Elvira,”
continued he, taking her hand; “will you forget me? will not the
remembrance of this night form a tie between us, when we shall be far,
far apart?”

“Apart!” cried Elvira, almost with a shriek of surprise.

The youth sighed; and, gazing earnestly upon her blushing face,
whispered tenderly, as he pressed her hand to his heart, “O that I
could flatter myself sorrow mingled with that sigh.”

“Why, what is this?” said the old duke, bustling to the window; “the
doctor tells me you are going to leave us. Surety you might contrive to
stay till after the election.”

“I am very sorry, Sir,” said the youth; “but the circumstance that
calls me away–”

“Ay, ay, the doctor told me; a near relation dangerously ill, that
can’t die in peace till he’s seen you. Well, well, my boy, such things
must be; and if he’s doomed to die, I only wish him an easy death, and
you a good legacy.”

“I cannot tell you how sorry I am to part with you,” said Sir Ambrose,
who now advanced, “nor how sincerely I wish you good fortune.”

“Thank you, thank you, Sir,” said the youth: “alas! I now feel how poor
words are to express my gratitude for all your kindness. But–”

“I am sorry to hasten you, Mr. Seymour,” said Dr. Coleman, who now
approached; “but time wears apace.”

“True, true,” said Henry, “I had forgotten. Once more farewell. God
bless you all!” and he hurried away, as though fearful of his own
resolution if he ventured to stay another second. For the rest of
the evening, Elvira was silent and abstracted; the suddenness of the
blow seemed to have stunned her, and she felt like one wandering in
a dream. Was he really gone? Should she never see him more? were
questions she scarcely dared even to ask herself. “He was nothing to
me, a mere common acquaintance,” she repeated incessantly; and yet she
felt a wearisome void, a sickening disgust and impatience at every
thing around her, which she had never experienced before. “What can
be the matter with me,” said she peevishly; “I shall never see him
again; and it is the excess of weakness to feel an interest in the fate
of one, who is evidently so indifferent about me; and yet he seemed
affected when he said we were about to part. Was he really so? But
of what consequence to me is it whether he were so or not. I shall
never see him more.” And Elvira sighed involuntarily at the thought.
“I am devoted to other prospects. I–in short, I will think of him no
more.” And, in pursuance of this magnanimous resolution, she thought of
nothing else all night.

The following day, Elvira and her friends went into the country; but,
as Cheops had predicted, the duke and Sir Ambrose proved quite unequal
to the task they had undertaken, and they only lost their popularity by
the attempt. Men were disgusted to see personages hitherto considered
so respectable descend to meanness, and the shallowness of the
artifices by which it was intended to impose upon them excited their
contempt. In the mean time, Lord Edmund was not more successful in
London than his friends in the country: he had marched a chosen body of
troops within a convenient distance of the metropolis; in consequence
of which ill-judged measure, the members of the council, to show that
they were not influenced by the fear of military authority, and to
vindicate their independence, invariably opposed every measure that he
suggested.

As the law, however, forbade any decisive promises till the actual
day of election, there was still hope, though the friends of Elvira
struggled on, rather from a wish not too hastily to abandon her cause,
than from any rational, well-founded prospect of success.

In the midst of these anxieties, Elvira’s health indeed seemed rapidly
declining. A weight that nothing could alleviate, hung upon her
spirits; she made no effort to secure voters; but pale, silent, and
melancholy, she glided about–the ghost of her former self. Still,
however, she was lovely; the increased delicacy of her complexion,
and shadowy lightness of her form, harmonized well with the general
style of her beauty; whilst her fine eyes, shaded by their long silken
lashes, only shone more brilliantly from the glowing hectic of the
cheek below.

The time fixed for the important ceremony now rapidly approached;
the election of the deputies was concluded, and the families of the
duke and Sir Ambrose prepared to return to town. The night, however,
before they departed, the duke gave a grand _fête champêtre_ to the
neighbouring gentry; and as a considerable number of the deputies
were expected, he particularly enjoined Elvira to exert herself to
the utmost to win their suffrages. Never perhaps had Elvira looked
more beautiful than she did that night, as, pale, trembling and timid,
she received her numerous guests; and never, perhaps, was effect more
magical than that which her appearance produced. Her very diffidence
and modesty attracted; and the reserve, with which she shunned, rather
than sought the attention of the crowd, completed the enchantment.

“It is her fear of seeming to wish to interest us,” whispered one
deputy to another, “that makes her treat us so coldly.”

“Yes,” replied the other; “and I like her the better for it. If she
were to attempt to make herself agreeable, I should hate her; the duke
and Sir Ambrose have sickened us of that!”

The fête was given in the gardens of the duke, which were beautiful and
extensive, and now brilliantly illuminated by lamps suspended from the
trees. There was something, however, not quite congenial to Elvira’s
taste in thus marrying the gorgeous splendour of art to the simplicity
of nature, and she sighed heavily as she watched the flaring lamps
scorching the calm pale verdure of the trees.

“Now this is as it should be,” said the old duke, as he led his
daughter to the pavilion appointed for her to receive her guests;
“Elvira now looks like herself. Does she not, Dr. Coleman?”

The doctor shook his head: “I fear,” began he–

“Oh! we will have no fears to-night!” cried the duke gaily; “remember,
Elvira! every thing now depends upon you. Play the part of the smiling,
condescending hostess; win the hearts of the deputies, and you will
make that of your old father leap for joy. We shall have a gay party,
sha’n’t we, doctor?” continued he, eyeing the groups as they advanced.
“I wish your friend, Henry Seymour, were here amongst us.”

Elvira started, and deep blushes suffused her cheeks at the mention of
this name. The doctor eyed her attentively, though he replied as though
he had not noticed her agitation. “It was urgent business, you know,
that obliged him to leave England.”

“He was a charming youth,” said the duke; “so gay and yet so fearless.
I think, however, I observed that his spirits seemed much depressed the
last time I saw him.”

“You know he said it was the death–I mean the illness of a relation,
that compelled him to go.”

“Young men don’t generally feel so much for the illness, or even death
of old ones,” returned the duke: “now, if I were to judge, doctor, I
should think it far more likely it was some love affair. But we can’t
stay talking about it now. I must go, and attend to my guests: and do
you mind, Elvira, and make yourself agreeable.”

Poor Elvira, however, was, perhaps, never less fitted to obey her
father’s injunctions than at this moment; for the conversation she had
just heard, had quite deranged her nerves. Her father’s supposition
inflicted a deep pang on her heart; and though she went through the
duties of her station mechanically, her mind wandered to Henry Seymour.

It was a lovely night, and the general effect of the scene, as groups
of elegantly-dressed people flitted to and fro through the lighted
groves, was striking in the extreme. Beautiful flowering exotics
decorated the pavilion of Elvira, and the balmy air that fanned their
blossoms, seemed loaded with sweets; whilst the richly illuminated
castle, rearing its lofty towers in awful grandeur in the distance, had
the appearance of a fairy palace.

Elvira listlessly gazed upon the magic scene, till she felt almost
fainting with the fatigue her situation as hostess imposed upon her;
and she looked with a languid and almost despairing eye upon the
crowds that came still pouring into the gardens. The throng, however,
now opened, and a tall and dignified figure found its way through the
mass. It was Lord Edmund: he approached rapidly, and threw himself at
Elvira’s feet: “My adored Elvira!” exclaimed he.

“You here, my Lord?” cried the princess; whose eyes, enfeebled by
exhaustion, had not permitted her to recognise him till he was
immediately before her: “I did not expect to see you here to-night!”

“Does my presence pain you then?” said Lord Edmund, looking at her
attentively. “They told me you were ill, and I do indeed find you
changed.”

“I am better now,” returned Elvira faintly.

“Do not deceive yourself,” cried he, with the most intense anxiety.
“You are ill–you are not equal to this fatigue. Retire from this
scene, it will destroy you.”

“I dare not,” replied Elvira, still more feebly, “without permission
from my father; though, I own, I do feel exhausted!”

Lord Edmund waited for no more; but darted to find the duke, and obtain
his wished for sanction. The next instant, his place was supplied by
Prince Ferdinand, who had been invited into the country a few days
before by the duke; and who, with the inconstancy natural to his
disposition, had now become as deeply smitten with Elvira, as he had
before been with Rosabella. Elvira, however, saw him not; and, looking
gratefully after Lord Edmund, sighed profoundly as she lost sight of
him among the crowd.

“Happy Edmund!” said the prince; “what would I not give to create a
feeling in that lovely bosom, like that caused by thy absence!”

Elvira blushed at the earnest gaze of the youthful German, as she
replied, without exactly knowing what she said, “Do you suppose, then,
that the absence of Lord Edmund gave me pain?”

“What other cause can I divine for your melancholy?” said Ferdinand.
“Adored by every heart, admired by every eye, and blest at once with
rank, beauty, and affection, what can Elvira wish?–and what can cloud
her brow with sorrow, or heave her lovely bosom with a sigh, unless it
be the loss of the favoured lover whom ambition bids her sacrifice?”

“And think you so poorly of me,” returned Elvira indignantly, “as to
suppose, if I really loved Lord Edmund, that ambition would tempt me to
sacrifice him?”

“Can a heart like yours then be really dead to love?” said the prince,
gazing upon her earnestly. “Can Nature have formed such exquisite
beauty, and forgotten to give a soul to pity the wretches it must make?”

Elvira blushed deeply as he spoke, for his ardent look embarrassed her;
and her eyes having been modestly withdrawn, again met those of Lord
Edmund, who had returned without her perceiving him. ‘Twas but for a
moment, however, that she gazed upon him, for she shrank aghast from
his withering glance. Jealousy and hatred curled his lips, and darkened
upon his brow; whilst his features seemed so changed, that Elvira could
scarcely believe he was indeed the same she had so lately spoken with.

“I beg your Highness’s pardon,” said he haughtily; “I would not have
presumed to intrude, if I had known you were engaged. I fancied that
you wished to retire, and had obtained the duke’s permission for your
doing so; but–”

“Oh, thank you! thank you, Edmund!” cried Elvira; “most gladly will I
seek my chamber.” Then marking a slight smile upon Prince Ferdinand’s
face, she hesitated, for she recollected the interpretation he had put
upon her melancholy and indifference. Lord Edmund’s agony was beyond
description: he saw her hesitation; he saw her look at Ferdinand, and
fancying she sought his approval before she would retire, his jealous
rage was unbounded, and, darting at her a look of ungovernable passion,
he sprang from the pavilion, and was out of sight in an instant. Elvira
could not bear his look, nor his unreasonable jealousy; and, exhausted
by her previous fatigue, she fainted. A crowd soon gathered round her,
and she was carried to her chamber in a state of insensibility.

“Mark me!” said a figure muffled in a thick cloak, speaking in a deep,
low whisper, as he laid his hand upon the arm of Father Morris, who
stood gazing after Elvira, with a look of intense anxiety; “she must
not die; for if she does, I swear by the holy tomb of Osiris at Philæ,
Rosabella never shall be Queen!”

From that hour, Elvira recovered; and the consumptive symptoms, that
had so strongly excited the alarm of her friends, entirely disappeared.

Lord Edmund was conversing earnestly with one of the deputies, and,
notwithstanding his jealousy, advocating the cause of Elvira with
vehemence, when he was informed that she had fainted: his first impulse
was to fly to her assistance; and when he found she had been removed to
her chamber, his heart smote him for the cruel manner in which he had
left her.

“She was really ill,” thought he; “and, in her feeble state, my
harshness overpowered her. But never again shall my foolish jealousy
disturb her peace. No! let her scorn me–hate me, if she will. I
will bear all the tortures she can inflict, rather than again hazard
wounding that gentle bosom. Let her smile on whom she lists, even upon
that hated German, I will not repine: if she be happy, I will ask no
more.”

Thus thought Edmund, and he knew not that he deceived himself, till
he saw Prince Ferdinand, who, with the happy elasticity of youth, was
chatting gaily with one of the beauties of the court. “Love him!”
thought he, as a scornful smile passed over his features–“love him,
did I say? Oh, no! it is impossible; I could not endure to see her love
that coxcomb:” and, shuddering with the torments of jealousy, he turned
away.

Cheops was near him, muffled in a thick cloak that shrouded him from
observation; the Mummy marked the changes in Lord Edmund’s countenance,
and read well the feelings they betrayed.

“Yes, even he,” said he, with one of his fearful laughs, “will soon be
mine; for never yet did man trust in his own strength, that did not
fall.”

The day of election now rapidly approached. The duke, Sir Ambrose, the
rival candidates, and the opposition lords, were all in London. The
deputies were also assembled; and though it was forbidden to declare
publicly for whom they intended to vote, till the decisive moment
arrived; yet the popular feeling seemed so strongly in favour of
Rosabella, that there appeared scarcely a chance for her rival.

Exulting in her expected triumph, and confident of success, Rosabella
sate in the splendid _boudoir_ allotted to her use in Lord Gustavus’s
house, musing on her hoped-for grandeur. A large mirror was opposite
to her; and as Rosabella saw her own fine figure reflected in it, joy
sparkled in her eyes, and her mind wandered enraptured through scenes
of future glory. Thus, completely absorbed in pleasing meditations,
Rosabella was not aware that Cheops stood before her, till she heard
his full, deep-toned voice repeating her name.

“Rosabella!” said he–“Rosabella! Queen of England! hail!”

“Cheops!” exclaimed she.

“Hail to the Queen of England!” resumed he: “no longer need you stoop
to solicit suffrages: your fate is sealed!”

“Think you that I am quite safe?” asked the princess; her eyes
sparkling, and her cheeks glowing.

“Certainly–there cannot be a doubt.”

“Then I may bid defiance to these wretches, and need no longer submit
to their caprices, or be subservient to their humours.”

“Not unless you like it.”

“Like it!” exclaimed Rosabella, her eyes flashing fire; “can you
suppose I like to practise meanness?”

“Policy, indeed, recommends a contrary course,” continued the Mummy;
“as, if you do not assert your own independence, they will encroach
upon your condescension, and treat you as a slave.”

Rosabella bit her lips, and her bosom swelled with indignation.

The Mummy took no notice of her agitation, but went on. “Let them
not bind you by any promises. Prove yourself a free and independent
sovereign. Trample upon them, and they will crouch at your feet: but
crouch to them, and they will trample upon you!”

“You say right,” said Rosabella proudly; “and my would-be masters shall
soon find their error. They think weakness has made me submit to their
arrogance; but they shall see their folly.”

The influence the Mummy exercised over the minds of all those he came
in contact with was astonishing; and, in pursuance of his advice,
Rosabella, from this moment, resumed her usual imperious manner; and
received the compliments paid to her with the air rather of an empress
long seated upon the throne, than that of an aspiring candidate for
regal honours, dependant only upon the favour of the people. This
excessive confidence, however, displeased the deputies.

“She hardly leaves us a choice,” said they; “for she seems to command
us to choose her. Notwithstanding the strength of her party, and the
weakness of her rival, we don’t think she should take the thing quite
in her own hands: the old Queen ordered that the people should choose
her successor; but this princess seems to have chosen herself. It is
very kind of her to wish to save us the trouble; but, with her good
leave, we think we might have managed to go through it without her
help.”

These murmurs, however, though deep, were not loud; the party of
Rosabella being too firmly established for any one to dare openly to
oppose it. The opposition lords had all returned to town, and, though
they had not completely succeeded in the object of their journey to the
country, they had at least satisfied themselves; and by the activity
they had displayed, given themselves, as they imagined, a just title to
the gratitude of their future Queen.

In the mean time, the friends of Elvira almost despaired; few persons
of note declared themselves her advocates; and though the favourable
impression she had made upon the deputies still faintly operated, the
feeling was fast fading away. An invincible repugnance to appear as the
leader of a party, oppressed her; and she shrank from the public gaze
with a sensation little short of horror. Lord Edmund, however, still
remained her firm and almost her only friend. Yet, though he exerted
every nerve on her behalf, even he despaired of obtaining her election.
Sometimes, indeed, as he gazed upon her beauty, a selfish feeling
crept over his soul, and he could scarcely repress an emotion of joy,
as he thought of the possibility that she might still be his; for the
very qualities that impeded her success, only endeared her yet more
fondly to his heart. The next instant, however, his nobler feelings
would reproach this selfish joy, and with a kind of penitential
sorrow, he would strive by fresh efforts to destroy the hopes, for the
gratification of which his very soul panted.

“I presume,” said Lord Gustavus de Montfort to Rosabella, the day
before that appointed for the election, “your Highness does not intend
to make Lord Maysworth a minister as well as a general; for, thinking
as I think, and as I am confident every one else must think, I feel
assured he has no talents for the cabinet.”

“As Queen of England, my Lord,” returned Rosabella proudly, “I will
not be dictated to; though I will do my best to choose such ministers
as may, in my judgment, be most likely to promote the welfare of my
country.”

Lord Gustavus was thunderstruck, and he gazed after her, as she
retired, with mingled feelings of astonishment and indignation. “You
are _not_ Queen of England yet, however,” said he to himself, “and it
is possible you never may be. What pride! what haughtiness! If I had
been a slave, she could not have shown more contempt. ‘When I am Queen
of England,’ said she, I ‘will not be dictated to.’ ‘Queen of England,’
said she? Humph! thinking as I think, and as I am sure every one else
must think, it is possible, that that is a contingency that may never
arrive. Humph! ‘I will not be dictated to’–Humph! Well, certainly I
must confess I never heard a more dignified ‘_will not_’ in my life.”

It was the hour when Lord Gustavus was accustomed to hold a kind
of levee where the partizans of the princess had been in the habit
of assembling, under the guise of casual visitors; and as he thus
cogitated, Lord Maysworth and Dr. Hardman were announced.

“My dear Lord Gustavus,” cried the former, “you cannot imagine
how impatient I feel to have to-morrow over. The uniform of the
household-troops is horrible: I have determined to change it the very
instant I am appointed commander-in-chief.”

“If you should obtain that situation,” replied Lord Gustavus doubtingly.

“What do you mean?” asked his friend, in astonishment. “I thought the
means we had taken must infallibly ensure success.”

“They must ensure the election of Rosabella,” replied Lord Gustavus.

“And is not that all we wish?”

“Not quite,” returned Lord Gustavus dryly.

“I do not understand you,” said Lord Maysworth.

“What can you mean?” demanded Dr. Hardman.

“I mean,” replied Lord Gustavus, in his usual cold, precise manner,
“that, thinking as I think, and as I am sure every one else must think,
from the conversation that has just taken place between the princess
and myself, I am convinced that our possession of the places she
has promised to us, is by no means the necessary consequence of her
accession to the throne.”

“Oh!” cried his auditors, looking perfectly aghast: a farther
explanation confirmed their fears. “I could not have believed it!”
exclaimed both; and as the partizans of Rosabella continued to arrive,
they were successively apprized of and paralyzed by the appalling
news. Divers were the sensations thus excited: but amongst all,
notwithstanding their professed disinterestedness, there was not one
whose sentiments remained unchanged by the intelligence.

In the mean time, Rosabella, in the solitude of her own chamber, became
aware of the imprudence she had committed, though she brooded in secret
over her uneasiness, and felt too proud to avow it even to Marianne;
whilst that faithful confidant, quite unsuspicious of the error of her
mistress, exulted in her expected triumph with as much transport as
though it had been her own.

“To-morrow,” said she, “I shall have to do homage to my Queen, and I
shall have the rapture of seeing crowds kneel humbly at her feet. Oh,
would the happy day were come! how tedious will seem this long, long
night! how wearisome will be the hours! Does not your heart also throb,
my princess? To-morrow I shall see my Queen. To-morrow! oh, would it
were to-day!”

The important day at last arrived, and the delegates, assembled
in Blackheath Square, awaited with impatience the arrival of the
princesses. Each was to deliver a speech; after which, a nobleman was
to be permitted to address the mob on her behalf, and then the majority
of their votes was to decide.

The rival princesses appeared, and were hailed with enthusiasm. They
were dressed with the utmost simplicity, in the purest white; whilst
from their heads hung long veils of gossamer web, the ample folds of
which effectually shielded their persons from observation. They were
followed by their respective suites; Lord Gustavus and the opposition
lords being most conspicuous in that of Rosabella; and Lord Edmund in
that of Elvira. The Duke and Sir Ambrose, attended by the reverend
fathers Morris and Murphy, were amongst the number of spectators: the
two former feeling too much agitated to allow of their appearing as
actors in the scene; and the others being, from different reasons,
equally disqualified from taking a part in it.

All now was silent–the tumultuous, wave-like heaving of the multitude
ceased; and every one listened in breathless expectation–for the
princesses were about to speak. It was an awful moment: the poor old
duke’s heart beat almost audibly; he sate, his eyes fixed upon the
ground, not daring to look up, and holding the hand of his friend, Sir
Ambrose, firmly in his own. It was Rosabella who was to speak first:
she advanced with a firm, decided step; and when the attendants drew
back the veil that covered her, the assembled multitude uttered a
shout of admiration at her beauty. Her dark eyes flashed fire, as she
proudly surveyed the crowd; and anticipated triumph gave an animated
glow to her fine features. She looked, indeed, already a Queen, and
seemed born only to command, and be obeyed. The multitude were awed by
her presence; and listened with uplifted eyes, and the most profound
silence, whilst she thus addressed them:

“My Lords and Gentlemen,

“I feel the presumption I am guilty of, in thus venturing to address
so august an assembly; but I trust the magnitude of the occasion
that calls me forward may afford an excuse for my temerity. I come,
gentlemen, to offer myself to you as your Sovereign, and the exalted
nature of the trust I wish you to repose in me, inspires me with
courage to deserve it. Yes, gentlemen, I say to deserve it; for I
should consider myself unworthy to be appointed your Queen, if I were
to shrink from performing any of the duties attendant upon the station;
and one of the most arduous of these do I consider that of thus
addressing you. I am aware, that, upon occasions like the present, it
is usual for the aspiring candidate to promise miracles of reformation,
that are to be effected upon the obtaining of power; I promise nothing
of the kind, for I will tie myself to no promises. Elect me for your
Queen, and I will fulfil the duties of my rank, according to the best
of my own judgment. I will not submit to dictation; neither will I be
censured by my subjects. I will be a free, independent Sovereign, or
I will remain a subject. I scorn to attempt to practise any deception
upon you. I wish you to see me as I really am; and then, if you think
me worthy of the high office I aspire to, then, at least, I may assure
you, you shall never have reason to blush for your choice; nor shall
the proud character which England has so long maintained, ever suffer a
stain upon its glory at my hands. No, my countrymen, haughty as I may
be deemed, I assure you, with sincerity, that I have ever held the name
of Englishwoman as my noblest boast; and that I would not relinquish
my title to it, were kingdoms offered in exchange. I can say no more.
If you approve me as your Sovereign, your voices will obtain the
fulfilment of your wishes; if you do not, worlds would not tempt me to
accept the throne.”

Rosabella now sate down amidst thunders of applause, whilst
acclamations of “Long live Rosabella!” rent the air. These symptoms
of approbation were, however, only produced by her beauty and her
commanding manner; for when men came to analyze her speech, they found
much in it to disapprove. The haughty manner in which she had disavowed
control, indeed was neither calculated to win new friends, nor secure
those she already had: as the counsellors who had so warmly supported
her cause, had certainly not imagined, that by so doing, they should
shut the door of preferment against themselves; and what hope of
promotion or power could remain during the reign of a Queen who had
thus openly announced her intention of acting entirely for herself?

The prejudices of the people, too, were wounded; they had been so
accustomed to promises of reformation and relief from taxation, upon
the accession of a new Sovereign, that they were disappointed at
not receiving them, although they knew from experience, that they
meant nothing: just as persons fond of flattery cannot live without
it, though they are well acquainted with its fallacy. Besides, even
experience cannot make some people wise; and though the hopes of the
English had been so often disappointed, it was pleasant still to have
something held out to them to hope for. These thoughts soon arose
in the breasts of the multitude; and a rising murmur was beginning
to swell upon the ear, when the assembly was hushed to silence by
perceiving Lord Noodle had risen, and was about to address them.

“My lords and gentlemen,” said he, “it is with feelings of considerable
embarrassment that I rise to address you. Every thing that can be said,
has been said; and every thing that has been said, ought to have been
said; and every thing that ought to have been said, has been said.
What, then, can there possibly be left for me to say?

“Let it not be supposed, however, by my saying this, that I have
nothing to say for myself; on the contrary, I think every body must
allow I have said a great deal upon the said subject;” (here the noble
lord tittered at his own wit, and well it was that he did so; as, if
he had not, perhaps nobody might have found it out;) “say what I will,
however, one thing must be clear, and that is, (if I was to speak for
an hour I could say no more;)–that is, that you must have a Queen; and
that you cannot choose a better one than the noble lady who has just
sat down!–and so, gentlemen, she having finished, I think I cannot do
better than follow her example!”

Shouts and roars of laughter followed this speech, to the infinite
delight of the enlightened orator; and he bowed and bowed on all sides,
till his little head and bobbing periwig seemed to have acquired the
gift of perpetual motion.

No sooner was the tumult a little subsided, than Elvira came forward
to address the people. When her veil was removed, her agitation was
extreme. Elvira was delicately fair, and the “eloquent blood spoke in
her cheeks” in a thousand varying tints; for a few seconds she stood,
her eyes fixed upon the ground, apparently endeavouring to collect
herself: then raising her eyes, she seemed on the point of speaking,
but her courage failing as she surveyed the immense multitude, every
eye fixed upon her, and every ear listening for her words, the sounds
died upon her lips, and after a few ineffectual attempts to speak, she
buried her face in her veil, and sobbed aloud.

Who can describe the agitation of her aged father at this moment!
When she appeared, he had risen, and, leaning forward, listened with
a fearful eagerness, as though his ear would drink in every syllable,
and as though his own death-warrant hung upon her words. He became
pale as he saw her agitation, and his countenance varied with every
variation of hers; till, when he saw her total inability to speak, his
lips became of livid whiteness, he uttered a piercing shriek, and fell
senseless to the ground!

A bustle immediately took place; the duke was carried off; and Elvira
remained pale, trembling, and almost fainting, leaning against one of
the pillars that supported the canopy over the platform upon which she
stood. An awful pause ensued, which was at last broken by Lord Edmund
rushing forward, and eagerly addressing the crowd in the following
words:

“My friends and countrymen,

“If one spark of kindness and compassion dwell in your breasts; if
your hearts are open to noble feelings; if you can pity defenceless
age and helpless womanhood, listen to me now! Hear me whilst I plead
the cause of the timid female now before you; who, agitated by the
solemn occasion for which you are convened, and awed by the august
majesty of this assembly, finds it impossible to give vent to her
feelings in words; for difficult, indeed, is it to express by words
the strong emotions of the heart. Oh! would to Heaven, my friends,
that I could lay her heart open before you, that you might there read
the love of her country–the devotion to your dearest interests–and
the generous wish to sacrifice her domestic happiness to secure yours,
that prompt her this day to appear before you. Do you fear tyranny? Is
this trembling woman likely to impose it? Do you wish remission from
oppression? Is not she who evidently possesses such extreme sensibility
likely to relieve your cares? Can her breast, which now throbs with
emotion, ever be deaf to the cry of misery? No, no; that gentle spirit
which shrinks from exposure in the garish light of day, will devote
itself to soothing your woes, and lightening your burdens. Do you wish
for victory? Has not my arm been hitherto successful, and am I not
devoted to Elvira?

“My countrymen, I plead not from interested motives, God knows I do
not! Nay, there may be some among you who know I now plead for the
destruction of my dearest hopes: but the welfare of my country is more
to me than my own. I give my country the treasure that might have been
mine: contented, if by the sacrifice of my own happiness, I can secure
that of thousands.

“My countrymen, I cannot more strongly prove my devotion to your
interests, for if you choose Elvira for your Queen, my widowed heart
will have no bride but glory. Take, however, the treasure I resign to
you. Prize her as she deserves, and Heaven in its mercy grant that
prudent counsellors and sagacious statesmen may so direct her steps,
that victory may shine on her banners, wisdom in her counsels, and
happiness in her kingdom!”

Lord Edmund stopped, overpowered by his own emotions; and his agitation
found an echo in the bosom of every auditor. The effect of his speech
was instantaneous: cries of “Elvira shall be our Queen!” “Elvira for
ever!” rose in deafening tumult from the crowd, nor did there appear
a single dissentient voice. In fact, after all that can be said upon
the subject, feeling is the only true eloquence. The passions of the
crowd were strongly excited: the fainting of the duke; the agitation
of Elvira; and the speech of Lord Edmund, who was the hero of the
day, absolutely had driven them distracted. They shouted again and
again that Elvira, and Elvira alone, should be Queen, and, forming a
triumphal car, placed her in it, and dragged her along to Westminster
Abbey, where the ceremony of the coronation was appointed to take
place. This venerable pile, which had stood for centuries, and resisted
alike the war of nature, and the destroying hand of innovation, with
which the barbarous taste of the middle ages had endeavoured to destroy
its grandeur, shone forth in all its original splendour, and afforded
another magnificent proof of the length of time the labours of man
survive the term of his fragile existence.

It had been a brilliant sight, when Westminster Hall was crowded with
the nobles of the land, to choose the council of state; but far more
splendid was it now, when, after the religious part of the ceremony
of the coronation had been performed in the Abbey, the trembling
and beautiful Queen entered its sumptuous walls, surrounded by her
counsellors, and welcomed with transport by her kneeling subjects. All
had been previously prepared for the ceremony, as the ordinance of the
old Queen had directed the coronation to take place immediately after
the election; and the venerable Hall was now crowded with the nobles
and ladies of Claudia’s court, splendidly attired, waiting for the
Queen, whom the choice of the deputies might give them, with the most
eager impatience. Elvira was received with transports; and though,
perhaps, under different circumstances, her rival might have been
honoured with equal rapture, yet, as Elvira knew it not, the thought
did not damp her pleasure.

In the mean time Father Morris had remained aghast, a prey to the
combined tortures of grief, rage, and disappointment. The crowd
had disappeared, yet still he stood gazing upon the platform, the
speechless image of despair.

“For Heaven’s sake, do not remain here,” cried a voice he knew only
too well; and, obeying the impulse of Marianne’s arm, he suffered
himself to be led from the scaffold, where all his hopes had perished.
There was a small house, at no great distance from the spot, where the
partizans of Rosabella had held frequent conferences respecting their
plans for securing her election; and to this place Marianne led the
disappointed friar.

“Curses on the fiend that has betrayed me to my ruin!” said he, as he
threw himself upon a sofa in this abode: “may demons haunt him here,
and eternal misery be his portion hereafter!”

The fiendish laugh of Cheops rang in the father’s ears as he pronounced
these words; and ere he finished, the hated form of the Mummy stood
before him.

“What, Father Morris!” cried the Egyptian, “is this your treatment of
your friends? Fie! fie! is this your strength of mind? I am ashamed of
you. Is it the part of a man of courage to shrink from such a slight
reverse? However, I am still your friend, and if you will follow my
advice–”

“Avaunt! demon!” cried Father Morris; “tempt me no more! Ruin hangs
upon thy words, and it is thy advice that has destroyed me.”

“Say rather, your own evil passions,” returned the Mummy.

“Fiend!” exclaimed the monk; “was it not by thy advice Rosabella
rejected the address I had prepared for her, and determined to deliver
her own sentiments extempore.”

“Such an expression of her genuine feelings was likely to produce ten
times the effect of a studied address. The oration of Lord Edmund was
from the feeling of the moment, and you saw its power was magical.”

“And it was not by your desire that the fool Lord Noodle seconded her,
instead of Lord Gustavus, as I had intended?”

“A ridiculous fool was more likely to put the people in good-humour
than a prosing one.”

“Yes, yes, I know; it was thus you made your plans seem feasible, but
how have they succeeded?”

“Success is not always the test of merit. How could I foresee the
fainting of the duke, and the agitation of Elvira? That timid silence
said far more for her than words: if she had spoken, she would have had
no chance.”

“Would she were dead!” said Father Morris, grinding his teeth.

“So would you seal your ruin. Rosabella would be suspected, and her
chance of reigning destroyed–destroyed for ever.”

“What shall I do?”

“Let Elvira reign!–Nay, start not! for it is but for a time: she
will naturally make Edmund her first counsellor from gratitude for
the service he has rendered her; and, as he has sense and talent,
he will as naturally either reject employing the noble lords who
were your friends entirely; or, at best, give them but subordinate
situations. Their hopes having been previously raised, they will feel
this disappointment bitterly, and look back with longing eyes to
Rosabella, by whom they were promised place and power. That princess
must moderate her natural haughtiness: if she wish to reign, she must
submit to bend before she rise; for, though ambition be the most
lofty of all passions, perhaps no one makes its votaries occasionally
condescend to greater meanness. At present patience alone is required.
Novelty is always delightful; but the pleasure it produces can never
be lasting: and the expectations of men having been raised too high
by the brilliancy with which a new government is certain to commence,
they will soon be disposed to quarrel with every thing that may chance
to fall short of the standard they will then propose to themselves:
though this same standard, if they give themselves time to consider,
they would find far too exalted for mortals to have ever any hopes of
reaching. Their extravagant expectations not being realized, they will
then plunge into the opposite extreme; they will see every thing with
a jaundiced eye; and, not liking to own they find themselves deceived,
they will overturn the government of Elvira to conceal for ever the
folly they have been guilty of.”

“But will not the government of Rosabella afterwards share the same
fate?”

“No: for they will have learnt wisdom by experience; and having just
suffered from the inconveniences inseparable from a revolution, they
will idolize every word and action of Rosabella, to spare themselves
the necessity of again undergoing the same horrors, and yet avoid the
charge of inconsistency. They will thus fear even to censure, and
will gloss over any thing that may not quite please them, rather than
run the risk of again interrupting that tranquillity which the late
disturbance has made them taste the sweets of.”

The sophistry of Cheops was well suited to the feelings of his hearers;
and well did he know how to work upon the passions of those he
conversed with. The indignation of Father Morris and Marianne subsided,
and they again became the Egyptian’s devoted slaves. Cheops watched
them as they retired; a smile of derision curling his haughty lip.

“Fools that they are!” said he, as again a fearful expression flashed
across his saturnine countenance: “by Typhon! they are scarcely worth
deceiving, for they rush blindfold into the net.”

In the mean time, nothing could exceed the grandeur of the scene
exhibiting in Westminster Hall. The ceremony was finished; for
the Queen had taken oaths of fidelity to the interests of her new
subjects, and had received their humblest homage in return. A sumptuous
banquet was now served, where all that could please the eye mingled
in luxuriant profusion with all that could tempt the appetite. Music
completed the charm; and as the harmonious notes swelled through the
lofty dome, it seemed a choir of angels rejoicing from on high. Thus,
whilst all that could gratify the senses was combined, the fairy
loveliness of Elvira seemed to fit her well to be the goddess of the
scene; and the figure of the poor old duke, her father, gazing at her
with indescribable rapture–the tears trickling down his furrowed
cheeks, and his long white hair hanging loose upon his shoulders,
completed the interest of the picture.

Great and glorious was the triumph of Elvira: but, whilst the nation
rang with acclamations of joy, and bonfires and illuminations
proclaimed the transport of the people, who shall paint the despair,
the desolation, of the unfortunate Rosabella? Forlorn and deserted by
her friends; despised and injured by him she loved; disappointed in
the fairy dreams of her ambition; and disgusted with a world that had
rejected her–what could she do? where find a refuge from her woes?

Rosabella sought no refuge: wretched as she was, her proud spirit still
supported her: she neither retired from society, nor gave herself up
to the paroxysms of despair. Hers was not a mind to brood over useless
grief. She felt her wrongs, it is true, and most keenly did she feel
them, but she wasted not her time in lamentation, and burnt only to
avenge them. Marianne had communicated to her the advice of Cheops, and
her whole soul was now devoted to revenge. For this, she determined
to obey his injunctions; to bend her haughty spirit to his wishes; to
conciliate the friends that had deserted her; and to submit to any
meanness to keep up a party in the state. This done, she resolved to
watch for the errors unavoidable in a new government; to take advantage
of every weakness, and foment every discontent; in short, to open a
chasm under her rival’s feet, and then, like the lion pismire on the
brink of his sandy trap, to rest concealed until the entanglement of
the expected prey enabled her to rush upon and destroy it.

Elvira’s disposition was naturally noble; and, satisfied with the
possession of the throne, she sought no farther triumph. Her generous
soul was touched by the apparent resignation of her rival, and she
endeavoured, by every means in her power, to console her for her
disappointment. The duke had quitted the country, and now resided
entirely with his daughter; whilst upon Rosabella, Elvira, with the
utmost delicacy, conferred a palace and a separate establishment.

Notwithstanding, however, the delicacy with which Elvira’s favours were
conferred, Rosabella could not forget that they were favours, and hers
was not a mind to brook dependence. Her hatred for her cousin thus
increased with the weight of her obligations, whilst that of Elvira
had vanished with the occasion that gave it birth. It is, indeed,
scarcely possible for a proud, haughty temper, like that of Rosabella,
to love the person to whom it owes every thing. Such dispositions find
infinitely more pleasure in obliging, than in being obliged–pride
being gratified in one case and humbled in the other. People are thus
often devotedly attached to their protégées, as they seem, in some
measure, creations of their own, and lavish favours upon them with
a profuse hand; but they often expect such devotion in return, that
love withers into slavery, or changes into hatred, and what was once
gratitude, soon becomes mortification.

Elvira had an arduous part to sustain. It was difficult to find the
medium between giving too much or too little; and more difficult still,
to discover a means of giving at all, without hurting the feelings of
Rosabella. The sense she had of this, rendered the manner of Elvira
towards her cousin, occasionally, cold and restrained, and Rosabella
felt acutely the slightest change. She, indeed, saw every thing with
a jaundiced eye: she imagined insults, where none were intended; she
shrank from the slightest observation, that could be supposed to
allude to her present situation; and she appeared to feel so much pain
whenever she was in the society of Elvira, that the intercourse between
the cousins gradually dwindled to a mere formal interchange of visits,
and the customary ceremonials of court etiquette.

The cousins thus completely estranged from each other, Rosabella’s
palace became the resort of the discontented. The King of Ireland had
died soon after the departure of the Duke of Cornwall for the country,
and those malcontents, formerly in his pay, being repulsed by his son,
now crowded round Rosabella. Men of talents, but of dissolute habits;
daring spirits that preyed upon themselves for want of employment; and
desperate characters, to whom every change was agreeable, as they had
nothing to lose, and every thing to hope for by a revolution, vied with
each other in devoting themselves to her service. It was often grating
to Rosabella’s feelings to associate with wretches such as these; but
to what cannot proud spirits sometimes submit, to gain the determined
purpose of their souls! Every thing is swallowed up in one vast
overwhelming passion, and minor difficulties are neither seen, thought
of, nor felt.

Thus, Rosabella scrupled not to waste her time in the society of such
beings as Lord Noodle and his friend Lord Doodle; she even stooped
to flatter them, and occasionally to ask, and appear to follow
their advice: she endured patiently the dictatorial prosing of Lord
Gustavus, and listened with an appearance of interest to the wearisome
pettinesses of Lord Maysworth. All she thought of, was whether any
particular line of conduct were likely to conduce to placing her on
the throne; and if it were, be it what it might, the haughty Rosabella
instantly condescended to practise it. Taught by the late events not
to rely too confidently upon her own strength, she rushed into the
opposite extreme, and descended even unto servility.

In the mean time, the attention of Elvira was completely devoted to the
establishment of her government. She had many qualities worthy of her
rank; and some of the most conspicuous were her nobleness in forgetting
injuries, and her inflexible sense of justice: thus, though she had
made no promises herself to her people on the day of her election, she
justly considered those made by Edmund on her part as equally binding,
and endeavoured by every means in her power to redeem the pledges he
had given. Cheops had judged rightly in supposing she would make Edmund
her prime minister–her gratitude to him, indeed, was unbounded; and
though her noble and generous disposition prevented her depriving the
lords who had voted against her of their dignities, yet that the strong
mind, and commanding genius of Edmund would make them dwindle into
nonentities, he had also been equally correct in predicting. The noble
lords, quite unconscious of their own inefficiency, were indignant at
finding themselves subalterns where they had hoped to be commanders,
and rallied round the standard of Rosabella, who, on her part, received
them so graciously, that her former haughtiness was forgotten.

Elvira was not aware of their defection, or if she were, she thought
them too insignificant to merit notice, her attention being entirely
occupied in affairs which she considered of infinitely more importance.
Though the laws of the old Queen had been excellent, many abuses had
crept into the manner of putting them into execution; and these Elvira
now, with the aid of Edmund, set herself diligently to work to discover
and correct. She could not, indeed, have chosen an assistant more
competent to the task. The penetrating mind and commanding genius of
Edmund were unequalled. With a single glance, he saw where errors had
been committed, and how they ought to be amended. Whilst under his
auspices, vice was punished and virtue rewarded, goodness, though in
rags, was raised to affluence, and villainy compelled to disgorge its
ill-gotten wealth. Justice was impartially dispensed to all, and the
first Monday in every month, the Queen proceeded in solemn state to the
grand square at Blackheath, to receive there, in person, the petitions
of her subjects.

The crowd assembled upon these occasions was immense. However well a
constitution may be organized, it is impossible to give satisfaction to
every one; and even under the best-regulated governments there will be
always some who fancy themselves aggrieved. Besides, as free access was
allowed on these occasions to every one, numbers went merely to see the
Queen; and nothing could be better contrived for letting her Majesty
know the real feelings of her subjects, than this arrangement; as,
from the people being placed in lines, along each of which the Queen
walked, she became alternately in personal contact with every separate
individual. Like every thing else, however, that sounds perfect in
theory, difficulties arose when this plan came to be put in practice:
it was originally intended that the Queen should receive, with her own
hands, and read herself, all the petitions that might be presented; but
when it was found their numbers frequently amounted to some thousands,
this scheme was abandoned as impracticable, and the Lords Noodle and
Doodle were appointed to the important office of walking behind the
Queen, carrying large bags, in which the petitions were deposited,
and from which they would probably never again have emerged, if they
had not been dragged to light by the persevering and indefatigable
exertions of Lord Edmund.

The people, however, were not aware of this, and there was something in
the show that delighted them. It was indeed a fine sight, to behold so
many hundreds of human beings anxiously watching the movements of their
beautiful Queen, as she glided along their ranks, smiling graciously
upon all, and looking like an angel sent upon earth to dispense
blessings to mankind: ladies of honour walking behind her, with pages
bearing their train, and the two aged counsellors of state, bending
beneath the weight of their ponderous bags, bringing up the rear.

Thus gloriously commenced Elvira’s reign. The people, delighted with
the attention paid to their wishes, and struck by some instances of
the Queen’s love of justice and hatred of oppression, lauded her to
the skies; the nobility, hoping riches and power from her liberality,
almost worshipped her; and the ambassadors of foreign powers, dreading
the valour of Lord Edmund and his soldiers, offered the humblest homage
at her feet. In short, all seemed to smile upon her, and the kingdom to
bid fair shortly to rival even the imagined happiness of Utopia itself.

In the mean time, what had become of Edric and Dr. Entwerfen? Gloomy
indeed were the reflections of our travellers when they found
themselves immured in a dungeon, so far from all they loved or
reverenced, without friends, and accused of a horrible crime, from the
guilt of which they felt it would be vain for them to attempt to free
themselves. Days and weeks rolled on, yet no change took place in their
destiny. Every night the grating of a rusty key in the lock announced
the arrival of the gaoler, bringing their daily pittance of bread and
water, but he never spoke, nor could the most earnest entreaties of the
doctor and Edric bring one word from his lips.

Despair at length began to invade the bosoms of the travellers;
till one day, as they were examining, for the thousandth time, the
hieroglyphics on the stones in the wall, Edric perceived that one
of them was loose. With infinite difficulty they removed the stone,
and found a long vaulted passage, dimly lighted by an opening at the
farther extremity. The transport of the prisoners, on making this
discovery, was unbounded, and can only be imagined by those who have
felt the loss of liberty, and rejoiced at its recovery.

When their first raptures had a little abated, they began to consult
upon the best means of availing themselves of their good fortune,
and preventing pursuit. The doctor had luckily several chemical
preparations in his walking-stick; with one of these he dissolved
the iron of their chains, so as to free Edric and himself from their
weight, and then, smearing them over with the remainder of the
composition, he laid them in a heap, exclaiming with a laugh, “The
jailors will be dreadfully frightened when they find these fetters; for
though they look perfect to the eye, they will crumble to pieces at the
slightest touch.”

Edric was too anxious to effect his escape, to listen to his tutor’s
exultation; and his arrangements being made, the travellers, with
trembling steps and throbbing hearts, explored the vaulted passage, and
found, to their infinite delight, that it had led them to the borders
of the Nile. A small boat was anchored to the shore, and its crew, an
old man and his son, who gained their living by conveying goods up the
Nile, were peaceably taking their supper on the bank.

Edric and the doctor had taken the precaution to replace the stone that
had concealed the vaulted passage, and having smeared the opposite
wall with phosphorus, they had no doubt that when the jailor entered
the prison, which he generally did in darkness, he would be too much
alarmed to take any effectual means for pursuing them till it should be
too late. Having luckily also plenty of money, that certain road to the
human heart, they easily persuaded the old man to take them on board,
and in a short time they embarked in his fragile vessel and set sail.

Slowly and silently they floated along the majestic river, which rolled
in solemn waves like an inland sea, and swept proudly on to the ocean,
seeming to scorn the degenerate land it left behind; and without one
pang did our travellers quit for ever the fertile plains and gorgeous
cities of Egypt. One only thought swelled in their bosoms, and that
was joy at their escape. Offering up silent prayers of thanksgiving,
our travellers continued their progress down the river, and, when
morning dawned, and the enormous forms of the Pyramids were seen
grimly frowning through the mist, they shuddered involuntarily, and,
devoutly crossing themselves, muttered new prayers for protection and
deliverance.

After a long and tedious voyage, our travellers at length reached the
sea in safety. The mouths of the Delta were at that time the seat of
extensive, and almost universal commerce; and our travellers trembled
lest they should here encounter some emissary of their enemies, who
might re-convey them to the prison from which they had so miraculously
escaped. They found, however, the belief of their supernatural
disappearance too strongly impressed upon the minds of the multitude
for even a suspicion of their existence to remain; and they stood upon
that sumptuous quay, surrounded by Greeks, Russians, Egyptians, Arabs,
and Turks, without exciting a single remark, or obtaining the slightest
attention. They wished to proceed to Constantinople, then the capital
of the powerful empire of Greece, and entered into conversation with
the master of a felucca, for that purpose.

“I will attend to you directly, gentlemen,” said the sailor, leaving
some persons with whom he had been previously talking: “but I have been
listening to such a horrid tale!”

“What was it?” asked Edric, suspecting the subject, but aware that
to seem incurious upon such an occasion, might betray that they were
already only too well informed.

“Two sorcerers,” returned the man, “have been taken into custody, for
blowing up the Pyramids and bewitching the mummies!”

“And how were they punished?” asked Edric.

“Oh, you haven’t heard half they did yet!” said the man. “When they
were put in prison for their pranks, the Old One came to their help,
and carried them off in a flame of fire, leaving a long train of light
after them in the sky, like the tail of a blazing comet. Dick Jones,
who was telling me, swears he saw them all going off together. The old
one hanging by the Devil’s horn, and the young one keeping fast hold of
his tail!”

“Shocking!” said Edric; scarcely able, however, to repress a smile at
this proof of the vividness of Dick Jones’s imagination.

“I haven’t told you half,” resumed the man. “All Sumatra rings with it;
several have gone mad, and others died with fear; and the man who was
with Dick Jones, and who was one of the soldiers of the guard set over
them, assured me as a positive fact, that the chains they had had on,
and left behind them, crumbled between his fingers like a bit of rotten
wood.”

“It is very awful!” said Edric.

“Ay, is it not?” rejoined the man; “thank God I was not there to see!
I am sure the very look of one of those conjurors would have driven me
mad! I never could abide such things.”

Edric now, with some difficulty, persuaded the man to return to the
subject of their transit.

“I am very sorry, Sir,” said he; “but I don’t think there’ll be a
vessel going out to Constantinople for this week at least; for they’ve
got the plague there, and our magistrates won’t let a ship that has
been there, return to our harbour again without performing quarantine;
and that is such a hindrance to trade that our folks don’t like it. But
perhaps you’re in no hurry, and can wait?”

“Oh yes, we can wait quite well!” said the doctor, trembling with
anxiety to be off.

The sailor, however, had no occasion to say more; for the bare mention
of the plague was quite sufficient to deter our travellers from
visiting Constantinople; and finding he was bound for Malta, and that
no other vessel would quit the harbour that day, they hastily embarked,
notwithstanding his vessel was old and inconvenient, and not forwarded
by steam, and though the superior certainty of the steam-packets was
now so generally felt and acknowledged by all, that perhaps this was
the only common sailing-boat in the harbour. The joy of our travellers
at their deliverance was, however, too great to permit them to dwell
upon trifles; and as the cabin was scarcely habitable, they resolved to
remain on deck the whole of the voyage, being determined to submit to
any thing sooner than delay their departure. Accordingly they stretched
themselves upon their cloaks, and, reclining against some ropes,
watched attentively the lovely scene around them. The evening was
beautiful, and, as the shores of Egypt swiftly receded from their view,
they felt their minds soothed by the contemplation of the grand scene
that presented itself. There is, indeed, something in the awful majesty
of the world of waters, which, like the gigantic monuments of Egypt,
powerfully affects the mind by its very simplicity, and, by raising the
soul far above the common trifling occurrences of life, soothes it to
tranquillity.

The voyage was long, for contrary winds impeded their progress; and
one evening, after Dr. Entwerfen had remained for some time gazing
steadfastly on the water, with a look of deep abstraction, he exclaimed
suddenly, “There will be a storm!”

“Impossible!” returned Edric. “The sun set in unwonted splendour,
spreading its rays of purple and gold through the waters like a
jewelled diadem; and the wind is even now dying away to a gentle
breeze, which scarcely curls the surface of the ocean as our bark
dances gaily over it.”

“That is a bad sign,” said the doctor. “Have you not often heard that
a storm is generally preceded by a calm? You will find it no metaphor
now.”

The moon soon shone brightly; and as the ship ploughed her way slowly
through the almost motionless waves, its beams sparkled through the
spray, which fell in silvery showers over the prow. All now was still,
except the heaving of the vessel, and the monotonous splashing of the
waters as she slowly worked her way through them. The wind gradually
sunk, and the sails only feebly flapped in the breeze that could no
longer inflate them, till at last even that failed, and the vessel,
completely becalmed, lay like a log upon the water, which spread like a
vast and tranquil mirror around her.

Bitterly now did our travellers regret the precipitate haste that had
made them embark in such a frail, unmanageable boat; and they regarded
with longing eyes the compact steam-packets that glided past them;
their black smoke curling in the air as they were wafted swiftly along.
It was too late, however, to repent; and the doctor consoled himself by
taking advantage of the effect produced by the thick black smoke, as
they saw it rising in the distance, to illustrate the lecture he had
formerly given his pupil, on the theory of combustion and decomposition
of amphlites, till he fairly lulled him to sleep.

Morning came, but brought not with it the wished-for breeze. Edric
rose, and walking upon deck, encountered the doctor. “How still all
seems!” said he; “Nature seems to sleep: but ’tis an awful stillness,
such as falls upon a dying patient, prophetic of his end. Nature seems
exhausted, and I could fancy is seeking a short repose to rally her
energies for some decisive blow.”

“You are fanciful, Edric,” said the doctor; “you alarm yourself
unnecessarily. The violent shock your nerves have sustained, unfits you
for exertion, and renders you disposed to see every thing in a gloomy
light.”

“I beg your pardon, Sir,” said a ragged English sailor, who happened
to be on board; “in my opinion the gentleman is right, for every
thing portends a storm. Cirro-strati streak the sky, and as they join
with the fleecy cumuli below them in cumulus-strati, nothing can more
clearly indicate wind and rain, and probably thunder. And see, too, how
the dark, frowning nimbus spreads its black shade along the edge of the
horizon, and how the birds fly cowering, almost touching the waters
with their wings as they flit along. Now it begins, hark!”

Whilst the sailor had been speaking, the clouds had thickened
gradually, and the sky had grown dark as night. A hollow murmuring was
heard, which seemed to gather fury as it came, till it burst over the
devoted vessel with terrific violence, and rent the sails to atoms,
whistling round in fearful gusts, as though mocking the mischief it had
done. The sea now heaved mountains high. The forked lightning played
like writhing serpents along the deep black sky; now streaming like
floating ribands in the air, and then darting downwards like fiery
arrows. Thunder rolled heavily in the distance, approaching however
nearer and nearer, every peal reverberating through the sky, as though
echoed back by unseen rocks, till at last a tremendous crash announced
the fall of the electric fluid. Our travellers were preparing to retire
below, when, just as they reached the cabin stairs, the heavens seemed
to open, and a ball of light-blue fire, of a most vivid brightness,
shot downwards from the chasm, and struck the mast of the labouring
ship. Immediately after, a loud crackling noise rattled over their
heads, and then all again was still, save the howling winds, and the
groans of some prostrate seamen, wounded by the scattered fragments of
the splintered mast.

The rain now descended in torrents, and the feeble vessel, at one
moment raised to a fearful height, then dashed down, and apparently
engulphed by the heavy seas that washed over her, seemed every instant
doomed to destruction, and to escape only by a miracle. The shouts of
the seamen, and creaking of the strained timbers of the ship, mingled
horribly with the howling of the wind, and roar of the billows. Every
instant it was expected she must go to pieces; for she had sprung
a leak, and the water rose so fast as to baffle every attempt made
to check its progress. The seamen were now in despair: they broke
open their trunks, and dressing themselves in their best clothes,
they filled their pockets with all the valuables they could find:
then, whilst some went to prayers, others broke open the captain’s
spirit-chest, and many rolled overboard in a state of intoxication,
whilst the ship, now become a perfect wreck, drifted before the wind,
and was rapidly sinking. The storm, however, seeming to abate, the
master ordered out the boat, and all the seamen who retained their
senses, eagerly sprang on board. Our travellers attempted to follow,
but the seamen pushed them back, and exclaiming the boat was full,
rowed off, leaving them to their fate.

The English sailor had been in the act of stepping on board the boat,
the very moment she pushed off, and the sudden shock precipitated him
into the sea. A piercing scream burst from his lips, as his body, with
a dying effort, sprang from the waves, which seemed to rise after him
and suck him back into their gulph. Our friends heard the cry, and
rushed to the side of the vessel, but alas! they were powerless to save
him: the ship drifted rapidly by, they saw his hands gleam for a moment
through the waves, as he raised them in agony, and then the roaring
billows rolled on, deep, black, and gloomy as before.

The horror of Edric and the doctor was excessive; but the impending
terrors of their own fate prevented the possibility of their minds
dwelling long upon his. The storm, however, visibly abated, and the
dismantled hulk they were upon, lightened by the desertion of the
sailors, still swam: light, fleecy clouds now scudded rapidly along the
skies, and the moon, struggling to break forth from behind them, shed a
faint and watery gleam upon the scene.

Our travellers now, by the feeble light afforded by the moonbeams,
perceived the boat labouring heavily through the dark-grey sea, and
struggling to reach a long black line of rocks, distinctly marked
in the distance, against which the still boiling waters broke with
tremendous roar, curling in whitened foam as they laved their craggy
sides; whilst the wreck our travellers were upon, seemed rapidly
drifting upon the same point. Death now appeared inevitable, as it was
impossible their shattered bark could resist the shock, if it should
be tossed against these jagged crags; and every moment she seemed
rising upon a wave that must dash her upon them, and floating back to
escape only by a miracle. The doctor and Edric became giddy with these
repeated shocks, and in despair fancied themselves resigned; or rather,
stunned by the misfortunes which had followed each other with such
overwhelming rapidity upon their devoted heads, they awaited their fate
with an apathy which they mistook for resignation.

The seamen in the boat still continued labouring on, straining every
nerve to reach the shore, though ineffectually; for the foaming surge
beat them back with repeated, with resistless violence. With anxious
eyes and beating hearts, our friends marked the progress of the boat;
till, giddy with watching, and feeling their spirits exhausted as they
surveyed the fruitless struggle of the toiling boatmen, they hid their
faces with their hands, and shut it from their sight.

At this instant a wild and piercing cry rang in their ears:–’twas
from the boat. She had swamped; the human beings she contained were
all swallowed up in the boiling waves, and that shriek of agony was
their funeral knell. A horrid silence followed this appalling scream,
unbroken save by the lashing of the billows against the rocks, and the
low, half-suppressed moaning of the winds,–till the senses of the
travellers became bewildered, and they shrieked in agony. Their peril
indeed grew every moment more intense, for every wave carried them
nearer and nearer to those frowning crags, whilst their dark sides,
rearing themselves in awful majesty, seemed mustering their strength
to repel the insolent intruders that sought to invade their territory.
The doctor and Edric, in the mean time, suffering a thousand deaths
in the protracted horrors they were compelled to endure, and which
they could neither mitigate nor evade, shrank back with the shivering
of affrighted nature trembling at dissolution, every time the wave on
which their vessel floated seemed to dash against the shore.

At length, however, the fate they had so long dreaded arrived. Their
shattered hulk was raised on a tremendous billow, and thrown with
fearful violence upon the rocks, with a force that shivered it to
atoms, and engulphed the doctor and Edric in the boiling surge. The
next wave, however, returning, swept them along in its bosom, and threw
them, perfectly insensible, though locked in each other’s arms, upon
the shore.

It was morning, and the glowing sunbeams danced gaily on the sparkling
waters of the dark blue deep, as, gently rippling, it laved the
rocky shore on which Edric and his tutor had been thrown; and seemed
to smile, as if in mockery of the mischiefs it had wrought. There,
sheltered by a rock, whose jutting crag had saved them from being
carried back into the devouring ocean, lay our travellers, apparently
buried in sleep; returning consciousness not having yet dispelled the
torpor produced by the fearful terrors of the night. The sun now shone
brightly, and its glowing heat revived Edric from his trance. Slowly
and heavily he unclosed his languid eyes, and, forgetting where he was,
attempted to rise. He succeeded; but weak and dizzy, he only staggered
a few paces ere he again fell: the roaring of the ocean still sounded
in his ears, his senses swam, and, giddy and enfeebled by his previous
exhaustion, he fancied himself still tossed upon the foaming billows.
For some time, he lay in a state of torture, the thrill of returning
circulation tingling through his veins, till the recollection of what
had passed flashing across his mind, he again endeavoured to rouse
himself, and seek his tutor. The unfortunate doctor, however, appeared
to be no more, and as Edric gazed upon his inanimate form, he might
have exclaimed with Prince Henry, “I could have better spared a better
man.”

At this moment, Edric recollected the strong chemical preparations the
doctor generally carried about him, and, searching his pockets, found
a potent elixir. With some difficulty, he forced a few drops down his
throat, taking a dose also himself. The effects of the medicine were
soon visible: the doctor heaved a deep sigh, and, opening his eyes,
gazed vacantly around, whilst Edric himself felt perfectly restored.

“Where am I?” cried Doctor Entwerfen, as soon as he was sufficiently
recovered to speak, and then, as some of the horrors he had so lately
witnessed recurred to his mind, he exclaimed:–“I will never disclose
it–no torture shall compel me; where is the justice? He fled away in a
flame of fire hanging to the Devil’s horn. Ah, Edric! where are we? Ah!
I have had such a horrid dream.”

“Alas!” returned Edric, “it is but too real!”

“What! what!” cried the doctor, getting up and staring wildly around
him; “I remember now, we were drowned–but where–where are we?”

“I know not,” replied his pupil mournfully. “You forget I have been
exposed to the same perils as yourself, and that I am equally ignorant
where fate has thrown us. I should think, however, from the position we
were in when the storm began, that we are somewhere on the shores of
the Mediterranean; but whether in Europe or Africa, I have as yet had
no means of ascertaining.”

“We must explore,” said the doctor solemnly; “we ought not to remain in
doubt another instant upon so important a subject. Follow me!”

They now quitted the rocky beach on which they had so long lain, and
advanced towards some cliffs which shut them out from the view of the
surrounding country. When they had surmounted this natural barrier,
they found the prospect that presented itself superb; and their eyes
wandered with delight over orange groves and forests of cork-trees;
whilst the green shining leaves, and rich scarlet blossoms of the
pomegranates, and light tender waving foliage of the olive, afforded
variety to the scene. The burning heat of the sun’s rays felt softened
by the breezes from the sea; a balmy fragrance seemed to pervade the
air; birds flew twittering around them, or, perched upon the branches
of the trees, made the groves resound with melodious harmony; whilst
butterflies of the most brilliant colours fluttered from flower to
flower, and innumerable buzzing insects seemed to fill the air with
motion.

“What a lovely country!” said the doctor, as he and Edric penetrated
into the deep recesses of a shady grove; “and how delightful is this
sensation of refreshing coolness, after having been exposed to the
burning rays of the sun! It is yet early, for the sun has not yet
reached far above the horizon, and the dew-drops still glisten in his
rays like diamonds hanging from every leaf. Where can we be? Surely we
are not dead, and now in Paradise!”

Edric smiled: “I rather think,” said he, “that we are in Andalusia.
I have often read of the exquisite beauty of some of the southern
provinces of Spain, and this seems well to accord with the ideas I have
always entertained of that country.”

They now approached what appeared to be a cemetery, and which was
tastefully adorned with weeping willows hanging over the graves; whilst
roses, and a thousand beautiful flowering shrubs, flourishing in wild
luxuriance from the genial nature of the climate, spread around, and
gave this receptacle of the mouldering remains of mortality the aspect
of a blooming garden.

“How different from the Pyramids!” exclaimed the doctor and Edric at
the same moment.

“The tomb-stones seem to have inscriptions upon them,” continued the
former, after a short pause; “let us approach and examine them: they
will at least declare the country we are in, by the language in which
they may be written.”

The idea struck Edric as feasible, and they entered the cemetery. “You
are right, Edric,” said the doctor; “we are in Spain, for here lie the
mortal remains of Don Alfonso, that mighty hero of the Bourbon race,
who, you doubtless remember, was the first that conquered the northern
part of Africa, and by transferring the seat of the Spanish empire to
Fez, contributed so powerfully to the civilization and conversion to
Christianity of all that vast territory.”

“And who destroyed Spain as a monarchy, by so doing,” added Edric.

“It is true,” replied the doctor, “that Spain, finding itself too
mighty for a province, shook off in consequence the yoke of his
descendants, and erected its present republic, which it most probably
would never have done if the seat of government had remained at Madrid.
But that is trifling compared with the inestimable benefits produced to
the world at large, by the civilization and reduction to a Christian
state, of such a mighty empire as that of Morocco. Had it not been for
that, we might still have remained in the degrading ignorance in which
mankind were immersed for so many centuries respecting the interior of
Africa:–Timbuctoo would never have risen to its present eminence in
science and commerce; the real course of the Niger would never have
been discovered: and the sources of the Nile still remained wrapped
in oblivion. Yes, mighty shade! thou wert indeed a hero! Calumny may
assail thy fame, and unenlightened minds cavil at the wonders of thy
glory; but one firm and attached votary still remains to thee, and thus
he humbly bends to do thee homage.”

So saying, the doctor prostrated himself upon the tomb, and
reverentially kissed the cold marble inscribed with the hero’s
name.–“Hold! hold!” cried a man, rushing from behind a small temple,
and seizing him, whilst in an instant Edric and his tutor found
themselves surrounded by soldiers, whose grim visages spoke them inured
to blood and warfare.–“Wretch!” exclaimed the leader, apostrophizing
the terrified doctor; “but thy life shall soon pay the forfeit of thy
crimes. Away with him!” continued he, addressing his soldiers; “bear
him before the next alcaide, and let him there suffer the punishment
the law enacts against all those who dare to praise the actions or
worship the memory of the tyrannic Alfonso–Away with him, I say.”

“Mercy! mercy!” implored the doctor.

“Impossible!” said the leader sternly; “do you not know that this is
a land of liberty, and that we abhor the very name of tyranny and
oppression? How then can the admirer of a tyrant hope for mercy at our
hands? Away with him, I say, and with his companion too; for as they
appear to be associates, no doubt their principles are the same.”

“And do you call this a land of liberty?” asked Edric reproachfully.

“Hear him! he blasphemes!” cried the soldiers; “gag him if he
dare again to breathe such impiety!” and amidst their shouts and
execrations, Edric and his tutor were dragged away. Taught by this
lesson that the liberty of the republican Spaniards did not extend to
the tolerance of any opinions except their own, Edric and the doctor
did not again venture to speak; and they soon, to their infinite
dismay, found themselves in the presence of the alcaide; who, however,
luckily for our travellers, happened to be a man of some sense and
liberality. He smiled when he heard the substance of the facts gravely
stated against the prisoners. “This case requires a private hearing,”
said he: “Velasquez, conduct the prisoners to my own apartment.”

“We will have no private hearing,” clamoured the people and the
soldiers. “The crime was public, and the punishment should be so too;
we will not be gulled.”

“But, gentlemen,” said the magistrate, “supposing these prisoners
to be part of a gang of conspirators who have been plotting against
the state, it might defeat the ends of justice to have them examined
publicly; as it is possible–mind, gentlemen, I only say, as it is
possible–some traitors may lurk even among the crowd before me, who
might give intelligence to other parties interested, who might be thus
enabled to make their escape.”

“Ay, now you speak reason,” said the mob; “we are always willing to
listen to reason;” and without farther remonstrance they permitted the
alcaide and the prisoners to retire.

“You see, gentlemen,” said the alcaide, shutting the door of the room
carefully, and placing chairs, in which he invited his prisoners to sit
down, “that all is not liberty which is called so, and that a mob can
occasionally be as tyrannical as an emperor. I know that in reality
there is not a shadow of complaint against you; yet I dare not release
you, as my own life would be the forfeit if I did. You must thus submit
to a temporary restraint, which you may rest assured I shall not only
endeavour to shorten, but shall render as light as possible whilst I am
compelled to inflict it.”

“My dear sir,” said the doctor, “we are exceedingly obliged by your
kindness. If we had not met with you, I do not know what would have
become of us. I could not have believed people were in existence so
illiberal as these Spaniards, or that any human beings could be so weak
as to fancy themselves in a land of liberty whilst they are practising
the most refined tyranny.”

“And yet my countrymen are neither fools nor hypocrites,” returned
the alcaide; “but, like many other people, they deceive themselves,
and talk about freedom till they fancy they possess it. Their great
fault, however, has been, that they did not know where to stop; and as
even virtue becomes vice when carried to the extreme, so have the most
sublime principles of liberty and patriotism become degraded in their
hands, by being attempted to be carried to an exaggerated degree of
perfection!”

“Oh, England! England!” sighed the doctor; “would to Heaven I had never
left thy happy shores! Alas! alas! what a crowd of horrible events have
occupied the last few months!”

“Why did you leave your country, since you so bitterly regret it?”
demanded the alcaide.

“Because we could not be contented,” replied Edric. “Devoted from
my earliest youth to the pursuits of science, I craved ardently
for knowledge denied to mortals; I aspired to penetrate into the
profoundest secrets of Nature, and burnt to accomplish wishes destined
never to be realized. The desire of seeing foreign countries also
filled my soul: I longed to travel, to acquire new ideas and meet
with strange and wonderful adventures; I sickened of the quiet and
tranquillity of home. ‘Give me change,’ cried I in my madness, ‘give me
variety, and I ask no more; for even wretchedness itself were better
to bear than this tiresome unvarying uniformity.’ The unreasonableness
of my wishes deserved punishment, and I have been curst with the very
fulfilment of my wishes.”

“Is this gentleman also a votary of science?” asked the alcaide, who
had appeared musing whilst Edric spoke.

“What a question!” exclaimed the doctor, in a transport of indignation.
“What! has my whole life been devoted to scientific pursuits! have I
deprived myself of rest and almost of food! and wasted the midnight
lamp in bringing to perfection some of the most sublime discoveries
ever vouchsafed to man, to be insulted suited with such a doubt
as that? Know, sir, that you see before you Doctor Entwerfen, the
fortunate inventor of the immortalizing snuff, one single pinch of
which cures all diseases by the smell; the discoverer of the capability
of caoutchouc being applied to aërial purposes; and the maker of the
most compendious and powerful galvanic battery ever yet beheld by
mortal!”

“Then you are the very man I want,” said the alcaide; “go to prison
contentedly, and rest satisfied that your confinement will be of very
short duration. In a day or two I will see you, and explain the project
I have conceived for your deliverance.”

So saying, he summoned his guards, and, ordering them to convey the
travellers to prison, the doctor and Edric were dragged away, and,
being immured in separate dungeons, were left there to ruminate upon
the varied and busy scenes in which they had been so lately engaged.
Sadly and heavily passed the time; yet days and weeks rolled on ere
they again saw the alcaide. At length, when they had begun almost to
despair, they were reconducted to his presence.

“Do you understand the management of an electrical machine?” asked he
abruptly.

“Certainly!” cried the doctor, transported with joy at the question,
before Edric, who was half blinded by the sudden change from his gloomy
prison to the broad light of day, had sufficiently recovered himself to
reply.

“Then it is in your own power to set yourselves free,” continued the
alcaide. “The principal general of the army stationed here is ill;
a powerful party exists against him who wish his death, at the head
of whom stands the leader who was the cause of your being taken into
custody. The general himself is a mere nonentity; but the opposite
party, to which I belong, wish to save his life, as his name affords a
sanction under which they can act. He is now ill of a palsy, and has
been recommended to try the effects of an electrical shock. A machine
has been with difficulty procured in this remote district; but the
philosopher of the army being lately dead, and another not having been
yet appointed, no one here knows how to apply it. Now, if you–”

“Say no more!” cried the doctor, interrupting him, in a transport of
delight; “say no more–I see, I comprehend the whole! I shall restore
him, and receive my liberty as the reward. Nay more, I shall obtain
immortality amongst the Spaniards by the deed; their poets will sing my
fame, and their historians will pause upon the fact!”

“You will undertake it then?” said the alcaide, and, reading an
indignant affirmative in the doctor’s looks, he led the way to a camp,
at a short distance from the village, where the paralytic general was
sitting in a kind of throne, placed without his tent, and surrounded by
the principal officers of his staff; the electrical machine, a large,
clumsy, heavy-looking thing, standing before him. The doctor looked
with dismay at this unwieldy apparatus, so different from his own neat,
powerful compendium of science, as he was wont to call it; and saw with
infinite horror that even its construction was totally different from
those he had been accustomed to. His natural vanity and presumption,
however, revolted from making this mortifying acknowledgment,
particularly after the boasts he had been indulging in to the alcaide;
and, relying upon his general knowledge of the principles of science,
he walked boldly up to the machine, with as much composure and
self-confidence as though he had been accustomed to the management of
it all his life.

A considerable trepidation, however, crept over him as he examined
it and found its movements intricate and complicated in the extreme;
and his hands trembled, and a thick film came over his eyes, as he
attempted to charge and adjust the cylinder. No time, however, was
allowed for deliberation; he was ordered to apply it instantly; and,
terrified by the recollection of the prompt manner in which the
Spaniards were accustomed to make themselves obeyed, and the already
long and severe imprisonment he had undergone, he set it in motion:
an unlucky wire, however, which he did not quite understand, pointed
upwards, and he tried in vain to arrange it; he tried again, but was
instantly felled to the ground by a tremendous shock, whilst a loud
crash of thunder burst with violence over his head, and a vivid flash
of lightning proclaimed that the ill-managed machine had drawn down
the electric fluid from a heavy cloud, that happened unfortunately to
be just above them, upon the head of the unfortunate general, whom it
scorched to a cinder, levelling some of his officers to the earth,
and scattering the rest in all directions. For the moment, the doctor
himself was blinded by the sudden light, and, when he recovered his
sight, the first thing that met his eyes was his friend the alcaide
sticking fast by the skirts of his coat in a hedge.

Terrified at the mischief he had done, the first impulse of the learned
doctor was to run away; but, notwithstanding the general confusion
and dismay, the first intimation he showed of his design, drew around
him a crowd of soldiers, like peasants round a mad dog, who seemed to
think him as little entitled to mercy as though he had really been one
of those unfortunate animals. “Cut him down!” cried one–“blow his
brains out!” shouted another–“chop his head off!” screamed a third;
and summary punishment would instantly have been inflicted, if the
alcaide, who in the mean time had contrived to extricate himself from
his uncomfortable situation, had not interfered. “Villain!” cried he,
as soon as he had recovered his breath–for being rather fat, he found
flying exercise rather too violent to suit his taste; “is this the
manner in which you treat me? Was it for this I brought you to the
camp, and would have made your fortune? Wretch that you are! hanging is
too good for you, and impaling alive mercy to what you deserve.–Away
to prison with him! he merits not a death so easy as you would give
him; carry him back to his dungeon, and let him there await what
punishment the council of state may judge fit for killing a general and
frightening an alcaide out of his senses.”

“Mercy! mercy!” screamed the doctor; but his cries were disregarded,
and he and Edric were dragged back to prison, deprived of every hope
of obtaining forgiveness. Sadly and silently passed the hours in this
gloomy abode; for, though the doctor and his pupil were now permitted
to be together, little communication took place between them, as,
though Edric was too good-natured to upbraid his unfortunate companion,
yet it was past the power of human nature not to feel enraged at the
folly that had drawn them into so disagreeable a situation.

The poor doctor, however, needed not to be upbraided; for the
reproaches of his own conscience were more bitter than any Edric could
have lavished on him. “I am lost!” cried he; “ruined, and utterly
undone! Not only my body will perish miserably, but my fame, my
immortal fame is destroyed–oh! I shall go distracted!”

In this manner he lamented; wringing his hands and tearing his hair,
whilst Edric felt too angry to attempt to console him.

“Speak to me, Edric, dear,” cried the poor doctor at last, quite in
despair at his silence; “for Heaven’s sake, speak to me! Do let me
hear the sound of some voice, besides my own and that of those cursed
Spaniards. Oh, Edric! Edric! solitary confinement is quite enough to
drive a man distracted; but to have a companion in such a place as
this, and he to refuse to speak–Oh, Edric! Edric! your heart must be
turned to stone, if you can resolve to use me so cruelly.”

Edric was moved by the doctor’s sorrow.

“What do you wish me to say?” asked he, smiling.

“Oh, now that’s like yourself,” cried the poor doctor, bursting into
tears, and throwing his arms round Edric’s neck, whilst he sobbed upon
his shoulder like a child. “Now I shall die happy! I don’t care what
they do to me; I am quite ready for any thing that may happen.”

Edric was affected by the doctor’s manner, and returning his embrace
warmly, he could not restrain his own tears.

“Oh! my dear, dear Edric!” cried the doctor; “how I love you! would to
Heaven I could save you! I would not care for myself.”

“And I would not accept of liberty without you, my dear tutor, I assure
you!” returned Edric. “No, no! the perils we have undergone together
have added new force to the ties that formerly united us; and our fate
now, be it good or ill, shall be the same. It is possible, however,
that there may be some means of escape.”

“Alas! no!” said the doctor mournfully; seeing Edric look round at
the walls and windows: “this is the same dungeon I have been so long
confined in, and not even a mouse could get out of it without the
keeper’s permission.”

“What is to be done, then?” cried Edric.

“Ay,” returned the doctor; “what, indeed! However, it is certainly
a great comfort to have a companion in one’s misery; and though my
prospects are certainly not much improved since you joined me, my cares
are lessened at least one-half.”

“Oh! my poor father!” exclaimed Edric. “The hardest part of my fate
seems to die without obtaining his forgiveness! Alas! if he could see
me now, he would surely repent his ill-timed severity. Fain would
I also know what has passed in England since we left it: if Edmund
be married, and if Claudia still reigns. It was spring when we left
England, it is now winter: alas! alas! how many changes this brief
space of time may have produced. If, however, my father’s life has been
spared, I care not for the rest.”

“How little did we anticipate,” said the doctor, “when we first
proposed to travel, the misfortunes that were to attend us! Alas! they
seem a just punishment for our crime, in presuming to wish to pry into
secrets never intended to be revealed to man.”

“Can you believe it,” returned Edric, “but in spite of all the
misfortunes I have suffered, a restless curiosity to know the fate
of the Mummy we so strangely resuscitated, is one of the strongest
feelings in my bosom.”

“I can readily credit it,” said the doctor; “for the same feeling
operates upon me! It is, however, vain to indulge in useless regrets:
we must die; and all we have to do, is to endeavour to become resigned
to our fate.”