The door now slowly opened

We left Dr. Entwerfen in the last chapter uttering a very moral, if
not a very new, exclamation on the vanity of human expectations; which
had scarcely escaped from his lips, ere cruel Fate, resolving not to
be accused in vain, supplied him with yet more abundant cause for
lamentation. We have before mentioned, that the doctor had stumbled
as he quitted the Pyramids, and that his friends raised him from the
ground; but what was his consternation and dismay, when, on looking
round to thank them, he found he was surrounded by armed men, who
commanded him in the royal name to surrender! Sadly did the doctor turn
his woeful eyes upon Edric, but, alas! he was in the same predicament
as himself; and, in spite of their entreaties, they were marched off to
prison, without being at all informed of what crime they had committed.

Sadly passed the night, and gloomy dawned the day upon the unfortunate
travellers, whose minds were harassed and bewildered by the
extraordinary success of their awful experiment, and whose misery
was infinitely increased by the suspense they had to suffer, both on
account of their ignorance of the crime of which they were accused,
and its probable punishment if they should be found guilty. Soon after
daybreak, however, a summons for them arrived, and they were conducted
as criminals before the same magistrate who, the day before, had
treated them with such officious kindness.

Very different, however, was the solemn judge who, clothed in all
the insignia of magisterial dignity, now sate upon the bench, from
the easy, good-tempered gentleman of the Pyramids; and the unlucky
travellers saw, in an instant, that they were not likely to experience
any favour from their previous acquaintance with him. The court was
thronged with people, and the prisoners saw that they were regarded
with curiosity, mingled with horror and supernatural fear. It is not
agreeable to feel oneself an object of disgust to any one; and though
Edric magnanimously and frequently repeated to himself that it was
quite indifferent to him what such ignorant wretches as Egyptians
thought of him; yet, if he would have avowed the truth, he would have
been quite as well contented to have found himself the object of their
admiration instead of their hatred; and he would have been very glad
to have been safely at home again; whilst the doctor openly and loudly
lamented the much regretted comforts of his own dear delightful study
at Sir Ambrose’s. Little time, however, was allowed for reflection;
for as soon as the prisoners were placed at the bar their examination

“So, gentlemen!” said the learned judge, “you stand convicted–no, I
mean accused, of a most horrible, heinous, and sacrilegious offence–an
offence that makes our hair start with horror from our heads, and every
separate lock rise up in vengeance against you.” The justice paused,
that the prisoners might admire his eloquence; but, alas! such was the
absorbing nature of self-love, that they were only thinking of what
was going to be done with them, and to what this terrible exordium
was likely to lead. After a short pause, Edric, supposing they were
expected to speak, addressed the judge, and begged to know of what
crime they were accused.

“We are strangers,” said he, “and gentlemen. We were attracted to your
country by an account of the wonders it contained; we declared our
purposes openly; we have affected no concealment; and we have done
nothing we need blush to avow–”

A confused murmur ran through the court as he spoke, expressive of the
utmost disgust and abhorrence; Edric felt indignant, and he looked
round proudly as he added:–

“Yes, I repeat we have done nothing we need blush to avow, and nothing
derogatory to our characters as Englishmen and gentlemen.”

“Sorcerers! wizards! demons in disguise!” cried the crowd. “Down with
them! burn them! guillotine them! destroy them!”

“Is this fair? is this generous?” asked Edric. “If we have done wrong,
let our crime be proved, and we are ready to submit to any punishment
you may think proper to inflict; but do not condemn us unheard. In
England, every man is deemed innocent until he be proved guilty. You
boast of having imported and improved upon all the useful regulations
of the mother country, and cannot surely have omitted her most glorious
law. Let us then have a fair trial, and God forbid that the course of
justice should be impeded.”

“You talk well, Sir,” said the judge; “but it’s of no use here. My
chair, Sir, is made of witch-elm, and the whole court is lined with
consecrated wood; so you may take your familiars to another market, for
here they will avail you nothing.”

“Good God!” exclaimed Edric, wringing his hands, “what ignorance! what
gross superstition! And yet, in this man’s power are our lives!”

“Oh! oh!” said the judge, who saw his despair, though he did not
exactly know the cause; “I have brought you to, have I? Yes, yes; I
tell you, no incantations will be of any avail here; and so, clerk,
call the witnesses–”

The first person examined was the man who had been left in charge
of the balloon, and he deposed as follows:–“Why, Sir,” said he,
scratching his head, as though he supposed wisdom dwelt in his
fingers, and that their touch might give a little to his brain, “your
honour told me to call out the _posse comitatus_, and set a guard of
constables over the gentlemen’s whirligig; but I thought as how, seeing
it was but a queer-looking thing, and not likely to tempt anybody to
steal it, I might as well save the gentlemen from throwing their money
away upon a parcel of idle fellows, and keep watch over it myself.”

“And so get the reward instead of them,” observed the judge.

“Why, your honour,” said the fellow, grinning, “I thought they might
give something that might do _me_ some good, but that it would be
nothing amongst so many.”

“Very true!” remarked the judge; “Go on Gregory.”

“Well,” continued Gregory, “as I was sitting there, thinking of nothing
at all, and somehow, I believe, I had fallen into a bit of a doze, I
heard a queer sort of a buzzing, and I opened my eyes, and there I saw
the gentlemen’s whirligig buzzing and puffing like a steam-engine on
fire, and i’ th’ midst o’ the smoke I’ll take my oath I saw the mummy
of King Cheops as plain as I see his worship there sitting in his

“Oh!” groaned the horror-struck crowd; “Oh!” groaned the judge and jury.

“Yes,” continued the man; “I’ll take my oath, if it was the last word
I had to speak, that I saw him there vomiting fire, and his big eyes
flaring like a fiery furnace.”

“Oh!” groaned the judge, crowd, and jury, a degree louder than before.

“And then,” resumed Gregory, “something went whiz, and off it all fled
together like a flash of lightning–”

“Oh!” shrieked the whole court, in a convulsion of horror. Some of the
fair sex in particular, screamed and covered their faces, as though
they feared the next exploit of the redoubtable magicians would be to
blow up the court, and send them all flying after the resuscitated

“With your permission, Sir,” said Edric, as soon as the tumult had
somewhat abated, “this proves nothing against either my friend or
myself. We are, in fact, injured by it, and we have a claim against you
instead of your being able to substantiate a charge against us. We left
our balloon, containing valuable articles, and money to a considerable
amount, in your charge, or, at least, in the custody of a man whom you
recommended. When we quitted the Pyramid, we, of course, inquired for
our balloon–it had vanished; and instead of making us amends for our
loss, you throw us into prison and tell us a wild, extravagant story
of the disappearance of our property, which no man in his senses can
possibly believe.”

Another confused murmur, though very different in its character from
the former, ran through the court on the conclusion of this speech;
and the judge, if such an expression be not profane when speaking of a
representative of justice, looked most excessively foolish.

“Had not your worship better call the other witnesses?” whispered the
clerk, pitying the dilemma of his principal.

“True, true!” said the Lycurgus of Anglo-Egypt; “your observation is
premature, young man; when the case has been proved against you, it
will be time enough for you to think of your defence.”

Edric bowed assent, and the examination continued. The guide was the
next witness.

“Well, Samuel,” said the judge; “what do you know about this matter?”

“Why, Sir,” replied Samuel, “ye see, my dame and I were sitting by the
fire, and we’d got a black pudding, as we was a going to have for our
dinners. And so says dame, ‘I likes it cut in slices and fried,’ and so
says I—-”

“Hold, fellow!” cried the judge, with great dignity. “Don’t abuse the
patience of the Court. We have nothing to do with your dame or the
black pudding; it is quite irrelevant to the matter now before us. Go

But Samuel could not go on; and, like his predecessor in the
witness-box, he only stood still and scratched his head.

“Why don’t you speak, fellow?” asked the clerk.

“Because I doesn’t know what to say,” replied Samuel.

“You must tell all you know about this affair,” pursued the clerk.

“But I doesn’t know where to begin!” rejoined the perplexed witness;
“his worship says it is not reverent.”

“Begin with the Pyramid,” said the judge; “and, if you can, give a
clear account of all that happened after you left the old passage by
the moveable block in the wall that was last discovered.”

“Why I can’t say there was any thing very particular happened, as I
know of, Sir,” said Samuel, “after that, till we got to the shaft,
and then we went down, Sir, you know, as we always does, till we came
to the tomb of King Cheops; and then I turned the gentlemen in by
themselves, as we always does, for the ‘fect, as Parson Snorum calls
it. And then I sits me down i’ the vault, to wait for ’em, and I’d just
rolled myself up, and was dozed asleep, when I hears such a noise as
if the Pyramids were all coming tumbling about my ears. So up I jumped
and rubbed my eyes, for I did not know very well where I was; and then
I saw something that seemed to strike the torches out of the hands of
the two great sitting figures, and put them out; and then I saw a great
tall figure come gliding by me; and when he came up to the light, I
saw his great flaming eyes; and then I fell upon my knees, and he laid
hold of my shoulder and griped it. Look, your honour!” laying bare his
shoulder as he spoke, and showing the deeply indented marks of the
bony fingers of the Mummy. Again a groan of horror and indignation ran
through the Court; and when another witness proved that the sarcophagus
of Cheops had been examined, and was found empty, the judge seemed to
think it was a clear case, and called triumphantly upon Edric for his

“I do not see that what has been proved,” said Edric, shuddering in
spite of himself, “can affect either my tutor or myself. These people
say that a mummy has revived, and, quitting the Pyramid in which
he had been so long immured, has flown away with our balloon: but,
supposing the tale to be true, what proof have you that we were at
all implicated in the business? We were in the Pyramid, it is true;
but so was also this man, whom you have brought forward as a witness
against us. Supposing it was the intervention of some human aid that
roused the Mummy from its tomb–a fact, by the way, by no means proved,
why may not he be the agent instead of us? What is there to fix the
charge against us? Have we gained any thing by the adventure? Have we
not, on the contrary, been serious losers by it? Where is our balloon,
and the valuable articles it contained? If we are wizards, it must be
confessed that we are very foolish ones; for we have lost our property,
and thrown ourselves into prison, without reaping the smallest possible
advantage! And if we have the power you seem to attribute to us, why do
we stay here to be questioned, when we might so easily fly away in a
flame of fire, or turn you all to statues, and walk quietly off without
your being able to follow us?”

Every one shuddered, and many turned pale at this speech, seeming to
fear that Edric was about to put his suggestions into execution; whilst
the judge seemed posed, and in vast perplexity as to what he had better
determine;–and the people were dreadfully afraid, lest they might,
after all, lose the edifying spectacle of of an _auto-da-fé_, for which
they had been so impatiently longing.

Edric marked the hesitation of the judge, and endeavoured to improve
it to his own advantage.–“For my part,” continued he, “I am a British
subject, and as such, under the protection of my own Court; my
Sovereign has a consul here, and to him I make my appeal. I am neither
ignoble, nor unknown in my own country,–my name is Montagu, and I am
brother to the celebrated general of that family,–whose victories, no
doubt, have reached even this remote province!”

“My dear Mr. Montagu!” said the judge, “I really beg your pardon: why
did you not acquaint me sooner with your dignity? I dare say there is
no truth at all in the charge:–only assure me upon your honour that
you did not touch the mummy, and that you know nothing of what is
become of it at present, and I will instantly order you to be set at

“I certainly do not know what is become of it,” replied Edric. “But–”

“No!” interrupted Dr. Entwerfen, coming forward with the air of a
determined martyr, “I will not suffer such equivocation.–I would
rather perish at the stake, than disavow, for a moment, my opinions,
or betray the sacred interests of science with which I feel I am
entrusted. No, Sir! my pupil cannot make the public declaration you
require. I know he would not–and he cannot if he would;–on the
contrary, I avow the fact. We came here for the express purpose of
endeavouring to resuscitate the mummy of Cheops, and I glory in the
proud thought that we have succeeded.” (A groan of horror.) “Yes, Sir,
I do not hesitate to avow openly, that the grand object of my life,
for several successive years, has been to detect in what consisted the
strange, inexplicable secret of life. We live, Sir, we die: we are
born, and we are buried: we know that time, sickness, or violence,
may kill us; but who can say in what the mysterious principle of life
consists? Various theories have been broached, with which, no doubt,
a gentleman of your intelligence and extensive information is well
acquainted;–and life has been successively stated to depend upon the
heart, the brain, the circulation of the blood, and the respiration of
the lungs. All, however, are fallacious; the heart has been wounded,
and the brain has been removed, and yet the patient has lived, whilst
the operations of respiration and circulation have been kept up for
hours, in a body from which the vital spirit had departed. Weighing
all these and divers other arguments in my mind, it has struck me, and
indeed I may say, that after mature deliberation, I have confidently
arrived at the conclusion, that both the faculties which we call
life and soul depend entirely upon the nervous system. Do not all
philosophers agree that we receive ideas merely through the medium of
the senses? And can our senses be operated upon otherwise than through
the influence of the nerves? Ergo, the nerves alone convey ideas and
sensations to the mind–or rather, the nerves alone are the mind. Not
a single instance, I believe, is known in which life remained after
the sensorium had been destroyed, or even seriously injured. What
then can be more simple than to suppose life resides there? Pursuing
this idea, I have long been convinced that where the nervous system
remained uninjured, and the appearance of death was only occasioned
by a suspension of the operation of the animal functions, that life
might be restored, if, by the intervention of any powerful agency,
the nervous system could be excited to re-action; and as this, of
course, could not be effected where any kind of decomposition had taken
place, it appeared to me that a mummy was the only body upon which the
experiment could be tried with the least prospect of success. From
various circumstances, however, it has never till now been in my power
to realize my wishes on this head; but for a few weeks past, my pupil
has entertained similar longings to myself; and yesterday saw our hopes
accomplished. Yes; I flatter myself there cannot now remain a shadow of
doubt to the world, that, in ordinary cases, before decomposition has
taken place, that resuscitation is not only possible, but probable, and
that dead bodies may be easily restored to life.”

The horror and consternation produced by this extraordinary speech,
amongst the Anglo-Egyptians who heard it, far exceeded any human powers
of description. Their terror at what they considered as the doctor’s
daring impiety, being considerably augmented by their not understanding
above one-tenth part of what he said,–and when he had finished, there
was a dead pause which no one dared to interrupt, till a sudden gust of
wind happening to blow open the door of the justice’s retiring-room,
the terrified crowd fell back aghast one upon another, pale and
trembling, as though they absolutely expected his Infernal Majesty to
appear before them in _propriâ personâ_.

When tranquillity was in some degree restored, the judge ordered the
prisoners to be reconducted to prison.

“After the dangerous and impious speech we have just heard,” said he,
“it would be madness to trust such suspected persons at large; and yet,
I would willingly take time to consider the case, and to ascertain
whether this young man be indeed the person he represents himself; as,
I own, I should be sorry to inflict the full penalty of the law upon
the brother of her Britannic Majesty’s Commander-in-chief.”

Remonstrance was useless, and the prisoners were again conducted to
their dungeon where they were heavily chained, and left to ruminate
upon the calamities that had befallen them. Far from agreeable were
these meditations; for Edric was too angry with the doctor’s ill-timed
candour to be inclined to speak; and the doctor was too much ashamed
of the effect already produced by his eloquence, to wish to make any
farther display of it. At length, as his eyes became accustomed to the
faint glimmering light admitted into the dungeon, he perceived the wall
to which he was chained was covered with hieroglyphics, and endeavoured
to divert his chagrin by examining them.

“I congratulate you, Sir,” said Edric, when he perceived this, feeling
rather indignant at his tutor’s coolness–“I congratulate you most
sincerely upon your philosophy, and most earnestly do I wish that I
could imitate it.”

“Ah, Edric!” returned the doctor, “all men are not equally gifted.”

“With either the art of making blunders, or forgetting them,” said
Edric pointedly.

“These hieroglyphics are very curious,” observed the doctor, who
had his own reasons for not wishing to pursue the subject; “see
how beautifully the ancient Egyptians worked in granite. The fine
polish they contrived to give this hard substance would be perfectly
astonishing, if we did not recollect that they always edged their tools
with emerald dust.”

“Humph!” said Edric, in a tone which seemed to imply “and what does
it matter to me if they did?” The doctor, however, was unabashed, and
continued: “You see, as usual, the figure of the bull is frequently
repeated here. This wall is evidently built of stones gathered from
some ancient ruin. By the way, Edric, I don’t think I ever explained
to you why the ancient Egyptians chose a bull as one of their deities,
or, rather, as their principal one. You know, that anciently the year
began in Taurus, though, by the precession of the equinox, it has now
advanced past Aries. Well, as the ancient Egyptians found that the sun
began its career in Taurus, what could be more natural than that they
should identify a bull with the vivifying principle? The same theory
may account for that legend of the Chaldeans, which supposes the world
to have been produced by a bull’s striking chaos with his horn–which
horn, by the way, was probably the origin of the fable of Amalthea, or
the Horn of Plenty.”

Edric made no reply, and the doctor dreading a pause, which might give
his pupil an opportunity of upbraiding him, went on:–

“Though the Egyptians had a number of divinities, they clearly
worshipped only two, viz. the principles of good and evil. Osiris,
Isis, Cneph, Phath, Horus, and all their host of inferior deities, were
clearly types of the first, and light and life were their essence;
whilst Typhon, Campsa, and the malignant deities, exemplified the
second, and their attributes were invariably darkness and death.”

“For Heaven’s sake!” cried Edric, “say no more upon the subject, for it
is not in the power of language to describe the horror I have at the
mere thought of any thing Egyptian. Let us escape from this fearful
country, and I most sincerely hope nothing may ever happen to recall
even its recollection to my imagination.”

“Such and so changeable are the desires of human life!” said the
doctor. “But a few short weeks since, Egypt was the goal of your
wishes, and the prospect of re-animating a corpse–”

“Oh! do not mention it!” cried Edric, shuddering. “Oh God! how justly
am I punished, by the very fulfilment of my unhallowed hopes!–even now
the fearful eyes of that hideous Mummy seem to glare upon me; and even
now I feel the gripe of its horrid bony fingers on my arm!”

“Oh yes, no doubt,” exclaimed the doctor, “he pinched hard. He was a
king, and kings should have strong arms, you know.”

“For God’s sake! do not jest upon such a subject,” returned Edric; “a
subject so wild and fearful, that I can still scarcely believe but that
all which has passed was a dream.”

“If it be,” said the doctor, “it is one from which I freely avow I
should be very happy to awake, for I must confess this prison is not at
all to my taste.”

“And yet, is it not your fault–?” began Edric.

“Recrimination, Edric, is always folly,” interrupted the doctor,
who did not now feel very proud of the part he had acted before the
magistrate, nor very anxious to have it alluded to;–“and instead of
losing time in regretting past errors, it is the part of a wise man to
endeavour to find means of remedying them, and avoiding them in future.”

“Agreed!” returned Edric; “and as I presume you are now convinced your
learned dissertation on the probable seat of human life was, to say the
least, ill-timed, we will drop the subject. But, even if we get out of
prison, what is to become of us? Our money and valuables were all in
the balloon; and here we are, in a foreign country, entirely destitute.”

“Not entirely, Edric–not entirely!” cried the doctor, a glow of
satisfaction spreading itself again over his face; “no, no; I have
guarded against that; ah, what a thing it is to have foresight! Well!
some persons are certainly singularly gifted in that line, and it is
a happy thing for you that you have somebody to think for you. See
here!” displaying the things as he spoke; “here is a bed, bolster, and
pillows, ready for inflation; a portable bedstead, linen, soap, pens,
ink, paper, candles, fire, knives, forks, spoons, and money; all snugly
packed up in my walking-stick!”

“Your supporter,” returned Edric, smiling, “as you used to call it; and
as it now seems likely to prove, in more senses than one.”

“Yes, yes!” cried the doctor, “let us only get out of prison, and all
the rest will be easy.”

“But that only, doctor.”

“Of that we must take time to consider.”

“Well, it is some comfort that we are likely to be allowed time enough,
as my hint respecting the British consul did not seem thrown away upon
the judge. Oh, doctor, if you had not spoken!”

“Why, surely you would not have given him the declaration he required?”

“There was no occasion. He neither wished nor expected more than I had
already said. After what I had mentioned of my family, he only wished a
decent pretext for setting us at liberty.”

“At any rate,” said the doctor, by way of changing the subject, “you
see my doctrine is proved completely by the resuscitation of the mummy,
for it must have been perfectly restored to life and consciousness, or
it could not have flown away with the balloon.”

“For my part,” returned Edric, “I can scarcely believe what has
occurred to be real: there must be some deception. And yet, by whom can
a deception have been practised, and for what purpose? In short, I am
quite bewildered.”

The doctor being much in the same condition, could only sympathize with
his pupil; and in this state we must leave them, whilst we inquire
respecting the mysterious object of their speculations.

The mummy thus strangely recalled to life, was indeed Cheops! and
horrible were the sensations that throbbed through every nerve as
returning consciousness brought with it all the pangs of his former
existence, and renewed circulation thrilled through every vein. His
first impulse was to quit the tomb in which he had been so long
immured, and seek again the regions of light and day. Instinct seemed
to guide him to this; for, as yet, a mist hung over his faculties, and
ideas thronged in painful confusion through his mind, which he was
incapable of either arranging or analyzing.

When however he reached the plain, light and air seemed to revive
him and restore his scattered senses; and gazing wildly around he
exclaimed, “Where am I? what place is this? Methinks all seems
wondrous, new, and strange! Where is my father? And where! oh, where,
is my Arsinoë? Alas, alas!” continued he wildly; “I had forgotten–I
hoped it was a dream, a fearful dream, for methinks I have been long
asleep. Was it, indeed, reality? Are all, all gone? And was that
hideous scene true?–those horrors that still haunt my memory like
a ghastly vision? Speak! speak!” continued he, his voice rising
in thrilling energy as he spoke–“speak! let me hear the sound of
another’s voice, before my brain is lost in madness. Have I entered
Hades, or am I still on earth?–yes, yes, it is still the earth, for
there the mighty Pyramid, I caused to be erected, towers behind me. Yet
where is Memphis? where my forts and palaces? What a dark, smoky mass
of buildings now surrounds me!–Can this be the once proud Queen of
Cities? Oh, no! I see no palaces, no temples–Memphis is fallen. The
mighty barrier that protected her splendour from the waste of waters,
must have been swept away by the encroaching inroads of the swelling
Nile. But is this the Nile?” continued he, looking wildly upon the
river; “sure I must be deceived. It is the fatal river of the dead. No
papyrine boats glide smoothly on its surface; but strange, infernal
vessels, vomiting forth volumes of fire and smoke. Holy Osiris, defend
me! where am I? where have I been? A misty veil seems thrown upon the
face of nature. Awake, awake!” cried he, with a scream of agony; “set
me free; I did not mean to slay him!” Then throwing himself violently
upon the ground, he lay for some moments, apparently insensible. Then
slowly rising, he looked at himself, and a deep, unnatural shuddering
convulsed his whole frame. His sensations of identity became confused,
and he recoiled with horror from himself: “These are the trappings of
a mummy!” murmured he in a hollow whisper. “Am I then dead?” The next
instant, however, he broke into a wild laugh of derision:–“Poor,
feeble wretch!” cried he; “what do I fear?–Need _I_ tremble, in whose
bosom dwells everlasting fire? No–no! let me rather rejoice. I cannot
be more wretched; why then should I dread a change? I should rather
welcome it with transport, and bravely dare my fate.”

At this moment the car of the balloon caught his eye: “Ah! what is
that?” cried he; “I am summoned! ‘Tis the boat of Hecate, ready to
ferry me across the Mærian Lake, to learn my final doom. I come! I
come! I fear no judgment! My hell is here!” and, striking his bosom,
leaped into the car, and stamped violently against its sides.

At this instant Gregory awoke; his terror was not surprising. The
dried, distorted features of the Mummy looked yet more hideous than
before, when animated by human passions; and his deep hollow voice,
speaking in a language he did not understand, fell heavily upon his
ear, like the groans of fiends. Gregory tried to scream, but he could
not utter a sound. He attempted to fly, but his feet seemed nailed to
the spot on which he stood, and he remained with his eyes fixed upon
the Mummy, gasping for breath, while a cold sweat distilled from every
pore. In the mean time, Cheops had stumbled over the box containing
the apparatus for making inflammable air, and striking it violently,
had unintentionally set the machinery in motion. The pipes, tubes, and
bellows, instantly began to work; and the Indian-rubber bottle became
gradually inflated, till it swelled to an enormous magnitude, and
fluttered in the air like an imprisoned bird, beating itself against
the massive walls to which it was still attached.

“Still it goes not,” cried Cheops, again stamping impatiently. The
quicksilver vapour bottle had fallen beneath his feet, and it broke as
he trod upon it. The vapour burst from it with inconceivable violence,
and tearing the balloon from its fastenings, sent it off through the
air, like an arrow darting from a bow.

In the mean time, Sir Ambrose Montagu had been presented to the Queen,
and the evening after his arrival in town he attended her drawing-room.
The splendour of the English Court at this period defies description.
The walls of the room in which the Queen received her guest, were
literally one blaze of precious stones, and these being disposed in
the form of bouquets, wreaths, and trophies, were so contrived as to
quiver with every movement. These magnificent walls were relieved
by a colonnade of pillars of solid gold, around which, were twined
wreaths of jewels fixed also upon elastic gold wires, so as to tremble
every instant. The throne of the Queen was formed of gold filigree
beautifully wrought, richly chased and superbly ornamented, whilst
behind it was an immense plate of looking-glass, stretching the whole
length and height of the apartment, and giving the whole the effect
of a fairy palace. The carpet spread upon the floor of this sumptuous
saloon was so exact an imitation of green moss, with exquisitely
beautiful groups of flowers thrown carelessly upon it, that a heedless
spectator might have been completely deceived by the delicacy of
their shape and richness of their colouring, and have stooped to pick
them up, supposing them to be real. The suit of rooms appropriated to
dancing was equally splendid, and fitted up in the same manner, save
that the floors were painted to imitate the effect of the carpet, and
rows of trees were placed on each side, hung with lamps. This imitative
grove was so exquisitely managed, that the spectator could scarcely
believe it artificial; and the music for dancing proceeded from its
leaves, or from automaton birds placed carelessly amongst its branches.

The dresses of the Queen and her attendants were worthy of the
apartment they occupied. Brocaded silks, cloth of gold, embroidered
velvets, gold and silver tissues, and gossamer nets made of the
spider’s web, were mingled with precious stones and superb plumes of
feathers in a profusion quite beyond description. The most beautiful
of the female habiliments, however, were robes made of woven asbestos,
which glittered in the brilliant light like molten silver. The ladies
were all arrayed in loose trowsers, over which hung drapery in graceful
folds; and most of them carried on their heads, streams of lighted gas
forced by capillary tubes into plumes, fleurs-de-lis, or in short any
form the wearer pleased; which _jets de feu_ had an uncommonly chaste
and elegant effect. The gentlemen were all clothed in the Spanish
style, with slashed sleeves, short cloaks, and large hats, ornamented
with immense plumes of ostrich feathers, it being considered in those
days extremely vulgar to appear with the head uncovered. It would,
perhaps, have been difficult to imagine more perfect models of male
and female beauty than those which now adorned the Court of Queen
Claudia, for the _beau ideal_ of the painter’s fancy seemed realized,
nay surpassed by the noble living figures there collected. The women
were particularly lovely, and as they stood gathered round their
Queen, or lightly threaded the mazes of the graceful dance, dressed as
above described, their brows bound with circlets of precious stones,
and their glossy hair hanging in rich luxuriant ringlets upon their
ivory shoulders, they looked like a group of Houris, or the nymphs of
Circe, ready with sparkling eyes and witching voices to lure men to

Claudia was very handsome, and though her countenance wanted
expression, her noble figure and majestic bearing well qualified her
to play her part as Queen amongst this bevy of beauties, with becoming
dignity. There is something in the habit of command, when it has been
long enjoyed, that gives an imposing majesty to the manner, which
the parvenu great strive in vain to imitate; and Claudia had this in
perfection. The consciousness of beauty, power, and high birth swelled
in her bosom; and even when she wished to be affable, she was only

She now, however, received Sir Ambrose most graciously; she gave him
her snowy hand to kiss, and addressed a few words of compliment to
him, which sank deep into his heart. It is one of the privileges of
greatness easily to excite emotion; one word of commendation from those
above us, far outweighs all the laboured flattery of our inferiors.
Thus the words of Claudia, and the warm praise she bestowed on Edmund,
gave the purest transport to his father’s heart; and affected him so
violently, that he would have fallen at her feet, had he not been
supported by a young man who stood near him.

“You seem faint, Sir,” said the youth; “will you permit me to lead you
to a seat.”

“Thank you, thank you,” cried Sir Ambrose, gratefully accepting the
proffered aid, and leaning on his youthful supporter as they left the
presence. The stranger carefully placed Sir Ambrose upon a sofa, under
the harmonious trees we have already mentioned; and as he stood before
him, asking if he should procure him some refreshments, Sir Ambrose
had full leisure to survey his face and figure: both were handsome
in the extreme. The youth seemed scarcely to have passed the age of
boyhood, and his well-proportioned form displayed all the lightness and
activity of youth; but wit and good-humour laughed in his bright blue
eyes, whilst animated features and an enchanting smile completed an
_ensemble_ which few bosoms were frozen enough to resist. Sir Ambrose
was irresistibly pleased, and longed to know to whom he was indebted
for so much kindness. But he felt too delicate to ask the question in
direct terms, and there was nothing in the youth’s exterior to mark
decidedly to what rank in life he might belong.

He was handsomely dressed, and his air and manner appeared slightly
foreign; though this might be fancy, arising from Sir Ambrose’s
ignorance of the manners and habits of the Court. There also seemed
something droll about him, and the air with which he submitted to Sir
Ambrose’s scrutiny was excessively comic.

“Is there any thing I can do for you?” asked he at length, when he
thought the baronet’s curiosity had had time to satisfy itself.

“Nothing,” replied Sir Ambrose; “but–”

“But–you would like to know who I am?” said the stranger.

“I own,” returned Sir Ambrose, blushing, “I would fain know to whom I
am so much obliged.”

“My name is Henry Seymour,” replied the youth. “I was born in Spain, of
English parents. I am an orphan and in want; and have been introduced
to the Queen, in hopes of getting a place at Court, by one of her
Majesty’s physicians, Dr. Coleman.”

“I am quite ashamed,” said Sir Ambrose, “that my indiscreet
curiosity–that is, that you should have thought–I mean, that I should
have asked for–”

“In short,” interrupted the youth, “you think, perhaps, that I meant to
call you rude by giving such a long account of myself: but I always do
so in similar cases; it saves trouble.”

Sir Ambrose smiled. “You are a singular youth,” said he; “I should like
to know you better.”

“And I,” returned the stranger, “should be proud to obtain the
friendship of Sir Ambrose Montagu, and shall always reckon the day that
introduced me to his notice, as one of the happiest of my life.”

A glow of pleasure spread over the animated features of the youth as
he spoke, and Sir Ambrose fancied his accent sounded slightly Irish:
convinced, however, that he must be mistaken, he did not remark it, but
only exclaimed, “You know me, then?”

Before the stranger had time to utter a reply, the Duke of Cornwall,
and the Princesses Rosabella and Elvira approached, and prevented him
from speaking.

“How do you find yourself, my dear friend?” said the duke; “they told
us you were ill.”

“I have been slightly so,” returned Sir Ambrose; “and I believe I
should have fainted, and paid my respects to my Sovereign quite
orientally, if this gentleman had not saved me.”

“I am sure we are very much obliged to you, Sir,” said the duke,
turning to the youth.

“Indeed, we feel most grateful,” said Elvira.

The stranger made a suitable reply, and after a short conversation, in
which Dr. Coleman joined, that worthy gentleman having been also drawn
to the spot by the report of Sir Ambrose’s illness, he requested the
favour of Elvira’s hand for the dance.

“That is a very nice young man,” said the duke, when he was gone to
join the dancers: “I admire him much.”

“He deserves every thing you can say in his favour,” returned Dr.
Coleman: “I have known him long, and I love him as a son.”

When Elvira retired to her chamber that night, she sighed so often,
and so deeply, that Emma, who assisted at her toilet, could not avoid
remarking her uneasiness. “Are you ill, my dear mistress?” asked she,
in a tone of feeling; “what else can have produced this sudden change?”

“I am quite well,” said Elvira, again sighing.

“Why then do you sigh and look so thoughtful?”

“I was thinking of Lord Edmund.”

“Indeed! I did not think he had the power to make you sigh. He has
reason to feel flattered.”

“Oh, Emma! I wish he were like Henry Seymour!”

“And who is Henry Seymour?” asked Emma, smiling, and beginning to
suspect that she had been rather hasty in fancying Lord Edmund had
occasion to flatter himself on account of the Princess’s _tristesse_.

“One of the most fascinating of human beings,” returned Elvira; “so
gay, and yet so tender. He is not, perhaps, so regularly handsome as
Edmund, but he has such expressive features, and his soul gives such
animation to his countenance.”

“Poor Edmund!” thought Emma: but as she was too discreet to say so,
Elvira was not aware of the interpretation that might be put on what
she was saying; and she went on, raving of the pleasures of the ball,
till she was fairly in bed.

The following day was appointed for the triumphal entry of Lord Edmund,
and the greatest part of the night preceding it, was passed by Sir
Ambrose in the greatest agitation. He could not sleep; he rose several
times from his bed, in excessive anxiety, to listen for the repetition
of noises which he fancied he heard: once he opened his window–all
was still. His room looked into the garden of Mr. Montagu, which, as
we have already mentioned, shelved down to the Thames, and the calm
moonlight slept peacefully upon the tall, thick trees, and verdant lawn
that spread before him. The evening breeze felt cool and refreshing;
but Sir Ambrose sighed, and a strange fear of something he could not
wholly define hung over him.

He again retired to bed, and at length sank into a feverish and uneasy
doze. At daybreak, however, a thundering of cannon announced the
arrival of the important day. Sir Ambrose started from his pillow at
the first discharge, and the solemn sound thrilled through every nerve
as it pealed along the sky. Scarcely had its echoes died upon the ear,
when another, and another peal succeeded; and the heart of Sir Ambrose
throbbed in his bosom almost to suffocation, as he sate, resting his
head upon his hands, and striving, though ineffectually, to stop his
ears from the solemn sound, which seemed to absorb his every faculty,
and strike almost with the force of a blow upon his nerves.

Whilst he was still in this position, Father Morris entered the
room.–“Come, come, Sir Ambrose!” cried he, “are you not ready?
The Queen has sent for us, and the procession is just ready to set
off.”–Sir Ambrose started: he attempted to dress himself, but his
trembling hands refused to perform their office, and Father Morris
and Abelard were obliged to attire him, and lead him down to join his
friend, the duke, who was waiting for him impatiently.

It has often been said that the anticipation of pleasure is always
greater than the reality: this, however, was not the case in the
present instance, as the brilliancy of Lord Edmund’s triumph was far
greater than even the imaginations of the spectators had before dared
to conceive. The duke and Sir Ambrose, attended by Father Morris,
found the individuals who were to compose the procession of the Queen
assembled in the extensive gardens belonging to the superb palace of
Somerset House. These fine gardens, spreading their verdant groves
along the banks of the river, adorned by all the charms of nature and
art, and enriched by some of the finest specimens of sculpture in the
world, were now crowded with all the beauty and rank of England, who,
waiting for the arrival of their Sovereign, formed an _ensemble_ no
other nation in the world could hope to imitate.

In the centre walk, appeared the superb Arabian charger of the Queen,
led by his grooms, and magnificently caparisoned. His bridle was
studded with precious stones, and his hoofs cased in gold; whilst his
blue satin saddle and housings were richly embroidered and fringed with
the same metal. The noble animal, whose flowing mane and tail swept the
ground, paced proudly along, tossing his head on high, and spurning
the ground on which he trod, as though conscious he should perform a
conspicuous part in the grand pageant about to take place. All now was
ready, but yet Queen Claudia did not appear.

“It is very strange, but lately it is always so,” said Lord Maysworth
to Lord Gustavus de Montfort, who had been for some time engaged in
earnest conversation with Father Morris. Lord Gustavus started at the
sound of his friend’s voice in some apparent confusion, whilst Father
Morris replied in his usual soft, insinuating tones, “Perhaps her
Majesty may be indisposed, and have slept rather longer than usual.”

“Most likely,” returned Lord Maysworth; “yet it is strange the same
thing should happen so often.–If you remember,” continued he, again
addressing Lord Gustavus, “I made the same observation the morning of
her last levee. Indeed I have frequently made it lately, and I have
observed that she looks pale and languid.”

“Here she comes, at any rate! and for my part, I think I never saw
her look better,” said Dr. Hardman, who had now joined them, and
who, notwithstanding his violent politics, was one of the physicians
of the Court. The indolence of Claudia, which, indeed, seemed daily
increasing, having induced her to overlook what another Sovereign would
have resented.

Claudia did indeed look well, and her dress suited well with her style
of beauty. Her trowsers and vest were of pale blue satin; whilst over
her shoulders was thrown a long flowing drapery of asbestos silk,
which hanging in graceful folds, swept the ground as she walked along,
shining in the sun like a robe of woven silver. On her head, she wore
a splendid tiara of diamonds; and in her hand, she bore the regal
sceptre, surmounted by a dove, and richly ornamented with precious
stones. Thus gorgeously attired, surrounded by the ladies of her
household, she issued from her palace; and whilst her kneeling subjects
bent in humble homage around her, she mounted her noble charger. Cannon
were now fired in rapid succession; the bells of every church rang
in merry peals, and martial music mingled in the clamour. The palace
gates were thrown open, and the procession poured from them along the
streets, where crowds of human beings bustled to and fro, eager to
catch a glimpse of the sumptuous spectacle.

First advanced a long double line of monks, arrayed in sacerdotal pomp,
and bearing immensely thick lighted tapers in their hands; chanting
thanksgiving for the victory. They were followed by chorister-boys,
flinging incense from silver vases, that hung suspended by chains in
their hands, and chanting also; their shrill trebles mingling with the
deep bass voices of the priests in rich and mellow harmony. The Queen
next appeared, her prancing charger led by grooms, whilst beautiful
girls, elegantly attired, walked, on each side of their Sovereign,
scattering flowers in her path from fancy baskets made of wrought gold.
Behind the Queen, rode the ladies of her household and the principal
nobles of her Court, the superb plumes of ostrich feathers in the large
Spanish hats of the latter, with their immense mustachios, and open
shirt collars, giving them the air of some of Vandyck’s best pictures.
As they rode slowly along, their noble Arabians paced proudly, and
champed the bit, impatient of restraint.

The ladies of the Court, superbly dressed in open litters, next
appeared, borne upon the shoulders of men splendidly clad in rich
liveries. Amongst these, were Elvira and Rosabella.

These were followed by monks and boys as before, but singing a somewhat
different strain. It was now a chant of glory and triumph that swelled
upon the ear, for these preceded the duke and Sir Ambrose; who, the one
as uncle to the Queen, and the other as father of the expected hero,
occupied the post of honour. The two venerable old men sate hand in
hand in a sumptuous car drawn by two Arabian horses, and were followed
by a large body of the Queen’s guards.

The costliness and variety of the dresses worn this day, were quite
beyond description. Many of the ladies had turbans of woven glass;
whilst others carried on their hats very pretty fountains made of glass
dust, which, being thrown up in little jets by a small perpetual motion
wheel, sparkled in the sun like real water, and had a very singular

In this manner the procession advanced towards Blackheath Square, said
to be the largest and finest in the world, where the meeting between
the Queen and her general was appointed to take place. Amongst the
numerous balloons that floated in the air, enjoying this magnificent
spectacle, was one containing Father Murphy, who had been prevented,
by a sprained ankle, from joining in the procession, and the family
of Mr. Montagu–and nothing could be more enthusiastic than their
delight, as they looked down upon the splendid scene below them. Few
things, indeed, could be imagined finer than the sight of this gorgeous
_cortège_, winding slowly along a magnificent street, supposed to be
five miles long, leading from Blackfriars’ Bridge, through Greenwich,
to Blackheath.

Sumptuous rows of houses, or rather palaces, lined the sides of
this superb street; the terraces and balconies before which, were
crowded with persons of all ages, beautifully attired, waving flags
of different colours, richly embroidered and fringed with gold,
whilst festoons of the choicest flowers hung from house to house. We
have already said the air was thronged with balloons, and the crowd
increased every moment. These aërial machines, loaded with spectators
till they were in danger of breaking down, glittered in the sun, and
presented every possible variety of shape and colour. In fact, every
balloon in London or the vicinity had been put in requisition, and
enormous sums paid, in some cases, merely for the privilege of hanging
to the cords that attached the cars, whilst the innumerable multitudes
that thus loaded the air, amused themselves by scattering flowers upon
the heads of those who rode beneath.

Besides balloons, however, a variety of other modes of conveyance
fluttered in the sky. Some dandies bestrode aërial horses, inflated
with inflammable gas; whilst others floated upon wings, or glided
gently along, reclining gracefully upon aërial sledges, the last being
contrived so as to cover a sufficient column of air for their support.
As the procession approached the river, the scene became still more
animated; innumerable barges of every kind and description shot swiftly
along, or glided smoothly over the sparkling water. Some floated
with the tide in large boat-like shoes; whilst others, reclining on
couch-shaped cars, formed of mother of pearl, were drawn forward by
inflated figures representing the deities or monsters of the deep.

When the Queen reached a spot near Greenwich, where, through a spacious
opening, the river, in all its glorious majesty, burst upon her, she
paused, and commanded her trumpeters to advance and sound a flourish.
They obeyed, and after a short pause were answered by those of Lord
Edmund; the sound, mellowed by the distances, pealing along the water
in dulcet harmony. Delighted with this response, which announced the
arrival of Lord Edmund and his troops at the appointed place, the
procession of the Queen was again set in motion, and in a short time
arrived at Blackheath.

The noble square in which the meeting was to take place, was already
thronged with soldiers; whilst every house that surrounded it was
covered with spectators. No trees or fantastical ornaments spoiled
the simple grandeur of this immense space; the houses that surrounded
it, built in exact uniformity, each having a peristyle supported by
Corinthian pillars, and a highly decorated façade, looked like so many
Athenian temples. As the _cortège_ of the Queen entered the square, the
soldiers formed an opening to receive it, and reverentially knelt on
each side, with reversed arms, and bending banners as she passed. In
the centre was Lord Edmund, surrounded by his staff, all in polished
armour; for since an invention had been discovered of rendering steel
perfectly flexible, it had been generally used in war. Lord Edmund’s
helmet, however, was thrown off, and his fine countenance was displayed
to the greatest advantage, as he and his officers threw themselves from
their war steeds to kneel before the Queen. Claudia, also, descended
from her charger, and as she stood in her glittering robes, surrounded
on all sides by her kneeling subjects, she looked, indeed, their
Sovereign. With becoming dignity, she addressed a few words of thanks
and commendation to Lord Edmund, as he knelt before her, his thick,
dark, brown hair falling in clustering curls over his noble forehead.
His graceful figure was shown to the utmost advantage, by his closely
fitting armour, over which, however, upon the present occasion was
thrown a short cloak of fine scarlet cloth, richly embroidered with
gold, and fastened in front by a cord and superb tassels, made entirely
of the same metal. He looked a living personification of the God of War.

The Queen raised him from the ground in the most gracious manner; and
then turning to the still kneeling soldiers, she made a short speech
to them, of the same nature as that which she had addressed to Lord
Edmund: after which, again mounting her palfrey, she made Lord Edmund
ride by her side, and prepared to return to town. Edmund’s quick eye
had discovered, and exchanged looks of affection with his father and
friends, though the etiquette of his present situation did not permit
him to do more; and he now rode proudly by the side of the Queen,
gracefully bowing to the assembled crowd as he passed along, his heart
beating with pleasure at the thought that his triumph was witnessed by
those most dear to him; whilst his noble Arabian tossed his head and
champed his bit as he pranced forward, as though he also knew the part
he was performing in the splendid ceremony.

Acclamations rent the sky as the procession advanced, and showers
of roses were rained down upon the Queen and her general from the
balloons above; from which, also, flags waved in graceful folds, and
flapped in the wind, as the balloons floated along the sky. Every
one seemed delighted with the grandeur of this splendid pageant; but
no one experienced more pleasure than the occupiers of the balloon
of Mr. Montagu. Even that oblivious gentleman himself was moved to
exclaim, that he never was more enchanted in his life; whilst the
raptures of his spouse were so excessive, that, like the spectators of
the stag-hunt on the lake of Killarney, she was in imminent danger of
throwing herself overboard in her ecstasy: and Clara clasped her hands
together, in all the transports of childish delight, her sparkling eyes
and animated looks bearing ample witness to her gratification.

“What shouting! what a noise!” exclaimed Mr. Montagu; “I declare it
puts me in mind of the acclamations in the time of Nero, when the
Romans shouted in concert, and birds fell from the skies with the

“La! papa, is that true?” asked Clara.

“Och, and that’s a strange kind of a question,” said Father Murphy,
“and one I wouldn’t like a child of mine to be putting.”

“And why not?” asked Mr. Montagu, somewhat indignantly.

“Because a child ought always to belave what his father says, before he
hears him open his mouth.”

“How well the Queen looks!” observed Mrs. Montagu, to whom the reverend
father’s remark was far from agreeable. “It was said a short time
since, that she had lost her appetite and could get no rest; but I
think she doesn’t seem to have much the matter with her now.”

“My nurse says she’s being poisoned,” cried Clara, “and that it would
be no great matter if she was, for then the people would have to choose
a Queen for themselves, and they might make what terms they pleased
with her.”

“And is this the kind of servant you suffer to attend on my daughter,
Mrs. Montagu?” demanded the indignant father, roused from his usual
lethargy by the importance of the occasion; “Clara shall go to a
boarding-school to-morrow, and her nurse shall be dismissed. My child
shall not be taught to utter treason.”

“Dear me! Mr. Montagu,” replied the wife, “what a serious matter you
make of a little harmless gossip!”

“Gossip do you call it?” repeated her husband; “it is such gossip
as might cost me my head, and you your fortune, if it were to reach
unfriendly ears.”

An awkward pause followed this speech, which no one seemed inclined to
break, till Clara exclaimed, “Dear me! what a pretty horse my cousin
Edmund rides!”

“I think that’s a prettier that comes after him,” said Father Murphy.

“What, that one with his head hanging down and his mane sweeping the
ground?” asked Mrs. Montagu.

“Yes.–And it’s a very handsome young man also, that walks by the side
of him,” replied Father Murphy.

“His hands are chained as if he were a prisoner; and he looks like a
foreigner,” observed Mr. Montagu, who had relapsed into one of his fits
of abstraction: “I wonder what can bring him there!”

“La! Mr. Montagu, how you talk!” exclaimed his wife, “you know my
nephew Lord Edmund, has just gained a battle, and what can be more
natural than that he should have taken prisoners?”

“True,” rejoined Mr. Montagu with the utmost naïveté, “I never thought
of that!”

“Och, and it’s a barbarous custom that of putting chains about the
hands of the prisoners,” said Father Murphy, “as if it was not bad
enough to be a prisoner without looking, like one.”

“Poor fellow!” cried Clara, “I should like to go and let him loose. He
looks very melancholy!”

“How great my nephew Lord Edmund looks!” continued Mrs. Montagu: “I
declare it he were a real king he couldn’t have a grander appearance.
And then to see the poor old gentleman his father, my brother-in-law,
Sir Ambrose, sitting there hand-in-hand with the Duke of Cornwall
himself–I declare it does my heart good to look at them!”

Whilst Mrs. Montagu was thus exulting in the reflected grandeur
that shone upon her, from being sister-in-law to the person who sat
hand-in-hand with the duke, the joy and delight of that exalted
personage had been almost as great as her own.

His impatience during the whole procession from London had been
excessive; and the moment he saw Edmund, he rubbed his hands in
ecstasy, and jumping up in his seat almost overturned Sir Ambrose, who
was also bending forward eagerly gazing upon his son. “There! there
he is!” cried the duke. “Look how handsome he is! Oh the young rogue!
there’ll be many a heart lost to-day, I warrant me! Look at him, how
the colour comes into his cheeks as the Queen speaks to him! Look! Now
he helps her on her horse–and now see, he’s looking round for us!
There I caught his eye–see, Sir Ambrose! don’t you see him?–Surely
you ar’n’t crying, my old friend? Why you’ll make me as great a fool as
yourself–God bless him! I am sure I don’t know any thing we have to
cry at; but we are two old simpletons.”

Father Morris, who had joined the procession of monks, was almost as
much affected as his patron. Indeed his affection for Edmund seemed
the only human passion remaining in his ascetic breast. Cold even to
frigidity in his exterior, Father Morris seemed to regard the scenes
passing around him but as the moving figures of a magic lantern, which
glittered for a moment in glowing colours, and then vanished into
darkness, leaving no trace behind:–whilst he, unmoved as the wall over
which the gaudy but shadowy pageant had passed, saw them alternately
vanish and re-appear without the slightest emotion being excited in
his mind. Under this statue-like appearance, however, Father Morris
concealed passions as terrific as those which might be supposed to
throb in the breast of a demon: though never did his self-command
seem relaxed for a moment, but when the interests of Edmund were in
question. On the present occasion, however, joy swelled in his bosom
almost to suffocation, as he raised his eyes to Heaven, and, wringing
his hands together, exclaimed, “Oh! it is too–too much!”

There is something indescribably affecting in seeing strong emotion
expressed by those who are generally calm and unimpassioned; and Sir
Ambrose, by whom this burst of feeling from his confessor was quite
unexpected, gazed at him with the utmost surprise, and, strange to
tell, though the monk had now lived nearly twenty years under his
roof, it was the first time he had seen his head completely uncovered.
Father Morris’s cowl had now, however, fallen off entirely, and
displayed the head of a man between forty and fifty, whose fine
features bore the traces of what he had endured. His noble expressive
brow seemed wrinkled more by care than age, and his sable locks had
evidently become “grizzled here and there,” prematurely. Sir Ambrose
gazed upon him intently, for the peculiar expression of his features
seemed to recall some half-forgotten circumstance to his mind, dimly
obscured, however, by the mist of time. The earnestness with which he
consequently regarded the monk, seemed at length to recall the latter
to himself. He started, and, whilst a deep crimson flushed his usually
sallow countenance, he hastily resumed his cowl, and appeared again to
the eyes of the spectators, the same cold, unimpassioned, abstracted
being as before.

The ovation had now nearly reached Blackfriars’ bridge, at the entrance
to which, a triumphal arch had been erected. The moment the Queen
and her heroic general passed under it, a small figure of Fame was
contrived to descend from its entablature, and, hovering over the hero,
to drop a laurel crown upon his head. Shouts of applause followed this
well-executed device; and the passengers in the balloons, wondering
at the noise, all pressed forward at the same moment to ascertain the
cause of such continued acclamations. The throng of balloons became
thus every instant more dense. Some young city apprentices having hired
each a pair of wings for the day, and not exactly knowing how to manage
them, a dreadful tumult ensued; and the balloons became entangled with
the winged heroes and each other in inextricable confusion.

The noise now became tremendous; the conductors of the balloons
swearing at each other the most refined oaths, and the ladies screaming
in concert. Several balloons were rent in the scuffle and fell with
tremendous force upon the earth; whilst some cars were torn from their
supporting ropes, and others roughly overset. Luckily, however, the
whole of England was at this time so completely excavated, that falling
upon the surface of the earth was like tumbling upon the parchment of
an immense drum, and consequently only a deep hollow sound was returned
as cargo after cargo of the demolished balloons struck upon it; some of
them, indeed, rebounded several yards with the violence of the shock.

Amongst those who fell from the greatest height, and of course
rebounded most violently, were the unfortunate individuals who composed
the party of Mr. Montagu, an unlucky apprentice having poked his right
wing through the silk of their balloon, in endeavouring to avoid the
charge of an aërial horseman, who found his Æolian steed too difficult
to manage in the confusion. The car containing our friends was in
consequence precipitated to earth so rapidly, as for the moment to
deprive them of breath.

“Och, and I’m killed entirely!” cried Father Murphy.

“Oh, my bonnet! my beautiful bonnet!” sobbed Mrs. Montagu; whilst
Clara, dreadfully frightened, began to cry; and Mr. Montagu, whose
ideas were generally a long time travelling to his brain, particularly
upon occasions of sudden alarm, stood completely silent, stupidly
gazing about him, as though he had not the least notion what could
possibly have happened. Indeed, it was not till a full hour afterwards,
that he found himself sufficiently recovered to exclaim, “Dear me! I do
think we were very near being killed!”

In the mean time, the confusion in the air still continued; piercing
screams that demons were in the air, mingled horribly with the crashing
of balloons, the cries of the sufferers, and the successive falling
of heavy weights. The situation of the crowd below, however, was
infinitely worse than that of those above. The momentum of the falling
bodies being fearfully increased by the distance they had to descend,
those below had no chance of escape, and were inevitably crushed to
death by their weight, whilst the agonizing shrieks of the unfortunate
wretches who saw their danger coming from a distance, yet were so
jammed together in the crowd that they could not fly, rang shrilly upon
the ear, and pierced through every heart.

At this moment a dreadful scream ran through the crowd, and the horse
of Queen Claudia, his bridle broken, his housings torn, his nostrils
distended, and his sides streaming with gore, rushed past–“Oh God! the
Queen! the Queen!” burst from every voice, and one general rush took
place towards the spot from whence the cry had proceeded.

Beneath the triumphal arch, and partially sheltered by its shade, lay
the bleeding body of Claudia, supported by Edmund. By her side, knelt
Rosabella, who, assisted by Father Morris, was applying restoratives;
whilst Henry Seymour was endeavouring to restore Elvira, who had
fainted in the arms of her father, and Sir Ambrose, his face streaming
with blood, stood at a little distance amongst a group of courtiers,
several of whom had also experienced severe injuries. The tumult in
the air still continued; groans and shrieks and exclamations, that the
atmosphere was supernaturally haunted, were heard in many places; and
some persons declared the accident to be the work of demons. A current
of wind had blown those balloons that had become unmanageable across
the city, while the others, terrified almost to madness, appeared still
contending with some fearful monster in the sky.

The courtiers, however, heeded not this disturbance; for all their
attention was occupied by the apparently expiring Queen, whose
long-drawn sighs, and convulsed bosom, seemed to threaten her instant

“She’s gone!” cried Lord Gustavus de Montfort, as her bosom heaved with
a deep, heavy sigh, and then all was still.

“Yes, she’s dead!” repeated Lord Noodle.

“She is certainly dead!” reiterated Lord Doodle.

And then these sapient counsellors of the apparently departed Queen
shook their wise heads in sympathy.

“Hush! she breathes!” cried Lord Edmund.

For some moments, the courtiers stood in breathless anxiety watching
the body, and fearing to move lest they should break the awful silence
that prevailed, though their hearts throbbed till the pulsations were
almost audible.

Fearful was the pause that now ensued! All were suffering from the
torments of hope or fear; for all knew that the interests of the whole
community hung upon her breath. Most of the courtiers also either
hoped to gain places, or feared to lose them, whilst all trembled at
the uncertainty that seemed to rest upon their future destiny, and
the prospect of the anarchy which the purposed mode of electing their
future Sovereign might create. The interest which the fate of the Queen
excited was thus intense, and the courtiers hung over her body with
streaming eyes and motionless limbs to watch the result.

At this instant, a fearful and tremendous yell ran through the air; and
the car containing the Mummy, which had been for some time entangled
with the other balloons, fell to the ground with tremendous force,
close to the expiring Queen. The gigantic figure of Cheops started from
it as it fell–his ghastly eyes glaring with unnatural lustre upon the
terrified courtiers, who ran screaming in agony in all directions,
forgetting every thing but the horrid vision before them.

The tumult had now nearly subsided. The late busy crowd had flown,
uttering shrieks of horror and dismay; and of all the countless mass
of human beings that had so lately thronged around, none now remained
but Edmund and Father Morris, who supported Claudia; and the Duke and
Henry Seymour, who still remained near the insensible form of Elvira;
the eyes of all being chained, as though by magic, upon the horrid
vision before them; whilst they, pale and immovable as the sculptured
marble of the tomb, waited in fearful expectation of what was next to
happen, and scarcely dared to move or breathe; the solemn silence that
prevailed being only broken by the convulsive gasps of the expiring
Queen:–an awful change from the busy hum of thousands which had so
lately filled the air!

“Where am I?” exclaimed Cheops, gazing wildly around–his deep
sepulchral voice thrilling through every nerve:–“Where is Arsinoë?
Where is she? They seize her! They tear her from me! Curses on the
wretches!–May Typhon’s everlasting vengeance pursue them with its
fury, and may their hearts wither, gnawed by the never-dying snake!”

The Mummy gnashed his teeth as he spoke, and the gloom that gathered
on his dark brow grew black as night. All shuddered as that horrid
glance of eternal hatred seemed to freeze their blood. They turned away
involuntarily; and when they looked again, the spectre had disappeared.
The shattered remains of the balloon lay before them; for happening
to cross London just at the moment of the greatest confusion, it had
become entangled in the crowd, and, notwithstanding the strong material
of which it was composed, had been rent asunder in the scuffle, and had
fallen with its fearful occupier to the ground.

“Good God!” cried Father Morris, after a short pause; “what a horrid
vision! what can it mean?”

“It seemed an Egyptian Mummy,” said Edmund, shuddering; “and it spoke
that language. But what can have resuscitated it? What human power can
have recalled to life, a being so long immured in the silent tomb!”

“Perhaps the vehicle he came in may contain something to explain the
mystery,” said Henry Seymour.

At this moment several persons ran past screaming with terror, and
exclaiming that they had seen a demon. When the confusion excited by
these trembling fugitives had a little subsided, a few of the courtiers
began also to make their appearance, and return to their posts near
the Queen. But all were pale, and they started at every sound, seeming
ready, at the least alarm, to take flight again as expeditiously as

Claudia still lay insensible; her heaving chest and deep convulsive
sobs for breath, alone betraying signs of life. But her fate no
longer excited the deep, overwhelming interest it had done before.
Whispers of wonder and superstitious horror mingled with the hopes
and fears inspired by her danger; and her removal to the palace was
almost regarded with indifference, so completely were the minds of men
occupied by the strange spectacle they had so lately witnessed.

Every one, indeed, neither thought nor spoke of any thing but the
Mummy; and a thousand rumours, each more extravagant than the last,
spread from mouth to mouth respecting it. Men stood in groups
whispering to each other, and scarcely daring to stir without a
companion: nay, even then, creeping from place to place, looking
cautiously around, and starting at every noise, as though they feared
the awful visitor was returned: whilst the sages of the country gravely
shook their heads, and declared that what had taken place was evidently
a visitation from Heaven, in punishment of the sins of mankind. An
indefinable presentiment of evil hung over the spirits of all. Gloom,
indeed, spread through every class of society: all dreaded they knew
not what–and all shrunk with horror from the thought of supernatural
agency. There is an invincible feeling implanted by Nature in the mind
of man, which makes him shudder with disgust at any thing that invades
her laws.

The body of the Queen being removed, attended by her physicians and the
ladies of her household, the rest of the assembled courtiers gathered
round the balloon; and exclamations of terror and surprise broke from
their lips when they discovered it to be the same in which Edric and
Dr. Entwerfen had so short a time before taken their departure for
Egypt. The whole truth now seemed to flash upon them.

“I thought how it would be,” said Lord Maysworth; “you know I told you,
Lord Gustavus, that in my opinion it was an expedition that could never
possibly do any good–but you were of a different belief.”

“My Lord,” returned Lord Gustavus, solemnly, “thinking as I think,
and as I am convinced every one who hears me must think, or at least
ought to think, it is my deliberate opinion, that the expedition of
my youthful friend and his learned tutor was both admirably planned
and well concocted, and that if it have failed in its ulterior object,
it has been solely owing to some of those unforeseen events which
sometimes do occur even in the best regulated arrangements, and which
it was utterly impossible for any human ability entirely to ward off
and avert.”

“Edric’s balloon! Impossible!” cried Sir Ambrose, rushing forward to
ascertain the fact, and forgetting all his anger against his son in his
anxiety for his fate. “Yes! yes!” continued he, looking at some of the
things, as they were drawn forth and exhibited by different persons in
the crowd; “those were Edric’s books–that was his desk. Oh! my son! my
son! what is become of him?”

Many sympathized with the unfortunate father, and more eagerly
questioned each other as to the probable meaning of what they saw. No
one, however, could give any explanation; and all was confusion and
dismay. The bosom of Edmund, after the first moment of excitation had
passed, was racked with anguish too bitter to allow him to feel curious
even to know his brother’s fate. But a few hours before, love and
fortune seemed to unite in showering their choicest blessings upon his
head, and now he was the most wretched of mankind; for if Claudia died,
Rosabella or Elvira must be queen; and if Elvira should be chosen, all
hopes of becoming her husband must be lost.

“Oh, God!” cried he, striking his forehead in agony, “why was I
reserved for this? Why did I not perish fighting the battles of my
country? And why was I saved only to be mocked with the hope of
happiness, which, just as it seemed within my grasp, flies from me for
ever? Wretch that I am! would that I had been never born, or at least
had died in my nurse’s arms, and thus escaped the tormenting pangs that
now drive me to distraction!”

Whilst Edmund thus raved, the eye of Rosabella followed his every
movement, and seemed with a fiend-like pleasure to exult in his
agonies. “I am avenged,” thought she; “he now feels what I have so
often suffered. But this is not all; he must be probed to the quick ere
he can know the bitter vengeance of a woman scorned.”

Whilst these violent emotions were convulsing the bosoms of all around,
the old duke knelt by the side of Elvira, gazing upon her with the most
intense anxiety. Her gentle and feminine nature had been overpowered at
seeing the blood of Claudia, and she still lay insensible, looking more
exquisitely lovely than fancy can conceive. The beauty of Elvira was of
the most soft and feminine description; long silken eyelashes shaded
her dark hazel eyes, and gave them an expression more voluptuous than
brilliant, whilst nothing could exceed the delicacy of her complexion,
or the beauty of her full rosy lips. The figure of Elvira might not
have served as the model of a courageous heroine, but it would have
suited admirably for an Houri; and lovely as she always was, she had
perhaps never looked more so than at this moment, as the returning
blood softly retinted her cheeks, and her eyes gradually unclosed.
Lord Edmund gazed upon her, till, maddened by the thought that he must
lose her for ever, he could no longer endure his own sensations, and,
darting amongst the crowd, he endeavoured to fly from the world and
from himself.

The duke, on the contrary, saw the recovery of his daughter with
unalloyed transport, for though he loved Edmund, and wished to have
him for a son-in-law, he was by no means insensible to the prospect
of seeing his daughter a Queen, and his breast throbbed with violent
emotions, which had long been a stranger to it.

In the mean time the Mummy had stalked solemnly through the city, urged
more by instinct than design; the mist that still clung over him,
making him seem like one wandering in a dream. Yet still he advanced;
his path, like that of a destroying angel, spreading consternation
as he went, and all he met flying horror-stricken from his sight:
many, however, when the monster had passed, crept softly back to gaze
after him, and amongst this number was Mrs. Montagu, in whose breast
curiosity, that vice of low minds, reigned predominant.

The whole family had reached home in perfect safety, the lady herself
hurrying her return, the moment the accident of the Queen was made
known: lest, as she said, in the confusion that might ensue, her
servants might be induced to leave her house, and some evil disposed
personages might strip it of its contents. Urged by this prudent
motive, Mrs. Montagu had hastened home, and finding all safe, was just
about to retire to re-arrange her disordered dress, when one of the
servants rushed into the room with the account of a fearful spirit
having been seen in the Strand, whose mysterious appearance, coupled
with the singular accident that had happened to the Queen, seemed to
portend some dreadful calamity that was about to fall upon the country.

“What is it like?” asked Mrs. Montagu; “have you seen it, Evelina?”

“Oh yes, ma’am!” cried the panting girl; “its eyes flare like fire, and
it stares so wildly round it! and as it went along it saw a dead cat
lying in the street; and it knelt down and took the creature up, and
kissed it, and lamented over it in such a strange way, and in such a
strange language! I never heard any thing like it in my life.”

“Oh, dear! I should like to see it!” cried Mrs. Montagu, flying to
the door, and holding it half open to secure a retreat in case of
necessity. Just as she reached the street, however, fate, as though
willing to gratify her curiosity, occasioned the Mummy to turn back;
and with that kind of half pleasure and half pain, with which the good
people of England sometimes delight to gaze upon any thing horrible,
Mrs. Montagu continued to look as it rapidly approached her dwelling,
till, as it reached the door, to her infinite horror it stalked
towards it. Awe-struck and trembling, Mrs. Montagu retreated. The
Mummy followed her. He stretched his hand out to her. She shrunk back
aghast from his touch. “Lead on!” cried he with a voice of thunder.
Mrs. Montagu could bear no more, and she fled screaming to the parlour,
where her husband was already lost in some of his beloved calculations.

Absent as Mr. Montagu generally was, however, he was roused by this
unexpected intrusion, and the blood ran chilly through his veins, as
he saw the tall majestic figure of Cheops stride across the apartment.
His athletic stature, his dark swarthy complexion, and his strongly
marked features, aided by the fearful lustre of his piercing eyes,
gave to his figure, swathed as it yet was in the vestments of the
grave, a supernatural grandeur that thrilled through every nerve of Mr.
Montagu’s frame, and he shrunk back with horror as his fearful guest
stalked past him.

Cheops saw his terror, and smiled in proud disdain as he threw himself
upon a couch, placed near a window looking upon the garden, which, as
we have before stated, shelved down to the river. There he lay, his
eyes fixed upon the majestic Thames, whilst Mr. and Mrs. Montagu gazed
with trembling limbs and pallid lips at their strange guest, without
daring either to approach or disturb him.

“Thus have I watched the Nile,” said Cheops, his awful voice sounding
as from the tomb, “whilst the gently rising waters have gradually
swelled into the flood which was to pour joy and plenty over the
land:–and thus, too, have I lain, gazing upon its streams, when, the
purpose of all-bounteous Nature having been fulfilled, it has sunk
back, slowly retiring to its natural bed. But, oh! how different were
the feelings that then throbbed in my breast, to the corroding fire
that now consumes me!–Oh! Osiris! what horrid thoughts flash through
my brain!–they come like overwhelming floods pouring from heaven to
the great deep, sweeping all before them in one mighty ruin.–Oh!
Arsinoë! by the fell rites of Typhon, there’s madness in the thought!”

Then springing from the couch, his eyes glared with yet fiercer
brilliancy as he flashed them round, whilst Mr. and Mrs. Montagu,
terrified beyond the power of expression, flew towards the door, eyeing
the motions of their dangerous guest with feelings of unspeakable
horror. The storm of passions in the breast of Cheops, however, though
tremendous, seemed soon allayed; for ere many moments had elapsed, he
sank again upon the couch in a kind of lethargy, which, if it were not
slumber, seemed at least to imply a temporary cessation from pain.

“Thank God!” whispered Mr. Montagu, as he motioned to his wife to
creep out of the apartment. She tremblingly obeyed; and the moment
she thought herself in safety, she threw herself upon her knees,
and thanked God with more fervour than she had ever done before in
her whole life; whilst the servants, who were all assembled in the
ante-room, crowded round her, trembling and with pallid cheeks and
white lips, clustering together like bees swarming round their queen.

“Oh, madam! madam!” exclaimed Angelina, in a whisper, “what will become
of us? A serous moisture transudes from every pore in my body with the
chilliness of death, and my very hair erects itself with horror upon my

“And my heart throbs with such violence,” said Cecilia, “that the whole
arterial system seems deranged.”

“It is evidently an Egyptian Mummy,” observed Mr. Montagu, and, as he
seldom spoke, every word he uttered was listened to as an oracle. “Its
language and its dress bespeak its origin, but by what strange event it
has been resuscitated–”

At this moment a sharp knock at the door made the terrified servants
all spring closer together, clinging to each other in an agony of
nervous horror, and not one daring to approach the door. The knocking
and ringing, however, at length became so violent, as to rouse even Mr.
Montagu to give the clamorous intruders entrance. It was Father Morris
and Sir Ambrose.

“Oh, my dear brother!” cried the latter, panting for breath; “have you
heard the news? The strangest vision has appeared, and the Queen is
certainly dying. Every one says it is a demon.”

“What, the Mummy?” asked Mr. Montagu.

“Have you heard of it then?” said Sir Ambrose eagerly.

“It is now in this house,” cried Mrs. Montagu.

“In this house!” repeated her brother-in-law; whilst Father Morris, who
had looked pale and exhausted when he entered the hall, became still
paler, and looked scarcely able to support himself.

“To arms!” cried Cheops from the inner room; “the Palli are upon us!
Cowards that we are, the enemy are at our gates!”

Screaming, and scarcely knowing where they went, the terrified servants
tumbled over each other in the hastiness of their retreat, huddling
themselves together in a heap, yet keeping their eyes fixed upon the
door from which they expected the spectre to appear, as though charmed
by the fascination of a rattle-snake.

A loud crash now produced a fresh scream; then all was still. After a
long pause, which seemed of endless duration, Father Morris, evidently
with a dreadful effort, roused himself and advanced–

“Death itself is not so horrid as this suspense,” said he, as he
resolutely threw open the door of the room, which had contained the
Mummy, and entered it. It was empty–but the broken frame-work of the
window seemed to point out in what manner the awful visitor had made
his exit.

It was with infinite difficulty that Mrs. Montagu could be persuaded
to return to the room; and when she did, the remainder of the day
was passed by her, and every inhabitant of her mansion, in fear and
trembling. When they spoke, it was in whispers, and when they moved,
they crept along with stealthy noiseless steps, as though they feared
the echo of their own footsteps: the eyes of all fixed timidly upon the
broken window, through which the fearful stranger had disappeared.

Slowly and heavily the hours rolled on, till the time appointed for
dinner arrived: the servants, as they served the meal, looking timidly
around, instead of regarding the dishes they carried in their hands,
and the family scarcely daring to eat, and only speaking in whispers,
whilst they started every moment, fancying the wild eyes of Cheops
again glared upon them, and his deep hollow voice again rang in their
ears; and their own tones sounded strangely hoarse and unnatural.
Nothing, however, had terrified Mrs. Montagu so much as the laugh of
Cheops; strange, wild, and unearthly, it still seemed to ring in her
ears, like the yell of a demon; whilst, if any thing that happened,
chanced to recall the appalling sound, her limbs shook in every joint;
her teeth chattered in her head; terror blanched her lips and cheeks
to a ghastly paleness, and she seemed every instant upon the point of
rising from her seat and flying shrieking from the room.

In the mean time, the sensations these extraordinary events had
created amongst the people were indescribable. Strange rumours and
contradictory reports were circulated, and the most incredible stories
invented of all that had passed. The minds of men became bewildered;
they knew not what to credit nor what to think; a gloomy presentiment
hung over them; they seemed to feel some fearful change was at hand,
but scarcely knew what to hope or what to fear. Business was at a
stand: people indeed gathered together in the shops, but it was only to
whisper secretly to each other, strange mysterious stories of the late
marvellous events, which they dared not breathe in public. The extremes
of ignorance and civilization tend alike to produce credulity, and the
wildest and most improbable stories were as greedily swallowed by the
most enlightened people in the world, as they could have been even by a
horde of uncultivated barbarians.

The family of Mr. Montagu retired early to rest at the close of the
eventful day we have been speaking of, hoping to lose in sleep the
remembrance of the harassing events they had so lately witnessed. Lord
Edmund had returned soon after the disappearance of the Mummy; but he
had locked himself in his chamber, and had refused to see any one, his
mind being too much agitated for him to endure the common forms of
society. All was soon quiet throughout the mansion.

It was midnight when a tall figure wrapped in a large cloak, appeared
slowly gliding with catlike steps through the garden of Mr. Montagu.
It cautiously avoided the light, and crept along the shadiest walks
and thickest allies, carefully shrouding itself from observation,
and endeavouring, by availing itself of the shelter of the trees,
the better to conceal its movements. It has been already stated that
the garden of Mr. Montagu was only separated from that of the duke
by a terrace very little used; the door, indeed, leading to it from
Mr. Montagu’s premises, had been so long closed up, as to be nearly
forgotten, and yet it was towards this unfrequented spot that the
mysterious figure directed its course. The long neglected door slowly
opened, and the stream of light it admitted, was obscured for a moment
by a passing shade; and then all seemed dark, silent, and mysterious as

“It certainly went that way,” said a voice, the preciseness of which
marked it as belonging to Abelard; “and it was a real, tangible,
material form, as I saw its shadow intercept the light when the door
was opened and it passed through.”

“It is quite impossible,” cried Evelina, one of Mrs. Montagu’s
housemaids, who having been induced by the inconstant butler to take
a ramble with him by moonlight, had also witnessed this strange
apparition; “you must be mistaken Mr. Abelard, for that door has not
been opened this age. It is even nailed up, as you may see yourself if
you examine it.”

“It is very strange,” said Abelard, after he had tried the door and
found it immovable; “I certainly saw it open.”

“It must have been an optical delusion, Mr. Abelard,” said Evelina;
“the retina of the eye is sometimes strangely affected, and represents
objects quite different to what they really are.”

“I must consult Father Morris about it to-morrow,” resumed the butler;
“for it was certainly the Mummy spectre.”

“La! do you think so, Mr. Abelard?” said Evelina, turning pale; “why
then didn’t you speak to it.”

“I will if it comes again,” returned Abelard.

“Oh! there it is!” cried Evelina; and the worthy pair flew back to the
house, screaming in concert, and without once daring to look behind
them. Scarcely, however, had the last echo of their footsteps died away
upon the ear, when the figure emerged from the recess in which it had
lain concealed, and again crept slowly towards the door leading into
the garden of the duke.

“Hist! Marianne!” cried he, pausing for a reply; but all was still.
“Marianne!” repeated he still louder–“Fools! dolts! idiots!” continued
he, stamping violently, as he still found his call of no avail; “they
have kept me so long with their cursed folly, that she is gone. Eternal
misery haunt them for their officious babbling. By Heaven! if they had
had the sense to climb the wall, I had been lost:–but hark, she comes!”

The door now slowly opened, and a female figure holding a light

“How is she?” cried the stranger.

“Better,” returned the female.

“Then it is past the power of man to kill her,” resumed the first; and
rushing wildly past her he buried himself in the deepest recesses of
the grove.

Father Morris, when Abelard and Evelina confessed to him the following
morning the strange spectre they had witnessed, treated the whole as
the mere vision of their heated imaginations, and refusing to listen
to any of their surmises respecting it, prepared to attend the Queen,
who, finding herself sufficiently recovered to be able to attend to the
duties of religion, had, from the general reputation of his superior
sanctity, sent for him to confess her. Her Majesty, indeed, seemed
rapidly improving, and the hopes of Edmund reviving with her health, he
passed every hour he could abstract from the duties of his station, at
the feet of his adored Elvira, his love for whom, seemed increased by
the imminence of the danger he had just escaped, of losing her for ever.

In this manner several days had passed, and the strange visit of the
Mummy, and the accident of the Queen, had already taken their place
on the shelf with the other _événements passés_ of the day; when one
morning Sir Ambrose was startled by an earnest message from the Duke
of Cornwall, entreating him to come to him without delay. Sir Ambrose
immediately obeyed the summons, and found the duke walking up and down
his study in a state of the greatest agitation, which Father Morris was
vainly endeavouring to tranquillize.

“Oh, my beloved friend!” exclaimed the duke, springing forward and
grasping the baronet’s hand the moment he saw him approach: “my dear
Sir Ambrose, Claudia is no more!”

“Dead!” cried Sir Ambrose, involuntarily looking at Father Morris,
whose aspect, however, still preserved only its usual cold and
statue-like appearance. “Are you sure that she is dead?–I thought she
was better.”

“So we all did,” said the duke: “but alas! we deceived ourselves, for
Father Morris has just seen her expire. Oh! where is Edmund–why is he
not with you?–what will become of him? It will destroy him to lose
Elvira: and I, too, that have felt so proud in the expectation of his
becoming my son-in-law, oh, it will break my heart!”

“Oh!” cried Father Murphy, who was also present; “and if that’s the
case, why don’t you let Rosabella take the crown at once, and make no
more fuss about it.”

“And yet,” continued the duke, “I cannot bear that Elvira should be
deprived of her right, she would so become a crown; and with her
inflexible sense of justice, and desire for improvement, she would do
so much good that I should not feel justified in depriving the country
of such a sovereign.”

“Thus,” said Father Morris, smiling, “do we deceive ourselves; you
are ambitious whilst you think that you are only just. Believe me,
if you consult Elvira’s real happiness, you will not impose upon her
the troublesome duties of a crown: she will make a better wife than a
queen; for her gentle nature is less fitted to command than to obey.
Rosabella has more firmness.”

“I do not agree with you, Father,” said Sir Ambrose; “in my opinion
Elvira is infinitely better fitted to be a queen than Rosabella, for
her passions are more under the control of reason.”

“That is to say,” resumed the monk, sneeringly, “they have not yet been
called into play.”

“What do you mean, Father?” began the duke.

“Nothing that could give you offence, my Lord,” returned the priest.
“Disgusted myself with the world, I naturally thought the princess most
likely to find happiness where I seek it myself–viz. in a life of
quiet and retirement.”

“Enough,” said the duke: “but where is Edmund? Let us seek him; no
doubt he is with Elvira–poor things! we must spoil their billing and

Edmund was with Elvira, and was passionately urging his suit, whilst
she, engaged with her embroidery frame, listened with a half abstracted
mind, and Emma duteously waited behind her chair.

“You do not love me,” said he, “or you could not answer with such
provoking coldness.”

“Indeed I do, Edmund, but you are so unreasonable. I have already told
you I have no idea of that passionate overwhelming love you appear to
feel, it absolutely terrifies me, and I am sure it is not natural to my
character.–This silk is too dark, Emma–and so, Edmund, if you feel
you cannot be happy with such love as it is in my power to bestow, we
had better determine at once to separate.”

“Good God!” exclaimed Edmund, striking his forehead violently with his
clenched hand; “how coldly you talk of our separation!”

“What can I do? I try every thing in my power to please you. Emma, give
me my scissors. But since you will not hear reason–”

“Reason!” cried Edmund fiercely, seizing her arm, and then letting it
go again; “If you talk of reason you will drive me distracted!”

“You quite terrify me with your violence, Edmund,” said Elvira, rising,
and preparing to quit the room.

“Oh stay! stay, my adored Elvira!” exclaimed Lord Edmund, throwing
himself upon his knees and catching her hand; “for Heaven’s sake, stay!
pardon my impetuosity–frown upon me, treat me with coldness, disdain,
or contempt, but do not, do not leave me.”

“I do not know what you wish; I have repeatedly told you I am ready to
become your wife whenever our parents think fit; and that I will do
every thing in my power to make you happy. Do you call that coldness?”

“I do–I do indeed: freezing, insulting coldness. Oh, Elvira! I would
rather see you spurn me–hear you declare you hated me, or know that
you doomed me to destruction, than hear you speak of our marriage in
that calm, unvaried tone.”

“How unreasonable you are!” said Elvira, smiling. “Hear him, Emma; is
he not a singular being? And if I find it so difficult to please him
now, what must I expect when I become his wife?”

“Tormenting girl!” exclaimed Edmund, “you know your power but too well.”

“What ridiculous creatures these lords of the creation are!” said
Elvira, playfully holding out her hand to Edmund, though she still
affected to address Emma; “I really don’t think any of them know what
they would have; and I believe the only way to manage them is to make
one’s-self perfectly disagreeable.”

“That _you_ can never do,” cried Edmund, rapturously kissing her hand.

At this moment a slight tap at the door announced the arrival of the
duke and his friends.

“So, so!” said the duke, “we have found you, have we? but you must take
your leave of such tender scenes for the future.”

“What do you mean?” asked Edmund.

“The Queen is dead,” said Sir Ambrose. The glowing countenance of
Edmund turned of a ghastly paleness; and his livid lips quivered, as he
leaned against the window for support.

“Assist him!” cried the duke. “He will faint! Don’t distress yourself,
Edmund; the death of Claudia shall make no alteration in your

“I am better,” said Edmund faintly, attempting to smile, and waving off
all assistance; “‘Twas but for a moment: the suddenness of the shock
overcame me: I thought the Queen was better.”

“She was supposed so,” returned the duke; “but it seems she had some
internal malady her physicians were not aware of. An inward bruise, I
believe. But don’t make yourself unhappy about it, Edmund; I cannot
bear to see you wretched. Let Rosabella take the crown, and think no
more about it.”

“Your Grace wrongs me,” said Edmund, his fine countenance glowing
with the exalted feelings of his soul. “However I may suffer from the
violence of my feelings, I can never permit them to interfere with
my sense of duty. Elvira has a right to ascend the throne, and if my
exertions can ensure her success, she shall be Queen.”

“Thou art a brave lad!” cried the duke. “And will you really try to
secure the election of Elvira, when you know, by so doing, you will
deprive yourself of her for ever?”

“I shall do my duty,” said Lord Edmund, pressing his lips firmly
together, as though to suppress his feelings. Father Morris looked at
him from under his over-shadowing cowl with a kind of sardonic smile,
which seemed to say “You speak well, but let us see how you will act.”

“My noble Edmund!” murmured Sir Ambrose, tears rolling down his cheeks.

Elvira’s eyes thanked her lover for his disinterestedness; and the
glow of anticipated triumph which flushed her cheeks, betrayed, that
neither her love for Edmund, nor the grief for the loss of her cousin,
could suppress her joy at the flattering prospect opened before her.
“Elvira!” said Lord Edmund, gazing upon her earnestly, as though he
would penetrate the inmost recesses of her bosom. “What are your
wishes? Do not hesitate to declare them, for alas! much hangs upon your

Elvira blushed, and cast her eyes upon the ground; however, Lord Edmund
comprehended but too well the meaning of her silence, and he sighed
deeply. “It is enough,” said he, in a mournful tone; “then the die is
cast.” He paused a few moments, whilst his friends, though they all
looked at him with the deepest commiseration, respected his emotion
too much to venture to interrupt it: then rousing himself, he hastily
brushed a tear from his eye, and exclaimed, “How weak is human nature!
I know my duty, and I will perform it; but yet–Oh Elvira!”

“Compose yourself, my beloved Edmund,” said his father; “to-morrow you
will be more calm.”

“Oh, talk not of to-morrow!” replied Edmund; “to-day is the season for
action. Keep the death of Claudia concealed a few hours, if possible. I
will in the mean time assemble my friends: I know the army is devoted
to me. A council of state will be chosen to direct the kingdom during
the interregnum. I must be one of its members: some weeks must elapse
before the election can take place, I think?”

“Three months is the time fixed,” said the duke: “but you know the
votes of all the people are to be collected, and that, with such a
population as ours, will be no trifle: to be sure, it is the deputies
that are to do the business, but then it will take some time to elect

“When the founder of the present dynasty ordained her successor should
be chosen by the votes of the whole people,” said Sir Ambrose; “she
wisely recollected the difficulty that must arise from collecting their
votes impartially, and directed they should elect deputies; but when
she ordered that every ten thousand men throughout the kingdom should
choose a deputy of their own rank and station to come to London to
represent them, she did not calculate upon the immensity of our present
population, nor think of the evils the presence of such a disorderly
body of men must bring upon the capital.”

“Yet any attempt to reduce their number, would inevitably overturn
the government,” observed Father Morris; “for as it is the only act
of freedom the people have long been permitted to enjoy, they will be
proportionably tenacious of it.”

“And the majority of these deputies are to decide the election,” said
Edmund, musing; “then our business must be to secure that majority.
Think you that any good can be done by endeavouring to procure the
return of those who are disposed to be favourable to us?”

“Very little,” returned Father Morris, to whom this observation was
addressed; “for the lower classes, from their conceit and pedantry, are
extremely difficult to manage. Their deputies, however, notwithstanding
the ordinance of the Queen, will probably be more polished, and less
learned, as the lower classes will be ill able to spare the time
necessary to become deputies, whilst the country gentlemen will be
delighted to obtain something to do.”

“We must be prompt,” said the duke, “at all events. I don’t like delay.”

“True!” replied Edmund, starting from a reverie into which he had
fallen; “I must get myself nominated a member of the council, and we
must arrange our other plans afterwards.”

The party now separated, and Elvira, left alone with her companion,
indulged in dreams of future grandeur. “I am sorry for the death
of Claudia,” said she, “but I never loved her; she was so cold and
uninteresting–such a mere matter-of-fact being–she had no soul, Emma,
and how can one love a being so totally passionless and insipid? I
wonder,” continued she, after a short pause, “what Henry Seymour will
think of this?”

Emma smiled. “Poor Lord Edmund!” said she.

“I know what you would say,” returned Elvira; “I am sorry for him, and
I admire his conduct extremely. There is really something very noble
about him.”

Emma again smiled, for she saw, in spite of this admiration, that in a
week poor Lord Edmund would be forgotten.

In the mean time, poor Rosabella’s mind was a prey to the most violent
passions. A billet from Father Morris had informed her of the death of
her cousin, and of the designs brooding against her interests. “I will
be revenged,” said she; “I will show them mine is not a soul to dwell
upon impotent grief. I will assemble my friends; my father’s party was
strong in the state; it cannot be quite extinct. Let me see, to whom
shall I apply?”

“The Lords Noodle and Doodle (both of ancient families) were both
devoted to your father, and were under great obligations to him when
they were young,” observed Marianne.

“But they are such fools!” said Rosabella.

“They are well connected,” returned her confidant; “and power does not
always attend upon talent.”

“True, and, as they are so weak, I may guide them as I will.”

“Do not rely upon that: folly is generally obstinate; and though there
may be hopes of convincing a man of sense, fools will always have their
own way.”

“How then are they to be dealt with?”

“By letting them fancy they direct, when, in fact, they are directed.
Apply to Lords Noodle and Doodle, as though for advice, more than
assistance. Consult them how you ought to act, and suggest the
advantages that will arise from your possessing the throne so artfully,
that they may fancy what you say the dictates of their own minds, and
then, if they advise any course, they in some measure pledge themselves
to support you, if you pursue it.”

“I do not doubt obtaining their sanction, and that of Lord Gustavus
de Montfort; but I wish I could also obtain the countenance of Dr.
Hardman, for he has many friends, and some talents,” said Rosabella;
“and I own I do not feel satisfied to trust myself entirely in the
hands of any of the others.”

“Talk of liberty and public spirit,” replied Marianne; “promise a
redress of grievances, and a radical reform of all evils, and you may
secure Dr. Hardman. Yet he is not a fool; nay, he is even shrewd,
penetrating, and persevering; but as lunatics are generally mad only
upon one subject, so even men of sense have generally some prevailing
folly, and his is, that of being thought of importance in the state.
Indeed, in my opinion, there are very few human beings that we may not
make subservient to our views, if we have but penetration enough to
discover their weak sides, and art enough to avail ourselves of the

“The world is very much obliged to you for the high opinion you have of
it,” returned Rosabella; “however, I like your advice, and will pursue
it. But do you think Father Morris will approve?”

“Oh, I will answer for him,” interrupted Marianne.

“I will then write to each of the three lords,” continued Rosabella;
“and appoint a time and place for an interview with each. I must attend
to the doctor afterwards.”

“Beware,” said Marianne; “you have a difficult game to play. The old
proverb says, it is well to have two strings to one’s bow; but four, I
fear, will be too much for you to manage.”

“Fear me not,” cried her mistress; “impetuous as I generally am, I can
be cautious when I see occasion.”

In pursuance of her resolution, Rosabella wrote to the noblemen, whose
assistance she wished to secure; and receiving favourable answers, the
hour of twelve that night was fixed upon for a secret meeting between
Lord Gustavus and herself upon the subject. The utmost secrecy was
requisite, as Rosabella knew the fiery temper of her uncle, and felt
confident, that if he discovered her plans before they were ripe for
execution, his vengeance would have no bounds. She wished, therefore,
to ascertain her strength privately; and, as she was aware a fruitless
struggle would only involve her in ruin, she resolved not to betray her
intentions till there appeared at least a fair prospect of success.

For this reason, when the duke informed her of the death of the Queen,
she affected only the surprise she might naturally be supposed to feel
at the suddenness of the event; and appeared absorbed in grief for the
loss of her cousin, without seeming even to think of the consequences
likely to ensue to herself; in short, she acted her part so well, that
the duke was completely deceived; and when he returned to Sir Ambrose,
after his conference with her, he exclaimed, “We had no occasion to
alarm ourselves, or give ourselves so much trouble: I don’t believe
Rosabella even thinks about the throne; and I am sure she doesn’t care
a straw whether she has it or not. I am even confident, from what I
have seen to-night, that I have only to express my wishes in favour of
Elvira, to have her resign all pretensions immediately.”

Sir Ambrose smiled and shook his head incredulously, and the duke was
provoked; for, like all weak, obstinate men, he was extremely tenacious
of the infallibility of his judgment.

“Why do you shake your head?” said he; “Do you disbelieve my assertion?”

“I do not disbelieve your assertion; I only doubt your penetration!”

“And why do you doubt that?”

“Because I know Rosabella.”

“Then you think her indifference affected?”

“I think it too great to be real. Moderation is not by any means a
characteristic of Rosabella. She is ever in extremes; and when she
appears otherwise, depend upon it she is only acting a part, and she
has some end in view that she hopes to gain by it.”

“Well, let her be as sly as she will, she cannot deceive me! I’ll watch
her! I’ll defy her to think, walk, look, or speak, without my knowing
of it; and if I find she nourishes even the thought of rivalling
Elvira, she shall quit my house immediately. I will encourage no

Sir Ambrose smiled inwardly at the mistaken confidence of his friend
in his own judgment. Thinking it useless, however, to irritate him
by farther opposition, he endeavoured to turn the conversation upon
another subject. “It is strange,” said he, “how frequently I have been
thinking of that Mummy. If there be no deception in the business, it is
a perfect miracle!”

“And what deception can there be?” returned the duke, peevishly:
“you think yourself so very wise, and that you know so much better
than other people, only because you are always suspecting something
wrong. Now, for my part, I think, as poor Dr. Entwerfen used to say,
‘Incredulity is often as much the offspring of folly as credulity’!”

“I wonder what has become of the doctor and Edric? for, ill as Edric
behaved, he is still my son; and I own I should like to know where he

“Oh! I don’t think you have the least occasion in the world to trouble
yourself about him. Depend upon it, he and his mad friend, Doctor
Entwerfen are rambling about Egypt, and are happier now than ever they
were before in their lives.”

“If you are right,” said Sir Ambrose, “and they are now in Egypt; as
they have lost their balloon, they may be even in want of necessaries.”

“And it is very right they should be so,” replied the duke; “what
business had they to go away?”

The hours of this eventful day rolled on heavily with Rosabella; the
important consequences of the struggle she was about to engage in
forcibly impressed her mind. Ruin must inevitably ensue if she failed,
and even if she succeeded, her path seemed strewed with thorns. The
anxiety natural to the intrigues she was about to be involved in,
also hung about her. Though haughty and vindictive, Rosabella was
not naturally deceitful. Indeed the very violence and impetuosity of
her passions rendered it difficult for her to appear otherwise than
she really was. The secret intercourse, however, which, through the
intervention of Marianne, she had long maintained with Father Morris,
had somewhat practised her in concealment, but it was still repugnant
to her nature. She was now anxiously expecting a visit from the
reverend father, and as he was generally remarkably punctual to his
appointments, his non-appearance filled her with a sensation of dread;
and a presentiment of evil crept over her, that she tried in vain to

“It is long past the hour the father mentioned,” said Marianne, after
a long pause, during which she had been listening with the utmost
attention to every sound. “I cannot imagine the cause of his absence.
Surely our plans have not been discovered.” And as she spoke, her
blanched cheeks and livid lips betrayal the deep interest she took in
his fate.

“How gloomily that heavy bell clangs in my ear!” said Rosabella; “it
seems to ring the death-knell of my hopes. A gloomy foreboding hangs
upon my mind, and undefinable horrors rise in dim perspective before

“Hark!” cried Marianne, her sense of hearing sharpened by anxiety; “he
comes! yes, yes, he comes,” added she, after a short pause; and in a
few seconds Rosabella heard the Father’s well-known step. “You are very
late,” said she, as he entered the room.

“Good God! what is the matter?” asked Marianne, as the haggard,
agitated features of the priest met her eye. “You look like one who has
held communion with infernal spirits.”

“You say right, Marianne,” replied the Father, in a deep hollow tone;
“I have, indeed, conversed with spirits–for never could those fearful
eyes that so long have glared upon me, belong to mortal.”

“What do you mean?” asked Rosabella.

“I have again seen the Mummy! that fearful spectre from the tomb. I
have even conversed with him, and he lives and breathes; nay even
reasons, thinks, and speaks like a human being; but the cerecloths of
the grave are still wrapped round him, his fearful eyes glare with
unearthly lustre, and his deep sepulchral voice thrills through every

“What, that horrid creature whom we saw descend from above at the very
moment of Claudia’s accident? Heaven grant no horrible consequences may
ensue from so awful an invasion of the general laws of nature!” said

“Are you certain it is no deception?” asked Marianne.

“Deception!” returned the priest, “even I trembled, Marianne, when I
gazed upon the countenance of that tremendous being, and read there
the traces of fierce and ungoverned passions, wild and destructive in
their course as the raging whirlwind. Even I, dreaded the influence he
might exert upon our destinies, and shuddered at the thought of such
a creature’s being released from the fetters of the tomb, and sent
back as a destroying spirit upon earth. The eternal gloom that hangs
upon his brow, seems to bespeak a fallen angel, for such is the deadly
hate that must have animated the rebellious spirits when expelled
from heaven. His look is terrific; and my blood froze in my veins at
his horrid laugh, which seemed to ring in my ears like the mockery of
fiends when they have involved a human being inextricably in their

“It may be a fiend,” murmured Marianne, in a low whisper. At this
moment, the clock struck twelve.

Rosabella started at the sound. “Lord Gustavus will expect me,” cried

“Go, then,” replied the priest, “with Marianne. I will follow

With trembling limbs, beating heart, and all the trepidation which the
consciousness of guilt cannot fail to give even to the firmest mind,
Rosabella and Marianne proceeded to the terrace, where they found Lord
Gustavus waiting to receive them.

“You may think it strange, my Lord,” said the agitated princess, as she
advanced, leaving her confidant at the gate which led from the garden,
“that I should desire this meeting.”

“By no means–by no means,” said Lord Gustavus, condescendingly.
“Indeed, I have already had some conversation with an emissary of
yours, that has let me into your views; and I find from him your ideas
upon several important subjects are so clear, so just, so sensible, and
so accordant with my own, that I feel disposed to become your partizan,
even before you utter a syllable.”

“And who is this emissary?” asked Rosabella, unable to account for a
reception so unexpectedly gracious, and alarmed at what she feared a
premature exposure of her plans.

“Father Morris,” replied Lord Gustavus, alarmed in his turn, lest he
should have unguardedly committed himself: “he told me, he was an
accredited agent of yours, and even induced me to–to–”

“Your Lordship need not hesitate,” returned Rosabella; “I was not
aware, that Father Morris had seen you, or I should not have expressed

“I have been induced then,” said Lord Gustavus, “to bring with me
two friends of mine, Lord Maysworth and Dr. Hardman. They are fully
convinced of the justness of your ideas respecting retrenchment and
reform; and they think your plans of curtailing the expenditure, by
throwing all the power of the state into the hands of a few trustworthy
individuals, upon whom you may thoroughly rely, (such as them or
myself, for instance,) most excellent.”

Poor Rosabella was here completely puzzled, as she had not the
slightest idea of what plan Lord Gustavus could possibly allude to;
nor indeed was it probable she should, it being entirely the offspring
of the creative brain of Father Morris, invented by him solely for the
purpose of the winning of the noble lords, to whom he had confided
it, over to her party. Rosabella was naturally quick, and, possessing
abundantly that very unexplainable, but well-known faculty, designated
“tact,” she instantly divined the motive that had induced Father Morris
to attribute this scheme to her, and determined to avoid, if possible,
betraying her ignorance.

Lord Maysworth and Dr. Hardman, who had remained at a little distance,
and whom the agitation of Rosabella had prevented her before seeing,
now advanced; and after having been presented to the princess, the
former assured her of his devotion to her cause.

“I admire your ideas exceedingly,” said he; “and particularly your
intention of removing Lord Edmund from the command of the army, and
placing an older and more experienced person in his stead.”

“Lord Edmund!” cried Rosabella, thrown off her guard by the sudden
mention of that name.

“Father Morris told me so,” resumed Lord Maysworth, in surprise.

“And he told you truly,” interrupted Rosabella. “Father Morris is
worthy of all the confidence I can repose in him; and, in fact, he
knows my inmost thoughts; but I was not aware that he had seen you.”

A conversation now ensued, in the course of which Lord Maysworth
detailed, with admirable minuteness, a variety of subjects calling for
reform. Rosabella did not understand half he said, for his calculations
bewildered her; and her mind, accustomed to soar with the eagle
flight of genius, and take in oceans with a glance, could scarcely
condescend to listen to the petty articles of economy in expenditure,
to which it seemed principally his object to draw her attention. She
assented, however, to all he said; and having let him speak as long as
he liked, without showing symptoms of weariness, and having luckily
said ‘yes’ and ‘no’ in the right places, he departed quite enchanted,
and completely gained over to her party, declaring her to be, without
exception, one of the most sensible young women he had ever conversed
with in his life. To this, Lord Gustavus and Dr. Hardman assented, as
she had appeared also to acquiesce in all they had said; and the noble
lords and learned doctor departed perfectly satisfied.

Scarcely were they gone, when Father Morris appeared. “My dear father!”
exclaimed Rosabella, enraptured at the result of the interview,
“congratulate me! Lord Maysworth, Dr. Hardman, and Lord Gustavus, are
our own.”

“I rejoice sincerely, my child,” returned the priest; “for Heaven knows
I feel as great an interest in your welfare as in my own. But what did
they say? Let us hear if your hopes are well founded.”

“At first their expressions were rather of a negative nature–for they
told me rather that a party existed against my rival, than for myself.
They say the duke has many enemies, from his obstinate and conceited
disposition; they said also that my father _had_ had many friends.”

“And do they exist no longer then, that you lay such emphasis on the
word _had_?'” asked Father Morris bitterly.

“They exist, but it seems my father has been so unfortunate as to lose
their friendship,” returned Rosabella; “Lord Gustavus even alluded to
some crime, which he said he had committed.”

“Crime! Did he dare to call it crime?”

“He did indeed, and it is not possible to describe the torture
that rent my bosom as he spoke. I always knew my father had been
unfortunate, but I never before even suspected him of having been

“Nor was he guilty, girl! none but fools or idiots dare breathe such an
accusation against his name.”

“Ten thousand blessings on you for relieving my mind from the agony of
believing him unworthy of my love. I am perfectly satisfied with your
assurance; and yet, methinks, I would fain know his history.”

“Rosabella, you never knew your father; you were but three years
old when circumstances occurred that urged him to commit a deed
of desperation. Seek not to inquire farther; and endeavour, since
misfortune has thrown a shade over your father’s name, to redeem it by
the lustre of your own.”

“As an obscure individual, whatever might be my will, power would be

“But it shall not be wanting. You shall be Queen. I swear it, though
all the powers of heaven and earth should unite to oppose my designs,
and though even blood should be necessary to seal the compact–”

He was going on when a fiendish laugh rang in his ears; and, looking
up, he beheld the gigantic form of Cheops standing over him. The bright
moonbeams showed, with horrible distinctness, the strange attire,
savage features, and unearthly gaze of the Mummy, as his horrid laugh
echoed from the wall behind them and pealed across the water. Rosabella
had not before seen him, except when she knelt before the dying Queen;
and, shrieking with horror, she fled for refuge to her uncle’s garden,
whilst Cheops thus tauntingly addressed the priest.

“You were conspiring mischief. Though the language your lips employed
was unknown to me, that of your looks was clear. Men do not cast their
eyes upon the earth, and murmur forth their accents as though they
trembled at the sound of their own voices, when their purposes are
such as will bear avowal. Make me your confidant, and by the aid of
my serpent deity, my guardian Cneph, I may assist you: but force me
to become your enemy, and Typhon himself never pursued Isis and the
infant Horus with more unrelenting vengeance than I will follow you and
destroy your plans.”

Dreading alike to trust, or enrage this mysterious being, and cursing
the evil chance that had led him to that spot, Father Morris, who, like
all the English in those days, was an universal linguist, found himself
obliged partially to obey this injunction, and inform the Mummy of his
design. Cheops burst into one of his terrific laughs of derision. “And
so,” he said, “you would make yonder feeble girl who fled screaming
at my approach, a Queen. A fit monarch for a warlike people. Can a
woman’s arm resist an invasion of the Palli, or a woman’s hands direct
the reins of Mizraim’s government? Alas! alas! where am I wandering?
I forgot the change wrought in my destiny, and that your people seem
powerless as the sovereign you would give them. Be satisfied, I will
not betray thee. Indeed, so do I hate thy countrymen, that I shall
rejoice to see thee triumph in deceiving them. Beware, however, how
thou attemptest to deceive me, lest my vengeance, quick, sure, and
unforeseen as the secret agency of the Epoptæ, should fall upon and
crush thee at the very moment of the fruition of thy wishes.”

Fearing, whilst he hated the mysterious being thus strangely thrust
into his most inmost secrets, Father Morris promised obedience, and the
Mummy retreated within the walls of Mrs. Montagu’s garden; ere he left
the priest, however, he held out his hand to him. “Give me your hand,”
said he, “and let us seal our compact.” Father Morris shuddered as he
obeyed; for the words of the Mummy recalled those he had just employed,
when this fearful apparition broke in upon him, and brought with them
a train of thoughts he would now willingly have shaken off. He did not
dare, however, to refuse, and reluctantly held out his hand: the Mummy
seized it with an iron grasp, and an icy chill seemed to creep from his
hand to Father Morris’s heart, as he burst into one of his demon-like
laughs and left him.

Father Morris, unable to shake off the horror that oppressed him,
for he felt as though he had entered into a compact with a fiend,
stood gazing at the supernatural appearance of Cheops as he stalked
across the terrace. His gaunt figure (rendered more awful by the
grave-clothes that bound it) was magnified in the moonbeams, which
seemed to increase, rather than to mitigate the unearthly ugliness
of the apparition they shone upon. The priest was fixed in a fearful
trance: in imagination, he still felt the cold and iron grasp of
the Mummy, whose eyes seemed as though they were still looking into
his very soul, and whose solemn accents were even now scaring his
faculties. At length, however, Father Morris recovered something of
his self-possession, and fled from the spot (he scarcely knew in what
direction) under the fear, at every turning, of again encountering the
dreaded Mummy!