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“ From this deep slumber I awoke I saw the same accursed figure standing with a start. I knew I had had a hor- full front, and gazing at me with its rible dream ; but what it was I could stony and fiendish countenance, not not remember. My heart was thump- two yards from the bedside.” ing furiously; I felt bewildered and Tom stopped here, and wiped the feverish; I sate up in the bed, and perspiration from his face. I felt very looked about the room. A broad flood queer. The girl was as pale as Tom; of moonlight came in through the cur- and, assembled as we were in the very tainless window ; everything was as I scene of these adventures, we were all, had last seen it; and though the do- I dare say, equally grateful for the mestic squabble in the back lane was, clear daylight and the resuming bustle unhappily for me, allayed, I yet could out of doors. hear a pleasant fellow singing, on his “ For about three seconds only I saw way home, the then popular comic dit- it plainly, then it grew indistinct ; ty called, · Murphy Delany.' Taking but, for a long time, there was someadvantage of this diversion I lay down thing like a column of dark vapour again, with my face towards the fire- where it had been standing, between me place, and closing my eyes, did my and the wall ; and I felt sure that he best to think of nothing else but the still was there. After a good while, song, which was every moment grow- this appearance went too. I took my ing fainter in the distance :
clothes down stairs to the ball, and
dressed there, with the door half open ; • • 'Twas Murphy Delany, so funny and frisky, Stept into a shebeen shop to get his skin full;
then went out into the street, and He reeled out again pretty well lined with whis- walked about the town till morning, key,
when I came back, in a miserable state As fresh as a shamrock, as blind as a bull.'
of nervousness and exhaustion. I was “ The singer, whose condition I dare such a fool, Dick, as to be ashamed to say resembled that of his hero, was tell you how I came to be so upset. I soon too far off to regale my ears any thought you would laugh at me; es. more; and as his music died away, I pecially as I had always talked philomyself sank into a doze, neither sound sophy, and treated your ghosts with nor refreshing. Somehow the song contempt. I concluded you would give had got into my head, and I went me no quarter; and so kept my tale meandering on through the adventures of horror to myself. of my respectable fellow-countryman, “Now, Dick, you will hardly believe who, on emerging from the "shebeen me, when I assure you, that for many shop,' fell into a river, from which he nights after this last experience, I did was fished up to be . sat upon by a not go to my room at all. I used to coroner's jury, who having learned sit up for a while in the drawing-room from a horse-doctor' that he was after you had gone up to your bed ; and • dead as a door-nail, so there was an then steal down sofily to the hall.door, end,' returned their verdict accord- let myself out, and sit in the · Robin ingly, just as he returned to his senses ; Hood' tavern until the last guest went when an angry altercation and a pitched off; and then I got through the night battle between the body and the co- like a sentry, pacing the streets till roner winds up the lay with due spirit morning. and pleasantry.
“For more than a week I never slept - Through this ballad I continued in a bed. I sometimes had a snooze with a weary monotony to plod, down on a form in the · Robin Hood,' and to the very last line, and then da capo, sometimes a nap in a chair during the and so on, in my uncomfortable balf. day ; but regular sleep I had absolutesleep, for how long, I can't conjecture. I ly none. found myself at last, however, mutter- “I was quite resolved that we should ing dead as a door-nail, so there was get into another house; but I could an end ;' and something like another not bring myself to tell you the reason, voice within me, seemed to say, very and I somehow put it off from day to faintly, but sharply, dead! dead! day, although my life was, during every dead i and may the Lord have mercy hour of this procrastination, rendered on your soul!' and instantaneously I as miserable as that of a felon with the was wide awake, and staring right be- constables on his track. I was growfore me from the pillow.
ing absolutely ill from this wretched “Now—will you believe it, Dick?- mode of life.
« One afternoon I determined to en. place. Its back was rather towards me, joy an hour's sleep upon your bed. I but I could not be mistaken ; it turned hated mine; so that I had never, ex- slowly round, and, merciful heavens ! cept in a stealthy visit every day to there was the stony face, with its inunmake it, lest Martha should discover fernal lineaments of malignity and de. the secret of my nightly absence, en- spair, gloating on me.
There was tered the ill-omened chamber.
now no doubt as to its consciousness of - As ill-luck would have it, you had my presence, and the hellish malice locked your bedroom, and taken away with which it was animated, for it the key. I went into my own to unset- arose, and drew close to the bedside. tle the bedclothes, as usual, and give There was a rope about its neck, and the bed the appearance of having been the other end, coiled up, it held stiftly slept in. Now, a variety of circum- in its hand. stances concurred to bring about the “My good angel nerved me for this dreadful scene through which I was horrible crisis. I remained for some that night to pass. In the first place, I seconds transfixed by the gaze of this was literally overpowered with fatigue, tremendous phantom. He came close and longing for sleep; in the next to the bed, and appeared on the point place, the effect of this extreme ex- of mounting upon it. The next in haustion upon my nerves resembled stant I was upon the floor at the far that of a narcotic, and rendered me side, and in a moment more was, I less susceptible than, perhaps, I should don't know how, upon the lobby. in any other condition have been, of “ But the spell was not yet broken; the exciting fears which had become the valley of the shadow of death was habitual to me. Then again, a little not yet traversed. The abhorred bit of the window was open, a pleasant phantom was before me there; it was freshness pervaded the room, and, to standing near the banisters, stooping crown all, the cheerful sun of day was a little, and with one end of the rope making the room quite pleasant. What round its own neck, was poising a was to prevent my enjoying an hour's noose at the other, as if to throw over nap here? The whole air was resonant mine; and while engaged in this balewith the cheerful hum of life, and the ful pantomime, it wore a smile so senbroad matter-of-fact light of day filled sual, so unspeakably dreadful, that my every corner of the room.
senses were nearly overpowered. I saw “Í yielded-stifling my qualms-to and remember nothing more, until I the almost overpowering temptation ;
found myself in your room. and merely throwing off my coat, and “I had a wonderful escape, Dick loosening my cravat, I lay down, limit- there is no disputing that - an escape ing myself to half-an-hour's doze in for which, while I live, I shall bless the the unwonted enjoyment of a feather mercy of heaven. No one can conceive bed, a coverlet, and bolster.
or imagine what it is for flesh and “It was horribly insidious; and the blood to stand in the presence of such demon, no doubt, marked my infa- a thing, but one who has had the tertuated preparations. Dolt that I was, rific experience. Dick, Dick, a shaI fancied, with mind and body worn dow has passed over me—a chill has out for want of sleep, and an arrear crossed my blood and marrow, and I of a full week's rest to my credit, that will never be the same again — never, such a measure as half-an-hour's sleep, Dick-never!" in such a situation, was possible. My Our handmaid, a mature girl of fivesleep was death-like, long, and dream- and-forty, as I have said, stayed her less.
hand, as Tom's story proceeded, and - Without a start or fearful sensa. by little and little drew near to us, tion of any kind, I waked gently, but with open mouth, and her brows concompletely. It was, as you have good tracted over her little, beady black reason to remember, long past mid- eyes, till stealing a glance over her night - I believe, about two o'clock. shoulder pow and then, she estab. When sleep has been deep and long lished herself close behind us. Durenough to satisfy nature thoroughly, ing the relation, she had made various one often wakens in this way, sudden- earnest comments, in an undertone; ly, tranquilly, and completely. but these and her ejaculations, for the
“ There was a figure seated in that sake of brevity and simplicity, I have lumbering, old sofa-chair, near the fire. omitted in my narration.
VOL. XLII.-NO. CCLII.
“It's often I heard tell of it," she God rest his soul, to frighten the little now said, " but I never believed it girl out of the world the way he did, rightly till now—though, indeed, why was what was mostly thought and beshould not I? Does not my mother, lieved by every one. My mother says down there in the lane, know quare how the poor little crathure was his stories, God bless us, beyant telling own child; for he was by all accounts about it? But you ought not to have an ould villain every way, an' the slept in the back bedroom. She was hangin'est judge that ever was known loath to let me be going in and out of in Ireland's ground.” that room even in the day time, let From what you said about the dan alone for any Christian to spend the ger of sleeping in that bedroom," said night in it; for sure she says it was his 1, “I suppose there were stories own bedroom."
about the ghost having appeared there “ Whose own bedroom?" we asked, to others." in a breath.
- Well, there was things said—quare “Why, his — the ould Judge's — things, surely,” she answered, as it Judge Horrock's, to be sure, God rest seemed, with some reluctance. « And his sowl;" and she looked fearfully why would not there? Sure was it round.
not up in that same room he slept for “ Amen!" I muttered. « But did more than twenty years? and was it he die there?"
not in the alcove he got the rope ready “ Die there! No, not quite there,” that done his own business at last, the she said. “Shure, was not it over the way he done many a betther man's in banisters he hung himself, the ould his lifetime ?-and was not the body sinner, God be merciful to us all ? and lying in the same bed afther death, was not it in the alcove they found the and put in the coffin there, too, and handles of the skipping-rope cut off, and carried out to his grave from it in the knife where he was setiling the cord, Pether's churchyard, afther the coGod bless us, to hang himself with ? roner was done? But there was quare It was his housekeeper's daughter stories - my mother has them allowned the rope, my mother often told about how one Nicholas Spaight got me, and the child never throve after, into trouble on the head of it. and used to be starting up out of her “And what did they say of this Nisleep, and screeching in the night time, cholas Spaight?" I asked. wid dhrames and frights that cum an
Oh, for that matther, it's soon her; and they said how it was the sper- told," she answered. rit of the ould Judge that was torment- And she certainly did relate a very in' her; and she used to be roaring strange story, which so piqued my cuand yelling out to hould back the big riosity, that I took occasion to visit ould fellow with the crooked neck; and the ancient lady, her mother, from then she'd screech Oh, the master! whom I learned many very curious the master! he's stampin' at me, and particulars. Indeed, I am tempted beckoning to me! Mother, darling, to tell the tale, but my fingers are don't let me go! And so the poor weary, and I must defer it. But if crathure died at last, and the docthers you wish to hear it another time, I said it was wather on the brain, for it shall do my best. was all they could say."
When we had heard the strange tale “ How long ago was all this?" I I have not told you, we put one or two asked.
further questions to her about the “Oh, then, how would I know ?” alleged spectral visitations, to which she answered. “But it must be a won- the house had, ever since the death of dherful long time ago, for the house- the wicked old Judge, been subjected. keeper was an ould woman, with a pipe “ No one ever had luck in it," she in her mouth, and not a tooth left, told us. " There was always cross acand betther nor eighty years ould cidents, sudden deaths, and short times when my mother was first married ; in it. The first that tuck it was a faand they said she was a rale buxom, mily—I forget their name—but at any fine-dressed woman when the ould rate there was two young ladies and Judge come to his end; an', indeed, their papa. He was about sixty, and my mother's not far from eighty years a stout healthy gentleman as you'd ould herself this day; and what made wish to see at that age. Well, he it worse for the unnatural ould villain, slept in that unlucky back bedroom ;
and, God between us an' harm ! sure and there, sure enough, he was lying enough he was found dead one morning, on the lower stairs, under the lobby, half out of the bed, with his head as with his neck smashed double undher black as a sloe, and swelled like a pud. him, where he was flung over the badin', hanging down near the floor. It nisters." was a fit, they said. He was as dead Then the handmaiden added as a mackerel, and so he could not say “ I'll go down to the lane, and send what it was; but the ould people was up Joe Gavvey to pack up the rest of all sure that it was nothing at all but the taythings, and bring all the things the ould Judge, God bless us ! that across to your new lodgings.” frightened him out of his senses and his And so we all sallied out together, life together.
each of us breathing more freely, I “ Some time after there was a rich have no doubt, as we crossed that ill. old maiden lady took the house. I omened threshold for the last time. don't know which room she slept in, Now, I may add thus much, in combut she lived alone; and at any pliance with the immemorial usage of rate, one morning, the servants go- the realm of fiction, which sees the ing down early to their work, found hero not only through his adventures, her sitting on the passage - stairs, but fairly out of the world. You must shivering and talkin' to herself, quite have perceived that what the flesh, mad; and never a word more could blood, and bone hero of romance proany of them or her friends get from per is to the regular compounder of her ever afterwards but, "Don't ask fiction, this old house of brick, wood, me to go, for I promised to wait and mortar is to the humble recorder for him. They never made out from of this true tale. I, therefore, relate, her who it was she meant by him, but as in duty bound, the catastrophe of course those that knew all about the which ultimately befell it, which was ould house were at no loss for the simply this—that about two years submeaning of all that happened to her. sequently to my story it was taken by
“ Then afterwards, when the house a quack doctor, who called himself was let out in lodgings, there was Micky Baron Dullstoerf, and filled the parlour Byrne that took the same room, with windows with bottles of indescribable his wife and three little children ; and horrors preserved in brandy, and the sure I heard Mrs. Byrne myself telling newspapers with the usual grandilohow the children used to be lifted up quent and mendacious advertisements. in the bed at night, she could not see This gentleman among his virtues did by what mains; and how (they were not reckon sobriety, and one night, starting and screeching every hour, being overcome with much wine, he just all as one as the housekeeper's little set fire to his bed curtains, partially girl that died, till at last one night burned himself, and totally consumed poor Micky had a dhrop in him, the the house. It was afterwards rebuilt, way he used now and again ; and what and for a time an undertaker estabdo you think, in the middle of the lished himself in the premises. night he thought he heard a noise on I have now told you my own and the stairs, and being in liquor, no- Tom's adventures, together with some thing less id do him but out he must valuable collateral particulars; and go himself to
see what was wrong, having acquitted myself of my engageWell, after that, all she ever heard of ment, I wish you a very good night, him was himself sayin' Oh, God!' and pleasant dreams. and a tumble that shook the very house;
• Who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings ?"—Isaiah, xxxiii, 14,
Far, far beyond the furthest bound
Of mortal sight, or mortal sound,
That brimstone lake of molten flame,
That pit of infamy and shame,
Each scorching eye to Heaven they raise,
From out that red sulphuric blaze, One drop, one cooling drop from pitying Heaven to crave.
There gnaw they still their tongues for pain,
There curse for evermore in vain.
Oh! who those scalding tears shall dry?
Or paint the matchless agony
Remembrance of the hopes no more,
The crown within their reach before, The Saviour's sacrifice that diadem to win.
For spotless robe of shining white,
For crown of glory, fair and bright,
Around each charred, yet deathless brow,
There wreathes the smoke of ages now;
Yet, worse than all, the blissful song,
The harpings of the white-robed throng,
Do now the tortured ear attain
To poison more the cup of pain, And more the depth profound of their dread fall disclose.
Their happy seat of bliss on high,
Where falls no tear, nor heaveth sigh, Their Lord's approving sinile, his words of welcome sweet.
All, all before the eye appear,
Yet never more the heart to cheer,
O Crucified! be mine the power
To seek Thee in a favoured hour,
And deign upon my honoured head
Thy heavenly benediction shed,