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our side. Who can this old gentleman be ? again we reflected. He was a man about fifty, with a very little very grey hair, pleasing features, distingué look, and a decidedly benevolent expression of countenance. His dress surprised us not a little. It was new, and fitted liim well, yet it had a strange appearance that militated against the fitness of things. That white cravat so accurately tied_that swallow-tailed coat with the red ribbon in the button-hole—those boots so carefully polished -what had they to do on the person of an ancient gentleman, about midnight hours, putting up at the Black Eagle, in Cisa, amidst the Apennines.

“I think you sent for me?” said our visiter inquiringly. We assured him that we had not. He seemed surprised, hemmed two or three times, applied a cambric pocket-handkerchief to his mouth, and reflectively rapped the lid of his gold snuff-box. Still he sat near us, looking very polite and

very benevolent. We forget exactly how the conversation began. One thing we do recollect is, that, when it did commence, it appeared as if it would never end. Excited by the courtly inquisitiveness of the old gentleman, we soon set his mind completely at ease as to our individuality, and concluded by informing him that we were en route to India for the purpose of joining our regiment, which had been ordered up to the war. Thus far it was à propos: after this, digressions many and various led us through a variety of subjects, of which we have not retained the slightest recollection. We cannot as much as guess the steps by which we were led to discuss the pretensions of Cornelius Agrippa, and the magic mirror in which the beauteous Geraldine appeared to her absent lover. Upon this latter point we remember being sceptical. The old gentleman was credulous, without, however, becoming fierce. He smiled once or twice with a slight peculiarity of look, and hemmed perhaps a little oftener than before. His smile excited us ; we launched out into a diatribe against all believers in magic, demonology, and witchcraft, exulted in Lane's Egyptian failure, and concluded with asking our listener tauntingly, whether he could be the dupe of such impostors as Dr Dee or Torreblanea? Again the old gentleman smiled peculiarly. "I have studied the

“I subject a little," he quietly remarked—“it is a very abstruse one."

And verily so it appeared ; we nearly cried peccavi at the end of his dissertation upon it.

“But,” said he, concluding, “perhaps you would like to see a small specimen of my powers. Give me your hand, I must first mesmerise you."

Somehow or other, his fingers seemed to scorch our skin. Unlike mesmerisers, in general, he certainly succeeded. We slept soundly in a few minutes.

CHAPTER V.-THE FIRST SCENE PRESENTED TO OUR VIEW. At first, a veil of darkness covered our eyes. Gradually the black background began to lighten up, and there appeared a little group of figures, whose misty outlines every minute grew more ling and distinct.

The scene was a handsome bedroom, probably in an old English country-house, to judge from the polished oaken wainscoting, the family portraits, and the many articles of comfort and luxury which were strewed about it. At the further end, upon a large bed, hung with damask curtains, reclined a young woman, to all appearance dying. Her hand was clasped in that of her husband, who was sitting upon a chair, close by; and, on the other side, lay a child, sleeping, with his tiny thumb in his mouth, utterly unconscious of all that was going on. Near the bed, stood an old lady, of fierce aspect, and two or three young ones, all dressed in deep mourning, We were certain that we had seen their faces before, so familiar they appeared to us ; but an unusual air about them, and the antiquated fashions in which the figures were dressed, prevented our immediately recognising them.

“Reflect, dearest Kate," said the old lady at the conclusion of a long argument; “reflect upon what you are determined to do. Your mother has her jointure—an ample one for a woman of her years, and a widow, too; but your daughter-your younger son ! what will become of them If you refuse to give up the will, all your father's property goes to this boy, and who knows how he may turn out? You beggar your other children. Kate, dearest, be a mother to them all. Give up the will, let the entail be cut off, and solemnly we promise you that this boy shall not suffer for it."

All eyes were turned upon the young mother's face, with the deep anxiety of interestedness. “Mamma," said she languidly, "you are right; you, my sisters, my other children, all must not suffer for the boy's sake. Bring the deed; I will sign it."

Those around her gave short time for reflection, as they quitted the room immediately with their prize. The husband followed them, without kissing his wife's pale forehead; even the old nurse left the sick chamber.

The child awoke, cried faintly, and clutched his parent's night-dress with all the might of his little hands. The poor mother turned round with difficulty, and sank backwards upon the pile of pillows, weeping bitterly. “My boy, my poor boy, what have they made me do?”

A violent fit of hysterics recalled the old nurse, but not the husband, or the mother, or the sisters.

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The scene gradually melted away before our eyes, which, to say the truth, had lost something of their clearness of vision. Such incidents are affecting for more reasons than one.


After a few minutes' interval, appeared another tableau vivant. Two figures were looking out of a drawing-room window; the elder a youth about twenty, the younger not more than sixteen. A lovely little figure she was not quite fully formed, but so full of promise! How well we recognised those bright brown eyes, that silky bair, and soft red lips. From a million of charming necks and waists, we could have singled out that neck and waist. But this is par parenthese. She was leaning towards her companion, clasping his hand, and fascinating him with such a look of confiding and innocent love, that the poor wretch seemed quite overpowered by it.

Anne, love, pray don't look so. I must-I must go! you know I must. Would my aunt ever allow us to-tom as long as I have little fortune, no profession, prospects, or name? Only a few years, dearest! How many have made fortunes in India, and why should not I?”

“ But this dreadful war, Tom !”

“Well, what of it? If I am to die, surely I should break my neck as certainly at some Cambridge foxhunt, as be shot by an Indian matchlock. Come, dearest cousin, you are a soldier's daughter too. Don't dissuade me; don't, darling! Indeed, I can't bear to see you cry.”

This the little girl well knew. In five minutes, all her cousin's resolutions would have melted away in half-a-dozen tears; so she wept on, knowing that she was winning her point.

“Anne,” cried a wiry voice, “and Thomas, what are you two doing there?

The two turned round, and saw behind them the yellow face, purplish hair, glaring eyes, thin lips, and wrinkled front of the maiden aunt. She was gnawing the stumps of her well-bitten nails, as usual, when in a turbid state of mind.

Anne, go to your room. Thomas, your father writes that he is waiting for you at Gravesend ; and the steamer starts from London Bridge at twelve-it is now nine.”

Thomas had scarcely time to rush up to his bedroom, pen a few hurried lines to his cousin, and slip the note into her hand when saying goodby. With brimming eyes and a bursting heart, he rushed out of the room ; the sight of certain tears had quite unmanned him. He stood for a moment or two upon the staircase, but did not hear the concluding sentence of the aiden aunt.

Anne, let me see the note Thomas put into your hand. I insist upon it, or your mother shall be informed of the whole affair."

In spite of our drowsiness we now became seriously affected. We retain strong recollections of old maiden aunts.


We had a presentiment that the third act would be somewhat tragical and exciting

The two figures re-appeared; at least, we knew that they were intended to be the same pair; yet they were altered. The little girl had grown into a lovely woman. Her figure was taller, its form more developed, and far more striking. There was not so much alteration in her features, except that they were a little more regular, and, perhaps, less pretty than before. The other actor we recognised at once. A few years had told heavily upon him; his hair was thin, his face had lost much of the appearance of youth; it seemed as if toil and care had stamped deep lines upon his brow. The sickness of disappointed hope had made him an old man before he had ceased to be a young one.

The pair was sitting en tête-á-tête before the fireside, both looking intently at the burning coals; she with the air of a resolution permanently taken-he restless and agitated.

“So Anne, dearest Anne, in seven short years of absence you have forgotten?"

“No, Thomas, I have forgotten nothing. But all our friends are so averse to it. I cannot-I cannot

“ Save me from my friends," rejoined he bitterly. “My friends have ever been my worst foes, from the day when they cozened away my birthright till now—now that they would deprive me of all that's worth living for. Then there is no hope for me, dearest cousin ?”

Anne shook her head. She could not but know why the friends were averse. Certainly, it was hard for poor Thomas! It was not his fault. She knew he had done all he could to deserve her, but he was still poor, SO Anne shook her head.

Ile looked at her for a moment; then turned his face away, determined that she should not see his tears. A few minutes of gloomy silence passed slowly, very slowly. At length he rose, wished a cold good night, and left the room for India once more.

At this moment, we were startled by the appearance of the old gentleman's countenance. It began to wear an expression of malicious joy, and display other diabolical passions. Our excitement changed apprehension, and the past scenes gave us little desire to peer into futurity. We endeavoured to struggle, but could not-tried to shriek in vain, and closed our eyes ; and yet saw clearly through our eyelids.

The old gentleman was determined to punish us for incredulity!


Again the black curtain fades away.

In the far distance, lies a vast plain, studded with little villages, of mud houses, with here and there a few stunted mimosa trees. A narrow canal divides into two equal parts; the near one is occupied by a few thousand men-British troops, as their red coats, polished bayonets, and symmetrical order, prove. Opposite them, in a position, flanked by a jungle, thick with thorny underwood, stands a huge mass of barbarians, gaily clad in gaudy cottons, bright silks, and satins, and flashing mail-coats. Tomtoms are sounding; the wheeling of cavalry raises clouds of dust, and an occasional matchlock sounds like a challenge to “ come on.”

The reconnoitreing is over. Hark! the steady firing of artillery is heard, on the left of the British line. Regularly, as on parade, the guns are served. Their admirable precision tells upon the enemy's park, with fearful effect. At last, a column of blue smoke is seen slowly rising through the clear morning air; men and guns, horses and bullocks, are scattered round its base, like chaff before the whirlwind. A tumbril has blown up! At this moment the bugle rings, “advance in echellon from the left.”

Steadily step off the white-faced red-coats, followed by their dark comrades. They charge up to the little watercourse, which separates them from the enemy. What makes them stand? No halt has sounded! The watercourse has been scarped, and they have forgotten fascines.

Once more, the barbarians take courage, and pour a shower of bullets upon

the halting line. The British General rides up in front of his men, and, waving his hat, urges them on. Still they move not.

Suddenly, the crowd before them begins to waver. A horrible confusion ensues ; the din of praying and cursing, taunting and abusing,

is perfectly tremendous. They are attacked in flank by a few hundred irregular horsemen, who are riding through, and cutting them down, in all directions. O that we could see the face of their commander, the thin man, on the grey Arab, who is plunging like mad, amidst the forest of Aashing spears !


“ The

It is he! a little thinner, and more yellow, with longer mustachios, and a fiercer look than he wore before. Could Anne but see him now!

The infantry pours down the canal bank, and swarms up the other side, with the terrible British shout. Crushed by their own unwieldiness, the huge force of the enemy falls, as it were, into a thousand pieces. The day is ours, indeed !

But where is the rider of the white Arab?

Again the scene became dim, and the fearful din of war melted gradually away in the far distance.

CHAPTER IX,--ACT THE FIFTH-SIMPLE, YET CONCLUSIVE. A white object seemed to advance from the background of darkness which supported it. Presently lines, and afterwards letters, appeared upon a page of what we easily recognised to be an order-book. General commanding the division of the

field force cannot allude, without the deepest regret, to the loss the service has sustained, by the death of Captain Thomas Dalton. That gallant officer, heading his brave irregulars, at the critical moment of the charge, by a resolute attack upon the enemy's flank, decided the fate of the day.” We wept with joy !

Possibly, our unexpected gladness so disappointed the benevolent old gentleman, that he departed in high dudgeon. At any rate, we saw do more that night.

Reader, we can vouch for the reality of the occurrences above detailed. A converted sceptic, we laugh at scepticism, and fearlessly throw down the gage of combat to all unbelievers.

We are peculiarly savage upon this point, on account of the amount of doubt with which our adventure has been treated; even our host, when he appeared with the customary cup of coffee, early in the morning after our night of visions, began to betray latitudinarian opinions.

“ Excellenza,” said the wretch, grinning broadly below his mustachios, “ What was the matter with your honour last night? Per Bacco! you have strewed all the furniture about the floor; you first called my poor poodle, then kicked him through the pannel of the door; and lastly, when I requested the gentleman up stairs, who is a doctor, to come and see you, you nearly treated him as you did Carlo."

“A doctor?” we exclaimed. “Why, look at our wrist! that gentleman's fingers have left a mark, which

“Oh, Santa Maria,” rejoined the host, “is your excellency suffering from the nerves ? What have the gentleman's fingers to do with & B- - bite


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