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"I hope you will clear yourself," replied Pike; "but appearances, I must say, are unfavourable. I've seen the girl."
"Oh, have you?"
"And she confesses that it was on your account she came here."
"Then she is the greatest incendiary that ever prevaricated from the truth."
"And she hints very intelligibly about your transactions in former times."
"The wretch !" exclaimed Huggings; "how did she find them out?" "Now, Mr Huggings, think well before you answer my next question Did you ever hear of Hamlet the jeweller?" "Yes."
"He had a father?"
"It is natural to suppose so, or it is scarcely in the course of probability that he should have been born."
"Did you know him? The father, I mean.'
"No; never heard of him."
"Nor of a gentle lady married to a person called Moore? Now, reflect."
"Your interrogatories are most hyperborean and imposterous," replied Mr Huggings. "If this young woman has told every thing about me, there isn't any thing further to be done."
"Then you confess to all she has told me? You cut the old man to pieces, and choked the poor woman with a pillow?”
A dreadful presentiment of a false accusation, supported by strong circumstantial evidence, and leading directly to the scaffold, rushed upon the usually magniloquent Mr Huggings," and chilled his heart and chained his tongue." All he could say was, in a very resigned tone of voice-" Is the evidence very strong?"
Mr Pike was taken a little aback at the question, and thought it better to proceed with his examination, for he was unwilling to confess that as yet the accusation was unsupported by any proofs.
And you would, of course, be desirous to put the person who brings forward the charge out of the way?" said Pike, in an insinuating voice. "Of course; any thing-half my fortune!"
"And if they couldn't be tempted
"Not in the least."
"Perhaps you are right. I don't wish to entrap you; but as the fairest way of bringing things to an issue, I have arranged with Hobbs of the White Lion that the masquerade is to be repeated to-night. The young woman, in the same dress as before, shall attend it, and I must insist on your doing the same. When you are confronted, we shall see whether, without any previous information, she will detect the person who tried to murder her in the dark alley. If she fails to recognise you, your declarations of ignorance will have more effect. In the mean-time good-day. The masquerade begins in an hour."
"The brute!" grumbled Huggings, as his visitor took his departure; "his conduct is altogether murderous and metaphorical; and yet he will certainly succeed in having me hanged. They may well call him Pike, for a pike is the most avaricious of all the quadru peds that swim on the face on the earth!"
We must now return to the White Lion, and leave the unhappy gentleman to his preparations for the masquerade; for, after much cogitation, he resolved to put a bold face on the matter, and show that he was not afraid to meet his accusers. He determined to behave with the easy assurance of an innocent man, and for that purpose practised a few speeches to be addressed to the young woman, one of which was to be accompanied by the offer of a glass of lemonade. Several times he essayed, with a tumbler in his hand, to say, "Will you imbibe some liquidated refreshment?" and, though his hand and voice shook a little at first, by dint of perseverance he acquired the power of presenting the beverage, and asking the question, with his usual firmness and ease.
Doctor Wilkins had not been many minutes with his patient in No. 16,
when the door opened, and a handsome, well-dressed young man rushed into the room, and with an exclamation, "Cecilia!" clasped the young lady in his arms.
She, laying her hands upon his shoulders, and gazing on him, exclaimed, "My love, my lord, my life, my all, my'
"Husband, in a few days, Cecily," said the young man, continuing the quotation; "but 'tis time, my dear girl, that we left these absurd heroics and spoke like sensible people. Who is this old gentleman?"
The introduction was performed, and in a few minutes the masquerade incident detailed in all its bearings. Cecilia D'Orville, or, as she was now called, Cecily, spoke like a rational woman, the young man like a steady sensible individual who had some earnest business on hand,
"Doctor Wilkins," he said, "you have shown so much kindness to this young lady, that I am induced to ask your advice on a very delicate pointI will not as yet tell you my name, but simply state my case. My father was a haberdasher in a country town, and realised a considerable fortune. But he was ambitious, and determined to be a gentleman. He gave up the shop, and was just on the eve of purchasing an estate and commencing as the founder of an illustrious family, when the demon of the drama caught hold of me. I found it in vain to resist the temptation, and, after a short struggle with filial duty and hopes of succession to Muddywell Grange, I betook me to the boards. For two or three years I lived on applause, till, having encountered this young lady, who had adopted the same profession, but from better motives than mine, I occasionally thought of the comforts of a settled home, and a few broad acres on which exercise my skill. I made enquiries, and found that my father, considering his dignity compromised by the step I had taken, had left the neighbourhood altogether, even after having purchased the estate, and had settled in another part of the country. We are now on our way to him, and I am uncertain how to proceed, whether to write to apprize him of the visit, or to throw myself at once before him, and trust to his fatherly feelings for forgiveness."
Before Doctor Wilkins had time to give his decision the landlord came
into the room, and, with a face of mysterious importance, communicated the intelligence that Mr Pike had given positive orders for the repetition of the masquerade, and insisted on Miss D'Orville attending it in the same dress as before.
My Roxalana, Horatio," whispered the lady, in a parenthesis,-"you recollect my benefit?"
"Tush!" replied the lover, "forget all things of the kind."
"But why is all this, Hobbs ?" enquired the Doctor.
Why, to find out, if possible; the murderer; for do you know, sir," he added, lowering his voice, there is great reason to suspect Mr Huggings.
Ha!" exclaimed Horatio, with a start. "But stay, let us be careful, Cecily, and this may turn out to our advantage. Do as they tell you, and leave the rest to me."
It was now speedily resolved to comply with Mr Pike's request; and, accordingly, preparations were made as rapidly as possible, and by the appointed hour, the whole party, Doctor Wilkins included, found themselves in the gardens of the White Lion, where a humerous company were assembled in expectation of something strange.
Mr Pike, in a black domino, attended by four or five stout fellows in different disguises, stationed himself near the Indian Queen, having determined, in the execution of his duty, to arrest any person she pointed out to him as the assassin of the previous night. With a jaunty air, and bearing a tumbler of lemonade on a salver, a tall figure was observed approaching the throne where Cecilia had taken her seat. A flowing tobe, buckled in at the waist, a crooked scimitat, a long beard and magnificent turban, formed the dress of the Turkish bashaw, who, with a profound salaam, was beginning his address, when the glaring eye of Mr Pike, fixed on him with the scowl of a demon, suddenly overcame his resolution, and he stammered scarcely intelligibly, while his hand shook the tumbler off the salver. "Will you
imbibe-somee-some-liquidated-' The light-gray eye flickered through the peep-hole of the false-face, the voice, lost in the hollow pasteboard, and deepened in the intensity of his agitation into a low hum, startled Cecilia, and recalled the enthusiastic
Humphreys so vividly, that she had no doubt that dangerous lunatic stood before her, and she screamed, "Save me-save me! that wretch has come again!"
In an instant Mr Pike and his assistants had seized on the alarmed Turk; and, on stripping off his vizard, what was the astonishment of the quiet people of Monxom, who had been kept in darkness as to the suspicions entertained by Mr Pike, to see, in the convicted assassin, their respectable townsman, the inhabitant of the best house, the proprietor of the only gig, the worthy and wealthy Mr Huggings! That individual's behaviour was certainly not calculated to dispel their surprise. Instead of manfully resisting the attempt to arrest him, he gave himself up at once; and, indeed, by his actions, seemed almost to acquiesce in the justice of the accusation. Mr Pike conducted his prisoner into a private room, and invited the presence of Cecilia and her party.
"There can be no further doubt of who the perpetrator of this murder is, at all events," said Mr Pike; "the recognition was instantaneous. But we must proceed regularly." He, accorddingly, took a chair and went on. "I find from the confession of your maidservant, miss, that, last night, when you were attacked, you exclaimed, Huggings. Is that true?"
"Yes, sir," replied Cecilia, who leaned on the arm of a masked figure.
"Perjury and defalcation of the grossest kind! She has no voracity."
He asked you to marry him, and you consented?" continued Mr Pike.
"But when you came here there were difficulties thrown in the way. He delayed the marriage?"
But the patience even of the meek Huggings could stard this no longer.
"What do you mean, you falsetongued hyperbole? How the devil did I delay your marriage?"
"My dear father," said the masked figure, kneeling and throwing away his vizard," by our waiting for your consent to mine."
"Horace!" exclaimed Mr Huggings," you here!"
"Yes, sir," replied the young man, "and only anxious for your forgiveness for having left you so long. I can clear up all this," he added, turning to Mr Pike.
Can you?" cried the father;" get me out of this predicament, and I will forgive every thing."
This, as the reader may imagine, was no very difficult task. In a few days fires were blazing comfortably in Muddywell Grange, and Mr Huggings, after a short visit to the young people, resumed his old manner of life in Monxom
though it was remarked that thenceforward he was a good deal more charitable in his surmises; for, as he very often remarked, "It is only the deleterious themselves that are severe in the instruction they put on other people's conduct. For instance, there's that fellow Pike would believe any obliquity in another; and, of all the rascals the universe ever saw, Pike is certainly the worst."
CORY'S ANCIENT FRAGMENTS, &c.
Ir the Phonetic system of hieroglyphic interpretation, founded on the sagacious conceptions of De Sacy, Akerblad, Young, and Champollion, be admitted as authentic, the result constitutes, perhaps, the most singular literary phenomenon that has distinguished any age. It is no less than the recovery from Egyptian darkness of a continued series of contemporary historical and mythological documents, extending through a period of two thousand years, from the age of the earliest inspired writings to that of the present Coptic versions.
Unlike the usual progress of discovery, in which the steps that ultimately lead to truth are often separated by centuries, the revival of Egyptian literature burst upon the learned world like a meteor. A few quickly-ascertained and well-established facts superseded and replaced the speculations and hypothetical principles of ages, leaving us to seek the principles from the results, and in this respect placing Egyptian discovery on an inductive foundation, similar to that on which the natural sciences have been reared. The suddenness of the discovery has occasioned the claims of contemporaries (as distinct from each other as those of Kepler and Newton) to be confounded, and given birth to feel ings of petty jealousy among the schoJars and philosophers of rival nations, from which the possessors of learning and original resources ought to be exempt, at least on questions of public and literary interest.
There are few of our English readers who have not seen the pillar of Rosetta (complete copies of which, with unequalled facilities for the study of its contents, will be found in the atlas of Count Robiano's work, and in Mr Sharpe's "Egyptian Inscriptions,"
London, 1836)-or who are quainted with its history as a trophy of national glory, and with the multiplied details of the steps by which this extraordinary record became progressively elucidated. We shall, therefore, limit our remarks on this part of the question to the placing of these several steps in a point of view that will render apparent the distinct claims and mutual obligations of the decipherers.
The Greek version of this record at once put the learned in possession of its nature and import-that of a triple version of the same decree, in the Hieroglyphic, the Enchorial (the national or popular), and the Greek texts; engraved copies of which were deposited in the temples of the several orders of Egyptian gods, in the ninth year of the reign of Ptolemy Epiphanes, B.C. 196.† An enquiry which had resisted the hypotheses of ages, was thus in a moment placed on a solid and practical footing. Learned men had the absolute contents, or rather substance of the two Egyptian texts before them in the Greek version; and their task was to identify the relative portions of each of the former-the three inscriptions, though more or less mutilated, being fortunately complete enough for this purpose, in the hands of the indefatigable scholars who undertook it. This was first partially effected in the Enchorial by the venerable Silvestre de Sacy, who, although we never heard of him as a claimant in the struggle for precedence in the discovery, became in reality its founder, in consequence of having detected the Enchorial groups answering to the Greek names, Alexander and Alexandria. The characters composing these names were analysed by M. Akerblad, the Swedish resident at Rome, who
Ancient Fragments of the Phoenician, Chaldæan, Egyptian, Tyrian, Carthaginian,' Indian, Persian, and other Writers; with an Introductory Dissertation and an Enquiry into the Philosophy and Trinity of the Ancients. By Isaac Preston Cory, Esq., Fellow of Caius College, Cambridge. Second Edition. London, Pickering: 1832. 8vo.
* See the Marquis Spineto's Lectures. London, 1819.
†This multiplication of copies induces the hope that others, and perhaps more perfect ones, may still be buried among the ruins of the temples.
likewise identified and resolved the enchorial groups corresponding with the names of Ptolemy, Berenice, and others in the Greek version; and an Enchorial alphabet of about fifteen well-ascertained characters was thus obtained before Young or Champollion appearin the arena. As, however, the inscription contained a much greater variety of characters, and the apparent suppression of vowels in the Egyptian words was then unknown, the rest of the inscription resisted the alphabet of Akerblad; and the decipherment was relinquished till taken up by Dr Thomas Young, who improved on the former alphabet, and was the first to ascertain the general correspondencies of the Greek and Enchorial texts, from the recurrence of the groups obviously answering to the words most frequently repeated in the Greek, as, and, king, Ptolemy, Egypt, and others. The use of the alphabet, however, extended little beyond the resolution of the Enchorial proper names, until Cham. pollion stepped into the field.
How much these results depended on the previous efforts of Akerblad is sufficiently obvious; yet we are not aware that this gentleman has had his due share of credit, as one of the principal originators of a discovery the more splendid results of which were reserved for other hands.
Dr Young's next important step was to analyse the Hieroglyphics. His first attempt was directed to the characters contained in the ellipses, which had been long suspected to involve the royal name of Ptolemy. In this he was materially aided by the cursive imitations of the same characters in the Enchorial name; and his success with this name amounted to proof, as well as with the name of Queen Berenice, which appeared in the drawings from the cieling of the temple of Karnak, published by the French Commission. A Hieroglyphic alphabet, or syllabary of thirteen sounds, deduced principally from these names, was the result. In the composition of this alphabet, some of the characters, were, however, passed over; while syllabic or alphabetic values were assigned to the rest, as the composition of the names appeared to require: and, although subsequent experience confirmed the latter (i. e. the six assumed alphabetic values), the want of unifor.
mity in this first attempt at a hieroglyphic alphabet, rendered it inapplicable to the purposes of general decipherment: so that out of twentyseven royal hieroglyphic names and titles, of which the supposed interpretation is given in Dr Young's exposition, published in the Supplement to the Encyclopedia Britannica, in 1819, those of Ptolemy and Berenice alone stood the test of the phonetic system when fully established by Champollion; unless we except the name of Thothmes, which Dr Young inferred from the symbol of the god Thoth, contained in it, and having the usual syllabic value of the names of the gods when found compounded in those of the kings. To this extent Dr Young was the founder of hieroglyphic discovery. The reader will here observe, that the cases of Akerbald's enchorial, and Young's hieroglyphic alphabets, when applied to the purposes of further decipherment, were nearly parallel, while in both instances valid foundations were laid for the established Egyptian alphabets.
Nor was Dr Young less successful with the hieroglyphic ideograms (or symbolic characters direct and indirect), many of which he determined with a sagacity which anticipated proofs that were then unattainable and uncontemplated, and could only result from a matured phonetic system. It is true, that his interpretation sometimes reversed or transposed the meaning of the symbols; yet his exposi. tions of the general sense of the groups are, in many instances, almost incredibly correct.
His success was, perhaps, the most unexceptionable with regard to the hieroglyphic notation; the principles of which he accurately determined, besides fixing the meaning of several of the grammatical signs: so that, although from happy inferences rather than from investigation on principle, his claims as the immediate parent of hieroglyphic discovery are indisputable, and can afford to admit the obligations due to De Sacy and Akerblad, his pioneers in the undertaking, not less than to relinquish any property in the matured system of phonetic interpretation; which, though clearly growing out of his (Dr Young's) results, is founded on principles to which his method of anaÎysis could never have conducted.