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to one younger than themselves, persecuted her without mercy. The poor girl's life soon became so wretched, between her domestic troubles and her love for her absent cousin, that she at last determined to fly from her father's house, and follow her lover to sea. So ignorant was she of worldly matters, that, hearing that a “frigate-of-war” was lying in Leith roads, the nature of which she never had heard of except from the lips of her cousin, she simply concluded he must be there, and had accordingly applied, as we have seen, to be accepted as his shipmate. Such was the simple story of the poor girl, who seemed overwhelmed with shame and remorse at her folly, and with despair at the probable consequences of it. Captain Gillespie said all he could to console her; promised to write to her father for his forgiveness, which he was sure she would obtain; and tried to cheer her, by saying that her foolish prank would soon be forgotten. But her agitation and distress only broke out afresh. She knew, she said, her father too well to think there was any hope of his mercy; and even if he did forgive her, her sisters would break her heart with their taunts and reproaches. No other course, however, was left to her new and kind-hearted friend; he accordingly wrote off the same day to Mr. Hume, (for such was his name,) informing him of his daughter's situation, and urging all he could to depreciate his indignation, and palliate his daughter's conduct, which, he assured him, she most deeply repented. He also had the weeping runaway moved immediately to the house of a female relation in the neighborhood, where every attention was paid her. Captain Gillespie waited anxiously for a reply to his letter, which he felt quite confident in the person of Mr. Hume himself, rejoiced to discover and to take back his erring daughter to his arms. The answer, indeed, came punctually by return of post—his own letter enclosed in a blank cover ! Captain Gillespie was thunderstruck. His honest and unsophisticated mind was quite unable to comprehend the possibility of such a thing. It presented poor human nature in a light which was perfectly new to him; and he examined his letter and the envelope more than once, to make sure that the fact was really true. A parent to refuse forgiveness to a penitent child for such a mere act of youthful folly!—Was it in the heart of erring man to do it? It was impossible. "There must be some mistake—some misconception:—he would write again. He wrote again accordingly, repeated what he had stated in his former letter, and adding every thing else he could think of, in mitigation of his fair charge's indiscretion. He concluded by remarking— *
which was the fact—that she seemed fast sinking under her misery; and begged him, as a Christian and a parent, to hasten to her relief, and save her life, by pronouncing his forgiveness. It was in vain. His letter was again returned to him as before, with, however, the following laconic note in the envelope:– “Mr. Hume knows no such individual as that referred to in the enclosed, and begs that no more communications may be sent to him regarding that individual.” Captain Gillespie was staggered at this epistle, and certain suspicions began to arise in his mind. Could she be an imposter? Was it possible that one so young, so modest, and so heartbroken, could be deceiving him with a fabricated story ! This he could not bring his mind to believe; but on the other hand, reckoned it still more improbable that a parent could thus abandon his child to starvation or infamy. Was it that she had been guilty of some worse indiscretion than she had confessed, and was afraid to reveal to him? He was puzzled for some time what to think or do, but he felt he had proceeded too far te let the matter rest where it was ; and concluded by determining to siftit to the bottom, and that without delay. He immediately made arrangements, therefore, for a day’s absence from duty, and set out in a post chaise for Mr. Hume's residence.
I was in one of those fits of abstraction, revolving the misery in which my beloved daughter might be, even in that moment, if indeed she were in existence, when the door of my chamber opened softly, and one of my domestics appeared, making a signal of silence. This was he whom I had detected in correspondence with the Roman agent, and forgiven through the entreaties of Miriam.— The man had since shown remarkable interest in the recovery of my daughter, and thus completely reinstated himself. He knelt before me, and with more humility than I desired, implored my pardon for having again held intercourse with the Roman.
“It was my zeal,” said he, “to gain intelligence; for I knew that nothing passed in the provinces a secret from him. This letter is his answer, and perhaps I shall be forgiven for the sake of what it contains.” I read it with trembling avidity. It was mysterious; described two fugitives who had made their escape to Caesarea; and intimated that, as they were about to fly into Asia Minor, the pursuit must be immediate, and conducted with the utmost secrecy.
I was instantly on horseback. Dreading to disturb my family by false hopes, I ordered out my hounds, ranged the hills in sight of my dwelling, and then turning off, struck in the spur, and attended only by the domestic, went full speed to Caesarea. From the summit of Mount Carmel, I looked down upon the city and the broad Mediterranean. But my eyes then felt no delight in the grandeur of art or nature. The pompous structures on which Herod the Great had expended a treasure beyond count, and which the residence of the governor made the Roman capital of Judea, were to me but so many dens and dungeons, in which my child might be hid. The sea showed me only the path by which she might have been borne away, or the grave in which her wanderings were to close. By extraordinary speed, I reached the gates just as the trumpet was sounding for their close. My attendant went forth to obtain information; and I was left pacing my chamber in feverish suspense. I did not suffer it long. The door opened, and a group of soldiers ordered me to follow them. Resistance was useless. They led me to the palace. There I was delivered from guard to guard, through a long succession of apartments, until we reached the door of a banqueting-room. The festivity within was high; and if I could have then sympathized with singing and laughter, I might have had full indulgence during the immeasurable hour that I lingered out, a broken wretch, exhausted by desperate effort, sick at heart, and of course not unanxious for the result of an interview with the Roman procurator, Gessius Florus; a man whose name was equivalent to vice, extortion, and love of blood, throughout Judea. I was betrayed. :k :k -k :k >k “Well,” said he, after a whispered expos. tulation from Septimius, “you must go and settle the matter with the Emperor. The fact is, that I am too tender hearted to govern such a nation of dagger-bearers. So, to Nero! If we cannot send the Emperor money, we will at least send him men.” He laughed vehemently at the conception; ordered the singing and dancing slaves to return; called for wine, and plunged again into his favorite cup. Septimius rose, and led me into another chamber. I remonstrated against the injustice of my seizure. He lamented it, but said that the orders from Rome were strict, and that I was denounced by some of the chiefs in Jerusalem as the head of the late insurrection, and the projector of a new one. The procurator, he added, had been for some time anxious to get me into his power without raising a disturbance among my tribe; the treachery of my domestic had been employed to effect this; and “now,” concluded he, “my best wish
for you—a wish prompted by motives of which you can form no conjecture, is, that you may be sent to Rome. Every day that sees you in Caesarea sees you in the utmost peril. At the first rumor of insurrection, your life will be the sacrifice.” “But my family: What will be their feelings! Can I not at least acquaint them with my destination!” “It is impossible. And now, to let you into a state secret, the Emperor had ordered that you should be sent to Rome. Florus menaced, only to extort money. He now knows you better, and would gladly enlist you in the Roman cause. This I know to be hopeless. But I dread his caprice, and shall rejoice to see the sails hoisted that are to carry you to Rome. Farewell: your family shall have due intelligence.” He was at the door of the chamber, but suddenly returned, and pressing my hand, said again, “Farewell, and remember that neither all Romans, nor even all Greeks, may be alike " He then with a graceful obeisance left the room. Fatigue hung with a leaden weight upon my eyelids. I tried vain expedients to keep myself from slumber in this perilous vicinage. The huge silver chandelier, that threw a blaze over the fretted roof, began to twinkle before me; and busts and statues gradually mingled, and I was once more in the land of visions. Home was before my eyes. I was suddenly tost upon the ocean. I stood before Nero, and was addressing him with a formal harangue, when the whole tissue was broken up, by a sullen voice commanding me to rise. A soldier, sword in hand, was by the couch ; he pointed to the door, where an armed party were in attendance, and informed me that I was ordered for immediate embarkation. It was scarcely past midnight; the stars were still in their glory; the pharos threw a long line of flame on the waters; the city sounds were hushed; and silent as a procession to the grave, we moved down to where the tall vessel lay rocking with the breeze. At her side a Nubian slave put a note into my hand; it was from the young Roman. The sails were hoisted; the stately mole, that even in the night looked a mount of marble, was cleared, the libation was poured to the Tritons for our speedy passage, and the blazing pharos was rapidly seen but as a twinkling star. Our trireme flew before the wind. By day-break, the coast was but a pale line along the waters; but Carmel still towered proudly eminent, and with its top alternately clouded and glittering in the sun, might have been taken for a gigantic beacon, throwing up alternate smoke and flame. With what eyes did I continue to look, until the mighty hill too sank in the waters! But thought still lingered on the shore. I saw, with a keen
Beauties of Salathiel.
ness more than of the eye, the family circle; through many an hour of gazing on the waters, I was all but standing in the midst of those walls which I might never more see; listening to the uncomplaining sighs of Miriam, the impassioned remonstrances of my sole remaining child, and busied in the still harder task of finding out some defence against the self-accusation that laid the charge of rashness and cruelty heavy upon my soul. But the scene round me was the very reverse of moody meditation. Our voyage was rapid; but even a lingering transit would have been cheered by the animation of the innumerable objects of beauty and renown, which rise on every side in the passage through a Grecian sea. The islands were then untouched by the spoiler; the opulence of Rome had been added to Attic taste, and temples, theatres, and palaces, starting from groves, or studding the sides of stately hills, and reflected in the mirror of bays, smooth and bright as polished steel, held the eye a continued captive. On the sea, flights of vessels, steering in all directions, glittering with the emblems of their nations, the colored pennants, the painted prows, the gilded images of the protecting idols, covered the horizon with life. We had reached the southern Cape of Greece, and were, with a boldness unusual to ancient navigation, stretching across in a starless night, for the coast of Italy, when we caught a sound of distant music, that recalled the poetic dreams of nymphs and tritons. The sound swelled and sank on the wind, as if it came from the depths of the ocean, or the bosom of the clouds. As we parted from the land, it swelled richer, until it filled the midnight with pompous harmony. To sleep was profanation, and we all gathered on the deck, exhausting nature and art in conjecture of the cause. The harmony approached and receded at intervals, grew in volume and richness, then stole away in wild murmurs, or died, to revive with still more luxuriant sweetness. Night passed away in delight and conjecture. Morning alone brought the solution. Full in the blaze of sunrise steered the imperial fleet, returning in triumph from the Olympic games, with the emperor on board. We had unconsciously approached it during the darkness. The whole scene wore the aspect of a vision summoned by the hand of an enchanter. The sea was covered with the fleet in order of battle. Some of the galleys were of vast size, and all were gleaming with gold and decorations; silken sails, garlands on the masts, trophies hung over the sides, and embroidered streamers of every shape and hue, met the morning light. We passed the wing of the fleet, close enough to see the sacrificial fires on the poop of the imA 2.
perial quinqureme. A crowd in purple and military habits were standing round a throne, above which proudly waved the scarlet flag of command. A figure advanced, all foreheads were bowed, acclamations rent the air; the trumpets of the fleet flourished, and the lofty and luxuriant harmonies, that had charmed us in the night, again swelled upon the wind, and followed us long after the whole floating splendor had dissolved into the distant blue. At length the headlands of the noble bay of Tarentum rose above the horizon. Night fell at last. The moon, to which our captain had taken a sudden aversion, was as cloudy as he could desire; and we rushed in between the glimmering watch-towers on the Japygian and Lacinian promontories. The glow of light along the waters soon pointed out where the luxurious citizens of Tarentum were enjoying the banquet in their barges and villas. Next came the hum of the great city, whose popular boast was, like that of later times, that it had more holydays than days in the year. I had no time to give to the glories of Tarentum. Nero's approach hurried my departure. The centurion who had me in charge trembled at the idea of delay; and we rode through the midst of three hundred thousand sleepers in streets of marble and ranks of trophies, as silently and swiftly as if we had been the ghosts of their ancestors. When the day broke we found ourselves among the Lucanian hills, then no desert, but living with population, and bright with the memorials of Italian opulence and taste. From the inn where we halted to change horses, the Tarentine gulf spread broad and bold before the eVe. The city of luxury and of power, once the ruler of southern Italy, and mistress of the seas; that sent out armies and fleets worthy to contest the supremacy with Pyrrhus and the Carthaginian; was, from this spot, sunk, like all the works of man, into littleness. But the gulf, like all the works of nature, grew into grandeur. Its circular shore edged with thirteen cities, the deep azure of its smooth waters inlaid with the flashes of sunrise, and traversed by fleets, diminished to toys; reminded me of one of the magnificent Roman shields, with its centre of sanguine steel, the silver incrustation of the rim, and the storied sculpture. We passed at full speed through the Lucanian and Samnian provinces, fine sweeps of cultivated country, interspersed with the hunting grounds of the great patricians; forests that had not felt the axe for centuries, and hills sheeted with the wild vine and rose. Buton reaching the border of Latium, I was already
in Rome; I traveled a day's journey among.
Beauties of Salathiel.
streets, and in the midst of a crowded and hurrying population. The whole was one huge suburb, with occasional glimpses of a central mount, crowned with glittering and gilded structures. “There!” said the centurion, with somewhat of religious reverence, “Behold the eternal Capitol s”—I entered Rome at night, passing through an endless number of narrow and intricate streets, where hovels, the very abode of want, were mingled with palaces blazing with lights and echoing with festivity. The centurion's house was at length reached. He showed me to an apart. ment, and left me, saying, “that I must prepare to be brought before the Emperor immediately on his arrival.” I am now, thought I, in the heart of the heart of the world; in the midst of that place of power, from which the destiny of nations issues; in the great treasure house to which men come from the ends of the earth for knowledge, for justice, for wealth, honor, thrones! and what am I?—a solitary slave. Rome was all shows. Its innumerable public events were thrown into the shape of pageantry. Its worship, elections, the departure and return of governors and consuls, every operation of public life was modeled into a pomp; and in the boundless extent of the empire; those operations were crowding on each other every day. What must have been the strong excitement, the perpetual concourse, the living and various activity of a city from which emanated the stream of power through the world, to return to it loaded with all that the opulence, skill, and glory of the world could give! Triumphs, to whose grandeur and singularity the pomps of later days are but the attempts of paupers and children; sacrifices and rites, on which the very existence of the state was to depend; the levy and march of armies, which were to carry fate to the remotest corners of the earth; the pageants of the kings of the east and west, coming to so. licit diadems, or to deprecate the irresistible arms of Rome; vast theatres; public games, that tasked the whole fertility of Italian talent, and the most prodigal lavishness of imperial luxury, were the movers that among the three millions of Rome made life a hurricane. I saw it in its full and joyous commotion: I saw it in its desperate agony; I saw
it in its frivolous revival; and I shall see it in
an hour, wilder, weaker, and more terrible than all. By an influence of which I was then ignorant, I was permitted to be present at some of those displays, under charge of the centurion. No man could be better fitted for a state jailor. Civility sat on his lips, but caution the most profound, sat beside her. He professed to have the deepest dependence on
my honor, yet he never let me beyond his eye. But I had no desire to escape. The crisis must come; and I was as well inclined to meet it then, as to have it hanging over me. Intelligence in a few days arrived from Brundusium of the emperor's landing, and of his intention to remain at Antium, on the road to Rome, until his triumphal entry should be prepared. My fate now hung in the scale. I was ordered to attend the imperial presence. At the vestibule of the Antian palace, my careful centurion deposited me in the hands of a senator. As I followed him through the halls, a young female richly attired, and of the most beautiful face and form, crossed us, light and graceful as a dancing nymph. The senator bowed profoundly. She beckoned to him, and they exchanged a few words. I was probably the subject; for her countenance, sparkling with the animation of youth and loveliness, grew pale at once: she clasped both her hands upon her eyes, and rushed into an inner chamber. She knew Nero well; and dearly she was yet to pay for her knowledge. The senator, to my inquiring glance, answered in a whisper, “The Empress Poppaea.” A few steps onward, and Istood in the presence of the most formidable being on earth.Yet, whatever mighthave been the natural agitation of the time, I could scarcely restrain a smile at the first sight of Nero. I saw a pale, undersized, light-haired young man sitting before a table with a lyre on it, a few copies of verses and drawings, and a parrot's cage, to whose inmate he was teaching Greek with great assiduity. But for the regal furniture of the cabinet, I should have supposed myself led by mistake into an interview with some struggling poet. He shot, round one quick glance on the opening of the door, and then proceeded to give lessons to his bird. I had leisure to gaze on the tyrant and parricide. Physiogomy is a true science. The man of profound thought, the man of active ability, and above all, the man of genius, has his character stamped on his countenance by nature; the man of violent passions and the voluptuary have it stamped by habit. But the science has its limits: it has no stamp for mere cruelty. The features of the human monster before me were mild, and almost handsome: a heavy eye and a figure tending to fulness gave the impression of a quiet mind; and but for an occasional restlessness of brow, and a brief glance from under it, in which the leaden eye arted suspicion, I should have pronounced Nero one of the most indolently tranquil of mankind. He remanded the parrot to his perch, took up his lyre, and throwing a not unskilful hand over the strings, in the intervals of the performance languidly addressed a broken sem
tence to me. “You have come, I understand,
The Bridal Day.
from Judea;-they tell me that you have been, or are to be, a general of the insurrection;–you must be put to death;-your countrymen give us a great deal of trouble, and I always regretto be troubled with them. But to send you back would only be encouragement to them, and to keep you here among strangers would only be cruelty to you. I am charged with cruelty:-you see the charge is not true. I am lampooned every day; I know the scribblers, but they must lampoon or starve. I leave them to do both. Have you brought any news from Judea!—They have not had a true prince there since the first Herod; and he was quite a Greek, a cutthroat, and a man of taste. He understood the arts. I sent for you, to see what sort of animal a Jewish rebel was. Your dress is handsome, but too light for our winters. You cannot die before sunset, as till then I am engaged with my music-master. We all must die when our time comes.” I retired to execution' and, before the door closed, heard this accomplished disposer of life and death preluding upon his lyre with increased energy. I was conducted to a turret until the period in which the Emperor's engagements with his music-master should leave him at leisure to see me die. Yet there was kindness even under the roof of Nero, and a liberal hand had covered the table in my cell. The hours passed heavily along, but they passed; and I was watching the last rays of my last sun, when I perceived a cloud rise in the direction of Rome. It grew broader, deeper, darker, as I gazed; its centre was suddenly tinged with red; the tinge spread; the whole mass of cloud became crimson; the sun went down, and another sun seemed to have risen in his stead. I heard the clattering of horses' feet in the court-yards below; trumpets sounded; there was confusion in the palace; the troops hurried under arms; and I saw a squadron of cavalry set off at full speed, As I was gazing on the spectacle before me, which perpetually became more menacing, the door of my cell slowly opened, and a masked figure stood upon the threshold. I had made up my mind; and demanding if he was the executioner, I told him “that I was ready.” The figure paused, listened to the sounds below, and after looking for a while on the troops in the court-yard, signified by signs that I had a chance of saving my life. The love of existence rushed back upon me. I eagerly inquired what was to be done. He drew from under his cloak the dress of a Roman slave, which I put on, and noiselessly followed his steps through a long succession of small and strangely intricate passages.— We found no difficulty from guards or domestics. The whole palace was in a state of extraordinary confusion. Every human being
was packing up something or other: rich vases, myrrhine cups, table services, were lying in heaps on the floors; books, costly dresses, instruments of music, all the appendages of luxury, were flung loose in every direction, from the sudden breaking up of the court. I might have plundered the value of a province with impunity. Still we wound our hurried way. In passing along one of the corriders, the voice of complaining struck the ear; my mysterious guide hesitated; I glanced through the slab of crystal that showed the chamber within. It was the one in which I had seen the Emperor, but his place was now filled by the form of youth and beauty that had crossed me on my arrival. She was weeping bitterly, and reading with strong but sorrowful indignation a long list of names, probably one of those rolls in which Nero registered his intended victims, and which, in the confusion of departure, he had left open. A second glance saw her tear the paper into a thousand fragments, and scatter them in the fountain that gushed upon the floor. But we flew onward only to witness scenes of surpassing terror and magnificence.
To be continued.