Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

interest, for everybody present, like my. tions of his life, reeled to one side and self, was uncertain and curious as to fell heavily to the earth. Not a few long whether Bill's indignantand abrupt course breaths were drawn by those around me had been the result of sheer simplicity, the majority of whom were as much termistaking the sense of the expression rified as astonished at this extraordinary “madness,”—of a sagacious intuition of dénouement of a most remarkable scene. the treatment proper in such a case, or All had observed the mastery Bill's eyes confidence in his own resources. For had exhibited over this, to them, mystea minute or so the figures of the two men rious distemper, and some regarded it as were tossed to and fro in the uncertain

a supernatural display ; particularly Caslight, linked and writhing ina stern, silent, tro and his Inåians who looked upon the and desperate struggle. It seemed to me Trapper with expressions, ludicrously that Bill's object was to quell and over- mingled, of awe, humility, and affright. bear the madman by the weight of physi. Bill had ordered water to be brought from cal superiority without hurting him. I the river, of which Black, who had fallen shuddered, when, as they whirled by from excessive weakness—the collapse close to me, I perceived the cause of the of his long excitement-drank with inominous silence of the madman. His conceivable eagerness. He seemed so teeth were clenched in the shoulder of the subdued, I hoped for a moment that the Trapper, whose pale face as it gleamed spell had passed from off his soul; but past was rigid and calm as ever. A sud. there was the same incoherence and wanden change came over the aspect of the dering evident as soon as he was able to combat. The two figures were perfectly speak; and when any of us came very still for a moment–ihen that of Black near him, the same disposition to injure gradually sank towards the ground. 43. Bill alone could control him-at a I stepped close to them and saw that Bill, single glance from whose eye he became by the tremendous power of his hug, had humble again. I should not have been paralyzed him by pressure on the spine. particularly astonished at the simple fact With his back bending in ; the grip of his that Bill's eyes, or the eyes of any other teeth loosened as he sank upon his knees. man of great firmness, should have exAt that moment, while Bill stooped over erted this absolute power over a madhim, their eyes met. The two figures man—for that such a power had long seemed at once to be frozen into a death. been known to exist and been used by like pause, while their eyes were riveted occasional individuals in the treatment upon each other. It seemed to me that and management of lunatics, I was perthose of Bill were emitting a keen and fectly aware—but what did surprise me palpable flame that steadily searched the was, that this uncultivated Trapper, wbo depths of the brain beneath him. There had probably never seen or heard of a was something terrible and ghost-like in medical book in his life, and as probably his white stony face, lit with that calm never saw a madman before, should have weird light, heightened by a broad fleck seemed so securely conscious of possessof the moon's rays that fell upon iting this unusual power as to have trusted through an opening in the trees. I could to it calmly through a scene of so much scarcely breathe with the excitement- peril. How, and where could he have half of awe-which fell upon me as I picked up this knowledge, was a ques. looked on this intense scene. The glare tion I determined in my own mind to of animal ferocity rapidly faded from the have settled on the first opportunity. In fascinated gaze of the madman—the the mean time arrangements were made to spasmodic contraction of his features sub- return to the Colonel's Rancho. The sided-his muscles were unstrung from body of Davis was thrown into the river; their tension. Bill, yet gazing steadily Black was mounted upon the horse of a into his eyes, gently shook off his grasp Lipan, the lariat of which Bill held as he as he loosened his own hold, and then led off the party on the return. Hays, straitening himself, lifted him slowly up Fitz, and several others of the Rangers with him to his feet

. Black's speil-lel who had joined us, were discussing eyes still followed the face of his con- and accounting for the late scene with queror for an instant-he then drew the great earnestness, in their own way, as back of his rough and gore-encrusted we walked on, some vowing it was one hand quickly across them, and, bursting thing, others another ; but most inclined into tears, with a convulsive sob that to regard it with superstition. Finding seemed to be tearing up the very founda- that no light was to be gained from them,

I determined to join Bill, who was moodi- longed to this mysterious fraternity. ly striding on alone, and try whether I Without having witnessed, as yet, any of could draw him into a communicative hu- their feats, I had, under a theory of my mor. It had occurred to me that the own, been disposed to classify them among effect had been purely accidental. But the unexplained phenomena of Mesmerthis view I was almost disposed to dis- ism; which last designation would, in. card on rememberiny Bill's steady and deed, include all the apparent facts of methodical management from the time he the embryo science. Bill had never heard caught the madman's eye. I had ob mesmerism, though, and the suspicion served a trait of superstition in his own that he had stumbled unawares upon the character, and was not surprised when I existence of a physical law, of the nature found him very mysterious and difficult of which, he, in common with its more of approach on the subject. I soon per- learned advocates, was profoundly ignoceived that he himself did not understand rant, had crossed my mind more than the origin of the power, and it was only once. It was interesting to have thus after a great deal of cross-questioning and traced it back to a seeming connection, urging, that I could get a hint of the heretofore unsuspected, with influences source from which he had originally re- producing inexplicable effects in two ceived the suggestion. It appeared from classes of well-known facts——the taming what he let fall, that years ago in one of of madmen and wild beasts. I had afterhis trapping expeditions towards the head wards the opportunity of examining this waters of the Platte, he had met with curious subject with greater minuteness, three men-two Americans and a half- and satisfying myself more definitely as breed Indian-whose sole occupation to the plausibility of my new theory. seemed to be that of catching mustangs.

We met the Colonel with the Bravo These, after being captured, the Half- and his party near the Rancho, returning breed would render perfectly tame in a bootless from their search pushed in anfew hours so much so that they would other direction. follow him about the Prairie, and come The Colonel's sagacity had also discovto him at his call. A wolf was captured ered the trail of the strange horseman and tamed in as short a time, and as ef- which had so much puzzled us, though sectually. The Half-breed had been very the recollection of it had been for the mysterious as to his mode of proceeding, time overcome by the late incidents. and announced that he bewitched them— Without waiting to hear more of the debut added, also, that he could, for a tails we had to give than the simple “compensation” commensurate with the intelligence that Davis had been hung by value of the important secret, impart it to Black-which he seemed to consider a others. Bill had collected a very valuable matter-of-course incident-he insisted pack of beaver pelts, and so deeply had he upon Bill's report about Agatone, and been interested and impressed,

that with- explanation, if he had any to give, of out any hesitation he had offered them the tracks. Bill proceeded in his quaint in exchange for the secret. This, after vernacular to inform us that he had prosome demur, the cunning Half-breed had ceeded with Castro and the Indians to agreed to—first binding Bill over to the place in Big Bend Bottom, where he secresy by the most fantastic rites and had first seen the three men, of whom, solemn oaths. Under these injunctions the person supposed to be Agatone was the secret had been communicated, and riding behind one of the others--the Lieuof course was beyond my reach. Bill tenant, probably—whom he shot. That said he had often tried the “ spell," as he here he and Castro had taken their trail called it, upon the wildest and most fero- again and followed it with the most cious animals with perfect success when minute care, examining every tree near he could get them “cornerel” long enough the trunk of which it passed, to see for it to work. That he had been equally whether he had been pushed up into it successful with men who had the

- trem

to hide among the long moss. The Inblers” (delirium tremens) upon them after dians were spread out on every side to a spree. I had often heard of these“ wild look for the traces of his footsteps, so horse tamers," as they are called, and felt that every square yard of the ground for great curiosity with regard to them. It some distance on both sides of the trai! aided not a little to the interesi I already had been carefully examined up to the felt in the character of my long-sided point where he, by cutting across, had friend, the Trapper, to find that he be intercepted the horsemen, and seen, 10

PHRENOLOGY:

A SOCRATIC DIALOGUE.

Persons of the Dialogue:-SOCRATES.* PHIDIAS. Place.—The workshop of Phidias, the Statuary, in Athens. Phidias. You are come in happy time, one of these qualities and not another. Socrates. I am perplexed in a choice. But I am inclined to believe that neither Pericles, who will have all things exe soul nor spirit have

any

such properties. cuted in the best manner, commands me Soc. Is there, then, a proper “ Strength to make a statue of Hercules, represent of Soul;” or do we speak mysteriously ing the felicity of that hero after his re in so saying, using the name of a mortal ception among the Gods. Decide, then, quality for a something altogether unimawhich of these models should be pre- ginable, and above the reach of expresferred. (He draws a curtain, discovering sion ? a number of models in clay.)

Phid. It seems to me that we do so. SOCRATES. All of these seem to me Soc. And yet, it were impious to deny, admirable; but especially one nearest, that the spirit is a Being full of power and which shows him receiving the nectar strength-that it is even the source of from Hebe. I entirely prefer this one. these.

Phip. But the head is disproportion Phid. So it seems. But there is a ately small. It was taken from another strength in dead matter which causes the figure of the same God, and placed here motion and the weight of things; is this by way of trial.

also spiritual ? Soc. You made a rash choice of me Soc. Can we refuse to believe, O Phidfor an adviser; but I have a reason for ias, that this “strength of dead matter,” preferring this model.

which causes all things to move about, Phin. You are skillful enough, I know, and toward, each other, is indeed spiritat giving reasons; and now, all your ual, though different in its nature from skill will be required. Say, then, why the spirituality of man, or the soul of should this model be preferred ?

animals; discovering itself by certain neSoc. Answer me first. Is strength a cessary laws, immutable, and therefore property of the spirit, or of the body? divine? For the spirit of man is appa

Puid. Or the body; but there is a rent in his reason only; causing him to strength, also, of the spirit.

live by a law of justice, superior to pasSoc. Is there a size, then, of the spirit? sion and desire. But the soul of the Can we say of any man that his spirit is beast, which also is in man, discovers greater or smaller, like his body? itself in passions and in desires. It is

Puid. We often say so; but with what disobedient to justice, and causes all propriety I cannot imagine.

manner of iniquity. These, then, operate Soc. If, then, there is a strength according to certain laws. But the Law and a size of the spirit, why should of the spirit is superior to that of the there not be a weight, nay, a figure and animal, and controls it; and both of these substance of the same, and a smell and are superior to that “ strength ” which sound of it, as of other things? For, if appears in dead matter. Do I seem to a thing has strength, we are able to feel speak rationally? it with the hands; and if it has form, we Puid. Mystically you speak; but may see it with the eyes; and if sound, whether rationally or not, I am unable to we hear it; and if smell, we otherwise decide. perceive it. But is all this true of the Soc. We agreed, 0 Phidias, that it is soul, or of the spirit ?

impossible to

eak otherwise than mysPhid. There seems, indeeil, to be tically, and symbolically, concerning the no reason why the soul should have spirit of man.

Socrates, the wisest of the Greeks; born 469, B. C. † Phidias, the Statuary employed by the Athenians as the sculptor and architect of their temples ; born 488, B. Ć.

sense.

Phid. Because it is not an object of with the body and countenance of a king,

or of a conqueror, would be inju. Soc. Yes; but if we could, by any dicious. sense, perceive, touch, or smell it, then Phid. By what marks shall an energy it would no longer be necessary to speak be made to appear ? poetically, in symbols. But now, echo Soc. Are they not already apparent in ing the poets, we say of the spirit, that it is the model ? great and fair, or little and black-using Phid. It may be so; for the head was such words as are applied to things visi- taken from that of a captive who is sinble. It is easy to represent the incom- gularly amiable and obedient. His masprehensible by symbols; but to know the ter maintains him as a wrestler, and he significance of these symbols is not easy. executes promptly whatever is enjoined; Do you think otherwise ?

though, at first sight, you would proPhid. No, Socrates; I have always nounce him to be a hero full of dangerbelieved that it was easier to put a mark ous energy; for be surpasses all others upon a thing, or to speak of it by a sim- in strength and beauty of person. ilitude, than to comprehend it.

Soc. But was the head of this wrestler Soc. It appears that every man is, disproportionately small ? himself, a symbol, or mark of ignorance, Phin. It was; but not as much so as to another; seeing that his life and in the model. actions discover the existence of an in Soc. My opinion is, therefore, accordtangible principle or energy. But the ant with nature. If you are willing, I aim of wisdom is to gain a true know. will relate the words of Anaxagoras in ledge of this energy, and to substitute regard to this, and other particulars prothat knowledge for what is merely sym- per to be known by statuaries. bolic and superficial. If any person is Phid. I shall have a perfect satisfacable to substitute a true for a symbolical tion in hearing the opinions of a sage knowledge, I think them the wiser. To who could be the instructor of Perirecur now to the model. Of the kinds of cles. energy, whether material, animal, or spir Soc. When I was a mere youth, my itual, which of all should be seen in a father taught me to assist him in model. Hercules ?

ing statues, for that was his occupation. Phid. Because he is a God, the spirit. We lived then in Alopere, not far from ual should predominate.

Athens, in a garden-house by the roadSoc. But, of the spiritual energies, side. It happened that I had placed a should this deity be endowed with the block of Egyptian marble in the shade of Tegal, heroical, or devotional kind?

a sycamore which overhung the road, Phid. With the heroical, as I think. and was then hewing it to the figure of

Soc. If there is such a being, O Phid- Hercules. Having gone into the house a ias, as the God Hercules, it would be moment, on returning, I found Anaxaimpious to deny that he is endowed with goras seated in the shade as if to rest. an energy superior to that of animals; It was usual with him to walk alone in the for the energy of an animal is in passion, villages and open fields, for the sake of or in prudence and intelligence. But of meditation; and I had often met him in the regal energy, we ascribe it to kings by-roads and remote places. Being in and legislators, and to Zeus, the king of doubt, as you are, regarding the model, Gods; and the heroical energy is attribut. I inquired of Anaxagoras regarding it. ed to such mortals as have acted of their He asked me whether I would represent own will for the sake of glory. But the God of strength ? I assented, and he this hero, or deity, did nothing of his then inquired whether this strength or own will, and was obedient to a pusil. energy, as he chose to name it, should be lanimous master, because Zeus had so of the mortal, or of the immortal, kind; commanded. Does it seem, then, to you, and, when I was perplexed for an answer, that he should rather be endowed with be taught me these differences, to which the devotional energy, as one who ac you have but now assented. complished miracles through obedience ? Phin. It is usual with you to disavow

Puid. It seems fit that he should be your opinions, and repeat them as if so endowed.

gathered from a good genius, or from a Soc. If he is truly represented, it will sage. then be as one who has no other but this Soc. I do this, believing that wisdom kind of power; and to carve his statue is the property of all the wise. Each VOL. III.-NO. I.

3

[ocr errors]

adds a little, and transmits it to the next, should enter the form of a man, and inlike a sacred patrimony.

spire him ; would not men easily discover Puid. Let me be a sharer ; and if An- this by his countenance, and a certain axagoras committed anything to you, dignity of manner ? intrust it also to me.

Phid. They could not fail. Soc. He reasoned thus. If energy of Soc. If we, then, should worship that body, or of passion, or of intelligence, is visible appearance, it would not be uncommon to man and animals, it were im. lawful. But if I am able to discern the pious to ascribe it to a God. A God deity in a man, it must be by a visible cannot be imagined as in a fit of rage, or sign or mark, such as must signify the as burdened with desires, or as thinking, presence of a divine influence. (I now or composing poems; for these imply a repeat the words of Anaxagoras): If any kind of imperfection, and a narrowness man is so fortunate as to know such of faculty proper to the mortal nature. marks, and is able to shape them out of But if there is an energy in man, which marble or ivory, can he be justly declared is unlimited and perfect in its nature, impious ? ruling over all his acts, and harmonizing Puid. No, truly. But how shall these his affections ; in one word, if there is marks be known? anything divine in man, it will be no Soc. When we think of the Gods, we impiety to ascribe the same to a God. think of them as devoid of all weakness

Puid. It seems to me, 0 Socrates, an and vice, but full of infinite energy; and attempt full of danger and impiety, if a we know that this energy is the ruling mortal reasons on the nature of deity. principle, and is of an eternal nature,

Soc. To those, O son of a just father, without form or name. By some it is who see in man, as in the Gods, an called reason, by others vovs or intelimage of the Supreme, it is permitted to lect; but by most, the spirit of man. reason from the divinity within man to Anaxagoras, therefore, reasoned in this the divinity above man.

manner : that, if the image of a God is but PHID. Do you imagine, or believe, the exalted image (or idea) of this printhat the ancients took this way of in- ciple; to represent men with the marks quiry? By Hercules, there is none so of it in their gestures and countenances bold !

would be to represent them as Gods. Soc. But there are many bold enough Does it seem so to you, or does it not? to think, that they have a perfect idea of Phid. I am not able to deny it. divinity, and wish to seem not ignorant Soc. Is it lawful, then, to worship the even of Him whose name, if he could be statues of the Gods, since they cannot be named, it were unlawful to utter. distinguished from those of inspired men ?

Phid. We received this knowledge Phid. A question hard to be answered. from our ancestors; and they, in remote But proceed. ages, from the Gods.

Soc. First answer my question. Is it Soc. This, then, is a part also of the lawful to worship the image of a God, patrimony of wisdom, to receive and pos- seeing that it is equally the image of a sess within ourselves ideas of the divine man? natures.

Phid. It is first necessary to know Puid. But is it not surprising, that what we mean by worship. any man should dare represent a deity: Soc. Is not all worship an acknow. as though divine nalures could appear in ledgment of superiority? marble or stone ?

Puid. Yes; and it is also an acknowSoc. Can they appear in flesh ? ledgment of goodness in the being who Phid. None will dare deny it.

is superior. Soc. But if they appeared in human Soc. It appears impossible, therefore, form, would it not have been lawful to to worship a statue, since it is neither make a statue or image of them ? superior, nor capable of good. If any per

Phid. Not only lawful, but meritori- son, seeing the marks of divinity in a ous, and an act of piety.

statue, is thereby reminded of a God, he Soc. But would it be lawful to worship may offer worship to the God; but if the the visible form of a deity, if he should Gods are exalted images of men, they are see fit to make himself visible ?

not in kind superior to men—and to worPuid. It would be both lawful and ship them because of their superiority in necessary.

degree only, would be no more lawful Soc. But if a God, even the greatest, than to worship a hero or a king.

« ElőzőTovább »