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THE MUSIC OF THE SPHERES. [The Ancients entertained an idea, that the Celestial Bodies emitted melodious sounds on
their passage through the Heavens-every Planet and Star, according to this strange fiction, being accompanied by Music of its own creating. ]
Sort are your voices, O! ye spheres, Shall your strange music fable be.
I hear ye float on airy wing
Methinks the South wind bears your song, Or music from an angel's tongue,
Blended with rich perfumes, along:
Such the wild dreams of airy thought
Roll on, roll on, majestic spheres,
Voices to charm the ear of Night,
And make sweet music as ye stray But never, tuneful orbs, to me
In Myriads through the milky way.
Calm wakes the beauty of the vernal morn, We heard the warning of that passing The small birds chirp amid the budding bell, trees;
Which seem'd the dirge of Beauty, Hope, But thou, lost sweet one, from our presence
and Truth. torn, Feel'st not the freshness of the genial We dreamt not thus that thou shouldst pass breeze.
A lily opening to life's vernal sun; The thoughts of thee are as a pleasant That envious night should overcloud thy dream,
day, Soft, soothing, holy, beautiful, and bright;
Ere half the sands of gladsome youth As of a star that sparkles o'er a stream, Gemming the dewy coronal of night.
Thou need'st no stone; thy tablet is the To see thee-was with raptured heart to
Of all who knew, remember thee, and Angelic loveliness might blend with grieve; earth;
Soft shine the sun thy simple turf above, To hear thee-was to feel there dwells a And sing the birds thereon from morn to
tone In sadness, more enchanting far than
We see thee in the blue rekindling sky, mirth.
We see thee in the green that clothes the
tree; Thy pensive, snowy brow, thy glossy hair, Thy soft carnation'd cheek, and hazel We hear thee in the stream that murmurs
by; eye, Seem'd lent but to illume a world of care,
In solitude and cities think of thee. And oh-to think that such a form could die!
So shed thy looks a sanctifying balm,
That the far scenes awoke before our Closed is thy grave; we heard the doleful knell,
When sorrow was unselt, and sunshine When thou wast blooming in refulgent calm, youth;
Slept on the evening fields of paradise.
Farewell ! thou wast a flower that to the Farewell—farewell; although we are below, day,
And thou in Heaven, thou shalt not be In beauty and in bloom, sweet perfume forgot.
gave; A star that shone o'er earth with lucid The blackbird singing, when the woods are
mute; ray; A white bird floating on the halcyon
The clear blue sky; the blossom on the
The tenderest breathing of the gentlest lute; Farewell! thy like again we may not know; All things of pure and fair are types of Farewell ! to die untainted was thy lot;
FRLAR BACON'S KEY.
“ THERE are two modes, in the pre- west-end of the town. The object I sent day, by which any one may get had selected for the foundation of my the name of a liberal man, and in the new character as a “patronizing man, lottery of good things, I know few re was a Venus or a Hercules, that Mr. putations more profitable. Be what C- had to sell : the antiquarians you please, or do what you please, it could not decide which of the two matters little, so long as you have a characters above named properly becharacter for generosity. This single longed to it; and no wonder, seeing virtue, or, what will do just as well, that the god or goddess had been by the appearance of it, will stand you in time and accidents so reduced and stead of all the other virtues; it is a shorn of its original properties, as to cloak to cover the inward nakedness, bear no bad resemblance to a milean umbrella to keep off the pitiless stone-saving only in its material, pelting of the storm when it is pouring which, I can vouch, without being a somewhat too freely on the head of connoisseur, to have been genuine unworthiness. In short, what is it marble. Such as it was, however, not, in the way of profit or defence, the fame of this mutilated sculpture to the fortunate possessor? Nor is had roused the whole body of antithe obtaining of it, by any means, as quarians, equestrian and pedestrian, I have said, a difficult task to him who amateurs and professors. Anxious, has a purse, the roads to it being an at least, to be able to say I had bid hundred fold-among the best, say, for such a rarity, even though I should subscribing to some fund, where the fail to win it, for want of that species money is not wanted; or purchasing, of courage which, I opine, is the highat an enormous price, some works est of all courage, namely,
courage art that you don't understand or care to part with one's money, I hurried to about, and setting up a museum. As the auction-room at an early hour, and to your children or relations, if you found the orator already risen, and happen to have any, you need not holding forth, with much eloquence waste a thought upon them ; for, as and learning, upon a very equivocal all you may do on their account is no as well as humble article. What that more than what you ought to do, it article was, I must not venture to say ; cannot redound to the praise of your wanting the speaker's exquisite powers liberality; and, therefore, you may as of periphrasis, which enabled him at well leave it undone.”
once to veil and ennoble that subject, Such was the advice of my friend which, to say the truth, stood in need Dives; and, as it happened to chime both of one assistance and the other. in with my own notions of the truth, Indeed, as my friend Dives remarked I resolved to send my poor relations to me in a whisper, the dapper, to any one who might think proper to smooth-chinned gentleman, with his take them in; while, in the meantime, starched collar, his oily tongue, and still I opened my “collecting" campaign more oily face, looked the very genius in a celebrated auction-room at the of crockery, the born Apollo of Delft
and China-ware. But my mind was
en time. No one can be deceived in bent on higher matters, namely, on that matter." the Venus or Hercules, and I soon “ But are you quite sure it belonged grew heartily sick of the tropes and to Friar Bacon ?" asked a little limpsimiles that buzzed about my ears like ing antiquarian, who looked amongst so many May-chaffers on a warm sum men much as a turnspit does amongst mer's evening. All the bidding and dogs.-“ But are you quite sure ?" battling previous to the struggle for “ Terque quaterque," replied the the precious statue, appeared as so orator. much tedious prologue to the grand “ Because I don't buy for myself; drama, or skirmishing, by way of pre- I am only the lion's jackall, you know. lude, to the grand engagement. But -Ha! ha!” still, in spite of my disregard or con “ You may rely upon its being getempt, I grew out of patience as the nuine,” continued the orator, seeing delay continued. First I tried my the little man still hesitate, though snuff-box-next I beat the devil's tat- half convinced by the Latin which he too with my feet-next I grew hot— did not understand, and by his own then hotter-then boiling hot—then joke of the jackall.You may rely red-hot-till by the time the orator upon its being genuine. Allow me to had come to lot ninety-seven, an an- say five guineas, just to begin with, tique key, the fever had exhausted it- though, I trust, we shall not stop short self, and with itself, exhausted me; of a hundred.” and the previous tension of the nerves The little man nodded. was succeeded by a gentle inclination “ Thank you, Sir,” said the orator, to drowsiness, which was only at all bowing.-" Five guineas, gentlemen, resisted or kept back by the unac- is bid for this rare piece of antiquity, countable interest I all at once seemed this gem that has existed almost three to take in this old key. It was only hundred years.” a key, and old, and green as the cop ~ Nearer six," cried a young man, per sheathing of a vessel after a who stood near me," that is, if it twelvemonth's voyage ;-nothing more belonged, as you say it did, to Roger than an old-fashioned massive key Bacon, the monk of Brazen Nose.” with a sliding ring in place of the fix Mr. Fudge colored up to his eyes ed one that crowns the modern handle. at this unsolicited correction of his But for all this I could not help listen- chronology ; but, as it was his business ing as the price rose, and what was to buy golden opinions of all men, he worse, bidding, though every“ I thank replied, with a bow and a smile-the you, Sir,” of the auctioneer, sounded two usual adjuncts, by the way, of all in my ears marvellously like, “ well his replies—“ Much obliged to you, nibbled, gudgeon ; take another snap, Sir, for the correction.—Six hundred fool; the hook is not well in your years old.--Will no lady or gentleman gullet yet !”
say any thing ?-Going for five gui“Gentlemen,” said the orator, neas.- Really it is a mere giving away “ this key is—a key-I mean a key of this valuable relic.—Six,'-Thank katerochen-that is, ladies, par excel- you, Sir,—- Eight,—Ten,-Twenty, lence,-the key of keys,-it can be —Twenty-five.' Twenty-five guineas traced up into the possession of the are bid for Friar Bacon's key.--Going, celebrated Friar Bacon, the inventor -going,-going for only twenty-five of gunpowder. Look at it, ladies and guineas, and the treasure perfectly gentlemen,-smell it,—taste it.” Here unique !--a rarity that has not its paMr. Fudge suited the action to the rallel !-We may suppose that this word, and, licking his lips, went on was the key of the monk's sanctum,with an air of ineffable relish.—“Ex- why should it not be ?—of that celecellent! I protest it has the true an- brated chamber, of which the legend tique relish-none of your modern says it is to stand till entered by a rust, but the genuine tinge of the old- greater scholar than Bacon, when it is
way I would.
to fall on the devoted head of the stu- examined my prize, the deeper bedent, and crush it for too much learn came my conviction that there was ing."
something in it, if I could only find “ Egad ! Fudge goes beyond himself out what that something was. But to-day,” whispered Dives. “ Was not there was the difficulty, which I could that last a glorious bit of the sublime ?” not contrive to get over, turn it which Magnificent !” I said, and
In short, I was much loudly that the orator overheard me, in the same plight with my friar's key and replied to the compliment, as if that a savage of Otaheite would be, to a bidding, with his customary or rather would have been some years “ Much obliged, Sir.—Twenty-five ago-he is wiser now—with a magic guineas.-Going, for the last time, lantern, or a Dolland's microscopeand the relic six hundred years old ! good things enough in their way, if Here is a gentleman vouches for its you only happen to know how to use being six hundred years old.”
them. “ I vouch for no such thing,” said I fancy what I felt upon this occamy young neighbor, “I only answersion must have been expressed in my for the friar's having been dead that face, for the young man at my left time."
hand, who had been at such pains to “ Thank you, Sir,-much obliged correct the orator's chronology, adding for the correction,” replied the smooth three hundred and odd years to the Mr. Fudge, who seemed as little able time since Roger Bacon had flourished to travel out of his set phrases, as a at Brazen Nose, now stepped up to horse to step beyond his tether. enlighten me.
Thirty, -forty, — fifty, -pray, be “ You have got a prize, Sir,” he speedy, gentlemen, for we have a host said, though you must excuse me if of treasures to get through.-In one I suspect you are not acquainted with minute, jacta est alea, the die is cast. its value.” -Going for fifty guineas-gone
“ That is to say," I replied, “ you It was to myself that the key was think yourself the better antiquarian.” knocked down at this enormous price, “ I do not profess to be an antiquathough why I had bid so much, or rian at all,” said the young man, “ and why I had bid for it at all, was a mys- if your purchase had no other value tery past my own comprehension. I than its age, it would be, in my eyes, seemed to be acting under the power but a sorry bargain.” of some influence from without, inde " And what other value pendent of my own thoughts or my have ?” I exclaimed. “Why, if the own volition. The key, however, was old friar himself were alive again, with mine, and, being mine, I resolved to all his art and magic to help him, I put a good face on the business, and doubt if he could find any thing in this elevate its worth in the eyes of others, key beyond a piece of rusty iron.” whatever I might think of it myself. Why then, Sir, your bargain has Accordingly I handled my bargain been a sorry one. But you are wrong. with as much reverence as if it had The key has an intrinsic value, such been the purest gold instead of an old as no antiquarian would have discoverpiece of iron eaten up with rust and ed, had he pored over it for a hundred verdigris, throwing into my face a cer- years in the way he usually considers tain imposing air of mystery, which such things. If you will dine with me seemed to say, “there is more in this, when all is over,-for this is not the my merry masters, than you have the fittest place to talk of these matters,wit to fancy." Whether I succeeded I will show you how this little piece or not in persuading any one else by of iron, if wisely used, may be worth this manœuvre, is more than I can to you more gold —" pretend to say, but that I persuaded “ More than I have paid ?” myself of it-strange as this will ap “ More than is in the exchequer of pear-is quite certain. The longer I princes."
Being somewhat of a saturnine tem- hand, that my discourse will include per, I have an antipathy to all jokes, things scarcely credible to men of this whether practical or otherwise, and unbelieving age. this wore the face of a very impudent “ Why, truly," I replied, “ we have one, yet I actually accepted his invi- not such an excellent capacity of betation. It is true, the young man had lief as our forefathers had, but still not the appearance of a joker; on the we can do pretty well upon occasion." contrary, his aspect, both from its lon “ Yes,” said my guest, with a gitude and lugubrousness was such as sneer; “you do not believe in ghostsa professional mourner (where such scarcely in a devil—but you do believe artists are in request) would have that a man's mental and moral qualities deemed a fortune. And this, with a are regulated by the bumps on his strong mixture of curiosity on my skull-you do believe that ice ceases part, determined me to run all the pe- to be ice at the pole, and are even ril of a hoax; the thing on earth I beginning to doubt shrewdly, whether usually most dreaded, even beyond a you have souls ; thus voluntarily abasmad dog or a lawyer.
ing yourself from your high ranks, as I pass over the rest of the auction, things of immortal life, to the level of which had now little interest for me, the brute beast—but let that pass, it not excepting even the Venus, for a concerns me not-and let me tell you Venus Mr. Fudge pronounced the in what consists the real value of that stone to be ; and, if some people were seemingly so worthless piece of iron.” right in their surmises, he had better “ You would oblige me,” I replied, reason than any one to be positive on “ beyond measure. I am all impathe subject, having himself, as they tience to hear the secret; and, as to said, superintended the manufacture the matter of belief, you will not, I of the deity. I thought no longer of fancy, find me a very hard customer, any thing but my meeting with the provided your goods wear any thing young man at the coffee-house he had like the market stamp upon them.” named, and the explanation to grow out “ But it is strange,” said my guest, of it. When the time did come, how in that low, emphatic tone, which tedious did the dinner seem ! It strikes with such miraculous distinctappeared to my fancy as if it would ness on the tympanum of an eager never be over, so monstrous was the listener, “ It is strange beyond the appetite of my host or guest, or so strangest wonder that science or hisenormous my impatience conceived it. tory has yet recorded.” But as all earthly things must have an I was ready to burst with curiosity ! end, so had our meal. The last plate
“ This little piece of green rusty was cleared away, the last crumb iron,” he went on, “ that, to judge swept from the cloth, the cloth itself from outward appearance, is hardly borne off under the arm of the waiter, worth the trouble of picking from the and a magnum of port wine placed ground, is—" between us with the remains of a bot He paused again, and sipped his tle of sherry from the dinner. Now wine. In my heart I wished the port it was that I ventured to speak out could be changed to salt and water; plainly on the subject, to which hi- but I took care not to offend him by therto he had not made the slightest communicating this opinion. allusion; and, at my first question, “This key—and there are others, “What were the hidden virtues of the though not many, like it-commands key he had so much vaunted ?" the the entrance to the central gardens of whole man was immediately changed, the earth; for this world is not quite as if I had touched him with the rod what philosophers in their conceit of Aaron !
have imagined it to be. If you have “Sir,” he said, “ I am here to an- the courage to dare so far, in one hour swer your question, and I will answer you may be where gold and diamonds it; but it is right I warn you before- grow as thickly, aye, ten times more