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the instrument before which he sat, culiarly his own, so that he perpetualwhile I stood beside him, a door-way ly dazzles and attracts by his swift led into another room, which I knew and direct comprehension of all shapes to be a small cabinet of books, and this and sides of human character, which opening, was closed not by a door, shows itself as well in the common but a green curtain. On one occasion intercourse of life, as in the poetic on which I had been singing with creations to which he devotes bis semuch pleasure to myself, and to the rious efforts. Being such as he is, satisfaction of my friend and master, you cannot wonder that in the dull and I had ended the song, a new one of shapeless mass of ordinary society the poet before mentioned, of which this man blazed like a fiery gem. the air closed in a long pathetic flow “At the time when I became familiar of deepest emotion ; such, that the with him, I was inclined to take a sad poet afterwards compared it to the but resigned view of all things, fanlast bright soft sunset before the com- cying that as to our ultimate destinamencing deluge. At the instant when tion, we can know nothing; all the my voice sank into silence, I heard a distance round being but cloud and slight rustling near me, and looking darkness, and nothing remaining for round, I saw the curtain drawn aside, us but to light and adorn as much as and held in one hand by a man whose possible, the narrow circle in which, other hand, as well as his counten. for the moment, we are moving. In ance, expressed the highest degree of him I did not meet with any opposi. attention and sympathy. As my eyes tion to my own views. But I found caught his, he did not retire, but came that gradually, while I learned to know forward, and apologized for his intru- him better, my daily and immediate sion, by saying, that he had been en. sphere seemed to grow wider and gaged in arranging some verses in the more beautiful. The dark and solid cabinet for our common friend. I horizon melted into clear air. He found that it was the poet. I after- covered the soil with fairer herbage wards learned from him that he had and flowers, and shaded it with enseveral times already been the unseen chanted groves, and peopled it with auditor of my singing. His fame was gayer and more stately figures. From such, and such my own estimation of all the real incidents and persons we him, and his manners, and language, met with, he drew out new meanings, were now so winning, that I could not and wrought them together into roundbe displeased. And thus began our ed and dramatic groups. In his hands intimacy. A fairy sky indeed before every material object seemed to bea black deluge.
come plastic, and yielded to his shap“ Thus began my knowledge of a ing touch, while he expanded and harman from whom has been derived the monized it into an intelligible represtrongest interest of my subsequent sentative of some grand idea or delilife. He was-he doubtless still is- cate sentiment. Every one also around a person whose appearance and man- us grew happier and less barren under ners are admirably in accordance with the spell of his wise and creative symthe nobler gifts of genius and know- patlıy. Thus I found the two proledge. He is distinguished by a tran- cesses going on together; the revival quil and unfailing dignity, graceful of my own spirit, and that of the beyond all that I have seen in man, whole world I lived in. My feelings and produced, doubtless, allowing for in this new state of being were not, his bodily advantages, in a great de- indeed, those of my first early and degree by his lively and predominant voted love, nearest of all earthly afsense of the beautiful and the appro- fections to religion—unhesitating, fond, priate, in all things. In him, elo- ecstatic, with a ceaseless, thrilling, quence is a various and finished art, sense of new-found life, and with an embodying and harmonizing a most awful apprehension of a blessed mys. abundant natural faculty; and I should tery, encompassing both me and hin have thought it altogether unrivalled I loved. I then seemed the companion had I not once known a far more fer- of the one high kindred spirit in a vast vid, generous, and lofty spirit, pour- delusive temple, blazing with incense, ing itself forth in somewhat ruder ac- and deriving its choicest fragrance cents. But he also possesses a pliancy from our bosoms. After this, the first and panoramic largeuess of mind, pe- wondrous enchantment of the youth
ful heart was rudely broken, and I imagination, and dizzy self-abandon. found myself alone, and mourning in ment. I often shrank from saying, a dead wilderness, with the dark sha- yes, to the question. But, at least, I dow of him I once delighted in, mock- thought, what I now possess is the ing at me, as it fled on the far hori. best substitute for earlier delight which
Then in fear, and shame, and time and calamity have left me. eager passion, I thought that I had " I saw this man in the midst of found realized in you all I once dreamt London society, where he was necesof, wanting only my own irrecoverable sarily the central figure of many rapture, and fancied that the one great circles. Those who did not at all woe of nature and destiny was the appreciate his powers, and to whom folly which led me to lavish my life his poems appeared tame, trifling, and upon another, instead of treasuring it obscure, yet felt the necessity of his
There was a fearful mad presence, and were fascinated by the joy in this kindling of a love which I clear and graceful word which solved had believed extinct for ever. In gain. whatever riddle came to hand, and ing your affection, I seized this good was always spoken at the right time. even on the brink of misery, and while More than others I enjoyed his supeI knew that a still blacker misery than riority, for I understood him better the first, would needs, one day, per- than all but a few, and received more haps the very morrow, arise from it. attention from him tban any. To Lastly, came my relation to my new this hour I cannot remember, without friend, wbich rather tended to brighten some surprise, how much I learned and enlarge the common and the from him even in the course of a few cheap, and to enable me to make the months. He taught me to see in art best of the inevitable, and to smooth a world akin to, but distinct from, the and embellish my road over the earth, natural one, and representing all its though it gave me no wings for mount. rude vast wilderness of facts in sunny ing into air. At first, I had dwelt in and transparent imagery. The Beaua heavenly paradise with one whom I tiful became for me the highest obe now will not name. Then in a row ject of existence-to see it and repromantic home with you, amid a lonely duce it the noblest aim of human and sublime land. But now with him effort. Not at all that I or my friend in a light and fanciful pavilion, pitch. supposed all things to exist only for ed for ease and refreshment in a spot the purpose of being purified and reretired, but not far from ordinary hu. combined into beautiful symbols. But man life, and yielding a fair prospect he taught me that there is an element of its fields, and streams, and towns. of beauty in whatever is most evil,
“ Thus I thought of him when first and that the highest of our many fawe became intimate with each other. culties and tasks is that of discovering But gradually I better understood and this, and employing it in such shapes was more strongly interested in the as shall make it manifest to the appreinexhaustible resources of his talents, hension of men. But I will not now and his power, not of assuming as a review the many sides on which this disguise, but of shaping himself into idea was presented to me, and how every diversity of brilliant and strik. much in history and literature was ing life. I learned, also, to love him called up by the necromancy of his more, and to value more highly his intellect to strengthen me in these apparent admiration. So all this opinions and sympathies. It is useless comparison, which I had often drawn
to linger over the tale. I found, in for myself, changed its outline, and short, that the more I grew to know still more its colouring. I began to and admire him, the more divided I ask myself whether this calmer but insensibly became from all my other more complete mutual intelligence, acquaintances and friends. Some, of this clear and friendly view over the course, were jealous of my influence world around us, this freedom from over him- some affected a moral disexaggerating illusion, and this enjoy- approbation, which some, doubtless, ment of the whole genius of a man felt. The tide of opinion had set than whom none, probably, is more against me, and many were determinentirely and profusely cultivated, was ed to go with it wherever it might not well worth all that I had ever lead or mislead them. He continued known of headlong passion, of flaming to woo me as a minstrel-lover, and to
VOL, XLY. NO, CCLXXIX,
instruct me as a sage teacher, but also much I dislike all painful scenes tha
My health gave and poison flowers. Still I fancied my- way along with so much else. He self contented so long as he was with wrote to me two or three times during me. He, too, appeared to feel as I, nay, the year he was in Italy, and affected became more and more devoted. Some to believe my answers must have misof the loveliest poems with which he carried. They had never been written. bewitched the world, were suggested It is now two years since his return. I by his passion for me; nay, a few of refused to see him on his making the his songs were but versifications of proposal. I am now dying, without passages in my letters to him. a friend near me, and with no consoword–for I have loitered too weakly lation but that which I derive from already--I became wholly his, but not the certainty of my own repentance before I fancied that he was no less for the much of evil in my life, and entirely my own.
It is idle in me to that I now long and groan towards talk of shame, guilt, remorse. I talked good in every form of it I know, not of these once as others do, and as from the hope of any selfish gain, but people hear them talked of in sermons. for its own excellence, and from the Now I know them, and oh, how deep conviction that the sense of beauty sharply has the knowledge been forced is but the thin dream of which pure upon me!
sanctity is the waking life. I have “ In the mean time he never aban- but one request to make to any one on doned his position in that society from earth, which is, that you will convey which, for his sake, I had excluded the accompanying papers to Walsingmyself. He mingled in it as much as ham. They are the letters and poems before, and was no less wondered at which he addressed to me. I have and observed, while he laboured in written inside the cover, only the private at my side in the creation of words,—' I forgive, as I pray to be forworks which gained daily more appro- given.' You, therefore, need not fear bation, and that of a more valuable that you will be the messenger of any kind. But I was not happy. My weak reproaches. If your voice can sorrow, however, was only one ingre. add aught likely to move his heart, dient in a potion which contained much and awaken in him some consciousof passion, enthusiasm, romance, in ness of the amazing reality of those a word, of deep, delightful, and, feelings which have been to him strange as it may seem, I will add, of through life only most refined and unselfish love. Such was my state elaborate play-things, I pray you to when, on the morrow of a day, most do it. To yourself I would only say of which he had passed with me, I hope in all that is good. Believe received a note from him, saying that in it-love it not with the love of pashe found it absolutely necessary, in sion, but with that of your whole order to complete a work he had un- being,-mind, heart, and conscience. dertaken on the different periods of Do this, and you will in time find peace, art, that he should again visit Italy. perhaps, where you now least expect He was about to set ont in two or it. Think of me as now, in dying, the three days. “You know,' he said, how true sister of your spirit, Selina."
Accompanying this letter was one wonder and some scorn; and after a from a medical man, unknown to pause, replied, Collins, announcing that the packet « Oh, I see.
You mean to acof papers had been given him by his cuse me of her death.
A fancy, patient on her death-bed, with an ear- doubtless, founded on her own statenest request that it might be sent ments. Poor Selina ! She had an immediately after her decease. Her infinite depth of love, but as little death had been calm and Christian; wisdom as the shallowest of female and she had desired that a stone should natures." be placed upon her grave, bearing only ~ The greater the crime, of practhis inscription,—“ Here lies a Wo- tising on her folly." man, a Sinner, a Victim, and a Peni. « So be it. There are few graves tent."
of those whom we have known at all When Collins had indulged for an intimately on which error of some kind hour the feelings caused by this com- does not sit, and accuse and revile us munication, he walked to the Mount as we pass along. We have, however, in search of Walsingham. He did not something better to do than to reply. at all change his common grey dress; As well might one turn back to answer and he arrived at the house with his the scoffings of the voices which beset staff in his hand, weary, travel-stained, the traveller up the mountain in the and excited. He might not have easily Arabian Tale. gained access at the moment to the “ Is this, then, all--a wretched filaman he sought, but Maria happened to gree comparison, half a jest, and all a see him, and, observing from his look falschood-which you can give as laand tone that he was in a disturbed mentation for her whose heart you mood, and full of serious care, she broke?” asked him no question, but opened a “ My calmness is perhaps more suitdoor into the library, and said, 'I able under the eye of death than your believe you will find him there.' mad, boyish anger. But we gain noThrough an arch, at the opposite end thing by this inappropriate dispute. of the room, he now saw Walsing- If you have discharged your commisham, seated in a smaller study, at a sion I thank you for your pains; if not, table, and with a book before him. pray do so without delay. I would fain The stained glass window threw a be at leisure to recall the pictures of the crimson glory on his noble face. As past, with which these letters, if they be Collins approached with a strong and what I suppose, are closely connected.” hasty step, the poet rose, and met him “ The letters are your own. I have with a gentle smile, expressed his plea- not read them, as I had no spurious sure at seeing him, and begged him ambition of writing a romance, and to sit down. The recluse had the finding matter to garnish it in every packet of papers in his hand, which forgotten heap of rubbish. I know he held out, and said
well with what a pretence of passionate “ I am sorry the pleasure is not mu- feeling they must be filled, or they tual. I am come on a painful errand, could never have obtained any sympawhich these papers will explain. Per- thy from a heart like hers.” haps the nature of it will occur to you, “ I daresay some of them are lovewhen I recall the name of Selina, and letters; but, assuredly, they contain no tell you that she is now dead." binding pledges that my life was to be
“ Dead!" said Walsingham, with wasted in playing with the tangles of a tone of sincere surprise and grief; Selina's hair. But, Mr Collins, I and, as he took the packet, he sank know how she once felt towards you, back into his seat, and leaned his head and I can understand and forgive your upon his hand, with which he hid his present emotion. Your judgment of eyes. He remained thus for some mi- me is, perhaps, from your point of nutes, when Collins said — " Dead! view, very natural; but, if you have and by whom slain, you probably can fulfilled the purpose of this visit, I best divine."
again beg of you to leave me to my Walsingham looked up with grave own reflections."
“ I would gladly do so, if I had any And thou, O Love! wilt leave me soon, expectation they would prove as pain. For Grief's cold kiss has poisoned thee. ful as they ought. I have, however,
3. little hope of changing a settled iciness
"O life! O love! () woeful heart! of heart, so long accustomed to be played over by the northern lights of I sing for one who cannot hear; fancy, and therewith to be content. Thou, water, can'st not ease my smart
Ye summer leaves, my wreath is sere. Could you only learn what a base and gaudy reptile you seemed at the last
4. to her, you now seem to me, you would at least shrink from a contempt
". Thou lute, how oft thy strains wero far sterner than any you can pretend to him who cannot hear thee now!
sweet to feel. With all your fame, and selfish lic-begetting genius, I have known My heart and fingers idly beat
Two useless toys are I and thou.' many a poor handicraftsman worthier than you to have been loved by her,
5. and whose name I would rather be able
“ I saw the maid, I heard the song, now to join with hers on her untimely Amid the heedless foliage sigh ; but most welcome tomb."
I turned away, and wandered long, Walsingham started up, trembling Or sat and dreamt beneath the sky. as he rose, while Collins, before he spoke, turned his back upon him, and
6. strode out of the room.
“ I mused amid a lonely glen, In a few minutes the poet began to Where trees, and winds, and streams were read deliberatelythrough the letters and all, papers ; and he soon embodied the re- And thought, how shrieks from sorrow's sults of his reflection on them in some den, hasty stanzas. He afterwards recurred Re-echo every madrigal. to the scene between himself and Col. lins, and came to the conclusion that it resembled one which might be worth “ From each delight of human hearts, painting between Luther and Leo X. That finds within those caves a tomb, Collins, he thought, would probably A ghost inevitable starts, be as well pleased with the part of the
And haunts, as rightful prince, the gloom. reformer which I assign him, as I with that of the cultivated and genial man,
8. no true head, perhaps, of Christendom,
“ But not supreme the spectres reign, but a worthy Pope of the Fine Arts.
And oft a younger joyous crew After all, St Peter's is like to stand as
Will scare away the goblin train,
And bless the radiant halls anew. long as the Reformation. The verses were these :
9. “I turned and sought the fountain's glade,
And Grief and Bliss, a sister pair, 1.
Two nymphs, came glimmering through " There was a maid who held a lute,
the shade, And sat beside a fountain's brim,
And seemed to speed me smoothly there. And while she sang the woods were mute, And heard through all their arches dim.
“ Again I saw the fountain flow, 2.
I heard the trees around it wave, "O! life, thou weary boon, But caught no lute's melodious woe : 'Tis Love that makes thee sad to me, I only found a grassy grave.”
“ She sang,
On that evening Collins returned, saw that he was disturbed and melanweary, sad, and scornful, to his cot- choly, and kept out of his way. Thus tage, and sat solitary in the room he remained, alone in his old elm-wood where he had received Walsingham arm-chair, with his eyes fixed upon the and Maria. The old servant, who was floor, while darkness closed around accustomed to observe bis humour, him. The ticking of the ancient clock,