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benumbed, he dropped helpless choly token. And yet he did notice down, and lay stunned for a consi- it ; for, as he raised his eyes and derable time by the fall.
saw the portentous sign, there was When he recovered, the glorious a slight' convulsive distortion of his vision had vanished. He was in countenance. But what did attract darkness. He doubted whether it his notice, and at the sight of which was not a dream that had passed his agitation was excessive, was the before his sleeping fancy; but gra- change his iron bed had undergone. dually his scattered thoughts return- It was a bed no longer. It stood ed, and with them came remem- before him, the visible semblance brance. Yes! he had looked once of a funeral couch or bier ! When again upon the gorgeous splendor he beheld this, he started from the of nature ! Once again his eyes ground ; and, in raising himself, had trembled beneath their veiled suddenly struck his head against lids, at the sun's radiance, and the roof, which was now sought repose in the soft verdure of that he could no longer stand upthe olive-tree, or the gentle swell right. “ God's will be done !" of undulating waves. Oh, that he was all he said, as he crouched his were a mariner, exposed upon those body, and placed his hand upon the waves to the worst fury of storm bier; for such it was. The iron and tempest ; or a very wretch, bedstead had been so contrived, by loathsome with disease, plague- the mechanical art of Ludovico stricken, and his body one leprous Sforza, that as the advancing walls contagion from
to sole, came in contact with its head and hunted forth to gasp out the rem- feet, a pressure was produced upon nant of infectious life beneath concealed springs, which, when those verdant trees, so he might made to play, set in motion a very shun the destiny upon whose edge simple though ingeniously contrived he tottered !
machinery, that effected the transVain thoughts like these wonld formation. The object was, of steal over his mind from time to course, to heighten, in the closing time, in spite of himself; but they scene of this horrible drama, all the scarcely moved it from that stupor feelings of despair and anguish into which it had sunk, and which which the preceding ones had kept him, during the whole night, aroused. For the same reason, the like one who had been drugged with last window was so made as to admit opium. He was equally insensible only a shadowy kind of gloom rather to the calls of hunger and of thirst, than light, that the wretched captive though the third day was now com- might be surrounded, as it were, mencing since even a drop of water with every seeming preparation for had passed his lips. He remained approaching death. on the ground, sometimes sitting, Vivenzio seated himself on his sometimes lying; at intervals, sleep-bier. Then he knelt and prayed ing heavily; and when not sleeping, fervently; and sometimes tears silently brooding over what was to would gush from him. The air come, or talking aloud, in disordered seemed thick, and he breathed with speech, of his wrongs, of his friends, difficulty; or it might be that he of his home, and of those he loved, fancied it was so, from the hot and with a confused mingling of all. narrow limits of his dungeon, which
In this pitiable condition, the sixth were now so diminished that he and last morning dawned upon Vi- could neither stand up nor lie down venzio, if dawn it might be called — at his full length. But his wasted the dim, obscure light, which faintly spirits and oppressed mind no longer struggled through the ONE SOLITARY struggled within him. He was past window of his dungeon.
He could hope, and fear shook him no more. hardly be said to notice the melan- Happy if thus revenge had struck
of a pang
its final blow; for he would have head, even as he sat cowering befallen beneath it almost unconscious neath it ; and he felt that a farther
But such a lethargy of contraction of but a few inches only the soul, after such an excitement must commence the frightful operaof its fiercest passions, had entered tion. Roused as he had been, he into the diabolical calculations of now gasped for breath. His body Tolfi; and the fell artificer of his shook violently—he was bent neardesigns had imagined a counteract- ly double. His hands rested upon ing device.
either wall, and his feet The tolling of an enormous bell drawn under him to avoid the presstruck upon the ears of Vivenzio! sure in front. Thus he remained He started. It beat but once. The for more than an hour, when that sound was so close and stunning, deafening bell beat again, and again that it seemed to shatter his very there came the crash of horrid brain, while it echoed through the death. But the concussion rocky passages like reverberating now so great that it struck Vivenpeals of thunder. This was follow- zio down. As he lay gathered up ed by a sudden rash of the roof in le ned bulk, the bell beat loud and walls, as if they were about to and frequent - crash succeeded fall upon and close around him at crash—and on, and on, and on, once, Vivenzio screamed, and in- came the mysterious engine of stinctively spread forth his arms, as death, till Vivenzio's smothered though he had a giant's strength to groans were heard no more ! He hold them back. They had moved was horribly crushed by the pondenearer to him, and were now mo- rous roof and collapsing sides and tionless. Vivenzio looked up, and the flattened bier was his Iron saw the roof almost touching his Shroud.
It has always struck me that the ator's omnipotence and immutabiliocean is the fittest emblem, and ty. Nature is always interesting, conveys the deepest impression of Elsewhere she is lovely, beautiful : God's immensity and eternity ; the here she is awful, sublime. Alps, of his unapproachable power, where she shrouds all things in a and everlasting unvariableness. In temporary repose, again to clothe the sea, wave succeeds wave fore- them with surpassing beauty and ver and forever ; billow swells upon verdure. But here there is no billow, and you see no end thereof. change : such as the first winter But magnificent a spectacle as beheld them, after they sprang from ocean ever is, at all times, and un- the hands of their Great Architect, der all aspects, it still cannot be such they still are-like himself, enjoyed without some alloy. It unchangeable and unapproachable. must be seen either from a ship, in Nor summer's heat, nor winter's which man enters too much ; or cold, have any effect on their everfrom the land, which again breaks lasting hues ; nor can the track or the unity of the idea.
works of man stain the purity of The effect of the scenes among their unsullied snows ! His voice which the chamois-hunter lives, is may not even reach that upper air weakened by no such intrusion as to disturb “the sacred calm that this. Mau's works enter not there. breathes around”—that stilly siFrom the moment he quits the cha- lence which holds forever, save let in which he has taken his short when the lauwine wakes it with the rest, until his return, he sees no voice of thunder ! In such situatrace of man ; but dwells amid tions, it is impossible not to feel as scenery stamped only with its Cre- far elevated in mind as in body,
above the petty cares, the frivolous perhaps a dead chamois at my pursuits, “the low ambition," of feet.
” this nether world. If any one de- All was calm and silent. Nosire really to feel that all is vanity thing near us spoke of animated life, here below; if he wish to catch a except perchance a butterfly, borne glimpse of the yet undeveloped ca- by the storm far from its native pabilities of his nature, of those flowers. We seemed alone in the mysterious longings, after which world ; but how different is this the heart of man so vainly yet so loneliness from that felt by those earnestly aspires ; let him wander “who, shut in chambers, think it amongst the higher Alps, and alone. loneliness!” It a solitude
Scenes like these must be seen that exalted, not debased, the mental and felt; they cannot be described. faculties; that soothed, that purifiLanguages were formed in the ed, that invigorated the soul; that plain ; and they have no words ad- taught one to forget this world inequately to represent the sensations deed, but that raised the thoughts which all must have experienced to another and a better world. among mountain scenery. A man If ever my earthly spirit has been may pass all his life in towns, and roused to a more worthy contemthe haunts of men, without knowing plation of the Almighty Author of he possesses within him such feel- Creation, it has been at such moings as a single day's chamois-hunt- ments as these ; when I have look
: ing will awaken. A lighter and a ed around on a vast amphitheatre of purer air is breathed there ; and the rocks, torn by ten thousand storms, body, being invigorated by exercise and of Alps clothed with the spotand temperance, renders the mind less mantle of everlasting snow. more capable of enjoyment. Though Above me, was the clear blue vault earthly sounds there are none, I of heaven, which at such elevations have often remarked, amid this so
so perceptibly nearer and lemn silence, an undefinable hum, more azure : far below me, the vast which yet is not sound, but seems, glacier, from whose chill bosom as it were, the still small voice of issues the future river, which is Nature communing with the heart, there commencing its long course through other senses than we are to the ocean : high over head, those at present conscious of possessing. icy pinnacles on which countless
But not to analyze the cause of winters have spread their dazzling its charm, there is doubtless a fas- honors :-who is there that could cination in the lonely sublimities of see himself surrounded by objects Alpine scenery, which nothing else such as these, and not feel his soul earthly, to my mind, can approach. elevated from Nature to Nature's And if the Arab feels such ungo- God? Yes, land of the mountain vernable rapture when launching and the torrent ! land of the glacier his courser into the bosom of the and the avalanche ! who could wandesart, is it to be wondered that the der amidst thy solitudes of unrivalsame transport should swell the ed magnificence without catching Alp-hunter's breast, who enjoys the a portion, at least, of the inspiration same sensation of freedom, the they are so calculated to excite? I same absence of man, with the ad- wonder not that thy sons, cradled dition of scenery of unparalleled among thy ever matchless scenery, magnificence ?
should cling with such filial affecSeldom or never have I experi- tion to the mountain-breast that enced such thrilling, yet tranquil nursed them, and yearn for their delight, as when reposing beneath native cot amid the luxuries of some over-arching rock, in full view foreign cities; when even a stranof Mont Blanc, or Monte Rosa, ger, born in softer lands, and passwith my chasseurs at my side, and ing but a few monihs' pilgrimage
within thy borders, yet felt himself quis versari, quam tui meminisse!” at once attached to thee as to a I would not exchange the recollecsecond home ; nor yet can hear tion of the hours I have passed without emotion the sounds that re- among thy more hidden sublimities, mind him of thy hills of freedom ! for the actual and visible enjoyment How has my heart beaten as, sling- of the tamer beauties of other couning my rifle at my back, and with tries! The future none can comwalking-staff
' in hand, I have turned mand ; but deeply grieved indeed me from the evil cares and worse should I be it I thought I were nepassions of cities, to meet the ver more to view thy pyramids of breeze, fresh from Heaven, upon eternal snow hung in mid-heaven thy mountain's side, and listen to above me, nor tread again, though the Kuhreihen of thy pastoral sons ! perchance with less elastic step, “ Heu ! qaunto minus est cum reli- thy wide-spread fields of ice !
THE GREAT MORAY FLOODS.*
Many of our readers, we dare say, 1829, fell chiefly on the Monadhread accounts in the newspapers of leadh mountains, rising between the Great Floods during August last south-eastern parts of Lochness, and year in the Province of Moray. But Kingussie in Badenoch, and on that newspaper accounts of calamities part of the Grampian range forming are generally considered apocryphal, the somewhat independent group of except they record the bite of a mad the Cairngorums. The heat in the dog-each strange tale of hydropho- province of Moray, during the bia being held devoutly true by the months of May, June, and July, had Reading Public. Sir Thomas Lau- been unusually great ; and in the der Dick has spared no pains in col- earlier part of that period, the lecting all the most interesting cir- drought so excessive as to kill many cumstances of that unexampled of the recently planted shrubs and Flood, many of them bordering so trees. As the season advanced, the closely upon the marvellous, that he fluctuations of the barometer became acknowledges he might have felt very remarkable ; but they were not some difficulty in reporting them, followed by the usual alternations of had they not, in every instance, been weather. 'It often followed that the well vouched. The extent of ground results were precisely the reverse of carried off or destroyed in particular its prognostications, and observers places, the various items of miscel- of the instrument began to lose all laneous damage, and the sums of confidence in it. These apparent money at which the various losses derangements arose, Sir Thomas are estimated, are stated from re- D. remarks, from electrical changes turns made after the survey by able in the atmosphere. The Aurora and responsible men, whose valua- Borealis appeared with uncommon tions were exclusive of all such in- brilliancy about the beginning of juries as might affect mere taste, or July, and was frequently seen afteranything not usually measured by wards, being generally accompanied money. Though nothing approach- by windy and unsteady weather, the ing to any just estimate of the grand continued drought having been total can possibly be formed, it must sometimes interrupted during the indeed have been enormous. previous months by sudden falls of
The deluge of rain that produced rain partaking of the character of the flood of the 3d and 4th of August, waterspouts. One of these oceur
* An Account of the Great Floods of August, 1829, in the Province of Moray, and adjoining Districts. By Sir Thomas Lauder Dick. Edinburgh and London, 1830.
red on Sunday the 12th of July, at these and other rivers were all more Keanlochluichart, a little Highland or less affected by the flood exactly hamlet at the head of the lake of in proportion as they were more or that name, in the parish of Contin, less connected with those mounin Ross-shire, A man, who had tains,
Some persons could not betaken shelter under a bridge, sud- lieve, looking at the floods, that they denly beheld a moving mountain of could have been produced by meresoil, stones and trees, coming down ly twenty-four hours' rain. But the deep course of the stream. He sure, such rains were never seen ; had just time to leave his stance for Mr. Murdoch, gardener to the before it reached the bridge, which Duke of Gordon, at Huntly Lodge, it overthrew in a moment, and de- ascertained that 3 inches of rain vastated the plain bordering the fell between five o'clock of the lake. All the grown-up people of morning of the 3d, and five o'clock the hamlet were at church, but the of the morning of the 4th of August; children, who were playing at home, that is to say, that, taking the avewere miraculously preserved by es- rage of the years from 1821 to 1828 caping to a hillock before the river inclusive, about one-sixth part of our reached the spot. The whole fury annual allowance of rain fell within of the flood rushed directly against those twenty-four hours ! This, too, the devoted houses ; and these, was at a great distance from the and everything they contained, were mountains—so that among them the
at once annihilated, as well as their rain must have been like one of the crops, together with the very soil foods, which was described by one they grew on; and after the debacle of the sufferers, from its fury, as had passed away, the course of the "just perfeckly ridiculous." river ran through the ruined hearths The united line of the rivers, of this so recently happy a commu- whose devastations Sir Thomas unnity. This waterspout did not ex- dertakes to describe, cannot be less tend beyond two miles on each side in extent than from 500 to 600 miles. of the village, which led, continues Ilaving visited the greater part of Sir Thomas, these simple people to the flooded districts in person, he consider their calamity as a visita- writes about them very much from tion of Providence for their land- his own observation, aided by the lord's vote in Parliament in favor ample oral and written information of Catholic Emancipation !
obtained from persons of intelliSir Thomas has a very plausible gence ; and often he brings forward theory to account for the great floods the witnesses to tell in their own of the 3d and 4th of August. words their own story. The narra
The previous prevalence of westerly tive, therefore, is often enlivened by winds had produced a gradual ac- dramatic scenes, equal in interest cumulation of vapor somewhere to to the best in Sir Walter's novels. the north of our island, and the co- We shall select, almost at random, lumn being suddenly impelled by a a few of the most interesting. strong north-easterly blast, it was The Dorback, which joins the driven towards the south-west, its Divie, comes from the wild lake of right flank almost sweeping the Lochindorbe, remarkable for the Caithness and Sunderland coasts, extensive ruins of its insulated casuntil, rushing up and across the tle, and has many tributary burns. Moray Frith, it was attracted by One of its branches destroyed a the lofty mountains of the Monadhi- bridge on the Grantown road, and leadh range, and discharged its tor- another tore down the bridge of rents into the Nairn, the Findhorn, Dava, swept away the garden of the the Spey, the Lossie, the Deveron, inn, and the whole crop and scil atthe Don, and the Dee, and their va- tached to it. The Dorback itself rious tributaries. Certain it is, that utterly annihilated the whole of the