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planet, which thou beholdest at a distance. The five uncouth monsters, which we have brought in this august presence, were once very important chiefs among their fellow savages, who are a race of beings totally destitute of the common attributes of humanity; and differing in every thing from the inhabitants of the moon, inasmuch as they carry their heads upon their shoulders, instead of under their arms—have two eyes instead of one—are utterly destitute of tails, and are of a variety of unseemly complexions, particularly of a horrible whiteness, instead of peagreen.
"We have moreover found these miserable savages sunk into a state of the utmost ignorance and depravity, every man shamelessly living with his own wife, and rearing his own children, instead of indulging in that community of wives enjoined by the law of nature, as expounded by the philosophers of the moon. In a word, they have scarcely a gleam of true philosophy among them, but are, in fact, utter heretics, ignoramuses and barbarians. Taking compassion, therefore, on the sad condition of these sublunary wretches, we have endeavoured, while we remained on their planet, to introduce among them the light of reason—and the comforts of the moon. We have treated them to mouthfuls of moonshine, and draughts of nitrous oxyde, which they swallowed with incredible voracity, particularly the females; and we have likewise endeavoured to instil into them the precepts of lunar philosophy. We have insisted upon their renouncing the contemptible shackles of religion and common sense, and adoring the profound, omnipotent, and all perfect energy, and the ecstatic, immutable, immovable, perfection. But such was the unparalleled obstinacy of these wretched savages, that they persisted in cleaving to their wives and adhering to their religion, and absolutely set at nought the sublime doctrines of the moon—nay, among other abominable heresies, they even went so far as blasphemously to declare that this ineffable planet was made of nothing more nor less than green cheese I"
At these words the great man in the moon (being a very profound philosopher) shall fall into a terrible passion, and possessing equal authority over things that do not belong to him, as did whilome his holiness the Pope, shall forthwith issue a formidable bull—specifying, " That whereas a certain crew of lunatics have lately discovered and taken possession of a newly discovered planet called the earth; and that whereas it is inhabited by none but a race of two legged animals that carry their heads on their shoulders instead of under their arms—cannot talk the lunatic language—have two eyes instead of one —are destitute of tails, and of a horrible whiteness, instead of pea-green; therefore, and for a variety of other excellent reasons, they are considered incapable of possessing any property in the planet they infest, and the right and title to it are confirmed to its original discoverers.—And furthermore, the colonists who are now about to depart to the aforesaid planet, are authorized and commanded to use every means to convert these Infidel savages from the darkness of Christianity, and make them thorough and absolute lunatics.
In consequence of this benevolent bull, philosophic benefactors go to work with hearty zeal. They seize upon our fertile territories, scourge us from our rightful possessions, relieve us from our wives; and when we are unreasonable enough to complain, they will turn upon us and say, "Miserable barbarians! ungrateful wretches!— have we not come thousands of miles to improve your worthless planet ?—have we not fed you with moonshine?—have we not intoxicated you with nitrous oxyde ?—does not our moon give you light every day ?—and have you the baseness to murmur, when we claim a pitiful return for all these benefits?" But finding that we not only persist, in absolute contempt of their reasoning, and disbelief in their philosophy, but even go so far as daringly to defend our property, their patience shall be exhausted, and they shall resort to their superior powers of argument— hunt us with hippogriffs, transfix us with concentrated sunbeams, demolish our cities with moonstones; until having, by main force, converted us to the true faith, they shall graciously permit us to exist in the torrid deserts of Arabia, or the frozen regions of Lapland, there to enjoy the blessings of civilization, and the charms of lunar philosophy—in much the same manner as the reformed and enlightened savages of this country are kindly suffered to inhabit the inhospitable forests of the north, or the impenetrable wilderness of South America. w. Irving.
A ZEALOUS DOMESTIC.
The roar of the sea had long announced their approach to the cliffs, on the summit of which, like the nest of some sea-eagle, the founder of the fortress had perched his eyry. The pale moon, which had hitherto been contending with flitting clouds, now shone out, and gave them a view of the solitary and naked tower, situated on a projecting cliff that beetled on the German Ocean. On three sides the rock was precipitous; on the fourth, which was that toward the land, it had been originally fenced by an artificial ditch and drawbridge; but the latter was broken down and ruinous, and the former had been in part filled up, so as to allow passage for a horseman into the narrow court-yard, encircled on two sides with low offices and stables, partly ruinous, and closed on the landward front by a low embattled wall, while the remaining side of the quadrangle was occupied by the tower itself, which, tall and narrow, and built of a grayish stone, stood glimmering in the moonlight like the sheeted spectre of some huge giant. A wilder or more disconsolate dwelling it was perhaps difficult to conceive. The sombrous and heavy sound of the billows, successively dashing against the rocky beach at a profound distance beneath, was to the ear what the landscape was to the eye—a symbol of unvaried and monotonous melancholy, not unmingled with horror.
Although the night was not far advanced, there was no sign of living inhabitant about this for
VOL. III. D
lorn abode, excepting that one, and only one, of the narrow and staunchelled windows, which appeared at irregular heights and distances in the walls of the building, showed a small glimmer of light.
"There," said Ravenswood, "sits the only male domestic that remains to the house of Ravenswood; and it is well that he does remain there, since otherwise we had little hope to find either light or fire. But follow me cautiously; the road is narrow, and admits only one horse in front."
In effect, the path led along a kind of isthmus, at the peninsular extremity of which the tower was situated, with that exclusive attention to strength and security, in preference to every circumstance of convenience, which dictated to the Scottish barons the choice of their situations, as well as their style of building.
By adopting the cautious mode of approach, recommended by the proprietor of this wild hold, they entered the court-yard in safety. But it was long ere the efforts of Ravenswood, though loudly exerted by knocking at the low-browed entrance, and repeated shouts to Caleb to open the gate and admit them, received any answer.
"The old man must be departed," he began to say, " or fallen into some fit; for the noise I have made would have waked the seven sleepers."
At length a timid and hesitating voice replied, —" Master—Master of Ravenswood, is it yon f"
"Yes, it is I, Caleb; open the door quickly."
"But is it you in very blood and body? For I would sooner face fifty deevils as my maister's