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precipitately, as if they fled from the cage of a wild beast. It was some time before they dared to return; and then, as they peeped in at the door to look at the state of things, they could not help upbraiding themselves. 'He's been druv' into fits!' said one; 'he's been treated shameful!' Fits is awful,' replied they; 'but Peter Cram's fits goes ahead of any thing we ever seen!'
When the distraction of the unfortunate man had ceased, he was put to bed, and kindly treated. The next morning he had recovered from his fright, and felt better, and even went so far as to say that he 'had known worse noises at some singin'-concerts afore now.' But he decided that it was best for him to depart from Tinnecum. Before the sun had risen very high, he left the place where he had received such ill treatment, and putting a little brown trunk under his left arm, strode down with hasty steps to the shores of Swan Creek. There he made a keen bargain with the owner of a skiff, and in a few moments embarked, and pushed off with a long pole. He was observed for several hours urging himself along, until at last his tall form entirely disappeared in the distance; and as he was never seen or heard of afterward, it is supposed that he was lost amidst the windings and meanderings of that romantic river.
THE SPIRIT O F MUSIC.
BY 1. M'LELLAN, JR.
SPIRIT of Music and of Song!
Through the wide range of earth and air
The mountain forest, deep and dim,
Across the rolling prairies' waste
Thy soft airs heave the murmuring grass,
In tinkling ripples, charm the soul!
I've voyaged many a live-long day
Far have I roamed a foreign shore,
Where the brave Greek in battle won
Thy silent field, drear Marathon!
Have heard the long grass and the moss
I've heard the turbid Nile, as fast
Haply the hollow-sounding hum
Heard where his browsing flocks do feed;
Heard by the swift Rhone's pastoral bank;
Haply the camel's tinkling bell,
When evening o'er the Desert fell,
And round our camp-fire by the tent,
All these familiar voices cheer
Our hearts when pacing life's dull ring;
In this present age of steam and intellect, it has become the fashion to rail unmercifully at the 'good old times;' to associate with the dim vistas of antiquity, and its departed glories, a perspective of barbarism and a delusive splendor. The world has become so purely matter-offact, that it is scarcely thought necessary to draw the distinction which is so palpable between the useless researches of the musty antiquary, and the fine moral which a well-tempered mind may educe from the history or the relics of a by-gone age. To one whose imagination leads him discreetly to consider these things as forming a part of that chain of memories which, well conducted, constitutes the history of our race, much profitable speculation may be drawn from the contemplation of a rusty coat of mail, or of a rent and faded banner. To the thorough-bred antiquary, generalizing is naturally abhorrent. He is one who lives upon minutia, and who eschews romance. He will cavil at a mere verbal error in the reprint of an old ballad, and waste days in collation to correct it, while the nerve, the fire of its spirit is unheeded. To such a fellow as Ritson, a false reading of Chevy-Chace were more heinous than a forgery, even though the change improved the version. To such people, an uncut copy of some worthless blackletter is immeasurably more valuable than the finest modern effort of genius. This is surely any thing but the true reverence for antiquity; and the rabid bibliomaniac, or the mere technical antiquary, are persons to whom the world can never owe but little. With what gusto will such persons dissipate the visions of dreamers like ourselves, by ferreting out an anachreonism! How keenly will they pursue the point, and with what triumph prove the relic, which has been the subject of our meditation, as belonging to another age, or perhaps indeed a forgery!
We look with indefinable feelings upon a Roman or a Syrian coin; we conjure up a thousand images; we fancy it at one time as having formed a part of the treasures of a Cræsus or the hoards of a Tyrian merchant; flung by the heralds to the populace as largesse at a triumph, or wrested by the minions of a Prætor as a tribute from a captive province: in short, we frame a history, and expatiate in imaginings; while perhaps the subject of our speculation is but a cunning counterfeit, the ingenius labor of those who live upon credulity or ignorance. We cannot feel grateful to any one who dissipates our harmless dreams, for to us an antique has a sacredness, from the associations connected with its real or supposed history; and we are little thankful to one who overturns the fabric which an ardent mind so loves to build upon a foundation which is often as airy as the superstructure. The spirit of our age is unfavorable to hypothesis. A man may speculate never so divinely in vain; he is asked for proof, and no mercy is shown to the ramblings of fancy. We have become utilitarian, mere unintellectual Macadamites. People must travel now upon a mental turnpike, and no green shady by-lanes, redolent of flowers, and vocal with the songs of birds, are tolerated. We are becoming more learned
and less fanciful than our predecessors. It is a matter of surprise to many, that we should read, ay, and enjoy too, Rabelais, Burton, or Charles Lamb, in preference to the Penny Cyclopædia; that the racy quaintness of our old favorites should be preferred to the colder and more naked realities of the innumerable libraries' which the press has vomited forth in such indiscriminate profusion. We dispute not the tastes of others, and only pray that we may be allowed to minister to our own, useless comparatively though they may be, but surely harmless. To those who have no feelings congenial with these, it is a matter of surprise that any difficulty should be made in prostrating the most venerable ruin in the universe-one of the mile-stones in the march of history-to make room for a rail-road! We have fallen upon an advertisement of the sale of bells belonging to the old Spanish churches, which has touched the spring in this fount of feeling.
What thoughts are conjured up at the sight of these deep-tone 1 monitors! We can scarcely imagine how their iron tongues were silent, when they were torn from the ancient tower whence perhaps for ages they had marked the lapse of time. Could they but speak, how many tales might these solemn heralds tell us of the past! We can fancy them pealing through the midnight air to warn a sleeping city that the Moor is at her gates, swelling the cry of triumph for a victory, or tolling the agonias of a monarch. Such may have been the history of one of these relics, into whose composition precious metals were cast, and over whose baptism a bishop perhaps presided. The massive rim is rough with fret-work, surrounding the name, the legend, and the date, fit decoration for the towers of Seville or Toledo. Another, less elaborate in its workmanship, may have graced the simple belfry of some mountain village of the Asturias, calling its wild and scattered peasantry to their devotions, mingling its joyous chime with the shouts of a bridal party, or wailing sadly above a Spanish maiden's grave. This, heavy and deep-toned, is said to have been taken from the Inquisition. Upon how many dreadful scenes is it the commentary, and of how many frightful deeds a witness! Its brazen voice ne'er spoke to tell of joy, but marked aloud the few short hours between the torture and the grave! With this dread signal we associate the blazing pile, the devoted victim, the immoveable executioners; it tells but of disgrace, despair, and death. Its mournful clang, mingling with the pealing hymn, the dirge of the departing, rang out the knell of mental freedom, and told the triumph of craft and superstition.
We remember a small bell, delicately sculptured, which once formed part of the treasures of a Peruvian church, the sight of which called up a long train of imaginary recollections. The shape was elegant; the handle formed by a female figure, with closed palms and upturned eyes, the veritable image of a saint. It had been rescued from a mass of old plate, sold to be re-melted. We fancied we beheld the proud nobles in whose hands it had sent forth its silver tones, while with affected humility they knelt as assistants at the altar; the splendor of a Spanish cathedral in its palmy days; the crowds of grim warriors in their mail; the white-robed friars; the pealing music, and the swelling choir. I saw the steel-clad robbers, Pizarro and Almazo, prostrate before the symbol of a Divinity, whose every law they had outraged, returning thanks for the successful issue of schemes of rapine and of blood; while shrouded in the clouds of in
cense, which soaring from the censers to the lofty roof, dimmed the blaze of the innumerable torches, flitted the pale ghosts of the murdered Incas, calling down the vengeance of the gods upon their destroyers. And not in vain. Could the poor victims of its avarice rise from their bloody graves, they would find the curse bequeathed by them to Spain too terribly fulfilled. If a dreamer may believe that the spirits of the departed are permitted to 'revisit the glimpses of the moon,' and that the Moor now haunts the ancient seats of his greatness, lamenting over the blooming plains of Granada, and the magnificent ruins of the Alhambra, his glory and his tomb, the same harmless stretch of imagination will people the decaying cities of America with the shades of the noble Peruvians, and the heroic bands of Montezuma, exulting in the anarchy and discord which has degraded their haughty conquerors to be the slaves of every petty tyrant whom force or stratagem has made their temporary master. By all the miseries which Spain has suffered; by the oppressions of her kings, and the still more grievous tyranny of her priests; by her degraded nobles and her debased people, who bow their necks to the yoke of superstition, and make a boast of ignorance; by these and by a thousand other evils, are the pale hosts of her innumerable victims well avenged!
Spain, romantic Spain!' like Rome in its decline, lives upon the memories of the past. The recollection of her faded glories consoles her sons in their decay, but fails to wake that spirit which alone can restore her to prosperity. Let us hope, however, that the seas of blood which have been shed upon the altars of civil discord be not in vain, and that at a day not distant, the old war-cry of St. Iago y España!' may not longer be an empty sound. The mighty agent of this bright consummation will not be the sword. Let Spain reform her colleges, open new channels of information for her people, encourage education, and explode the antiquated systems which have so long cramped her intellectual energies, and we may hope to see again a Quevedo, a Calderon, and a Cervantes, and her faded banner shine once more with its proud vaunt of 'Ne plus ultra !'
Such are the reflections which spring from the contemplation of these relics; and, as we write, the signal for the evening prayer comes swelling on the wind; the vesper bell, or more properly the Avé-Maria. We rise from our desk, and flinging open the casement of the corridor, gaze down into the Plaza,' thronged with people. At the first peal, every one stops and uncovers; the din of numberless carriages ceases; the echo of the bell, and the deep roll of the drums from the barracks, alone interrupt the silence, which hushes, as if by magic, the noise and clamor of a large city. The moving crowds which fill the streets, as the fervid sun declines, pause with one accord, as if under the influence of some mysterious spell. The succeeding peals of the huge bell toll on, and gradually they move forward; each one salutes his neighbor, and in a few minutes every one is hurrying onward, and the 'city's hum' is redoubled. A few persons, more devout than their fellows, may still be seen immoveable before a church, prolonging their orisons, and adding to their supplications to the 'Queen of Heaven' some additional importunities to a favorite saint.
Could we but persuade ourselves that this affecting scene were real; that at a given signal a whole nation with one accord prostrated itself