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Two Novels. The Life And Death Of Silas ...
instead of dying lonely and wretched amid his money-bags , dies l # e j « iy other man fromTan infection ! It is doubtless . true , that m life a miser s as liable to the Plague aa any one else ; but in A ^ hlch A f C ?^ W Art , is a selection of typical elements , that is not the m ^ njer-The author has not only evaded the rea 1 , though d ^ culJ f 1 eno ^ ie ^ n but by the introduction of the actress with whom Silas falls ^ madly n love , it seems as if some such idea had been in his mind , and subsequently E Withall * drawbacks , however , Silas SarnsiarJceis a readable story , sometimes remarkable , and always displaying a strength m the writer extract the where
greater than is put forth . As a specimen , we scene Silas murders his cousin : — " The sky was covered by gray clouds : not a star was visible . Js . light fresh wind blew in the travellers' faces and whistled through the hedges above them . « The bridle road now led them up a gentle rise , at the top of which spread out a large , sweet-emelling , healthy common ; desolate , little frequented , and not having a house within two miles of it . . " The spot wag well-known to Barnstarke , as , indeed , was every inch ot that road so of ten passed over by him from his youth upwards . "As they left the bridle road , he leant his hand on the crupper , and , turning his head , looked with piercing glance down the hill .
"' My friend David Waller in doublet white , ^ "Without any arms either dusky or bright . Charged through them twice like a little sprite , Which nobody can deny I ' " Thus sang Francis Lovell in his melodious bass voice , continuing the ditty as he went . . " Barnstarke ' s heart gave one dull , heavy bound ; he raised himself up m his Btirrups ; drew forth one of his pistolsj leant over the horse ' s head ; stretched out his arm ; and , pointing the muzzle between Lovell ' s shoulders , fired . " ' Help , Silas , help I' cried Francis Lovell , and fell dying from his horse . " The merchant dismounted , catching his cousin ' s horse by the rein ; then with his remaining pistol he shot his own through the head . " The fine creature , with a rear , fell dead at his feet .
" Barnstarke stooped beside his cousin . " Torrents of blood were flowing from LovelFs mouth . He feebly lifted his hand , made an effort to raise himself and to speak , and then fell back suffocated by his blood . " Barnstarke , avoiding the crimson stream , proceeded , with trembling hands , to rifle the dead man ; turning his pockets wrongside out , and concealing the money he found therein on his own person . He then took the valises off the horses and scattered their contents about . He next discharged his and LovelFs pistols , reloading one of his own and one of his cousin ' s ; which last he placed beside the still warm body , whilst he returned his own to the holster . He then let LovelFs horse go free ; and disarranging his own garments , to makeihem appear as though robbers had maltreated him , he laid himself down beside his horse to await the event .
. "As he lay with head to earth , Barnstarke could hear the heath on the common rustling in the night breeze , as also the heavy beating of his own heart . " The excitement of his murderous deed was still upon him . He tried to calm bit hurried thoughts and to compose his trembling body , which shook as the body of a man tired and worn out by an over-long and over-rapid race . His teeth chattered , and the sweat broke out at every pore , whilst he felt the mute presence of his victim , although he beheld him not . " * Tush ! tush ! ' quoth the murderer to himself . ' I have been strong to act , and the deed hath been well thought over and carefully planned . Shall I lose all , through quaking and terror ? Shall I find but the gallows for the lands I have won i "
" By degrees the trembling passed away , and Barnstarko remained stretched on the ground as one stunned . Faint and sick was he , but well prepared to act the part he had cut out for himself . " Like unto one who , receiving a shot in hot blood , feels not the pain at once , no Barnstarke ' s soul , wounded by sin in hot blood , felt not as yet the agony of crime . His thoughts were intent on bo comporting himself that no suspicion should fasten upon him ; and , that such might bo tho case , he felt that coolness and firmness of heart were above all things necessary . He therofore removed his thoughts from the deed he had done , to fix them on probable contingencies , and the manner
in which such contingencies were to be met , reviewing them over nnd over again in all their various bearings , and fixing on the words and acts they might necessitate on his part . He hud planned the murder before he left his home , had chosen the very spot on which to commit it , having intended to delay on the road that they might arrive on the common at night-fall . Poor LovelFs late rising had saved the merchant all trouble in that respect . As Barnstarke lay pondering , yet listening , the moon had arisen , and , shining through a thin cloud without being vioible , gave light enough to distinguish objects near at hand . " The merchant , raining his head , looked towards LovelFs body .
" There it lay in tho dark pool of murderously-spilt blood , one leg drawn up , and tho arms Bpre « ul abroad . The face shono out in marble whiteness , and tho rising , Htoriny wind , blowing a fold of LovcIFb heavy cloak , the moonlight at tho moment bursting through tho clouds , caused the body to look as though moving to arise . " Bnrnptarko , leaning on his hand , remained as ono turned to stono ; his mouth opon and his Htaring eyeB fixed upon the corpse . " A thick mass of bluck clouds wan driven by the wind over tho moon , and darkness overspread tho earth .
* ' A few drops of rain fell upon Bnrnntarke s flushing fuce , cooling and refreshing to Iris beating temples . He had been ubovfi two hours on tho desolate common , nlono with tho victim of hin covetous piiBHions . It Beemcd to him days nnd , day » » inco ho luul fired , and had seen his cousin fall : he recollected LovolFa Hong broken off , and his cry to him for help ; he thought of the struggling , distreBHcd , cxpros-» ion of Franci «' H fiicc as he had stooped nt liiu nido , and u Chill sensation of horror cropt over him . " Presently , in tho distance , ho beheld light * drawing tienr . He composed his thoughts , and stretched himself out on his faco . Two rough nhoep-dogB run up to him , ( miffing him and loudly barking ; then dartod away , again to return and bark beBide htm . " Voice * Bounded , Wno to Burnrtarko ' n car by tho rushing wind . Anon tho
speakers were on the spot to be marked for year * to come as the scene of mnnta The merchant could hear the voice of Joyce , his servant , who , having been ma , fe uneasy by the non-arrival of his master at the appointed sleeping-place , ^ ^ out , with the landlord and others , in quest of him . " The common was looked on as a bad place at night , oh account of footpads and highwaymen , a fact well known to Barnstarke . " The first object that met the eyes of Joyce arid his party , 6 ft arriving * fc tfo place singled out by the barking dogs , was the merchant ' s horse lying dead 1 and ¦ tark . They threw the . light of their lanterns full upon him . . v " " Tis master ' s horse ! ' ^ t
" Here be one lying dead in his own blood / said the landlord , kneeling down by Lovell and raising his arm , which had already begun to stiffen , '"faint Master Barhstarkei however / he added , As he held his lantern full in the ghastly face of Sir Francis . ¦ " * 'Tis Sir Francis Lovell ! He hath been murdered of thieves : look here hs ^ they have thrown things about / cried Joyce . " ' Here be another lying dead too / said the hostler who had accompanied Big master the landlord , and who now raised Barnstarke , turning him over , and calling
for a light . " The merchant let his head fall back , and uttered a moan . " Joyce held the light in His face , calling out that it was his master , and telling the hostler to support his head . " Barnstarke slowly opened his eyes , and fixing them on his servant , said in a voice so husky , tremulous , and unnatural , as even to strike himself with horror "' Is that you , Joyce ? methinks I have been stunned !' sir ? his master
" « Were you set on of rogue * , ' inquired Joyce , Wrapping ' s cloak close around him to keep off the rain . "' Ay / replied the merchant , turning away his looks , as he said : * take ydur lantern away , it doth hurt and scorch my eyes / ;\; " There was a silence : the men , hot knowing whether Barnstarke was aware of his cousin ' s death , were doubtful what to say , and he , being afraid of compromising himself , held his peace , still lying supported by the hostler . " The merchant shut his eyes and hung his head , affecting to be bat half sensible of what was going on around him . " Joyce and the landlord whispered together . After awhile , Joyce said to Barnstarke : "' Sir Francis Lovell hath not been at the ' Three Kings / sir !' "' Where is he ? What time is it P * returned Barnstarke , muttering : ' Carry
me to the inn , I ana sick and shaken ! " More whispering here took place , which ended in the hostler being sent with others to the nearest house for a cart . " During his absence , Joyce by degrees informed his master of Sir Francis LovelFs death . " On hearing of it , Barnstarke , pretending to be aroused by the tiding 3 , asked where his cousin ' s body was , and if they had taken the murderer . Joyce replied that the body was there ; the murderer untaken . & . . " The lanterns were held to LovelFs face , leaving Barnstarke in darkness to gazo on the sad work of his own murderous hand . " No man can know , until he has committed it , the effect the commission of a crime may have on him .
"On seeing LovelFs blood-stained , ashy-pale face , with the long Wet hair clinging about it—nought beside that face of death being visible in the darictieas of night—Barnstarke ' s hardened heart felt a beginning of gnawing remorse . For a fevr minutes , he felt that he would give all his wealth to bring Lovell back to life again . " John at Home is apparently a first work , and has serious deficiencies betokening want of practice in this department . But it has Borne cap ital sense , and many lively passages . John Smith , the money-prizing , money-getting city man , to whom business is at once the end and aim of existence , to whom being " worth a plum , " appear the goal of human perfection ; John ' s place of business , and his suburban home , his weakheaded wife Annie , his commanding mother-in-law , Mrs . Brown his highly valued son , his little regarded daughter , his convenient friend , Jack Thompson , and his maiden , but monied cousin , Miss Jobson , with kindred
other sundries , including a French refugee , and a low , but family , make up the scenes and persons of the story . It is with the lessons , rather than romance , the author deals . We are told how John Smith prospered in commerce , how he married—how first a daug hter , and then a son , were born to him ; how the latter being his heir , his future partner , and the transmitter of his name , was spoiled by father , mother , and most of his other relatives , till a weak intellect and downward tendencies fulfilled their destiny in early vice and a disgraceful end ; how the sins of John ' s youth came back upon him in the shape of an illegitimate neglected son , who , under the tuition of his vindictive grandmother , helps tho merchant's heir into all kinds of mischief , and how the despised daughter Jane , eventually rises above circumstances , and turns out the only respectable person , saving the aforesaid Mw " Jobaon , in her family . «¦
740 The Leader. T^Aa^Bo ^
740 THE LEADER . T ^ Aa ^ Bo ^
€ \} t Irk
German Plays : Othello. T To-Night Tho S...
GERMAN PLAYS : OTHELLO . T To-night tho short season of Gorman Plays is brought to a close . was short , but , as Dr . Johnson Baid to the unhappy proachor , ( who congratulated himsolf on tho Doctor ' s not haying found his sermon long */ " I feared lest I might bo tedious , "— " Sir , you were not long ; but you «>^ todious . " » 1 v For a few nights I suffered myself to bo dragged to tho St . James s , &> a compound ofgallantry and duty—gallantry to fair friends , insanely ? K sirous of seeing that mild mediocrity , Emil Devriont , and duty to Ki » and curious readers , wanting to know " what was going on at * fj theatres . " But not oven Julia ' s violet eyes , nor Jane ' s persuasive snutf , not oven tho fear of insatiablo correspondents , nor demands for " ^ W ' could induce mo to sit out tho final performances of ffiosco , JDon Carlo > and the JDraut von . Messina ; so that all I can , this week , write a » out > *» Othello , which was played last Friday , in a quiet dreary etylo .
Leader (1850-1860), July 30, 1853, page 20, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/l/issues/cld_30071853/page/20/