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hair retained some resemblance to that of an angel of light. In his hand, which thunder had blasted, he swayed the iron sceptre that causes the monster Ouranabad, the Afrits, and all the powers of the abyss, to tremble. At his presence the heart of the Caliph sank within him; and, for the first time, he fell prostrate on his face. Nouronihar, however, though greatly dismayed, could not help admiring the person of Eblis; for she expected to have seen some stupendous giant. Eblis, with a voice more mild than might be imagined, but such as transfused through the soul the deepest melancholy, said, “ Creatures of clay, I receive you into mine empire; ye are numbered amongst my adorers; enjoy whatever this palace affords; the treasures of the preadamite sultans; their bickering sabres; and those talismans that compel the Dives to open the subterranean expanses of the mountain of Kaf, which communicate with these. There, insatiable as your curiosity may be, shall you find sufficient to gratify it. You shall possess the exclusive privilege of entering the fortress of Aherman and the halls of Argenk, where are portrayed all creatures endowed with intelligence; and the various animals that inhabited the earth prior to the creation of that contemptible being whom ye denominate the Father of Mankind."
Vathek and Nouronibar, feeling themselves revived and encouraged by this harangue, eagerly said to the Giaour, “ Bring us instantly to the place which contains these precious talismans.” “Come!” answered this wicked Dive, with his malignant grin, “come! and possess all that my sovereign hath promised, and more.” He then conducted them into a long aisle adjoining the tabernacle, preceding them with hasty steps, and followed by his disciples with the utmost alacrity: They reached, at length, a hall of great extent, and covered with a lofty dome, around which appeared fifty portals of bronze, secured with as many fastenings of iron. A funereal gloom prevailed over the whole scene. Here, upon two beds of incorruptible cedar, lay recumbent the Reshless forms of the preadamite kings, who had been monarchs of the whole earth. They still possessed enough of life to be conscious of their deplorable condition. Their eyes retained a melancholy motion. They regarded each other with looks of the deepest dejection, each holding his right hand, motionless, on his heart. At their feet were inscribed the events of their several reigns, their power, their pride, and their cimes: Soliman Road, Soliman Daki, and Soliman Di Gian Ben Gian, who, after having chained up the Dives in the dark caverns of Kaf, became so presumptuous as to doubt of the Supreme Power. All these maintained great state, though not to be compared with the eminence of Soliman Ben Daoud.
This king, so renowned for his wisdom, was on the loftiest elevation, and placed immediately under the dome. He appeared to possess more animation than the rest. Though, from time to time, he laboured with profound sighs, and, like his companions, kept his right hand on his heart; yet his countenance was more composed, and he seemed to be listening to the sullen roar of a vast cataract, visible in part through the grated portals. This was the only sound that intruded on the silence of these doleful mansions. A range of brazen vases surrounded the elevation. “Remove the covers from these cabalistic depositaries,” said the Giaour to Vathek; “and avail thyself of the talismans, which will break asunder all these gates of bronze, and not only render thee master of the treasures contained within them, but also of the spirits by which they were guarded."
The Caliph, whom this ominous preliminary had entirely disconcerted, approached the vases with faltering footsteps, and was ready to sink with terror when he heard the groans of Soliman. As he proceeded, a voice from the livid lips of the prophet articulated these words : “In my lifetime I filled a magnificent throne, having on my right hand twelve thousand seats of gold, where the patriarchs and the prophets heard my doctrines; on my left the sages and doctors, upon as many thrones of silver, were present at all my decisions. Whilst I thus administered justice to innumerable multitudes, the birds of the air, librating over me, served as a canopy from the rays of the sun. My people flourished, and my palace rose to the clouds. I erected & temple to the Most High, which was the wonder of the universe; but I basely suffered myself to be seduced by the love of women, and a curiosity that could not be restrained by sublunary things. I listened to the counsels of Aherman and the daughter of Pharaoh, and adored fire and the hosts of heaven. I forsook the holy city, and commanded the genii to rear the stupendous palace of Istakar and the terrace of the watch-towers, each of which was consecrated to a star. There, for awhile, I enjoyed myself in the zenith of glory and pleasure. Not only men, but supernatural existences were subject also to my will. I began to think, as these unhappy monarchs around had already thought, that the vengeance of Heaven was asleep, when, at once, the thunder burst my structures asunder, and precipitated me hither, where, however, I do not remain, like the other inhabitants, totally destitute of hope; for an angel of light hath revealed that, in consideration of the piety of my early youth, my woes shall come to an end when this cataract shall for ever cease. to flow. Till then I am in torments, ineffable torments ! An unrelenting fire preys on my heart.”
Having uttered this exclamation, Soliman raised his hands towards heaven in token of supplication; and the Caliph observed through his bosom, which was transparent as crystal, his heart enveloped in flames. At a sight so full of horror Nouronihar fell back, like one petrified, into the arms of Vathek, who cried out, with a convulsive sob, “Oh Giaour ! whither hast thou brought us? Allow us to depart, and I will relinquish all thou hast promised. Oh Mahomet! remains there no more mercy?” “None! none !” replied the malicious Dive. “Know, miserable prince! thou art now in the abode of vengeance and despair. Thy heart, also, will be kindled, like those of the other votaries of Eblis. A few days are allotted thee previous to this fatal period; employ them as thou wilt. Recline on these heaps of gold; command the infernal potentates; range, at thy pleasure, through these immense subterranean domains; no barrier shall be shut against thee. As for me, I have fulfilled my mission; I now leave thee to thyself.” At these words he vanished.
The Caliph and Nouronihar remained in the most abject affliction ; their tears unable to flow; scarcely could they support themselves. At length, taking each other despondingly by the hand, they went faltering from this fatal hall, indifferent which way they turned their steps. Every portal opened at their approach ; the Dives fell prostrate before them; every reservoir of riches was disclosed to their view; but they no longer felt the incentives of curiosity, pride, or avarice. With like apathy they heard the chorus of genii, and saw the stately banquets prepared to regale them. They went wandering on from chamber to chamber, hall to hall, and gallery to gallery; all without bounds or limit; all distinguished by the same louring gloom; all adorned with the same awful grandeur; all traversed by persons in search of repose and consolation, but who sought them in vain; for every one carried within him a heart tormented in flames. Shunned by these various sufferers, who seemed, by their looks, to be upbraiding the partners of
their guilt, they withdrew from them, to wait, in direful suspense, the moment which should render them, to each other, the like objects of terror.
284.—MORTALITY AT SEA.
Anson. The narrative known as Lord Anson's Voyage round the World, from which the following is an extract, was written by Mr. Benjamin Robins, from materials furnished by Lord Anson, digested under his own immediate inspection. This book may therefore be considered as an example of divided authorship. It is full of the most vigorous narrative, and will always be read with deep interest. George Anson, the son of a Staffordshire gentleman, had an early passion for the sea, and he rose by successive steps to the highest rank, having, during 'forty years of his professional life, performed the most eminent public services. He died in 1762.7
Soon after our passing Straits Le Maire the scurvy began to make its appearance amongst us; and our long continuance at sea, the fatigue we underwent, and the various disappointments we met with, had occasioned its spreading to such a degree, that at the latter end of April there were but few on board who were not in some degree afflicted with it, and in that month no less than forty-three died of it on board the Centurion. But though we thought that the distemper had then risen to an extraordinary height, and were willing to hope that as we advanced to the northward its malignity would abate; yet we found, to the contrary, that in the month of May we lost nearly double that number: and as we did not get to land till the middle of June, the mortality went on increasing, and the disease extended itself so prodigiously, that, after the loss of above two hundred men, we could not at last muster more than six fore-mast men in a watch capable of duty.
With this terrible disease we struggled the greatest part of the time of our beating round Cape Horn; and though it did not then rage with its utmost violence, yet we buried no less than forty-three men on
board the Centurion in the month of April, as hath been already observed; however, we still entertained hopes that, when we should have once secured our passage round the Cape, we should put a period to this and all the other evils which had so constantly pursued us. But it was our misfortune to find that the Pacific Ocean was to us less hospitable than the turbulent neighbourhood of Terra del Fuego and Cape Horn. For being arrived, on the 8th of May, off the Island of Socoro, which was the first rendezvous appointed for the squadron, and where we hoped to have met with some of our companions, we cruised for them in that station several days. But here we were not only disappointed in our expectations of being joined by our friends, and were thereby induced to favour the gloomy suggestions of their having all perished; but we were likewise perpetually alarmed with the fears of being driven on shore upon this coast, which appeared too craggy and irregular to give us the least prospect that in such a case any of us could possibly escape immediate destruction. For the land had indeed a most tremendous aspect: the most distant part of it, and which appeared far within the country, being the mountains usually called the Andes or Cordilleras, was extremely high, and covered with snow; and the coast itself seemed quite rocky and barren, and the water's edge skirted with precipices. In some places indeed we discerned several deep bays running into the land, but the entrance into them was generally blocked up by numbers of little islands; and though it was not improbable but there might be convenient shelter in some of those bays, and proper channels leading thereto, yet, as we were utterly ignorant of the coast, had we been driven ashore by western winds which blow almost constantly there, we did not expect to have avoided the loss of our ship, and of our lives.
This continued peril, which lasted for above a fortnight, was greatly aggravated by the difficulties we found in working the ship; as the scurvy had by this time destroyed so great a part of our hands, and had in some degree affected almost the whole crew. Nor did we, as we hoped, find the winds less violent as we advanced to the northward; for we had often prodigious squalls which split our sails, greatly damaged our rigging, and endangered our masts. Indeed, during the greatest part of the time we were upon this coast, the wind blew so hard, that in another situation, where we had sufficient sea-room, we should certainly have lain to; but in the present exigency we were