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Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, No. CCCXXXII. by Various

Part 3 out of 6

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"The governor says you must be aware that the prisoners are not allowed
to receive visits from women."

The Count struck his forehead with his clenched hand, and fell back upon
a chair. His features were almost convulsed by the violence of his
emotions. At last he turned to the Cossack.

"Beg the sergeant to come here." The soldier left the room.

"Can any thing be more horrible?" cried Alexis. "She has come nine
hundred leagues to see me; she is not a hundred yards from me, and we
are forbidden to meet!"

"There must surely be some blunder," said I; "an order misunderstood, or
something of the kind."

Alexis shook his head doubtingly. There was a wild look of despair in
his large dark eyes that alarmed me. At this moment, the sergeant who
had charge of the prisoners entered.

"Sir," cried the Count with vehemence, "the woman I love has left St
Petersburg to join me, and after a thousand dangers and hardships has
arrived here. I am now told that I shall not be allowed to see her. It
is doubtless a mistake?"

"No, sir," replied the sergeant coolly. "You know very well that the
prisoners are not permitted to see women."

"But Prince Troubetskoy has that permission. Is it because he is a

"No, sir, it is because the princess is his wife."

"And if Louise were my wife, should I be allowed to see her?"

"Undoubtedly, sir!"

"Ha!" ejaculated the Count, as though a weight were removed from off his
heart. "I should like to speak with the priest," said he to the
sergeant, after a moment's pause.

"He shall be sent for immediately," was the reply.

"And now my friend," said Alexis, turning to me, and taking my hands in
his, "you have been Louise's guardian and defender, will you for once
act as her father?"

The following morning at ten o'clock, Louise, accompanied by the
governor and myself, and Alexis by Prince Troubetskoy and the other
exiles, entered the little church of Koslowa by two different doors.
Their first meeting was at the altar, and the first word they exchanged
was the _yes_ that united them for ever.

The Emperor by a private letter to the governor, of which Ivan was the
bearer, had ordered that the Count should only be allowed to see Louise
as his wife. It has been seen how willingly my friend obeyed, I should
rather say anticipated, the Emperor's commands. And rich was his reward
for thus promptly acknowledging the just claims of this devoted and very
admirable woman. She was one of "nature's own nobility"--refined and
graceful, intelligent and high-minded--and would have graced higher rank
than that to which she was raised by the gratitude of Count Alexis

* * * * *




"Will you hold your tongue, little serpent?" said an old Tartar woman to
her grandson, who, having awakened before daylight, was crying for want
of something better to do. "Be quiet, or I will kick you into the

This old woman was Ammalat's nurse: the hut in which she lived stood
close to the tents of the Begs, and had been given to her by her
foster-son, Ammalat. It was composed of two clean whitewashed rooms, the
floor of both was strewed with coarse mats, (ghasil;) in niches close to
each other, for the room was without windows, stood boxes bound with
iron, and on them were arranged a feather-bed, blankets, and all the
utensils. On the cornices, at half the height of the wall, were ranged
porcelain cups for pillau, having tin covers in the form of helmets, and
little plates hanging side by side on wires: the holes with which they
were pierced showing that they served not for use, but for ornament. The
face of the old woman was covered with wrinkles, and expressed a sort of
malicious sorrow: the usual consequence of the lonely pleasureless life
of a Mussulman woman. As a worthy representative of persons of her age
and country, she never for a moment ceased scolding her grandson from
under her blanket, and to grumble to herself. "Kess," (be quiet,) she
cried at length, yet more angrily, "or I will give you to the ghaouls,
(devils!) Do you hear how they are scratching at the roof, and knocking
at the door for you?"

It was a stormy night; a thick rain pattering on the flat roof which
served as a ceiling, and the roaring of the wind in the chimney,
answered to her hoarse voice. The boy became quiet, and straining his
eyes, hearkened in a fright. It really seemed as if some one was
knocking at the door. The old woman became frightened in her turn: her
inseparable companion, a dirty dog, lifted up his head from sleep, and
began to bark in a most pitiful voice. But meanwhile the knocking at the
door became louder, and an unknown voice cried sternly from without,
"Atch kapini, akhirin akhirici!" (open the door for the end of ends.)
The old woman turned pale. "Allah bismallah!" she exclaimed, now
addressing heaven, then threatening the dog, and then quieting the
crying child. "Sh, accursed beast! Hold your tongue, I say, kharamzada,
(good-for-nothing son of shame!) Who is there? What honest man will
enter, when it is neither day nor dawn, into the house of a poor old
woman? If you are Shaitan, go to neighbour Kitchkina. It has been long
time to show her the road to hell! If you are a tchaouth,
(tax-gatherer,) who, to say the truth, is rather worse than Shaitan,
then go about your business. My son-in-law is not at home; he serves as
nouker at Ammalat Bek's; and the Bek has long ago freed me from taxes;
and as for treating idle travellers, don't expect from me even an egg,
much less a duck. Is it in vain, then, that I suckled Ammalat?"

"Will you open, you devil's distaff?" impatiently exclaimed the voice,
"or I will not leave you a plank of this door for your coffin."

The feeble doors shook on their hinges.

"Enter, pray enter," said the old woman, undoing the iron hasp with a
trembling hand. The door flew open, and there entered a man of a
middling stature, and of a handsome but melancholy countenance. He was
clad in the Circassian dress: the water trickled down his bourka and
bashlik.[22] Without any apologies, he threw it on the feather-bed, and
began to untie the lopasti of his bashlik which half covered his
face--Fatma, having in the mean time lighted a candle, stood before him
with fear and trembling. The long-whiskered dog, with his tail between
his legs, pressed himself into a corner, and the child, in a fright,
climbed into the fire-place--which, used only for ornaments, was never

[22] Bashlik--a bonnet worn in bad weather.

"Well, Fatma, you are grown proud," said the unknown; "you do not
recognize old friends."

Fatma gazed at the new-comer's features, and her heart grew light within
her. She recognized Sultan Akhmet Khan, who had ridden in one night from
Kiafir Kounik to Bouinaki.

"May the sand fill my eyes that did not recognize their old master!" she
replied, respectfully crossing her arms on her breast. "To say truth,
they are blinded by tears, for her country--for Avar! Forgive an old
woman, Khan!"

"What old age is yours, Fatma? I remember you a little girl, when I
myself could hardly reach the young crows from their nests."

"A strange land makes every one old, Khan. In my native mountains I
should still have been fresh as an apple, and here am I like a snowball
fallen from the hill into the valley. Pray come hither, Khan, here it is
more comfortable. What shall I entertain my precious guest with? Is
there nothing the Khan's soul can wish for?"

"The Khan's soul wishes that you should entertain him with your

"I am at your will; speak, command!"

"Listen to me, Fatma! I have no time to waste in words. This is why I am
come here: render me a service with your tongue, and you shall have
wherewithal to comfort your old teeth. I will make you a present of ten
sheep; I will dress you in silk from top to toe."

"Ten sheep and a gown!--a silk gown! O gracious Aga! O kind Khan! I have
not seen such a lord here since the accursed Tartars carried me away,
and made me marry a hateful ... I am ready to do every thing, Khan, that
you wish. Cut my ears off even, if you will!"

"What would be the good of that? They must be kept sharp. This is the
business. Ammalat will come to you to-day with the Colonel. The Shamkhal
of Tarki will arrive also. This Colonel has attached your young Bek to
him by witchcraft; and having taught him to eat swine's flesh, wants to
make a Christian of him: from which Mahomet preserve him!"

The old woman spat around her, and lifted her eyes to heaven.

"To save Ammalat, we must make him quarrel with the Colonel. For this
purpose you must go to him, throw yourself at his feet, and fall
a-weeping as if at a funeral. As to tears, you will have no need to go
and borrow them of your neighbours. Swear like a shopkeeper of Derbend;
remember that each oath of yours will bring you a dozen sheep; and at
last tell him that you have heard a conversation between the Colonel and
the Shamkhal: that the Shamkhal complained of his sending back his
daughter: that he hates him out of fear that he should take possession
of the crown of his Shamkhalat: that he implored the Colonel to allow
him to kill him in an ambuscade, or to poison him in his food; but that
the other consented only to send him to Siberia, beyond the end of the
world. In one word, invent and describe every thing cleverly. You were
formerly famous for your tales. Do not eat dirt now. And, above all,
insist that the Colonel, who is going on a furlough, will take him with
him to Georgieffsk, to separate him from his kinsmen and faithful
noukers; and from thence will dispatch him in chains to the devil."

Sultan Akhmet added to this all the particulars necessary to give the
story the most probable form; and once or twice instructed the old woman
how to introduce them more skilfully.

"Well, recollect every thing accurately, Fatma," said he, putting on his
bourka; "forget not, likewise, with whom you have to do."

"Vallah, billah! let me have ashes instead of salt; may a beggar's
tchourek close my eyes; may" ...

"Do not feed the Shaitans with your oaths; but serve me with your words.
I know that Ammalat trusts you completely; and if, for his good, you
will arrange this--he will come over to me, and bring you with him. You
shall live, singing, under my wing. But I repeat, if, by chance or on
purpose, you betray me, or injure me by your gossiping, I will make of
your old flesh a kibab for the Shaitans!"

"Be easy, Khan! They have nothing to do either for me or with me. I will
keep the secret like the grave, and I will _put my sarotchka_[23] on

[23] Give him her feelings--a Tartar phrase.

"Well, be it so, old woman. Here is a golden seal for your lips. Take

"_Bathousta, ghez-ousta_!"[24] exclaimed the old woman, seizing the
ducat with greediness, and kissing the Khan's hand for his present. The
Sultan Akhmet Khan looked contemptuously at the base creature, whilst he
quitted the sakla.

[24] Willingly, if you please? Literally, "on my head, on my

"Reptile!" he grumbled to himself, "for a sheep, for a piece of cloth of
gold, thou wouldst be ready to sell thy daughter's body, thy son's soul,
and thy foster-son's happiness!"

He did not reflect upon what name he deserved himself, entangling his
friend in deceit, and hiring such vile creatures for low slander and for
villanous intentions.

_Fragment of a Letter from Colonel Verkhoffsky to his Betrothed_.

Camp near the Village of Kiafir Koumik, August.

... Ammalat loves, and how he loves! Never, not even in the hottest fire
of my youth, did my love rise to such a frenzy. I burned, like a censer
lighted by a sunbeam; he flames, like a ship set on fire by lightning on
the stormy sea. With you, my Maria, I have read more than once
Shakspeare's Othello; and only the frantic Othello can give an idea of
the tropical passion of Ammalat. He loves to speak long and often of his
Seltanetta, and I love to hear his volcanic eloquence. At times it is a
turbid cataract thrown out by a profound abyss--at times a fiery
fountain of the naphtha of Bakou. What stars his eyes scatter at that
moment--what light plays on his cheeks--how handsome he is! There is
nothing ideal in him: but then the earthly is grand, is captivating. I
myself, carried away and deeply moved, receive on my breast the youth
fainting from rapture: he breathes long, with slow sighs, and then
casting down his eyes, lowering his head as if ashamed to look at the
light--not only on me--presses my hand, and walks away with an uncertain
step; and after that one cannot extract a word from him for the rest of
the day.

Since the time of his return from Khounzakh, he is become still more
melancholy than before; particularly the last few days. He hides the
grandest, the noblest feeling which brings man near to divinity, as
carefully as if it were a shameful weakness or a dreadful crime. He
imploringly asked me to let him go once more to Khounzakh, to sigh at
the feet of his fair one; and I refused him--refused him for his own
good. I wrote long ago about my favourite to Alexei Petrovitch, and he
desired me to bring him with me to the waters, where he will be himself.
He wishes to give him some message to Sultan Akhmet Khan, which will
bring undoubted advantage to him and to Ammalat. Oh, how happy I shall
be in his happiness! To me, to me, he will owe the bliss of his
life--not only empty life. I will force him on his knees before you, and
will make him say--"Adore her as a deity!" If my heart were not filled
with love to Maria, thou wouldst not take possession of Seltanetta.
Yesterday I received an express from the commander-in-chief--a
noble-minded man! He gives wings to happy news. All is arranged; my
darling, I go to meet you at the waters. I shall only lead the regiment
to Derbend--and then to the saddle! I shall know neither fatigue by day
nor drowsiness by night, till I repose myself in your embrace. Oh, who
will give me wings to fly to you! Who will give me strength to bear
my--_our_--bliss! ... I, in delicious agitation, pressed my bosom, that
my heart might not burst forth. For a long time I could not sleep:
imagination painted our meeting in a thousand forms, and in the
intervals appeared the most trivial but delightful cares, about wedding
trifles, dresses, presents. You will be clad in my favourite colour,
green. ... Is it not true, my soul? My fancies kept me from sleeping,
like a strong perfume of roses; but the sweeter, the more brilliant was
my sleep. I saw you by the light of dawn, and every time different,
every time more lovely than before. My dreams were twined together like
a wreath of flowers; but no! there was no connexion between them. They
were wonderful phantoms, falling like colours from the kaleidoscope, and
as impossible to retain. Notwithstanding all this, I awoke sorrowful
this morning; my awakening took from my childish soul its favourite
toy.... I went into Ammalat's tent; he was still asleep. His face was
pale and angry--let him be angry with me! I taste beforehand the
gratitude of the ardent youth. I, like fate, am preparing his happiness
in secret....

To-day I bid adieu to these mountains for long--I hope for ever. I am
very glad to quit Asia, the cradle of mankind, in which the
understanding has remained till now in its swaddling-clothes.
Astonishing is the immobility of Asiatic life, in the course of so many
centuries. Against Asia all attempts of improvement and civilization
have broken like waves; it seems not to belong to time, but to place.
The Indian Brahmin, the Chinese Mandarin, the Persian Bek, the mountain
Ouzden, are unchanged--the same as they were two thousand years ago. A
sad truth! They represent, in themselves, a monotonous though varied, a
lively though soulless nature. The sword and the lash of the conqueror
have left on them, as on the water, no trace. Books, and the examples of
missionaries, have produced on them no influence. Sometimes, however,
they have made an exchange of vices; but never have they learned the
thoughts or the virtues of others. I quit the land of fruit to transport
myself to the land of labour--that great inventor of every thing useful,
that suggester of every thing great, that awakener of the soul of man,
which has fallen asleep here, and sleeps in weakness on the bosom of the

And truly, how seducing is nature here! Having ridden up the high
mountain to the left of Kiafir Koumik, I gazed with delight on the
gradually lighted summit of the Caucasus. I looked, and could not look
enough at them. What a wondrous beauty decks them as with a crown!
Another thin veil, woven of light and shadow, lay on the lower hill, but
the distant snows basked in the sky; and the sky, like a caressing
mother, bending over them its immeasurable bosom, fed them with the milk
of the clouds, carefully enfolding them with its swathe of mist, and
refreshing them with its gently-breathing wind. Oh, with what a flight
would my soul soar there, where a holy cold has stretched itself like a
boundary between the earthly and the heavenly! My heart prays and
thirsts to breathe the air of the inhabitants of the sky. I feel a wish
to wander over the snows, on which man has never printed the seal of his
blood-stained footsteps--which have never been darkened by the eagle's
shadow--which the thunder has never reached--which the war spirits have
never polluted; and on the ever-young summits where time, the
continuation of eternity, has left no trace.

Time! A strange thought has come into my head. How many fractional names
has the weak sense of man invented for the description of an infinitely
small particle of time out of the infinitely large circle of eternity!
Years, months, days, hours, minutes! God has nothing of all this: he has
not even evening nor morrow. With him all this has united itself into
one eternal _now_!... Shall we ever behold this ocean in which we have
hitherto been drowning? But I ask, to what end will all this serve man?
Can it be for the satisfaction of an idle curiosity? No! the knowledge
of truth, i.e. the All-knowing Goodness, does the soul of the reflecting
man thirst after. It wishes to draw a full cup from the fountain of
light which falls on it from time to time in a fine dew!

And I shall imbibe it. The secret fear of death melts like snow before
the beam of such a hope. I shall draw from it. My real love for my
fellow-creatures is a security for it. The leaden ways of error will
fall asunder before a few tears of repentance, and I shall lay down my
heart as an expiating sacrifice before the judgment-seat which will have
no terrors for me!

It is wonderful, my beloved--hardly do I look at the mountains, the sea,
the sky, ... but a solemn but inexpressibly sweet feeling o'er-burthens
and expands my heart. Thoughts of you mingle with it; and, as in dreams,
your form flits before me. Is this a foretaste of earthly bliss, which I
have only known by name, or a foreboding of ... etern ...? O dearest,
best, angelic soul, one look of yours and I am cured of dreaming! How
happy am I that I can now say with assurance--_au revoir_!


The poison of calumny burnt into the soul of Ammalat. By the
instructions of the Khan, his nurse Fatma related, with every appearance
of disinterested affection, the story which had been arranged
beforehand, on the same evening that he came with Verkhoffsky to
Bouinaki, where they were met by the Shamkhal in obedience to the
Colonel's request. The envenomed shaft struck deep; now doubt would have
been welcomed by Ammalat, but conviction, it seemed, cast over all his
former ties of friendship and blood, a bright but funereal light. In a
frenzy of passion, he burned to drown his revenge in the blood of both;
but respect for the rites of hospitality quenched his thirst for
vengeance. He deferred his intention for a time--but could he forget it?
Every moment of delay fell, like a drop of melted copper, on his heart.
Memory, conviction, jealousy, love, tore his heart by turns; and this
state of feeling was to him so new, so strange, so dreadful, that he
fell into a species of delirium, the more dreadful that he was obliged
to conceal his internal sensations from his former friend. Thus passed
twenty-four hours; the detachment pitched their tents near the village
Bougden, the gate of which, built in a ravine, and which is closed at
the will of the inhabitants of Bougden, serves as a passage to Akoush.
The following was written by Ammalat, to divert the agony of his soul
while preparing itself for the commission of a black crime.... ----


... Why, O Sultan Akhmet! have you cast lightning into my breast? A
brother's friendship, a brother's treachery, and a brother's murder!...
What dreadful extremes! And between them there is but a step, but a
twinkling of the eye. I cannot sleep, I can think of nothing else. I am
chained to this thought, like a criminal to his stake. A bloody sea
swells, surges, and roars around me, and above gleams, instead of stars,
the lightning-flash. My soul is like a naked peak, where only birds of
prey and evil spirits assemble, to share their plunder, or to prepare
misfortune. Verkhoffsky, Verkhoffsky! what have I done to you? Why would
you tear from heaven the star of my liberty? Is it because I loved you
so tenderly? And why do you approach me stealthily and thief-like? why
do you slander--why do you betray me, by hypocrisy? You should say
plainly, "I wish your life," and I would give it freely, without a
murmur; would have laid it down a sacrifice like the son of Ibrahim,
(Abraham!) I would have forgiven you, if you had but attempted my life,
but to sell my freedom, to steal my Seltanetta from me, by burying me
alive! Villain--and you still live!

But sometimes like a dove, whose wings have been scorched in the smoke
of a fire, appears thy form to me, Seltanetta. How is it, then, that I
am no longer gay when I dream of you, as of old?...

They would part us, my love--they would give you to another, to marry me
on the grave-stone. But I will go to you--I will go to you over a bloody
carpet--I will fulfil a bloody promise, in order to possess you. Invite
not only your maiden friends to your marriage feast--invite also the
vultures and the ravens, they shall all be regaled abundantly. I will
pay a rich dower. On the pillow of my bride I will lay a heart which
once I reckoned more precious than the throne-cushion[25] of the
Persian Padishah. Wonderful destiny!... Innocent girl!... You will be
the cause of an unheard of deed. Kindest of beings, for you friends will
tear each other like ferocious beasts--for you and through you--and is
it really for you alone--with ferocity--with ferocity only! Verkhoffsky
said, that to kill an enemy by stealth, is base and cowardly. But if I
cannot do it otherwise? But can he be believed?... Hypocrite! He wished
to entangle me beforehand; not my hands alone, but even my conscience.
It was in vain.

[25] This cushion is embroidered with jewels, and is invaluable.

... I have loaded my rifle. What a fine round barrel--what admirable
ornaments! The rifle I received from my father--my father got it from my
grandfather. I have heard of many celebrated shots made with it--and not
one, not one was fired by stealth.... Always in battle--always before
the whole army, it sent death; but wrong, but treachery, but you,
Seltanetta!... My hand will not tremble to level a shot at him, whose
name it is afraid even to write. One loading, one fire, and all is

One loading! How light, but how heavy will be each grain of powder in
the scales of Allah! How far--how immeasurably will this load bear a
man's soul? Accursed thou, the inventor of the grey dust, which delivers
a hero into the hand of the vilest craven, which kills from afar the
foe, who, with a glance, could have disarmed the hand raised against
him! So, this shot will tear asunder all my former ties, but it will
clear a road to new ones. In the cool Caucasus--on the bosom of
Seltanetta, will my faded heart be refreshed. Like a swallow will I
build myself a nest in a stranger land--like a swallow, the spring shall
be my country. I will cast from me old sorrows, as the bird sheds its
feathers.... But the reproaches of conscience, can they fade?... The
meanest Lezghin, when he sees in battle the man with whom he has shared
bread and salt, turns aside his horse, and fires his gun in the air. It
is true he deceives me; but have I been the less happy? Oh, if with
these tears I could weep away my grief--drown with them the thirst for
vengeance--buy with them Seltenetta! Why comes on the dawn of day so
slowly? Let it come! I will look, without blushing, at the sun--without
turning pale, into the eyes of Verkhoffsky. My heart is like iron--it is
locked against mercy; treachery calls for treachery ... I am resolved
... Quick, quick!

* * * * *

Thus incoherently, thus wildly wrote Ammalat, in order to cheat time and
to divert his soul. Thus he tried to cheat himself, rousing himself to
revenge, whilst the real cause of his bloody intentions, viz. the desire
of possessing Seltanetta, broke through every word.

In order to embolden himself for his crime, he drank deeply of wine, and
maddened, threw himself, with his gun, into the Colonel's tent; but
perceiving sentinels at the door, he changed his intention. The natural
feeling of self-preservation did not abandon him, even in his madness.
Ammalat put off till the morning the consummation of the murder; but he
could neither sleep nor distract his thoughts ... and re-entering his
tent, he seized Saphir Ali by the throat, who was lying fast asleep, and
shaking him roughly: "Get up, sleepy rascal!"; he cried to him, "it is
already dawn."

Saphir Ali raised his head in a discontented mood, and yawning,
answered: "I see only the dawn of wine on your cheek--good-night,

"Up, I tell you! The dead must quit their graves to meet the new-comer
whom I have promised to send to keep them company!"

"Why, brother, am I dead?... Even the _forty Imaums_[26] may get up from
the burial-ground of Derbend--but I will sleep."

[26] The Mussulmans believe, that in the northern burial-ground
of Derbend, are buried the forty first true believers, who were
martyred by the idolaters.

"But you love to drink, Giaour, and you must drink with me."

"That is quite another affair. Pour fuller, _Allah verdi_![27] I am
always ready to drink and to make love."

[27] God gave--Much good may it do you.

"And to kill an enemy!... Come, some more! A health to the devil!--who
changes friends into mortal enemies."

"So be it! Here goes, then, to the devil's health! The poor fellow wants
health. We will drive him into a consumption out of spite, because he
cannot make us quarrel!"

"True, true, he is always ready for mischief. If he had seen Verkhoffsky
and me, he would have thrown down his cards. But you, too, will not, I
hope, part from me?"

"Ammalat, I have not only quaffed wine from the same bottle with thee,
but I have drained milk from the same breast. I am thine, even if you
take it into your head to build yourself, like a vulture, a nest on the
rock of Khounzakh.... However, my advice would be"----

"No advice, Saphir Ali--no remonstrances.... It is now too late!"

"They would be drowned like flies in wine. But it is now time to sleep."

"Sleep, say you! Sleep, to me! No, I have bidden farewell to sleep. It
is time for me to awaken. Have you examined the gun, Saphir Ali--is the
flint good? Has not the powder on the shelf become damp with blood?"

"What is the matter with you, Ammalat? What leaden secret weighs upon
your heart? Your face is terrible--your speech is yet more frightful."

"And my deeds shall be yet more dreadful. Is it not true, Saphir Ali, my
Seltanetta--is she not beautiful? Observe! _my_ Seltanetta. Is it
possible that these are the wedding songs, Saphir Ali? Yes, yes, yes! I
understand. 'Tis the jackals demanding their prey. Spirits and wild
beasts, be patient awhile--I will content you! Ho, wine--more wine! more
blood!... I tell you!"

Ammalat fell on his bed in a drunken insensibility. Foam oozed out of
his mouth: convulsive movements shook his whole body. He uttered
unintelligible words, mingled with groans. Saphir Ali carefully
undressed him, laid him in the bed, enveloped him in the coverings, and
sat up the rest of the night watching over his foster-brother, in vain
seeking in his head the explanation of the, to him, enigmatical speech
and conduct of Ammalat.


In the morning, before the departure of the detachment, the captain on
duty came to Colonel Verkhoffsky to present his report, and to receive
the orders for the day. After the customary exchange of words, he said,
with an alarmed countenance: "Colonel, I have to communicate a most
important thing: our yesterday's signal-man, a soldier of my company,
Hamitoff, heard the conversation of Ammalat Bek with his nurse in
Bouinaki. He is a Tartar of Kazan, and understands pretty well the
dialect of this country. As far as he could hear and understand, the
nurse assured the Bek that you, with the Shamkhal, are preparing to send
him off to the galleys. Ammalat flew into a passion; said, that he knew
all this from the Khan, and swore to kill you with his own hand. Not
trusting his ears, however, the soldier determined to tell you nothing,
but to watch all his steps. Yesterday evening, he says, Ammalat spoke
with a horseman arrived from afar. On taking leave, he said: 'Tell the
Khan, that to-morrow, by sunrise, all will be over. Let him be ready: I
shall soon see him.'"

"And is this all, Captain?" demanded Verkhoffsky.

"I have nothing else to say; but I am much alarmed. I have passed my
life among the Tartars, Colonel, and I am convinced that it is madness
to trust the best of them. A born brother is not safe, while resting in
the arms of a brother."

"This is envy, Captain. Cain has left it as an eternal heirloom to all
men, and particularly to the neighbours of Ararat. Besides, there is no
difference between Ammalat and myself. I have done nothing for him but
good. I intend nothing but kindness. Be easy, Captain: I believe the
zeal of the signal-man, but I distrust his knowledge of the Tartar
language. Some similarity of words has led him into error, and when once
suspicion was awakened in his mind, every thing seemed an additional
proof. Really, I am not so important a person that Khans and Beks should
lay plots for my life. I know Ammalat well. He is passionate, but he has
a good heart, and could not conceal a bad intention two hours together."

"Take care you be not mistaken, Colonel. Ammalat is, after all, an
Asiatic; and that name is always a proof. Here words hide thoughts--the
face, the soul. Look at one of them--he seems innocence itself; have any
thing to do with him, he is an abyss of meanness, treachery and

"You have a full right to think so, my dear Captain, from experience:
Sultan Akhmet Khan gave you a memorable proof in Ammalat's house, at
Bouinaki. But for me, I have no reason to suspect any mischief in
Ammalat; and besides, what would he gain by murdering me? On me depends
all his hope, all his happiness. He is wild, perhaps, but not a madman.
Besides, you see the sun is high; and I am alive and well. I am
grateful, Captain, for the interest you have taken in me; but I entreat
you, do not suspect Ammalat: and, knowing how much I prize an old
friendship, be assured that I shall as highly value a new one. Order
them to beat the march."

The captain departed, gloomily shaking his head. The drums rattled, and
the detachment, in marching order, moved on from its night-quarters. The
morning was fresh and bright; the road lay through the green ramparts of
the mountains of the Caucasus, crowned here and there with forests and
underwood. The detachment, like a stream of steel, flowed now down the
hills, and now crept up the declivities. The mist still rested on the
valleys, and Verkhoffsky, riding to the elevated points, looked round
frequently to feast his eyes with the ever-changing landscape.
Descending the mountain, the detachment seemed to be swallowed up in the
steaming river, like the army of Pharaoh, and anon, with a dull sound,
the bayonets glittered again from the misty waves. Then appeared heads,
shoulders; the men seemed to grow up, and then leaping up the rocks,
were lost anew in the fog.

Ammalat, pale and stern, rode next to the sharpshooters. It appeared
that he wished to deafen his conscience in the noise of the drums. The
colonel called him to his side, and said kindly: "You must be scolded,
Ammalat; you have begun to follow too closely the precepts of Hafiz:
recollect that wine is a good servant but a bad master: but a headache
and the bile expressed in your face, will surely do you more good than a
lecture. You have passed a stormy night, Ammalat."

"A stormy, a torturing night, Colonel! God grant that such a night be
the last! I dreamed dreadful things."

"Aha, my friend! You see what it is to transgress Mahomet's
commandments. The conscience of the true believer torments you like a

"It is well for him whose conscience quarrels only with wine."

"That depends on what sort of conscience it is. And fortunately it is as
much subject to prejudice as reason itself. Every country, every nation,
has its own conscience; and the voice of immortal, unchangeable truth is
silent before a would-be truth. Thus it is, thus it ever was. What
yesterday we counted a mortal sin, to-morrow we adore. What on this bank
is just and meritorious, on the other side of a brook leads to the

"I think, however, that treachery was never, and in no place, considered
a virtue."

"I will not say even that. We live at a time when success alone
determines whether the means employed were good or bad; where the most
conscientious persons have invented for themselves a very convenient
rule--that the end sanctifies the means."

Ammalat, lost in his reflections, repeated these words, because he
approved of them. The poison of selfishness began anew to work within
him; and the words of Verkhoffsky, which he looked on as treacherous,
poured like oil on flame. "Hypocrite!" said he to himself; "your hour is
at hand!"

And meanwhile Verkhoffsky, like a victim suspecting nothing, rode side
by side with his executioner. At about eight versts from Kiekent the
Caspian Sea discovered itself to them from a hill; and the thoughts of
Verkhoffsky soared above it like a swan. "Mirror of eternity!" said he,
sinking into a reverie, "why does not your aspect gladden me to-day? As
of old, the sun plays on you; and your bosom breathes, as sublimely as
of old, eternal life; but that life is not of this world. You seem to me
to-day a mournful waste; not a boat, not a sail, not a sign of man's
existence. All is desolate!

"Yes, Ammalat," he added; "I am tired of your ever-angry, lonely sea--of
your country peopled with diseases, and with men who are worse than all
maladies in the world. I am weary of the war itself, of invisible
enemies, of the service shared with unfriendly comrades. It is not
enough that they impeded me in my proceedings--they spoiled what I
ordered to be done--they found fault with what I intended, and
misrepresented what I had effected. I have served my sovereign with
truth and fidelity, my country and this region with disinterestedness; I
have renounced, a voluntary exile, all the conveniences of life, all the
charms of society; have condemned my intellect to torpidity, being
deprived of books; have buried my heart in solitude; have abandoned my
beloved; and what is my reward? When will that moment arrive, when I
throw myself into the arms of my bride; when I, wearied with service,
shall repose myself under my native cottage-roof, on the green shore of
the Dnieper; when a peaceful villager, and a tender father, surrounded
by my relations and my good peasants, I shall fear only the hail of
heaven for my harvests; fight only with wild-beasts? My heart yearns for
that hour. My leave of absence is in my pocket, my dismission is
promised me.... Oh, that I could fly to my bride!... And in five days I
shall for certain be in Georgieffsk. Yet it seems as if the sands of
Libya, a sea of ice----as if the eternity of the grave itself, separated

Verkhoffsky was silent. Tears ran down his cheeks; his horse, feeling
the slackened rein, quickened his pace--and thus the pair alone,
advanced to some distance from the detachment.... It seemed as if
destiny itself surrendered the colonel into the hands of the assassin.

But pity penetrated the heart of Ammalat, maddened as he was, and
burning with wine--like a sunbeam falling in a robber's cave. He beheld
the sorrow, the tears of the man whom he had so long considered as his
friend, and hesitated. "No!" he thought, "to such a degree as that it is
impossible to dissimulate...."

At this moment Verkhoffsky started from his reverie, lifted up his head,
and spoke to Ammalat. "Prepare yourself: you are to go with me!"

Unlucky words! Every thing good, every thing noble, which had arisen
anew in Ammalat's breast, was crushed in a moment by them. The thought
of treachery--of exile--rushed like a torrent through his whole being
"With you!" he replied, with a malicious smile--"with you, and into
Russia?--undoubtedly: if you go yourself!" and in a passion of rage he
urged his horse into a gallop, in order to have time to prepare his
arms; suddenly turned back to meet him; flew by him, and began to ride
rapidly in a circle around him. At each stride of his horse, the flame
of rage burned more fiercely within him: it seemed as if the wind, as it
whistled past him, kept whispering "Kill, kill! he is your enemy.
Remember Seltanetta!" He brought his rifle forward from his shoulder,
cocked it, and encouraging himself with a cry, he galloped with
blood-thirsty decision to his doomed victim. Verkhoffsky, meanwhile, not
cherishing the least suspicion, looked quietly at Ammalat as he galloped
round, thinking that he was preparing, after the Asiatic manner, for the
djigitering (equestrian exercises.)

"Fire at your mark, Ammalat Bek!" he exclaimed to the murderer who was
rushing towards him.

"What mark can be better than the breast of a foe?" answered Ammalat
Bek, riding up, and at ten paces' distance pulling the trigger!... the
gun went off: and slowly, without a groan, the colonel sank out of his
saddle. His affrighted horse, with expanded nostrils and streaming mane,
smelt at his rider, in whose hands the reins that had so lately guided
him began to stiffen: and the steed of Ammalat stopped abruptly before
the corpse, setting his legs straight before him. Ammalat leaped from
his horse, and, resting his arms on his yet smoking gun, looked for
several moments steadfastly in the face of the murdered man; as if
endeavouring to prove to himself that he feared not that fixed gaze,
those fast-dimming eyes--that fast-freezing blood. It would be difficult
to understand--'twere impossible to express the thoughts which rolled
like a whirlwind through his breast. Saphir Ali rode up at full gallop;
and fell on his knees by the colonel--he laid his ear to the dying man's
mouth--he breathed not--he felt his heart--it beat not! "He is dead!"
cried Saphir Ali in a tone of despair. "Dead! quite dead!"

"So much the better ... My happiness is complete!..." exclaimed Ammalat,
as if awakening from a dream.

"Happiness for you--for you, fratricide! If you meet happiness, the
world will take to Shaitan instead of Allah."

"Saphir Ali, remember that you are not my judge!" said Ammalat fiercely,
as he put his foot into the stirrup: "follow me!"

"May remorse alone accompany you, like your shadow! From this hour I am
not your companion."

Pierced to the very bottom of his heart by this reproach from a man to
whom he had been from infancy bound by the closest ties, Ammalat uttered
not a word, but pointing to his astounded noukers in the ravine, and
perceiving the pursuit begun, dashed into the mountains like an arrow.

The alarm soon spread through the advanced guard of the detachment: the
officers, who were in front, and the Don Kazaks, flew to the shot, but
they came too late. They could neither prevent the crime nor seize the
flying assassin. In five minutes the bloody corpse of the treacherously
murdered colonel was surrounded by a crowd of officers and soldiers.
Doubt, pity, indignation were written on all their faces. The
grenadiers, leaning on their bayonets, shed tears, and sobbed aloud:
unflattering drops poured above the brave and much-loved chief.


For three days and nights did Ammalat wander about the mountains of
Daghestan. As a Mussulman, even in the villages subject to the Russian
dominion, he was safe from all pursuit among people for whom robbery and
murder are virtues. But could he escape from the consciousness of his
own crime? Neither his heart nor his reason could find an excuse for his
bloody deed; and the image of Verkhoffsky falling from his horse,
presented itself unceasingly before his eyes, though closed. This
recollection infuriated him yet more, yet more tortured him. The
Asiatic, once turned aside from the right road, travels rapidly over the
career of villany. The Khan's command, not to appear before him but with
the head of Verkhoffsky, rang in his ears. Without daring to communicate
such an intention to his noukers, and still less relying on their
bravery, he resolved upon travelling to Derbend alone. A darksome and
gloomy night had already expanded it ebon wings over the mountains of
Caucasus which skirt the sea, when Ammalat passed the ravine which lay
behind the fortress of Narin-Kali, which served as a citadel to Derbend.
He mounted to the ruined turret, which once formed the limit to the
Caucasian war that had extended through the mountains, and tied his
horse at the foot of that hill from which Yermoloff had thundered on
Derbend when but a lieutenant of artillery. Knowing where the Russian
officers were buried, he came out upon the upper burial-ground. But how
to find the new-made grave of Verkhoffsky in the darkness of the night?
Not a star glimmered in the sky: the clouds lay stretched on the hills,
the mountain-wind, like a night-bird, lashed the forest with its wing:
an involuntary shudder crept over Ammalat, in the midst of the region of
the dead, whose repose he dared to interrupt. He listens: the sea
murmurs hoarsely against the rocks, tumbling back from them into the
deep with a sullen sound. The prolonged "sloushai" of the sentinels
floated round the walls of the town, and when it was silent there rose
the yell of the jackals; and at last all again was still--every sound
mingling and losing itself in the rushing of the wind. How often had he
not sat awake on such nights with Verkhoffsky--and where is he now! And
who plunged him into the grave! And the murderer was now come to behead
the corpse of his former friend--to do sacrilege to his remains--like a
grave-robber to plunder the tomb--to dispute with the jackal his prey!

"Human feeling!" cried Ammalat, as he wiped the cold sweat from his
forehead, "why visitest thou a heart which has torn itself from
humanity? Away, away! Is it for me to fear to take off the head of a
dead man, whom I have robbed of life! For him 'twill be no loss--to me a
treasure. Dust is insensible!"

Ammalat struck a light with a trembling hand, blew up into a flame some
dry bourian, (a dry grass of South Russia,) and went with it to search
for the new-made grave. The loosened earth, and a large cross, pointed
out the last habitation of the colonel. He tore up the cross, and began
to dig up the mound with it; he broke through the arch of brickwork,
which had not yet become hardened, and finally tore the lead from the
coffin. The bourian, flaring up, threw an uncertain bloody-bluish tinge
on all around. Leaning over the dead, the murderer, paler than the
corpse itself, gazed unmovingly on his work; he forgot why he had
come--he turned away his head from the reek of rottenness--his gorge
rose within him when he saw the bloody-headed worms that crawled from
under the clothes. Interrupted in their loathsome work, they, scared by
the light, crept into a mass, and hid themselves beneath each other. At
length, steeling himself to the deed, he brandished his dagger, and each
time his erring hand missed its aim. Nor revenge, nor ambition, nor
love--in a word, not one of those passions which had urged him to the
frenzied crime, now encouraged him to the nameless horror. Turning away
his head, in a sort of insensibility he began to hew at the neck of
Verkhoffsky--at the fifth blow the head parted from the trunk.
Shuddering with disgust, he threw it into a bag which he had prepared,
and hastened from the grave. Hitherto he had remained master of himself;
but when, with his dreadful treasure, he was scrambling up, when the
stones crumbling noisily under his feet, and he, covered with sand, fell
backwards on Verkhoffsky's corpse, then presence of mind left the
sacrilegious. It seemed as if a flame had seized him, and spirits of
hell, dancing and grinning, had surrounded him. With a heavy groan he
tore himself away, crawled half senseless out of the suffocating grave,
and hurried off, dreading to look back. Leaping on his horse, he urged
it on, over rocks and ravines, and each bush that caught his dress
seemed to him the hand of a corpse; the cracking of every branch, the
shriek of every jackal, sounded like the cry of his twice-murdered

* * * * *

Wherever Ammalat passed, he encountered armed bands of Akoushlinetzes
and Avaretzes, Tchetchenetzes just arrived, and robbers of the Tartar
villages subject to Russia. They were all hurrying to the trysting-place
near the border-limits; while the Beks, Ouzdens, and petty princes, were
assembling at Khourzakh, for a council with Akhmet Khan, under the
leading, and by the invitation of whom, they were preparing to fall upon
Tarki. The present was the most favourable moment for their purpose:
there was abundance of corn in the ambars, (magazines,) hay in the
stacks, and the Russians, having taken hostages, had established
themselves in full security in winter-quarters. The news of
Verkhoffsky's murder had flown over all the hills, and powerfully
encouraged the mountaineers. Merrily they poured together from all
sides; every where were heard their songs of future battles and plunder;
and he for whom they were going to fight rode through them like a
runaway and a culprit, hiding from the light of the sun, and not daring
to look any one in the face. Every thing that happened, every thing that
he saw, now seemed like a suffocating dream--he dared not doubt, he
dared not believe it. On the evening of the third day he reached

Trembling with impatience, he leaped from his horse, worn out with
fatigue, and took from his saddle-straps the fatal bag. The front
chambers were filled with warriors; cavaliers in armour were walking up
and down, or lay on the carpets along the walls, conversing in whispers;
but their eyebrows were knit and cast down--their stern faces proved
that bad news had reached Khounzakh. Noukers ran hurriedly backwards and
forwards, and none questioned, none accompanied Ammalat, none paid any
attention to him. At the door of the Khan's bed-chamber sate
Zourkhai-Khan-Djingka, the natural son of Sultan Akhmet, weeping
bitterly. "What means this?" uneasily demanded Ammalat. "You, from whom
even in childhood tears could not be drawn--you weep?"

Zourkhai silently pointed to the door, and Ammalat, perplexed, crossed
the threshold. A heart-rending spectacle was presented before the
new-comer's eyes. In the middle of the room, on a bed, lay the Khan,
disfigured by a fierce illness; death invisible, but inevitable, hovered
over him, and his fading glance met it with dread. His breast heaved
high, and then sank heavily; his breath rattled in his throat, the veins
of his hands swelled, and then shrank again. In him was taking place the
last struggle of life with annihilation; the mainspring of existence had
already burst, but the wheels still moved with an uneven motion,
catching and entangling in each other. The spark of memory hardly
glimmered in him, but fitfully flashed like falling stars through the
darkness of night, which thickened over his soul, and reflected
themselves in his dying face. His wife and daughter were sobbing on
their knees by his bed-side; his eldest son, Noutsal, in silent despair
leaned at his feet, resting his head on his clenched fists. Several
women and noukers wept silently at a distance.

All this, however, neither astounded Ammalat nor recalled him to
himself, occupied as he was with one idea: he approached the Khan with a
firm step, and said to him aloud--"Hail, Khan! I have brought you a
present which will restore a dead man to life. Prepare the bridal. Here
is my purchase-money for Seltanetta; here is the head of Verkhoffsky!"
With these words he threw it at the Khan's feet.

The well-known voice aroused Sultan Akhmet from his last sleep: he
raised his head with difficulty to look at the present, and a shudder
ran like a wave over his body when he beheld the lifeless head. "May he
eat his own heart who treats a dying man with such dreadful food!" he
murmured, scarce intelligibly. "I must make my peace with my enemies,
and not----Ah, I burn, I burn! Give me water, water! Why have you made
me drink scalding naphtha? Ammalat, I curse you!" This effort exhausted
the last drops of life in the Khan; he fell a senseless corpse on the
pillow. The Khansha had looked with horror on the bloody and untimely
present of Ammalat; but when she saw that this had hastened her
husband's death, all her grief broke out in a torrent of anger.
"Messenger of hell!" she exclaimed, her eyes flashing, "rejoice; these
are your exploits; but for you, my husband would never have thought of
raising Avar against the Russians, and would have now been sitting in
health and quiet at home; but for you, visiting the Ouzdens, he fell
from a rock and was disabled; and you, blood-drinker!--instead of
consoling the sick with mild words, instead of making his peace with
Allah by prayers and alms--bring, as if to a cannibal, a dead man's
head; and whose head? Thy benefactor's, thy protector's, thy friend's!"

"Such was the Khan's will," in his turn replied Ammalat.

"Do not slander the dead; defile not his memory with superfluous blood!"
screamed the Khansha: "not content with having treacherously murdered a
man, you come with his head to woo my daughter at the deathbed of her
father, and you hoped to receive a recompense from man, when you
deserved the vengeance of God. Godless, soulless being! No! by the
graves of my ancestors, by the swords of my sons, I swear you shall
never be my son-in-law, my acquaintance, my guest! Away from my house,
traitor! I have sons, and you may murder while embracing them. I have a
daughter, whom you may bewitch and poison with your serpent looks. Go,
wander in the ravines of the mountains; teach the tigers to tear each
other; and dispute with the wolves for carcasses. Go, and know that my
door opens not to a fratricide!"

Ammalat stood like one struck by lightning: all that his conscience had
indistinctly whispered to him had been spoken out to him at once, and so
unexpectedly, so cruelly. He knew not where to turn his eyes: there lay
the head of Verkhoffsky with its accusing blood--there was the
threatening face of the Khan, printed with the seal of a death of
torture--there he met the stern glance of the Khansha.... The tearful
eyes of Seltanetta alone appeared like stars of joy through a rainy
cloud. To her he resolved to approach, saying timidly, "Seltanetta, for
you have I committed that for which I lose you. Destiny wills it: be it
so! One thing tell me--is it possible that you, too, have ceased to love
me--that you, too, hate me?"

The well-remembered voice of the beloved pierced her heart: Seltanetta
raised her eyes glistening with tears--eyes full of woe; but on seeing
Ammalat's dreadful face, spotted with blood, she covered them again with
her hand. She pointed with her finger at her father's corpse, at the
head of Verkhoffsky, and said, with firmness, "Farewell, Ammalat! I pity
thee; but I cannot be thine!" With these words she fell senseless on her
father's body.

All his native pride, all his blood, rushed to Ammalat's heart; his soul
fired with fury. "Is it thus I am received?" casting a scornful glance
at both the women; "is it thus that promises are fulfilled here? I am
glad that my eyes are opened. I was too simple when I prized the light
love of a fickle girl--too patient when I hearkened to the ravings of an
old woman. I see, that with Sultan Akhmet Khan have died the honour and
hospitality of his house!"

He left the room with a haughty step. He proudly gazed in the face of
the Ouzdens, grasping the hilt of his dagger as if challenging them to
combat. All, however, made way for him, but seemingly rather to avoid
him than from respect. No one saluted him, either by word or sign. He
went forth into the court-yard, called his noukers together, silently
mounted into the saddle, and slowly rode through the empty streets of

From the road he looked back for the last time upon the Khan's house,
which was blackening in the darkness, while the grated door shone with
lights. His heart was full of blood; his offended pride fixed in its
iron talons, while the useless crime, and the love henceforth despised
and hopeless, poured venom on the wounds. Grief, anger, and remorse
mingled in the glance which he threw on the harem where he first saw,
and where he lost, all earthly joy. "And you, and you, Seltanetta!" he
could utter no more. A mountain of lead lay on his breast; his
conscience already felt that dreadful hand which was stretched forth
against it. The past terrified him; the future made him tremble. Where
will he rest that head on which a price is set? What earth will give
repose to the bones of a traitor? Nor love, nor friendship, nor
happiness, will ever again be his care; but a life of misery, a
wanderer's bread....

Ammalat wished to weep, his eyes burned ... and, like the rich man
tormented in the fire, his heart prayed for one drop, one tear, to
quench his intolerable thirst.... He tried to weep, and could not.
Providence has denied this consolation to the guilty.

* * * * *

And where did the murderer of Verkhoffsky hide himself? Whither did he
drag his wretched existence? No one knew. In Daghestan it was reported
that he wandered among the Tchetchenetzes and Koi-Sou-Boulinetzes,
having lost his beauty, his health, and even his bravery. But who could
say this with certainty? Little by little the rumours about Ammalat died
away, though his villanous treachery is still fresh in the memory of
Russians and Mussulmans who dwell in Daghestan. Even now his name is
never pronounced without a reproach.


Anapa, that manufactory of arms for the robbers of the mountains, that
bazar where are sold the tears, the blood, the sweat of Christian
slaves, that torch of rebellion to the Caucasus--Anapa, I say, was, in
1808, invested by the Russian armies, on the sea and on the mountain
side. The gun-boats, the bomb-vessels, and all the ships that could
approach the shore, were thundering against the fortifications. The land
army had passed the river which falls into the Black Sea, under the
northern wall of Anapa, and was posted in swampy ground around the whole
city. Then they constructed wooden trenches, hewing down, for that
purpose, the surrounding forest. Every night new works arose nearer and
nearer to the walls of the town. The interior of the houses flamed from
the effects of the shells; the outer walls fell under the cannon-balls.
But the Turkish garrison, reinforced by the mountaineers, fought
desperately, made fierce sorties, and replied to all proposals for
surrender by the shots of their artillery. Meanwhile the besiegers were
incessantly harassed by the Kabardinetz skirmishers, and the
foot-archers of Abazekhs, Shamsoukhs, Natoukhaitzes, and other wild
mountaineers of the shores of the Black Sea, assembled, like the
jackals, in hope of plunder and blood. Against them it was necessary to
erect redans; and this double work, performed under the fire of cannon
from the fortress and from the forest, on irregular and boggy ground,
delayed long the capture of the town.

At length, on the eve of the taking of Anapa, the Russians opened a
breaching-battery in a ravine on the south-east side of the town: its
effect was tremendous. At the fifth volley the battlements and parapets
were overthrown, the guns laid bare and beaten down. The balls, striking
against the stone facing, flashed like lightning; and then, in a black
cloud of dust, flew up fragments of shattered stone. The wall crumbled
and fell to pieces; but the fortress, by the thickness of its walls,
resisted long the shattering force of the iron; and the precipitous
steepness of the ruins offered no opportunity for storming. For the
heated guns, and for the weary artillerymen, worn out by incessant
firing, repose was absolutely necessary. By degrees the firing from the
batteries by land and sea began to slacken; thick clouds of smoke,
floating from the shore, expanded over the waves, sometimes concealing,
sometimes discovering, the flotilla. From time to time a ball of smoke
flew up from the guns of the fortress, and after the rolling of the
cannon-thunder, far echoing among the hills, a ball would whistle by at
random. And now all was silent--all was still both in the interior of
Anapa and in the trenches. Not one turban was seen between the
battlements, not one carabineer's bayonet in the intrenchment. Only the
Turkish banners on the towers, and the Russian ensign on board the
ships, waved proudly in the air, now undimmed by a single stream of
smoke--only the harmonious voices of the muezzins resounded from afar,
calling the Mussulmans to their mid-day prayer. At this moment, from the
breach opposite the battery on the plain, descended, or rather rolled
down, supported by ropes, a horseman on a white horse, who immediately
leaped over the half-filled ditch, dashed to the left between the
batteries, flew over the intrenchments, over the soldiers dozing behind
them, who neither expected nor guessed any thing like this, and,
followed by their hasty shouts, plunged into the woods. None of the
cavalry had time to glance at, much less to pursue him: all remained
thunderstruck with astonishment and vexation; and soon forgot all about
the brave cavalier, in the alarm of the renewed firing from the
fortress, which was recommenced in order to give the bold messenger time
to escape to the mountains. Towards evening the breaching battery, which
had thundered almost incessantly, had accomplished its work of
demolition. The prostrate wall formed a kind of bridge for the
besiegers, who, with the impatience of bravery, prepared for the
assault; when suddenly an unexpected attack of the Tcherkess, who had
driven in the Russian scouts and outposts, compelled the besiegers to
direct the fire of the redans against the furious mountaineers. A
thundering Allah-il-Allah, from the walls of Anapa, greeted their
encounter: the volleys of cannon and musketry arose with redoubled
violence from the walls, but the Russian grape tore asunder and arrested
the crowds of horsemen and infantry of the Tcherkess, as they were
preparing to throw themselves upon the batteries with their sabres; and
they, with furious cries of "Giaour, giaourla!" turned back, leaving
behind them the dead and wounded. In a moment the whole field was strewn
with their corpses and their disabled, who, staggering to their feet,
fell back, struck by the balls and grape-shot; whilst the cannon-shot
shattered the wood, and the grenades, bursting, completed the
destruction. But from the beginning of the action, till the moment when
not one of the enemy remained in sight, the Russians saw before them a
well-built Tcherkess on a white horse, who rode, at a slow pace, up and
down before their redans. All recognized in him the same horseman who
had leaped over the trenches at mid-day, probably in order to induce the
Tcherkess to fall upon the Russians from the rear, at the moment when
the now unsuccessful sortie was to be made from the gate. Crashing and
thundering danced the grape-shot around him. His horse strained at the
bridle; but he, looking calmly at the batteries, rode along them as if
they were raining flowers upon him. The artillerymen ground their teeth
with vexation at the unpunished daring of the cavalier: shot after shot
tore up the earth, but he remained unhurt as if enchanted. "Give him a
cannon-ball!" shouted a young officer of artillery, but lately released
from the military college, who was above all enraged at their want of
success: "I would load the gun with my head, so glad would I be to kill
that bragger: it is not worth while to waste grape upon one
man--grape--look out! a cannon-ball will reach the guilty!" So saying,
he screwed up the quoin and levelled the gun, looking through the sight;
and having exactly calculated the moment when the horseman would ride
through the line of aim, he stepped aside and ordered the fatal fire.

For some moments the smoke enveloped the battery in darkness: when it
floated away the frightened horse was dragging the blood-stained corpse
of his rider, with the foot entangled in the stirrup. "Hit--killed!" was
shouted from all the trenches; and the young artillery officer, taking
off his cap, piously crossed himself, and with a joyous face jumped down
from the battery to seize the prey which he had earned. He soon
succeeded in catching by the reins the horse of the slain Tcherkess, for
he was dragging the body sideways on the ground. The unfortunate man had
his arm torn off close to the shoulder; but he still breathed, groaned,
and struggled. Pity touched the good-natured youth: he called some
soldiers, and ordered them to carry the wounded man carefully into the
trench, sent for the surgeon, and had the operation performed before his
eyes. At night, when all was quiet, the artilleryman sat by the side of
his dying prisoner, and watched him with interest by the dim light of
the lantern. The serpent-marks of sorrow, graven on his cheek by tears,
the wrinkles on his forehead, dug, not by years but passions, and bloody
scratches, disfigured his handsome face; and in it was painted something
more torturing than pain, more terrible than death. The artilleryman
could not restrain an involuntary shudder. The prisoner sighed heavily,
and having, with difficulty, raised his hand to his forehead, opened his
heavy eyelids, muttering to himself in unintelligible sounds,
unconnected words.... "Blood," he cried, examining his hand ... "always
blood! why have they put _his_ bloody shirt upon me? Already, without
that, I swim in blood.... Why do I not drown in it?... How cold the
blood is to-day!... Once it used to scald me, and this is no better! In
the world it is stifling, in the gave so cold.... 'Tis dreadful to be a
corpse. Fool that I am, I sought death. O, let me live but for one
little day--one little hour, to live!..."

"What? Why have I hidden another in the grave, _whisperest thou_? Learn
thyself what it is to die!..." A convulsive paroxysm interrupted his
raving, an unspeakably dreadful groan burst from the sufferer, and he
fell into a painful lethargy, in which the soul lives only to suffer.

The artilleryman, touched to the very bottom of his heart, raised the
head of the miserable being, sprinkled his face with cold water, and
rubbed his temples with spirits of wine, in order to bring him to
himself. Slowly he opened his eyes, shook his head several times, as if
to shake the mist from his eyelashes, and steadfastly directed his gaze
on the face of the artilleryman, which was faintly lighted up by the
feeble gleam of the candle. Suddenly, with a piercing cry, he lifted
himself on his bed, as if by some superhuman force: his hair stood
upright, his whole body shook with a fevered trembling, his hand seemed
endeavouring to push something from him, an ineffable horror was
expressed on his countenance.... "Your name!" he cried at length,
addressing the artilleryman. "Who are thou, stranger from the grave?"

"I am Verkhoffsky?" ... answered the young artilleryman. This was a shot
that went straight to the heart of the prisoner. The ligature on the
principal artery gave way from a rush of blood, which poured through the
bandages. Yet a few struggles, yet the throat-rattle, and the leaden
hand of death choked the wounded man's last sigh, imprinted on his brow
the seal of the last grief; gathering whole years of repentance into one
rapid moment, in which the soul, tearing itself from the body, fears
equally the tortures of life and of nothingness, feels at once all the
gnawing of the past and all the agony of the future. Terrible was it to
look on the convulsed face of the dead. "He surely must have been a
great sinner," said Verkhoffsky, in a low voice to the general's
interpreter, who stood near him, and he shuddered involuntarily.

"A great villain," rejoined the interpreter: "it appears to me he was a
Russian deserter. I never met with a mountaineer who spoke Russian so
correctly as this prisoner. Let me look at his arms. We may, perhaps,
find some marks on them." With these words he unsheathed, with a look of
curiosity, the dagger which had been taken from the dead man, and
bringing it to the lantern, deciphered and translated the following

"Be slow to offend--swift to revenge!"

"Quite a robber's rule," said Verkhoffsky; "my poor brother Evstafli!
you fell a victim to such a fanatic principle as this!"

The eyes of the good youth filled with tears.... "Is there not something
else?" he asked.

"This is apparently the slain man's name," replied the interpreter.

"It is: Ammalat Bek!"

* * * * *


We have just been favoured with a pamphlet from Mr Bailey, entitled "A
Letter to a Philosopher, in Reply to some Recent Attempts to Vindicate
Berkeley's Theory of Vision, and in further Elucidation of its
Unsoundness." Our article on Mr Bailey's review of Berkeley's theory,
which appeared in _Blackwood's Magazine_ of June 1842, was one of these
attempts. Had the author merely attacked or controverted our
animadversions on his book, we should probably have left the question to
its fate, and not have reverted to a subject, the discussion of which,
even in the first instance, may have been deemed out of place in a
journal not expressly philosophical. There is, in general, little to be
gained by protracting such controversies. But, as Mr Bailey accuses us,
in the present instance, of having misrepresented his views, we must be
allowed to exculpate ourselves from the charge of having dealt, even
with unintentional unfairness, towards one whose opinions, however much
we may dissent from them, are certainly entitled to high respect and a
candid examination, as the convictions of an able and zealous enquirer
after truth.

In our strictures on Mr Bailey's work, we remarked, that he had
represented Berkeley as holding that the eye is not directly and
originally cognizant of the outness of objects in relation to each
other, or of what we would call their reciprocal outness; in other
words, we stated, that, according to Mr Bailey, Berkeley must be
regarded as denying to the eye the original intuition of space, either
in length, breadth, or solid depth. It was, however, only in reference
to one of his arguments, and to one particular division of his subject,
that we laid this representation to his charge. Throughout the other
parts of his discussion, we by no means intended to say that such was
the view he took of the Berkeleian theory. Nor are we aware of having
made any statement to that effect. If we did, we now take the
opportunity of remarking, that we restrict our allegation, as we believe
we formerly restricted it, to the single argument and distinction just
mentioned, and hereafter to be explained.

In his reply, Mr Bailey disavows the impeachment _in toto_. He declares
that he never imputed to Berkeley the doctrine, that the eye is not
directly percipient of space in the two dimensions of length and
breadth. "The perception of this kind of distance," says he, "never
formed the subject of controversy with any one ... That we see extension
in two dimensions is admitted by all."--(_Letter_, p. 10.) If it can be
shown that the doctrine which is here stated to be admitted by all
philosophers, is yet expressly controverted by the two metaphysicians
whom Mr Bailey appears to have studied most assiduously, it is, at any
rate, possible that he may have overlooked, in his own writings, the
expression of an opinion which has escaped his penetration in theirs. To
convince himself, then, how much he is mistaken in supposing that the
visual intuition of longitudinal and lateral extension is admitted by
all philosophers, he has but to turn to the works of Dr Brown and the
elder Mill. In arguing that we have no immediate perception of visible
figure, Dr Brown not only virtually, but expressly, asserts that the
sight has no perception of extension in any of its dimensions. Not to
multiply quotations, the following will, no doubt, be received as
sufficient:--"They (i.e. philosophers) have--_I think without sufficient
reason_--universally supposed that the superficial extension of _length
and breadth_ becomes known to us by sight originally."[28] Dr Brown then
proceeds to argue, with what success we are not at present considering,
that our knowledge of extension and figure is derived from another
source than the sense of sight.

[28] Brown's Lectures, Lecture xxviii.

Mr James Mill, an author whom Mr Bailey frequently quotes with
approbation, and in confirmation of his own views, is equally explicit.
He maintains, in the plainest terms, that the eye has no intuition of
space, or of the reciprocal outness of visible objects. "Philosophy,"
says he, "has ascertained that we derive nothing from the eye whatever
but sensations of colour--that the idea of extension [he means in its
three dimensions] is derived from sensations not in the eye, but in the
muscular part of our frame."[29] Thus, contrary to what Mr Bailey
affirms, these two philosophers limit the office of vision to the
perception of mere colour or difference of colour, denying to the eye
the original perception of extension in any dimension whatever. In their
estimation, the intuition of space is no more involved in our perception
of different colours than it is involved in our perception of different
smells or different sounds. Dr Brown's doctrine, in which Mr Mill seems
to concur, is, that the perception of superficial extension no more
results from a certain expanse of the optic nerve being affected by a
variety of colours than it results from a certain expanse of the
olfactory nerve being affected by a variety of odours.[30] So much for
Mr Bailey's assertion, that _all_ philosophers admit the perception of
extension in two dimensions.

[29] Mill's Analysis, vol. i. p. 73.

[30] This reasoning of Dr Brown's is founded upon an assumed
analogy between the structure of the optic nerve, and the
structure of the olfactory nerves and other sensitive nerves,
and is completely disproved by the physiological observations of
Treviranus, who has shown that no such analogy exists: that the
ends of the nervous fibres in the retina being elevated into
distinct separate _papillae_, enable us to perceive the
extension, and discriminate the position of visible bodies,
while the nerves of the other senses being less delicately
defined, are not fitted to furnish us with any such perception,
or to aid us in making any such discrimination. See _Mueller's
Physiology, translated by W. Baly, M.D._, vol. ii. pp. 1073,
1074. Although the application of Treviranus's discovery to the
refutation of Dr Brown's reasoning is our own, we may remark, in
justice to an eminent philosopher, that it was Sir William
Hamilton who first directed our attention to the _fact_ as
established by the great physiologist.

But, of course, our main business is with the expression of his own
opinion. In rebutting our charge, he maintains that "the visibility of
angular distance (that is of extension laterally) is assumed, by
implication, as part of Berkeley's doctrine, in _almost_ every chapter
of my book."--(_Letter_, p. 13.) That word _almost_ is a provident
saving clause; for we undertake to show that not only is the very
reverse assumed, by implication, as part of Berkeley's doctrine, in the
_single_ chapter to which we confined our remarks, but that, in another
part of his work, it is expressly avowed as the only alternative by
which, in the author's opinion, Berkeley's consistency can be preserved.

At the outset of his enquiry, Mr Bailey divides his discussion into two
branches: first, Whether objects are originally seen to be external, or
at _any_ distance at all from the sight; and, secondly, Supposing it
admitted that they are seen to be external, or at _some_ distance from
the sight, whether they are all seen in the same plane, or equally near.
It was to the former of these questions that we exclusively confined our
remarks;[31] and it was in reference to it, and to an important argument
evolved by Mr Bailey in the course of its discussion, that we charged
him with fathering on Berkeley the doctrine which he now disavows as his
interpretation of the bishop's opinion. He further disputes the
relevancy of the question about our perception of lateral extension, and
maintains that distance in a direction from the percipient, or what we
should call protensive distance, is the only matter in dispute; and that
it is a misconception of the scope of Berkeley's essay to imagine
otherwise. The relevancy of the question shall be disposed of
afterwards. In the mean time, the question at issue is, Can the
allegation which we have laid to Mr Bailey's charge be proved to be the
fact, or not?

[31] Mr Bailey seems disposed to carp at us for having confined
our remarks to this first question, and for not having given a
more complete review of his book. But the reason why we cut
short our critique is obvious; for if it be proved, as we
believe it can, that objects are originally seen at _no distance
whatever_ from the sight, it becomes quite superfluous to
enquire what appearance they would present if originally seen at
_some_ distance from the sight. The way in which we disposed of
the first question, however imperfect our treatment of it may
have been, necessarily prevented us from entering upon the
second; and our review, with all its deficiencies, was thus a
complete review of his book, though not a review of his complete

In discussing the first of the two questions, it was quite possible for
Mr Bailey to have represented Berkeley as holding, that visible objects,
though not seen to be external to the sight, were yet seen to be out of
each other, or laterally extended within the organism or the mind. But
Mr Bailey makes no such representation of the theory, and the whole
argument which pervades the chapter in which the first question is
discussed, is founded on the negation of any such extension. All visible
extension, he tells us, must, in his opinion, be either plane or solid.
Now he will scarcely maintain that he regarded Berkeley as holding that
we perceive solid extension within the organism of the eye. Neither does
he admit that, according to Berkeley, and in reference to this first
question, plane extension is perceived within the organism of the eye.
For when he proceeds to the discussion of the _second_ of the two
questions, he remarks that "we must, _at this stage_ of the argument,
consider the theory under examination, as representing that we see all
things _originally in the same plane_,"[32] obviously implying that he
had not _as yet_ considered the theory as representing that we see
things originally in the same plane: in other words, plainly admitting
that, in his treatment of the first question, he had not regarded the
theory as representing that we see things originally under the category
of extension at all.

[32] Review of Berkeley's Theory, p 35.

But if any more direct evidence on this point were wanted, it is to be
found in the section of his work which treats of "the perception of
figure." In the chapter in which he discusses the first of the two
questions, he constantly speaks of Berkeley's theory as representing
that "our visual sensations, or what we ultimately term visible objects,
are originally mere internal feelings." The expression _mere internal
feelings_, however, is ambiguous; for, as we have said, it might still
imply that Mr Bailey viewed the theory as representing that there was an
extension, or reciprocal outness of objects within the retina. But this
doubt is entirely removed by a passage in the section alluded to, which
proves that, in Mr Bailey's estimation, these mere internal feelings not
only involve no such extension, but that there would be an inconsistency
in supposing they did. In this section he brings forward Berkeley's
assertion, "that neither solid nor plane figures are immediate objects
of sight." He then quotes a passage in which the bishop begs the reader
not to stickle too much "about this or that phrase, or manner of
expression, but candidly to collect his meaning from the whole sum and
tenour of his discourse." And then Mr Bailey goes on to say,
"endeavouring, in the spirit here recommended, to collect the author's
meaning when he affirms that the figures we see are neither plane nor
solid, it appears to me to be _a part or consequence_ of his doctrine
already examined, which asserts that visible objects are only internal
feelings."[33] We can now be at no loss to understand what Mr Bailey
means, and conceives Berkeley to mean, by the expression "mere internal
feelings." He evidently means feelings in which no kind of extension
whatever is involved: for, in the next page, he informs us that all
visual extension or extended figure, "_must_ be apprehended as either
plane or solid, and that it is impossible even to conceive it
otherwise." Consequently, if the figures we see are, as Berkeley says,
apprehended neither as plane nor as solid, Mr Bailey, entertaining the
notions he does on the subject of extension, _must_ regard him as
holding that they cannot be apprehended as extended at all--and
accordingly such is the express representation he gives of the theory in
the passage just quoted, where he says that "the doctrine of Berkeley,
which affirms that the figures we see are neither plane nor solid, (that
is, are extended in _no_ direction, according to Mr Bailey's ideas of
extension,) appears to him to be _a part_ of the doctrine which asserts
that visible objects are only internal feelings." Now if that be not
teaching, in the plainest terms, that, according to Berkeley, no species
of extension is implied in the internal feelings of vision, we know not
what language means, and any one thought may be identical with its very

[33] Ibid. p. 136.

Here we might let the subject drop, having, as we conceive, said quite
enough to prove the truth of our allegation that, in reference to the
first question discussed, in which our original visual sensations are
represented by Berkeley to be mere internal feelings, Mr Bailey
understood and stated those feelings to signify sensations in which no
perception of extension whatever was involved. However, as Mr Bailey
further remarks that, "although Berkeley's doctrine about visible
figures being neither plane not solid, is thus consistent with his
assertion that they are internal feelings, it is in itself
contradictory,"[34] we shall contribute a few remarks to show that
while, on the one hand, the negation of extension is not required to
vindicate the consistency of Berkeley's assertion, that visible objects
are internal feelings, neither, on the other hand, is there any
contradiction in Berkeley's holding that objects are not seen either as
planes or as solids, and are yet apprehended as extended. Mr Bailey
alleges that we are "far more successful in involving ourselves in
subtle speculations of our own, than in faithfully guiding our readers
through the theories of other philosophers." Perhaps in the present case
we shall be able to thread a labyrinth where our reviewer has lost his
clue, and, in spite of the apparent contradiction by which Mr Bailey has
been gravelled, we shall, perhaps, be more successful than he in
"collecting Berkeley's meaning from the whole sum and tenour of his

[34] Review of Berkeley's Theory, p. 137.

First, with regard to the contradiction charged upon the bishop. When we
open our eyes, what do we behold? We behold points--_minima
visibilia_--out of one another. Do we see these points to be in the same
plane? Certainly not. If they are in the same plane we learn this from a
very different experience from that of sight. Again, do we see these
points to be _not_ in the same plane? Certainly not. If the points are
not in the same plane we learn this, too, from a very different
experience than that of sight. All that we see is that the points are
out of one another; and this simply implies the perception of extension,
without implying the perception either of plane or of solid extension.
Thus by the observation of a very obvious fact, which, however, Mr
Bailey has overlooked, is Berkeley's assertion that visible objects are
apprehended as extended, and yet not apprehended either as planes or
solids, relieved from every appearance of contradiction.

It must, however, be admitted that Mr Bailey has much to justify him in
his opinion that extension must be apprehended either as plane or as
solid. None of Berkeley's followers, we believe, have ever dreamt of
conceiving it otherwise, and finding in their master's work the negation
of solid extension specially insisted on, they leapt to the conclusion
that the bishop admitted the original perception of plane extension. But
Berkeley makes no such admission. He places the perception of plane
extension on precisely the same footing with that of solid extension.
"We see planes," says he, "in the same way that we see solids."[35] And
the wisdom of the averment is obvious; for the affirmation of plane
extension involves the negation of solid extension, but this negation
involves the conception (visually derived) of solid extension; but the
admission of that conception, so derived, would be fatal to the
Berkeleian theory. Therefore its author wisely avoids the danger by
holding, that in vision we have merely the perception of what the
Germans would call the _Auseinanderseyn_, that is, the _asunderness_, of
things--a perception which implies no judgment as to whether the things
are secerned in plane or in protensive space.

[35] Essay, Sec. 158.

With regard to the supposition that, in order to preserve Berkeley's
consistency, it was necessary for him to teach that our visual
sensations, (colours namely,) being internal feelings, could involve the
perception neither of plane nor of solid extension, that is to say, of
no extension at all, according to Mr Bailey's ideas, we shall merely
remark, that there appears to us to be no inconsistency in holding, as
Berkeley does, that these colours, though originally internal to the
sight, are nevertheless perceived as extended among themselves.

We shall now say a few words on the _relevancy_ of the question, for Mr
Bailey denies that this question, concerning the reciprocal outness of
visible objects, ought to form any element in the controversy. We shall
show, however, that one of his most important arguments depends entirely
on the view that may be taken of this question; and that while the
argument alluded to would be utterly fatal to Berkeley's theory, if the
perception of reciprocal outness were denied, it is perfectly harmless
if the perception in question be admitted.

Mr Bailey's fundamental and reiterated objection to Berkeley's theory
is, that it requires us to hold that conceptions or past impressions,
derived from one sense, (the touch,) are not merely recalled when
another sense (the sight) executes its functions, but are themselves
absolutely converted into the present intuitions of that other sense. In
his own words, (_Review_, p. 69,) the theory is said to require "a
transmutation of the conceptions derived from touch into the perceptions
of sight." "According to Berkeley, (says he, _Review_, p. 22,) an
internal feeling (i.e. a visual sensation) and an external sensation
(i.e. a tactual sensation) having been experienced at the same time: the
internal feeling, when it afterwards occurs, not only suggests the idea,
but, by doing so, suggests the idea, or, if I may use the figure,
infuses the perception of its own externality. Berkeley thus attributes
to suggestion an effect contrary to its nature, which, as in the case of
language, is simply to revive in our conception what has been previously
perceived by the sense."

Now, this objection would be altogether insurmountable if it were true,
or if it were a part of Berkeley's doctrine, that the sight has no
original intuition of space, or of the reciprocal outness of its
objects--in other words, of colours out of colours; for it being
admitted that the sight has ultimately such a perception, it would be
incumbent on the Berkeleian to show how conceptions derived from another
sense, or how perceptions belonging to another sense, could be converted
into that perception. We agree with Mr Bailey, in thinking that no
process of association could effect this conversion; that if we did not
originally see colours to be out of each other, and the points of the
same colour to be out of each other, we could never so see them; and
that his argument, when thus based on the negation of all original
visual extension, and on the supposition that the touch is the sole
organ of every species of externality, would remain invulnerable.

But, with the admission of the visual intuition of space, the objection
vanishes, and the argument is shorn of all its strength. This admission
relieves the theory from the necessity of maintaining, that conceptions
derived from touch are transmuted into the perceptions of sight. It
attributes to the sight all that ever truly belongs to it, namely, the
perception of colours out of one another; it provides the visual
intuitions with an externality of their own--and the theory never
demands that they should acquire any other; and it leaves to these
visual intuitions the office of merely suggesting to the mind tactual
impressions, with which they have been invariably associated in place.
We say, _in place_; and it will be found that there is no contradiction
in our saying so, when we shall have shown that it is the touch, and not
the sight, which establishes a protensive interval between the organ and
the sensations of vision.

Visible extension, then, or the perception of colours external to
colours, being admitted, Mr Bailey's argument, if he still adheres to
it, must be presented to us in this form. He must maintain that the
theory requires that the objects of touch should not only be suggested
by the visual objects with which they have been associated, but that
they should actually be _seen_. And then he must maintain that no power
of association can enable us to see an object which can only be
touched--a position which, certainly, no one will controvert. The simple
answer to all which, is, that we never do see tangible objects--that the
theory never requires we should, and that no power of association is
necessary to account for a phenomenon which never takes place.

We cannot help thinking, that not a little of the misconception on this
subject which prevails in the writings of Mr Bailey, and, we may add, of
many other philosophers, originates in the supposition that we identify
vision with the eye in the mere act of seeing, and in their taking it
for granted that sight of itself informs us that we possess such an
organ as the eye. Of course, if we suppose that we know instinctively,
or intuitively, from the mere act of seeing, that the eye is the organ
of vision, that it forms a part of the body we behold, and is located in
the head, it requires no conjurer to prove that we _must_ have an
instinctive, or intuitive, knowledge of visible things as larger than
that organ, and, consequently, as external to it. In this case, no
process of association is necessary to account for our knowledge of the
distance of objects. That knowledge must be directly given in the very
function and exercise of vision, as every one will admit, without going
to the expense of an octavo volume to have it proved.

But we hold that no truth in mental philosophy is more incontestable
than this, that the sight originally, and of itself, furnishes us with
no knowledge of the eye, as we _now_ know that organ to exist. It does
not inform us that we have an eye at all. And here we may hazard an
observation, which, simple as it is, appears to us to be new, and not
unimportant in aiding us to unravel the mysteries of sensation; which
observation is, that, in no case whatever, does any sense inform us of
the existence of its appropriate organ, or of the relation which
subsists between that organ and its objects, but that the interposition
of some other sense[36] is invariably required to give us this
information. This truth, which we believe holds good with regard to all
the senses, is most strikingly exemplified in the case of vision, as we
shall now endeavour to illustrate.

[36] It would not be difficult to show, that as, on the one
hand, _distance_ is not involved in the original intuitions of
sight, so, on the other hand, _proximity_ is not involved in the
original intuitions of touch; but that, while it is the touch
which establishes an interval between the organ and the objects
of sight, it is the sight which establishes _no_ interval
between the organ and the objects of touch. Sight thus pays back
every fraction of the debt it has incurred to its brother sense.
This is an interesting subject, but we can only glance at it

Let us begin by supposing that man is a mere "power of seeing". Under
this supposition, we must hold that the periphery of vision is one and
the same with the periphery of visible space; and the two peripheries
being identical, of course whatever objects lie within the sphere of the
one must lie within the sphere of the other also. Perhaps, strictly
speaking, it is wrong to say that these objects are apprehended as
internal to the sight; for the conception of internality implies the
conception of externality, and neither of these conceptions can, as yet,
be realized. But it is obvious what the expression _internal_ means; and
it is unobjectionable, when understood to signify that the Seeing Power,
the Seeing Act, and the Seen Things, co-exist in a synthesis in which
there is no interval or discrimination. For, suppose that we know
instinctively that the seen things occupy a locality separate from the
sight. But that implies that we instinctively know that the sight
occupies a locality separate from them. But such a supposition is a
falling back upon the notion just reprobated, that the mere act of
seeing can indicate its own organ, or can localise the visual phenomena
in the eye--a position which, we presume, no philosopher will be hardy
enough to maintain, when called upon to do so, broadly and
unequivocally. The conclusion, therefore, is irresistible, that, in mere
vision, the sight and its objects cling together in a union or
synthesis, which no function of that sense, and no knowledge imparted to
us by it, (and, according to the supposition, we have, as yet, no other
knowledge,) can enable us to discriminate or dissolve. Where the seeing
is, there is the thing seen, and where the thing seen is, there is the
seeing of it.

But man is not a mere seeing animal. He has other senses besides: He
has, for example, the sense of touch, and one of the most important
offices which this sense performs, is to break up the identity or
cohesion which subsists between sight and its objects. And how? We
answer, by teaching us to associate _vision in general_, or the abstract
_condition_ regulating our visual impressions, with the presence of the
small tangible body we call the eye, and _vision in particular_, or the
individual sensations of vision, (i.e. colours,) with the presence of
immeasurably larger bodies revealed to us by touch, and tangibly
external to the tangible eye. Sight, as we have said, does not inform us
that its sensations are situated in the eye: it does not inform us that
we have an eye at all. Neither does touch inform us that our visual
sensations are located in the eye. It does not lead us to associate with
the eye any of the visual phenomena or operations _in the first
instance_. If it did, it would (_firstly_) either be impossible for it
_afterwards_ to induce us to associate them with the presence of
tangible bodies distant and different from the eye: or, (_secondly_),
such an association would merely give birth to the abstract knowledge or
conclusion, that these bodies were in one place, while the sensations
suggesting them were felt to be associated with something in another
place; colour would not be seen--as it is--incarnated with body: or,
(_thirdly_), we should be compelled to postulate for the eye, as many
philosophers have done, in our opinion, most unwarrantably, "a faculty
of projection"[37] by which it might dissolve the association between
itself and its sensations, throwing off the latter in the form of
colours over the surface of things, and reversing the old Epicurean
doctrine that perception is kept up by the transit to the sensorium of
the ghosts or _simulacra_ of things,

Quae, quasi membranae, summo de corpore rerum,
Direptae, volitant ultro citroque per auras.[38]

It is difficult to say whether the hypothesis of "cast-off films" is
more absurd when we make the films come from things to us as spectral
effluxes, or go from us to them in the semblance of colours.

[37] We observe that even Mueller speaks of the "faculty of
projection" as if he sanctioned and adopted the hypothesis.--See
_Physiology_, vol. ii. p. 1167.

[38] Lucretius.

But according to the present view no such incomprehensible faculty, no
such crude and untenable hypothesis, is required. _Before_ the touch has
informed us that we have an eye, _before_ it has led us to associate any
thing visual with the eye, it has _already_ taught us to associate in
place the sensations of vision (colours) with the presence of tangible
objects which are not the eye. Therefore, when the touch discovers the
eye, and induces us to associate vision in some way with it, it cannot
be the particular sensations of vision called colours which it leads us
to associate with that organ; for these have been already associated
with something very different. If it be not colours, then what is it
that the touch compels us to associate with the eye? We answer that it
is the abstract _condition_ of impressions as the general law on which
all seeing depends, but as quite distinct from the particular visual
sensations apprehended in virtue of the observance of that law.

Nor is it at all difficult to understand how this general condition
comes to be associated with the eye, and how the particular visual
sensations come to be associated with something distant from the eye:
and further, how this association of the condition with one thing, and
of the sensations with another thing, (an association established by the
touch and not by the sight,) dissolves the primary synthesis of seeing
and colours. It is to be observed that there are two stages in the
process by which this secernment is brought about--_First_, the stage in
which the visual phenomena are associated with things different from the
organ of vision, the very existence of which is as yet unknown. Let us
suppose, then, the function of sight to be in operation. We behold a
visible object--a particular colour. Let the touch now come into play.
We feel a tangible object--say a book. Now from the mere fact of the
visible and the tangible object being seen and felt together, we could
not associate them in place; for it is quite possible that the tangible
object may admit of being withdrawn, and yet the visible object remain:
and if so, no association of the two in place can be established. But
this is a point that can only be determined by experience; and what says
that wise instructor? We withdraw the tangible object. The visible
object, too, disappears: it leaves its place. We replace the tangible
object--the visible object reappears _in statu quo_. There is no
occasion to vary the experiment. If we find that the visible object
invariably leaves its place when the tangible object leaves its, and
that the one invariably comes back when the other returns, we have
brought forward quite enough to establish an inevitable association in
place between the two. The two places are henceforth regarded, not as
two, but as one and the same.

By the aid of the touch, then, we have associated the visual phenomena
with thing which are _not_ the organ of vision; and well it is for us
that we have done so betimes, and before we were aware of the eye's
existence. Had the eye been indicated to us in the mere act of seeing;
had we become apprised of its existence _before_ we had associated our
visual sensations with the tangible objects constituting the material
universe, the probability, nay the certainty, is that we would have
associated them with this eye, and that then it would have been as
impossible for us to break up the association between colours and the
organ, as it now is for us to dissolve the union between colours and
material things. In which case we should have remained blind, or as bad
as blind; brightness would have been in the eye when it ought to have
been in the sun; greenness would have been in the retina when it ought
to have been in the grass. A most wise provision of nature it certainly
is, by which our visual sensations are disposed of in the right way
before we obtain any knowledge of the eye. And most wisely has nature
seconded her own scheme by obscuring all the sources from which that
knowledge might be derived. The light eyelids--the effortless muscular
apparatus performing its ministrations so gently as to be almost
unfelt--the tactual sensations so imperceptible when the eye is left to
its own motions, so keen when it is invaded by an exploring finger, and
so anxious to avoid all contact by which the existence of the organ
might be betrayed. All these are so many means adopted by nature to keep
back from the infant seer all knowledge of his own eye--a knowledge
which, if developed prematurely, would have perverted the functions, if
not rendered nugatory the very existence of the organ.

But, _secondly_, we have to consider the stage of the process in which
vision is in some way associated with an object which is _not_ any of
the things with which the visual sensations are connected. It is clear
that the process is not completed--that our task, which is to dissolve
the primary synthesis of vision and its phenomena, is but half executed,
unless such an object be found. For though we have associated the visual
sensations (colours) with something different from themselves, still
vision clings to them without a hair's-breadth of interval and pursues
them whithersoever they go. As far, then, as we have yet gone, it cannot
be said that our vision is felt or known to be distanced from the fixed
stars even by the diameter of a grain of sand. The synthesis of sight
and colour is not yet discriminated. How, then, is the interval
interposed? We answer, by the discovery of a tangible object in a
different place from any of the tangible objects associated with colour;
and then by associating, in some way or other, the operations of vision
with this object. Such an object is discovered in the eye. Now, as has
frequently been said, we cannot associate colours or the visual
sensations with this eye; for these have been already disposed of
otherwise. What, then, do we associate with it--and how? We find, upon
experiment, that our apprehension of the various visual sensations
depends on the presence and particular location of this small tangible
body. We find that the whole array of visual phenomena disappear when it
is tactually covered, that they reappear when it is reopened, and so
forth. Thus we come in some way to associate vision with it--not as
colour, however, not as visual sensation. We regard the organ and its
dispositions merely as a general condition regulating the apprehension
of the visual sensations, and no more.

Thus, by attending to the two associations that occur,--the association
(in place) of visual sensations with tangible bodies that _are not_ the
eye; and the association (in place) of vision with a small tangible body
that _is_ the eye--the eye regarded as the condition on which the
apprehension of these sensations depends; by attending to these, we can
understand how a protensive interval comes to be recognised between the
organ and its objects. By means of the touch, we have associated the
sensations of vision with tangible bodies in one place, and the
apprehension of these sensations with a tangible body in another place.
It is, therefore, impossible for the sight to dissolve these
associations, and bring the sensations out of the one place where they
are felt, into the other place where the _condition_ of their
apprehension resides. The sight is, therefore, compelled to leave the
sensations where they are, and the apprehension of them where it is; and
to recognize the two as sundered from each other--the sensations as
separated from the organ, which they truly are. Thus it is that we would
explain the origin of the perception of distance by the eye; believing
firmly that the sight would never have discerned this distance without
the mediation of the touch.

Rightly to understand the foregoing reasoning--indeed to advance a
single step in the true philosophy of sensation--we much divest
ourselves of the prejudice instilled into us by a false physiology, that
what we call our organism, or, in plain words, our body, is necessarily
_the seat_ of our sensations. That all our sensations come to be
associated _in some way_ with this body, and that some of them even come
to be associated with it _in place_, is undeniable; but so far is it
from being true, that they are all essentially implicated or
incorporated with it, and cannot exist at a distance from it, that we
have a direct proof to the contrary in our sensations of vision; and
until the physiologist can prove (what has never yet been proven) an _a
priori_ necessity that our sensations must be where our bodies are, and
an _a priori_ absurdity in the contrary supposition, he must excuse us
for resolutely standing by the fact as we find it.

This is a view which admits of much discussion, and we would gladly
expatiate upon the subject, did time and space permit; but we must
content ourselves with winding up the present observations with the
accompanying diagram, which we think explains our view beyond the
possibility of a mistake.

B_a_ _a_C

Let A be the original synthesis, or indiscrimination of vision and its
sensations--of light and colours. Let _a_ be the visual sensations
locally associated by means of the touch with the tangible bodies C
_before_ vision is in any way associated with B--before, indeed, we have
any knowledge of the existence of B. Then let _a_, the general condition
on which the sensations, _after a time_, are found to depend, and in
virtue of which they are apprehended, be locally associated with B--the
eye discovered by means of the touch--and we have before us what we
cannot help regarding as a complete _rationale_ of the whole phenomena
and mysteries of vision. Now, the great difference between this view of
the subject and the views of it that have been taken by _every_ other
philosopher, consists in this, that whereas their explanations
invariably implicated the visual sensations _a_ with B from the very
first, thereby rendering it either impossible for them to be afterwards
associated with C, or possible only in virtue of some very extravagant
hypothesis--our explanation, on the contrary, proceeding on a simple
observation of the facts, and never implicating the sensations _a_ with
B at all, but associating them with C _a primordiis_, merely leaving to
be associated with B, _a_, a certain general condition that must be
complied with, in order that the sensations _a_ may be apprehended,--in
this way, we say, our explanation contrives to steer clear both of the
impossibility and the hypothesis.

We would just add by way of postscript to this article--which, perhaps,
ought itself to have been only a postscript--that with regard to Mr
Bailey's allegation of our having plagiarised one of his arguments,
merely turning the coat of it outside in, we can assure him that he is
labouring under a mistake. In our former paper, we remarked that we
could not see things to be _out_ of the sight, because we could not see
the sight itself. Mr Bailey alleges, that this argument is borrowed from
him, being a mere reversal of his reasoning, that we cannot see things
to be _in_ the sight, because we cannot see both the sight and the
things. That our argument might very naturally have been suggested by
his, we admit. But it was not so. We had either overlooked the passage
in his book, or it was clean out of our mind when we were pondering our
own speculations. It did not suggest our argument, either nearly or
remotely. Had it done so, we should certainly have noticed it, and
should probably have handled both Mr Bailey's reasoning and our own to
better purpose, in consequence. If, notwithstanding this disclaimer, he
still thinks that appearances are against us, we cannot mend his faith,
but can merely repeat, that the fact is as we have stated it.

* * * * *



In a review we made last January of Goldsmith's "Deserted Village,"
illustrated by the Etching Club, we concluded our notice with
recommending to those able artists the "Vicar of Wakefield;" and
expressed a hope that Mr Maclise would lend his powerful aid, having in
our recollection some very happy illustrations of his hand in pictures
exhibited at the Royal Academy Exhibition.

What the Etching Club are about, we know not; but the subject has been
taken up by Mr Mulready; and we now feel it incumbent upon us to notice
this new and illustrated edition of that immortal work. Immortal it must
be; manners pass away, modes change, but the fashion of the heart of man
is unalterable. The "Vicar of Wakefield" bears the stamp of the age in
which it was written. Had it been laid aside by the author, discovered,
and now first brought out, without a notice of the author, or of the
time of its composition, received it must have been indeed with delight,
but not as belonging to the present day. It differs in its literature
and its manners. It is at once a most happy work for illustration, and
the most difficult. It is universally known. Who has not shed previous
and heart-improving tears over it? Taking up the tale now, for the
hundredth time, we are become, from somewhat morose, tender as a
lamb--propitious condition for a critic! We opened upon the scene where
Mr Burchell so cruelly tries poor Sophia, by offering her a husband in
Mr Jenkinson; we know the whole transaction perfectly, the bitter joke,
the proposal

Formas atque animas in juga ahenea
Saevo mittere cum joco."

Yet how strangely are we moved! Had the taxman at the moment called for
the income-tax, he would have concluded we were paying the last farthing
of our principal. What art is this in a writer, that he should by one
and the same passage continue to move his readers, though they know the
trick! Readers, too, that would have turned the cold shoulder to real
tales of greater distress, and met suspicion that all was a cheat
halfway; but the acknowledged fictitious they yield to at once their
whole hearts, throwing to the winds their beggarly stint. Never was
there a writer that possessed to so great a degree as did Goldsmith this
wondrous charm; and in him it is the more delightful in the light and
pleasant _allegria_ with which he works off the feeling. The volume is
full of subjects that so move; and in this respect it is most admirable
for illustration, inviting the ablest powers. But the difficulty,
wherein does that lie? Look at all illustrations that have hitherto
appeared in print, and you cry out to all--Away with the failure!
Certain it is that but slender abilities have been hitherto employed;
and when we hear of better artists coming to the undertaking, we are
hardened against them. And then, how few come fresh to the tale. To
those who do, perhaps a new illustration may have a tenfold charm; but
to any one past five-and-twenty, it must come "with a difference." It is
very difficult to reconcile one to a new Dr Primrose, a new Mrs
Primrose. Beauty ever had the power of beauty, and takes us suddenly; we
can more readily dismiss the old idea and pitch on the new, so that the
Miss Primroses are more reconcilable and transferable creatures, than
the Vicar and his wife, or the incomparable Moses and the unyielding Mr
Burchell. We cannot pretend to tell how all these characters would have
fitted their images given by Mr Mulready, had the work now first come
into our hands. As it is, we can only say they are new to us. It
requires time to reconcile this. In the meanwhile we must take it for
granted, that they actually do represent those in Mr Mulready's vision,
and he is a clear-sighted man, and has been accustomed to look into
character well. His name as the illustrator, gave promise of success.
Well do we remember an early picture by him--entitled, we believe, the
Wolf and the Lamb. It represented two schoolboys--the bully, and the
more tender fatherless child. The history in that little picture was
quite of the manner of Goldsmith. The orphan boy's face we never can
forget, not the whole expression of his slender form, though it is many
years ago that we saw the picture. So that when the name of Mulready
appeared as illustrator, we said at once, That will do--down came the
book, and here it is before us. The pages have been turned over again
and again. We cannot, nevertheless, quite reconcile our ideas to the new
Dr and Mrs Primrose; but in attempting to do so, so many real artistical
beauties have beamed from the pages, that we determined at once to pour
out our hearts to Maga, and turn over page after page once more. The
illustrations are thirty-two in number; one to head each chapter,
though, and which we think a defect, the subject of the illustration is
not always in the chapter at the head of which it is. The first is the
choice of a wife--"and chose my wife as she did her wedding-gown." The
intended bride is a very beautiful graceful figure, with a most sweet
simplicity of countenance. This never could have resembled Mrs Deborah
Primrose; the outline is most easy and graceful, even as one of
Raffaelle's pure and lovely beings. The youth of the bride and
bridegroom, fresh in their hopes of years of happiness, is happily
contrasted with the staid age of the respectable tradesman, evidently
one of honest trade and industrious habits--the fair dealer, one of the
old race before the days of "immense sacrifices" brought goods and men
into disrepute. The little group is charming; every line assists
another, and make a perfect whole.

"The Dispute between the Vicar and Mr Wilmot."--"This, as may be
expected, produced a dispute, attended with some acrimony." Old Wilmot
is capital; there is acrimony in his face, and combativeness in his
fists--both clenching confidently his own argument, and ready for
action; the very drawing back of one leg, and protrusion of the other,
is indicative of testy impatience. The vicar is a little too loose and
slovenly, both in attitude and attire; the uniting of the figures
(artistically speaking) is with Mr Mulready's usual ability.

"The Rescue of Sophia from Drowning by Mr Burchell."--"She must have
certainly perished, had not my companion, perceiving her danger,
instantly plunged in to her relief." This is altogether a failure, yet
it is a good subject; nor has Mr Mulready been at all happy in the
female beauty. The vicar stands upon the bank too apathetic; and the
group in the vehicle, crossing the stream above, seem scarcely conscious
of the event, though they are within sight of it. Mr Mulready has here,
too, neglected his text. Sophia fell from her horse; all the party set
out on horseback; there is no carriage mentioned.

"The Vicar at Home, with Neighbour Flamborough and the Piper."--"These
harmless people had several ways of being good company; while one
played, the other would sing some soothing ballad." The happy father,
with his children climbing up his chair, and clinging to him, is a
beautiful group, and quite worthy of Mr Mulready's pencil.

"Squire Thornhill."--"At last a young gentleman, of a more genteel
appearance than the rest, came forward, and for a while regarding us,
instead of pursuing the chase, stopped short, and giving his horse to a
servant who attended, approached us with a careless, superior air." The
family are sweetly grouped--the story well told--the easy assurance of
the squire undeniable. The father holds his two boys, one on his lap,
the other between his knees; but is he "_the_ vicar?"

"Mr Burchell and Sophia"--A most charming illustration. It is the
haymaking scene. "I could not avoid, however, observing the assiduity of
Mr Burchell, in assisting my daughter Sophia in her part of the task."
Sophia is a lovely creature, just what she should be. We are not quite
sure of Mr Burchell: possibly he may look too young; he was a character,
and must have borne about him some little acquired oddity, sturdy, and
not undignified. In the illustration he is too prettily genteel; but we
do not wish to see any but Sophia--delightful, loving, lovable Sophia.
In the background, Moses lies on the ground with his book, and the vicar
has rather too suspicious a look; but we can forgive him that, and, for
Sophia's sake, forgive Mr Mulready that he has paid less attention to
her admirer--for at present he is no more. But his admiration is better,
and more to the purpose than other men's love.

"Moses defeated in Argument, or rather borne down by the arrogant,
ignorant volubility of the Squire."--"This effectually raised the laugh
against poor Moses." It is well grouped; but the only successful figure
is Moses. The squire is not the well-dressed, designing profligate. If
the story were not well told by the grouping, we might have taken the
squire for an itinerant "lecturer." The squire is so prominent a person
in the tale, that we think there should have been a well-studied
representation of the accomplished villain and fine gentleman.

No. 8.--Beyond the skill in grouping, Mr Mulready has not attempted any
great interest in this illustration. It represents the family, with
their friend Burchell, interrupted in their enjoyment by the chaplain,

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