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to speak a little louder), we were all at Home for the Carnival. I had heen out, all day, with a Sicilian, a friend of mine and a courier, who was there with an English family. As I returned at night to our hotel, I met the little Carolina, who never stirred from home alone, running distractedly along the Corso. " Carolina ! What's the matter ? "
" Oh, Baptista! Oh, for the Lord's sake ! where is my mistress ? "
" Mistress, Carolina ? "
" Gone since morning — told me, when master went out on his day's journey, not to call her, for she was tired with not resting in the night (having heen in pain), and would lie in bed until the evening; then get up refreshed. She is gone! — she is gone ! Master has come back, broken down the door, and she is gone! My beautiful, my good, my innocent mistress! "
The pretty little one so cried, and raved, and tore herself that I could not have held her, but for her swooning on my arm as if she had been shot. Master came up — in manner, face, or voice, no more the master that I knew than I was he. He took me (I laid the little one upon her bed in the hdtel, and left her with the chamber women), in a carriage, furiously through the darkness, across the desolate Campagna. When it was day, and we stopped at a miserable post-house, all the horses had been hired twelve hours ago, and sent away in different directions. Mark me! — by the Signor Dellombra, who had passed there in a carriage, with a frightened English lady crouching in one corner.
I never heard (said the Genoese courier, drawing a long breath) that she was ever traced beyond that spot. All I know is, that she vanished into infamous oblivion, with the dreaded face beside her that she had seen in her dream.
" What do you call that ?" said the German courier triumphantly. " Ghosts ! There are no ghosts there ! What do you call this, that I am going to tell you ? Ghosts ! There are no ghosts here I "
I took an engagement once (pursued the German courier) with an English gentleman, elderly and a bachelor, to travel through my country, my Fatherland. He was a merchant who traded with my country and knew the language, but who had
never been there since he was a boy — as I judge, some sixty years before.
His name was James, and he had a twin brother John, also a bachelor. Between these brothers there was a great affection. They were in business together, at Goodman's Fields, but they did not live together. Mr. James dwelt in Poland Street, turning out of Oxford Street, London. Mr. John resided by Epping Forest.
Mr. James and I were to start for Germany in about a week. The exact day depended on business. Mr. John came to Poland Street (where I was staying in the house), to pass that week with Mr. James. But he said to his brother on the second day, "I don't feel very well, James. There's not much the matter with me ; but I think I am a little gouty. I '11 go home and put myself under the care of my old housekeeper, who understands my ways. If I get quite better, I '11 come back and see you before you go. If I don't feel well enough to resume my visit where I leave it off, why you will come and see me before you go." Mr. James, of course, said he would, and they shook hands, — both hands, as they always did, — and Mr. John ordered out his old-fashioned chariot and rumbled home.
It was on the second night after that — that is to say, the fourth in the week — when I was awoke out of my sound sleep by Mr. James coming into my bedroom in his flannel gown, with a lighted candle. He sat upon the side of my bed, and, looking at me, said : —
" Wilhelm, I have reason to think I have got some strange illness upon me."
I then perceived that there was a very unusual expression in his face.
" Wilhelm," said he, " I am not afraid or ashamed to tell you what I might be afraid or ashamed to tell another man. You come from a sensible country, where mysterious things are inquired into, and are not settled to have been weighed and measured — or to have been unweighable and unmeasurable — or in either case to have been completely disposed of, for all time — ever so many years ago. I have just now seen the phantom of my brother."
I confess (said the German courier) that it gave me a little tingling of the blood to hear it.
" I have just now seen," Mr. James repeated, looking full at ine, that I might see how collected he was, " the phantom of my brother John. I was sitting up in bed, unable to sleep, when it came into my room, in a white dress, and, regarding me earnestly, passed up to the end of the room, glanced at some papers on my writing-desk, turned, and, still looking earnestly at me as it passed the bed, went out at the dooi. Now I am not in the least mad, and am not in the least disposed to invest that phantom with any external existence out of myself. I think it is a warning to me that I am ill; and I think I had better be bled."
I got out of bed directly (said the German courier) and began to get on my clothes, begging him not to be alarmed, and telling him that I would go myself to the doctor. I was just ready, when we heard a loud knocking and ringing at the street door. My room being an attic at the back, and Mr. James's being the second-floor room in the front, we went down to his room, and put up the window, to see what was the matter.
" Is that Mr. James ? " said a man below, falling back to the opposite side of the way to look up.
"It is," said Mr. James; "and you are my brother's man, Robert."
" Yes, sir. I am sorry to say, sir, that Mr. John is ill. He is very bad, sir. It is even feared that he may be lying at the point of death. He wants to see you, sir. I have a chaise here. Pray come to him. Pray lose no time."
Mr. James and I looked at one another. " Wilhelm," said he, " this is strange. I wish you to come with me! " I helped him to dress, partly there and partly in the chaise ; and no grass grew under the horses' iron shoes between Poland Street and the Forest.
Now mind! (said the German courier). I went with Mr. James into his brother's room, and I saw and heard myseli what follows.
His brother lay upon his bed, at the upper end of a long bedchamber. His old housekeeper was there, and others were there: I think three others were there, if not four, and they had been with him since early in the afternoon. He was in white, like the figure,—necessarily so, because he had his night-dress on. He looked like the figure, — necessarily so, because he looked earnestly at his brother when he saw him come into the room.
But when his brother reached the bedside, he slowly raised himself in bed, and, looking full upon him, said these words : —
"james, You Have Seen Me Before, To-night — And You Know It ! "
And so died!
I waited, when the German courier ceased, to hear something said of this strange story. The silence was unbroken. I looked round, and the five couriers were gone: so noiselessly that the ghostly mountain might have absorbed them into its eternal snows. By this time, I was by no means in a mood to sit alone in that awful scene, with the chill air coming solemnly upon me — or, if I may tell the truth, to sit alone anywhere. So I went back into the convent parlour, and, finding the American gentleman still disposed to relate the biography of the Honourable Ananias Dodger, heard it all out
THE LAZY TOUR OF TWO IDLE APPRENTICES CHAPTER I
In the autumn month of September, eighteen hundred and fifty-seven, wherein these presents bear date, two idle apprentices, exhausted by the long, hot summer, and the long, hot work it had brought with it, ran away from their employer. They were bound to a highly meritorious lady (named Literature), of fair credit and repute, though, it must be acknowledged, not quite so highly esteemed in the City as she might be. This is the more remarkable as there is nothing against the respectable lady in that quarter, but quite the contrary; her family having rendered eminent service to many famous citizens of London. It may be sufficient to name Sir William Walworth, Lord Mayor under King Richard II., at the time of Wat Tyler's insurrection, and Sir Richard Whittington : which latter distinguished man and magistrate was doubtless indebted to the lady's family for the gift of his celebrated cat. There is also strong reason to suppose that they rang the Highgate bells for him with their own hands.
The misguided young men who thus shirked their duty to the mistress from whom they had received many favours were actuated by the low idea of making a perfectly idle trip, in any direction. They had no intention of going anywhere in particular ; they wanted to see nothing, they wanted to know nothing, they wanted to learn nothing, they wanted to do nothing. They wanted only to be idle. They took to themselves (after Hogarth) the names of Mr. Thomas Idle and Mr. Francis Goodchild; but there was not a moral pin to choose between them, and they were both idle in the last degree.
Between Francis and Thomas, however, there was this difference of character: Goodchild was laboriously idle, and would take upon himself any amount of pains and labour to assure himself that he was idle; in short, had no better idea of idleness than that it was useless industry. Thomas Idle, on the