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the morning, to see distinguished couple who are still in the delightmembers of the jeunesse doré ful trance of an unacknowledged (their spirits no doubt slightly attachment; and at this one pair raised by wine), going home affec- he directs his music-aiming it at tionately linked arm in arm with them, if one may thus express itthe brown fiddlers; yet no Hun- following their every movement, garian gentleman could fall into and identifying his play with their the amusing mistake of an English every gesture. nobleman, who, making a point of To an uninitiated stranger it lionising all celebrities within his looks at first very odd to see this reach, invited to dinner the first knot of dancers all pressed toviolin of a Tzigane band starring gether like herrings in a barrel, in in London some years ago. The one small corner, while two-thirds flattering invitation occasioned the of a spacious ball-room are standmost intense surprise to the dis- ing empty; but the Hungarians tinguished artist himself, who, declare that the gipsies only play though used to various forms of the csardas with spirit, when they enthusiasm called forth by his see the dancers close to them, genius, was certainly not accus- treading on their very toes, and tomed to be seriously taken in the brushing up against their violins. sense of a civilised human being. Sometimes the band director, unIt is said, however, that the able to control his excitement,
, gipsy's quickness of perception, breaks loose from the place asdoing duty for education on this signed to the musicians, and adoccasion, enabled him to go through vancing into the room, becomes the formidable ordeal of a Lon- the centre of the whirling knot of don dinner-party without further dancers. breaches of our rigid etiquette than In all these dances the bandare quite permissible on the part master! changes the melody as of a barbarous grandee.
fancy prompts him, only giving The Tzigane plays every sort of warning to his colleagues by two dance-music with spirit; but he sharp taps of the bow that a loves to play the csardas best, and change is impending. Of course it is the principal feature at every the other musicians do not know Hungarian ball.
beforehand what air is coming, but It is curious to watch how, at a note or two suffice to ut them the first notes of this dance, the on the scent, and they fall in so dancers all precipitate themselves smoothly that nothing rough or unto the end of the room where the even can be detected. musicians are placed, crowding to- Almost every one of the dancers gether and jostling each other in has his or her favourite air, their their anxiety each to get nearest nota, as it is here called, and it to the music.
is meant as a delicate attention The bandmaster is fond of men- whenever the gipsy bandmaster, tally selecting a couple from among smiling or winking at a passing the dancers—perhaps the hand- dancer, strikes into his air of presomest best- -grown pair, or a lover- dilection.
The Tzigane's memory
1 I call him bandmaster for convenience, though the Tziganes do not require any one to beat time for them; but their first violin is at the same time the one who directs the others.
in thus retaining (and never con- you had wellnigh forgotten, and fusing) the favourite airs of each hear a voice long stranger to your separate person is surprising; and ears. not only this, but he will likewise That waltz, once
to you the remember to a nicety which air most entrancing music on earth, was your favourite one three or now sounds like the gibings of four years ago, and what were the some tormenting spirit, and you circumstances to which the former breathe an involuntary sighof melody used to play accompani- regret for a time that is ment.
more ! Thus whirling past, in the mazes Thus the Tzigane player, unlike of your favourite waltz or galop, hired musicians in other countries, with the girl you adore on your has an intimate and artistic conarm, you may catch the dark eye nection with his dancers. In Engof the Tzigane player expressively land or Germany the musician is fixed on you with sly allusion, simply the machine which plays, no and in the next minute the music more to be regarded than a barrelhas changed; it is a long-forgotten organ or a musical-box. In Hunmelody they are playing now; a gary alone he is something more; melody once familiar at a bygone his power of directing being here time, when you had other thoughts, not limited to the feet alone, but other hopes, another partner on may almost be said to extend to your arm; when wood-violet, not the feelings and fancies of his audipatchouly, was the scent you loved ence as well—feelings which it is best, and fair ringlets had more his delight to share and sway, with charm than raven tresses.
actual power to stimulate love or For a moment the present scene jealousy, and reawaken remorse or has faded from your eyes, and in sorrow merely by the touch of his its place you see a tremulous smile magic wand !
[It has for long been determined among his descendants that a surprising narrative, left behind him by the late Ewen Cameron, should be given to the world, in order that psychologists may have an opportunity of learning, and possibly of commenting on, his experiences. But until very lately, persons were living who would have been shocked and offended at the public revelation of events in which they themselves, or others to whom they were very nearly related, took important parts; and so the publication was delayed. Death has, however, been busy among the elder members of the house, and their contemporaries, during the last ten years. The latest remarks now to be printed were written by Mr Cameron in 1825, more than sixty years since, and there does not appear to be any good reason for longer withholding from the scientific world the following curious record. The epithet magnetic is used in the title because it is believed that phenomena as here described are, according to latest opinions, effects of magnetism.]
A fortunate thing it was for my aspirations. I think that I me that I possessed this small could, with patience and fidelity, island in the Shetland group. I have overcome all the objections had often spoken with cruel con- to me which her father SO untempt of this humble property, as reasonably entertained, and that if I did it the greatest honour by he and his would in time have been simply owning it; and yet, at the convinced of the worthlessness of time when I left Edinburgh with that Archibald Menzies whom they something like precipitation, I so perversely preferred to me. should have been a houseless wan- This might have been possible, I derer if I had not had this remote say, if I had been able to retain house, Quarda, and the surround- my position in the gay world; but ing region, to fall back upon. It as a beggar, or the next thing to was a sad reverse that I had ex- it, I was compelled to strike my perienced. I do not say but that colours even before such a one it was principally the effect of my as Captain Menzies. It was too own imprudence; but, allowing miserably true: everything had that, all imprudent men are not gone against me, and I was fain to punished, and I was punished se- bury myself and to hide my chagrin verely, crushingly. I lost, largely in what I had been accustomed to by play, but in some degree also call my artic wildls. by an unhappy outfall of events, While I was effecting my retreat all my means excepting this little from the world, things were in such pied à terre, and through that loss a whirl that the mere changes from
was obliged to forego also my one anxiety to another kept me dearest hope—that for which chief- from indulging any separate sorly I valued my worldly goods— row; but now in solitude, “out of my pretension to the hand of my humanity's reach,” I could ponder charming, my worshipped, Aline without stint, and I distinguished Macleod.
the blows of fortune, and knew I was convinced that Aline's which was the sorest of them. O inmost heart was favourable to Aline Macleod, it was the thought
of you that made all other losses his disaster was political, while I seem small in comparison. Your was a broken man of pleasure. He beauty of face and form was but a had cast in his lot with the unfraction of your charms. Did I happy Stuarts, and had saved little not remember your soft looks and beyond his life from out the wreck graceful gestures, the music
gestures, the music of of their cause in Scotland. If all your voice, and not your be true that I have heard about him words and acts in harmony with -and although Prince Charlie's all that I thought excellent in campaign was not long ago, I am woman ! Reflection showed me but imperfectly informed concernwhich was my intolerable sorrow. ing my grandfather, so carefully I could face all else, but I could did he efface himself-he would not bear to be shut out from the have died on the scaffold if he had light of your countenance. If, been discovered ; and to avoid that instead of being well endowed fate, he allowed a title and a large with worldly means, you had been property to pass to a distant relapoor and friendless, your sweet tion, he being accounted dead. He self, without a grain of “siller,” became reconciled after a time to would be to me the richest prize his lot, and, as a student, found in the world.
such repose as had been denied But this mourning was sad folly. him in the busy world. Country I had to call all my philosophy to people were then-are now, indeed my aid, and to school myself to -prone to ascribe to any man leading a rude unsweetened life. who follows after learning, studies There had been a short glimpse of which are unlawful well brightness; now it was in the dark honest researches; and my foreshadow that my paths were ordered. runner assuredly did not escape Quarda,~I was thankful enough, calumny of this kind. The stories be it said, to have it to fall back about him are dying out at last; on, but-it was a dismal home. but there are old shepherds and There was a little to do as laird, hinds living yet, who say he could there was a little sporting, and raise the devil and do feats of magic. there was
a very little society. They even declare that he did not The paucity of neighbours was to die and return to earth as another a disappointed man not disagree- man, but had some strange disable, though solitude probably appearance accompanied with all tended to prolong my care.
And sorts of prodigies. They evidently fortunately, Quarda, 'ill found as had a great love of the marvellous. in many things it may have been, I wondered whether, if my miserwas not without books to solace a able, worthless life should be prorecluse.
longed for a season, I also should The lucky accident by which leave behind me an uncanny reputhe place contained a library-ortation, for I was already taking to rather a well-furnished snug study letters. -was known to me. For, oddly The last thing that I should have enough, an ancester of mine had credited myself with was an acadecome here a fugitive just as I had mical turn; but as I found books done, and had taken to books-- to physic my pain better than any some of them rather strange ones, other resource, I presume that as I soon found. There was, how- literary labour must have been ever, this difference between his that which I delighted in. I spent flight from the world and mine ;- more and more time in the study. Not many weeks had passed since some method of opening it, I I came to Quarda, and already I turned it and pressed it in many had become a bookworm. It is ways without for a long time find. hardly necessary to give an account ing a joint. At last, as I made of my course of reading.
some movement, there issued from pass that, and say that one day, it a sharp click such as one hears during a spell of very rough in clockwork, and a smell, like that weather, I tired of leaning over which had saluted me when I my desk, and began to move about opened the cabinet, was again perthe room by way of diversion. ceptible. At the same time I felt While so doing, I, without any clear a shudder pass through me, and design, opened a cabinet which stood thought my life had stopped, so in a recess of the room, and was depressing was the sensation. Preimmediately conscious of a pun- sently, to convince myself that I gent and most disagreeable odour, lived, I made a movement towards which seemed to issue forth as if it rising from my seat, and on lifting had a will of its own, and which my head discovered, to my astonassailed my nostrils. Made more ishment, that I was not alone! I earnest by this odd opposition, as declare that, standing about four it were, to my examination, I per- yards from me, there was a man, sisted in making a search. There habited as I was, and, as far as I were books there, well thumbed, could judge, the counterpart of and I was startled to find that myself. “My wraith," I thought; nearly all of them treated directly “ I am going to die, and no man or indirectly of magnetism and its ever met his fate with less remagical powers! Here was a dis- gret." I knew somehow that the
I covery! I also found on the shelves figure was not of flesh and blood. drawings of curious figures, long I was not frightened: I rather sheets of numbers, rods of wood studied the apparition, which, howand of metal, phials, crucibles, ever, after holding my regard fixed lamps, with inscriptions in charac- on it for I really cannot say how ters quite unknown to me. I may long, was suddenly gone. have very imperfectly noted the I collected my wits immediately. contents, because my attention was I threw up the window, inhaled suddenly drawn away by a most some cold air, felt my pulse—which curious-looking block or box (I galloped—and decided that my could not quite decide which), hav- system was alarmingly deranged. ing seven sides, the diameter of the The surprise should have been, base of which may have been 2 perhaps, that I had not broken inches, and the height of the box 6 down in body before, after suffer. or 7 inches. On the the top was a ing so much in mind and spirits. wonderfully luminous crystal. The Confinement would not do for me, wood outside was light in colour; it was clear. I was becoming subsome sides were covered with com- ject to hallucinations, and I was plicated outlined figures, and others sage enough to know that moderwith unknown written characters. ate exercise in the open air was
I took the thing up. It was indispensable, and might, perhaps, heavy, and must, I thought, be suffice to restore me without medihollow, and hold something en- cine. So I returned my puzzleclosed. So I went back to my box to the cabinet, put the inte: chair and sat down to examine it. rior into the order in which I had Being persuaded that there was found it, and locked the place up,