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Nightmare abbey


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Title:NightmareAbbey
Author:ThomasLovePeacock
PostingDate:November19,2011[EBook#9909]ReleaseDate:February,2006
FirstPosted:October30,2003LastUpdated:July17,2010
Language:English
***STARTOFTHISPROJECTGUTENBERGEBOOKNIGHTMARE
ABBEY***

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NIGHTMAREABBEY
By
ThomasLovePeacock


CONTENTS
NIGHTMAREABBEY

NOTESTONightmareAbbey


NIGHTMAREABBEY:
BY
THEAUTHOROFHEADLONGHALL.

*****
There'sadarklanternofthespirit,
Whichnoneseebybutthosewhobearit,
Thatmakestheminthedarkseevisions
Andhagthemselveswithapparitions,
Findracksfortheirownminds,andvaunt
Oftheirownmiseryandwant.
BUTLER.
*****
LONDON:

1818.
MATTHEW.Oh!it'syouronlyfinehumour,sir.Yourtruemelancholybreeds
yourperfectfinewit,sir.Iammelancholymyself,diverstimes,sir;andthendoI
nomorebuttakepenandpaperpresently,andoverflowyouhalfascoreora
dozenofsonnetsatasitting.
STEPHEN.Truly,sir,andIlovesuchthingsoutofmeasure.
MATTHEW.Why,Iprayyou,sir,makeuseofmystudy:it'satyourservice.
STEPHEN.Ithankyou,sir,Ishallbebold,Iwarrantyou.Haveyouastool


there,tobemelancholyupon?
BENJONSON,EveryManinhisHumour,Act3,Sc.I
Ayesleugazouilleretsiffleroye,commeditlecommunproverbe,entreles
cygnes,plutoustqued'estreentretantdegentilspoëtesetfacondsorateurs
mutdutoutestimé.
RABELAIS,Prol.L.5
*****



CHAPTERI
NightmareAbbey,avenerablefamily-mansion,inahighlypicturesquestateof
semi-dilapidation,pleasantlysituatedonastripofdrylandbetweentheseaand
thefens,atthevergeofthecountyofLincoln,hadthehonourtobetheseatof
ChristopherGlowry,Esquire.Thisgentlemanwasnaturallyofanatrabilarious
temperament,andmuchtroubledwiththosephantomsofindigestionwhichare
commonlycalledbluedevils.Hehadbeendeceivedinanearlyfriendship:he
hadbeencrossedinlove;andhadofferedhishand,frompique,toalady,who
accepteditfrominterest,andwho,insodoing,violentlytoreasunderthebonds
ofatriedandyouthfulattachment.Hervanitywasgratifiedbybeingthemistress
ofaveryextensive,ifnotverylively,establishment;butallthespringsofher
sympathieswerefrozen.Richesshepossessed,butthatwhichenrichesthem,the
participationofaffection,waswanting.Allthattheycouldpurchaseforher
becameindifferenttoher,becausethatwhichtheycouldnotpurchase,and
whichwasmorevaluablethanthemselves,shehad,fortheirsake,thrownaway.
Shediscovered,whenitwastoolate,thatshehadmistakenthemeansforthe
end—thatriches,rightlyused,areinstrumentsofhappiness,butarenotin
themselveshappiness.Inthiswilfulblightofheraffections,shefoundthem
valuelessasmeans:theyhadbeentheendtowhichshehadimmolatedallher
affections,andwerenowtheonlyendthatremainedtoher.Shedidnotconfess
thistoherselfasaprincipleofaction,butitoperatedthroughthemediumof
unconsciousself-deception,andterminatedininveterateavarice.Shelaidon
externalthingstheblameofhermind'sinternaldisorder,andthusbecameby
degreesanaccomplishedscold.Sheoftenwentherdailyroundsthroughaseries
ofdesertedapartments,everycreatureinthehousevanishingatthecreakofher
shoe,muchmoreatthesoundofhervoice,towhichthenatureofthingsaffords
nosimile;for,asfarasthevoiceofwoman,whenattunedbygentlenessand
love,transcendsallothersoundsinharmony,sofardoesitsurpassallothersin
discord,whenstretchedintounnaturalshrillnessbyangerandimpatience.


MrGlowryusedtosaythathishousewasnobetterthanaspaciouskennel,for
everyoneinitledthelifeofadog.Disappointedbothinloveandinfriendship,
andlookinguponhumanlearningasvanity,hehadcometoaconclusionthat
therewasbutonegoodthingintheworld,videlicet,agooddinner;andthishis
parsimoniousladyseldomsufferedhimtoenjoy:but,onemorning,likeSir
LeolineinChristabel,'hewokeandfoundhisladydead,'andremainedavery
consolatewidower,withonesmallchild.
ThisonlysonandheirMrGlowryhadchristenedScythrop,fromthenameofa
maternalancestor,whohadhangedhimselfonerainydayinafitoftoedium
vitae,andhadbeeneulogisedbyacoroner'sjuryinthecomprehensivephraseof
felodese;onwhichaccount,MrGlowryheldhismemoryinhighhonour,and
madeapunchbowlofhisskull.
WhenScythropgrewup,hewassent,asusual,toapublicschool,wherealittle
learningwaspainfullybeatenintohim,andfromthencetotheuniversity,where
itwascarefullytakenoutofhim;andhewassenthomelikeawell-threshedear
ofcorn,withnothinginhishead:havingfinishedhiseducationtothehigh
satisfactionofthemasterandfellowsofhiscollege,whohad,intestimonyof
theirapprobation,presentedhimwithasilverfish-slice,onwhichhisname
figuredattheheadofalaudatoryinscriptioninsomesemi-barbarousdialectof
Anglo-SaxonisedLatin.
Hisfellow-students,however,whodrovetandemandrandomingreatperfection,
andwereconnoisseursingoodinns,hadtaughthimtodrinkdeeperehe
departed.Hehadpassedmuchofhistimewiththesechoicespirits,andhadseen
theraysofthemidnightlamptrembleonmanyalengtheningfileofempty
bottles.HepassedhisvacationssometimesatNightmareAbbey,sometimesin
London,atthehouseofhisuncle,MrHilary,averycheerfulandelastic
gentleman,whohadmarriedthesisterofthemelancholyMrGlowry.The
companythatfrequentedhishousewasthegayestofthegay.Scythropdanced
withtheladiesanddrankwiththegentlemen,andwaspronouncedbybotha
veryaccomplishedcharmingfellow,andanhonourtotheuniversity.
AtthehouseofMrHilary,ScythropfirstsawthebeautifulMissEmily
Girouette.Hefellinlove;whichisnothingnew.Hewasfavourablyreceived;
whichisnothingstrange.MrGlowryandMrGirouettehadameetingonthe
occasion,andquarrelledaboutthetermsofthebargain;whichisneithernewnor
strange.Theloversweretornasunder,weepingandvowingeverlasting


constancy;and,inthreeweeksafterthistragicalevent,theladywasleda
smilingbridetothealtar,bytheHonourableMrLackwit;whichisneither
strangenornew.
ScythropreceivedthisintelligenceatNightmareAbbey,andwashalfdistracted
ontheoccasion.Itwashisfirstdisappointment,andpreyeddeeplyonhis
sensitivespirit.Hisfather,tocomforthim,readhimaCommentaryon
Ecclesiastes,whichhehadhimselfcomposed,andwhichdemonstrated
incontrovertiblythatallisvanity.Heinsistedparticularlyonthetext,'Oneman
amongathousandhaveIfound,butawomanamongstallthosehaveInot
found.'
'Howcouldheexpectit,'saidScythrop,'whenthewholethousandwerelocked
upinhisseraglio?Hisexperienceisnoprecedentforafreestateofsocietylike
thatinwhichwelive.'
'Lockeduporatlarge,'saidMrGlowry,'theresultisthesame:theirmindsare
alwayslockedup,andvanityandinterestkeepthekey.Ispeakfeelingly,
Scythrop.'
'Iamsorryforit,sir,'saidScythrop.'Buthowisitthattheirmindsarelocked
up?Thefaultisintheirartificialeducation,whichstudiouslymodelstheminto
meremusicaldolls,tobesetoutforsaleinthegreattoy-shopofsociety.'
'Tobesure,'saidMrGlowry,'theireducationisnotsowellfinishedasyourshas
been;andyourideaofamusicaldollisgood.Iboughtonemyself,butitwas
confoundedlyoutoftune;but,whateverbethecause,Scythrop,theeffectis
certainlythis,thatoneisprettynearlyasgoodasanother,asfarasanyjudgment
canbeformedofthembeforemarriage.Itisonlyaftermarriagethattheyshow
theirtruequalities,asIknowbybitterexperience.Marriageis,therefore,a
lottery,andthelesschoiceandselectionamanbestowsonhisticketthebetter;
for,ifhehasincurredconsiderablepainsandexpensetoobtainaluckynumber,
andhisluckynumberprovesablank,heexperiencesnotasimple,buta
complicateddisappointment;thelossoflabourandmoneybeingsuperaddedto
thedisappointmentofdrawingablank,which,constitutingsimplyandentirely
thegrievanceofhimwhohaschosenhisticketatrandom,is,fromitssimplicity,
themoreendurable.'Thisveryexcellentreasoningwasthrownawayupon
Scythrop,whoretiredtohistowerasdismalanddisconsolateasbefore.


ThetowerwhichScythropinhabitedstoodatthesouth-easternangleofthe
Abbey;and,onthesouthernside,thefootofthetoweropenedonaterrace,
whichwascalledthegarden,thoughnothinggrewonitbutivy,andafew
amphibiousweeds.Thesouth-westerntower,whichwasruinousandfullof
owls,might,withequalpropriety,havebeencalledtheaviary.Thisterraceor
garden,orterrace-garden,orgarden-terrace(thereadermaynameitadlibitum),
tookinanobliqueviewoftheopensea,andfrontedalongtractoflevelseacoast,andafinemonotonyoffensandwindmills.
Thereaderwilljudge,fromwhatwehavesaid,thatthisbuildingwasasortof
castellatedabbey;anditwill,probably,occurtohimtoinquireifithadbeenone
ofthestrong-holdsoftheancientchurchmilitant.Whetherthiswasthecase,or
howfarithadbeenindebtedtothetasteofMrGlowry'sancestorsforany
transmutationsfromitsoriginalstate,are,unfortunately,circumstancesnot
withinthepaleofourknowledge.
Thenorth-westerntowercontainedtheapartmentsofMrGlowry.Themoatatits
base,andthefensbeyond,comprisedthewholeofhisprospect.Thismoat
surroundedtheAbbey,andwasinimmediatecontactwiththewallsonevery
sidebutthesouth.
Thenorth-easterntowerwasappropriatedtothedomestics,whomMrGlowry
alwayschosebyoneoftwocriterions,—alongface,oradismalname.His
butlerwasRaven;hisstewardwasCrow;hisvaletwasSkellet.MrGlowry
maintainedthatthevaletwasofFrenchextraction,andthathisnamewas
Squelette.HisgroomswereMattocksandGraves.Ononeoccasion,beingin
wantofafootman,hereceivedaletterfromapersonsigninghimselfDiggory
Deathshead,andlostnotimeinsecuringthisacquisition;butonDiggory's
arrival,MrGlowrywashorror-struckbythesightofaroundruddyface,anda
pairoflaughingeyes.Deathsheadwasalwaysgrinning,—notaghastlysmile,
butthegrinofacomicmask;anddisturbedtheechoesofthehallwithsomuch
unhallowedlaughter,thatMrGlowrygavehimhisdischarge.Diggory,however,
hadstaidlongenoughtomakeconquestsofalltheoldgentleman'smaids,and
lefthimaflourishingcolonyofyoungDeathsheadstojoinchoruswiththeowls,
thathadbeforebeentheexclusivechoristersofNightmareAbbey.
Themainbodyofthebuildingwasdividedintoroomsofstate,spacious
apartmentsforfeasting,andnumerousbed-roomsforvisitors,who,however,
werefewandfarbetween.


FamilyinterestscompelledMrGlowrytoreceiveoccasionalvisitsfromMrand
MrsHilary,whopaidthemfromthesamemotive;and,asthelivelygentleman
ontheseoccasionsfoundfewconductorsforhisexuberantgaiety,hebecame
likeadouble-chargedelectricjar,whichoftenexplodedinsomeburstof
outrageousmerrimenttothesignaldiscomposureofMrGlowry'snerves.
Anotheroccasionalvisitor,muchmoretoMrGlowry'staste,wasMrFlosky,[1]
averylachrymoseandmorbidgentleman,ofsomenoteintheliteraryworld,but
inhisownestimationofmuchmoremeritthanname.Thepartofhischaracter
whichrecommendedhimtoMrGlowrywashisveryfinesenseofthegrimand
thetearful.Noonecouldrelateadismalstorywithsomanyminutiæof
supererogatorywretchedness.Noonecouldcalluparaw-headandbloodyboneswithsomanyadjunctsandcircumstancesofghastliness.Mysterywashis
mentalelement.Helivedinthemidstofthatvisionaryworldinwhichnothingis
butwhatisnot.Hedreamedwithhiseyesopen,andsawghostsdancinground
himatnoontide.Hehadbeeninhisyouthanenthusiastforliberty,andhad
hailedthedawnoftheFrenchRevolutionasthepromiseofadaythatwasto
banishwarandslavery,andeveryformofviceandmisery,fromthefaceofthe
earth.Becauseallthiswasnotdone,hededucedthatnothingwasdone;and
fromthisdeduction,accordingtohissystemoflogic,hedrewaconclusionthat
worsethannothingwasdone;thattheoverthrowofthefeudalfortressesof
tyrannyandsuperstitionwasthegreatestcalamitythathadeverbefallen
mankind;andthattheironlyhopenowwastoraketherubbishtogether,and
rebuilditwithoutanyofthoseloopholesbywhichthelighthadoriginallycrept
in.Toqualifyhimselfforacoadjutorinthislaudabletask,heplungedintothe
centralopacityofKantianmetaphysics,andlayperduseveralyearsin
transcendentaldarkness,tillthecommondaylightofcommonsensebecame
intolerabletohiseyes.Hecalledthesunanignisfatuus;andexhortedallwho
wouldlistentohisfriendlyvoice,whichwereaboutasmanyascalled'Godsave
KingRichard,'toshelterthemselvesfromitsdelusiveradianceintheobscure
hauntofOldPhilosophy.ThiswordOldhadgreatcharmsforhim.Thegoodold
timeswerealwaysonhislips;meaningthedayswhenpolemictheologywasin
itsprime,andrivalprelatesbeatthedrumecclesiasticwithHerculeanvigour,till
theonewounduphisseriesofsyllogismswiththeveryorthodoxconclusionof
roastingtheother.
ButthedearestfriendofMrGlowry,andhismostwelcomeguest,wasMr
Toobad,theManichaeanMillenarian.Thetwelfthverseofthetwelfthchapterof
Revelationswasalwaysinhismouth:'Woetotheinhabitersoftheearthandof


thesea!forthedeviliscomeamongyou,havinggreatwrath,becausehe
knoweththathehathbutashorttime.'Hemaintainedthatthesupremedominion
oftheworldwas,forwisepurposes,givenoverforawhiletotheEvilPrinciple;
andthatthispreciseperiodoftime,commonlycalledtheenlightenedage,was
thepointofhisplenitudeofpower.Heusedtoaddthatbyandbyhewouldbe
castdown,andahighandhappyorderofthingssucceed;butheneveromitted
thesavingclause,'Notinourtime';whichlastwordswerealwaysechoedin
dolefulresponsebythesympatheticMrGlowry.
Anotherandveryfrequentvisitor,wastheReverendMrLarynx,thevicarof
Claydyke,avillageabouttenmilesdistant;—agood-naturedaccommodating
divine,whowasalwaysmostobliginglyreadytotakeadinnerandabedatthe
houseofanycountrygentlemanindistressforacompanion.Nothingcame
amisstohim,—agameatbilliards,atchess,atdraughts,atbackgammon,at
piquet,oratall-foursinatête-à-tête,—oranygameonthecards,round,square,
ortriangular,inapartyofanynumberexceedingtwo.Hewouldevendance
amongfriends,ratherthanthatalady,evenifshewereonthewrongsideof
thirty,shouldsitstillforwantofapartner.Foraride,awalk,orasail,inthe
morning,—asongafterdinner,aghoststoryaftersupper,—abottleofportwith
thesquire,oracupofgreenteawithhislady,—foralloranyofthese,orforany
thingelsethatwasagreeabletoanyoneelse,consistentlywiththedyeofhis
coat,theReverendMrLarynxwasatalltimesequallyready.WhenatNightmare
Abbey,hewouldcondolewithMrGlowry,—drinkMadeirawithScythrop,—
crackjokeswithMrHilary,—handMrsHilarytothepiano,takechargeofher
fanandgloves,andturnoverhermusicwithsurprisingdexterity,—quote
RevelationswithMrToobad,—andlamentthegoodoldtimesoffeudaldarkness
withthetranscendentalMrFlosky.
*****


CHAPTERII
ShortlyafterthedisastrousterminationofScythrop'spassionforMissEmily
Girouette,MrGlowryfoundhimself,muchagainsthiswill,involvedina
lawsuit,whichcompelledhimtodanceattendanceontheHighCourtof
Chancery.ScythropwasleftaloneatNightmareAbbey.Hewasaburntchild,
anddreadedthefireoffemaleeyes.Hewanderedabouttheamplepile,oralong
thegarden-terrace,with'hiscogitativefacultiesimmersedincogibundityof
cogitation.'Theterraceterminatedatthesouth-westerntower,which,aswehave
said,wasruinousandfullofowls.HerewouldScythroptakehiseveningseat,
onafallenfragmentofmossystone,withhisbackrestingagainsttheruined
wall,—athickcanopyofivy,withanowlinit,overhishead,—andtheSorrows
ofWerterinhishand.Hehadsometasteforromancereadingbeforehewentto
theuniversity,where,wemustconfess,injusticetohiscollege,hewascuredof
theloveofreadinginallitsshapes;andthecurewouldhavebeenradical,if
disappointmentinlove,andtotalsolitude,hadnotconspiredtobringona
relapse.HebegantodevourromancesandGermantragedies,and,bythe
recommendationofMrFlosky,toporeoverponderoustomesoftranscendental
philosophy,whichreconciledhimtothelabourofstudyingthembytheir
mysticaljargonandnecromanticimagery.InthecongenialsolitudeofNightmare
Abbey,thedistemperedideasofmetaphysicalromanceandromantic
metaphysicshadampletimeandspacetogerminateintoafertilecropof
chimeras,whichrapidlyshotupintovigorousandabundantvegetation.
Henowbecametroubledwiththepassionforreformingtheworld.[2]Hebuilt
manycastlesintheair,andpeopledthemwithsecrettribunals,andbandsof
illuminati,whowerealwaystheimaginaryinstrumentsofhisprojected
regenerationofthehumanspecies.Asheintendedtoinstituteaperfectrepublic,
heinvestedhimselfwithabsolutesovereigntyoverthesemysticaldispensersof
liberty.HesleptwithHorridMysteriesunderhispillow,anddreamedof
venerableeleutherarchsandghastlyconfederatesholdingmidnightconventions


insubterraneancaves.Hepassedwholemorningsinhisstudy,immersedin
gloomyreverie,stalkingabouttheroominhisnightcap,whichhepulledover
hiseyeslikeacowl,andfoldinghisstripedcalicodressing-gownabouthimlike
themantleofaconspirator.
'Action,'thushesoliloquised,'istheresultofopinion,andtonew-modelopinion
wouldbetonew-modelsociety.Knowledgeispower;itisinthehandsofafew,
whoemployittomisleadthemany,fortheirownselfishpurposesof
aggrandisementandappropriation.Whatifitwereinthehandsofafewwho
shouldemployittoleadthemany?Whatifitwereuniversal,andthemultitude
wereenlightened?No.Themanymustbealwaysinleading-strings;butletthem
havewiseandhonestconductors.Afewtothink,andmanytoact;thatisthe
onlybasisofperfectsociety.Sothoughttheancientphilosophers:theyhadtheir
esotericalandexotericaldoctrines.SothinksthesublimeKant,whodelivershis
oraclesinlanguagewhichnonebuttheinitiatedcancomprehend.Suchwerethe
viewsofthosesecretassociationsofilluminati,whichweretheterrorof
superstitionandtyranny,andwhich,carefullyselectingwisdomandgeniusfrom
thegreatwildernessofsociety,asthebeeselectshoneyfromtheflowersofthe
thornandthenettle,boundallhumanexcellenceinachain,which,ifithadnot
beenprematurelybroken,wouldhavecommandedopinion,andregeneratedthe
world.'
Scythropproceededtomeditateonthepracticabilityofrevivingaconfederation
ofregenerators.Togetaclearviewofhisownideas,andtofeelthepulseofthe
wisdomandgeniusoftheage,hewroteandpublishedatreatise,inwhichhis
meaningswerecarefullywraptupinthemonk'shoodoftranscendental
technology,butfilledwithhintsofmatterdeepanddangerous,whichhethought
wouldsetthewholenationinaferment;andheawaitedtheresultinawful
expectation,asaminerwhohasfiredatrainawaitstheexplosionofarock.
However,helistenedandheardnothing;fortheexplosion,ifanyensued,was
notsufficientlyloudtoshakeasingleleafoftheivyonthetowersofNightmare
Abbey;andsomemonthsafterwardshereceivedaletterfromhisbookseller,
informinghimthatonlysevencopieshadbeensold,andconcludingwitha
politerequestforthebalance.
Scythropdidnotdespair.'Sevencopies,'hethought,'havebeensold.Sevenisa
mysticalnumber,andtheomenisgood.Letmefindthesevenpurchasersofmy
sevencopies,andtheyshallbethesevengoldencandle-stickswithwhichIwill
illuminatetheworld.'


Scythrophadacertainportionofmechanicalgenius,whichhisromanticprojects
tendedtodevelope.Heconstructedmodelsofcellsandrecesses,slidingpanels
andsecretpassages,thatwouldhavebaffledtheskilloftheParisianpolice.He
tooktheopportunityofhisfather'sabsencetosmuggleadumbcarpenterintothe
Abbey,andbetweenthemtheygaverealitytooneofthesemodelsinScythrop's
tower.Scythropforesawthatagreatleaderofhumanregenerationwouldbe
involvedinfearfuldilemmas,anddetermined,forthebenefitofmankindin
general,toadoptallpossibleprecautionsforthepreservationofhimself.
Theservants,eventhewomen,hadbeentutoredintosilence.Profoundstillness
reignedthroughoutandaroundtheAbbey,exceptwhentheoccasionalshutting
ofadoorwouldpealinlongreverberationsthroughthegalleries,ortheheavy
treadofthepensivebutlerwouldwakethehollowechoesofthehall.Scythrop
stalkedaboutlikethegrandinquisitor,andtheservantsflittedpasthimlike
familiars.Inhiseveningmeditationsontheterrace,undertheivyoftheruined
tower,theonlysoundsthatcametohisearweretherustlingofthewindinthe
ivy,theplaintivevoicesofthefeatheredchoristers,theowls,theoccasional
strikingoftheAbbeyclock,andthemonotonousdashoftheseaonitslowand
levelshore.Inthemeantime,hedrankMadeira,andlaiddeepschemesfora
thoroughrepairofthecrazyfabricofhumannature.
*****


CHAPTERIII
MrGlowryreturnedfromLondonwiththelossofhislawsuit.Justicewaswith
him,butthelawwasagainsthim.HefoundScythropinamoodmost
sympatheticallytragic;andtheyviedwitheachotherinenliveningtheircupsby
lamentingthedepravityofthisdegenerateage,andoccasionallyinterspersing
diversgrimjokesaboutgraves,worms,andepitaphs.MrGlowry'sfriends,
whomwehavementionedinthefirstchapter,availedthemselvesofhisreturnto
payhimasimultaneousvisit.AtthesametimearrivedScythrop'sfriendand
fellow-collegian,theHonourableMrListless.MrGlowryhaddiscoveredthis
fashionableyounggentlemaninLondon,'stretchedontherackofatooeasy
chair,'anddevouredwithagloomyandmisanthropicalnilcuro,andhadpressed
himsoearnestlytotakethebenefitofthepurecountryair,atNightmareAbbey,
thatMrListless,findingitwouldgivehimmoretroubletorefusethanto
comply,summonedhisFrenchvalet,Fatout,andtoldhimhewasgoingto
Lincolnshire.Onthissimplehint,Fatoutwenttowork,andtheimperialswere
packed,andthepost-chariotwasatthedoor,withouttheHonourableMrListless
havingsaidorthoughtanothersyllableonthesubject.
MrandMrsHilarybroughtwiththemanorphanniece,adaughterofMr
Glowry'syoungestsister,whohadmadearunawaylove-matchwithanIrish
officer.Thelady'sfortunedisappearedinthefirstyear:love,byanatural
consequence,disappearedinthesecond:theIrishmanhimself,byastillmore
naturalconsequence,disappearedinthethird.MrGlowryhadallowedhissister
anannuity,andshehadlivedinretirementwithheronlydaughter,whom,ather
death,whichhadrecentlyhappened,shecommendedtothecareofMrsHilary.
MissMarionettaCelestinaO'Carrollwasaverybloomingandaccomplished
younglady.BeingacompoundoftheAllegroVivaceoftheO'Carrolls,andof
theAndanteDolorosooftheGlowries,sheexhibitedinherowncharacterallthe
diversitiesofanAprilsky.Herhairwaslight-brown;hereyeshazel,and
sparklingwithamildbutfluctuatinglight;herfeaturesregular;herlipsfull,and


ofequalsize;andherpersonsurpassinglygraceful.Shewasaproficientin
music.Herconversationwassprightly,butalwaysonsubjectslightintheir
natureandlimitedintheirinterest:formoralsympathies,inanygeneralsense,
hadnoplaceinhermind.Shehadsomecoquetry,andmorecaprice,likingand
dislikingalmostinthesamemoment;pursuinganobjectwithearnestnesswhile
itseemedunattainable,andrejectingitwheninherpowerasnotworththe
troubleofpossession.
WhethershewastouchedwithapenchantforhercousinScythrop,orwas
merelycurioustoseewhateffectthetenderpassionwouldhaveonsooutréa
person,shehadnotbeenthreedaysintheAbbeybeforeshethrewoutallthe
luresofherbeautyandaccomplishmentstomakeaprizeofhisheart.Scythrop
provedaneasyconquest.TheimageofMissEmilyGirouettewasalready
sufficientlydimmedbythepowerofphilosophyandtheexerciseofreason:for
totheseinfluences,ortoanyinfluencebutthetrueone,areusuallyascribedthe
mentalcuresperformedbythegreatphysicianTime.Scythrop'sromanticdreams
hadindeedgivenhimmanypureanticipatedcognitionsofcombinationsof
beautyandintelligence,which,hehadsomemisgivings,werenotexactly
realisedinhiscousinMarionetta;but,inspiteofthesemisgivings,hesoon
becamedistractedlyinlove;which,whentheyoungladyclearlyperceived,she
alteredhertactics,andassumedasmuchcoldnessandreserveasshehadbefore
shownardentandingenuousattachment.Scythropwasconfoundedatthesudden
change;but,insteadoffallingatherfeetandrequestinganexplanation,he
retreatedtohistower,muffledhimselfinhisnightcap,seatedhimselfinthe
president'schairofhisimaginarysecrettribunal,summonedMarionettawithall
terribleformalities,frightenedheroutofherwits,disclosedhimself,andclasped
thebeautifulpenitenttohisbosom.
Whilehewasactingthisreverie—inthemomentinwhichtheawfulpresidentof
thesecrettribunalwasthrowingbackhiscowlandhismantle,anddiscovering
himselftothelovelyculpritasheradoringandmagnanimouslover,thedoorof
thestudyopened,andtherealMarionettaappeared.
Themotiveswhichhadledhertothetowerwerealittlepenitence,alittle
concern,alittleaffection,andalittlefearastowhatthesuddensecessionof
Scythrop,occasionedbyhersuddenchangeofmanner,mightportend.Shehad
tappedseveraltimesunheard,andofcourseunanswered;andatlength,timidly
andcautiouslyopeningthedoor,shediscoveredhimstandingupbeforeablack
velvetchair,whichwasmountedonanoldoaktable,intheactofthrowingopen


hisstripedcalicodressing-gown,andflingingawayhisnightcap—whichiswhat
theFrenchcallanimposingattitude.
Eachstoodafewmomentsfixedintheirrespectiveplaces—theladyin
astonishment,andthegentlemaninconfusion.Marionettawasthefirsttobreak
silence.'Forheaven'ssake,'saidshe,'mydearScythrop,whatisthematter?'
'Forheaven'ssake,indeed!'saidScythrop,springingfromthetable;'foryour
sake,Marionetta,andyouaremyheaven,—distractionisthematter.Iadoreyou,
Marionetta,andyourcrueltydrivesmemad.'Hethrewhimselfatherknees,
devouredherhandwithkisses,andbreathedathousandvowsinthemost
passionatelanguageofromance.
Marionettalistenedalongtimeinsilence,tillherloverhadexhaustedhis
eloquenceandpausedforareply.Shethensaid,withaveryarchlook,'Iprithee
deliverthyselflikeamanofthisworld.'Thelevityofthisquotation,andofthe
mannerinwhichitwasdelivered,jarredsodiscordantlyonthehigh-wrought
enthusiasmoftheromanticinamorato,thathespranguponhisfeet,andbeathis
foreheadwithhisclenchedfist.Theyoungladywasterrified;and,deemingit
expedienttosoothehim,tookoneofhishandsinhers,placedtheotherhandon
hisshoulder,lookedupinhisfacewithawinningseriousness,andsaid,inthe
tenderestpossibletone,'Whatwouldyouhave,Scythrop?'
Scythropwasinheavenagain.'WhatwouldIhave?Whatbutyou,Marionetta?
You,forthecompanionofmystudies,thepartnerofmythoughts,theauxiliary
ofmygreatdesignsfortheemancipationofmankind.'
'IamafraidIshouldbebutapoorauxiliary,Scythrop.Whatwouldyouhaveme
do?'
'DoasRosaliadoeswithCarlos,divineMarionetta.Letuseachopenaveinin
theother'sarm,mixourbloodinabowl,anddrinkitasasacramentoflove.
Thenweshallseevisionsoftranscendentalillumination,andsoaronthewings
ofideasintothespaceofpureintelligence.'
Marionettacouldnotreply;shehadnotsostrongastomachasRosalia,and
turnedsickattheproposition.ShedisengagedherselfsuddenlyfromScythrop,
sprangthroughthedoorofthetower,andfledwithprecipitationalongthe
corridors.Scythroppursuedher,crying,'Stop,stop,Marionetta—mylife,my
love!'andwasgainingrapidlyonherflight,when,atanill-omenedcorner,


wheretwocorridorsendedinanangle,attheheadofastaircase,hecameinto
suddenandviolentcontactwithMrToobad,andtheybothplungedtogetherto
thefootofthestairs,liketwobilliard-ballsintoonepocket.Thisgavetheyoung
ladytimetoescape,andencloseherselfinherchamber;whileMrToobad,rising
slowly,andrubbinghiskneesandshoulders,said,'Yousee,mydearScythrop,in
thislittleincident,oneoftheinnumerableproofsofthetemporarysupremacyof
thedevil;forwhatbutasystematicdesignandconcurrentcontrivanceofevil
couldhavemadetheanglesoftimeandplacecoincideinourunfortunate
personsattheheadofthisaccursedstaircase?'
'Nothingelse,certainly,'saidScythrop:'youareperfectlyintheright,Mr
Toobad.Evil,andmischief,andmisery,andconfusion,andvanity,andvexation
ofspirit,anddeath,anddisease,andassassination,andwar,andpoverty,and
pestilence,andfamine,andavarice,andselfishness,andrancour,andjealousy,
andspleen,andmalevolence,andthedisappointmentsofphilanthropy,andthe
faithlessnessoffriendship,andthecrossesoflove—allprovetheaccuracyof
yourviews,andthetruthofyoursystem;anditisnotimpossiblethatthe
infernalinterruptionofthisfalldownstairsmaythrowacolourofevilonthe
wholeofmyfutureexistence.'
'Mydearboy,'saidMrToobad,'youhaveafineeyeforconsequences.'
Sosaying,heembracedScythrop,whoretired,withadisconsolatestep,todress
fordinner;whileMrToobadstalkedacrossthehall,repeating,'Woetothe
inhabitersoftheearth,andofthesea,forthedeviliscomeamongyou,having
greatwrath.'
*****


CHAPTERIV
TheflightofMarionetta,andthepursuitofScythrop,hadbeenwitnessedbyMr
Glowry,who,inconsequence,narrowlyobservedhissonandhisnieceinthe
evening;and,concludingfromtheirmanner,thattherewasabetter
understandingbetweenthemthanhewishedtosee,hedeterminedonobtaining
thenextmorningfromScythropafullandsatisfactoryexplanation.He,
therefore,shortlyafterbreakfast,enteredScythrop'stower,withaverygrave
face,andsaid,withoutceremonyorpreface,'So,sir,youareinlovewithyour
cousin.'
Scythrop,withaslittlehesitation,answered,'Yes,sir.'
'Thatiscandid,atleast;andsheisinlovewithyou.'
'Iwishshewere,sir.'
'Youknowsheis,sir.'
'Indeed,sir,Idonot.'
'Butyouhopesheis.'
'Ido,frommysoul.'
'Nowthatisveryprovoking,Scythrop,andverydisappointing:Icouldnothave
supposedthatyou,ScythropGlowry,ofNightmareAbbey,wouldhavebeen
infatuatedwithsuchadancing,laughing,singing,thoughtless,careless,merryheartedthing,asMarionetta—inallrespectsthereverseofyouandme.Itisvery
disappointing,Scythrop.Anddoyouknow,sir,thatMarionettahasnofortune?'
'Itisthemorereason,sir,thatherhusbandshouldhaveone.'


'Themorereasonforher;butnotforyou.Mywifehadnofortune,andIhadno
consolationinmycalamity.Anddoyoureflect,sir,whatanenormousslicethis
lawsuithascutoutofourfamilyestate?wewhousedtobethegreatestlanded
proprietorsinLincolnshire.'
'Tobesure,sir,wehadmoreacresoffenthananymanonthiscoast:butwhat
arefenstolove?WhataredykesandwindmillstoMarionetta?'
'Andwhat,sir,islovetoawindmill?Notgrist,Iamcertain:besides,sir,Ihave
madeachoiceforyou.Ihavemadeachoiceforyou,Scythrop.Beauty,genius,
accomplishments,andagreatfortuneintothebargain.Suchalovely,serious
creature,inafinestateofhighdissatisfactionwiththeworld,andeverythingin
it.SuchadelightfulsurpriseIhadpreparedforyou.Sir,Ihavepledgedmy
honourtothecontract—thehonouroftheGlowriesofNightmareAbbey:and
now,sir,whatistobedone?'
'Indeed,sir,Icannotsay.Iclaim,onthisoccasion,thatlibertyofactionwhichis
theco-natalprerogativeofeveryrationalbeing.'
'Libertyofaction,sir?thereisnosuchthingaslibertyofaction.
Weareallslavesandpuppetsofablindandunpatheticnecessity.'
'Verytrue,sir;butlibertyofaction,betweenindividuals,consistsintheirbeing
differentlyinfluenced,ormodified,bythesameuniversalnecessity;sothatthe
resultsareunconsentaneous,andtheirrespectivenecessitatedvolitionsclashand
flyoffinatangent.'
'Yourlogicisgood,sir:butyouareaware,too,thatoneindividualmaybea
mediumofadhibitingtoanotheramodeorformofnecessity,whichmayhave
moreorlessinfluenceintheproductionofconsentaneity;and,therefore,sir,if
youdonotcomplywithmywishesinthisinstance(youhavehadyourownway
ineverythingelse),Ishallbeunderthenecessityofdisinheritingyou,thoughI
shalldoitwithtearsinmyeyes.'Havingsaidthesewords,hevanishedsuddenly,
inthedreadofScythrop'slogic.
MrGlowryimmediatelysoughtMrsHilary,andcommunicatedtoherhisviews
ofthecaseinpoint.MrsHilary,asthephraseis,wasasfondofMarionettaasif
shehadbeenherownchild:but—thereisalwaysabutontheseoccasions—she
coulddonothingforherinthewayoffortune,asshehadtwohopefulsons,who
werefinishingtheireducationatBrazen-nose,andwhowouldnotliketo


encounteranydiminutionoftheirprospects,whentheyshouldbebroughtoutof
thehouseofmentalbondage—i.e.theuniversity—tothelandflowingwithmilk
andhoney—i.e.thewestendofLondon.
MrsHilaryhintedtoMarionetta,thatpropriety,anddelicacy,anddecorum,and
dignity,&c.&c.&c.,[3]wouldrequirethemtoleavetheAbbeyimmediately.
Marionettalistenedinsilentsubmission,forsheknewthatherinheritancewas
passiveobedience;but,whenScythrop,whohadwatchedtheopportunityofMrs
Hilary'sdeparture,entered,and,withoutspeakingaword,threwhimselfather
feetinaparoxysmofgrief,theyounglady,inequalsilenceandsorrow,threw
herarmsroundhisneckandburstintotears.Averytendersceneensued,which
thesympatheticsusceptibilitiesofthesoft-heartedreadercanmoreaccurately
imaginethanwecandelineate.ButwhenMarionettahintedthatshewastoleave
theAbbeyimmediately,Scythropsnatchedfromitsrepositoryhisancestor's
skull,filleditwithMadeira,andpresentinghimselfbeforeMrGlowry,
threatenedtodrinkoffthecontentsifMrGlowrydidnotimmediatelypromise
thatMarionettashouldnotbetakenfromtheAbbeywithoutherownconsent.
MrGlowry,whotooktheMadeiratobesomedeadlybrewage,gavetherequired
promiseindismalpanic.ScythropreturnedtoMarionettawithajoyfulheart,and
dranktheMadeirabytheway.
MrGlowry,duringhisresidenceinLondon,hadcometoanagreementwithhis
friendMrToobad,thatamatchbetweenScythropandMrToobad'sdaughter
wouldbeaverydesirableoccurrence.Shewasfinishinghereducationina
Germanconvent,butMrToobaddescribedherasbeingfullyimpressedwiththe
truthofhisAhrimanicphilosophy,[4]andbeingaltogetherasgloomyand
antithalianayoungladyasMrGlowryhimselfcoulddesireforthefuture
mistressofNightmareAbbey.Shehadagreatfortuneinherownright,which
wasnot,aswehaveseen,withoutitsweightininducingMrGlowrytosethis
heartuponherashisdaughter-in-lawthatwastobe;hewasthereforeverymuch
disturbedbyScythrop'suntowardattachmenttoMarionetta.Hecondoledonthe
occasionwithMrToobad;whosaid,thathehadbeentoolongaccustomedtothe
intermeddlingofthedevilinallhisaffairs,tobeastonishedatthisnewtraceof
hisclovenclaw;butthathehopedtooutwithimyet,forhewassuretherecould
benocomparisonbetweenhisdaughterandMarionettainthemindofanyone
whohadaproperperceptionofthefact,that,theworldbeingagreattheatreof
evil,seriousnessandsolemnityarethecharacteristicsofwisdom,andlaughter
andmerrimentmakeahumanbeingnobetterthanababoon.MrGlowry
comfortedhimselfwiththisviewofthesubject,andurgedMrToobadto


expeditehisdaughter'sreturnfromGermany.MrToobadsaidhewasindaily
expectationofherarrivalinLondon,andwouldsetoffimmediatelytomeether,
thathemightlosenotimeinbringinghertoNightmareAbbey.'Then,'headded,
'weshallseewhetherThaliaorMelpomene—whethertheAllegraorthe
Penserosa—willcarryoffthesymbolofvictory.'—'Therecanbenodoubt,'said
MrGlowry,'whichwaythescalewillincline,orScythropisnotruescionofthe
venerablestemoftheGlowries.'
*****


CHAPTERV
MarionettafeltsecureofScythrop'sheart;andnotwithstandingthedifficulties
thatsurroundedher,shecouldnotdebarherselffromthepleasureoftormenting
herlover,whomshekeptinaperpetualfever.Sometimesshewouldmeethim
withthemostunqualifiedaffection;sometimeswiththemostchilling
indifference;rousinghimtoangerbyartificialcoldness—softeninghimtolove
byeloquenttenderness—orinflaminghimtojealousybycoquettingwiththe
HonourableMrListless,whoseemed,underhermagicalinfluence,toburstinto
suddenlife,likethebudoftheeveningprimrose.Sometimesshewouldsitby
thepiano,andlistenwithbecomingattentiontoScythrop'spathetic
remonstrances;but,inthemostimpassionedpartofhisoratory,shewould
convertallhisideasintoachaos,bystrikingupsomeRondoAllegro,and
saying,'Isitnotpretty?'Scythropwouldbegintostorm;andshewouldanswer
himwith,
'Zitti,zitti,piano,piano,
Nonfacciamoconfusione,'
orsomesimilarfacezia,tillhewouldstartawayfromher,andenclosehimselfin
histower,inanagonyofagitation,vowingtorenounceher,andherwholesex,
forever;andreturningtoherpresenceatthesummonsofthebillet,whichshe
neverfailedtosendwithmanyexpressionsofpenitenceandpromisesof
amendment.Scythrop'sschemesforregeneratingtheworld,anddetectinghis
sevengoldencandle-sticks,wentonveryslowlyinthisfeverofhisspirit.
Thingsproceededinthistrainforseveraldays;andMrGlowrybegantobe
uneasyatreceivingnointelligencefromMrToobad;whenoneeveningthelatter
rushedintothelibrary,wherethefamilyandthevisitorswereassembled,
vociferating,'Thedeviliscomeamongyou,havinggreatwrath!'Hethendrew
MrGlowryasideintoanotherapartment,andafterremainingsometime
together,theyre-enteredthelibrarywithfacesofgreatdismay,butdidnot


condescendtoexplaintoanyonethecauseoftheirdiscomfiture.
Thenextmorning,early,MrToobaddeparted.MrGlowrysighedandgroaned
allday,andsaidnotawordtoanyone.Scythrophadquarrelled,asusual,with
Marionetta,andwasenclosedinhistower,inafitofmorbidsensibility.
Marionettawascomfortingherselfatthepiano,withsingingtheairsofNina
pazzaperamore;andtheHonourableMrListlesswaslisteningtotheharmony,
ashelaysupineonthesofa,withabookinhishand,intowhichhepeepedat
intervals.TheReverendMrLarynxapproachedthesofa,andproposedagameat
billiards.
THEHONOURABLEMRLISTLESS
Billiards!ReallyIshouldbeveryhappy;but,inmypresentexhaustedstate,the
exertionistoomuchforme.IdonotknowwhenIhavebeenequaltosuchan
effort.(Herangthebellforhisvalet.Fatoutentered.)Fatout!whendidIplayat
billiardslast?
FATOUT
DefourteenDecemberdelastyear,Monsieur.(Fatoutbowedandretired.)
THEHONOURABLEMRLISTLESS
Soitwas.Sevenmonthsago.Yousee,MrLarynx;yousee,sir.Mynerves,Miss
O'Carroll,mynervesareshattered.IhavebeenadvisedtotryBath.Someofthe
facultyrecommendCheltenham.Ithinkoftryingboth,astheseasonsdon't
clash.Theseason,youknow,MrLarynx—theseason,MissO'Carroll—the
seasoniseverything.
MARIONETTA
Andhealthissomething.N'est-cepas,MrLarynx?


THEREVERENDMRLARYNX
Mostassuredly,MissO'Carroll.For,howeverreasonersmaydisputeaboutthe
summumbonum,noneofthemwilldenythataverygooddinnerisaverygood
thing:andwhatisagooddinnerwithoutagoodappetite?andwhenceisagood
appetitebutfromgoodhealth?Now,Cheltenham,MrListless,isfamousfor
goodappetites.
THEHONOURABLEMRLISTLESS
ThebestpieceoflogicIeverheard,MrLarynx;theverybest,Iassureyou.I
havethoughtveryseriouslyofCheltenham:veryseriouslyandprofoundly.I
thoughtofit—letmesee—whendidIthinkofit?(Herangagain,andFatout
reappeared.)Fatout!whendidIthinkofgoingtoCheltenham,anddidnotgo?
FATOUT
DeJuillettwenty-von,delastsummer,Monsieur.(Fatoutretired.)
THEHONOURABLEMRLISTLESS
Soitwas.Aninvaluablefellowthat,MrLarynx—invaluable,Miss
O'Carroll.
MARIONETTA
SoIshouldjudge,indeed.Heseemstoserveyouasawalkingmemory,andto
bealivingchronicle,notofyouractionsonly,butofyourthoughts.
THEHONOURABLEMRLISTLESS
Anexcellentdefinitionofthefellow,MissO'Carroll,—excellent,uponmy
honour.Ha!ha!he!Heigho!Laughterispleasant,buttheexertionistoomuch
forme.


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