eye and the voice of the Almighty piercing the atmosphere of supernatural mystery in which he has long dwelt. He believes that he is called upon to sacrifice the beloved wife of his bosom as a testimony of the entire subjugation of his carnal reason and earthly affections to the Divine will. In the entire range of English literature there is no more thrilling passage than that which describes the execution of this baleful suggestion. The coloring of the picture is an intermingling of the lights of heaven and hell,—soft shades of tenderest pity and warm tints of unextinguishable love contrasting with the terrible outlines of an insane and cruel purpose, traced with the blood of murder. The masters of the old Greek tragedy have scarcely exceeded the sublime horror of this scene from the American novelist. The murderer confronted with his gentle and loving victim in her chamber; her anxious solicitude for his health and quiet; her affectionate caress of welcome; his own relentings and natural shrinking from his dreadful purpose; and the terrible strength which he supposes is lent him of Heaven, by which he puts down the promptings and yearnings of his human heart, and is enabled to execute the mandate of an inexorable Being,—are described with an intensity which almost stops the heart of the reader. When the deed is done a frightful conflict of passions takes place, which can only be told in the words of the author:—
I lifted the corpse in my arms and laid it on the bed. I gazed upon it with delight. Such was my elation that I even broke out into laughter!