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upwards, around which several figures were sitting, of gigantic statures, dressed in tarpaulin hats, huge heavy jackets, and trunk breeches. The dense and pitchy vapour ascending from the pyre, formed an over-canopying curtain, whose folds and fringes rolled up their black convolutions above the surrounding evergreens and tall old chesnuts; the whole interior of the extraordinary temple thus formed, being in some places strongly illuminated by a vivid red glare, in which every spray seemed of living fire; while the recesses and small arcades of the forest were thrown into a gloom deeper than darkness, and black as the abysses of infinite space. Behind the fire, at the distance of some twenty feet, was a square tall block of granite, on which, and a projecting stone cushion lapping over it, with a sort of stair-way on the left side, and some rudely disposed benches of stone beneath it, the fire-light was thrown broadly. About two rods below this principal precipice was another, of smaller dimensions, bearing the same resemblance to the first that a clerk's desk, in our churches, does to the pulpit. On top of this desk, looking steadily and sagaciously at the new comers, stood a shaggy, longeared jackass, the gravest animal of his kind; solemnly employed in whisking away and brushing off the musquitoes with his tail. The group
around the fire was as extraordinary as the scene. One figure, splendidly dressed, held in his hand a piece of timber, shaped like an oar, with which, from time to time, he stirred the huge blazing coals, sending up their sparks in showers above the gloomy drapery of smoke and the tops of the woods. The rest of the human company, about twenty in number, were scattered around, seated on boxes, and outlandish-looking, coffin-shaped
Their hue was swarthy, and their hair dishevelled and elf-like. One of the company, of a diminutive size, dressed orientally, and whose colour was a bilious mahogany, was reclining with his elbow on an uncommon looking piece of furniture, with a sort of carved brass handle. Several venerable goats, of a foreign aspect, stood not far off, with their twisted horns, long beards, and bright, restless eyes, glittering in the light of the fire. Nearly opposite to them, and distinguishable by fits as the flame flashed up from the crackling pile it was consuming, three mules were standing in a row, whose countenances expressed great interest in the business in hand; and just at the edge of some ragged bushes were five or six cows, looking with all their big eyes quietly upon the blaze, on the neck of one of which hung a bell of a peculiar metal, which emitted at times a faint and
ominous and melancholy tinkling. I must not forget a large baboon, with a red night-cap on his head, who capered about the fire, with a great stick in his paw, poking it whenever the splendidly attired figure did, and showing a row of white crooked teeth, from ear to ear, as his features were convulsed with a sardonic grin. Divers monstrous dogs, looking wise and sober and sleepy, stood stretching out their clumsy paws and shaking their ears, between the fire and the pulpit. Around and above on the projecting branches, several parrots and macaws were roosting, with other strange birds, not of this climate, with goblin, goggle eyes, and hooked beaks, the sight of which, in such a wild spot, was enough to strike terror into the boldest Christian heart.
As the numerous band, which now arrived to swell the numbers of this respectable auditory, defiled round the rocky promontory, the eyes of all the persons and animals present were turned upon them, and a sensation of mutual surprise seemed to keep both parties silent. Mr. Vince, passing behind the Highlanders, saw with horror, sitting cross-legged, right under the pulpit, the two black giants, who had ferried him over, in their red jackets and bare arms, with the fiery bowls before their noses, fumigating the bare
face of the precipice. The form in gorgeous apparel now sprung forward from the group, and the voice of Tevas was heard. He welcomed the multitude in a subdued tone, such as one uses in a place of worship, and presently, assisted by his attendants, marshalled them all to different seats, disposing of the rabble on the stones and smooth turf, but accommodating the guard with boxes and planks. But to Doctor Magraw great ceremony and politeness was shown, all of which he declined, not very graciously, choosing to fix himself aloft, on the pulpit stairs; where, having adjusted himself to his liking, he took a long and a strong pinch of snuff, and began to gaze with a sour and stern expression, on the strange congregation. After some moments of silence, the pea-green and poppy-coloured gipsy ground out three turns of his barrel organ, and the cow rung her bell furiously. Then the great jackass brayed lustily, the mackaws screamed, the parrots whistled, the monkey chattered, the goats made a noise without a name, the dogs howled, the cows bellowed, and the mules joined in the horrible discord with a Houhyhnhnm burthen or chorus. Then Tevas gracefully waved his hand and perfumed handkerchief, to enjoin silence, made a low bow to the pulpit, and sat down in an
attitude of the most profound and reverential attention.
All at once there started up, on the top of the cushion, and stood conspicuous in the glare of the fire, a little figure in a cocked hat, (which stood off from the crown of his head as if lifted up by some protuberances,) above a bushy and well powdered wig. He had a dark skinny face, with lustrous black wicked eyes, a parrotlike nose, and no chin. His form was wrapt in a short white surplice, disclosing a pair of funny looking legs cased in black silk stockings, so far as they could be seen. His arms were disproportionately long, and attenuated, terminating in black silk gloves, whose fingers hung depending like the pods of the Catalpa. With the of these claws he deposited beside him a silk handkerchief; and with the right, from time to time, he applied to his physiognomy a long white cambric cloth.
He looked around him wildly, and hemmed and hawed and hawked, and used his white handkerchief for some minutes, and then began, in a whining tone, which produced a swinging, seesawing sound in the air, rising and falling with doleful monotonous recurrence, an harangue very much involved, and of a quaint, flourishing