The Two Temples
                     (Dedicated to Sheridan Knowles)

                          by Herman Melville

                              TEMPLE FIRST

  THIS IS TOO BAD," said I, "here have I tramped this blessed Sunday
morning, all the way from the Battery, three long miles, for this
express purpose, prayer-book under arm; here I am, I say, and, after
all, I can't get in.
  "Too bad. And how disdainful the great, fat-paunched, beadle-faced
man looked, when in answer to my humble petition, he said they had no
galleries. Just the same as if he'd said, they did n't entertain poor
folks. But I'll wager something that had my new coat been done last
night, as the false tailor promised, and had I, arrayed therein this
bright morning, tickled the fat-paunched, beadle-faced man's palm with
a bank-note, then, gallery or no gallery, I would have had a fine seat
in this marble-buttressed, stained-glassed, spic-and-span new temple.
  "Well, here I am in the porch, very politely bowed out of the nave.
I suppose I'm excommunicated; excluded, anyway.--That's a noble string
of flashing carriages drawn up along the curb; those champing horses
too have a haughty curve to their foam-flaked necks. Property of those
'miserable sinners' inside, I presume. I dont a bit wonder they
unreservedly confess to such misery as .--See the gold hat-bands
too, and other gorgeous trimmings, on those glossy groups of
low-voiced gossippers near by. If I were in England now, I should
think those chaps a company of royal dukes, right honorable barons &c.
As it is, though, I guess they are only lackeys.--By the way, here I
dodge about, as if I wanted to get into their aristocratic circle. In
fact, it looks a sort of lackeyish to be idly standing outside a fine
temple, cooling your heels, during service.--I had best move back to
the Battery again, peeping into my prayer-book as I go.--But hold;
dont I see a small door? Just in there, to one side, if I dont
mistake, is a very low and very narrow vaulted door. None seem to go
that way. Ten to one, that identical door leads up into the tower. And
now that I think of it, there is usually in these splendid,
new-fashioned Gothic Temples, a curious little window high over the
orchestra and everything else, away up among the gilded clouds of the
ceiling's frescoes; and that little window, seems to me, if one could
but get there, ought to command a glorious bird's-eye view of the
entire field of operations below.--I guess I'll try it. No one in the
porch now. The beadle-faced man is smoothing down some ladies'
cushions, far up the broad aisle, I dare say. Softly now. If the small
door ain't locked, I shall have stolen a march upon the beadle-faced
man, and secured a humble seat in the sanctuary, in spite of
him.--Good! Thanks for this! The door is not locked. Bell-ringer
forgot to lock it, no doubt. Now, like any felt-footed grimalkin, up I
steal among the leads."
  Ascending some fifty stone steps along a very narrow curving stair-
way, I found myself on a blank platform forming the second story of
the huge square tower.
  I seemed inside some magic-lantern. On three sides, three gigantic
Gothic windows of richly dyed glass, filled the otherwise meagre place
with all sorts of sun-rises and sun-sets, lunar and solar rainbows,
falling stars, and other flaming fire-works and pyrotechnics. But
after all, it was but a gorgeous dungeon; for I could n't look out,
any more than if I had been the occupant of a basement cell in "the
Tombs." With some pains, and care not to do any serious harm, I
contrived to scratch a minute opening in a great purple star forming
the center of the chief compartment of the middle window; when peeping
through, as through goggles, I ducked my head in dismay. The
beadle-faced man, with no hat on his head, was just in act of driving
three ragged little boys into the middle of the street; and how could
I help trembling at the apprehension of his discovering a rebellious
caitiff like me peering down on him from the tower? For in stealing up
here, I had set at nought his high authority. He whom he thought
effectually ejected, had burglariously returned. For a moment I was
almost ready to bide my chance, and get to the side walk again with
all dispatch. But another Jacob's ladder of lofty steps,--wooden ones,
this time--allured me to another and still higher flight,--in sole
hopes of gaining that one secret window where I might, at distance,
take part in the proceedings.
  Presently I noticed something which owing to the first marvellous
effulgence of the place, had remained unseen till now. Two strong
ropes, dropping through holes in the rude ceiling high overhead, fell
a sheer length of sixty feet, right through the center of the space,
and dropped in coils upon the floor of the huge magic-lantern.
Bell-ropes these, thought I, and quaked. For if the beadle-faced man
should learn that a grimalkin was somewhere prowling about the
edifice, how easy for him to ring the alarm. Hark!--ah, that's only
the organ--yes--it's the "Venite, exultemus Domine." Though an insider
in one respect, yet am I but an outsider in another. But for all that,
I will not be defrauded of my natural rights. Uncovering my head, and
taking out my book, I stood erect, midway up the tall Jacob's ladder,
as if standing among the congregation; and in spirit, if not in place,
participated in those devout exultings. That over, I continued my
upward path; and after crossing sundry minor platforms and irregular
landings, all the while on a general ascent, at last I was delighted
by catching sight of a small round window in the otherwise dead-wall
side of the tower, where the tower attached itself to the main
building. In front of the window was a rude narrow gallery, used as a
bridge to cross from the lower stairs on one side to the upper stairs
on the opposite.
  As I drew nigh the spot, I well knew from the added clearness with
which the sound of worship came to me, that the window did indeed look
down upon the entire interior. But I was hardly prepared to find that
no pane of glass, stained or unstained, was to stand between me and
the far-under aisles and altar. For the purpose of ventilation,
doubtless, the opening had been left unsupplied with sash of any sort.
But a sheet of fine-woven, gauzy wire-work was in place of that. When,
all eagerness, and open book in hand, I first advanced to stand before
the window, I involuntarily shrank, as from before the mouth of a
furnace, upon suddenly feeling a forceful puff of strange, heated air,
blown, as by a blacksmith's bellows, full into my face and lungs. Yes,
thought I, this window is doubtless for ventilation. Nor is it quite
so comfortable as I fancied it might be. But beggars must not be
choosers. The furnace which makes the people below there feel so snug
and cosy in their padded pews, is to me, who stand here upon the naked
gallery, cause of grievous trouble. Besides, though my face is
scorched, my back is frozen. But I wont complain. Thanks for this
much, any way,--that by hollowing one hand to my ear, and standing a
little sideways out of the more violent rush of the torrid current, I
can at least hear the priest sufficiently to make my responses in the
proper place. Little dream the good congregation away down there, that
they have a faithful clerk away up here. Here too is a fitter place
for sincere devotions where, though I see, I remain unseen. Depend
upon it, no Pharisee would have my pew. I like it, and admire it too,
because it is so very high. Height, somehow, hath devotion in it. The
archangelic anthems are raised in a lofty place. All the good shall go
to such an one. Yes, Heaven is high.
  As thus I mused, the glorious organ burst, like an earthquake,
almost beneath my feet; and I heard the invoking cry--"Govern them and
 them up forever!" Then down I gazed upon the standing human
mass, far, far below, whose heads, gleaming in the many-colored
window-stains, showed like beds of spangled pebbles flashing in a
Cuban sun. So at least, I knew they needs would look, if but the
wire-woven screen were drawn aside. That wire-woven screen had the
effect of casting crape upon all I saw. Only by making allowances for
the crape, could I gain a right idea of the scene disclosed.
  Surprising, most surprising, too, it was. As said before, the window
was a circular one; the part of the tower where I stood was
dusky-dark; its height above the congregation-floor could not have
been less than ninety or a hundred feet; the whole interior temple was
lit by nought but glass dimmed, yet glorified with all imaginable rich
and russet hues; the approach to my strange look-out, through perfect
solitude, and along rude and dusty ways, enhanced the theatric wonder
of the populous spectacle of this sumptuous sanctuary. Book in hand,
responses on my tongue, standing in the very posture of devotion, I
could not rid my soul of the intrusive thought, that, through some
necromancer's glass, I looked down upon some sly enchanter's show.
  At length the lessons being read, the chants chanted, the
white-robed priest, a noble-looking man, with a form like the
incomparable Talma's, gave out from the reading-desk the hymn before
the sermon, and then through a side door vanished from the scene. In
good time I saw the same Talma-like and noble-looking man re-appear
through the same side door, his white apparel wholly changed for
black.
  By the melodious tone and persuasive gesture of the speaker, and the
all-approving attention of the throng, I knew the sermon must be
eloquent, and well adapted to an opulent auditory; but owing to the
priest's changed position from the reading-desk, to the pulpit, I
could not so distinctly hear him now as in the previous rites. The
text however,--repeated at the outset, and often after quoted,--I
could not but plainly catch:--"Ye are the salt of the earth."
  At length the benediction was pronounced over the mass of
low-inclining foreheads; hushed silence, intense motionlessness
followed for a moment, as if the congregation were one of buried, not
of living men; when, suddenly, miraculously, like the general rising
at the Resurrection, the whole host came to their feet, amid a
simultaneous roll, like a great drumbeat from the enrapturing,
overpowering organ. Then, in three freshets,--all gay sprightly nods
and becks--the gilded brooks poured down the gilded aisles.
  Time for me too to go, thought I, as snatching one last look upon
the imposing scene, I clasped my book and put it in my pocket. The
best thing I can do just now, is to slide out unperceived amid the
general crowd. Hurrying down the great length of ladder, I soon found
myself at the base of the last stone step of the final flight; but
started aghast--the door was locked! The bell-ringer, or more probably
that forever-prying suspicious-looking beadle-faced man has done this.
He would not let me in at all at first, and now, with the greatest
inconsistency, he will not let me out. But what is to be done? Shall I
knock on the door? That will never do. It will only frighten the crowd
streaming by, and no one can adequately respond to my summons, except
the beadle-faced man; and if he see me, he will recognise me, and
perhaps roundly rate me--poor, humble worshiper--before the entire
public. No, I wont knock. But what then?
  Long time I thought, and thought, till at last all was hushed again.
Presently a clicking sound admonished me that the church was being
closed. In sudden desperation, I gave a rap on the door. But too late.
It was not heard. I was left alone and solitary in a temple which but
a moment before was more populous than many villages.
  A strange trepidation of gloom and loneliness gradually stole over
me. Hardly conscious of what I did, I reascended the stone steps;
higher and higher still, and only paused, when once more I felt the
hot-air blast from the wire-woven screen. Snatching another peep down
into the vast arena, I started at its hushed desertness. The long
ranges of grouped columns down the nave, and clusterings of them into
copses about the corners of the transept; together with the subdued,
dim-streaming light from the autumnal glasses; all assumed a secluded
and deep-wooded air. I seemed gazing from Pisgah into the forests of
old Canaan. A Puseyitish painting of a Madonna and child, adorning a
lower window, seemed showing to me the sole tenants of this painted
wilderness--the true Hagar and her Ishmael.--
  With added trepidation I stole softly back to the magic-lantern
platform; and revived myself a little by peeping through the scratch,
upon the unstained light of open day.--But what is to be done, thought
I, again.
  I descended to the door; listened there; heard nothing. A third time
climbing the stone steps, once more I stood in the magic-lantern,
while the full nature of the more than awkwardness of my position came
over me.
  The first persons who will reenter the temple, mused I, will
doubtless be the beadle-faced man, and the bell-ringer. And the first
man to come up here, where I am, will be the latter. Now what will be
his natural impressions upon first descrying an unknown prowler here?
Rather disadvantageous to said prowler's moral character. Explanations
will be vain. Circumstances are against me. True, I may hide, till he
retires again. But how do I know, that he will then leave the door
unlocked? Besides, in a position of affairs like this, it is generally
best, I think, to anticipate discovery, and by magnanimously
announcing yourself, forestall an inglorious detection. But how
announce myself? Already have I knocked, and no response. That moment,
my eye, impatiently ranging roundabout, fell upon the bell-ropes. They
suggested the usual signal made at dwelling-houses to convey tidings
of a stranger's presence. But I was not an outside caller; alas, I was
an inside prowler.--But one little touch of that bell-rope, would be
sure to bring relief. I have an appointment at three o'clock. The
beadle-faced man must naturally reside very close by the church. He
well knows the peculiar ring of his own bell. The slightest possible
hum would bring him flying to the rescue. Shall I, or shall I
not?--But I may alarm the neighborhood. Oh no; the merest tingle, not
by any means a loud vociferous peal. Shall I? Better voluntarily bring
the beadle-faced man to me, than be involuntarily dragged out from
this most suspicious hiding-place. I have to face him, first or last.
Better now than later.--Shall I?--
  No more. Creeping to the rope, I gave it a cautious twitch. No
sound. A little less warily. All was dumb. Still more strongly.
Horrors! my hands, instinctively clapped to my ears, only served to
condense the appalling din. Some undreamed of mechanism seemed to have
been touched. The bell must have thrice revolved on its thunderous
axis, multiplying the astounding reverberation.
  My business is effectually done, this time, thought I, all in a
tremble. Nothing will serve me now but the reckless confidence of
innocence reduced to desperation.
  In less than five minutes, I heard a running noise beneath me; the
lock of the door clicked, and up rushed the beadle-faced man, the
perspiration starting from his cheeks.
  "You! Is it ? The man I turned away this very morning, skulking
here?  dare to touch that bell? Scoundrel!"
  And ere I could defend myself, seizing me irresistably in his
powerful grasp, he tore me along by the collar, and dragging me down
the stairs, thrust me into the arms of three policemen, who, attracted
by the sudden toll of the bell, had gathered curiously about the
porch.
  All remonstrances were vain. The beadle-faced man was bigoted
against me. Represented as a lawless violator, and a remorseless
disturber of the Sunday peace, I was conducted to the Halls of
Justice. Next morning, my rather gentlemany appearance procured me a
private hearing from the judge. But the beadle-faced man must have
made a Sunday night call on him. Spite of my coolest explanations, the
circumstances of the case were deemed so exceedingly suspicious, that
only after paying a round fine, and receiving a stinging reprimand,
was I permitted to go at large, and pardoned for having humbly
indulged myself in the luxury of public worship.


                              TEMPLE SECOND

  A STRANGER IN LONDON on Saturday night, and without a copper! What
hospitalities may such an one expect? What shall I do with myself this
weary night? My landlady wont receive me in her parlor. I owe her
money. She looks like flint on me. So in this monstrous rabblement
must I crawl about till, say ten o'clock, and then slink home to my
unlighted bed.
  The case was this: The week following my inglorious expulsion from
the transatlantic temple, I had packed up my trunks and damaged
character, and repaired to the fraternal, loving town of Philadelphia.
There chance threw into my way an interesting young orphan lady and
her aunt-duenna; the lady rich as Cleopatra, but not as beautiful; the
duenna lovely as Charmian, but not so young. For the lady's health,
prolonged travel had been prescribed. Maternally connected in old
England, the lady chose London for her primal port. But ere securing
their passage, the two were looking round for some young physician,
whose disengagement from pressing business, might induce him to
accept, on a moderate salary, the post of private Esculapius and
knightly companion to the otherwise unprotected fair. The more
necessary was this, as not only the voyage to England was intended,
but an extensive European tour, to follow.
  Enough. I came; I saw; I was made the happy man. We sailed. We
landed on the other side; when after two weeks of agonized attendance
on the vacillations of the lady, I was very cavalierly dismissed, on
the score, that the lady's maternal relations had persuaded her to
try, through the winter, the salubrious climate of the foggy Isle of
Wight, in preference to the fabulous blue atmosphere of the Ionian
Isles. So much for national prejudice.
  Nota Bene.--The lady was in a sad decline.--
  Having ere sailing been obliged to anticipate nearly a quarter's pay
to foot my outfit bills, I was dismally cut adrift in Fleet street
without a solitary shilling. By disposing, at certain pawnbrokers, of
some of my less indispensable apparel, I had managed to stave off the
more slaughterous onsets of my landlady, while diligently looking
about for any business that might providentially appear.
  So on I drifted amid those indescribable crowds which every seventh
night pour and roar through each main artery and block the bye-veins
of great London, the Leviathan. Saturday Night it was; and the markets
and the shops, and every stall and counter were crushed with the one
unceasing tide. A whole Sunday's victualling for three millions of
human bodies, was going on. Few of them equally hungry with my own, as
through my spent lassitude, the unscrupulous human whirlpools eddied
me aside at corners, as any straw is eddied in the Norway Maelstrom.
What dire suckings into oblivion must such swirling billows know.
Better perish mid myriad sharks in mid Atlantic, than die a penniless
stranger in Babylonian London. Forlorn, outcast, without a friend, I
staggered on through three millions of my own human kind. The fiendish
gaslights shooting their Tartarean rays across the muddy sticky
streets, lit up the pitiless and pitiable scene.
  Well, well, if this were but Sunday now, I might conciliate some
kind female pew-opener, and rest me in some inn-like chapel, upon some
stranger's outside bench. But it is Saturday night. The end of the
weary week, and all but the end of weary me.
  Disentangling myself at last from those skeins of Pandemonian lanes
which snarl one part of the metropolis between Fleet street and
Holborn, I found myself at last in a wide and far less noisy street, a
short and shopless one, leading up from the Strand, and terminating at
its junction with a crosswise avenue. The comparative quietude of the
place was inexpressively soothing. It was like emerging upon the green
enclosure surrounding some Cathedral church, where sanctity makes all
things still. Two lofty brilliant lights attracted me in this tranquil
street. Thinking it might prove some moral or religious meeting, I
hurried towards the spot; but was surprised to see two tall placards
announcing the appearance that night, of the stately Macready in the
part of Cardina, Richelieu. Very few loiterers hung about the place,
the hour being rather late, and the play-bill hawkers mostly departed,
or keeping entirely quiet. This theatre indeed, as I afterwards
discovered, was not only one of the best in point of acting, but
likewise one of the most decorous in its general management, inside
and out. In truth the whole neighborhood, as it seemed to me--issuing
from the jam and uproar of those turbulent tides against which, or
borne on irresistably by which, I had so long been swimming--the whole
neighborhood, I say, of this pleasing street seemed in good keeping
with the character imputed to its theatre.
  Glad to find one blessed oasis of tranquility, I stood leaning
against a column of the porch, and striving to lose my sadness in
running over one of the huge placards. No one molested me. A tattered
little girl, to be sure, approached, with a handbill extended, but
marking me more narrowly, retreated; her strange skill in physiognomy
at once enabling her to determine that I was penniless. As I read, and
read--for the placard, of enormous dimensions, contained minute
particulars of each successive scene in the enacted play--gradually a
strong desire to witness this celebrated Macready in this his
celebrated part stole over me. By one act, I might rest my jaded
limbs, and more than jaded spirits. Where else could I go for rest,
unless I crawled into my cold and lonely bed far up in an attic of
Craven Street, looking down upon the muddy Phlegethon of the Thames.
Besides, what I wanted was not merely rest, but cheer; the making one
of many pleased and pleasing human faces; the getting into a genial
humane assembly of my kind; such as, at its best and highest, is to be
found in the unified multitude of a devout congregation. But no such
assemblies were accessible that night, even if my unbefriended and
rather shabby air would overcome the scruples of those fastidious
gentry with red gowns and long gilded staves, who guard the portals of
the first-class London tabernacles from all profanation of a poor
forlorn and fainting wanderer like me. Not inns, but ecclesiastical
hotels, where the pews are the rented chambers.
  No use to ponder, thought I, at last; it is Saturday night, not
Sunday; and so, a Theatre only can receive me. So powerfully in the
end did the longing to get into the edifice come over me, that I
almost began to think of pawning my overcoat for admittance. But from
this last infatuation I was providentially with-held by a sudden
cheery summons, in voice unmistakably benevolent. I turned, and saw a
man who seemed to be some sort of a working-man.
  "Take it," said he, holding a plain red ticket towards me full in
the gas-light. "You want to go in; I know you do. Take it. I am
suddenly called home. There--hope you'll enjoy yourself. Good-bye."
  Blankly, and mechanically, I had suffered the ticket to be thrust
into my hand, and now stood quite astonished, bewildered, and for the
time, ashamed. The plain fact was, I had received charity; and for the
first time in my life. Often in the course of my strange wanderings I
had needed charity, but never had asked it, and certainly never, ere
this blessed night, had been offered it. And a stranger; and in the
very maw of the roaring London too! Next moment my sense of foolish
shame departed, and I felt a queer feeling in my left eye, which, as
sometimes is the case with people, was the weaker one; probably from
being on the same side with the heart.
  I glanced round eagerly. But the kind giver was no longer in sight.
I looked upon the ticket. I understood. It was one of those checks
given to persons inside a theatre when for any cause they desire to
step out a moment. Its presentation ensures unquestioned readmittance.
  Shall I use it? mused I.--What? It's charity.--But if it be
gloriously right to do a charitable deed, can it be ingloriously wrong
to receive its benefit?--No one knows you; go boldly
in.--Charity.--Why these unvanquishable scruples? All your life,
nought but charity sustains you, and all others in the world. Maternal
charity nursed you as a babe; paternal charity fed you as a child;
friendly charity got you your profession; and to the charity of every
man you meet this night in London, are you indebted for your
unattempted life. Any knife, any hand of all the millions of knives
and hands in London, has you this night at its mercy. You, and all
mortals, live but by sufferance of your charitable kind; charitable by
omission, not performance.--Stush for your self-upbraidings, and
pitiful, poor, shabby pride, you friendless man without a purse.--Go
in.
  Debate was over. Marking the direction from which the stranger had
accosted me, I stepped that way; and soon saw a low-vaulted,
inferior-looking door on one side of the edifice. Entering, I wandered
on and up, and up and on again, through various doubling stairs and
wedge-like, ill-lit passages, whose bare boards much reminded me of my
ascent of the Gothic tower on the ocean's far other side. At last I
gained a lofty platform, and saw a fixed human countenance facing me
from a mysterious window of a sort of sentry-box or closet. Like some
saint in a shrine, the countenance was illuminated by two smoky
candles. I divined the man. I exhibited my diploma, and he nodded me
to a little door beyond; while a sudden burst of orchestral music,
admonished me I was now very near my destination, and also revived the
memory of the organ-anthems I had heard while on the ladder of the
tower at home.
  Next moment, the wire-woven gauzy screen of the ventilating window
in that same tower, seemed enchantedly reproduced before me. The same
hot blast of stifling air once more rushed into my lungs. From the
same dizzy altitude, through the same fine-spun, vapory crapey air;
far, far down upon just such a packed mass of silent human beings;
listening to just such grand harmonies; I stood within the topmost
gallery of the temple. But hardly alone and silently as before. This
time I had company. Not of the first circles, and certainly not of the
dress-circle; but most acceptable, right welcome, cheery company, to
otherwise uncompanioned me. Quiet, well-pleased working men, and their
glad wives and sisters, with here and there an aproned urchin, with
all-absorbed, bright face, vermillioned by the excitement and the
heated air, hovering like a painted cherub over the vast human
firmament below. The height of the gallery was in truth appalling. The
rail was low. I thought of deep-sea-leads, and the mariner in the
vessel's chains, drawing up the line, with his long-drawn musical
accompaniment. And like beds of glittering coral, through the deep sea
of azure smoke, there, far down, I saw the jewelled necks and white
sparkling arms of crowds of ladies in the semicirque. But, in the
interval of two acts, again the orchestra was heard; some inspiring
national anthem now was played. As the volumed sound came undulating
up, and broke in showery spray and foam of melody against our gallery
rail, my head involuntarily was bowed, my hand instinctively sought my
pocket. Only by a second thought, did I check my momentary lunacy and
remind myself that this time I had no small morocco book with me, and
that this was not the house of prayer.
  Quickly was my wandering mind--preternaturally affected by the
sudden translation from the desolate street, to this bewildering and
blazing spectacle--arrested in its wanderings, by feeling at my elbow
a meaning nudge; when turning suddenly, I saw a sort of coffee-pot,
and pewter mug hospitably presented to me by a ragged, but
good-natured looking boy.
  "Thank you," said I, "I wont take any coffee, I guess."
  "Coffee?--I guess?--Aint you a Yankee?"
  "Aye, boy; true blue."
  "Well dad's gone to Yankee-land, a seekin' of his fortin'; so take a
penny mug of ale, do, Yankee, for poor dad's
  Out from the tilted coffeepot-looking can, came a coffee-colored
stream, and a small mug of humming ale was in my hand.
  "I dont want it, boy. The fact is, my boy, I have no penny by me. I
happened to leave my purse at my lodgings."
  "Never do you mind, Yankee; drink to honest dad."
  "With all my heart, you generous boy; here's immortal life to him!"
  He stared at my strange burst, smiled merrily, and left me, offering
his coffeepot in all directions, and not in vain.
  'Tis not always poverty to be poor, mused I; one may fare well
without a penny. A ragged boy may be a prince-like benefactor.
  Because that unpurchased penny-worth of ale revived my drooping
spirits strangely. Stuff was in that barley-malt; a most sweet
bitterness in those blessed hops. God bless the glorious boy!
  The more I looked about me in this lofty gallery, the more was I
delighted with its occupants. It was not spacious. It was, if
anything, rather contracted, being the very cheapest portion of the
house, where very limited attendance was expected; embracing merely
the very crown of the topmost semicircle; and so, commanding, with a
sovereign outlook, and imperial down-look, the whole theatre, with the
expanded stage directly opposite, though some hundred feet below. As
at the tower, peeping into the transatlantic temple, so stood I here,
at the very main-mast-head of all the interior edifice.
  Such was the decorum of this special theatre, that nothing
objectionable was admitted within its walls. With an unhurt eye of
perfect love, I sat serenely in the gallery, gazing upon the pleasing
scene, around me and below. Neither did it abate from my satisfaction,
to remember, that Mr Macready, the chief actor of the night, was an
amiable gentleman, combining the finest qualities of social and
Christian respectability, with the highest excellence in his
particular profession; for which last he had conscientiously done
much, in many ways, to refine, elevate, and chasten.
  But now the curtain rises, and the robed Cardinal advances. How
marvellous this personal resemblance! He looks every inch to be the
selfsame, stately priest I saw irradiated by the glow-worm dies of the
pictured windows from my high tower-pew. And shining as he does, in
the rosy reflexes of these stained walls and gorgeous galleries, the
mimic priest down there; he too seems lit by Gothic blazonings.--Hark!
The same measured, courtly, noble tone. See! the same imposing
attitude. Excellent actor is this Richelieu!
  He disappears behind the scenes. He slips, no doubt, into the Green
Room. He reappears somewhat changed in his habilaments. Do I dream, or
is it genuine memory that recalls some similar thing seen through the
woven wires?
  The curtain falls. Starting to their feet, the enraptured thousands
sound their responses, deafeningly; unmistakably sincere. Right from
the undoubted heart. I have no duplicate in my memory of this. In
earnestness of response, this second temple stands unmatched. And hath
mere mimicry done this? What is it then to act a part?
  But now the music surges up again, and borne by that rolling billow,
I, and all the gladdened crowd, are harmoniously attended to the
street.
  I went home to my lonely lodging, and slept not much that night, for
thinking of the First Temple and the Second Temple; and how that, a
stranger in a strange land, I found sterling charity in the one; and
at home, in my own land, was thrust out from the other.