Fashionable Philosophy eBook

Laurence Oliphant
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 105 pages of information about Fashionable Philosophy.
forming the escort gaped open-mouthed at the steeple as the clangour continued.  As soon as the last shot had been fired, I looked down into the square and saw all this, and I saw that the prisoners were attempting to escape, and in more than one instance had succeeded, for the soldiers began to scatter in pursuit, and the country people to form themselves into impeding crowds, as though by accident, but nowhere could I see Valeria.  When I was quite sure she had escaped, I went down and joined the crowd.  I saw three prisoners captured and brought back; and when I asked the officer in command how many had escaped, he said three—­Croppo’s wife, the priest, and another.

When I met my cavalry friends at dinner that evening, it was amusing to hear them speculate upon the remarkable occurrence which had, in fact, upset the wits of the whole town.  Priests and vergers and sacristans had visited the campanile, and one of them had brought away a flattened piece of lead, which looked as if it might have been a bullet; but the suggestion that eight bullets could have hit the bell in succession without anybody hearing a sound, was treated with ridicule.  I believe the bell was subsequently exorcised with holy water.  I was afraid to remain with the regiment with my air-gun after this, lest some one should discover it, and unravel the mystery; besides, I felt a sort of traitor to the brave friends who had so generously offered me their hospitality, so I invented urgent private affairs, which demanded my immediate return to Naples, and on the morning of my departure found myself embraced by all the officers of the regiment, from the colonel downwards, who, in the fervour of their kisses, thrust sixteen waxed moustache-points against my cheeks.

About eighteen months after this, I heard of the capture and execution of Croppo, and I knew that Valeria was free; but I had unexpectedly inherited a property, and was engaged to be married.  I am now a country gentleman with a large family.  My sanctum is stocked with various mementoes of my youthful adventures, but none awakens in me such thrilling memories as are excited by the breviary of the brigand priest, and the portrait of the brigand’s bride.


It is now nearly twenty-seven years ago—­long before the Theosophical Society was founded, or Esoteric Buddhism was known to exist in the form recently revealed to us by Mr Sinnett{81}—­that I became the chela, or pupil, of an adept of Buddhist occultism in Khatmandhu.  At that time Englishmen, unless attached to the Residency, were not permitted to reside in that picturesque Nepaulese town.  Indeed I do not think that they are now; but I had had an opportunity during the Indian Mutiny, when I was attached to the Nepaulese contingent, of forming an intimacy with a “Guru” connected with the force.  It was not until our acquaintance had ripened into

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Fashionable Philosophy from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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