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They ran thus:—

'Videas tamen utrum loquar in ænigmate
vel secundum veritatem.' And, further (which
we translate): ' He that would see these
things shall have the key that openeth and no
man shutteth, and when he shall shut no man
is able to open again.'

' But the secret-- the secret!' cried Hubert,
impatiently, 'let me know what "these
things " are! '

He hastily turned the leaf back and read
again. The passage was that one in the
' Epistola de Secretis ' which spoke of the
artificial thunder and lightning, and beneath
it was the full and precise recipe for its
composition. This at once explained the strange
noises and the flashes of light which he had
so anxiously noticed. Surprising and gratifying
as this discovery might be, there was,
Hubert thought, something beyond. Roger
Bacon, he reasoned, was not one to practise
an experiment like this for mere amusement.
It was, he felt certain, a new form of invocation,
more potent, doubtless, over the beings
of another world, than any charm yet
recorded. Be it as it might, he would try
whether, from the materials around him, it
were not in his power to produce the same

'Here are all the necessary ingredients,'
he exclaimed; ' this yellowish powder is the
well known sulphur, in which I daily bathe
the argent-vive; this bitter, glistening
substance is the salt of the rock, the salis petrœ;
and this black calcination, the third agent
But the proportions are given, and here stands
a glass cucurbit in which they should be
mingled. It is of the form my master mostly
usesround, with a small neck and a narrow
mouth, to be luted closely, without doubt. He
has often told me that the sole regenerating
power of the universe is heat; yonder furnace
shall supply it, and then Hubert de Dreux is
his master's equal! '

The short November day was drawing to
a close, when, after carefully tending the
wounded sheriff, and leaving such instructions
with the Abingdon leech as he judged
sufficient for his patient's well-doing, Roger
Bacon again mounted his palfrey, and turned
its head in the direction of Oxford. He was
unwilling to be a loiterer after dark, and his
beast was equally desirous to be once more
comfortably housed, so that his homeward
journey was accomplished even more rapidly
than his morning excursion; and barely an
hour had elapsed when the Friar drew the
rein at the foot of the last gentle eminence,
close to which lay the walls of the cloistered
city. To give the animal breathing-space, he
rode quietly up the ascent, and then paused
for a few moments before he proceeded, his
mind intent on subjects foreign to the
speculations of all his daily associations.

Suddenly, as he mused on his latest
discovery, and calculated to what principal object
it might be devoted, a stream of fiery light
shot rapidly athwart the dark, drear sky, and
before he had space to think what the meteor
might portend, a roar as of thunder shook the
air, and simultaneous with it, a shrill, piercing
scream, mingled with the fearful sound; then
burst forth a volume of flame, and on the
wind came floating a sulphurous vapour which,
to him alone, revealed the nature of the
explosion he had just witnessed.

' Gracious God! ' he exclaimed, while the
cold sweat poured like rain-drops down his
forehead, ' the fire has caught the fulminating
powder! But what meant that dreadful cry?
Surely nothing of human life has suffered!
The boy Hubert,—but, no,—he was at work
at the further extremity of the building. But
this is no time for vain conjecture,—let me
learn the worst at once! '

And with these words he urged his
affrighted steed to its best pace, and rode rapidly
into the city.

All was consternation there: the tremendous
noise had roused every inhabitant, and
people were hurrying to and fro, some hastening
towards the place from whence the sound
had proceeded, others rushing wildly from it.
It was but too evident that a dreadful
catastrophe, worse even than Bacon dreaded, had
happened. It was with difficulty he made his
way through the crowd, and came upon the
ruin which still blazed fiercely, appalling the
stoutest of heart. There was a tumult of
voices, but above the outcries of the affrighted
monks, and of the scared multitude, rose the
loud voice of the Friar, calling upon them to
extinguish the flames. This appeal turned
all eyes towards him, and then associating him
with an evil, the cause of which they were
unable to comprehend, the maledictions of the
monks broke forth.

' Seize the accursed magician,' they shouted;
' he has made a fiery compact with the demon!
Already one victim is sacrificed,—our turn
will come next! See, here are the mangled
limbs of his pupil, Hubert de Dreux! The
fiend has claimed his reward, and borne away
his soul. Seize on the wicked sorcerer, and
take him to a dungeon! '

Roger Bacon sate stupified by the
unexpected blow; he had no power, if he had
possessed the will, to offer the slightest resistance
to the fury of the enraged Franciscans,
who, in the true spirit of ignorance, had ever
hated him for his acquirements. With a deep
sigh for the fate of the young man, whose
imprudence he now saw had been the cause of
this dreadful event, he yielded himself up to
his enemies; they tore him from his palfrey,
and with many a curse, and many a buffet,
dragged him to the castle, and lodged him in
one of its deepest dungeons.

The flames from the ruined cell died out of
themselves; but those which the envy and
dread of Bacon's genius had kindled, were
never extinguished, but with his life.

In the long years of imprisonment which