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“ These likened twins-in form and fancy one,
Were like affected, and like habit chose. Their valour at Newhaven siege was known,
Where both encountered fiercely with their foes; There one of both sore wounded lost his breath,
And t'other slain revenging brother's death."
“THERE are more things in heaven, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy," says the philosophic Prince, and with much truth. We have an instance of it in the tale of the Corsican Brothers, which has been rendered, by the inimitable acting of Mr. Charles Kean, so popular for the last twelvemonth, and which, in part at least, is not without an actual prototype.
We have heard, we know not how truly, that the celebrated Louis Blanc sat for the portrait of the Corsican, though there is some difference in a leading event of the two stories, as related of the eminent Frenchman and of his Corsican shadow. It is sufficiently curious to be given in the way of prologue to our story, of which it forms no unapt illustration.
Louis Blanc and his brother had a close resemblance in manner, person, and features, and, what is still more remarkable, they were connected by one of those mysterious sympathies, the very existence of which we are all too apt to deny, because we cannot comprehend its nature. “There are no tigers in India,” says a French traveller, writing to his friend, "for I have seen none;" and so will the sceptic say when he is told that, however separated might be these two brothers, no accident could happen to the one without the other having a sympathetic feeling of it. Thus, it chanced one day, while the brother of Louis was enjoying himself among a party of friends, he was suddenly observed to change colour ; and upon being questioned, he complained of a sensation, as if he had received a blow upon the head, and he avowed his firm conviction that something must have befallen his brother, then in Paris. The company, as may easily be supposed, laughed at this as a mere imaginary notion, but some more curious than the rest made an exact minute of the day and hour, to see how far this warning was justified by the actual event. And what was the result ?-at the precise moment thus indicated, Louis, while walking in the streets of Paris, had been knocked down by a blow upon the head, dealt by some one who approached him unperceived from behind. So severe was the blow that he fell senseless to the ground, and the ruffian escaped; nor could all the subsequent efforts of the police afford the slightest clue for his detection. He was suspected to have been a Bonapartist, and to have been influenced by political hatred of the uncompromising republican. Our next instance gives a similar picture in
Louis Blanc had found it prudent to seek a temporary asylum in England, the party then uppermost in France being altogether opposed to his republican doctrines. As had happened in the preceding case, he one day experienced a strange feeling, as if all was not right with his brother, and that, too, at a time when he was sitting in the company of friends, and was least likely to be influenced by such sensations in the common order of things. Here again, the very minute was noted down, and a short time afterwards a letter came from his brother in Paris, stating that he wrote then, as he might never be able to write again. It appears that a pamphlet had been published in France bitterly reflecting upon Louis, and that his brother had, in consequence, called out the author. But here breaks off the correspondence between the reality and the fiction. It was not the brother, but his adversary, that suffered; and he was not killed, but severely wounded. Such is the tale, which, we are told, Louis Blanc is in the habit of relating to his friends, and it was upon this, it is asserted, the French dramatist founded his ingenious melodrama.
This strange story at once confirms, and is confirmed by a similar anecdote of two brothers in our own country, and which cannot be denied, if there be any veracity in monumental records.
Nicholas and Andrew Tremayne were twins and younger sons of Thomas Tremayne, a Devonshire gentleman, of good estate and well connected. So perfect was their likeness in size, shape, feature, the colour of their hair,-nay, the very tone of their voices, that it was impossible for the nicest eye to find out any point of difference. Even their parents could not tell one from the other, and were obliged to distinguish them by some secret mark, which the twins would oftentimes amuse themselves by changing. Wonderful as was this external similitude, it was yet more surprising to find them governed by precisely the same feelings and affections. What one liked, the other liked; what one loathed, the other loathed; if one was ill, the other sickened; and
if one was pained, the other suffered in the same part, and in the same degree. These sympathies occurred at whatever distance they might be apart, and without any intelligence or communication with each other.
In the year 1564, these twins served in the wars at Newhaven, as it was then called, though it now bears the name of Havre de Grace, upon the French coast. Of their previous fortunes we have no account, nor is there any conjectural mode of explaining the very great difference that we now find in their respective positions. The one was captain of a troop of horse, while the other was only a private soldier. This, however, made not the slightest difference in the strong sympathy that had previously existed between them, as was now speedily to be seen. In the fierce battle that ensued, one of the twins was slain. The other immediately stepped into his place, and, fighting with the utmost gallantry, fell dead upon the body of his brother.