« 上一頁繼續 »
The drawing-room into which we were usher- topics were discussed-more especially those of a ed was large, and although smacking somewhat serious and sedate nature-but I could take no of the fashion of years gone by, yet not without share in either eliciting or keeping up the flow of pretension to elegance. Mrs. Smith, our hostess, thought. My heart was full of unutterable things; received us with much cordiality, and introduc- and often, in spite of every repressing effort, an ed us to two or three female friends, who were unmanly tear would gather itself in the corner of to make up our party.
my eye. Happily all this was unperceived, and The window, near which my chair was placed, my absence of manner excited no attention. Here looked into a very pretty flower garden, and I were the long sundered fortuitously brought togewas making some passing compliment on the ther, after seas had rolled between us for more manner in which it was laid out, when the than a quarter of a century I-and yet it seemed same indefinable sympathy between the lady's as if we had never met before. voice and something relating to the past, again Having on our walk home been informed by obtruded itself. I gazed at her more attentively, my reverend friend that our hostess was regular when opportunity offered ; and as she chanced in her forenoon attendance on the labours of love to be seated with respect to me so that her pro- amid which we had formerly found her engrossed, file was exhibited, revolved a thousand circum- I thought I might sinlessly, and without breach stances in my mind, which, however, like the of friendship, make a visit next forenoon. I did windings of the Cretan labyrinth, led to nothing, so—and found Catherine at home. and left me in doubt. And yet her name could She had not the least suspicion of me. I tried be Wylie! Strange coincidence. But she of her on various topics, and occasionally verged yore had fair hair, this had dark. To dream of very near the truth. But how could it be? She their identity were a thing impossible.
was a girl when last we parted. Through a long In a few minutes, the door opening, a tall spare sequence of years, in which she had seen all the figure entered, whom my reverend friend intro- world changing, she had heard nothing of me, duced to me as Mrs. Smith's cousin.
and the chances were as one to five hundred that “Miss Catherine Wylie-my friend, Mr. —-." I could yet be alive. I shall not attempt to describe my emotions. "You mentioned Darling-port, Miss Wylie,” The whole truth stood in a twinkling revealed said I; are you acquainted
with any of the famibefore my mind's eye. Thirty long years were lies there ?" annihilated—and the day of my departure from
,” she answered—“ or rather, I should my native country,"all things pertaining to that say, I once was. Indeed it is twenty years since day,”—its hopes—its fears—its regrets—its feel- last I had foot on its streets. Our burying place, ings were in my mind; and, prominent over all, however, is there, and I must pay it yet another the image of Catherine Wylie, the wayward, the visit, when I am unconscious of all." young, the beautiful. I glanced across the room "May it be long till then, Miss Wylie! It is -- I looked on that picture and on this—there could still a longer period since í took up my abode be no mistake—"alike, but oh how different!" there ;-but I lately paid it a visit
. Do you know What a change! could so much lie within the if any of the family of the G -s are still narrow compass of human life? It were less had alive ?" she been dead-vanished for ever. Then would She turned pale. she have been Catherine Wylie still, the peerless “I scarcely think so. G-, did you say? I in the eye of imagination ; but here gloomy reality knew them well, long, long ago. The two daughput an extinguisher on fancy. The spring's ters married, and settled with their families in opening rose of beauty had matured only to wither London. James, the youngest son, went to India, like the commonet weeds around, and to droop when a mere boy. My enquiries have thrown nó beneath the unsparing blasts of age's approaching light upon his destiny since. Richard went out winter. The vision of long years was disen- to a mercantile house at Demerara. But that is chanted. The romance of life had waned away thirty-two years ago." into the cold and frigid truth; and my heart bled Indeed,” said I, almost trembling, as I took a to behold its long cherished idol moulded of the small gold locket from my waistcoat pocket. same perishable elements as the daily groups "Did you ever see that before ?” around. She was plainly dressed. Care and “Merciful heavens! is it possible ?” she exthought and the ravages of time were visible on claimed. “How came that into your possession, her countenance, that yet, in eclipse, betrayed of and-and who are you? Does Richard what it had been, as the western sky retains the still live; or, dying, did he transmit that rememillumined footprints of the departed sun. She brancer through you, to be given to her who once was looking wistfully into the fire, as she leaned owned it ?" her cheek on her thin pale fingers, one of which “Nay, Catherine,” I answered; "look at me, waz circled by a mourning ring.
Am I indeed changed so much that you—even Dinner passed over, but no symptoms of recog-you-do not recognise me ?" nition on her part were perceptible. I had con. She started back, half in agitation, and half in trived to place myself by her side; yet I dared alarm, gazing at me for a second or two in breathscarcely trust myself to enter into conversation less silence, then, sinking into a chair, extended with her. Her cousin-our hostess, Mrs. Smith-to me her hand, which (I trust pardonably) I I identified with a young lady whom I had seen pressed to my lips. The hour was a melancholy at her aunt's house in the days of yore, and who one-but it was an hour of the heart, and worth was an especial friend of Catherine.
General many years living for. In it the mystery of life
BY L. M. MONTAGU.
was unriddled, and the palthy nucleus ou which tion would to both have altered the bues of desits whole machinery may revolve fully disclosed tiny, and saved thirty long years of melancholy to view.
separation. “I remember well,” she said, "the evening you We lived in calm friendship for two years after allude 10.; but you blame me without cause, when this meeting, when my poor Catherine was sud- ! you say that I dismissed you, without deigning denly called to pay the debt of nature; and mine an explanation. I had been urged by the family was the sorrowful privilege of laying her head in whom I was visiting to extend my stay for a few the grave. I often visit the spot, and con over days longer; but no—I held in mind your promise the name engraved on her simple tomb. Nor can to meet me, and all their entreaties were in vain. the time be far distant when my ashes shall be Let me add, that I had been that very day told laid beside hers, and our spirits meet again in that you were about to be married to another. another world to part no more.
1 This I could scarcely lend an ear to; yet it would be prudery in me at this distance of time to deny the effect on my excited feelings.
From the London Metropolitan. “ When I descended from the carriage at the
LOVE IN ADVERSITY. appointed spot, for I would not allow it to proceed with me nearer home, I gazed anxiously along
Though the last hope we cherished the road. No one was there; and, as twilight
Is faded and gone, was already deepening, I made what speed I
Yet love, ever faithful could homewards. I confess it was now only that
To death, will live on;
1 what I had heard began to make a serious impres
And the frowns of the cold world sion on my mind, and from what had happened
We fly from, shall be I felt vexed and agitated. Come what might, in
But as seals to the bond this peevishness of spirit I determined on deny
Of affection to thee. ing myself to you for a few days, to evidence my Though we fly to the desert, displeasure, as well as my doubt. That by this
Like Eden's lost pair, determination I was sorely punishing myself I do Yet green spots will rise not deny ; but the resolve was strengthened from
When thy footsteps are there; my learning, the same night, that you had twice
And the waterless sands passed my window, leaning on the arm of Frank
Yield their fountains of life Lumsden, the brother of your reputed bride.
To the cares, the devotion, “What could I think, young and inexperienced
The tears of a wife. -and in a case that precluded me from daring to
Oh! it was not when fortune ask advice, or acquire information ? I kept my
And friendship were thine, apartment, feigning illness-ah! not feigning it. Thou couldst judge of a heart The sickness of the heart was mine; more into
So devoted as mine; lerable in the endurance than aught of corporeal
When joy hung its light suffering. Doubt was with me night and day.
On each garland I wove;
Ah! where was the test, It clouded my day dreams—it haunted my nightly
Or the trial of love ? pillow. A pocket copy of Milton, which you had the week before presented me with, was my only
From the darkness and depth companion-but I could not peruse it. My sor
Of the waters of wo, too entirely selfish to allow my
Like the pearl that it cradled thoughts being alienated from my inward feel
In ocean below,
Love rises above ings. But in the calm of after years, I have often read it since—there it is,” she added, reach
The dark breakers that roll,
To shine as a gem ing a carefully preserved volume from the man
In the crown of the soul. tel piece. “But my doubts and my hopes deferred at length ended in despair. The first thing I
Then say not rude fate, love, heard was, that you had embarked for a foreign
Has stript us of all,
Nor lament that I wed thee;country, and I vowed a separation, so far as Chris
I would not recall tian duties permitted, from the things and
The vow that I plighted, thoughts of this world. No one has possessed
For aught 'neath the skies, the place which you, and now I speak of you as The fortune I wedded a being of the past, once possessed in my affec
Is still in those eyes. tions, and I have striven to keep my vow unbroken before Heaven."
These passages from the story of human life WORTHY OF A BRUMMELL.—“By heavens !" drawled need no comment. He who knows not to con- out a Brummellite of the first water, who was breakfasttrol his passions, and bear with the frailties of ing with some friends one morning, by heavens! I'm those around, instead of freeing himself from dreadfully distressed, unspeakably fatigued, already difficulties and annoyances, will only plunge him- absolutely exhausted. These mornings are horrid things. self more inextricably into the slough. Behold dear madam," continued he, addressing a young lady
Why can't we do without mornings? Will you, my what “trifles light as air” had an overpowering who sat next to him, “ will you be so obliging as to try sway in our destinies, as if they had been
con- and open that muffin for me? for positively I haven't firmations strong as proofs of holy writ.” But strength; and in the mean time I'll make an effort to regrets are now vain. Five minutes of explana- flirt with this bit of toast !"
From the London New Monthly Magazine. ishment is the punishment of the dishonest. The THE PRISON INQUEST.
poor man sits down by the side of the swindler,
and yet both pay to justice the same retribution. BY THE "CLERGYMAN IN DEBT."
Oh, Goldsmith! you who first sent your pious I had always a passion for the survey of exter- vicar into the heart of a prison where the debtor nal and universal nature. I have been a far tra- and the thief mixed in the same circle ; where the veller; my shadow has deepened among the horse stealer, prating of the "cosmognomy of the gloomier
shades of the forests of the new world, world,” spouted his spurious learning to the parand I have seen it play at evening, lengthened by the moon, over the snows of an Apennine or an son, who was rich in the revelation of the gospel; Alp; fire-flies have lighted me along my tropic the harsh despoiler of a peaceful home, and to
you, Johnson, who proposed to hunt from society path, and the mute stars have shone listening on cover with obloquy the man who prevented anthe oars that rowed my gondola over Venetian other from earning the bread with which his childwaters; the sunny vineyards of Italy—the fair fields of France--the bright radiance of the spark- doctrines as extensively practised as they were
ren should be fed; why were not your humane ling sands in the Arabian desert—the brighter pomp of the Indian city--the faded
glories of the universally read, and your wisdom followed as
much as it was loved ? Alhambra-and the embrowned richness of the
Well-a-day! but it was in a jail that my poor Spanish grove-on all these have. I feasted my experience of what man is capable of enduring, sight and soul, gathering up the living beauties of both bodily and mentally, has been gained and one landscape and the everlasting wonders of an
garnered. other, as food and manna for the worship and adoration of the God who made them all! In the
Towards the end of summer, or rather the bepursuit of nature in other lands, and in the fond ginning of autumn, in the last year, I was a pricontemplation of “wonders that lead to piety," I fancied, as a young man, that I was laying in a its rise out of a bill which I had signed for a
soner in the king's bench. My incarceration took store of proper knowledge for the heart, losing friend ; the amount was considerable; he had not myself rashly, but perhaps pardonably, in the loveliness of the natural world, and forgetting that paid it; I could not; he gained time; I a prison ! from my very calling, man, in the image of his and severely, but for my occupation; in the field
Upon me imprisonment would have pressed sadly Maker, should have been my study--not as he is before me the duties of the clergyman overcame studied by the physician, for his bodily advantage the selfishness of the man. Labor omnia vincit ;
- but in the pulses of his heart—in the promptings and what I had to perform conquered what I had of his spirit--in the fiery impetus of his passions to bear! Sometimes I had to cheer the honest;
- the milder suggestions of his reason-and the sometimes to endeavour to reform the unworthy; busy workings of his brain! that I should watch often to administer consolation to affliction; ofall in short--not severely, but in all benevolence tener to reprove the levity of youth ; more than -for the sake of the salvation of a few !
It is a confession that may not perhaps tell once too I waited and watched by the bed of sickmuch to my advantage, that this truth first flashed ness, and registered in my own heart the last upon me within the walls of a prison--that it was prayer of men whose spirits
, as I hoped, were when I had been merged as it were into the press
fleeting above sorrow and ing difficulties of poverty, and learned "how hard
Beyond the reach of sin.” a thing it is to wanı”—when I had seen man fallen Well might I exclaim with Byron, more in credit that humanity-a father wondering how his children should live-a mother dreading
“Oh, God! it is a fearful thing lest they should die :-yes, it was when I had
To see the human soul take wing seen different ages-different grades-different de
In any shape--in any mood." grees of poverty, of sorrow, and of shame—that I And add to this, began for the first time to feel that I should centre
“ I've seen it rushing forth in blood; and concentrate all my energies in the study of I've seen it on the breaking ocean the human mind:
Strive with a swoln convulsive motion."
" I've seen the sick and ghastly bed
Of sin, delirious with its dread.”
This, reader, is the worst of all; and this was In a prison! Yes, reader, in a dangerous and what I saw, and sorrowed over, in a debtor's jail. detestable prison, I, as a young man, fond of truth ---fond of philosophy--fond of religion-gained I have said that I had a passion for the study of an insight into the human heart-saw it in its external nature. It was a bright night, and tovarious shades and phases--like a many-coloured wards the end of August, that I left my dreary glass, that being broken in a thousand pieces, was and desolate chamber to imbibe the air of heaven shaping forth its hues and fashions in the great upon the racquet-ground within the walls of the · kaleidoscope of the world !
King's Bench. I knew that the leaves had fallen All prisons are dreadful, but a debtor's prison is from the trees, although I could not roam upon the most dreadful of all. There men who have the paths where they were scattered. Neither committed no crime are criminals, for their pun- woods nor waters, cicies nor fields, were before
me or around me, or on either side, but above ; gently upon its hinges, and was answered by 3 yes, above me there was a glorious and cloudless quiet groan. heaven, radiant with moonlight and studded with “Hush,” whispered she, as if in addressing thr stars, and upon that I could gaze, and wonder, and patient she were drowning the noise of the door rejoice; gaze on the great glory of Providence; l hush, dear William, are ye in pain ?" wonder at the marvelousness of its mystery, and “No, I'm in no pain now, but I hav'nt long to rejoice in those shining emblems of its mercy and live; don't cry now, Ellen, you've been always a its love! I began to speculate, pot less upon the kind creature to me, and be sure I'll love ye to the promises and marvels which I fancied I saw re- last.” corded in the sky, than upon those bright figures "Papa's not well,” lisped a child who lay dreamand parables in revelation, each in itself as much ing on the floor in one corner of the apartment. 1 a beacon to the human spirit as particular stars tapped gently at the door. are signals to the mariner upon the deep! And I "Come in, sir; och, come in for the love of am not the only one who has drawn a moral from God!" sobbed the distracted wife. the stars within a prison's walls-De Berenger I entered; the husband, exhausted with the few watched them in France, through his grated bars. words he had spoken, dozed half insensibly, and
Ay, and now, reflected I, in the words of the I sat myself down by his bed. French lyrist,
“He had better not be disturbed,” whispered I.
"No, sir, not now," said the wife ; “but the “And now, what other star is that, That shouts, and shoots, and disappears ?"
docther 'll be here directly, and afther he's done
wid him, ye'd better talk to him, sir. Nothing Perhaps it is emblematic of some poor fellow can save him now.” who, even to-day, may have been taken from a I continued sitting by the bed; and in the inbright station in society, to be thrust into this terval which elapsed before the doctor's arrival, 1 gloomy jail or perhaps it is indeed a type of took note of the interior of the room. Like all the death, and" un mortel expire !"
apartments of the prison, it was small in its diIt was a quiet autumn night; I had ventured mensions, about twelve feet square; the walls out because I found a greater stillness prevailed were green, here and there darkened with a spot than was usual within the walls of the prison ; the of damp; there was no carpet on the floor, and bour was late, and I must have been perambu- either the fire was extinguished, or the embers lating a "weary while” from one end to the other were the wreck of some former day's warmib. A of the racquet-ground and back, when a shooting rushlight, twisted round with paper, and stuck in slar called to my mind the fanciful supposition of a bottle-there was no candlestick-threw a faint Berenger's un mortel expire." "If so be that a sad flicker over the chamber, like a meteor through mortal dies," said I, musingly, “peace follow him mist, shedding mingled light and gloom. to the grave."
bed on which the patient lay was of French make, Several times I continued to pace backwards but its curtains had long been pledged for food; and forwards, dreaming awake, as it were, of the counterpane was gone too, and the upper death; its fit preparation and its appalling pre- sheet, so that the dingy and worn blankets were
Men often familiarise with the lips a thë invalid's only coverings. In one corner of sentence that has struck suddenly upon the mind, the room, upon a mattress on the floor, lay two and I, as I strode over the prison ground, in children—a boy and girl; the girl, about eigbi thought kept repeating to myself the words which years of age, slept soundly; the boy, younger by the shooting star had awakened in my memory, three years, had just wakened, and seeing a stranun mortel expire, un mortel expire."
ger in the room, lay with his bright blue eyes fired “My husband is dying,” cried a woman who upon my figure in a wide inquisitive stare. The had approached me unnoticed and laid her hand eldest daughter of the dying man, a pretty slim upon my arm,“ for God's sake come; come and girl, some three years older than either of the administer to him the last consolations of re!i- other children, nursed an infant by the window,
while the mother stood near the foot of the inva. Un mortel expire ; there is a man dying,” lid's bed, and watched his pale lips as he lay said I, almost mechanically, surprised in the very breathing away the last moments of his life. tenor of my thought; “Heaven save his soul." For about ten minutes after I had sat down by
Holy virgin !" exclaimed the woman, “the the bed-side, there was a silent stillness in the clergyman is mad, and my poor husband 'll die room. The man continued dozing, and the poor widout a sacrament!" and she bounded away wife, who seemed to fancy that in that short from me with the speed of despair.
sleep her husband's suffering was lulled, controled Her words brought me to my senses, and I soon her sobs and tears in her intense anxiety that he arrested her progress. “Stop, stop," said I, “is should rest peacefully. your husband really dying ?”
A gentle opening of the door, and a repetition “I fear so."
of the same slight creak which I before noticed, “Is he a catholic ?"
announced the arrival of the doctor, but the pa“No, no, I am a catholic, but my poor William tient did not move. The medical atiendant stood is a protestant. Och, for God's sake, come and as he had entered, and the wife did not change save his soul! come,” said she, !"
her earnest listening posture; she stood like 2 I followed her up two flights of stone steps in frail vessel between the Scylla and Charybdis of one of the front staircases of the King's Bench. human destiny-her own heart vibrating betwixt The door of her room, as she opened it, creaked hope and fear. The patient too dozed in a sort of
doubt, whether he should wake to woo the fair chose from the service a few of those passages spirit of existence, or sleep on till he became unit- which I thought would apply most consolingly. ed with the darker angel of death. So pondered “Godliness is great riches, if a man be content the Lord Thomas of the olden ballad between with that he hath: for we brought nothing into his two brides !
the world, neither may we carry any thing out.” For about two minutes, this sort of awful quiet -1 Tim. vi. prevailed in the room; it was interrupted, and the There were one or two sentences which I avoidprisoner awakened, by the faint cry of the child ed, fearsul of raising in his mind an angry feeling whom his eldest daughter was nursing. The towards those who had imprisoned him. Such as patient, who had evidently been dreaming, seeing “Whoso hath this world's goods, and seeth his me as he awoke, suddenly started and enquired, brother in need, and shutteth up his compassion “ Are you the man ?”
from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?": “Whal man, William, dear? who do you -1 St. John, iii. mean?" said the wife, bending over him ; “ihis During the time I went through the service, is our good clergyman, and as you were ill, I there was not the slightest interruption ; from the thought you might like to talk to him."
unsleeping smiling infant by the sufferer's side, “ Thank you. Ellen," said the prisoner faintly, to the agonised mother by his bed, all were mute “ I thought it was your
listeners; and when the sacrament was adminis"What, William ?" asked the wife gaspingly, tered, the prisoner took the bread, and drank of as if fearful of what was coming.
the wine, with the fervent earnestness of a Chris“Oh, I must have been dreaming, dear," was tian, who put all trust in God, and who hoped to the evasive answer. “Ellen, did you not say be redeemed by his Son! this gentleman was a clergy man ?”
When it was all over, he seemed much com“Yes, and happy if he can afford you consola- forted, but his serenity was suddenly disturbed, tion in your sad illness,” rejoined I.
and by an incident the most affecting I ever be" Thank you, sir, thank you, I know I must die held. His little boy, who had remained kneeling soon, and I do stand in need of consolation. Oh, with his hands clasped in most lanb-like innothat horrid dream !"
cence at the foot of bis bed, as if glad to be releasThe prisoner paused.
ed from his cramped position, let fall his arms “Ellen, dear," resumed he, “I should like to upon the couch, and crawling over to his father, take the sacrament! will you receive it with me?” kissed him on the cheek, and asked, " Father, aré
“I am a catholic, William,” said the wife with you going to die ?” a faint smile.
The poor man pressed the boy to his bosom, "Ah! I forgot; then, sir, I will take it alone,” and sobbed out “Yes !" said he, turning to me; “but, Ellen, bring our The effect was electric; the young half-conchildred to my bed-side, and do you sit by me; I scious child burst into tears--the mother buried would have you all see that I trusted in Christ to her face in the bed clothes-the younger girl ran the last."
to her mattrass on the floor, and flung herself The woman turned away her head; the tears upon it in hysteric grief. I found my own fortirolled rapidly over her cheeks, and she for a mo- rude failing, and the doctrr, unable to control his meni hid her face in her handkerchief. Then she emotions, ran out of the room. bent over the mattrass on which her children lay, I followed bastily, and called him back. “What and the little boy smiled, and asked “What is it, can you do for him ?” said I. mother?"
"Nothing! he is dying gradually, and is beyond The poor woman now uttered a sob, and the the reach of medicine. I would help him if I girl awoke. She then motioned her to approach could, but he is your patient now, not mine, and with the infant.
such scenes I cannot stand.” The girl advanced. The doctor sat himself in The words had scarcely passed his lips, when her vacant chair. The prisoner watched me as I a clap of thunder, the loudest I ever heard in this opened a small pocket prayer book; moved 10-couniry, burst over the prison, and went roaring wards the cupboard for the fragment of bread round the walls with the strange strong echoes upon its shell, poured into a glass some wine which they return to all loud sounds. A shriek which had been sent to him medicinally, and followed, and we both ran back into the room. consecrated both in the customary solemn man-Wild fulfilment of a fearful destiny ! Strange
closing of a sad career! The prisoner was in During this time the mother had taken the in- loud, strong, screaming hysterics. The wife fant from her daughter's hands, and laid it by the snatched the children from the bed, and laid them side of its father. She had placed the young boy upon the ground, and they all huddled together kneeling at the foot of the bed, (on it,) and the upon their mattrass, in silent, but deep terror. child, as all children are taught, closed together “Oh, dear! Oh, mercy! It's all me,” cried the the palms of his little bands, and held them up woman despairingly, as she hurried to the water towards heaven. The wise herself knelt down jug, for the usual remedy for hysterics. by the bed, with one daughter on either side of The doctor held her back-“Water will not du her, and the doctor raised his hat from his head, now," said he, "you must let nature take its and held it over his face. With a tone as solemn course. as I could command, I commenced the sacred “Oh, God! oh, God! I fear I have killed my duly which I had to perform, with a short, but husband. Oh, my poor William!” She turned earnest exhortation to the dying man. I then back to the couch.
VOL. XXVII. NOVEMBER, 1835.-66