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considerable time ; for, when I re was inexpressibly awful; and when covered, it was long before I could the hand ihat smote the instrunient understand my situation, or recall in so unaccustomed a scene wanderanything that had happened to my ed by habit into a regular tune, my memory. Ai lengih, piece by piece, sensations were exaggerated into a the truth came before me, and I species of horror which I can liken could feel the cold sweat iriching only to that which might be supposdown my brow. The voice I had ed io visit a religious mind on witheard existed probably only in ima. nessing some shocking and blasphegivation, for it was now silent. A mous impietv. luw deep sound was humming in my It may seem a species of insanity ears, which I could at length distin. to mention it; but when the roll of guish to be the simultaneous groans the drum, and the sound of human of human beings, separated froni me voices had ceased, and after I had either by distance or some thick and been left for a considerable time, as deadening barrier. My ear endeav- it were, to myself, even in these ciroured in vain to divide it into its cumstances of terror, and loneliness, component parts, and to recognize and mystery, I possessed a species the voices of those I knew ; and of knowledge, which the denizens of there was something more horrible the surface would have deemed in this vague inysterious monotony equally useless and unattainable 10 than if it had been distinctly fraught those underground:-1 knew the with the dying accents of the one I hour of the night. Like the idiot loved best on earth. I felt as if my who mimicked, at the proper interlui must be billerer than that of the vals, the audible measurement of rest. I was alone-I was cut off time, afier the clock was removed, even from communion of suffering: which had taught hin the practice, while they, I imagined, were togeth. my inclination for drinking, which er, and in the sound of one another's had been converted by habit into an voices, and the touch, even, of ono almost unconquerable passion, reanother's clothes, received some re turned at the accustomed time of its lief from the idea of total abandon- gratification. In spite of surroundment, of agony unimagined and un- ing circumstances, I fancied myself shared.
in the midst of my dissolute comMy senses, I believe, began to panions, in the scene of our coarse totter; for I complained aloud of my and vulgar revels; 1 drank, but withlovely fate : I knew that I was be out being filled; I became drunken having absurdly, but I could not help with imagination ; and the close and it; I beat the iron walls of my dun. poisonous atmosphere, which before geon with my clenched hands till had been burthened with my groans, they were wet with blood, and now rung with songs, and laughter, shrieked aloud with a voice render- and imprecations. This state of ed terrific by the fury of despair. unnatural excitement passed away, The voices of the rest appeared to but the reaction which took place be stariled into silence at the sound exhibited all the symptoms that at-or perhaps it fell upon their ears tend the awakening of ihe young and like a cry of comfort and hope, an inexperienced druokard. With headanswer to their groans from the sur- ach, sickness, faintness, fear, forebodface of the earld. After a pause I ing, repentance:-) awoke, in “ an heard another dull, heavy sound, horror of great darkness.” like that produced by a muffled Then the ideas, wholesome in drum; it was, in reality, a drum, and themselves, but which in such cir. probably beat by one of the band, cumstances are felt like daggers, as a more powerful means of awak- crowded round my burthened and ening atteution than his own voice. wearied heart. My father-my faThe sound, in such circumstances, mily---my arrogancemy ingratitude
-my dishonesty-my misspent time endure it; but thirst is truly a chasmy forgotten duties--my blas- tisement “ of scorpions." pliemed and unregarded God! I bue I have not described my feelings ; ried my face in my hands, but I I have simply catalogued, and in a could not hide them from my soul. very incomplete manner, their proxiSlowly and sternly they passed be- mate causes. I sunk by degrees infore me; but the last idea swallow- to a sort of stupor, from which I was ed up its precursors; and with a awakened by the light of heaven start and a shudder, I found myself streaming full in my face, through trembling on the verge of eternity- an aperture nade in the ruios by my on the very steps of the judgment deliverers. The apparent apathy, seat, entering into the presence of or, as some term it, philosophy, the awful and eternal Judge. which I displayed, has been attributIt will be esteemed an example of ed to wrong causes.
The truth is, the bathos when I mention next my that although at first my body was hunger and thirst, and say that these awoke, my mind was almost wholly passions of the perishing body almost insensible; it recovered its conneutralized the effect of the above sciousness by very slow degrees, and sentiments of my immortał soul. it was not until I was left alone at Hunger, indeed, may be borne, at night, that I became completely least to the extent it was my lot to sensible of my deliverance.*
LET WELL ALONE.
WORDSWORTH, AND SIR WALTER novel for want of knowing thoroughSCOTT'S ROB ROY.
ly my poem, I mean to read my
He accordingly WH HEN“Rob Roy” first appeared, verses to you.”
a party was made at Mr. John beganWilson's house at Elleray, to read it.
“ A famous man was Robin Hood,” &o. Mr. Wordsworth was invited, among and went on to the conclusion, not others, to the party; and, as a spe- even omitting a comma, and ihen cial inducement to go, he was in- putting the vivacious tome into his formed that the illustrious author had pocket again, he said, “ Ladies and chosen the motto for his novel from gentlemen, I leave you to your 00bis name-sake poem,
“ Rob Roy." vel," and walked home! The verbose and venerable Laker accordingly went; and when the volumes were laid on the table, he ea An Irishman being on a long jourgerly turned to the title-page, where ney in a part of the country where he read
Mr. M'Adam's useful talents had ne" For why? because the good old rule
ver been exercised, at length came Sufficeth them, the simple plan
to a mile of excellent road. Over That they should take who have the power, this he kept trotting his horse backAnd they should keep who can.'
wards and forwards, till some specta“ Ladies and gentlemen,' quoth the tors, a little surprised at this singular Author of the Excursion' and other mode of travelling, inquired the reauniversally-read poems, " you see son of it. “Indeed," said he, “and this motto : it is from a poem of I like to let well alone, and from mine,-the volume containing which what I have seen of the road, I I have brought in my pocket; and doubt whether I will find a better bit lest you should not understand the of ground all the way."
* This imprudent and most unhappy young man, is now pronounced to be out of danger. He has been removed to the house of a friend of his father, an eminent solicitor in Gray's Inn; but even while in the hospital, he was visited by many persons of the highest respectability.
THE HE flood-gates of accusation and were ordinary children-no geniusinformation once set open,
in es ;" for it was well known how Annumerable tongues that had never drew Cleaves had prided himself on stirred to give timely warning to a his child's superior abilities—and the person so inaccessible and unpopu- self-sufficient man, who had so long
was Andrew Cleaves, were held himself pre-eminent in wisdom, voluble in pouring in upon him qualified to rebuke and instruct othcharge upon charge against the son ors, now listened with a subdued spiwho had been so lately, not less the rit to the torrent of unasked and imdarling than the pride of the old pertinent advice, which sounded man's heart. And many a one with sweet and pleasant, to the ears of the whom he had had weekly dealings, intrusive utterers, if it fell harshly who had refrained from speaking the and unprofitably on those of the unword in time, which might have save happy hearer. ed a fellow creature from destruction, On the Sabbath morning immedibecause their own pride was offend- ately succeeding that Saturday, in ed by the reserve of the austere old the course of which Andrew Cleaves man-now sought him even in his had been subjected to this spiritual lonely dwelling, to multiply upon martyrdom, he went twice as usual him humiliating proofs of his mis- to his parish church; but during difortune, and professions of sympathy vine service, his eyes were never and compassion, that would have lifted even during serinon time, so been gall and worniwood to his much as to the face of the minister, proud spirit, if the overwhelming and his deep sonorous voice mingled conviction of his son's deceptive and not that day with those of the village profligate conduct had not already choristers ; and in going and return. humbled it to the dust. He heard ing, he shunned all passing salutaall patiently, and in silence-at- tion, and once within his own threshtempted no vindication of himself, old, the cottage door was closed on when the comforters obliqnely re- intruders, (for presuming on his preflected on his blind credulity by ob- sent circumstances such were serving, that they “ had long seen wanting to present themselves,) and how matters were going on ;" that 10 human eye again beheld him, till they.“ had suspected such and such that of his undutiful child, drawn to things from the first ;" that they his chamber window at the still inid“had always looked sharp after their night hour, looked upon the distress own boys, thank God, but then they he had occasioned. Not in vain had
* Concluded from page 102. 16 ATHENEUM, vol. 9, 2d series,
been the long and uninterrupted com- remonstrance, and mild conciliation; muning of Andrew Cleaves with his to inquire into and cancel whatever own heart and with his God. Sweet pecuniary embarrassments he had into him were the uses of adversi y, curred; and, having done so, to say, for they had not to struggle with a “My son, give me thine heart I" heart of unbelief, neither with one and then-for who could doubt the seared by vicious courses, nor debas. effect of such an appeal ?—to coned by sensual indulgence. The spi- sult the lad's own wishes with regard ritual foundation was sound, though to a profession, as far as might be human pride, inducing moral blind- compatible with maturer reason and ness, had raised on it a dangerous parental duty. So resolved, and so superstructure. But when the hour projected Andrew Cleaves during the canje, and the axe (in mercy) was sleepless watches of that Sabbath struck to the root of the evil, and the night; but when morning came he haughty spirit bowed down in self- found himself unable to act on his abasement; then was the film with determination so immediately as he drawn from his mental vision, and had intended. The conflict of the Andrew Cleaves really looked into spirit had bowed down the strong himself, and detected his besetting mao. He arose feeble and indispossins in all their oaked deformity. ed, and altogether unequal to the Yes,—at last he detected his pride, task he had assigned himself. Therehis worldliness, his worship of the fore, as the delay of four-and-twenty creature, encroaching ôn that due to hours could not be material, he dethe Creator. He felt and confessed termined to pass that interval in dehis own utter insufficiency, and lay- liberately re-considering his new ing down at the foot of the cross the projects, and in acquiring the comburden of his frailties aud sorrows, posure of mind, which would be so he sought counsel and consolation at requisite in the approaching interthe only source, which is never re- view with Josiah. Early on the sorted to in vain. As he proceeded morrow, however, with recruited in the work of self-examination, and strength, and matured purpose, he self-arraignment, his heart relented hastily despatched the morning's towards his offending child. Had he meal, and was preparing to depart yielded something of his own inflexi- for C. when the sound of apble determination to the boy's known proaching footsteps, and the swingdisinclination for the line of life ing to of the garden gate, made him marked out for him, the parental con- pause for a moment with his hand on cession might have established in the latch; and almost before he reality, that gratefully filial confi- could lift it, the door was dashed dence, the semblance of which had rudely open, and three men presentbeen*so artfully assumed ; and the ed themselves, one of whom station, father's heart was wrung with its bit- ed himself just without the ihreshold, terest pang, when he called to mind while the two others stepping forthe sanctified hypocrisy, which had ward threw down a warrant on the so long imposed upon him, and re- table, abruptly declaring, that, by iis Hected that his own mistaken system authority, they were empowered to and erroneous measures, his own make search for, and arrest, the body boasted example of superior sanctity, of Josiah Cleaves. Their abrupt might have been the means of en- notice fell like a thunder-clap on the grafting it on his son's character. ear of the unfortunate old man; and The fruit of that night's vigil was a yet, for a moment, he comprehended determination on the part of Andrew, not its full and fatal sense, but stood to depart the next morning for C as if spell-bound, upright, immovaand seek out his erring child---not ble, every muscle of his strong feawith frowns and upbraidings, but the tures stiff as in the rigidity of death, more effective arguments of tender and his eyes fixed with a stony and
vacant stare on the countenance of villainy, his situation of trust in the unfeeling speaker. And yet the Messrs. -s' firm, and the adman was but outwardly hardened by vantage he had taken of it in the his hateful occupation. His heart perpetration of the robbery, deservwas not insensible to the speechless edly marked him out as the principal horror of that harrowing gaze. His offender, after whom the myrmidons own eyes fell beneath it, and in soft- of justice were hottest in pursuit. ened tones of almost compassionate The miserable parent listened in si., gentleness, he proceeded to explain, lence to the officer's brief and not agthat in the execution of his duty, he gravated communication. He heard must be permitted to make strict all in silence, with a steady brow, search over the cottage, and its adja- and a compressed lip, but with looks cent premises, in some part of which rooted to the ground, and when all it was naturally suspected the offend- was told, bowing down his head, he er might have taken refuge, with the waved his hand with dignified subhope of remaining concealed till the mission, and calmly articulating, “ It first heat of pursuit was over. As is enough, do your duty,” seated he spoke, Andrew Cleaves gradually himself in his old elbow-chair, from recovered from the first effects of whence he stirred not, and neither by that tremendous shock. His fea- word, look, or gesture, gave further tures relaxed from their unnatural token of concern in what was going rigidity, and by a mighty effort, sub- forward, while the ineffectual search duing the convulsive trenior which was proceeding. When it was over, succeeded for a moment, he regained and the officers (after a few well-meant almost his accustomed aspect of but unheeded words of attempted stern composure, and in a low, but comfort) left him alone with his misesteady voice, calmly demanded for ry, he was heard to arise and close what infraction of the laws his son the cottage door, making it fast withhad become amenable to justice. in with bar and bolt; and from that The appalling truth was soon com- hour, no mortal being beheld Andrew municated. In the course of the Cleaves, till, on the third day from past night, the counting house of that on which his great sorrow had Messrs. had been entered by fallen upon him, he was seen slowly means of skeleton keys-access to walking up the High Street of the cash drawer, the strong box, and C-, with an aspect as composed other depositories of valuables, had as usual, though its characteristic been obtained by similar instruments, sternness was softened to a milder and considerable property, in notes, seriousness, as if the correcting hand gold, and plate, abstracted by the of God had affixed that changed exburglars, who had escaped with their pression, and his tall athletic form, booty, and as yet no traces of their hitherto upright as the cedar, bent route had been discovered. Then earthward with visible feebleness, as came the dreadful climax, and the though, since he trode that paveofficer's voice was less firm as he ment last, ten added years had bowspoke it, though every softened ac, ed him nearer to the grave. His cent fell like an ice-ball on the fa- calamity was generally known, and ther's heart-His son-his only child as generally commiserated; for even -his own Josiah, had been the plan- those whose contracted hearts, and ner-the chief perpetrator of the mean tempers, had taken unchristian deed. A chain of circumstances delight in mortifying the pharisaical already elicited-evidence irrefraga- and parental pride of a man so arroble-left no shadow of uncertainty as gant in his prosperity, now that the to his guilt, and the measure of it ; hand of the Lord lay heavily on him, and though he was known to have were affected by the sacredness of a had acconiplices, perhaps to have sorrow, for which there was no balm been the tool of more experienced in human sympathy, and were awed