Графични страници
PDF файл

feelings when I listened to this me- have believed that it was Adelaide lancholy recital. Adelaide was un- who stood before me.

She was very happy! and I could offer no conso. thin-alarmingly so. I looked for lation; but I could see her, and my the sunny smile which I rememberfriendship might yet be of service to ed, but it was gone; the rose had her. This resolution I resolved im- fled from her cheeks- they were mediately to execute ; and a few very pale, but her hair was still soft trifling matters, relative to the for- and beautiful, and her voice as sweet tune which my uncle had left her, and gentle as ever. Adelaide saw in formed a sufficient excuse for my so a moment the cause of my emotion. liciting an interview.

“Ah, Mr. Morton!” she said, with It was the season of spring when a melancholy smile, " I see you have I arrived at Lee Priory, a small es- forgotten the years that have passed tate of the Baronet's in the county since we met, and you find me sadly of Dorset, and the only one, I be- changed.” My heart was too full to lieve, which his propensity for gam- speak. “I am far from well at preing had left him. Adelaide had re- sent," she continued; “ my spirits, sided there for the last year. The too, have left me sadly of late ; but situation of the Priory was in truth I have a little antidote here, which beautiful in the extreme: it stood on seldom fails to restore me in my a gentle eminence, whence the eye melancholy moods;" and she drew looked out on fertile meads, rich in forth her little girl and presented her wood and water; and the extreme to me.

She was

a lovely child, verge of the prospect was lost in the the very image of Adelaide herself, blue waves of the distant ocean. when she first caine under my Yet there was something about the mother's protection, save that there Priory itself which seemed to speak was a shade of thoughtfulness over of desolation, as I passed through its her sweet face, which her mother, at beautiful but neglected gardens, and her age, had not. I placed her on I sighed to think how much it was in my knee, and, encouraged by my unison with the heart of its mistress. caresses, she began prattling to ne I was informed by the servant that with all that bewitching arilessness Lady Mantravers was at home, and which renders childhood so attractive, I was shewn into the library, where “ And how is dear Catherine ?" I had time to collect my scattered said Adelaide. I told her that she thoughts, and to preserve my forti was well, and regretted that they did tude, which seemed on the point of not meet more frequently. “ Alas!" deserting me, for the approaching she continued, “Catherine cannot interview.

regret our separation more than I do. A beautiful whole-length portrait Circumstances, however, forbid our of Adelaide hung over the fire-place, meeting ; but I trust that your sister so like, so very like her when I last still thinks of me with affection." I saw her, that, as I gazed upon it, I endeavoured to assure her that Caalmost believed the years that had therine's regard for her was as lively passed an illusion.-I was awakened and undiminished as ever. from my reverie by a beautiful little will perhaps smile," replied Adegirl running into the room, apparent- laide; “but I have a fancy that my ly about five years old, with a little time in this world will be short, and basket of flowers in her hand. I the wish nearest my heart is, that had scarcely time, however, to look your estimable mother and dear Caat her ere I heard Adelaide's voice; therine would consent to take charge and she advanced to meet and wel- of my little treasure;'_and she come nie as an old friend. I looked pointed to her infant daughter. I at her, but, gracious heavens! what expressed my hopes that she would a change was there! Had it not yet live many years, and regain her been for her voice, I could scarcely former strength and spirits. " My

“ You

[ocr errors]


physicians tell me that I shall," she pensity for play lured him from his said, " but I know better—the seeds home; he seemed to exist only in a of decay are too deeply sown to be crowd. I was neglected and forgoteradicated; nor do I wish to live, ten, and he threw from him the love save for Adelaide. Life has no which I bore to him then.— Then, charms for me. But, enough of this. did I say ?" cried Adelaide, as she Will

you take charge of a packet for hid her face in her hands, and burst your sister, wherein I have fully into tears. “ Alas! alas ! my affecexpressed my earnest wishes respect. tion knows no decay-it will not ing my child ?" I readily promised fade until death. Hear me," contito do so, and assured her that I felt nued Adelaide ;

66 watch over my certain of their being complied with child, I charge you, and save her I, however, hinted that Sir James from her mother's fate. Let her not might not accede. “ Sir James,” give her heart and affections to one she said, “has seriously promised who will break her gentle spirit by never to interfere with any arrange- bis unkindness, and then leave her ment of mine respecting Adelaide; to sorrow and scorn. “I will and I think he would respect the shield her from every evil, Adelaide, dying request of his wife." “ Then that human foresight can guard all shall be as you wish,” I exclaim- against ; but, tell me,” I said,

" and for myself, I will cherish “ wherein can I serve you? Any your little Adelaide with a father's thing that the most sincere friendkindness. She shall be the object ship can ." "No! No!” said she, of my solicitude, and the heiress of hastily; " for myself I have nothing my fortune !” “God bless you, Ho- to ask. Think of me as of one race !” said Adelaide ; and her whose sand of life is nearly run out, whole countenance lighted up for a and whose cares and sorrows will moment with unusual brilliancy. soon be hushed in the tranquillity of “I believe, and accept your kind the tomb. Farewell, Horace," she offer. Oh, you know not the weight said, as she extended her band to me. of anguish from which you have " My blessing and my prayers shall relieved me.

follow you, who have promised to She bent her head, and her eyes be the faithful guardian of my child.” were filled with tears, which little 16. God for ever shield you, AdeAdelaide observing, she stole gently laide," I cried, as I tenderly kissed on the sofa behind her mother, and, her hand ; and, disengaging myself throwing her arms round her neck, from the grasp of her little girl, I sought to soothe her by her infantile quitted the apartment.

I was visibly affected, and It was my last interview with Ade. I spoke of a change of climate, laide. I saw the being whom I had which might, I thought, have a so fondly loved no more! When the beneficial effect upon Adelaide's cold winds of autumu swept the health. She shook her head. "No! leaves from the trees, Adelaide was No!” said she, “no change of cli- at rest in the grave; her gentle spimate will benefit me: it is too late: rit had passed away from this scene my illness is here-bere ;” and she of sin and suffering. I have faithlaid her hand on her heart: “this is fully fulfilled my promise respecting broken— withered - miserable.” She her child. Ten years have now stopped for a moment, and I dared passed away since she came under not trust myself to reply. “ This my roof; and her affectionate attenmay be our last interview, Horace,” tions and engaging cheerfulness enshe continued; "why, then, O why, liven my declining years, and soothe should I seek to hide from you, the the many melancholy thoughts which, friend of my youth, that my mar even now, often press on my spirits, riage with Sir James has been pro- when I think of her mother-of ductive of misery! An unhappy pro- Adelaide, my first and only love,




TITCHCRAFT ! does there ex or the visitation of " black spirits and

ist a believer in witchcraft in white, blue spirits and gray, with all 1828 ? Doubtless, exclaims the read their trumpery.". A witch, accorder. Yes, I maintain that though the ing to old descriptions, was generally “ march of mind” is making sad io- blessed with a “wrinkled face, a furroads on the “ wisdom of our ances- rowed brow, a hairy lip, a gobber tors," yet several instances within tooth, a squiot eve, a squeaking voice, the last three years will bear out ny a scolding tongue, a ragged coat on assumption, that a belief in witch- her back, a scull-cap on her head, a craft still prevails amongst the pea- spindle in her hand, and a dog or cat santry of our country to a considera- by her side ;” and Lord Coke pithily ble extent. I allude to those cases describes a “ witch to be a person where the offenders were brought to that hath conference with the devil, the bar of public justice. The swim- to consult with him or to do some ming case in Suffolk in 1825 must be act.” Io former times the most emifresh in the minds of my readers. Dent men and pbilosophers (Sir ThoLeaving these “ modern instances," mas Browne for instance) were pot which form no part of the object of the proof against the prevailing opinions. present paper, I shall proceed brief- A coplemporary writer observes, that ly to trace the origin of witchcraft, one would imagine that the establishwith such anecdotes as imay be re- ment of Protestantism would have quired to season the subject for the conduced to the abolition of this lageneral reader.

meutable and pernicious credulity. The progress of intellect in the But the Reformation did not arrive human race towards perfection, dur- with great rapidity at its full extent, ing the last century, has certainly and the belief in witchcraft long conbeen much more rapid than could tinued to 6 overspread the land.” have been expected. The “simpli- Indeed it has been proved by Hutchcity of old times” consisted in a great inson, in his Essay on Witcheraft, measure of a sort of gloomy dogma- that the change of religion at first tism and obtuseness of intellect, the rather augmented than diminished fetters of which happily have lost the evil, A degree of importance, their effect on mankind. 66 That hardly credible in these times, was maidens pined away, wasting inward- attached to it; and in the sixteenth ly as their waxen images consumed century the unbelievers were before a fire-that curu was lodged counted “ Sadducees, Atheists, and and cattle lamed--that whirlwinds Infidels.” One of the most eminent uptore in diabolic revelry the oaks divines of his day, a strenuous advoof the forest or that spits and ket- cate of the belief in witchcraft, chatles only danced a fearful, innocent racterises them thus in the most forvagary about some rustic's kitchen, cible language. O tempora ! when no wind was stirring,” remarks It is not surprising, therefore, that a popular writer, “ were all equally the supposed dabblers in the infernal probable where no law of agency art were hunted out and exposed to was understood.” In short, the age the most dreadful cruelty and oppresof superstition has passed away-he sion, not only from those who imalight of philosophy, so discordant to gined they had suffered under their the lover of witchcraft or a ghost charms, but from the very laws of story, has burst in and “scattered the realm also. The first trial of them to the winds,” and we are no any note took place in 1593. Three longer troubled and tormented with persons, old Samuel and his wife and the flight of wizards on broomsticks, daughter Agues, were condemned at


[ocr errors]

The agency

into o


Huntingdon, before Mr. Justice Fen- rendered them objects of attention, per, for bewitching a Mr. Throg- were executed for the crimes of morton's family, &c.

witchcraft and sorcery. The act alA few years after an advocate for luded to was rigorously enforced this belief appeared from no less a during this period, and the above quarter than the throne itself. King calculation is probably very much James I. in his Demonologie, com- under the mark, and does not include pletely superseded Reginald Scot's the numbers that were tried on sus

Discoverie of Witchcraft, a work picion, but acquitted for want of sofwhich so completely unmasked the ficient proof of the charges alleged whole machinery, and was a store. against them. The most trivial and house of facts on the subject. The frivolous circumstances were suffiinfection, commenced at the throne, cient to commence a prosecution soon reached the parliament, and (as against the unfortunate objects of it has been observed, the greatest suspicion, and their trials were conpart of mankind have no other rea- ducted in the most summary manner. son for their opinions than that they In that respect there is a striking siare in fashion) a statute was passed milarity between this epoch and the in the first year of king James, hav- reign of terror in France. jog for its object, as expressed in the In 1634 seventeen Pendle-forest preamble, “ihe more effectual pun- witches were condemned in Lancaishment of those detestable slaves of shire, by the infamous contrivances the devil, witches, sorcerers, enchant- of a boy only eleven years of age ers, and conjurors." The statute is and his father. Amongst other worded with great care, and contains charges equally wonderful and miramany clauses which our limits forbid culous, this little villain deposed that inserting, but which include every a greyhound was transformed by their description of the 6 crime.”

Dickenson's wife,” punishment was enacted to be the &c. These poor creatures, however, pillory for the first offence, (even obtained a reprieve, and were sent though its object were not effected,) to London, where they were first and death for the second. “ Thus was viewed and examined by his majesthe detestable doctrine established ty's physicians and surgeons, and both by law and fashion; and it became then by " his majesty himself and the not only unpolite, but criminal to council.The result was that the doubt it; and as prodigies are always boy's contrivances were exposed and seen in proportion as they are ex- properly punished. In 1664, Alice pected, witches were every day dis- Hudson, who was burnt at York, said covered, and multiplied so fast in she received inoney from the devil, some places, that Bishop Hall men ten shillings at a time. tions a village in Lancashire where In the sanie year the most singular their number was greater than that trial which has been recorded took of the houses.” There was dreadful place before Chief Justice Hale at havoc in that county afier this law Bury-St.-Edmunds. Notwithstanding had passed. Lancashire has always the acknowledged piety and learning been remarkable for the number of of this eminent character, he was as its witches,

credulous, and followed as nearly as Though the information we have possible in the footsteps of the most to go upon cannot of course be con- unrelenting of his precursors. I residered as very accurate, yet it has gret I cannot find room for the details been ascertained that between the of this remarkable trial, which ended commencement of the statute in ques. in the conviction and execution of tion (1602) and the year 1701, in the Amy Dony and Rose Callender. space of one century, three thousand There were thirteen

indictments one hundred and ninety-two persons, against the prisoners, which all con whose age, poverty, or infirmities sisted of charges of the most frivolous

nature ; but Sir T. Browne, of Nor. himself to sleep." Several erudite wich, decided the matter on being scholars have advocated the possibiasked for his opinion. Lord Hale lity of raising him; and Defoe, who would not sum up, but left the case has paid more attention to the “ deto the jury, praying " that the great vil's circumstances and proceedings God of heaven would direct their with mankind” than any other indihearts in this weighty matter." vidual, tries to prove, that “although

Much has been said and written on we can hardly suppose that the masthe possibility of raising his Satanic ter-devil comes himself at the summajesty. However, the potentate is mons of every ugly old woman,” yet said sometimes to have favoured us there are several “emissaries, aidsmortals with a visit unasked. It is re- de-camp, or devil's angels, who come lated that Mr. White, of Dorchester, and converse personally with witchthe assessor to the Westminster As- es, and are ready for their support sembly, was one night visited by the and assistance on all occasions of arch-fiend himself, who met with a business.” The story of St. Dunreception that must have astonished stan conversing with and taking the him in no sligh: degree. “ The de- devil by the nose with a pair of redvil, in a light night, stood by his bed- hot pincers, is well known in the anside. The assessor looked awhile nals of fame. whether he would say or do any I have already exceeded my limits, thing; and then said, "If thou hast and must conclude for the present. noihing to do, I have,' and so turned




would be tormented by sickness and THI THE Dog-rib Indians, who are de- death-penalties which have attach

rived from the same stock with ed to his descendants to the present the Chipewyans, say that, according day. Chapewee biniself lived so long to the traditions of their fathers, the that his throat was word out, and he first man was named Chapewee. He could no longer enjoy life; but he found the world well stocked with was unable to die, until, at his own food, and he created children, to requesi, one of his people drove a whom he gave two kinds of fruit, the beaver-lvoth into his head. black and the white, but forbade them to eat the black. Having thus issued his commands for the guidance Our ancestors wore garments formof his family, he took leave of them ed of materials much better calculafor a time, and made a long excur- ted to exclude the effects of damp sion for the purpose of conducting and cold than we do in modern times. the sun to the world. During this, The attire of females in particular his first absence, his children were consisted principally of woollens, obedient, and ate only the white worsted stuffs, and quilted and brocafruit, but they consumed it all; the ded silks,-a difference totally oppoconsequence was, that when he a se- sed to the light and thin draperies of cond lime absented himself to bring our own fashions.

Nor was the the moon, and they longed for fruit, clothing of the male part of the comthey forgot the orders of their father, munity of former years, less adapted and ate of the black, which was the for protection from the vicissitudes only kind remaining. Ile was much of the weather.

On this subject, displeased on his return, and told Dr. Southey, in his excellent work them that in future the earih would on Consumption, remarks, that in produce bad fruits, and that they many parts of Scotland, where con

« ПредишнаНапред »