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and inhuman jests with which I had approached his dismal resting. place,-all rose with torture into
mind. “See!-see, Alphonse !-0, see what an absorbing whirlpool is this vice : but once allow yourself to sport upon the stream, who can say but that you, like I, may be sucked imperceptibly into its very vortex, and be for ever ingulphed-ay, and many innocent beings with you, as with me—in unfathomable grief. Here had I been doing what a thousand others had done before me—what you yourself have done this very night, Alphonse,—indulging in the social game,' as it is called ; and look=0, look to what a woeful and appalling end it led. There sat an aged mother, writhing with affliction, robbed of her darling son, stripped of her peace, plundered of the prop that formed at once the pride and pillar of her tottering age. There stood a poor sick sister, the bitter pangs of illness raging in her breast embittered with the still bitterer pangs of grief; the brother whose sympathy was wont to lull her deepest sufferings, whose magic love made even her poor life most precious in her eyes, snatched--irredeemably snatched from her, and she left to linger in a lonely wilderness of life. And there,—there before my eyes, in that disgusting den of death, upon his wretched marble bed, his hands clenched, as if in vengeance on my head, and grinning most ghastly and most savage, lay all that remained of a loving son, a doting brother, the support and solace of his family, and -wretch that I was—MY—MY VICTIM!
“ I rushed madly from out the fell abode. The poor old woman still sat upon the step. She seized me by the arm as I came out, and conned most eagerly my looks. The wretched tidings were too plainly written in my pale face for her to fail to read them.
“Ah! she exclaimed, 'I see it is as I suspected. Well-well!' she added, raising her eyes to heaven. "Hard and inscrutable though it be, God's will be done!'
“At length I enticed the sad old creature to her home. I will not elaborate this doleful history by describing to you, Alphonse, the devastating flood of woe that overwhelmed the poor youth's feeble sister when she first heard the fatal news. For such a death to such a brother the hardest heart might feel. Judge, then, how such a sister as the tender-hearted Blanche felt; and judge with what compunctious smartings did each of the maiden's tears sting my heart. The poor old mother saw my anguish, and thanked me for my kind commiseration,'—for little did she deem mine was the hand that desolated all her home. I strove, as well as I was able at that moment, to allay the wretched couple's grief. I told them I was glad I had it in my power to supply, in one respect at least, the place of their Eugene, and I assured them it should be owing to no want of zeal in me if Time did not enable me to do so in all other regards towards them. Again they thanked me for my sympathy, ' and said they feared they must on one account encroach upon my kindness. I begged them to rely on my desire to serve them.
“The favour, then,' replied the aged mother, we would ask of le bon monsieur,' is this. The only being in this crowded city whom we poor ‘paysannes, could call our friend now, as you know, lies in the Morgue ; and I am sure that, for the power Blanche or I could have to rescue his dear corpse from that horrid place, there
must he remain. But, maybe you, in your goodness, sir, will not refuse to save our poor Eugene from such a fate.'
“As you may readily imagine, it required no slight self-denial on my part to promise to revisit that abominable den of death, still I could not find it in my heart to say the poor old creature nay,--s0 I consented.
“ It was not long afterwards before I stood once more upon the threshold of the fatal building. In order to reach the keeper's house it was necessary for me to pass along the hall where lay the ghastly relics of my poor young victim. I need not explain to you the haste with which I hurried through the dismal place. On being conducted to the keeper, I described to him the body which I told him I had come to claim. He inquired of me the young
man's Christian name.
“Eugene,' I replied ; 'but, pray, Monsieur,' I added, “allow me to ask what should make you put the question ?'
“A letter, sir,' he returned,“ was found upon the young man, signed with his nom de Baptême, and it was but to ascertain the justice of your claim that prompted me to make the inquiry.'
“I soon satisfied the Governor's doubts upon that head, and having arranged that the body was to await my disposal, I hurried from the place with the poor youth's farewell letter in my hand.
“ You can easily conceive how much I longed for some retired spot wherein to read the melancholy document. At length I reached the Tuileries. I plunged into the middle of the groves, and tearing open the billet, read what while memory lingers in this brain can never be erased from out my mind. It ran as follows:
** Farewell—a long farewell to you, beloved mother! and, oh! farewell-a long farewell to you, my darling Blanche! I write to you from the borders of eternity. Oh! my dear-dear Blanche! and, oh! my still dearer mother! I have been happy with youhave I not ?-in want. I could have been happy with you—that I could, proud as I am,-in beggary. But, ah! I cannot bear to look upon you in disgrace.
“I know you will be at a loss to divine how I, who ever loathed vice from the very depths of my heart, could to-night have got infected by the corruption : how I, who never loved the filthy dross of this world but for the little comforts it bestowed on you could ever have fallen a prey to avarice. I will tell you.
“You know young Adolphe Sébron, my fellow clerk, and how I used to wonder how he-who I was well aware received but the same small salary as myself,-contrived to live in all the luxury he did. Well, the other day I ventured to hint as much to him. He said he would be candid with me, and confess it was by play ; and taking from his desk a heavy bag of money, told me they were his winnings of the previous night. There must have been three thousand francs at least. The sight sunk deep into my heart. I thought how happy and how comfortable you could be were I to meet with a similar turn of luck.
"The next day I was to receive my quarter's salary. No sooner was the money in my hands than I resolved to go that
very night, and offer up the hard-got little sum at Fortune's shrine.
“ How can I describe to you, dear mother, the blaze of light, of
beauty, and of riches, that there flashed upon my eyes ? Suffice it. There was gold, glittering, fascinating gold-gold, the ignis fatuus of this benighted world, gold, the apple of man's eye, -lying in ravishing profusion about the place; nor were there wanting-to consummate the wily scheme—the bright-eyed and insinuating daughters of Eve, to coax man on as of old to taste the damning fruit.
“What wonder, then, that I, who had never seen, had never dreamt of anything half as gorgeous, should have been gulled by the glowing baits around me, or that, bewildered with the dazzling sight, I should have allowed myself to be inveigled into play.
" "I need not tell you that at the beginning I was most timid and most cautious at the game. However, I won the first few stakes, and grew more venturesome, played higher and higher on each fresh coup, while each new game served only to increase my already bulky gains. But the tables at length were turned, and Misfortune, with its attendant, Desperation, pressed hard upon me. I lost--and lost—and lost—and lost again-until at last I started from my chair, deprived of the only means we had to eke existence out the next three months-a very beggar.
• Starvation I could have suffered by myself without a groan; but to see you in your old age, my dearest mother, and you in your youth, my poor, loved Blanche, writhing with the pangs of excruciating want,—to perceive you dragged slowly from me by the iron hand of hunger to the tomb, would have been maddeningwould have been intolerable.
“Racked by such thoughts I stopped unwittingly before a table where sat two of Chance's sternest fanatics worshipping their senseless idol. They had staked five hundred francs upon the game. I watched their play to the end, and when I saw the winner grasp his heavy gains, I thought it wanted but one such stroke of luck to retrieve my lost fortune. The idea was too strong for my weak soul to wrestle with, and–O mother! mother!—I hardly dare to tell you what it pushed me on to do. But I was mad-desperately mad !-overwhelmed with ruin, and, like one drowning, ready to catch at any straw cast before me.
“I had two thousand francs of my master's in my pocket,--and can you believe it—oh, no! no! you never can believe that 1,-1 whom you, from my very cradle, toiled to teach that honesty could make the poor man the rich man's peer, could so abuse your care as to appropriate those two thousand francs to my own accursed purposes. But I was crazed with desperation,-blinded with the glare of ruin, and knew not what I did ; and so, like an idiot, like a villain, with my master's money in my hand, I went, and gamed
“I cast five hundred of the sum upon the table. We played. I lost. A second five hundred strewed the board. Again we played. Again I lost.
A third five hundred backed the ensuing game. Once more we played. Once more I lost. The fourth, the last five hundred, with a desperate hand I flung into the pool.' One other time we played. One other time I lost. My only hope was gone! Ruin stared me in the face!
"Frenzied with my fate, I rushed from out the place. But,
where to go? Ah! where ? Home ?-never! I dare not show my guilty face to you. To the country?-pshaw !-let me fly to the remotest spot of earth, will not Rumour, with her hundred tongues, be sure to hunt me out. No-no! there is but one safe, quiet place of refuge for me now, and that is the grave—the silent grave!
“Death-inextricable, eternal Death, then, is my stern resolve. One other half-hour, and this breathing form will be a lifeless
And yet, great God! what agony—what bitter-racking agony is it to rend-irreparably rend asunder all the tender ties that bind us to this poor existence! to say 'farewell' for ever and ever to all the darling beings that make this paltry life most precious to our hearts, Oh! my dear mother! my loved---my much loved Blanche, how does my poor soul writhe again to leave yeye! its only care, its only joy, its only glimpse of heaven, and, moreover, to leave ye thus! But there is no alternative. It mustit must be done. So farewell! for ever fare ye well!-EUGENE.'
The aged Count could say no more. Sorrow, deep, overwhelming sorrow, stifled his discourse. The tears trickled quickly down his furrowed cheeks, and loud and fast the sobs came gurgling from his breast. He struggled violently to overcome the sturdy anguish, and at length (still sobbing between each word,) resumed his doleful tale.
“What my feelings were after reading this wretched letter, human tongue can never disclose, nor human mind conceive. Suffice it. Let the strong grief that now almost suffocates me at the mere remembrance of the thing, give you some faint idea of the rigid agony I must have then endured. At first I thought to follow my poor victim to the tomb; but deliberation bade me live, and by repentance-deep and absorbing repentance-strive to expunge, if possible, the crime from out my soul.
"Such has ever been the steadfast, anxious object of my life. Not an ear but thine, not even his mother's, has ever listened to the melancholy history of that young man's death. Many, and most bitter have been the tears which I have shed over his grave. His mother, who ever believed her darling son had fallen by some robber's hand, I made my strictest care while living; and when she died- she died beseeching blessings on my head. His sister, Blanche, I spared no means of mine to cure her of her disease, and ultimately made her partner of my rank and fortune. My whole days have I devoted to charity, and prayers for the soul of poor Eugene, and I trust by a few more years of rigid penitence yet to be able, ere I die, to atone for all.
“ And, now,” emphatically added the sorrowful old Count, “I pray you let this be a warning to you, young man.
Hoard it in your heart ; and, when you think again of play, remember-oh! remember, THE TALE OF THE MORGUE!”
“ THE WHISKEY."
No wonder that our Irish boys should be so free and frisky,
National SongSt. Patrick was a Gentleman."
To attempt a description of Dublin, or indeed of any part of Ireland, without devoting a chapter to the whiskey, would really be“ criticising the play, and forgetting the chief performer;" for, as it will be seen before this paper is read through, the whiskey is the chief performer in Ireland ; and though political opinion is the cause of much excitement, religious opinion of more, yet the whiskey exceeds them both, and is stronger than all.
“ There are some things,” says an Irishman, “ that must be treated with extreme delicacy, and one of them is—a potato.". If I might be allowed to add “a rider” to the remark, I should say, “and another is the whiskey;"-first, because it is the great “ Dictator" of Ireland, being the cause of more wit, merriment, and laughter, poverty, wretchedness, and crime, than all the other exciting causes of the green Isle put together; and secondly, because next to the love of life is an Irishman's love of whiskey, and it is doubtful whether the former does not depend in a great measure upon the latter. “ Sure, where's the Irishman that doesn't love the crathur' before any other licker in the world, barring the holy wather ?" And it is undoubtedly because the honour of "inventing” whiskey is considered by an Irishman the greatest which could be bestowed on any man, that that honour has been conferred upon St. Patrick. " The force of flattery could no further go” —even in the land of Blarney Stone.
The whiskey of Ireland is peculiar to the country. It is not smoky like that of Scotland, and it is stronger than any that can be procured out of the country, since it is several degrees above the proof allowed in London, and it is not permitted to be exported until reduced to a certain degree of strength. Scotch whiskey is strong enough, but the Irish exceeds it, and this too, notwithstanding all the adulteration it undergoes. A story is told of the Scotch whiskey that deserves to be mentioned. A Scotch pedlar, stopping at a whiskey shop on the mountains, called for a naggin of the spirit, which he proceeded to drink neat. “Wad ye na like water with it, sir ?" said the serving girl. “Na, na, lassie,” said the pedlar; “the man that's na satisfied with the water that's in it already must be unco hard to please.” In Ireland the taste of whiskey is so well known, that it would be equally difficult to impose upon the consumer. The best spirit is procured from malt, of which an immense quantity is consumed annually for distillation. In colour the spirit resembles very light sherry, and possesses a peculiar odour, which, like all others, must be experienced to be understood. There is another kind of whiskey, the “poteen,’ or “mountain dew," the whole of which, I believe, is illicitly distilled. It is of a lighter colour than the former, and possesses a smoky flavour, highly prized by connoisseurs, but very disagreeable to a person who tastes it for the first time. These are the two species of the spirit so renowned in song and story for its potential effects upon the people ; but it is in another form that its use is universal in Ireland, and its qualities more