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life and I fear not death ; but it is ter- came riding up. There was something rible to me to die without having lived droll, and at the same time frightful and for some good purpose. I might live wild, in the aspect of this horseman. to atone for a part of my past life by The lean pony which he rode, and his some honest employment; I might live ludicrous choice of articles of clothing, to appease the country which I have (which, probably, was less an expression offended. My execution would be an of his taste than a kind of chronological example to the world, but no compensa- register of the various thefts he had tion for my crimes. I hate vice, and committed,) contrasted singularly enough ardently long after honourable deeds with a countenance on which so many and virtue. I have proved my ability raging passions lay spread, like mangled to become a terror to my country ; I corpses on a field of battle. The gatehope that there yet remain some means clerk was startled at the sight of this by which I can be useful to it.
curious wanderer. He had grown grey “I know that I make an unheard-of at the bars, and an experience of forty request. My life is forfeited, and it years had made him unerring in his dedoes not become me to negotiate with tection of vagrants. The falcon-eye of justice. But I do not appear before it this rogue-hound did not now miss its in chains and fetters—I am yet free- man. He immediately barred the gate and fear has the smallest share in my of the town, and, seizing the bridle of entreaty.
the horse, demanded a pass from the " It is pardon which I crave. Even rider. Wolf was prepared for this did I possess any claims upon justice, emergency, and carried with him a true I would not venture to avail myself of pass, which he had not long before plunthem. But of something I dare remind dered from a merchant. But this single my judges. The reckoning of my crimes testimonial was not enough to invalidate begins with that decree which first and a forty years' observation, and to prevail for ever crushed my honour. If just upon the oracle of the gate to draw back treatment had not been denied me—if the bars. This man trusted to his eyes my punishments had been proportioned more than to the paper, and Wolf was to the disposition of my mind, I might compelled to follow him to the office of not now have needed your favour. the judge of the domain.
“Let mercy go before justice, my The judge of the domain examined the sovereign! Since your royal power can pass and declared it to be correct. He bend the laws in my favour, so grant me was strongly attached to novelties, and my life. It shall all be spent in your was particularly fond of discussing the service. If you resolve upon this, pub- news over a bottle. The pass informed lish your royal will by public proclama. him that its possessor came directly from tion, and on the word of my sovereign I the land of the enemy, where was the will appear in the capital. But if you theatre of the war. He hoped to draw otherwise determine, let the law do its out private information concerning the duty—I must do mine."
enemy, and he sent his secretary back This petition remained unanswered, as with the pass, charging him to invite its likewise a second and third, in which owner in to take wine with him. the suppliant begged the place of a In the meantime Wolf stood before trooper in the service of the prince. His the office; his ludicrous appearance had hope of pardon being entirely cut off, he collected the populace of the town in resolved to flee the land, and to die as a crowds round about him. They began brave soldier in the service of the king to murmur in his ears, and pointed alof Prussia.
ternately at the horse and the rider. The He successfully escaped from his band licentiousness of the mob at last broke and proceeded on this journey. The out into a loud tumult. Unfortunately, way led through a small country town, the horse, which was singled out by the where he wished to spend the night. A fingers of all the crowd, was stolen, and short time before, when the sovereign of Wolf expected that he had been adverthe country took part in the war, strict tised in handbills and was recognised. orders had been issued throughout the The unexpected hospitality of the domain land for a close search of travellers. judge added weight to his suspicions. Such an order had been received by the Now he regarded it as certain that his gate-clerk of this town, who was sitting pass was considered a cheat, and that upon a bank before the gate, when Wolf this invitation was only a snare to take
him alive and without resistance. An boldness, but they avail nothing for your evil conscience took away his prudence : good cause. I give you time until he gave spurs to his horse and rode away morning to prepare to tell
me the without staying to give an answer. truth.'
This sudden flight was the signal for “ I shall abide in the declarations I an universal rising.
have made." “ A thief,” all exclaimed, and rushed “Let some one conduct him to prison." after him. He rode for life or death- “ To prison? sir judge! I hope there he had already the start—his pursuers is justice in this land. I will demand panted breathlessly behind—his salvation satisfaction." is near—but a heavy hand pressed un- “ I will give it to you if your conduct seen upon him—the hour of his fate had can be justified.” come-inexorable Nemesis seized her On the morrow, the judge, reflecting debtor. The street into which he had that the stranger might yet be entirely turned terminated in a square—he must innocent, and that imperious treatment turn back upon his pursuers.
would avail nothing against his obstinacy, The noise of this occurrence, in the thought it better to adopt a hesitating meantime, had set the whole town in an and moderate manner towards him. He uproar ; crowds poured on crowds; all assembled the jury of the place, and the the streets were barricaded, and a host prisoner was brought forth. of enemies advanced upon him. He “ Pardon me, sir, if in the first moshowed a pistol—the multitude reeled- ment of indignation I treated you somehe will break his powerful way through what harshly yesterday.” the crowd. “ This,” said he, elevating “ Very readily, if you change your his pistol, “shall stay the fool-hardy manner towards me. man that dares to touch me." Fear “Our laws are strict, and your affair created an universal pause. A brave created an uproar. I cannot release young locksmith at last grasped his arm you without violating my allegiance." from behind, and, seizing the finger with “ But if I know nothing?" which the furious Wolf was ready to - Then I must give notice of the discharge his weapon, pressed it upon event to government, and in the meanthe joint. The pistol fell, its defenceless time you must remain in close confineowner was pulled from his horse and ment.” hurried back in triumph to the office of " And then?' the judge.
“ Then you are in danger, either of “Who are you?” inquired the judge, being whipped as a vagrant over the in a half-brutal tone.
limits, or, if the punishment be milder, who is determined to answer of being enrolled in the conscription.” no questions till they are put more He was silent for a minute, and seemed civilly.”
to wrestle with strong emotions; at last, " Who are you?”
with a quick movement he turned to the “What I gave myself out to be. I judge : have travelled through Germany, and “Can I be alone with you for a never was so impudently treated as I quarter of an hour?" have been here."
The jury appeared doubtful ; but, on “ Your speedy flight renders you a a commanding look from their master, very suspicious character. Why did they withdrew.
“Now, what do you desire?” “ Because I was wearied with being “ The treatment which I received made the sport of your mob.”
from you yesterday, sir judge, would “ You threatened to fire upon them.” have never elicited a confession from • My pistol was not loaded.”
me—for I defy power. The moderation Some one examined the weapon, and which you exhibit to-day, has won my there was no bullet in it.
confidence and esteem. I believe that “Wherefore do you carry secret arms you are a generous man.'' about you?"
“What have you to disclose to me?" “ Because I bear with me valuable “I see that you are generous. I have goods, and because I have been cau- long wished to meet with such a man as tioned against a certain Keeper of the yourself. Permit me to take your right Sun, who infests this country.”
hand." " Your answers go far to prove your " What is your design ?"
6 A man,
“This head is grey and venerable. full upon her without being conscious of You have been long in the world—have her presence. experienced many trials—is it not true ? “Good morning, ma'am. How is and have become humane.'
Miss Francis?” “My friend—what of that?',
“ William-Mr.-Lesley !” she ex“You stand but a few steps from claimed. “ And where is Henry?” eternity ; soon—soon you will need the “ Safe and unhurt,' I answered. mercy of God.
Exercise, then, that “He left Calais before I did.” charity towards others which you will 6. Oh! thank heaven!" And she claim for yourself-perceive you nothing? sank upon the sofa, unable, for a minute, With whom, think you, do you speak?" to speak another word.
“ How is this? You terrify me.” “And you! You are hurt?" she
“Perceive you not yet?-Write to added, inquiringly, observing my arm your sovereign how you discovered me, tied up in a sling. and that of free choice I became my “Oh, a mere trifle-only a scratch ; own betrayer—tell him that as he is now but pray tell me, how is Miss Francis?” merciful to me, God will be merciful to " She was rather better when I came him. Entreat him for my sake, old down. Dr. H- and the maid are man, and when you tell my story, drop with her. Oh! what a shock it was for then a tear: I am the Keeper of the the poor girl! She fainted away when Sun!''
she saw the paragraph ! But wait, I must run up to her room, and see if she
is able to bear the good news.' MARY FRANCIS.
“ Saw what paragraph ?” I would have asked; but before I could utter a
syllable she had disappeared. “ Is Miss Francis at home?" I in. I had not been alone many minutes quired of the servant that opened the before my eye rested on a newspaper door, at my impatient ring.
lying on the floor, at the other side of Yes, sir, she is, but can't see any- the room. I picked it up and tried to body, sir ; she's sick this morning.' read. Any thing to give relief from the
“Sick! Not much unwell, I hope. distracting thoughts which tormented When was she taken?”
After looking at two or three sen“I don't know what ails her,"' re- tences, which my eyes passed over withturned the man. “She was down at out conveying any definite impression to the breakfast-table this morning. They the mind, I glanced along the page, sent off for the doctor, in a great hurry, until my attention was riveted upon a a little while ago. I believe she was paragraph of but a few lines. There taken very suddenly. Fanny said, mis- was the answer to my question—there, tress had heard bad news."
in letters that seemed to swell before my The truth at once flashed upon my sight into the largest capitals, was the mind. Notwithstanding all our pre- fatal news ! cautions, Mary had heard of the duel !
“We learn by a passenger, who arWhat a shock ! Her brother and affi
rived from Calais last evening, in the anced lover antagonists in a deadly combat, and the result to her uncertain steamboat, that a duel took place beI trembled for the consequences of such tween Henry R. Francis, and William a blow.
Lesley, of London. "Can I see her aunt ?" I inquired states, that one of them-report did not hastily. The importance of disclosing, the first fire! We shall endeavour to
which-was dangerously wounded at fully, the circumstances and issue of our encounter was so evident, that, agitated
learn the particulars in time for our as I was, and unpleasant as the inter- paper of to-morrow.” view must be, I sent to ask whether her How vain had been all our precautions aunt could see me for a moment.
against the very result which had thus Walking into the parlour, I paced the taken place! I myself had left Calais floor in an agony of suspense
and appre- some hours later than the passenger who hension, but had not waited long before brought the news, and imagined that not the aunt appeared. She entered the a breath of the occurrence had then room with a noiseless step, while my transpired. back was toward the door, and I turned Mrs. Lajou-this was the name of
the aunt-did not return to the parlour, mantled over a bed of lily whiteness.
ment to me could I enumerate! I reThe woman immediately returned, collect that she had a little bow and and I was left to my own bitter reflec- arrow, with which she often amused tions. Heaven only knows what an herself. One day the arrow lodged in a hour I passed, sitting with my arms vine of honeysuckle, which covered the folded, and my eyes fixed upon the door, brick wall, on one side of the yard as if watching eagerly for some one's where we were all playing. Her brother entrance.
had tried in vain, a long time, to recover How many scenes, long passed-how it, and I, somewhat more agile, had many events of my short life-came climbed up on the slight trellis, round crowding back upon my mind! Even which the honeysuckle was entwined, those recollections on which I could and had just seized the arrow, when my sometimes dwell with pleasure, now footing gave way and I fell to the ground, clouded and painful from the agony of bearing it in my hand. Though it was the present !
That hour seemed an a fall of only a few feet, my head was eternity!
badly cut; and, stunned for a moment, There I sat, until at last the servant I lay without motion upon the brick came down again, to say that Mary was pavement, while the blood flowed comore tranquil, and the laudanum, which piously from the wound. Of course, had been administered, seemed to be they were all very much terrified, and gaining the mastery over her excited Henry, with its youngest sister, Emma, system. She continued,
ran screaming into the house for assist“ Mistress says, that if you call again ance; but Mary remained standing by this evening, she can see you, maybe.” me, crying bitterly, and endeavouring
I took the hint, and with somewhat to raise me. When the alarm brought calmer feelings left the house, and did out Mrs. Francis and one of the sernot stop till I was seated in my own vants, my senses had partially returned;
In that solitude, again, my I was sitting up, Mary's arms clasped whole life passed in review before me. round my neck, and both of us so dis
figured with blood, that it would have I had known Henry Francis, inti- been difficult for a moment to tell which mately, since our childhood. We had was hurt. been at boarding-school together, for The injury was not serious, and after
My parents lived in a the blood had been washed off, and my country village where his resided. Then head tied up, it was thought only neceswe were devoted friends, and once I had sary that I should lie still for the rest accepted his invitation to spend the of the day upon a sofa in the nursery. Christmas holidays with him at home. Mary scarcely left my side until she was Well I remember how happily those carried to bed, and then with reluctance. holidays passed; for all the family Her dolls and other playthings, which treated me with the greatest kindness, she thought would amuse and then I first saw Mary, who was brought and put in my hands, and her several years younger than her brother sprightly prattle made me forgetful of and myself. Even now I see her, just pain. In the morning, she was the first as she appeared at that time—a fair to visit me, and, in the innocence of little creature, about five years old; with childhood, to imprint a kiss upon my chestnut hair parted in curls over er cheek. forehead, and flowing to her shoulders No, we could not then have loved ! in silken ringlets ; with dark, Italian But yet, “ 'T was strange, 't was pasing eyes; and cheeks, on which
roses strange,” how long we remembered each
other. Henry and I returned together man, whose name I accidentally overto school, and our early friendship con- heard—“Francis.” I had not yet seen tinued in all its force. I remember his face, but the name arrested my at. often thinking of Mary, and of inquiring tention, and, as he turned to go, led me much more eagerly about her than any to scan his countenance closely. I of the others, whenever Henry received could not, however, trace there any a letter from home. Neither did she resemblance to my own school-mate. I forget. If she sent any message to soon after went down into the diningHenry, William was always included ; cabin, and once when, her mother guiding her Here I found Mr. Francis sitting, and hand, she wrote a letter to him, I cer- again examined him from head to foot; tainly must have held a large place in but certainly, I thought, this cannot be her thoughts.
the Henry Francis that I once knew : The friendships of boyhood depend can he have lost every trace of his forso much on casual circumstances, and mer appearance ? are so frequently interrupted, that it is The dinner-bell rang, and the tall wonderful so many of them should be gentleman took his station at the door lasting. Henry and myself parted when of the ladies' cabin, near which he had we both left school. He went to Ox- been sitting, and was presently joined ford, there to finish his education, by a la dressed in deep black, whose and I to Cambridge for the same pur- face was concealed by her bonnet from pose. He made no agreement to cor- my sight. I took a seat just opposite respond, and though a letter or two to them at the table, and when she passed between us, our intercourse was turned her head had a full view of her soon entirely at an end.
features. A single glance told me that For years I heard nothing from him. she was young and beautiful; a second, Of Mary, I never received any intelli- that I had seen that face before-no, I gence, though still I recollect a certain could not be mistaken-it was Mary undefined feeling of pleasure, whenever Francis ! Just then she looked at me, I thought of our youthful intimacy, and our eyes met, and I thought, for a motried to picture to myself her appear- ment, that it was a look of recognition ; ance, when the budding charms of in- but not so—1, too, must have changed, fancy had bloomed forth into luxuriant changed entirely since my boyhood. beauty.
I determined to wait a more favourable My ambition was to prepare myself opportunity of introducing myself. Be. for the bar. My father's income was fore dinner was over I was convinced limited, but still he could have supported that the gentleman was her brother, and me, without difficulty, through the ne- once she called him Henry. I fact, I cessary course of study. But I always began to think at last-perhaps it was had a great desire for independence-to only imagination—that I could perceive live by my own exertions; and, before in him some slight resemblance to my entering an attorney's office, to lay up school-fellow. enough for my maintenance while there After dinner they went on deck; and, engaged in reading. This, by extraor- in a few moments, the gentleman was dinary good fortune, I had accomplished standing at a little distance from Mary,
I had an uncle, a lawyer, looking over the water with a vacant practising in London, and with him gaze. I approached. I determined to serve my clerkship, as “I believe, sir, I have the pleasure he had often invited me to do.
of speaking to Mr. Henry Francis?” Before going to the city, I paid a visit “That is my name, sir,” he returned, to my parents, from whom I had been coldly. separated more than two years. From “Do you remember William Lesthem I first learned, that Mr. and Mrs. ley, whom you knew at Mr. BFrancis had both died some time before, school ?” but that they knew nothing farther of “William Lesley?" And he looked
hard at me, with a searching gaze, as if
in doubt-then took my proffered hand, There was a great crowd on board the and smiling in a constrained manner, steamboat leaving Ramsgate, one mild, said, “Why, really I should not have delightful day in summer. Just before known you, you are so changed sinceme was a tall, fashionably-dressed young since we parted."
in two years.