Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

dog !

to

of you, Rover! My companion, my “He shall never want a friend, friend, my only child— my poor, poor father, and you shall keep him till he

dies." And the old man sat down on the The old man again wept, but his steps before his once happy home, and tears were now tears of gratitude and wept bitterly. The animal whined, joy, as he turned to his old companion, and licked his master's cheek. patted him and said. “We shall not

"If I could find a master for you, part, Rover, we will not part." Rover Rover, that would be kind to you, as whined, wagged his tail, and followed I have been, I should be almost satis- them proudly into the village. fied; but it would take time to know your worth, my poor dog, and me time to know the worth of him to whom I gave you, and we must part to day, for we are both hungry; yet happy

EVENING. would be the master of such a servant.

By Miss S. E. HATFIELD. My poor, poor dog."

The aged man covered his cheek I love thee, Evening, for the hues with his hands, and the big tears fell Of beauty that adorn thy reign, upon his tattered garments.

Thy golden skies, thy glittering dews, While he continued in this attitude of Thy pensive moon, thy starry train. deep sorrow, a gentleman alighted from his horse, at the cottage-gate and gazed

I love thee all-oh, wheresoc'er around him, as if upon a scene

My musing eye its gazing bends,

All beautiful thou art all fairwhich he was not a stranger. The old

All sweet, all pure thine hour descends! man rose,-their eyes met-and in an instant the father and the son were

I love to watch the azure day locked in each other's arms. It was Yielding its empire unto thee, his fourth son, the wild, thoughtless And stealing from the skies away ; boy, of whom no one knew any thing. Oh 'tis a welcome bour to me!

When the first expressions of astonishment were over, and the father How often has thy lov'd return related his tale, -which was merely With pensive pleasure sooth'd my sonl; that he had spent his years in bondage,

Bade memory's star more sweetly burn, and had returned to seek support from

Aud inemory's lear more brightly roll! his parish, he pointed to his dog, and

Sweet sabbath of a weary day-spoke of the agony he had just felt in

Sweet interval 'twixt toil and restthe fear of purchasing existence, by

Sweet hours when love and friendship’s ray the loss of his long tried companion

Shines, like thy planet, loveliest ! and friend. The animal shared in his joy, and

Thou givest all thou hast to mecapered to show that he felt it; while

Tby golden light, thy silver star, The son patted the faithful animal, and Thy voice of wild sweet melody, said :

Like hidden minstrel's lost in air; “ The world has prospered with me, father; God has given me enougli, Thy smile in spring, thy summer glow, and to spare; and I came to this place Thy solemn shade in autumn's bowers, to purchase this little cottage and the Thy sombre gloom o'er winter's snow,

That sweet instruction's lesson pour piece of land that was so dear to my iemembrance. You shall see my wife,

But one sweet gift that fate denies, and my dear children, and we shall

That Heaven on favour'd ones bestows, liye here happily once more.

Give

That nature's beauty ne'er supplies, thanks to the God who gave me the

And yet that soothes all nature's woes-means." “ Blessed be the name of the Al

Thou canst not give, caust not impart, mighty, he would not suffer a repentant

the void, cold bosom lendsinner to be desolate,--but my dog, The first sweet treasure of the heart, ?hly son, iny doy !"

And all I ask--a faithful friend I

Nor

THE TRIAL.

gave an entertainment at their lodgings, (From the Amulet.)

to friends who had come to bid them It is about forty years ago, since, in farewell. An evident change had an idle moment, I went into the Old taken place in the behaviour of the Bailey. The immense crowd already prisoner, who affected to be obsequicollected and the large number of those ously attentive to his friend. But the who were vainly struggling for admit- principal witness for the prosecution tance, the busy whispers, the anxious was an old respectable looking servant looks, showed that a scene of more than to the deceased, who seemed almost common interest was about to take overpowered with grief. He stated place on this theatre of human misery that on the fatal night, hearing a noise and degradation. The prisoner at the in his master's room, as if two persons bar was a young man about twenty, were struggling, he alarmed the landfour years of age, tall, of a dignified lord, and entered the room, which was and prepossessing air; his dark hair open; a light was on the floor, and hanging disorderly on his shoulders still smoaking, and the prisoner was and about his brow, gave a singularly found hanging over the bed, a bloody wild and mournful expression, to fea- knife which was known to belong to tures that seemed to indicate feelings him by his side, his hands bloody, his such as felons possess.

face pale, and betraying all the marks The indictment was read: it contain- of a guilty and disturbed mind. The ed an account of a most atrocious prisoner was skilled in anatomy; he crime committed under circumstances had been heard to describe the quickof ingratitude that deepened its horror, est and surest way of destroying life, He was, it appeared, a young Scotch- and the place of the wound corresman, the son of a venerable Cameronian ponded with the description. Moreover minister: he had distinguished himself some notes paid by a banker to the in the University of Glasgow, by bis deceased were produced in court by talents and acquirements, and had been a woman, whom the prisoner had ordained a preacher of the gospel. been seen to visit; from all which Wbile at college he had formed an proofs it satisfactorily appeared that acquaintance with the son of a High- this unhappy youth, corrupted by viciland Laird, of nearly the same age, ous company, had, by feelings of of an amiable and cultivated mind. jealousy and the temptation of money, The father of this youth, a man of large been instigated to murder his friend. property, had been so pleased with Whilst this melancholy detail was the friend his son had made, that he given, the prisoner appeared almost had obtained for him a church in the sinking under contrition and shame. Highlands, on condition that he should When the case bad been closed for previously accompany his son in bis the prosecution, the Judge, in an travels over the continent. They had impressive manner, called upon him accordingly gone to London; and for his defence. He stood up, and having there received large remittances after a short but violent effort to for their proposed journey, were conquer his inward feelings, he adjust going to set off, when one night dressed the bench with a voice, first the youth was found murdered in his weak and tremulous, but afterward bed, and appearances seemed to point collected and full. out the prisoner as the perpetrator of « My Lord and Jury. the deed. They were briefly these. “ You call upon me for my defence : Some days before, they had beenI have none to make, yet I am not heard talking in their room with a very guilty. God knows I am not; and if loud and angry tone of voice. The he will, he can deliver me from this subject of the dispute was, it was sup- deep affliction and humiliation, even posed, a lady, whose name was men- in this seemingly hopeless state; and tioned. The words jealousy, revenge, if he will not, I bow io his will. You were distinctly heard, a visible coolness have just beard a circumstantial acwas observed for some days after, till count of an atrocious crime, supported the evening of the murder, when they by a weight, of evidence, which I fear will leave upon your minds no douht The Jury after half an hour's of my guilt, for indeed it is not in the consultation, returned the verdictpower of human help to save me, and Guilty! He heard it respectfully, but Therefore I have not wished to use the unmoved. Sentence was pronounced sophistry of law, and the unavailing in the most impressive manner by the eloquence of hired defenders. Let Judge, in a long and pathetic address, God, if he will, defend me. I have often interrựpted by his emotion. He nothing to say for myself, save that I expressed no doubt of his guilt; and am innocent, though, by what some lamented the abuse of talent the would call fatality, but rather by the un- corruption of a mind once innocent, fathomable designs of unerring wisdom and earnestly recommended the unforevery thing seems to conspire against tunate youth to confess his guilt, rather me. The woman who has appeared than rashly persist in protestations of in evidence never received the money innocence, which could no longer from me; it was my fear of the dan- save his life, and which precluded all gerous influence which she had acquir. access of Divine mercy. ed over him, that was the cause of the The prisoner then arose, and never temporary coldness of my friend, and did I see a more expressive and comwhich his better feelings, and his manding countenance. It was no confidence of the purity of my intenti- longer the despondency of fear and the ons, enabled him to conquer. My gloom of hopelessness, but the triumvisits to the woman, had no other phant, yet calm and modest look of objects but to prevail upon her, to one about to receive martydom. break off her connexions with him. As “I bow with submission to the to that horrible night, I will state all judgment of my country, and though I know of it. I was awakened by a I die innocent, I return my thanks to noise in my friend's room, which was the venerable Judge, who has just next to mine. I listened, and all was pronounced the awful sentence, for still. Then I heard what must have ihe Christian tenderness with which been my poor friend's last dying cry, he has treated one seemingly so deeply but which I thought was only the involved in guilt as I am. The Jury as involuntary moan of disturbed sleep; men, could have returned no other still a vague but an irresistible feeling verdict; far be it from me to murmur of alarm, impelled me to the room- against them; my doom was sealed in by a light that was dimly burning, I Heaven. May the sacrifice of my life descried my friend in the condition atone, is not for a crime of which I am you have heard described.” (Here his innocent, at least for the many faults voice faultered.) “I have no recol- which I have committed. It is imposlection of what followed. I suppose sible not to recognize in this the hand I fell upon the body, that I over- of the Supreme Disposer of events. I turned the light, and that the noise did at first cling to life, and cherish alarmed this faithful servant, whom fond hopes that I might yet be saved I sincerely forgive for the part he has and restored to my beloved father and taken against me.

When I came to to the esteem of good men; but I myself, the room was full of people, think I am vow resigned to die, with but I saw no one; I saw only hiin who a firm hope, that if my days are cut lay in that bed.

short in iheir prime, if my hopes of “My Lord and Jury, you have happiness and honour have been blasthere a plain, unvarnished tale. I have ed, and an ignominious death is to be no hopes that it will bear down the my lot, it is wisely and mercifully mass of evidence against me. I know decreed, in order to redeem me from I am the only one that can be charged the errors into which I have fallen, to with the crime. Still I must say— purify my soul from those feelings of pause--beware of shedding innocent self-applause and pride, which had blood! May the Lord, in his unerring made me seek human praise rather than wisdom, move your minds as seemeth peace with God.” best to him, for on him is all my trust, During this affecting address the hall man cannot serve me."

was hushed to perfect stillness, every

body hung forward with breathless ea- the prisoners, and mechanically mutgerness to catch his words, all seemed tered the responses and prayers of the painfully divided between horror for his English service; but it was easy to supposed crime, and admiration for his see that his mind was intensely fixed talents, half won over, by his show of upon other thoughts than that of piety, to believe him innocent—But religion: the other two, with a mug he had scarcely concluded, when the of porter beside them, were smoaking deep, solemn silence was broken by and playing at chuck-farthing; all these words, “ I thank thee, O God, seemed indifferent or hardened, and he is innocent !" This exclamation formed a striking contrast with the which struck upon the heart of all, pro- spectacle that offered itself in the ceeded from an old man who sat not far inner cell, which, though gloomy and from me, and who had fallen on his bare, showed, by the neat arrange. knees in the attitude of prayer, his hands ment of its scanty and coarse furniconvulsively grasped together, his lips ture that a female had been at work were moving, but his eyes were shut there, and had, by its nameless at-it was his father : a young and tentions, made even the walls of a beautiful girl had thrown her arms prison assume a temporary cheerfulround the old man's neck, and hung ness. A fire burned clearly in a grate; on his bosom, pale and motionless. some flowers in a broken tumbler, The prisoner started at the well-known shed a faint perfume ;-but why stop voice, and instinctively sprung forward to describe such trifles ?

Let me toward them, but he recollected his rather tell the tale of the pale and chains, and a flood of tears came to worn, but cheerful countenance of the his relief. It would be difficult to youth; the delicate form of his sister, paint the effect which so melancholy for the last time clinging around her a sight had on the assembly; tears brother, and bedewing his chains with flowed from every eye.

The jailor her tears; and the patriarchal dignity who came to lead the youth to the of the father, who, with an earnest condemned cell appeared affected. voice, was pouring forth his soul in

The execution was to take place the prayer, his hoary head now reverentially following monday. My late and bent to the ground, now lifted up in respected uncle T., whose life's work the fervency of supplication to receive it was to visit the gloomy dungeon, the flood of light which the summer sun and to shed on the still deeper gloom was pouring through the small grated of benighted souls the beams of Chris- window, giving to his fine features an tian truth, was unremitting in his air of almost celestial radiance. The attentions to the young Cameronian. son then prayed and oh! how unearthBut he told me that he went there, ly did his voice sound, who, possessed not to administer, but to receive; of youth, and vigour, and genius, was and that the edifying behaviour, the ere an hour to be numbered with the simplicity and resignation of this in- dead! How it reached the heart, the teresting youth, left no doubts of his humble confession and suffering of that innocence, to all who visited him. immortal spirit about to return to its Efforts were made, but too late, to heavenly habitation, and devoting the save him. The day came. My uncle last flying moments of its pilgrimage in took me with him to the prison. At worshipping Him who was now imparthat period, I was young, and very ting from on high, strength and holiness thoughtless, but I received there an to this outcast of society loaded with impression which neither years, nor chains and disgrace, and for whose last sorrow, nor joy, have effaced, and agonies the gathered crowd was impawhich is now my consolation amidst tiently waiting. the loss of friends and health in this When his prayer was concluded, he lonely retreat. Our way lay through rose up and said, “Now father, I am a cell where three convicts were, who ready, give me thy blessing! dear sister, were to be hung in a few days. One farewell !! and clasping his weeping was poring stupidly over a tattered sister to his bosom, he kneeled down prayer-book that belonged to one of with her at her father's feet, and both

reverentially bowed their heads before saidhe, “that he was innocent-I shall him, whilst the Cameronian with as it soon be with him, still I am glad, for were, superior energy, lifted up his his sister's sake, that the world knows hand, and with a firm and solemn voice it; but it could not appreciate, it could commended his child to the mercy of not fell the dignity of innocence.” Him who was about to receive his re- This calamity excited universal symdeemed soul. The chaplain of the jail pathy-government offered to settle a then entered, but no-body attempted to pension on the old man; he rejected it interrupt the sanctity of the scene, they with disdain.-“Shall I take the price were evidently above human conso- of my son's blood ?” said he.-They lations. The bell tolled,-it was the felt for him, respected bis sorrow, and fatal signal. The youth then, with pressed him no further. A simple and perfect composure, bade farewell to his elegant monument was erected over the lellow-prisoners, distributing some bodies of the two victims, recording in presents among them, and turning to a few words their miserable end. The us, he affectionately thanked my uncle Cameronian returned to Scotland, for his attentions to him, recommending where he died a few days after his arhis father and sister to his care till they rival, and his daughter soon after folcould be sent back to their country.--I lowed him to the tomb ! could say nothing ; but seizing one of his hands in mine, I burst into tears. His sister was carried away fainting by the humane matron of the prison, and the melancholy procession advanced slowly toward the place of execution: he ascended the platform with a firm step,

THE RESOLVE. supporting, rather than supported, by his father. He addressed a few words No.-whilst I have power to breathe to the crowd, told them he was innocent I never will cherish despair ; that he hoped his innocence would one Though press'd with affliction I writhe, day appear, but that he was resigned And every evil I share. to die, Irusting to the mercy of him who

Should poverty e'er be my lot, died for all men. After this, his father

Pale misery style me her child, and he kneeled down in silent prayer, no Should I by my friends be forgot, words could have expressed the feelings Or far from my country exil'd ;of their souls; then whilst the executioner was adjusting the rope and cover

Hoje kindly my bosom would cheer,

And fathom the depth of my woe; ing his eyes, they sang together in heart

In danger I never will fear, rending accents, the 130 Psalm. The

Nor shrink from my bitterest foe. crowd was still as death, and nothing was heard but these last supplications of Let others complain of their fate, the old man and his son mournfully as- And murmur at heaven's decree;

I'll harbour no wish to be great, cending on high. The song ceased—the

Tis best to be humble and free. living mass below heaved back with a simultaneous motion of horror--the

Should woman attempt to begoile, happy soul had fed.

The dictates of reason to drown, A few days after, whilst the poor fa- I'll not be deceiv'd by her smile, ther was yet too weak to bear the fatigue Nor yield to despair when she frown, of a journey, the seizure of a housebrenker led to the detection of one of

If care banish joy from my breast,

Soon death will afford a release ; the darkest plots that ever was con- No trouble the grave dares molest, trived by guilty man. The ruffian, Its tenants all slumber in peace. knowing there were no hopes for him, confessed that he had been introduced Whate'er be my state, I will sigh, into the house by the old servant, and

For nought but the home of the blest;

There tears never moisten the eye, committed the murder according to his

And the weary are ever at rest. directions. The old man heard this account with little emotion.--"]knew,' Falmouth.

E. R.

« ПредишнаНапред »