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In highest Heav'n,
A CONSIDERABLE time elapsed, and Lord
rash man ; follow me, and behold a scene of horror, from which an Almighty Providence has spared you the guilt of partaking-Follow me,” continued he, perceiving the hesitation of Lord Frederic, “ for the love of Heaven! and when. ever you are tempted, in cold blood, to raise your hand against your fellow-man, remember this moment."
Lord Frederic, breathless with astonishment, followed him, in silence, several paces; and, at length recovering himself, he said " But whither, my friend, would you conduct me!”
Captain Cummeline stopped a moment, as if irresolute; he gazed earnestly in the face of Lord Frederic, as if striving to read his soul ; while Lord Frederick, trembling with yet unsubdued emotion, and pale with astonishment, eagerly repeated the question.
“I believe you incapable,” cried Captain Cummeline, solemnly, “ I believe you incapable of exulting over a fallen enemy, and therefore am I come: Colonel Mapletort, on his deathbed, desires to see you; if you be a Christian, you will not refuse his summons.” Lord Frederic,
Frederic, shuddering involuntarily, lifted his eyes to Heaven; all the angry and sanguinary passions, which only a few moments before seemed to agitate and unhinge his frame, suddenly ceased; in vacant astonishment he gazed on the features of his friend, scarcely knowing or comprehending the meaning of his words; horror suspended his utterance.
“ You do not speak,” said Captain Cummeline ; "you do not answer : is it possible you
can refuse the request of any man on his deathbed?"
Lord Frederic put his hands before his face, to recover his recollection ; “Be silent, my friend,” cried he, waving his hand; “I must recollect myself:” he then walked on a few paces, Captain Cummeline following him : finding, however, he still declined speaking, that gentleman again addressed him—“You go,” said he, “ to visit poor Mapletort—you are, I know you are, incapable of triumphing over him:" he said this doubtingly.
“If I know my own heart," exclaimed Lord Frederic, laying his hand emphatically upon his breast, “ I am incapable of exulting in the distress of any human being—I am now the friend of Colonel Mapletort, ready to render him any assistance in my power.
“Oh why do you not always think thus nobly? why do human weaknesses so often distort the native impulses of the heart? Three hours ago you had almost taught me to despise you, now I could kneel down and bless you.
" You must have felt and suffered what I have, Cummeline,” replied Lord Frederic, softened, even to tears, by his last address, “ere you can form any estimate of my feelings; but of this be satisfied-it is not in my nature to insult one whom the Almighty has humbled.”
Captain Cummeline held out his hand; a tear fell upon that of Lord Frederic, as he eagerly grasped that of the Captain, saying “We are once again friends."
“My own brother is not more dear to my heart,” exclaimed Cummeline; and, arm in arm, they hastened, as fast as possible, to the barracks.
What a scene there presented itself to the view of Lord Frederic !—the ground was marked with blood, glass bottles, tables, chairs, every thing remained in the confusion which the in. temperance of the evening before had created, for
every one was too deeply engaged in the events which had since taken place, to order their removal. The dead body of the Ensign, who had fallen in the morning's rencontre, was placed in the anti-chamber of the Colonel's apart. ment. Lord Frederic paused a moment, to contemplate it, and a prayer of gratitude dilated his heart, as he rejoiced that he had been spared the guilt of murder. Captain Cummeline, with the calmness of true courage, ordered some of the people to put the deranged rooms in order, and dispatched a messenger to the Commander of the Forces, informing him of these events; not forgetting to send, at the same time, a note to his wife, to assure her of his own and Lord Frederic's safety; and the time these arrangements had taken, having in some degree restored the calmness of his companion, he sent to inform Colonel Mapletort of their arrival ; and in a few moments they were both admitted to his presence.
Supported by pillows, leaning on the arm of Mr. Sladden, the
the sick man attempted to raise himself on their entrance. The paleness of death, which overspread his countenance, for a
moment changed to a crimson flush; he cover. ed his face with his hand, and a deep, an audi. ble groan, extorted by suffering, for a moment prevented his utterance : recovering himself, however, he motioned the gentleman to advance, and, after many efforts, thus addressed Lord Frederic-" The follies, the vanities, the passions of human life, are about to close upon me for ever: in this painful, this awful moment, the memory of what I have been in the esti. mation of the world, can avail me nothing; I know, I feel, now, how far, how very far, I have strayed from the path of right, and I would, if possible, repair the errors of my past conduct. Oh, my Lord, I cannot die in peace, without your pardon—is it, can it be possible you can forgive me? Oh no! you cannot, you will not-have I not poisoned the sweet cup of your domestic felicity ? have I not trifed with the peace, the happiness, the reputation of the loveliest of human beings ?”
Lord Frederic was affected; he leaned against the wall, covered his face with both hands, and sobbed audibly.
Colonel Mapletort went on." In this awful moment, then, my Lord, it remains only for me to perform an act of justice; and, as I shall an. swer it before the tremendous Judge of the Universe, I call Heaven to attest my sincerityyour wife is innocent, yes, innocent as an angel, from any act of impurity with me. I acknowledge that I sought an intimacy with her, I acknowledge that I had formed designs upon her honour, but I was unsuccessful.”