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cy, and can never wholly oblite- death,his agony assumed the as. rate.
pect of determined insanity. He About thirty years ago, a young seized the opportunity when his man, with an aged grandmother father, partially recovered from and her son, came to reside at a tri- indisposition, had gone to pefling distance from Fort Cumber- tition the governor of the fort for land; they took up their abode relief, to station himself by the at a small cottage in the neigh- highroad, with intention of wrestbourhood, and principally depend- ing money from each traveller, for ed for subsistence on the preca- the purposes of future provision. rious occupation of fishing. They With a brace of horse-pistols in
had once been respectable trades- his pocket, he sallied out from people around at Portsmouth; but a va
at Portsmouth ; but a va- the cottage to put his nefarious riety of unforeseen circumstances designs into immediate execution. had reduced them to poverty, The night was well adapted to and compelled them to seek the the occasion-it was dark and security of solitude. For a few stormy, and the continued roar of months after their arrival, the en- the ocean waves, and the solitary couragement they received from shriek of the sea-bird, increased the Fort, where they daily carried the natural gloom of the scene. their baskets of fish, had restored The young man, in the mean time them to comparative tranquillity, hastened tremblingly onward, when the unusual violence of and his mind assumed a stern resome equinoctial gales dashed solution from the corresponding their little fishing smack against influence of the night-prospect. the adjacent rocks, and rendered A tempest had already commentheir humble occupation at once ced; the hollow-sounding thunder dangerous and profitless. To in- echoed along the dim arch of crease, if possible, their misery, heaven, and the lightning flashthe old lady and the father of the ed with splendor around him. young man languished in the As he passed the lonely gibbet, agony of extreme want, without under which the bones of unburi. either friends or relatives to suc- ed malefactor were yet bleaching, cour them. He could have borne and heard the sullen swing of his own sorrows with firmness; the chains to which a moulderbut the sight of his dearest con- ing skeleton was attached, he nexions dying from positive exi- imagined his similar situation in gency, and sinking on their couch case of detection, and his boastof sickness without even a mouth- ed courage for the first time failful of bread to eat, and scarcely ed him. The storm meanwhile a torn rag to shield them from raged with unabated violence, the chilly night air, drove him to and a broad stream of lightning the verge
of distraction. When shone dimly through the ghastly he saw the fading lustre in the skeleton, whose whitening bones eyes of his aged grandmother- hung dangling in the wind.
At her form slowly sinking in the this instant the noise of approachgrave-her wan looks imploring ing footsteps was heard echoing even one solitary meal to comfort across the heath--the sounds adher-her pallid cheeks gradually vance néarer, and a dark figure, assuming the cadaverous hue of wholly muitled up in a nightcloak, stood by the side of the the governor. He gazed at the robber. He drew his pistol from corpse as though he had gazed its hiding-place, and the stranger his whole soulaway at the sightmoved slowly on : twice he ate he burst out into a hellish shout tempted to pull the trigger, and of triumphant laughter, and the twice it trembled in his grasp. fire of the deepest, the deadliest The courage of despair came at madness, flashed across his brain. length to his assistance; he He then raised the body from thought of his dying grand- the ground, and with a bitter mother-his own father starving shriek, the sound of which is dein utter hopelessness and the scribed as having been like nothought smote on his frenzied thing earthly, rushed with it into imagination. He fired—and with the room of his grandmother. a suppressed groan of anguish, A dim rushlight was burning in the death-choked voice of which the chimney corner as he enterrushed full on his racked brain, ed, and the tattered fringe was the stranger dropped lifeless at drawn close round the bed.
He his feet. Agitated with a variety approached-he drew aside the of contending emotions, he bore curtains, and roused the tremthe ensanguined body to the cot- bling woman by the wild frenzy tage,and placed it on a chair, un- of his triumph. She started at til he should return with a lan- the noise; and the first objects tern to dispossess it of its money that presented themselves were and wearing apparel.
the blood-stained figure of her It was now deep midnight; the son, gazing at her with eyes fixed old lady had long since retired in the livid ghastliness of death, to her bed, and all around was and the fearful aspect of her still, but the distant roar of wa- grandchild, gnashing his teeth ters or the sullen sound of the with frenzy, blaspheming with north wind, as it whistled gloomi- the most awful imprecations, and ly through the bleak walls of the shouting aloud with the unearthcottage. After a short interval ly yellings of a dæmon. She the murderer returned, bearing a could see, she could feel no dark-lantern in his hand. He cast death seized her at the a suspicious glance around, lock- instant-she cast but one look ed the door of the apartment, and of kindness, as if imploring a then, with a trembling frame, at- blessing on her murderer, and tempted to unveil the counte- then closed her eyes in the eternance of his victim. Gently he nal slumber of the grave. drew back the cloak that con- In the mean time, the shrieks cealed the face; and the body of the unhappy parricide drew rolled with a heavy crash to the the attention of some guards beground, and disclosed the glazed longing to the Fort, and who eyes and convulsed stiffened fea- happened to be passing at the tures of his father!of that moment. They rushed
forward father, for whose sake he had to investigate the cause, and be. thus plunged himself deep in held a sight of never-to-be-forguilt, and whom he had murder- gotton horror.
The dead body ed as he returned from the fort of the old lady was reposing on with a proinise of assistance from the bed where she had but just
now expired, and the maniac had tion, as they saw him with eyes placed the corpse of his father in fixed on vacancy, muttering and his arms, and was weeping and talking to himself. His health, laughing over it like an infant, in the mean time, failed, and it as heunconsciously twined hisfin- was evident from the increasing gers through the dark grislylocks depression of his spirits, and stiffened with clotted gore, and hectic glow of his complexion, passed his hand across the pallid that “his days were numbered in features that struck to his heart the land.” For himself he seemwith the icy chilliness of death. ed to rejoice in the prospect of With some difficulty the guards approaching death, and a faint were able to secure him ; strata- smile would often pass across his gem at length prevailed, and he face, as he surveyod his wasted was removed on board the con- features, and felt the increasing vict ship that was stationed off languor of his frame as the the coast opposite Fort Cumber- hour of dissolution arrived, he land. The bodies of the mother wished for the last time to beand her son were quietly com- 'hold the grave where all that was mitted to the grave, and the cir- once dear to him lay buried. With cumstances of the dreadful trans- this visionary idea, he seized the action remembered
a fitting opportunity, when the dream that once was.
windows of his prison Time rolled on, and as the thrown open, and the guards had hour of his trial approached, the retired for the night, to eman. spirit of the poor maniac seemed cipate himself from the slight to settle into a calm melancholy, shackles that bouņd him, and The heavy clogs that had hither- swim to the neighbouring shore. to been attached to his feet were At the dead hour of midnight, now, therefore, removed, and he lights were seen moving in the was permitted to occupy the convict ship, the alarm bell was cabin that looked out upon the rung, the thunder of cannon sea shore. Here he would sit echoed across the ocean, and the for hours watching the vessels as universal confusion of the guards they passed to and fro, and weep- and seamen announced the escape ing at the remembrance of for- of the prisoner. A well-manned mer days. At a distance was the boat, in which two savage bloodgibbet, the scene at once of his hounds were placed, was instantguilt and probable punishment. ' ly rowed to the sea-coast; and A shudļer of horror passed over the dogs, closely followed by his mind whenever he beheld it, their pursuers, were sent to hunt and the wildness of insanity out the residence of the maniac, again took possession of his soul. They set forward on their chase, But when the fit was passed, tears and soon arrived at the little cotwould sometimes come to his re- tage where the sufferer once lief, and he would weep alone in dwelt, and which was now genesilence. His disposition, natu- rally avoided as the unholy rerally generous and kind hearted, sort of evil spirits. The officers appeared softened by misfortune, approached at the instant, but and even his brother convicts had scarcely arrived, when a faint would feel for so lonely a situa- shriek of agony was heard. It proceeded from the convict, who reverie by the shriek of a female had been traced up to the ruined voice. Turning suddenly around, home of his father, and was dis- he saw a young horse, which, becovered sobbing on the matted ing frightened, had run away couch where he had last slept. with its rider, and was rushing The blood-honnds rushed upon impetuously towards the pretheir
prey, and ere a few minutes cipice. He was too far off even had elapsed, the corpse of the par- to attempt to throw himself bericide, torn in a thousand pieces, fore the affrighted animal. One lay scattered in that mangled expedient only presented itself. state upon the ground.
With unerring aim he drew up He was buried with his mur- his rifle, and the horse fell on dered victims, in the little knoll the very brink of the cliff. of earth that we have mentioned The stranger ran to the assisin the opening description, and tance of the unfortunate female. though “ the winds of many win- Though pale as the tenant of the ters have sighed over his remains," grave, a lovelier object never and the sea-birds have built their met his view. Her dark hair fell nests upon his grave, he lies as loosely on her cold bosom-she quietly as if all nature was hush- appeared lifeless. He raised her ed in stillness around him. His in his arms, and bore her to the tale, meanwhile, is often told to hamlet at the foot the hill. the passing stranger, as he
pauses By the assistance of the cotto contemplate the wild spot tagers, Mary was soon sufficientwhere he sleeps, and the tears of ly restored to be removed to the genuinė pity often falls at the house of her father, which was remembrance of his misfortunes. not far distant.-A fever ensued, Superstition has consecrated his and William, whose extensive burial-place, and when the dark studies had given him wave dashes against the beach, knowledge in medicine, attracted and the rising storm broods over by a charm which he could the face of the landscape, his neither resist or define, resolved spirit is reported to rise from its to remain, and prescribe for her, cold sepulchre, and exult in the until her fate should be detersight of destruction.
Mary was just eighteen when the accident happened which in
troduced the accomplished and Marys-One afternoon, in the fascinating stranger to her knowmonth of October, a young gen- ledge. By his kindness, and that tleman from Philadelphia, who of her parents, she slowly rehad visited Luzerne, to enjoy covered; but the lively radiance the pleasure of the chace, was of her fine blue eyes was changstanding with his rifle on the ed to a mild and pensive sweetverge of one of those high pre- ness, less dazzling—but, oh! cipices which bound the river to the heart of sensibility how Susquehannah, watching the eagle interesting! The lily stole the as she sailed far below him along rose's blossom : the throbbing the breast of the cliff, when he heart, and expressive flush that was suddenly awakened from his rose when William eutered the
AN AMERICAN TALE.
room, too plainly told that love, she was soon to become a mothat obtrusive urchin, had left the ther. city, and entered the cottage of The old man took my hand Mary, with the stranger.
pressed it between his :—“O! William was the most accom- this is an ungrateful world.” said plished man Mary had ever seen. he. His heart swelled-he turnPleasing in his manners, insinua- ed away, to conceal his emotion. ting in his address, sensible and An aged missionary, whose hair handsome, and also, the preserver was silvered with the frost of 70 of her life! What female heart winters, endeavoured to turn could be insensible to so much their affections to another world, excellence! The affectionate and and to lead them for consolation assiduous attention of William beyond the tomb. soon restored her, in some de- Ye votaries of pleasure--ye gree, to her former health, and
gay, ye wanton seducers of the the chain that had so long de- fair, whom you should protect; tained him, gathering 0! could you have seen the strength, he found it impossible cottage of poor Freeman, your to break a connexion that was infamous trophies over deluded already so dear to him.
innocence would have been scorAll Franksburg talked of the pions to your consciences. courtship, and when I
Such ruins-Hark! the watchWilliam and Mary lead down in dog announces a stranger! The the dance together, I could not door opened, and in a moment help thinking they were formed we beheld William at the feet of for each other.
her father. Mary shrieked. and I went up to Franksburg last fainted. “I come I come,” said fall, to visit my old friend, and to he, "for forgiveness. I come to congratulate him on the purpos- offer all the reparation in my ed connexion. It was one of power. Not a moment of happithose pleasing moonlight even- ness have I known since I left ings in the month of September, you." when I arrived at the gate, such Noble youth! thou hast set a as had always been enlivened by pattern by thy return to virtue the song and dance, under the most worthy to be followed. old elm by the door. But the sound of joy was no more heard on the green.
William gone--the cheek of the soldier Many naturalists areof opinion, was wet with anguish ; and the that the animals which we comwife of his bosom seemed fast monly consider as mute, have the declining in sorrow to the grave. power of imparting their thoughts
Pale and dejected, Mary sat to one another. That they can by the window, her head reclin- express general sensations is very ing on her hand. Her eye, certain ; every being that can moistened by a tear, was fixed on utter sounds, has a different voice vacancy, or wandered heedlessly for pleasure and for pain. The from object to object.
Seduced hound informs his fellows when by the man who saved her life, he scents his game; the hen
DR. JOHNSON ON WAR.