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the mansion-house of the worthy Colonel Fenwicke, lest any harm should have befallen that true Christian woman, whom ye call the Old Maid in the Winding-Sheet.''
Behold, then, the venerable clergyman ascending the steps of the mansion, with a torch-bearer behind him. It was the elderly man, who had spoken to the Old Maid, and the same who had afterwards explained the shield of arms, and recognized the features of the negro. Like their predecessors, they gave three raps, with the iron hammer.
Old Cæsar cometh not,' observed the priest. Well I wot, he no longer doth service in this mansion.
• Assuredly, then, it was something worse, in old Cæsar's likeness !' said the other adventurer.
· Be it as God wills,' answered the clergyman. See! my strength, though it be much decayed, hath sufficient to open this heavy door. Let us enter, and pass up the staircase.'
Here occurred a singular exemplification of the dreamy state of a very old man's mind. As they ascended the wide flight of stairs, the aged clergyman appeared to move with caution, occasionally standing aside, and oftener bending his head, as it were in salutation, thus practicing all the gestures of one who makes his way through a throng. Reaching the head of the staircase, he looked around, with sad and solemn benignity, laid aside his staff, bared his hoary locks, and was evidently on the point of commencing a prayer.
Reverend Sir,' said his attendant, who conceived this a very suitable prelude to their further search, would it not be well, that the people join with us in prayer ?
- Well-a-day!' cried the old clergyman, staring strangely around him. Art thou here with me, and none other ? Verily, past times were present to me, and I deemed that I was to make a funeral prayer, as many a time heretofore, from the head of this staircase. Of a truth, I saw the shades of many that are gone. Yea, I have prayed at their burials, one after another, and the Old Maid in the Winding-Sheet' hath seen them to to their graves !
Being now more thoroughly awake to their present purpose, he took his staff, and struck forcibly on the floor, till there came an echo from each deserted chamber, but no menial, to answer their summons. They therefore walked along the passage, and again paused, opposite to the great front window, through which was seen the crowd, in the shadow and partial moonlight of the street beneath. On their right hand, was the open door of a chamber, and a closed one on their left. The clergyman pointed his cane to the carved oak pannel of the latter.
Within that chamber,' observed he, a whole life-time since,
did I sit by the death-bed of a goodly young man, who, being now at the last gasp'-.
Apparently, there was some powerful excitement in the ideas which had now flashed across his mind. He snatched the torch from his companion's hand, and threw open the door with such sudden violence, that the flame was extinguished, leaving them no other light than the moonbeams, which fell through two windows into the spacious chamber. It was sufficient to discover all that could be known. In a high-backed, oaken arm-chair, upright, with her hands clasped across her breast, and her head thrown back, sat the Old Maid in the Winding-Sheet.' The stately dame had fallen on her knees, with her forehead on the holy knees of the Old Maid, one hand upon the floor, and the other pressed convulsively against her heart. It clutched a lock of hair, once sable, now discolored with a greenish mould. As the priest and layman advanced into the chamber, the Old Maid's features assumed such a semblance of shifting expression, that they trusted to hear the whole mystery explained, by a single word. But it was only the shadow of a tattered curtain, waving betwixt the dead face and the moonlight.
Both dead!' said the venerable man. Then who shall divulge the secret ? Methinks it glimmers to-and-fro in my mind, like the light and shadow across the Old Maid's face. And now, 't is gone!'
Blow, gentle gale! my pinnace sleeps
Upon the sea,
Her watch for me!
Thou gentle gale !
Breeze, pleasant breeze! where dallyest thou?
On heds of flowers ?
Come from their bowers !
Thou gentle gale !
SAMUEL Lewis SouthARD was born, June, 1787, at Basking Ridge, Somerset County, New-Jersey. His father, Henry Southard, is now living, in his eighty-seventh year. For sixteen years, he was a member of the State Legislature of New-Jersey ; and in the year 1900, he was elected a member of Congress, which office he uninterruptedly sustained, with credit to himself and his constituents, for the term of twenty-one years, with the brief exception of two Congresses — from the year 1811 to 1815.
Samuel L. Southard was educated at Basking Ridge, and Princeton, where Dr. Finley commenced his celebrated academy, by the advice of Mr. Southard, the father, who was desirous of educating his son at home. Among his classmates, at school and college, were Dr. Lindsley, President of Nashville University, Theodore Frelinghuysen, his colleague in the United States Senate, and Mr. Kirkpatrick, a clergy man of high reputation.
VOL. IX. . 3
Mr. Southard was the youngest son of a numerous family, who were all born in the same part of the State with himself. In the sall of 1802, having finished his preparatory studies, he entered college, and graduated in the September of 1804, then but seventeen years of age, and with the first collegiate honors. On the fourth of March, 1801, at the inauguration of President Jefferson, he delivered an address, which was published in many of the newspapers of the day.
Immediately upon leaving college, he took upon himself the ushership of an academy, in Menham, New-Jersey, under the direction of Rev. Dr. C. Armstrong, and then in a flourishing condition. His reasons for doing this, were two-fold: first, that he might review his studies and improve his classical education — and secondly, that he might support himself, until he had selected his profession ; although his father expressed his entire willingness to support him, in the pursuit of his profession ; yet he declined the generous offer — choosing rather to depend upon his own industry, than to make farther demands upon a parent, whose means were small, as well as encumbered by the expenses of a numerous family. From the time of his taking his first degree at college, he supported himself entirely. About six months after he went to the Mendham Academy, Dr. Armstrong, with the consent of the trustees, gave him the entire charge of the institution, thus throwing upon him the instruction of about fifty scholars, of all ages, many older than himself, and others preparing for the junior class, at college — some of whom are now holding distinguished stations. While occupying this station, he sustained and increased the reputation of the academy, and received the thanks of the trustees. His health (in his youth, always feeble) now failed him; and, at the close of eighteen months, he was compelled to resign his charge. His success in governing, was good ; and when leaving, he obtained the kind regards and good wishes of both parents and children.
In April, 1806, he left New-Jersey, for Virginia, and resided in the neighborhood of Fredericksburg between four and five years. There, bis time was spent in giving instructions to three or four children, in a private family, and in a diligent course of reading. He commenced the study of the law, though with no intention of practising it; but, that he might obtain a knowledge of its principles. The study of Blackstone, to whom he gave many diligent perusals, inflamed him with a desire of prosecuting the inquiry farther, and of reading the authors, to whom references were made. He therefore studied many of the leading and most valuable works on national and municipal law. He was not in the office of any practitioner, but often conversed with Judge Brooke, Chancellor Green, and others, whose friendship he had acquired.
In 1808, he was persuaded to take a license, though still without the intention 10 pursue that profession. Advancing yet farther, he was also induced to argue a few causes, for some of his acquaintances, but without meaning to obtain business, or to settle in that part of the country, even if he pursued the practice.
His first effort was at Stafford Court-house, before the venerable Judge Parker, who held the District Court. He proposed to his associate counsel to take a point in the construction of a statute of the State, which purported and was intended to be a copy of a British statute, the construction of which had uniformly been the same in all the courts. His associate declined, but Mr. Southard persisted and argued the point, and was answered by Mr. Botts, one of Burr's counsel, who was afterwards burned up, in the theatre, at Richmond ; Mr. Southard replied ; and, after advisement, the Judge decided in his favor, which decision was subsequently confirmed. The Judge declared that, when the point was first taken, he considered it altogether untenable, and would not have heard an argument from any one but a young stranger. When Mr. Southard arose, to argue the case, he remained motionless, and without recollection or apparent consciousness, for several minutes, until every one was agonized at his condition. At length, he unconsciously moved his hand and touched a book, which he intended to use ; this book fell on a table, some inches lower, and opened to a page he meant to quote. The noise aroused him ; his eye caught the passage ; his recollection returned, and he made his argument. The fall of that book probably decided his profession — for, had he taken his seat, without making the argument, he would not afterwards have made an attempt. He argued a few other causes, and had the offer of business, but declined it. Mr. Jefferson, Mr. Monroe, Judge Brooke, and others, advised him to settle at Charlottesville, near the seat of the Virginia University — but circumstances prevented ; and, in the winter of 1810, he left Virginia, and in January, 1811, he settled at Hemington, Huntendon County, New-Jersey. His residence was selected under the solicitation of the Governor and others, and with promises of aid, in which, however, he was altogether disappointed. But, notwithstanding he was thrown wholly upon his own resources, he almost immediatly obtained as much business as his health and experience would enable him to attend to — more, perhaps, than any other young practitioner in the State, in so short a period after his commencement. In May, 1811, he obtained his license. In October, 1811, he was appointed Deputy Attorney-General, in the large counties of Sussex and Morris, which office he held from two Attorney-Generals, of different politics, until he was appointed Judge of the Supreme Court. In June, 1912, he married, in Virginia.