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made their way to Glenfalcon. This was the landlord's answer to the tenants' appeal for mercy. It was a bitterly cold morning; the snow was falling heavily, and the piercing north wind was enough to freeze the marrow in one's bones. Everything looked dreary and miserable. It was bad enough to be obliged to live in such wretched hovels, as the poor people had, at any time, even in the middle of summer; but this armed party came to turn the inhabitants out into the bleak winter day, leaving them no shelter but the snow-laden sky, and no flooring but the snow-covered heath. In the first house the evicting party entered there lived a man, named Macdonald, who was out at the time, but his wife and his seven children, clad in rags, and half-famished, crouching round a mere handful of peat fire, was a sight that might have moved the hardest heart. On seeing such a formidable party enter her poor dwelling, the poor woman started to her feet, and cried out in alarm — “Oh! what are you going to do *" “Don’t you know,” replied Macneil, the under factor, “that we have orders to turn you out 2.” “But surely,” pleaded the poor woman, “you will not turn us out in this weather—in the snow. What will become of my poor children 2" “You were warned, and you must go,” replied Macneil gruffly, trying to hide his feeling of pity under a rough exterior. “It is not my fault. Blame your landlord, Mr. Campbell, not me. I must obey orders.” He then, anxious to shift all responsibility for such cruelty from his own shoulders, spoke to the factor, and asked if they were to proceed with the disagreeable task. The answer was a peremptory order to remove the furniture at once. At this moment the husband, Macdonald, returned, and took in the situation at a glance; but he was perfectly helpless in the matter, and could only look on with an apathy born of despair, while his few poor household gods were roughly thrown outside. He and his family were then ordered to leave the house, and the roof was quickly pulled down, the door was fastened with lock and key, and the wretched family were forbidden even to seek the shelter afforded by the four bare walls of their late home.
Who can tell the agony that wrings a father's and a mother's heart in a case like this ; their house ruined, their children starving with hunger and cold, no place to go to for shelter, not a gleam of hope anywhere. No wonder that they should have prayed that death would soon end their unbearable misery. Regardless of the tears of mother and children, and the earnest expostulations of well-nigh desperate men, the evicting party proceeded from house to house, leaving behind them untold misery and desolation. At length they came to the humble house of Mrs. Cameron, which was the last habitation in the glen. The widow fell on her knees, and clasped her hands imploringly. “Have mercy; have mercy;” she cried, “my child is dying. If you turn us out in this bitter weather, it will kill her at once. Surely you would not commit murder " “My good woman,” replied the factor, affected in spite of himself at the scenes of heart-breaking misery he had caused, “it is useless asking me for mercy. I cannot help myself. Your daughter may be very ill, but my orders are imperative, and I must obey.” He then walked away and left his subordinate to carry out the distasteful orders. As Macneil entered the little room where Jessie lay in bed, with death legibly written in her wasted form and attenuated features, she cried, “Oh, Mr. Macneil, you will not turn us out. Look, it is snowing,” pointing to the little window, “we will die in the snow; you will not be so cruel.” Macneil turned aside to hide the feelings which he was ashamed to show, but which did credit to his manhood. “If,” he muttered, “I dared feel for anyone, it would be for this poor child and her widowed mother, but I cannot afford to pity anyone.” Then, turning again to the sick girl, he said, “Indeed, it is notmy fault, Jessie, that you must go; but if I can find you a place of shelter anywhere, I will.” He then went out and left the rest of the party to do their dirty work. Their little furniture was soon thrown out, and the heartbroken mother, lifting her dying child in her arms, tottered out into the snow crying aloud in her misery,
“Heaven pity us, for man will not; there is nothing left for us but to die." “Hush, mother,” said Jessie, “do not talk so, Mr Macneil says he will try to find us a shelter somewhere." Soon the work of destruction was completed, the roof was torn off, and the snow was falling on the hearth, where the remains of the peat fire still smouldered. The men had buttoned their coats, and were preparing to depart, when they were startled by a dreadful scream from Mrs. Cameron, who fell fainting to the ground, and no wonder, for her beloved Jessie had just expired. She died, as many others have died in the Highlands of Scotland, and in the south and west of Ireland, a victim to the unjust land laws of our country—laws which deliver arbitrary power into the hands of one class, which is only too often used to crush and oppress another. But these victims have not suffered in vain ; their blood has cried aloud for justice, and we are at length awakening to the full knowledge of the cruelties perpetrated under shadow of these iniquitous laws, the repeal of which the nation now demands with a voice of thunder not to be gainsaid. When the widow recovered consciousness, her first words were, “My daughter!” She staggered to her feet, and, clasping the dead body of her child in her arms, covered her cold face with passionate kisses; then, with a lingering hope, she eagerly placed her trembling hand on her child's heart, only to find that it was indeed stilled for ever. She looked once more on the calm, white face on which the snow was thickly falling; she looked at her ruined home, and then again at her dead child, when a heartrending cry of bitter anguish broke from her pallid lips, the cry of a broken heart, from which all joy and hope had now been for ever crushed. Then, with her grey locks falling in disorder over her pale face, and her eyes fiercely gleaming with a strange light, she turned to the group of awe-stricken men, and, pointing to the corpse, cried out, “You have murdered her; I call God to witness that you have murdered her. But you are not so much to blame as your master. Listen! Here, in the sight of Heaven, and by the side of my ruined home and my dead child, I curse him, and pray that if there is justice in Heaven it will fall and crush him as he has crushed others.”
As the poor woman uttered these fearful words, she raised her clenched hands and streaming eyes to Heaven. She spoke sensibly enough, but, alas! the bystanders saw only too well by her excited gestures, and the lurid light that shot from her eyes, that the light of reason had fled, and that she was mad. “I think," said the factor, “we had better take her with us, she is certainly out of her mind.” “I think we had,” agreed Macneil, “and let us go at once. No good can come of this day's work." So, taking the widow and the body of her daughter along with them, they turned down the glen. It would be difficult to picture a more heartrending scene than that which they had to pass through on their way out of the place. Every hut was destroyed, and the poor wretches who had been so ruthlessly evicted crouched under the walls of their ruined homes for shelter from the ever-increasing storm. Old men and women who could scarcely walk; little children who did not understand what was wrong; and sick people who had to be carried out, sat there shivering and moaning with cold and grief. More than one of the poor wretches died soon afterwards from the effects of the exposure. Hastening to quit such a painful scene, the men hurried forward, and soon reached the mouth of the glen, where the road runs along the brow of a steep cliff, overhanging the torrent rushing and foaming below. When they had reached this point, the widow, who had hitherto accompanied them quite quietly, suddenly broke away, and, with a wild cry, rushed forward, and before they could prevent her, flung herself over the cliff, and in a moment all that remained of the hapless woman was a mangled mass of quivering flesh lying on the rocks below.
(To be continued.)
THE LATE HENRY BRADSHAW, M.A.,
“WRITING to me about the edition of 1713, which he had borrowed of me to compare with that of 1700, he says:–“The Oratio Dominica has been of great use. I tabulated the contents of the several books, and so got pretty well at the pedigree of the whole thing. I have the papers, which I hope to show you some day, but, of course, I have never quite finished the thing off.' I wish Mr. Bradshaw had not said ‘of course.’ Those who know him, know but too well what this ‘of course' may mean. For he has by him an endless store of bibliographic gold—but, ‘of course' he has “never quite finished the thing off.' Alas! that art is long, and life so short." Thus I wrote in the Celtic Magazine no longer ago than September last; and now, as the sheets of this number of the magazine are going to press, the sad news has reached me that Mr. Bradshaw is no more. On the morning of Thursday last he was found dead in his chair, with the pen in his cold hand, and on the table before him yet another piece of work that now, “of course,” will never be “quite finished off.” The night before, he was one of a small dinner-party at the house of his friend, Mr. J. W. Clarke, where, though far from robust, he was in his usual state of health. At half-past ten he returned to his bachelor chambers, as a Fellow of King's College, where he at once settled down to his books and his writing-table, as was his wont. In the morning, his servant found him dead; and the medical examination of his cold, stiff body, showed at a glance that death must have taken place very shortly after his return to his rooms. Like so many a literary brother in these days, and like his own uterine brother, who but recently died with equal suddenness, Mr. Bradshaw had long suffered from weakness of the heart, and there is little doubt that to this cause his sudden and untimely death is to be traced. The mysterious passage from life to death, in his case, is likely to have been painless and momentary.