Imagens da página

the period when the death of their betrothed shall expose them to the sufferings and persecutions of widowhood; for to whom shall they look for relief, when persons so far their superiors despair of finding* protection? And can we be surprised that Hindoo females are driven to seek death as the only refuge from their miseries?


'twas ere; the lengthening shadows of the oak
And weeping birch, swept far adown the vale;

And nought upon the hush and stillness broke,
Save the light whispering of the spring-tide gale,

In distance dying; and the measured stroke
Of woodmen at their toil; the feeble wail

Of some lone stock-dove, soothing, as it sank

Oh the lulled ear its melody that drank.


The Sun had set; but his expiring beams
Yet lingered in the west, and shed around

Beauty and softness o'er the woods and streams,
With coming night's first tinge of shade embrowned.

The light clouds mingled, brightened with such gleams
Of glory, as the seraph-shapes surround,

That in the visions of the good descend,

And o'er the couch of sorrow seem to bend.


There are emotions in that grateful hour

Of twilight and serenity, which steal
Upon the heart with more than wonted power,

Making more pure and tender all we feel,—
Softening its very core, as doth the shower

The thirsty glebe of summer.—We reveal
More in such houre of stillness, unto those
We love, than years of passion could disclose.


The heavens look down on us with eyes of love,
And earth itself looks heavenly; the sleep

Of Nature is around us, but above
Are beings that eternal vigils keep.

"fis sweet to dwell on such, and deem they strove
With sorrow once, and fled from crowds to weep

In loneliness, as we, perchance, have done;

And sigli to win the glory they have won!


'Tis tweet to mark the sky's unruffled blue
Fast deepening into darkness, as the rays

Of lingering eve die fleetly, and a few
Stars of the brightest beam illume the haze,

Like woman's eye of loveliness seen through
The veil that shadows it in vain;—we gaze

In mute and stirless transport, fondly listening,

Ab there were music in its very glistening.


'Tis thus in solitude; but sweeter far
By those we love, in that all-softening hour,

To watch with mutual eyes each coming star,

And the faint moon-rays streaming through our bower

Of foliage, wreathed and trembling as the car
Of night rolls duskier onward, and each flower

And shrub that droops above us, on the sense

Seems dropping fragrance more and more intense!


Oh love! undying and etherial love!

Thou habitant of heaven strayed to earth! Thou boon of the Beneficent above,

To worlds, that, void of thee, were worlds of dearth Soft as thy Cytherean mother's dove—

As thy own Psyche bright-eyed from thy birth; Poets might feign, or priests of old conceive thee, And heathen maids delightedly believe thee!


But not in leafy haunts and hushed retreats

Enthusiasts fondly consecrate as thine,
Not where, with smile and sparkle, nature greets

The adoring gaze, alone is reared thy shrine:—
Lips cling to lips—the full heart fondly beats—

From Ajut's icy regions to the line—
Roam where we may, thy rapt emotions start,
The bliss to meet—the agony to part!

J. G. G.


The following singular narrative, written down at the dictation of one of the parties, presents, if true, one of the most extraordinary instances of the interposition of Providence we ever remember to have heard of. It purports to be the narrative of a remarkable adventure, which befell James Dickinson and Jane Fearon, two members of the Society of Friends, who were travelling on a religious mission through Scotland many years ago, and is derived from a work, the circulation of which, is limited entirely to Quakers. The account is defective in some particulars, but, as its authors were well known to have been incapable of any misrepresentation, the story has been, and is still implicitly believed, by the respectable class of persons to which they belonged. The language, although quaint, is characteristic, and we have, therefore, been induced to give it exactly as we find it. Its simple and unexaggerated tone will go far to secure it the belief of our readers.

James Dickinson and Jane Fearon had travelled the whole of a very rainy day, when, evening coming on, they inclined to stop at a little public-house, in order to lodge there that night; but a guide they had hired, discovered, as far as they could understand his Scotch manners and dialect, his unwillingness for them to stay there; informing them there was a place, about three miles further, where they might conveniently lodge, and whither he wanted to go; and that if they stayed, he would go on himself. But they being wet and weary, concluded to stay; so, discharging the guide, he went forward, being only hired for the day.

After they had been a short time in the house, their minds were struck with a painful apprehension that the people of the inn had a design upon their lives; and notwithstanding they behaved to them with apparent kindness and attention, their apprehension continued and increased. On the woman helping Jane Fearon to a piece of pie, and urging her to eat it, these words struck her mind: 'She intends to serve thee otherwise before morning.' Jane, believing the pie to be filled with human flesh, could not taste it.

There was another woman or two in the same room with them, who appeared to belong to the house; the Friends also saw three men in and about the house, who were frequently in the same room observing them; but in what capacity these men were, or what proper business or employment they had there, they could form nojudgment.

Jane Fearon also heard the men say one to another, 'They have good horses, and good bags.' To which another added, 'Aye, and good clothes.' The lonely situation of the house, and these appearances, which the painful feelings attending their minds led them to observe, tended to increase the apprehensions they had pf these people's wicked designs, which the friends endeavoured to conceal from each other; each concluding not to discourage the other.

James Dickinson having seen the horses taken care of, and their saddles taken off, inquired for beds; and they were shewn into a room wherein were two beds. After shutting the door, Jane sat down on the bed-side, being no longer able to conceal her terror, burst into tears, saying,



'I fear these people have a design to take our lives.' Upon which, James, after walking sometime across the room, came towards her and said: 'They have mischief in their hearts, but I hope the Lord will preserve our lives.' He also endeavoured to encourage Jane; and, after a pause, said, ' I hope the Lord will deliver us, but if so we must fly.'

Upon this, x Jane replied; * Alas! how can we fly! or whither shall we go!'

Then James Dickinson taking the candle, and carefully examining the room, discovered a door, which he opened; and, on searching, perceived a pair of back stone stairs that led to the outside of the house. Upon this discovery, putting off their shoes, they went softly down, leaving the candle burning in the room. On going down stairs, James saw, through an open place in the stairs, a woman with a large knife in her hand.

After running for a considerable time, they met with an out-building, into which they went; but when they had stopped there a few minutes, James Dickinson said to Jane Fearon, 'We are not safe here; we must proceed further:' to which Jane replied; 'I am so weary, I think I cannot go any further:' but James pointing out the necessity, she endeavoured, and they ran again till they came to a river near the south coast.

On going a short distance along the side of it, they came to a bridge; but on their attempting to go over it, James Dickinson felt a presentiment in his mind and said, 'We must not go over this bridge, but must go further up the river side;' which they did, and then sat down. After some time, James Dickinson grew uneasy, and said, * We are not safe here, we must wde through the river.'

Jane Fearon replied, 'Alas! how can we cross it, knowing not its depth?' also adding, 'Rather let us wait here, and see what they are permitted to do. It will be better for them to take our lives, than for us to drown ourselves;' apprehending the river to be exceedingly deep.

James replied, 'Fear not, I will go before thee:' upon which they entered, and got safe through. Walking onwards some distance, they came to a sand-bank. Here again sitting down, James said to Jane Fearon, I am not yet easy, we must go further:' upon which Jane said, 'Well, I must go by thy faith; I know not what to do.'

Then proceeding a little further, they found another sand-bank, wherein was a cavity, where they sat down. After awhile, James said, 'I am now easy, and believe we are here perfectly safe; and feel in my heart a song of thanksgiving and praise.'

Jane replied, 'I am so far from that, I cannot so much as say, the Lord have mercy upon us.'

When they had been here some time, they heard the noise of some people on the other side of the river; upon which James Dickinson finding Jane alarmed, and thence fearing they should be discovered, softly said, 'Our lives depend upon our silence.' Then attentively hearkening, they heard them frequently say, 'Seek them, Keeper;' and believed they were 'he men they had seen at the house, accompanied by a dog; that the dog refusing to go over the bridge, had followed the scent of their feet up the "ver side to the place they crossed.

Stopping at this place, the people again repeatedly cried: 'Seek them Keeper:' which they not only heard, but saw the pijople with a lantern. They also heard one of them say they had crossed tl je river; upon which another replied, 'That's impossible, unless the d--l took them over, for

[ocr errors][merged small]

the river is brink full.' After wearying themselves a considerable time in their search, they went away; and James Dickinson and Jane Fearon saw them no more.

When day light appeared, they saw a man qn a high hill at some distance, looking about him every way, apparently with an intent of discovering something, and they apprehended it was them.

They continued quiet in their retreat, till some time after sunrise; when upon taking a view of their situation, they discovered, that under the first sand bank from whence they removed, they could have been seen from the other side of the river; and that the place they continued in, shaded them from being seen on the opposite side, which they had been insensible of, as they could not make the observation the night before.

Upon considering what they should do to recover their horses, saddle bag?, &c. James said: * I incline to go to the house.' But Jane proposed to go to a neighbouring town, in order to get assistance to go with them to the house; to which James Dickinson replied, that the town from whence assistance was likely to be procured was about ten miles off; that they were strangers; their reasons for taking such precaution in returning to the house, implied a high charge which they might not be able to prove; that thence occasion might be taken to throw them into prison by magistrates; and might more dispose the civil power to seek occasion against them, than to search into the cause of their complaints, or redress their wrongs.'*

Jane still hesitating, James said: '1 still incline to return to the house, fully believing our clothes, bags, &c. will be ready for us without our being asked a question, and that the people we saw last night, we shall see no more.'

Jane remarked: 'I dare not go back.' James replied: 'Thou mayest Jane safe'y; for I have seen that which never failed me.' Upon which they returned to the house, and found their horses standing in the stable, and their bags upon them; their clothes dried and ready to put on; and saw no person but on old woman sitting in a nook by the fire side, whom they did not remem'jer to have seen the night before. They asked her what they had to pay, discharged it, and proceeded on their journey.

Some time after, James travelling that way, made some inquiry respecting the peode of the inn; and was informed that upon some occasion they had been taken up, and the house searched; that a quantity of men and women's apparel was found in some parts of the house, also a great number of hunan bones; that some of the people were executed, and the place ordered '.o be pulled down, which remained, when he saw it, a heap of rubbish.

* It wonld seem from the passage that the period to which this narrative refers, was some timedariug £Ue life of George Fox, 'Jiis founder of the Society of Friends.—Ed. Lit' Mag.

« AnteriorContinuar »