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PASSAGES IN THE DIARY OF A SURGEON.
BY ONE OF THE PROFESSION.
The Manuscript Concluded.
“ Man to man so oft unjust, Is always so to woman; one sole bond Awaits her-treachery is all her trust."
Montas rolled on, and still I continued in the same situation. Notwithstand. ing all the vows and protestations which Henry Stanhope continued to make me, I could not persuade him to consent to have our marriage solemnized. But one answer was ever returned to my entreaties—“ Were we not already united ?” he would say, “ Not perhaps by the outward form of a useless ceremony, read by a servile priest, but our union was one of the heart, which was pure and lasting in itself, and equally irrevocable before God.” Yet vexed as I ever was at this disappointment of my hopes, I could not doubt the truth of a heart that dictated such a reply. I was, therefore, far from being unhappy; for, guileless myself, I suspected not deceit in others ; much less did I imagine that he on whom all my hopes and affections were placed—for whom I had forsaken home and all its endearing ties—for whom I had sacrificed my innocence and peace of mind, was even at that very moment meditating the blow which would consign me to hopeless infamy and shame, which would expose me for ever to the scorn and infamy of the world.
As I have already mentioned, months rolled on, and found me comparatively happy, for Henry still appeared the same affectionate being as in the bright days of our early love. At length, however, he became less attentive; his absence from home was longer and more frequent, and he seemed to have lost all relish for those domestic pursuits in which he had heretofore delighted. To inattention succeeded indifference and neglect, so that I could no longer doubt the sad and degrading change. It was long, very long, however, ere I knew to what cause this change was to be attributed ; but after a time the horrid truth flashed with terrible distinctness on my mind. He was wearied of me; I was a burthen to him. Even then, when there appeared so much of truth in the conjecture as could hardly leave the shadow of a doubt upon my mind, I could not, I would not, altogether condemn him. I could not believe him guilty of such treachery. I endeavoured to attribute it to other causes, to pecuniary disappointment—to any thing rather than to the one fatal and mortifying truth that I had outlived his liking. I essayed by the most devoted attention, and by every means in my power, to endear myself to him, but all my efforts for this purpose were vain, and seemed only to produce in him the reverse of that feeling, which it was my object to create. He continued to grow more abstracted, more retired, and more indifferent, till the melancholy truth became too evident to admit further doubt; for - not satisfied with treating me with mere
PASSAGES IN THE DIARY OF A SURGEON.
neglect, he became even brutal in his conduct towards me. I remonstrated with him, but this was of no effect; he heeded not my words.
At length upon the receipt of some fresh indignity, I could no longer brook his inhumanity. I upbraided him for his treachery towards me, and urged him by all our former loves, by all his vows and protestations, to fulfil his promises of marriage, and rescue me from the shame which was otherwise inevitable. I reminded him of my mother's fate, of the malediction she pronounced with her dying breath on the destroyer of her child, and bade him in time avert the awful consequences which would inevitably await a crime so heinous, and the horror which in the dread hour of dissolution he would feel at the recollection that a parent's curse was on him. But when I found that my appeal and my entreaties were useless, that my tears fell upon a heart of marble-my nature appeared changed—a revengeful feeling took possession of me -I cautioned him to beware how he reduced me to despair. I bade him remember that the revenge of woman was
“ Like the tiger's spring,
Deadly, and quick, and crushing," and that if he did desert me, that if he did thrust me forth unprotected and degraded to meet the scorn of the world, I would not fail to be fearfully avenged ;-that where'er he went, I would follow him like his shadow-Í would attend his steps till ample vengeance should gratify my wounded soul. But all was vain ; my entreaties he derided, my wretchedness he insulted, my threats he laughed to scorn. This completed the measure of his iniquity, and muttering threats of vengeance, I quitted the house.
And now what a vast change had taken place in the prospects of my early youth! I, who had once lived in affluence, nay, even in luxury, and possessed all the blessings of existence, was now roaming through the streets, houseless, and well nigh pennyless. I had blighted all my mother's fondest hopes and wishes. I had branded her name with ignominy, and brought her grey hairs with sorrow to the grave, Remorse drove me almost to madness. I wandered I knew not whither. The innocence and happiness of days for ever past and fled presented themselves in colours rendered far more bright and glowing, as contrasted with the misery and degradation of the present; while over the future was extended a veil of uncertainty and gloom, In this frame of mind I continued to wander onwards, till the deserted streets and the night air, which, unaccustomed as I was to it, struck with a chilling keenness, warned me to seek a shelter for the night. I accordingly took up my abode in a second-rate hotel, and endeavoured to seek a temporary refuge for my misery in slumber. But, alas! the attempt was unsuccessful, Sleep which,“ like the world, his ready visit pays where fortune smiles,' forsook my wretched pillow. As I lay devising all imaginary means for protecting myself from want, I remembered that a friend of Stanhope had, some little time previously to my quitting him, offered me his protection, and to him, in my sad extremity I resolved to proceed as soon as the morning should dawn. Exhausted nature being no longer able to withstand the fatigue which I had endured, I sunk into a profound slumber, which lasted till late the following morning.
I arose, and after partaking of some refreshment, I proceeded on my errand. I need hardly say that I was received with open arms, and the most endearing epithets were lavished on me. And now once more was I placed in affluence, and surrounded with all the luxuries which wealth could procure. Money to any amount was at my command, and it was by .this means that I was enabled to wreak my vengeance on him whom I now hated with an intensity equal only to the love which once I bore him. I was aware that before I left him he had suffered many pecuniary losses, and that he was in consequence in very embarrassed circumstances. For the purpose of procrastinating the evil day, and relieving himself in some measure from the pressing importunities of his creditors, he had placed his hand to several bills of exchange, which he trusted that, by economy, he should be enabled to meet at the periods when they should become due. Fully believing that
PASSAGES IN THE DIARY OF A SURG FON.
he would not be able to meet these engagements, I purchased one of these bills, that I might make it the medium of working out the revengeful determination that possessed me. The day of payment arrived ; the bill was presented, and the answer returned that it would most assuredly be paid, if but a little time were allowed; to this, as may be imagined, I.would not accede; the injuries I had received at his hand were too deep to be, so readily effaced. The next day he was arrested at my suit, and being totally unable to meet the demands of his creditors, he was compelled to take up his abode within the dreary precincts of a jail. Here, heart-broken by his misfortunes, and goaded by the stings of conscience, he sought relief from his misery in death, and terminated his existence by means of poison. Thus was my vengeance amply gratified. But to proceed :-I continued to live with my new friend for some months. Time, however, wrought the change that sooner or later might have been expected : dissensions and mutual bickerings led to a separation, and we parted. It would be useless to detain you with an account of the various persons with whom I became successively acquainted ; suffice it to say, that I sunk gradually into the abyss of shame and guilt, and drank the cup of misery to the very dregs. I descended gradually in the scale of society, until I was compelled to associate with the most worthless characters, the very outcasts of society. To obtain a bare subsistence, I was hurried into the committal of crimes, the very mention of which would create disgust and horror. To drown the feelings of remorse which ever clung to me, I resorted to the use of ardent spirits, and my days and nights were spent in drunkenness, riot, and debauchery. Oftimes, when in my sober moments, the memory of what I had once been, and the dreadful recollection of what I then was, came in terrible contrast to my mind, and almost caused my brain to madden, and I have prayed for deatń as a boon to relieve me from my misery. At length nature could no longer withstand the terrible effects caused by the dreadful life I was compelled to lead, and I was stretched on a bed of sickness, labouring under the disease known by the name of delirium tremens. Here I could not hope to drown the recollection of happiness for ever fled, of fond hopes for ever blighted, and boundless misery which I must needs endure, ere I could slumber in the last long sleep of death, and which rushed in a sad array through my mind. As the disease increased, reason filed before it, and I lay for many days in a state of insensibility. But even then the events which crowded upon my brain were in unison with my waking thoughts. I was borne on the magic wings of memory to the joyous hours of my youth. I wandered with my beloved mother amid the scenes rendered dear to me by the remembrance of my childhood's happy days. The sun shone brightly on hill and vale—the waters sparkled beneath its radiant beams, as they rushed with a gladsome murmur through grove and glen—the heavens, spread in one blue and unclouded canopy, were stretched on high-the trees waved gently in the wind—the flowers frolicked in the laughing breeze—the merry carol of the feathered tribe resounded from every spray, and all appeared to speak of happiness and mirth. Suddenly the scene was changed. I stood within the chamber of death : I saw my mother's emaciated form stretched on the bed of sickness, ere her spirit took its everlasting flight from its tenement of clay. I saw her pallid lips move as she indistinctly murmured blessings and forgiveness to the child whose early depravity had hastened her dissolution, and embittered her dying hours. Then, as the senseless and agonizing laugh and frenzied air succeeded to the momentary gleam of reason, the curse which she pronounced on the head of him who had deprived her of her only hope and joy, by destroying the innocence of her child, rung with appalling distinctness in my ears. Again, a “ change came o'er the spirit of my dream,” and I was in London, living in comparative tranquillity and happiness with the treacherous Stanhope. Gradually the scenes in which I had been an actor, came sweeping with power resistless through my mind, and I appeared to live my sorrows o'er again. These vanished, and I was in a fair and bright land, where every thing was glorious to sight; the fairest flowers on all sides met the eye ; the sounds of
PASSAGES IN THE DIARY OF A SURGEON.
melody, far surpassing the most delicious and ravishing strains of human minstrelsy, delighted the ear; while the air was charged with the most delicious fragrance. Then the spirit of my mother, clad in a robe of dazzling whiteness, was presented to my view. She smiled on me, as she was wont to do in early days. She beckoned me to approach her : but as I was about to seize her hands, she melted from my gaze, and the wild discordant laughter of exulting fiends rung upon the air, and their hideous forms were seen dancing in hellish glee, as they claimed me for their victim.
When I recovered from this state of insensibility, I found that I owed my preservation to one whom I had hitherto scarcely known. It was he for whose murder I am now condemned to an ignominious death. He occupied lodgings in the same house with myself, and had frequently seen me. Although I was unaware of it, he had become secretly attached to me, for spite of all the miseries I had endured, I still retained some trace of former attractions. During my illness, he had watched by my side with unceasing assiduity, and had procured for me every thing which my precarious state rendered necessary. During my convalescence, he still continued his attentions, and every hour he could spare from his work was devoted to me. At length, when I was perfectly restored to health, he offered me his hand, and notwithstanding that I was already thoroughly disgusted with the treachery of mankind, a feeling of gratitude prompted me to accede; besides,
• It is in vain that we would coldly gaze
Leap kindly back to kindness.”
But little else remains to be told. For a time we lived together in comfort, and such happiness as I could hope for was again my portion. Our family increased, and with them our cares. After the lapse of a few years, my husband formed acquaintance with some persons of dissipated and de bauched babits, and lured by their example, gave way to intoxication, until he became a confirmed drunkard. I endeavoured to wean him from this vicious course, but in vain. Poverty and want fell upon us-hunger stared us in the face ; every thing we possessed was sold to satisfy the demands of our creditors. The deepest misery became our portion-yet all failed to turn him from his evil propensity. At length it gave rise to the awful catastrophe * for which I am to suffer, and which you must spare me the pain of recounting.
And now but one more task is left me to perform. It is to repeat my grateful sense of your kindness, and to pray that the blessings of Providence may ever be extended to you. Alas! the offerings of a grateful heart are all that are left me to bestow,
G. T. F. * Related in our first Number.
The world's à mere cypher
F. W. B.
WALKER'S PATENT PORTABLE RAILROAD.
The inventor of this invaluable travelling apparatus has pursued his studies with the utmost secrecy for a number of years, till, having brought it to the greatest point of perfection which he anticipates it can reach, he unassumingly calls the public attention to it in a commonplace advertisement with no greater flourish of trumpets than if he had invented a new fashioned, wooden-shoe, or a travelling cigar-case.
For this modesty, the constant attendant on true genius, we entertain the highest respect, hut such is our admiration of Mr. Walker and of his invention, that we cannot suffer him to remain in obscurity, indeed it would be defrauding society at large of much interesting matter for conversation, did we not do our utmost to remove the bushel from his candle, and we therefore throw together bastily such particulars of his life and pursuits as will enable the reader to trace the gradual development of bis powers, till arrived at full maturity, they burst upon us in the magnificent blaze of talent displayed in the machine before us.
So long ago as the year 1800, while Walker was yet a student in the semia nary of the parish of St. Sepulchre, his attention was called to the velocity with which a circular borly will move on an inclined plane, by the rapid movements of the butchers' carts, as they progressed from Newgate market to the foot of Holborn-hill. As he witnessed this phenomenon daily, it is not surprising that it should make a lasting impression on his mind, nor that he should seek to render it familiar by personal experiment : accordingly between the hours devoted to scholastic exercises, young Walker might be seen pursuing the object more congenial to his talents, of propelling potatoes, turnips, and such other rotund bodies as he could procure in the direction before mentioned. Often has the foot-passenger been astonished by the amazing force of his genius, often have proofs of it been exhibited in the windows around. He pursued this line of study with unremitted assiduity, till the winter of 1801, when unfortunately a frost bitten turnip, to which he had given an impetus in the direction of the then Fleet market, carne in contact with the spectacles of a respectable householder, who lost his footing, and the sight of one eye at the same instant, the former he speedily recovered, but his eyesight remains defective to the present hour, as may be observed by any one in the habit of walking through Smithfield, where he is employed to see that proper order is maintained. This untoward event was the cause of considerable uneasiness to young Walker, not only because his modesty was wounded by the schoolmaster making what he termed an example of bim, but what of course he more regretted, he was forbidden to prosecute this peculiar course of experiment in future. In this dilemma he turned his attention more particularly to the properties of the wheel, and was fortunate enough to obtain ample opportunities of studying it as a science, by the kindness of a greengrocer in the neighbourhood, who allowed him on halfholidays to wheel home coals and potatoes on his barrow.
At the age of fourteen, when he left school, his talents had so far developed themselves as to attract the notice of bis friends, who with a penetration creditable to their judgment, and a kindness not often equalled, placed him under the care of an eminent knife-grinder in Fleet lane, under whose auspices he became thorougbly grounded in the knowledge for which his mind thirsted, and to use a homely phrase, by putting his shoulder to the wheel, acquired such a facility in increasing its velocity, as bid fair to eclipse the fame of the illustrious Watt, as his latest work portends he will supersede at no distant day the celebrated modern Hancock.
He had not fully completed the term of his apprenticeship, when by mere accident he saw a steam-engine at work chopping beef for sausages, and im