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goods were confiscated, and a reward offered for their apprehension, but for this they cared not. They were united and happy ; and they looked forward in the hope that brighter prospects would ere long dawn upon them. Vain hope! The only person who could reveal the secret of their retreat, and could tear them from their now humble, but still bappy, home-was he who had been reared from infancy beneath the shelter of their roof, who had eaten of their bread, and received unnumbered benefits at their hands-he, forgetful of all the ties of gratitude which bound him to them, denounced them to the officers of justice. That traitor is now before you.
“ The father, mother, three daughters !—(there was another, but she was absent on a visit to a relation in a distant part of the country), with a young hoy, of ten years,—were consigned to all the horrors of a dungeon. They were brought to trial; and although in those fearful days the most frivolous accusations were sufficient to condemn the innocent to death, yet the public prosecutor was at a loss to procure sufficient evidence against this noble family. But, alas ! this was not long wanting. He to whom their very thoughts were known, to whose honour the secrets of the family had been entrusted, presented himself as their accuser, and tortured the most innocent acts into proofs that they were guilty of conspiring against the liberties of the people. This false witness—this perjured monster, was I.
“ The fatal sentence was pronounced against them; and with the exception of the young child already mentioned, they were all condemned to die upon the scaffold. With the utmost resignation, this amiable family awaited the execution of the sentence By some mistake, however, the order for their execution was not delivered to the proper officer: and had there been no one to take notice of this error, they would have escaped the doom which had been awarded them. But there was one, who, burning with impatience to enrich bimself with the spoils of their abode, attended before the revolutionary tribunal, and caused the error to be rectified. The order for their execution was instantly dispatched, and ere the sun had set they had ceased to live. Need I say that it was I that procured their death.
“ The reward which I received for my crime was three thousand francs, and these precious articles which you now see around you. Shortly after the death of her parents, the eldest daughter, who, as I have already in. formed you, was on a visit to a relation, returned, full of anticipations of the happiness she should enjoy with those to whom she was so devotedly attached. Her feelings at learning the fate of ber relatives I need not describe, they can be far better conceived. It is only necessary for my purpose to state, that I saw and loved her ; but'twas with a wild, unholy passion. I continued to visit her in the abode from which her parents had been torn to meet their untimely fate, and at length I offered to make her my wife; but, although she was ignorant that it was throug me that all her hopes and prospects had been blighted, and her relatives hurried from existence, yet she appeared instinctively to abhor my very presence, and she resolutely and unhesitatingly refused my offer. This refusal at once roused in my heart the worst passions of humanity. I determined not to be baffled by a mere girl, and resolved that at all hazards she should be mine either in wedlock or dishonour. With rage flashing from my eyes I seized a knife which accidentally lay on a table near me, and brandishing it above her head, vowed that nought but consent to my wishes should save her from death. Her cheek blanched not, her eye quailed not, at the death which appeared so imminent, but with firmness and resignation she awaited the deadly stroke. Her calmness for a moment disconcerted me, and unintentionally I allowed the knife to fall from my grasp. With the utmost eagerness she seized the weapon from the ground, and ere I had time to avert the blow, the steel was dyed deeply with her heart's blood.
“ After this crime I endeavoured, by rushing headlong into dissipation, to drown the stings of conscience, hut this could not last long; and as soon as the money I had received was spent, I became a prey to remorse. jects which I formed, no enterprise i undertook, no work in which I engaged were attended with success. I sank gradually under the weight of my mis
fortunes, till at last I became poor and infirm. On the charity of those who
The old man paused for a few moments, and tears, hot, burning tears,—
“Oh ! how long has been my repentance, how bitter have been the tears
“My son,” replied the Abbé,“ your crimes are indeed horrible. A
No sooner had the good priest spoken than the aged mendicant, starting from his bed with a supernatural energy, exclaimed eagerly
“How blessed, how consoling are your words, father : but ere I can recieve pardon let me relieve myself of the fruit of my crime. Take all these things, sell them, distribute their produce amongst the poor.”
As be uttered those words he touched the various articles to which he alluded, and, in so doing, the crape which covered the picture fell, and revealed it to the gaze of his ghostly comforter.
Those,” said the old man, " are the features of my betrayed master.” Scarcely had the Abbé viewed the picture than exclaiming—“My father, my father!” he sunk on a chair overcome with emotion. He covered his face with his hands as if to shut out the sight of that which could not fail to bring to his mind the recollection of the untimely fate of his relatives, and burst into a flood of tears.
The aged mendicant not daring to meet the gaze of the son of his victim, whom he already viewed as a terrible judge prepared to launch his curses against him, rather than a holy priest, full of pity for the crimes and frail. ties of a fellow mortal, and in the spirit of Christianity breathing forgiveness to his enemies, threw himself at the feet of the Abbé, clung to his knees, and bathed them with his tears.
“ Was I not right,” he exclaimed. “ Am I not a monster, whose crimes are beyond the reach of pardon ? I know well, tbat even religion herself would turn with abhorrence from a wretch like me.”
Recalled to himself by these words, the priest, by a powerful effort, re-
“ Old man ! is your repentance sincere ?"
Then I forgive you; and may you likewise receive pardon from Heaven.”
G. T. F.
A LOVER'S MISFORTUNE.
Gentle reader, bave you ever been in love !-No! then you have never seen Miss Angelina Fordyce. But I have, and my heart was not proof against such a concentration of graces, such an unequalled assemblage of charms, as then burst upon my view. I was first introduced to her at my Aunt Mordaunts, and endeavoured to secure her notice by the exercise of all those ingenious pantomimic maneuvres for wbich Ladies' Gentlemen have gained so much celebrity; I danced with her, handed negus and cake to her, snuffed the candle at the Piano when she was going to sing, (warble I should say). turned over the music pages while she was singing: in short, did the amiable the agreeable, the delightful, every thing that I thought could possibly forward me in her estimation. My attentions were not, I had good reason 10 suspect, altogether unnoticed ; for I occasionally observed her eyes rest upon me with something like interest I will not say love. My aunt gave a ball shortly after my first introduction to Angelina at which I ascertained she was to be present and no one longed so much for the evening of the Ball as I did, I dreamed of it every night, and sometimes even twice in the same evening, while in the day-time I amused myself with writing sonnets to her eyes, lines for ber album, and preparing trifies for her scrap book. The intervening days I employed to the best advantage, making a complete circle round the zodiac of tailors, drapers, glovers, perfumers, bosiers, jewellers, &c., and, in addition to which, i equipped myself with a pair of the most exquisite pumps, resolving to take every advantage that might be derived from a good external appearance. Now many persons are not aware of the importance which attaches to a good shoe on a small foot ; but, knowing it to be my invariable custom to glance first at the face and then at the foot of the pariy under my scrutiny, and thinking others might act on the same principle, I prepared myself accordingly.
The wished-for day did at length arrive, and with it a cargo of apparel of various kinds—pumps of most enchanting
fit, even to tightness, coat of the newest cut, waistcoat of the latest pattern, and trousers ditto ; to say nothing of kid gloves that might have rivalled the driven snow, or even dhe forehead of Angelina herself. I was pleased at the airy castles which filosted before my mind's eye ; 1 foresaw the conquest I was about to make,
and in my extasy
“See the conquering hero comes" burst spontaneously from my lips. But alas ! vanity, like love, is blind. 1 now repaired to my toilet, and selecting the best razor (one of Palmer's) I began mowing the embryo stumps of a would-be beard! Oh! fate, fate, why were beards ever made to degrade the chins of men. But ah! I saw not my reflection in the glass, I only saw the fair and amiable Angelina, the handsomest in the room, and mysel:, the most envied, leading her through the dance. Was it possible that I was so blest as to touch her hand; did I indeed gaze upon her radiant countenance ? I apparently was so blest, so happy; and, in the moment of my joy I could not restrain my hands from bestowing a visionary pressure upon the delicate hand of Angelina. Poets may say what they please about the language of eyes, but it is my firm opinion that the language of the hands is equally expressive. I am straying, however, from my mirror, in which I beheld my imaginary felicity, Reader, if thou knowest what real agony of feeling is, fancy mine at that unhappy moment-it was the very acme of agony; I had cut my-throat ? rolling its ruby drops-on the lawn front of my snow-white shirt; one which bad been chosen specially for the occasion, I stamped, raved, and rung the belt till ibe wire broke, with the full intention of sacrificing the first person who appeared to my vengeance.
“James you rascal, shouted I, still grasping the infamous instrument, as my valet made his appearance ; " James, you rascal, fetch me another sbirt."
But ere I bad finished my command the wretch bad vanished, for my apa pearance was so ludicrous that he feared I was insane and bad severed my throat. I called in vain for assistance, till at length it came in the persons of three policemen and a surgeon, headed by my recreant valet. They secured me, and bound my hands; and a consultation was then held as to how I was to be disposed of. Some recommended Bethlem and various other places of the kind; but it was at length determined that I should remain where I was that night, with the surgeon and my valet to guard me. Esculapius began examining my neck, to see what harm had been done, while I in vain endeavoured to convince him of his mistake; but, alas, he seemed totally beedless of wy remonstrances, and proceeded forthwith to bleed me, which he did to no slight an extent, as I soon discovered by the weakness which followed. Totally exhausted with vexation and loss of blood, I gave myself up in despair to the most agonizing feelings; for I was well aware that a rival aspirant to the band and affections of Angelina would be at the ball, and I doubted not would make the most of my absence to improve bis suit. Thus I lay, the victim of the most acute and galling disappointment, until I sank unconsciously to sleep.
It was not until two days after that the mistake was discovered—when I was released. I resolved to take summary vengeance on the scoundrel valet who had thus thwarted my most pleasing anticipations, and forth with made up my mind to discharge him and all my household; but, fearing lest such measures might be construed into a return of the fit, I was compelled to forbear. Just then my old acquaintance and bosom friend, Anthony Prate, Esq., called in to see me; and, in the course of conversation, I learnt that Angelina had taken my absence so much to heart, and my rival had mado such good use of his time, that she had at length consented to become his bride, and the marriage had been fixed for that day fortnight.
Fire and fury! this was unbearable ; that, through cutting my chin ! should lose the handsomest of women, with a large fortune to boot, that all my fancied success should be thus annibilated by the magic touch of a vile razor. 'Twas too much for man to endure. I fainted outright, fell into a fever, and was placed in a sick bed for two weeks, from wbich I have just risen, to write this heart-rending narrative, and see the detested marriage announced in the columns of the "Morning Past!”