« ZurückWeiter »
an old acquaintance. “Why,” said hair was floating loosely about her Mr. D “ you don't know who I shoulders, and she came tripping up to am, do you ?"_“Yes, to be sure I do,” us, humming an air, and suddenly adsaid the madman,“ you are Mr. dressed us—“ Did you know Sam WilD”. Upon inquiry, it was discov- liams ?--Ah! he was a sweet youth. ered that this man had once seen Mr. But then, do you know, they took him
about five and thirty years be- away to India, and there Warren Hasfore at the old Bedlam Hospital. Thus ings killed him ;-but I made him pay a it seems that the memory, at least
, may guinea for it, that's what I did !" "And remain unimpaired amidst the general then bursting out into a wild hysterical wreck of the understanding.
laugh, she turned away and ran off in There are certain 'vards set apart for another direction. Amongst the incuthe reception of criminal lunatics. In rables, we saw a poor cracked creature, one of these were assembled nine per the miserable victim of nervosity. His sons, every one of whom had commit- sears had at last driven him out of his ted murder ; and it required no little ex- wits, and he was at this time a prey to ertion of nerve to feel at ease in such the strongest paroxysms of apprehencompany. Amongst this class old Peg sion. All day long he was crouching Nicholson was pointed out to us, who down and trembling, under an idea that sometime in the last century attempted the sky was about to fall; and he cried the life of King George the Third, and out to us—“Take care! Don't you see whose appearance, or rather apparition, it shake? Now it is coming!" There after the lapse of so many years, seemed was another man, who fancied himself like a resurrection from the dead. Here, in the family way, and was under tertoo, is Hatfield, who made a similar at- rible alarm with the notion that he was tempt at a later period; and here, also, about to be brought to-bed of a black boy. are all those mischievous maniacs, In short, it would be endless to recount whose histories have from time to time all the strange and ridiculous delusions served to fill up a column in the public which we found possessing the distemprints ;—from the disappointed lover, pered brains of the inhabitants of Bedwho fired a pistol at Miss Kelly, to the lam, and ruling them with all the force disappointed half-pay officer, who took of reality. a flying shot at Lord Palmerston. If there was any thing in the manage
We were continually assailed with ment of this asylum to which one might petitions for a few coppers for the pur- object, it is, perhaps, the unnecessary chase of snuff and tobacco; and many parade of locks and keys, and bars and took us aside with coherent well-told bolts ;—but upon the whole, we were tales of the treacherous devices by which strongly impressed with the admirable they had been trepanned into a place of regulations that prevailed throughout, confinement;—some of which really
and of the excellent effects of kindness sounded so probable, that if this were and conciliation in mitigating the vionot known to be the commonest of de- lence of this dreadful visitation. The lusions that prevail in these cases, it admiration we felt was expressed in evwould have been difficult to withhold ery language of Europe, by the various belief from such very circumstantial visitors from different countries, who details. We had an example of the had recorded their sentiments in the ruling passion, strong in madness as in books of the hospital. I select one by death, in the reply of a poor dancing. way of example, from the late minister master, of whom we were inquiring and ambassador of France. whether he had any thing to complain
«Cet établissement ne laisse d'autres of. “ Complain of !” said he, “ look at
vaux à former que celui de voir toutes les
maisons de la mêine nature en Europe ad.. my shoes !"-—which were certainly not ministrées d'apres les mêmes principes et of that light fantastic character to which avec les mêmes soins ; et je croirai avoir he had probably been accustomed in his bien mérité de mon pays et de l'humanidancing days. We were much struck, té, si je peux contribuer à faire suivre too, with a pretty interesting-looking Bethlehem qu'a bien voulu me promettre de
en France les règlemens en les plans de girl who had gone mad for love. Her
me communiquer M. le Gouverneur, à qui
j'offre l'expression de ma reconnoisance, But we are surrounded with mysteries comme ami de la morale et de l'humanité.
on every side, which baffle our inqui
ries, and the result of our boasted knowwere glad to escape from this melan- ledge choly scene. We had seen examples “ Is but to know how little can be known," of almost every variety of mental de- If we endeavour to push our conjectures rangement : Religious enthusiasts ;- farther, and escape from the narrow political projectors ;-despairing lova circle, with which it has pleased Heaven ers ;-husbands frantic for the loss of to circumscribe our faculties, the attheir wives ;--wives for the loss of their tempt always ends in defeat and disaphusbands ;-parents for the loss of their pointment. We have, it is true, a children. One only modification of glimmering of the world above us, but grief seemed wanting,—there were no if we presume to imagine we can break filial instances of the same effects being the bars of our prison, and soar into produced by the loss of parents. In these forbidden regions, what is the rereflecting upon this fact, however, we sult? We exhaust our strength in ought rather to admire the wise dispen- fruitless efforts ;-like an imprisoned sation of Providence in thus construct- blue-bottle, who, seeing the light withing the human mind, than suppose the out, tries to escape from the confineyounger part of our species deficient in ment of a room, and bangs himself with the kindly feelings of affection. In the piteous violence against the window, natural course of events such excessive humming and buzzing with increasing sensibility must have proved a constant impatience at every successive failure source of misery. Happily it has been of his hopes, till wearied out at last he ordered otherwise :—and the reasoning sinks down into a corner, sore and that Shakspeare has put into the mouth crest-fallen, to brood in silence over his of the hypocritical king of Denmark, own ignorance and helplessness. has its just and reasonable effect on October 1. Letters from America, the most sensitive mind.
which summon me away. I should "The surviver bound
lament my departure more if I did not In filial obligation for some term
hope soon to renew my intimacy with a Performs obsequious sorrow : But to persevere country in which I have met with so In obstinate cundolement, is a course
much hospitality and kindness. It is of impious stubbornnes ; 'tis unmanly grief, And shews a will most impious to Heaven."
indeed lamentable to think that two naWhat an awful impression does the
tions so formed by nature to be friendly contemplation of a spectacle like Bed to each other, should have ever been at lam leave upon the mind! How won
enmity. Let us hope that we shall both derfully, and yet how fearfully, are we
grow wiser as we grow older. Every made ! There is no part of the myste- tion would seem to bind America and
impulse of feeling, and every considerarious subject of evil, with respect to its England together by the firmest ties of origin and purposethat so inexplica- friendship: Those then whom God ble as this; -and who can help ex: hath joined, let no man put asunder!" claiming, why is it that we are mad?
New Monthly Magazine, Nov.
DIRGE FOR MUNGO PARK.
Air, “ Rousseau's Dream."
Swiftly to an unknown shore, 'Tis thine eye alone that weepeth,
Here, we know, is no abiding, His is clos'd to ope no more.
There is rest for evermore. He hath gain'd that unknown river, Pilot through this mighty ocean! He hath found a hero's grave;
Lord of earth, and air, and sea ! There bis head in peace for ever
Thou canst still the wild wave's motion : Rests beneath the dashing wave.
All our hopes are fix'd on thee.
(Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine.)
ET us sit down on this stone felt that they must have been gathering seat,” said my aged friend, the together for many long years,
and that pastor,
6 and I will tell you a tale of such sighs as I had now heard came tears, concerning the last inhabitants of from the uttermost desolation of the yonder solitary house, just visible on human heart. At last she dipped her the hill-side, through the gloom of those pitcher in the water, lifted her eyes
to melancholy pines. Ten years have heaven, and distinctly saying, “0, Jepassed away since the terrible catas- sus, Son of God! whose blood was trophe of which I am about to speak; shed for sinners, be merciful to their and I know not how it is, but me- souls !” she turned away from the thinks, whenever I come into this glen, scene of her sorrow, and, like one seen there is something rueful in its silence, in a vision, disappeared. while the common sounds of nature “ I have beheld the childless widow seem to my mind dirge-like and for- happy,” said the pastor, “even her lorn. Was not this very day bright who sat alone, with none to comfort and musical as we walked across all her, on a floor swept by the hand of the other hills and valleys; but now a death of all its blossoms. But her dim mist overspreads the sky, and, whom we have now seen I dare not beautiful as this lonely place must in call happy, even though she puts her truth be, there is a want of life in the trust in God and her Saviour. Her's verdure and the flowers, as if they is an affliction which faith itself cangrew beneath the darkness of perpet- not assuage. Yet religion may have ual shadows."
softened even sighs like those, and, as As the old man was speaking, a fe- you shall hear, it was religion that set male figure bent with age and infirmi- her free from the horrid dreams of ty, came slowly up the bank below us madness, and restored her to that comwith a pitcher in her hand, and when fort which is always found in the posshe reached a little well dug out of a session of a reasonable being." low rock all covered with moss and There was not a bee roaming near lichens, she seemed to fix her eyes up- us, nor a bird singing in the solitary on it as in a dream, and gave a long, glen, when the old man gave me these deep, broken sigh.
hints of a melancholy tale.
The sky • The names of her husband and was black and lowering, as it lay on her only son, both dead, are chiselled the silent hills, and enclosed us from by their own hands on a smooth stone the far-off world, in a sullen spot that within the arch of that fountain, and was selt to be sacred unto sorrow. The the childless widow at this moment figure which had come and gone with sees nothing on the face of the earth a sigh was the only dweller here; and but a few letters not yet overgrown I was prepared to hear a doleful history with the creeping timestains. See! of one left alone to commune with a her pale lips are moving in prayer, broken heart in the cheerless solitude and, old as she is, and long resigned in of nature. her utter hopelessness, the tears are not 6. That house from whose chimnies yet all shed or dried up within her no smoke has ascended for ten long broken heart,-a few big drops are on years," continued my friend, once her withered cheeks, but she feels them shewed its windows bright with cheernot, and is unconsciously weeping with ful fires; and her whom we now saw eyes that old age has of itself enough so woe-begone, I remember brought bedimmed.”
home a youthful bride, in all the beauThe figure remained motionless be- ty of her joy and innocence. Twenty side the well ; and, though I knew not years beheld her a wife and a mother, the history of the griefs that stood all with all their most perfect happiness, embodied so mournfully before me, I and with some, too, of their inevitable
griefs. Death passed not by her door On the day after the funeral, the old without his victims, and, of five chil- man produced his brother's will, by dren, all but one died, in infancy, child- which he became heir to all his properhood, or blooming youth. But they ty, except an annuity to be paid to the died in nature's common decay, natural heir, should he ever return. peaceful prayers were said around the Some pitied the prodigal son, who had bed of peace; and when the flowers been disinherited—some blamed the grew upon their graves, the mother's father-some envied the good fortune eyes could bear to look on them, as she of those who had so ill borne adversity. passed on with an unaching heart into But in a short time, the death, the will
, the house of God. All but one died, and the disinherited were all forgotten, and better had it been if that one had and the lost lands being redeemed, never been born.
peace, comfort, and happiness were “ Father, mother, and son now come supposed again to be restored to the to man's estate, survived, and in the dwelling from which they had so long house there was peace.
But suddenly been banished. poverty fell upon them. The dishon “ But it was not so.
If the furrows esty of a kinsman, of which I need not on the old man's face were deep before, state the particulars, robbed them of when he had to toil from morning to their few hereditary fields, which now night, they seemed to have sunk into passed into the possession of a stran- more ghastly trenches, now that the ger. They, however, remained as ten- goodness of Providence had restored a ants in the house which had been their gentle shelter to his declining years. own ; and for a while, father and son When seen wandering through his bore the change of fortune seemingly fields at even-tide, he looked not like undismayed, and toiled as common la- the Patriarch musing tranquilly on the bourers on the soil still dearly beloved. works and ways of God; and when At the dawn of light they went out to- my eyes met his during divine service, gether, and at twilight they returned. which he now again attended with struBut it seemed as if their industry was pulous regularity, I sometimes thought in vain. Year after year the old man's they were suddenly averted in conscious face became more deeply furrowed, guilt; or closeed in hypocritical devoand more seldom was he seen to smile; tion. I scarcely know if I had any and his son's countenance, once bold suspicions against him in my mind, or and open, was now darkened with an- not; but his high bald head, thin silger and dissatisfaction. They did not ver hair, and countenance with its fine attend public worship so regularly as features so intelligent, had no longer they used to do; when I met them in the same solemn expression which they the fields, or visited them in their once possessed, and something dark dwelling, they looked on me coldly, and hidden seemed now to belong to and with altered eyes; and I grieved to them, which withstood his forced and think how soon they both seemed to unnatural smile. The son, who, in have forgotten the blessings Providence the days of their former prosperity, had so long permitted them to enjoy, had been stained by no vice, and who, and how sullenly they now struggled during their harder lot, had kept bimwith its decrees. But something worse self aloof from all his former companthan poverty was now disturbing both ions, now became dissolute and proflitheir hearts.
gate, nor did he meet with any reproof “ The unhappy old man had a bro- from a father whose heart would once ther who at this time died, leaving an have burst asunder at one act of wickonly son, who had for many years aban- edness in his beloved child. doned his father's house, and of whom “ About three years after the death all tidings had long been lost. It was of his father, the disinherited son rethought by many that he had died be- turned to his native parish. He had yond seas; and none doubted, that, been a sailor on board various ships on living or dead, he had been disinherited foreign stations—but hearing by chance by his stern and unrelenting parent. of his father's death, he came to clai
66 I say
his inheritance. Having heard on his speech, but it was so unlike her usual arrival, that his uncle had succeeded voice, that I scarcely thought, at first, to the property, he came to me and the sound proceeded from her white told me, that the night before he left quivering lips. “ As you hope for his home, his father stood by his bed- mercy at the great judgment day, let side, kissed him, and said, that never the old man make his escape-hush, more would he own such an undutiful hush, hush-till in a few days he has son—but that he forgave him all his sailed away in the hold of some ship to sins—at death would not defraud him America. You surely will not hang of the pleasant fields that had so long an old grey-headed man of threescore belonged to his humble ancestors -and and ten years !" hoped to meet reconciled in heaven. “ The sailor stood silent and frown“Niy uncle is a villain,” said he, fierce- ing. There seemed neither pity nor ly, “and I will cast anchor on the cruelty in his face ; he felt himself ingreen bank where I played when a jured ; and looked resolved to right boy, even if I must first bring his grey himself, happen what would. head to the scaffold.”
he has forged my father's will. As to “ I accompanied him to the house of escaping, let him escape if he can. I his uncle. It was a dreadful visit. The do not wish to nang him; though I family had just sat down to their frugal have seen better men run up to the midday meal; and the old man, though fore-yard arm before now, for only askfor some years he could have had little ing their own. But no more kneeling, heart to pray, had just lifted up his woman.-Holla! where is the old man hand to ask a blessing. Our shadows, gone ?" as we entered the door, fell upon the “We all looked ghastily around, and table—and turning his eyes, he beheld the wretched wife and mother, springbefore him on the floor the man whom ing to her feet, rushed out of the house. he fearfully hoped had been buried in We followed, one and all. The door
His face was indeed, at that of the stable was open, and the mother moment, most unlike that of prayer, and son entering, loud shrieks were but he still held up his lean, shrivelled, heard. The miserable old man had trembling hand. “ Accursed hypo- slunk out of the room unobserved durcrite,” cried the fierce mariner, “ dosting the passion that had struck all our thou call down the blessing of God on souls, and had endeavoured to commit a meal won basely from the orphan? suicide. His own son cut him down, But, lo! God, whom thou hast blas- as he hung suspended from a rafter in phemed, has sent me from the distant that squalid place, and, carrying him isles of the ocean, to bring thy white in his arms, laid him down upon the head into the hangman's hands!" green bank in front of the house.
“ For a moment all was silent—then There he lay with his livid face, and a loud stifled gasping was heard, and blood-shot protruded eyes, till, in a she whom you saw a little while ago, few minutes, he raised himself rose shrieking from her seat, and fell fixed them upon his wife, who, soon down on her knees at the sailor's feet. recovering from a fainting fit, came The terror of that unforgiven crime, shrieking from the mire in which she now first revealed to her knowledge, had fallen down. 6 Poor people !" struck her down to the floor. She said the sailor with a gasping voice, fixed her bloodless face on his before you
have suffered enough for your whom she knelt—but she spoke not a crime. Fear nothing; the worst is single word. There was a sound in now past : and rather would I sail the ber convulsed throat like the death- seas twenty years longer, than add rattle. “ I forged the will," said the another pang to that old man's heart. son, advancing towards his cousin with Let us be kind to the old man." a firm step, “ my father could not-I 6 But it seemed as ifa raven had alone am guilty-1 alone must lie.” croaked the direfil secret all over the The wife soon recovered the power of remotest places among the hills ; for,
2L ATHENEUM VOL. 10.