Of Literature and Art,
MEZZOTINT AND STEEL ENGRAVINGS, MUSIC, ETC.
WILLIAM C. BRYANT, J. FENIMORE COOPER, RICHARD H. DANA, JAMES K. PAULDING, HENRY W. LONGFELLOW, N. P. WILLIS, CHARLES F. HOFFMAN, J. R. LOWELL.
MRS. LYDIA H. SIGOURNEY, MISS C. M. SEDGWICK, MRS. FRANCES S. OSGOOD, MRS. EMMA C. EMBURY, MRS. ANN S. STEPHENS, MRS. AMELIA B. WELBY, MRS. A. M. F. ANNAN, ETC.
GEORGE R. GRAHAM, AND ROBERT T. CONRAD, EDITORS.
PHILADELPHIA: GEORGE R. GRAHAM & CO. 98 CHESTNUT STREET. * * * * * 1848.
JANUARY, 1848, TO JUNE, 1848.
* * * * *
A Drama of Real Life. By N. P. WILLIS, 61
Autumnal Scenery. By JOSEPH R. CHANDLER, 64
Biographical Sketch of Gen. Wm. O. Butler. By FRANCIS P. BLAIR, 49
Battle of Fort Moultrie. By C. J. PETERSON, 198
Clara Harland. By G. G. FOSTER. (Illustrated.) 241
Cincinnati. By FAYETTE ROBINSON, 352
Captain Samuel Walker. By FAYETTE ROBINSON, (With an Engraving.) 301
Dissolving Views. By F. E. F. 172
Effie Morris. By ENNA DUVAL, 87
First Love. By ENNA DUVAL, 282
Game-Birds of America. By PROF. FROST, 68
Game-Birds of America. By PROF. FROST, 185
Home. By Mrs. H. MARION WARD, 129
Jacob Jones. By T. S. ARTHUR, 193
Jehoiakim Johnson. By MARY SPENCER PEASE, 313
Lace and Diamonds. By THEODORE S. FAY, 1
Le Petit Soulier. By IK. MARVEL, 165
Marginalia. By EDGAR A. POE, 23
Mathew Mizzle. By JOSEPH C. NEAL, 57
Montezuma Moggs. By JOSEPH C. NEAL, 116
Marginalia. By EDGAR A. POE, 130
Mrs. Pelby Smith's Select Party. By Mrs. A. M. F. ANNAN, 152
Marginalia. By EDGAR A. POE, 178
My Lady-Help. By ENNA DUVAL, 180
Mary Warner. By Mrs. E. L. B. COWDERY, 201
Major-General Worth. By FAYETTE ROBINSON, 275
Power of Beauty, and a Plain Man's Love. By N. P. WILLIS, 99
Pauline Dumesnil. By ANGELE DE V. HULL, 121
Pauline Grey. By F. E. F. 229, 265
Phantasmagoria. By JOHN NEAL, 26O
Phantoms All. By CAROLINE H. BUTLER, 304
Poor Penn—. By OLIVER BUCKLEY, 309
Stoke Church and Park. By R. BALMANNO, 73
The Rival Sisters. By HENRY W. HERBERT, 13, 105
The Little Gold-Fish. By J. K. PAULDING, 31
The Teacher Taught. By MARY S. ADAMS, 39
The Islets of the Gulf. By J. F. COOPER, 42, 93, 159
The Cruise of the Gentile. By FRANK BYRNE, 133, 205
The Little Cap-Maker. By Mrs. C. H. BUTLER, 221
The Portrait of General Scott. 234
Theresa. By JANE TAYLOE WORTHINGTON, 247
The Changed and the Unchanged. By PROFESSOR ALDEN, 277
The New England Factory Girl. By Mrs. JOSEPH C. NEAL, 287, 343
The Lone Buffalo. By CHARLES LANMAN, 294
The Fortunes of a Southern Family. By A NEW CONTRIBUTOR, 325
The Double Transformation. By JAMES K. PAULDING, 350
Whortleberrying. By ALFRED B. STREET, 270
A Funeral Thought. By J. BAYARD TAYLOR, 10
An Hour. By J. BAYARD TAYLOR, 98
A Butterfly in the City. By THOMAS BUCHANAN READ 104
A Parting. By HENRY S. HAGERT, 238
A Vision. By R. H. STODDART, 286
A Song. By THOMAS BUCHANAN READ, 311
Burial of a Volunteer. By PARK BENJAMIN, 128
Beauty's Bath. (Illustrated.) 131
Contemplation. By JANE R. DANA. (Illustrated.) 190
City Life. By CHARLES W. BAIRD, 204
Coriolanus. By HENRY B. HIRST, 319
Cleopatra. By ELIZABETH J. EAMES, 363
Decay and Rome. By R. H. STODDART, 220
Elsie. By KATE DASHWOOD, 67
Early English Poets. By ELIZABETH J. EAMES, 92
Early English Poets. By ELIZABETH J. EAMES, 171
Epitaph on a Restless Lady, 179
Expectation. By LOUISA M. GREEN, 187
Eurydice. By FRANCES S. OSGOOD, 274
Encouragement. By Mrs. E. C. KINNEY, 276
Fair Margaret. By Wm. H. C. HOSMER, 293
Homeward Bound. By E. CURTISS HINE, 308
Isola. By JOHN TOMLIN, 190
Lenovar. By WM. GILMORE SIMMS, 218
Lines to —— By CAROLINE F. ORNE, 63
Love. By R. H. STODDARD, 131
Lines to an Ideal. By ELIZABETH L. LINSLEY, 151
Lethe. By HENRY B. HIRST, 179
Lines. By GRETTA, 184
Lennard. By Mrs. MARY G. HORSFORD, 320
Lamartine to Madame Jorelle. By VIRGINIA 303
Lines to ——, By W. HORRY STILWELL, 349
Midnight. By THOMAS BUCHANAN READ, 286
No, Not Forgotten. By EARLE S. GOODRICH, 228
O, Scorn Not Thy Brother. By E. CURTISS HINE, 235
Poetry. A Song. By GEORGE P. MORRISS, 66
Revolution. By ARIAN, 292
Spirit-Yearnings for Love. By Mrs. H. MARION WARD, 12
Sonnet to Graham. By ALTUS, 22
Sonnet to S. D. A. By "THE SQUIRE," 48
Shawangunk Mountain. By A. B. STREET, 59
Sonnet to ——. By CAROLINE F. ORNE, 67
Sunset After Rain. By ALFRED B. STREET, 115
Sonnet to Night. By GRETTA, 120
Spirit-Voices. By CHARLES W. BAIRD, 158
Song of the Elves. By ANNA BLACKWELL, 203
Song for a Sabbath Morning. By T. B. READ, 204
Sonnets. By JAMES LAWSON, 259
Sonnet. By C. E. T. 269
Sonnet. By Mrs. E. C. KINNEY, 281
Stanzas. By W. H. DENNY, 293
Song. By C. E. T. 342
The Memorial Tree. By W. GILMORE SIMMS, 11
The Rainbow. By Mrs. LYDIA H. SIGOURNEY, 12
The Penance of Roland. By HENRY B. HIRST, 25
The Sea-Nymphs Song. By W. H. C. HOSMER, 30
The Vesper Bell. By PARK BENJAMIN, 38
The Sunbeam. By MARY E. LEE, 41
The Land of Dreams. By WM. C. BRYANT, 48
The Mourner. By Dr. JOHN D. GODMAN, 67
The Saw-Mill. By WM. C. BRYANT, 86
The Portrait. By R. T. CONRAD. (Illustrated.) 92
The Lost Pleiad. By HENRY B. HIRST, 115
The Bride's Confession. By ALICE G. LEE, 120
The Hermit of Niagara. By Mrs. LYDIA H. SIGOURNEY, 127
The Bridal Morning. (Illustrated.) 128
The Alchemist's Daughter. By T. B. READ, 148
The Belle. By MARY L. LAWSON, 164
The Voice of the Fire. By J. B. TAYLOR, 177
Triumphs of Peace. By WM. H. C. HOSMER, 187
To My Wife. By ROBT. T. CONRAD, 190
The Darling. By BLANCHE BENNAIRDE, 197
The Poet's Love. By HENRY B. HIRST, 200
To the Author of "The Raven." By MISS HARRIET B. WINSLOW, 203
The Fire of Drift-Wood. By HENRY W. LONGFELLOW, 204
The Last of His Race. By S. DRYDEN PHELPS, 220
The Sailor-Lover to His Mistress. By R. H. BACON, 233
The Spirit of Song. By Mrs. E. C. KINNEY, 238
The Ancient and the Modern Muse. By LYMAN LONG, 246
The Oak-Tree. By PARK BENJAMIN, 264
The Voice of the Night Wind. By E. CURTISS HINE, 274
The Dayspring. By SAMUEL D. PATTERSON, 281
The Adopted Child. By Mrs. FRANCES B. M. BROTHERSON, 295
The Pole's Farewell. By WM. H. C. HOSMER, 324
The Real and the Ideal. By MARION H. RAND, 341
The Human Voice. By GEO. P. MORRIS, 341
The Enchanted Isle. By LYDIA J. PEIRSON, 311
The Continents. By J. BAYARD TAYLOR, 312
Venice as It Was and as It Is. By PROFESSOR GOODRICH, 342
White Creek. By ALFRED B. STREET, 147
Years Ago. By GEORGE P. MORRIS, 190
The Poetical Works of Fitz-Greene Halleck, 70
The Poetical Works of Lord Byron, 71
The Life of Henry the Fourth, King of France and Navarre. By G. P. R James, 72
Artist Life. By H. T. Tuckerman, 72
Poems of Early and After Years. By N. P. Willis, 132
Practical Physiology. By Edward Jarvis, 191
The Fruits and Fruit Trees of America. By A. J. DOWNING, 191
Historical and Select Memoirs of the Empress Josephine. By M'lle. M. A. Le Normand, 239
Memoir of Sarah B. Judson. By "Fanny Forester," 240
The History of a Penitent. By George W. Bethune, D. D. 240
Keble's Christian Year, 240
Edith Kinnaird. By the Author of "The Maiden Aunt," 298
Jane Eyre. An Autobiography, 299
The Princess. By Alfred Tennyson, 300
The Origin, Progress and Conclusion of the Florida War. By John T. Sprague, 300
The Poetical Works of John Milton, 300
An Universal History of the Most Remarkable Events of All Nations, from the Earliest Period to the Present Time, 354
Lectures on Shakspeare. By H. N. Hudson, 354
Military Heroes of the Revolution. By C. J. Peterson, 356
Old Hicks, the Guide. By C. W. Webber, 356
Woman's Love. Poetry by Anon. Music by Mathias Keller, 188
Ben Bolt. The Words and Melody by Thomas Dunn English, 236
When Shall I See the Object that I Love. A favorite Swiss Air. Music by J. B. Mueller, 296
Innocence, engraved by W. E. Tucker.
General Butler, engraved by Thomas B. Welsh.
A Portrait, engraved by Ross.
Beauty's Bath, engraved by Sartain.
Paris Fashions, from Le Follet.
Bridal Morning, engraved by A. B. Ross.
Expectation, engraved by J. Addison.
Contemplation, engraved by Addison.
Paris Fashions, from Le Follet.
Gen. Winfield Scott, engraved by Thos. B. Welsh.
Pauline Grey, engraved by J. B. Adams.
Paris Fashions, from Le Follet.
General Worth, engraved by Sartain.
Clara Harland, engraved by Addison.
Paris Fashions, from Le Follet.
Captain Walker, engraved by A. B. Walter.
Cincinnati, engraved by J. W. Steel.
Paris Fashions, from Le Follet.
VOL. XXXII. PHILADELPHIA, JANUARY, 1848. No. 1.
LACE AND DIAMONDS.
OR TAKE CARE WHAT YOU DO.
BY THEODORE S. FAY.
"Don't be angry, ma'ma—I wont jest any more, if it displease you, but I will make a plain confession."
"Well," said Mrs. Clifford, "let me hear it."
"I have not one feeling which I wish to conceal from you. There have been moments when I liked Mr. Franklin," and a pretty color crossed her cheek, "but I have been struck with a peculiarity which has chilled warmer sentiments. He appears phlegmatic and cold. There is about him a perpetual repose that seems inconsistent with energy and feeling. I am not satisfied that I could be happy with such a person—not certain that he is capable of loving, or of inspiring love. When I marry any one, he must worship, he must adore me. He must be ready to go crazy for me. Let him be full of faults, but let him have—what so few possess—a warm, unselfish heart."
"I have heard you, through," said Mrs. Clifford, "now you must hear me. It is very proper that you should not decide without full consideration. Examine as long as you think necessary the qualities of Mr. Franklin, and never marry him till he inspire you with confidence and affection. But remember something is due also to him; and the divine rule of acting toward others as you wish them to act toward you, must be applied here, as in every affair in life. While you should not, I allow, be hurried into a decision, yet your mind once made up, he should not be kept a moment in suspense."
"Do you think, ma'ma," asked Caroline, "that he has much feeling?"
"I think he has. I think him peculiarly gifted with unselfish ardor. That which appears to you coldness, is, in my opinion, the natural reserve of a warm heart—so modest that it rather retires from observation than parades itself before the world. Sentiment and fire, when common on the lips, are not more likely to be native to the soul. It is precisely that calm, that repose you allude to, which forms, in my judgment, the guarantee of Mr. Franklin's sincerity, and the finishing grace of his character—a character in all other respects, also, a true and noble one."
Caroline did not listen without interest.
Mrs. Clifford was a native of New York, and had come over just a year ago to enjoy a tour in Europe. Franklin had been a fellow-passenger; and a sort of intimacy had grown up between the young people, which the gentleman had taken rather au serieux. He had gladly availed himself of an accidental business necessity which called the son and proposed traveling companion of Mrs. Clifford suddenly home, to join her little party, and had accompanied them through Italy, France, Germany, Belgium, and Holland. The result was, that the happiness of his life now appeared to depend upon an affirmative monosyllable in reply to the offer he had just made of his heart and hand. Mrs. Clifford was the widow of a captain in the American navy, who had left her only a moderate income—sufficient, but no more, for the wants of herself and daughter. Mr. Franklin was a lawyer of six-and-twenty, who had been advised to repair the effects of too severe professional application, by change of air, and a year's idleness and travel.
The conversation was scarcely finished, when the subject of it was announced.
After the usual salutations, Mr. Franklin said he had come, according to appointment, to accompany the ladies on a walk, and to see the lions of London, where they had arrived some days before. In a few minutes, hats, shawls, and gloves, being duly put in requisition, they had left their lodgings in Grosvenor Street, Grosvenor Square, and were wending their way toward Regent Street and the Strand, through the crowds of this wonderful and magnificent metropolis, of which every thing was a delightful curiosity, and where, amid the millions around, they knew and were known by scarcely a human creature.
Every stranger, newly arrived and walking about London, has noted the effect of this prodigious town upon him; and how singularly he is lost in its immensity, overwhelmed by its grandeur, and bewildered amid its endless multiplicity of attractions. So it was with our little party. Excited by the thousand novel and dazzling objects, the hours fleeted away like minutes; and it was late before they had executed or even formed any plans.
"Let us at least go somewhere," said Caroline. "Let us go to St. Paul's, or Westminster Abbey, or the Tower; and we have, beside, purchases to make—for ladies, you know, Mr. Franklin, have always shopping to do."
"Well, as it is so late," said Mrs. Clifford, "and we have promised to call on Mrs. Porter at half past two, I propose to leave the lions for another morning, and only enjoy our walk to-day."
"Then, ma'ma, let us go to that splendid shop, and look at the lace once more. Only think, Mr. Franklin, we yesterday saw lace, not broader than this, and I had a half fancy to buy some for a new dress—and what do you suppose it cost?"
"I am little versed," said Franklin, "in such mysteries—five pounds, perhaps—"
"Twelve pounds—twelve pounds and a half sterling—sixty American dollars. I never saw any thing so superb. Ma'ma says I ought not even to look at such a luxury."
"But is lace really such a luxury?" inquired Franklin, smiling.
"You can have no idea how exquisite this is!"
"As for me," rejoined Franklin, "I can never tell whether a lady's lace is worth twelve pounds or twelve cents. Although, I hope, not insensible to the general effect of a toilette, yet lace and diamonds, and all that sort of thing, are lost upon me entirely."
"Oh, you barbarian!"
"Real beauty was never heightened by such ornaments, and ugliness is invariably rendered more conspicuous and ugly."
"You will not find many ladies," said Mrs. Clifford "to agree with you."
"Oh, yes! How often do we hear of belles, as distinguished for the simplicity of their toilette, as for the beauty of their persons. How often in real life, and how frequently in novels. There you read that, while the other ladies are shining in satin and lace, and blazing in diamonds, the real rose of the evening eclipses them all in a plain dress of white, without jewels, like some modest flower, unconscious of her charms, and therefore attracting more attention."
"Well, I declare," said Mrs. Clifford, smiling, "it is just as you say!"
"And what does Miss Caroline think of my attack on lace and diamonds?"
"Why," said Caroline, laughing, "since you do me the honor to require my opinion, I will give it you. I agree that such pretending ornaments ill become the old and ugly. There you are right. I agree that the extremely beautiful may also dispense with them. These ball-room belles of yours—these real roses of the evening—are, I suspect, so lovely as to make them exceptions to the general rule. But there is a class of young ladies, among whom I place myself, neither so old and ugly as to make ornament ridiculous, nor so beautiful as to render it unnecessary. To this middle class, a bit of lace—a neat tab—a string of pearls here and there—a pretty worked cape—or a coronet of diamonds, I assure you, do no harm."
"That you are not so ugly as to render ornament ridiculous," replied Franklin, "I allow; but that there is, in your case, any want of lovelines to require—to render—which—"
"Take care, Mr. Franklin!" interrupted Caroline, mischievously, "you are steering right upon the rocks; and a gentleman who refuses all decoration to a lady's toilette, should not embellish his own conversation with flattery."
"Upon my word," replied he, in a lower voice, "to whatever class you belong, Miss Clifford, you do yourself injustice if you suppose lace and diamonds can add to the power of your beauty, any more than the greatest splendor of fortune could increase the charms of your—"
"Ma'ma," exclaimed Caroline, "we have passed the lace shop."
"So we have," said Mrs. Clifford; "but why should we go back—you certainly don't mean to buy any—?"
"No, ma'ma; but I want some edging, and I might as well get it here, if only to enjoy another look at the forbidden fruit."
The shop was one of those magnificent establishments of late years common in large metropolises. A long hall led from the street quite back through the building, or rather masses of buildings, to another equally elegant entrance on the parallel street behind. The doors were single sheets of heavy plate-glass. In the windows all the glittering and precious treasures of India and Asia seemed draped in gorgeous confusion, and blazed also through unbroken expanses of limpid glass of yet larger dimensions than the doors. Silks, laces, Cashmere shawls, damask, heavy and sumptuous velvets of bright colors, and fit for a queen's train, muslins of bewildering beauty, dresses at L200 a piece, and handkerchiefs of Manilla of almost fabulous value. The interior presented similar displays on all sides, multiplied by reflections from broad mirrors, gleaming among marble columns. Perhaps those numerous mirrors were intended to neutralize the somewhat gloomy effect of the low ceiling, not sufficiently elevated to admit the necessary light into the central spaces. At various points, even in the day-time, gas-lights burned brilliantly. Before the door were drawn up half a dozen elegant coroneted equipages, the well-groomed, shining horses, and richly-liveried coachmen, indicating the rank of the noble owners; and on the benches before the windows lounged the tall and handsome footmen, with their long gold-headed sticks, powdered heads, gaudy coats, brightcolored plush breeches, and white silk stockings, and gloves.
In the shop there were, perhaps, fifty persons, as it happened to be a remarkably fine day in June—one of those grateful gifts from heaven to earth which lure people irresistibly out of the dark and weary home, and which, when first occurring, after a long and dismal winter, as in the present instance, appear to empty into the sunshiny streets, every inhabitant, the sick and the well, the lame and the blind alike, from every house in town.
Caroline asked to be shown some of the lace which she had looked at the day before. It was produced, and Mrs. Clifford and Franklin were called to examine it. The wonder consisted as much in the endless variety of the patterns, as in the exquisite fineness and richness of the material. The counter was soon strewn with the airy treasures, one piece after another, unrolled with rapidity, appeared to make a lively impression on the young girl, who at last, with a sigh, apologized to the polite person patiently waiting the end of an examination which his practiced eye had, doubtless, perceived was only one of vain curiosity.
"It is too dear," said Caroline, "I cannot afford it. Pray let me see some narrow edging."
"That lace is very pretty," remarked a lady of a commanding figure, evidently a person of rank.
"Very pretty, my lady," replied the clerk who had waited on Caroline.
"What is it?"
"Twelve and a half, my lady."
"It is really pretty—give me twenty yards."
"Very good, my lady."
The article was measured and cut almost as soon as ordered, and the remnant rewound into a small parcel and thrown upon the counter.
At the same moment, and as a boy handed Caroline the edging, wrapped in paper, for which she had already paid, and which she took mechanically, she heard one of the bystanders whisper to another: "The Countess D——!" (one of the most celebrated women of England.)
"Ma'ma," said Caroline, "did you observe that lady?"
And they left the shop.
"Bless me!" said Mrs. Clifford, looking at her watch, "do you know how late it is? Half past two. We promised to be at Mrs. Porter's at this very time. She said, you remember, she was going out at four; and it will take us, I'm afraid, nearly an hour to get there."
"Then let us make haste, ma'ma!"
And with a very rapid pace they hurried back toward Regent Street and Portland Place. They had gone on in this way, perhaps, twenty minutes, when a white-headed, respectable-looking old gentleman was thrust aside by a rude fellow pushing by, so that he ran against Caroline, and caused her to drop her pocket-handkerchief. He stopped, with evident marks of mortification, and picked it up, with a polite apology. Caroline assured him she was not hurt.
"But, my dear young lady," said the benevolent-looking old gentleman, "let me return your parcel."
"Oh, that is not mine," replied Caroline.
"I beg your pardon, it fell with your handkerchief."
"Gracious Heaven!" exclaimed Caroline, "what have I done! I have brought away a piece of that lace! Ma'ma, let us go back directly."
Although the incident had occupied but a minute, Mrs. Clifford and Franklin, engaged in conversation, had not perceived it, and had gone several paces on. The old gentleman smiled, bowed, and disappeared around a corner.
At this moment a man stepped up, and laying his hand roughly on Caroline's arm, said,
"Young woman, you must come with me!"
And a second iron-hand grasped her other arm.
Shocked and affrighted, she saw they were policemen.
Then the voice of a person very much out of breath, cried,
"This is the one!—I can swear to her! And look!—there is the very lace in her hand!"
Pale as death, bewildered with terror, the poor girl could only attempt to say, "Ma'ma! ma'ma!" but her tongue clove to the roof of her mouth, and her voice refused its office. A crowd had already collected, and the words, "Lady been a stealing!" and, "They've nabbed a thief!" were audible enough.
"Come, my beauty!" said the man, pulling her forward, "we've no time to lose."
"Scoundrel!" cried the voice of Franklin, as he grasped him by the throat, "who are you?"
"You see who we are;" was the stern reply; "we're policemen, in the execution of our duty. Take your band off my throat."
Franklin recognized their uniform, and relaxed his hold.
"Policemen! and what have policemen to do with this lady? You have made some stupid blunder. This is a lady. She is under my protection. Take your hand off her arm!"
"If she's under your protection, the best thing you can do is to accompany us," replied the man, bluntly; and he made another attempt to drag her away.
Franklin restrained himself with an effort which did him honor, conscious that violence would be here out of place, and perceiving that it would be utterly useless. He strove a moment to collect his thoughts as one stunned by a thunderbolt.
"What is the meaning of this?" he demanded.
"If you ask for information," remarked the man, impressed by his agonized astonishment, "I will tell you; but wont the young woman get into a hack, out of the crowd?"
An empty carriage happened to be passing, into which, like a man in a dream, Franklin handed the ladies. One police officer entered with them—the other took his seat on the box with the coachman. Caroline, although still colorless, had partly regained her courage, and endeavored to smile. Mrs. Clifford, in a most distressing state of agitation, only found breath to say, "Well, this is a pretty adventure, upon my word!"
As the carriage moved away, followed by a troop of ragamuffins, leaping, laughing, and shouting, Franklin said,
"And now, my good fellow, I have submitted peaceably to this atrocious outrage, tell me by whose authority you act, and in what way this young lady has exposed herself to such an infamous insult?"
"Well, in the first place," said the man, coolly, "I act by the authority of the Messieurs Blake, Blanchard & Co.; and in the second place, the young lady has exposed herself to such an infamous insult by stealing ten yards of Brussels' lace, at L12 a yard, value L120 sterling."
"Scoundrel!" exclaimed Franklin, again grasping his collar.
"Hollo! hollo! hollo!" cried the man—hands off, my cove! and keep a civil tongue in your head, you'd best. It aint of no use, I give you my word of honor."
But Miss Clifford had covered her face with her white hands, which did not conceal her still whiter complexion.
"Why, look ye, sir,", said the man, "if you really aint a party to the offence, I'm very sorry for you. The business is just this here. The shop of Blake, Blanchard & Co., has been frequently robbed, and sometimes by ladies. I was called, not four mouths ago, to take a real lady to prison, who had stole to the amount of L10. And to prison she went, too, though some of the most respectable people in town came down and begged for her. Now this here young lady came yesterday to the shop of Blake, Blanchard & Co.—tumbled every thing upside down, and bought nothing—went away—to-day came again—asked to see the most valuable lace—bought ten shillings' worth of narrow edging, and left the premises. At her departure she was seen to take ten yards of lace—value, L120. I was called in, and followed her, with one of the clerks, to identify her person. We perceived her walking fast—very fast, indeed. It was as much as we could do to overtake her. The clerk can swear to her identity—and the lace was found in her hand. Both the young man and myself can swear to it, if she denies it—though I caution you, Miss, not to say any thing at present, because it can be used against you at your trial."
"I do not deny it," said Caroline, with flashing eyes. "I took the lace, but did not know I took it."
"Oh! ho-ho!" said the man. "I hope you can make 'em believe that. Perhaps you can."
"My dear friend," cried Mrs. Clifford, now nearly beside herself, "I assure you, this is a frightful mistake. She carried the lace away from mere carelessness. Here is all the money I have about me. Take it for yourself, only let us go. My daughter, I assure you, is utterly incapable of stealing. You don't know her. As for the lace, I am willing to pay for it. My name is Mrs. Clifford. I live No. —— Grosvenor Street, Grosvenor Square. My dear, kind, good sir, turn the carriage and let us go home. My husband was Captain Clifford, of the American navy. Do you think we would be guilty of stealing? I will give you any money you desire. I will give you L50—only let us go."
"If your husband was Admiral Nelson himself," replied the man, with dignity, "I could not let you go now—not if you were to give me L500. I have only to do my duty. It's a very painful one—but it must be done. I aint a judge. I'm a policeman; and my business is to deliver you safe into the hands of Blake, Blanchard & Co."
To describe the whirl of thoughts which swept through the mind of Franklin during the interval would be impossible. He saw that a simple act of carelessness had been committed by Caroline; but he was enough of a lawyer to perceive that the proof against her was singularly striking and unanswerable—and he knew the world too well, not to feel extraordinary alarm at the possible consequences. In London, alone, without friends or acquaintances, a glance into the future almost drove him to distraction. At moments he was half mastered by the impulse to bear Caroline away, by a sudden coup de main; but his hand was held by the reflection, that even were such a wild scheme possible, success would be no means of security, inasmuch as Mrs. Clifford had given her address; while the attempt would exasperate the other party, appear but a new evidence of guilt, and in every way enhance the danger of their position.
As they approached the fatal shop, a large crowd had collected around the door. Franklin felt that he was in one of those crises on which hang human destiny and life, and that he had need of more prudence and wisdom than man can possess, except it be given him from above. Deep, therefore, and trusting, was his silent prayer to Him who hath said, "Be strong and of a good courage. I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee."
Caroline appeared ready to sink into the earth when the carriage stopped.
"My dearest Miss Clifford," said Franklin, "these men have fallen into a bungling error, and it will require some prudence on our part to make them see it. But compose yourself. Put down your veil; say nothing till I call you—and may God, in his mercy, grant that our ordeal be short!"
These words were uttered with a composure and cheerful presence of mind which reassured in some degree the fainting girl. She had at her side a protector who would never desert her—a pilot with a strong arm, a steady eye, and a bold heart—who would steer her through the wild storm, if any human being could.
Mrs. Clifford, speechless with terror, let down her daughter's veil as well as her shaking hands permitted, and was led by Franklin from the carriage into the house. He then handed, or rather lifted, out Caroline, who clung to him with helplessness and terror. The trembling party—a hundred unfeeling eyes bent upon them—were conducted through the shop to a back parlor, into the presence of Mr. Jennings, the only one of the firm of Blake, Blanchard & Co. who happened to be at home. As Franklin saw him his heart sank in his bosom, and the courage which had begun to mount with the danger, seemed a mockery.
Mr. Jennings was a respectable looking man of forty, of a thin, hard countenance, repelling manners, and sharp voice, which, when excited, rose to a piercing and discordant note. There was no sign of mercy or moderation in his physiognomy. This man, who, after faithful subordinate services, had become the inferior and hardest working partner, happened to be afflicted with a very violent temper, which had been wrought into a rage by various recent purloinings, apparently like the present, attributed to female customers, and perpetrated with a combined cunning and daring which baffled detection, and he had long yearned to lay his hand upon one of them. His passions and interests were mingled together in this desire, which, in addition, he supposed fully sanctioned by duty; and when a man, and particularly such a man, of a narrow mind and cold heart—loving power, and rarely enabled to taste its sweets, once gets into his head the idea that he is acting from duty—God help the poor victim that falls within his grasp.
Such was the individual before whom, in the attitude of a detected criminal, was dragged the sweet and trembling girl. Such was the man before whom Franklin stood, curbing within the limits of prudence his high wrought feelings.
"Now, my honest women," said Jennings, seating himself magisterially in a large arm-chair by a table, while the rest stood in a circle around, like prisoners at a bar before their judge, "what have you to say with regard to the atrocious act of felony—"
"One moment, sir," said Franklin. "You will have the kindness to order chairs for those ladies."
Mr. Jennings paused, fixed a surprised glance at the speaker, and obeyed.
"Well then, now—" demanded he.
"I beg your pardon!" again interrupted Franklin, "permit me, in your own interest, to make another suggestion. Before you proceed in this examination, I warn you, with all deference to the sincerity of your present error, that you have before you two ladies of respectability, and unblemished reputation, and who are entirely innocent in this matter."
"Bah!" ejaculated Mr. Jennings.
"Silence, sir," cried Franklin, with an indignation irrepressible. "You have dragged before you through the streets of London, a young and innocent girl, like a criminal. If circumstances seem for a moment to give you the right, humanity, as well as decency requires, at least till the question of her guilt be settled, that you address her with respect, and hear her defence with candor and attention."
Mr. Jennings turned pale, swallowed his rage, and replied: "Speak, sir! speak, sir! I am all candor and attention."
"I beg your pardon," resumed Franklin, "if I have answered with too much asperity. But this young lady is perfectly innocent. She has high friends. You will consider her under the protection of the American Ambassador at this Court! State to me, if you please, your reasons for dragging her before you in the custody of policemen."
Awed by Franklin's tone, but rather infuriated than melted, Mr. Jennings answered with sarcastic politeness—
"Certainly, sir, your request is a just one. The case is this. The young lady came to my shop this morning, and had brought out for her examination the most expensive lace, of which, however, she purchased none, but, instead, expended ten shillings for some narrow edging. I must inform you that persons in the dress of ladies, and even persons in the rank of ladies, have more than once committed thefts of this kind, and I have ordered one of the young men to watch. This individual saw in a mirror the young lady, as she was about to leave, seize a parcel of lace, and carry it out under cover of her pocket-handkerchief. We sent directly for policemen—but so rapid was the flight of the party, including yourself, that it was not without considerable difficulty and delay that they were overtaken, when the stolen lace was found in her hand. We are often obliged to forego the gratification of punishing such misdemeanors by the technical difficulty of proving the crime upon the criminal. You perceive how the present case stands. I am willing to allow it is but fair you should be heard, if you have any thing to say in reply."
"I have much to say," resumed Franklin, smiling with assumed confidence, "enough to satisfy any reasonable man, and I hope I stand before such a one. That the young lady took the lace no one can deny. But I will tell you how she took it. For the first time in London, her mind naturally excited, she was bewildered amid the novel and interesting objects around her. The splendor of your establishment dazzled her eyes and distracted her attention. In company with her mother and myself she came here to see the lace in question, but she could not have intended to steal it, if I must answer to such a charge, because it would have been impossible for her to use such an article without the knowledge of her mother. If she is a thief her mother and I share her guilt. I therefore repeat to you that these ladies can command references to raise them above the slightest breath of suspicion—references sufficient to satisfy the most incredulous—the most unreasonable. She is a person of the purest life and strongest principles. Not one of her friends, and, after a proper examination, not one of the public, will ever believe her guilty of any thing worse than a mere moment of bewilderment and absence of mind."
"Upon my word, sir," said Mr. Jennings, "you have undertaken a pretty difficult task—no less than to convince me that black is white, and that two and two don't make four. Who are you?—and where are your references?"
Franklin did not succeed in concealing a certain trepidation at this blunt demand, and it was not lost upon Jennings.
"My references do not reside in England."
"I am a stranger in your metropolis."
"And therefore," added Franklin, "every noble-minded and fair-play loving Englishman will say, possessing greater claim upon your moderation. I can bring you, from my own country—through the official intervention of the American Minister, references to outweigh a thousand fold—ten million fold—all opposite appearances. I can give a moral demonstration that the intentional commission by this young lady of the act with which she is charged, is an utter, and a ridiculous impossibility."
"I have now heard you," said Jennings, "and I am sorry to say, I must, notwithstanding, send the lady before a magistrate. The ingenious arguments you have used are equally applicable to every theft. No reference—no rank—no character can weigh against so plain a fact, proved by ocular demonstration. No rational judge or jury can doubt she stole the lace. It is my duty to make an example of her. This is not the first, nor the second time, we have been robbed by ladies in affluent circumstances, and respectably connected. It is a peculiar crime, and generally committed in a way which renders it both difficult and dangerous, even when we know the criminal, to attempt to fix the fact upon her. This time we have caught her in the very act. We have eye-witnesses enough to render doubt impossible. She does not deny it. She fled with precipitation. She was overtaken a long distance off—nearly half an hour after the offence—the lace was found in her hand—and her companion tried to bribe the policeman with L50 to let her escape. And do you now talk to me of 'respectability,' and 'connections,' and such nonsense? I would go as far as you or any man to save an innocent person from destruction. But when once convinced, by my own eyes, of deliberate guilt, it is too late for mercy. The ignorant beggar, who steals to save himself from starving, I could pity—I could almost release; but when the rich and the educated resort to stealing, to gratify their vanity and avarice, hoping to shelter themselves from punishment by their 'connections,' and their high position in society—they must be taught, sir, that they do it at a fearful peril, and that detection will bring down upon them the same vulgar and rigorous penalties as if they were the lowest dregs of the people."
"I agree with you perfectly," replied Franklin, with forced composure, although the plain picture appalled him, and robbed his countenance of every trace of color, "but permit me to remark that you must be quite sure the person before you belongs to this guilty class. Her innocence can be rendered morally certain. The whole world will brand as cruel injustice any harsh treatment. A careless girl has been absent-minded. All people are liable to be so. You look for your spectacles when they are on your nose—or seek your pocket-handkerchief, and find it in your hand—"
"Our opinions differ on that point," said Mr. Jennings coldly, "and a jury must decide between us. Policemen, take the party before the magistrate. I will follow with my witnesses, and I pledge myself to visit so heinous a crime with the utmost rigor of the law."
The policemen stepped to the side of Caroline.
"I appeal to your generosity—to your mercy," cried Franklin, "that she may at least be taken to the American Minister, instead of being dragged before a magistrate. I request only that you act with gentleness."
Mr. Jennings pointed the policemen to the door.
"And I not only request, I demand it!" cried Franklin. "If you refuse me, you refuse me at your peril—"
"You have nothing to command here, sir," replied Mr. Jennings. "The American Minister can make his statement before the magistrate. I am not disposed to exercise the least mercy. Policemen, your duty. If her fate be a terrible one, she has herself to thank for it. I hope it may deter others from following her example."
"And what will be my daughter's fate?" asked the unsteady voice of Mrs. Clifford.
"Transportation for life," was the reply.
Mrs. Clifford shrieked. Caroline rose wildly and staggered toward the door. Mr. Jennings, as if thirsting for her destruction, and fearing her escape, seized her so roughly that she screamed with pain and terror, when Franklin dragged him back and hurled him to the wall. His impulse was to strike him to the earth, but with one of the highest qualities attained by man, self-government, he recollected himself and refrained.
"Policemen," shouted Mr. Jennings, very white, "I command you to take the whole party into custody. You witnessed the assault. I am in danger of my life. They are a gang of thieves and cut-throats. Off with them this instant."
"Stop!" cried Franklin, and there was something in his voice which arrested the step of the policemen, and compelled Jennings to stand in breathless attention. "I demand the presence of one or both of your partners, before the young lady be removed. You will not, because you dare not, refuse me this reasonable request. If you do, sir, it were better you never had been born. Guilty, or not guilty, the person whom, before she has been tried, your infamous lips have branded as a common thief, has a right to all mild and gentle treatment, consistent with law and justice. You say the jury will decide. But the question is now whether your house is prepared to send her before a jury. That is the question to be discussed, and you are not in a temper of mind, sir, to enable you to decide it impartially. The affair will ring from one end of England and the United States to the other, and the execrations of thousands, who have as yet never heard of you, will fall upon your name. You will find that there are two sides to the question. You will find that if the lady has a malignant accuser she has also indignant and powerful defenders. The world will say you might have been excusable not to release her, but you had no right to hurry her before the public with needless and brutal precipitation. They will say—and I will take care to tell them—that, overcome by your violent temper, you insulted—you assaulted—a helpless young girl in your power, whose guilt had not been proved, and that, because I dragged you back—blind with wrath, and burning with revenge—you dared to take upon yourself, alone, the whole responsibility of this outrage, which will bring punishment on you, and disgrace on your house. They will say let no lady hereafter trust herself across the threshold of Blake, Blanchard & Co., where the watch is set and the trap laid for the unwary. They will say that Mr. Jennings is a foul calumniator of woman as a sex—that he has charged the noble ladies of England with crime. They will judge whether the young girl could be guilty without the participation of her mother and myself, who, as you say, fled with her. The case is one of mere carelessness, or we are three thieves. Go on, if you dare, without your partners. Your house, will become infamous, and you—yourself—mark me, sir, shall not escape the chastisement you deserve!"
He ceased, and the silence remained for a while unbroken.
This appeal was not, on the part of Franklin, the mere result of passion and despair, although from both it received a strange power. It was a wise calculation that Jennings, who could not be reasoned or melted, might be terrified from his purpose, till the arrival of his partners, before whom the matter might take a different turn. By a happy inspiration Franklin had read the man aright, and he saw changes of countenance, as he proceeded, which gave boldness to his heart and fire to his lips. Jennings was a coward. He was terror-struck at the idea of acting on his "sole responsibility," in an affair which seemed likely to be so hotly contested. The blood curdled in his veins at the thought of the deadly enemies, darkly hinted at, and the consequences clearly threatened. He saw Caroline was no common thief, and Franklin no common man. There were moments when he actually believed the fact really was as Franklin represented—and, thus quailing under the torrent of eloquence to which the voice and manner gave something absolutely irresistible, half suffocated with rage and fear, he said with ill assumed indifference:
"Oh! very well, sir, very well. I will wait for my partners. Nothing shall be done rashly. Nothing from revenge. But the young lady shall not escape. Mr. Williams, go and see if Mr. Blake or Mr. Blanchard have come in."
And thus at least more time was gained.
Mr. Williams went out, and returned to say that Mr. Blake had not yet come in, but Mr. Blanchard had, and would join them immediately.
The door opened and the person in question entered. He was a young man of thirty, of unusually prepossessing exterior. A stream of hope shot through Franklin's heart as he read his face.
Mr. Blanchard seated himself gravely in the large chair which was abdicated in his favor by Jennings, who related to him the facts, respectfully and clearly, and called up the policemen and Mr. Williams in confirmation.
"It is a bad case," said Mr. Blanchard. "Our duty is clear. Is there any thing said in the defence?"
"Oh yes, there is a powerful defence!" replied Mr. Jennings, with a sneer, "the young lady took the lace, and kept it half an hour, running away as fast as she could, but she but she didn't know she had it!! ha! ha! ha!"
Mr. Blanchard shook his head.
"Sir, may I speak?" said Franklin.
"Speak," returned Mr. Blanchard, in a low voice. "If you have any thing to say I will hear it with the sincerest desire to find it of weight. But you have a difficult task before you. These occasions are extremely painful. The necessity of sending to prison a respectable young lady, as you represent this person to be, is harrowing indeed; but private feelings must give way to higher considerations. I have a duty to perform—a duty to society—a duty to my partners—a duty to God!"
"You have," rejoined Franklin, "but if you properly examine your conscience, and ask light of Him who knows the truth, you will hear the voice of God himself, warning you not to perform that duty prematurely, carelessly, or cruelly. I ask time. I offer references to prove that the person in question, from education, character, habits, opinions, religious principles, and her whole, pure and artless life, is not, and could not be intentionally guilty of the act in question. I request time to produce these references. My young companion took the lace in a moment of bewilderment—of absence of mind. She has just arrived in London—is dazzled and excited. If, sir, you have a sister, a daughter, a mother, a wife, picture her—after such a careless accident—grasped by a policeman, dragged through the streets, exposed to the eyes of the jesting crowd—the blackest construction put upon her action, shrinking before a magistrate, cast into prison, and, God knows what else!—and all because of an act, not in reality more inexplicable than that of a man who walks off with a hat not his own, or another person's umbrella—in a fit of forgetfulness."
Jennings leaned over and whispered something to Mr. Blanchard.
"It is quite probable," said Mr. Blanchard, "that you believe her innocent, but the various and glaring circumstances do not permit me to be of your opinion. The expressive flight, the intervening time, long enough to discover a mistake merely accidental—the bribe of L50—no—no—it is impossible," said he, rising, "I am sorry for you, sir, but this matter rests no longer with me. The prisoner must be removed."
"What I ask," said Franklin, "is not her release. It is only time to make you acquainted with the proofs of which the case is susceptible. The 'prisoner,' as you call her, is as innocent as the snow yet unfallen from heaven. I do not ask you to sacrifice what you fancy your duty, I ask you only to pause ere you execute it. I request you ere you thrust a shrinking girl, as a suspected thief, before the public, that you more carefully examine her side of the question. Her bankers, the Messrs. Baring, will answer for her presence whenever you desire. My banker will answer for her. The American Minister will satisfy you of the strong impropriety of any other proceeding. Oh! sir, in the name of a mother's breaking heart—in the name of sweet girlish innocence—in the name of God, believe what I say! If you err, err on the side of mercy. Think, when you lay your head this night on your pillow, the day has not been lost, for it was marked by an act of mercy. Think, when on your death-bed, you plead at the throne of God, He has said, 'Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.' If she really had committed the offence, I should not fear to ask you for mercy on her young head—her inexperienced life. Our Divine Master granted mercy even to the guilty. Will you refuse it then to this trembling and innocent girl, for whose guileless intention, in this terrible accident, I answer before man and God, and with my life and soul. Come here, Miss Clifford! Take off your veil. Tell Mr. Blanchard, in the simple language of truth, how this incident took place."
"Yes, come here, my young friend," said Mr. Blanchard, "and tell me how this sad mistake arose."
Perhaps it was Franklin's eloquence—perhaps it was Caroline's appearance—perhaps it was both, which drew the silent tear from Mr. Blanchard's eyes, and those two significant words from his lips. But oh! to Franklin's soul, wrought up almost to despair—almost, to madness—they were rapture, they were ecstasy, they were like the first streak of golden sky which announces to the half-wrecked sailor that the tempest is over.
"Speak, my dear young lady," said Mr. Blanchard, "do not tremble so! you have nothing to fear from me!"
"I left the door," said Caroline, in a low voice, "without knowing I had the lace. A gentleman ran against me and knocked it out of my hand. He picked it up. I then saw what I had done. I exclaimed, 'ma'ma, let us go back!'—but ma'ma had gone on—I was alone—two men seized me—and—and—"
She covered her face with her hands, and sunk into the chair.
"But, so far from coming back," said Mr. Jennings' piercing voice, "you were walking rapidly away."
"No," said Caroline.
"But I say yes!" screamed Jennings. "Mr. Williams, was not the young woman walking rapidly away?"
"She had been walking rapidly," said Mr. Williams, "but when we came up she was, as she says, standing still, looking at the lace. It is also true that an old gentleman ran against her, knocked the lace out of her hand, and picked it up again. That I saw from the distance."
"Mark you!" exclaimed Franklin, "how each small feature of her story is confirmed."
"But you left our door," exclaimed Mr. Jennings, "at a furious pace."
"That I can explain to your satisfaction," said Franklin. "We were engaged to call upon a lady, Mrs. Porter, No. ——, Portland-Place, at half past two. This Mrs. Porter herself can testify. We left your door too late, and walked rapidly to keep our appointment. You can ascertain from your clerks at what hour we left."
"It was just half past two," said Mr. Williams. "I looked at the clock."
"Mark!" cried Franklin, with an air of triumph.
"Upon my word, Mr. Jennings," said Mr. Blanchard, "we have been too hasty—"
At this moment the door opened, and another person entered.
"Just in time," muttered Mr. Jennings.
It was Mr. Blake, chief partner in the firm of Blake, Blanchard & Co. He was a venerable old gentleman, of an agreeable person, with a certain dignity which well became his snow-white hair, but through which, on the present occasion, appeared a settled firmness, almost a sternness, boding no good.
"You have come in time," said Jennings. "Do you know what is going on here?"
"I do. The facts have been related to me."
"And the famous defence?" added Jennings, with one of his worst sneers, "do you know that also?"
"I do. It is a clear case. There is but one course for us."
"And yet," cried Jennings, "Mr. Blanchard has been thinking it will not do to send so respectable a young lady to prison. But I say you will not have a case in forty years so proper to make a wholesome example of. If you let this one go, whom can you punish? Precautions were useless, if thieves can commit their depredations under our very noses with impunity."
"I am of your opinion," said Mr. Blake. "The offence is of a very aggravated description; and I deem it absolutely necessary to send the delinquent before a magistrate to be punished as she deserves."
"I have explained—" said Franklin.
But while he commenced once more his agonizing task, Mr. Jennings took Mr. Blake aside, and whispered to him some minutes vehemently. Franklin attempted to speak again.
"I will hear no explanation," said the old gentleman. "No argument—no character—no references can prevail against so wicked a felony so clearly proved. The youth, condition in life, and education of the person, only render the crime more detestable, and the necessity for a terrible example more unavoidable. Your own good sense should have taught you, sir, that threats are here out of place, and violence can only make matters worse. I have solemnly vowed that I would meet the next case with the utmost rigor of the law. I am determined to prosecute. Where is the prisoner? Policemen, take her into custody."
"But," cried Franklin.
"I will hear no more," said Mr. Blake, coldly and firmly. "Mr. Jennings, who has gone over the case with the most attention, is thoroughly convinced—"
"Thoroughly!" said Mr. Jennings.
Franklin's brain whirled in wild despair. He clasped his hands—he conjured the mild, mistaken man, whose slightest word could save Caroline from destruction.
"Mercy! I ask only one day."
"Young man, you plead in vain! Ask mercy of God, but not of me."
"Then listen, heart of stone!" cried Franklin, "and hear my final words. You are old. Your head is white; your feet are already in the grave. You will, ere long, be called before your Maker—yourself a trembling suppliant for mercy. If, with cold-blooded, stupid obstinacy, in the face of my warning, you drag this innocent and modest girl, prematurely, into a police office—at a bar for criminals—to stand a spectacle for the public, amid robbers, and murderers, and to run the fearful chances of the law, I solemnly warn you, old man, you will have innocent blood on your conscience—you will call down God's curse upon your head."
"What can I do?" said Mr. Blake, overwhelmed by his irresistible earnestness.
"You can do unto others, as you would have them do unto you—you can give us time for proof, and yourself for reflection. You can suppose it was your own daughter in her place. You can examine more carefully. You can break from the leading-strings of that malignant Mr. Jennings. You can consult with Mr. Blanchard, a man of reason and feeling, who disapproves your severity. You can wait to satisfy yourself that this young lady is distinguished for a stainless character, a pure life, strict religious principles, humble faith in God, and habitual communion with him. You can judge for yourself whether this is a case of monomania—whether a person thus distinguished, could be guilty of intentional purloining. Sir, ocular demonstration weighs nothing against such a character. You can ask yourself more dispassionately whether it be not a possibility—a very natural one—for an absent-minded person to commit such an act mechanically and unconsciously. You can hear her artless story from her own lips, and candidly consider if it may not be the truth."
Carried away by Franklin's eloquent vehemence, Mr. Blake did look. Caroline had risen. The last spark of earthly hope had fled. She stood, without gesture or tear. It seemed as if death had already laid his icy hand upon her, only her eyes were lifted above, while she breathed a silent prayer to Him whose mighty hand can raise the trusting heart, in one instant, from the lowest depths of despair.
"Ha! What! God bless my soul!" suddenly ejaculated the old gentleman, in great astonishment. "What do I see! My dearest, sweetest young lady! Mr. Blanchard! Mr. Jennings! Mr. Williams—"
Caroline gazed at him a moment—uttered a shriek which thrilled to every heart with an electric shock, cried, "Oh, sir, save me—you can save me!" and fell insensible into the arms of Franklin.
"Policemen!—off with you!" cried Mr. Blake, with tears in his eyes. "Mr. Jennings, you are a fool! I answer with my life for this young lady. I ran against her in the street. I picked up the lace, and saw her look of astonishment and horror; and heard her exclaim, 'ma'ma! let us go back directly!' Go, proclaim to every one in the establishment that she is innocent. We are the guilty party—and we are at her mercy!"
To terminate the exciting scene, Franklin proposed to return home. A carriage was called. Caroline had revived, and her feelings, fortunately, found vent in tears. She wept bitterly on her mother's bosom, who gave it back with interest. But in the midst of their joy, not one of the three forgot to offer up their secret, thankful prayer, to that overruling Providence, whose watchful mercy had rescued them from a fate too horrible for imagination.
Franklin could scarcely wait till they walked to the carriage. He wished to carry—to drag Caroline away. He shifted his position continually, without apparent cause; at last shook hands with his companions, saying he would follow the carriage, as he wanted air and exercise.
They soon arrived home, where Caroline, in a high state of excitement, was ordered to bed by a physician; but, after soothing medicines had calmed certain hysterical symptoms, she fell into a deep sleep, which the doctor said was worth more than all the apothecaries could compound. In fact, she did not wake till late next morning, and in a day or two was comparatively restored.
But poor Franklin had gone home in a raging fever, which increased during the night to delirium. His ravings were of magistrates, the jeering crowd, dungeons, chains, and the convict-ship. Then he was at the penal settlement. He heard the frightful oaths, obscene jests, and blasphemous laughter of the convicts. Among them he beheld Caroline Clifford—haggard, and in rags—now toiling at her task, now shrieking beneath the bloody lash—and he seemed to grasp the throat of Jennings, and implored him to stay his hellish hand.
More than a month passed before he was sufficiently recovered to leave his room. Every day Mrs. Clifford had visited him, and watched over him with a mother's love. Every day the carriage of Mr. Blake brought the old gentleman to the bed-side of the poor invalid, where he listened to the ravings of his disturbed imagination, and shuddered to think of what horrors—but for a providential coincidence—he might have added to the history of human wo.
At length Mr. Franklin was allowed to take a drive. It is scarcely necessary to say that he called on the ladies. Mrs. Clifford, previously apprized of his intended visit, at the sound of the bell, accidentally remembered that she had left her scissors up stairs. So Franklin found Caroline alone.
"You are very, very pale," cried the greatly agitated girl, her eyes filling with good, honest tears, as she gave him her hand.
He raised it to his lips.
"I beg your pardon, Miss Clifford."
But, like Beatrice, she seemed to hold it there again with a fervor which even the modest Franklin could not wholly misunderstand.
"I owe you more than my life," cried Caroline, with such a look as she had never bestowed upon him before.
"And yet," cried Franklin, "you fraudulently withhold from me the only payment in your power."
"Nonsense—what payment," cried she, blushing deeply.
"Your dear self!" answered Franklin, in a timid voice.
"Then you must collect your debt, as other hard-hearted creditors do—by force."
"In that case," rejoined Franklin, with a boldness which astonished himself, "an execution must issue, and proceedings commence directly."
Mrs. Clifford, having found her scissors, just then entered the room, but not before the ardent lawyer had performed the threatened duty—not quite so harrowing a one as that attempted by Mr. Jennings, though it led to the same result, viz., she was obviously transported, and, as it turned out—-for life.
Nor is this all.
Old Mr. Blake had learned how the land lay from Mrs. Clifford, and he resolved to make the young people reparation. He owed it to them in all conscience. They were married in about six weeks; and when the ceremony was over, a parcel was brought in, directed "To Mrs. Franklin, with the compliments of Messrs. Blake, Blanchard & Co.," which, on being opened, was found to contain a superb Cashmere shawl—thirty yards of the L12 lace, and a neat mahogany box, with a coronet of diamonds for the young criminal.
We wont go into the history of the ladies' objections to accepting these costly testimonials. Mr. Blake pleaded almost as eloquently as Franklin had done, till at last Franklin "put his foot down," as I recommend all young husbands to do on such occasions, and showed Mr. Blake who was master.
Nor was this all either.
A number of years afterward, when Mr. and Mrs. Franklin had returned to New York, and while the fond wife and happy mother was one day profoundly engaged in arranging a highly ornamented and curious little cap, her husband entered with a letter, and read as follows:
TO MRS. CAROLINE FRANKLIN.
London, Feb. 10, 184-.
MADAM,—It has become my duty to inform you, that, by the will of the late Mr. Blake, of the firm of Blake, Blanchard & Co., you have become entitled to his blessing, and a legacy of L2500 sterling, which, upon proving your identity, you can either draw for on me, at thirty days, or have remitted in any other way you desire.
I have the honor to be, madam, very respectfully, your obedient servant, JOHN LOCKLEY,
Solicitor, No. —— Russel Square.
A FUNERAL THOUGHT.
BY J. BAYARD TAYLOR.
When the pale Genius, to whose hollow tramp Echo the startled chambers of the soul, Waves his inverted torch o'er that wan camp Where the archangel's marshaling trumpets roll, I would not meet him in the chamber dim, Hushed, and o'erburthened with a nameless fear, When the breath flutters, and the senses swim, And the dread hour is near!
Though Love's dear arms might clasp me fondly then, As if to keep the Summoner at bay, And woman's wo and the calm grief of men Hallow at last the still, unbreathing clay— These are Earth's fetters, and the soul would shrink, Thus bound, from Darkness and the dread Unknown, Stretching its arms from Death's eternal brink, Which it must dare alone!
But in the awful silence of the sky, Upon some mountain summit, never trod Through the bright ether would I climb, to die Afar from mortals, and alone with God! To the pure keeping of the stainless air Would I resign my feeble, failing breath, And with the rapture of an answered prayer Welcome the kiss of Death!
The soul, which wrestled with that doom of pain, Prometheus-like, its lingering portion here, Would there forget the vulture and the chain, And leap to freedom from its mountain-bier! All that it ever knew, of noble thought, Would guide it upward to the glorious track, Nor the keen pangs by parting anguish wrought, Turn its bright glances back!
Then to the elements my frame would turn; No worms should riot on my coffined clay, But the cold limbs, from that sepulchral urn, In the slow storms of ages waste away! Loud winds, and thunder's diapason high, Should be my requiem through the coming time, And the white summit, fading in the sky, My monument sublime!
THE MEMORIAL TREE.
BY WM. GILMORE SIMMS, AUTHOR OF "THE YEMASSE," "RICHARD HURDIS," ETC.
Great trees that o'er us grow— Green leaves that gather round them—the fresh hues, That tell of fruit, and blossoms yet to blow, Opening fond bosoms to the embracing dews;
These, now so bright, That deck the slopes about thy childhood's home, And seem, in long duration, to thy sight, As they had promise of perpetual bloom;
So linked with all The first dear throbs of feeling in thy heart, When, at the dawn of summer and of fall, Thou weptst the leaf that must so soon depart!
What had all these, Of frail, deciduous nature, to persuade, Howe'er their sweets might charm, and beauty please, The memories that their own could never aid?
They kept no tale— No solemn history of the fruitful hour; The lover's promise, the beloved one's wail— To wake the dead leaf in each lonely bower!
The autumn breath O'erthrew each frail memorial of their past; And every token was resigned to death, In the first summons of the northern blast.
They nourished naught That to the chain of moral being binds The recollections of the once gay spot, And its sweet offices, to future minds.
Thou may'st repair— Thou, who hast loved in summer-eve to glide With her whom thou hast still beheld as fair, When she no longer wandered by thy side.
And thou wilt weep Each altered aspect of that happiest home, Which saw the joys its memories could not keep, Save by the sympathy which shares their doom.
Thus Ruin stands For Ruin—and the wreck of favorite things, To him who o'er the waste but wrings his hands, Proofs of the fall, and not the spring-time brings.
Ah! who will weep, In after seasons, when thou too art gone, Within this grot, where shadowy memories keep Their watch above the realm they keep alone?
Who will lament, In fruitless tears, that she the dear one died, And thy surviving heart, in languishment, Soon sought the grave and withered at her side?
A newer bright Makes young the woods—and bowers that not to thee Brought fruit or blossom, triumph in the sight Of those who naught but fruit and blossom see;
To whom no voice Whispers, that through the loved one's would the root Of that exulting shrub, with happiest choice, Has gone, with none its passage to dispute.
While thine own heart, In neighboring hillock, conscious, it may be— Quivers to see the fibres rend and part The fair white breast which was so dear to thee.
Of all the past, That precious history of thy love and youth, When not a cloud thy happy dawn o'ercast, When all thou felt'st was joy, thou saw'st was truth;
These have no speech For idiot seasons that still come and go— To whom the heart no offices can teach, Vainer than breezes that at midnight blow!
And yet there seem Memorials still in nature, which are taught,— Unless all pleasant fancies be a dream, To bring our sweetest histories back to thought.
A famous tree Was this, three hundred years ago, when stood The hunter-chief below it, bold and free, Proud in his painted pomp and deeds of blood.
By hunger taught, He gathered the brown acorn in its shade, And ere he slept, still gazing upward, caught Sweet glimpses of the night, in stars arrayed.
His hatchet sunk With sharp wound, fixing his own favorite sign, Deep in the living column of its trunk, Where thou may'st read a history such as thine.
He, too, could feel Such passion as awakes the noble soul— And in fond hour, perchance, would hither steal, With one, of all his tribe, who could his ire control.
And others signs, Tokens of races, greatlier taught, that came To write like record, though in smoother lines, And thus declare a still more human flame.
Here love's caprice— The hope, the doubt, the dear despondencies—- Joy that had never rest, hope without peace— These each declared the grief he never flies.
And the great oak Grew sacred to each separate pilgrimage, Nor heeded, in his bulk, the sudden stroke That scarred his giant trunk with seams of age.
And we who gaze Upon each, rude memorial—letter and date— Still undefaced by storm and length of days, Stand, as beneath the shadow of a fate!
Some elder-born, A sire of wood and vale, guardian and king Of separate races, unsubdued, unshorn, Whose memories grasp the lives of every meaner thing!
With great white beard Far streaming with a prophet-like display, Such as when Moses on the Mount appeared, And prostrate tribes looked down, or looked away!
With outstretched arms, Paternal, as if blessing—with a grace, Such as, in strength and greatness, ever charms, As wooing the subdued one to embrace!
Thus still it stood, While the broad forests, 'neath the pioneer, Perished—proud relic of the ancient wood— Men loved the record-tree, and bade them spare!
And still at noon, Repairing to its shadow, they explore Its chronicles, still musing o'er th' unknown, And telling well-known histories, told of yore!
We shall leave ours, Dear heart! and when our sleep beneath its boughs Shall suffer spring to spread o'er us her flowers, Eyes that vow love like ours shall trace our vows.
BY MRS. LYDIA H. SIGOURNEY.
Mountain! that first received the foot of man— Giving him shelter, when the shoreless flood Went surging by, that whelmed a buried world— I see thee in thy lonely grandeur rise— I see the white-haired Patriarch, as he knelt Beside his earthen altar, 'mid his sons, While beat in praise the only pulse of life Upon this buried planet,— O'er the gorged And furrowed soil, swept forth a numerous train, Horned, or cloven-footed, fierce, or tame, While, mixed with song, the sound of countless wings, His rescued prisoners, fanned the ambient air.
The sun drew near his setting, clothed in gold, But on the Patriarch, ere from prayer he rose, A darkly-cinctured cloud chill tears had wept, And rain-drops lay upon his silver hairs. Then burst an arch of wondrous radiance forth, Spanning the vaulted skies. Its mystic scroll Proclaimed the amnesty that pitying Heaven Granted to earth, all desolate and void. Oh signet-ring, with which the Almighty sealed His treaty with the remnant of the clay That shrank before him, to remotest time Stamp wisdom on the souls that turn to thee. Unswerving teacher, who four thousand years Hast ne'er withheld thy lesson, but unfurled As shower and sunbeam bade, thy glorious scroll,— Oft, 'mid the summer's day, I musing sit At my lone casement, to be taught of thee. Born of the tear-drop and the smile, methinks, Thou hast affinity with man, for such His elements, and pilgrimage below. Our span of strength and beauty fades like thine, Yet stays its fabric on eternal truth And boundless mercy. The wild floods may come— The everlasting fountains burst their bounds— The exploring dove without a leaf return— Yea, the fires glow that melt the solid rock, And earth be wrecked: What then?—be still, my soul, Enter thine Ark—God's promise cannot fail— For surely as yon rainbow tints the cloud, His truth, thine Ararat, will shelter thee.
SPIRIT-YEARNINGS FOR LOVE.
BY MRS. H. MARION WARD.
Love me, darling, love me, for my wild and wayward heart, Like Noah's dove in search of rest, will hover where thou art; Will linger round thee, like a spell, till by thy hand caressed, It folds its weary, care-worn wings, to nestle on thy breast.
Love me, darling, love me! When my soul was sick with strife, Thy soothing words have been the sun that warmed it into life; Thy breath called forth the passion-flowers, that slumbered 'neath the ice Of self-distrust, and now their balm makes earth a Paradise.
Love me, darling, love me! Let thy dreams be all of me! Let waking thoughts be round my path, as mine will cling to thee! But if—oh, God! it cannot be—but if thou shouldst grow cold And weary of my jealous love, or think it over-bold—
Or if, perchance, some fairer form should charm thy truant eye, Thou'lt find me woman—proud and calm, so leave me—let me die. I'd not reclaim a wavering heart whose pulse has once grown cold, To write my name in princely halls, with diamonds and gold.
So love me, only love me, for I have no world but thee, And darksome clouds are in my sky—'tis woman's destiny; But let them frown—I heed them not—no fear can they impart, If thou art near, with smiles to bend hope's rainbow round my heart.
THE RIVAL SISTERS.
AN ENGLISH TRAGEDY OF REAL LIFE.
BY HENRY WILLIAM HERBERT, AUTHOR OF "THE ROMAN TRAITOR," "MARMADUKE WYVIL," ETC.
It has been gravely stated by an Italian writer of celebrity, that "the very atrocity of the crimes which are therein committed, proves that in Italy the growth of man is stronger and more vigorous, and nearer to the perfect standard of manhood, than in any other country."
A strange paradox, truly, but not an uningenious—at least for a native of that "purple land, where law secures not life," who would work out of the very reproach, an argument of honor to his country. If it be true, however, that proneness to the commission of unwonted and atrocious crime is to be held a token of extraordinary vigor—vigor of nerve, of temperament, of passion, of physical development—in a race of men, then surely must the Anglo-Norman breed, under all circumstances of time, place, and climate, be singularly destitute of all these qualities—nay, singularly frail, effeminate, and incomplete.
For it is an undoubted fact, both of the past and present history of that great and still increasing race, whether limited to the narrow bounds of the Island Realm which gave it being, or extended to the boundless breadth of isles, and continents, and oceans, which it has filled with its arms, its arts, its industry, its language—it is, I say, an undoubted fact, that those dreadful and sanguinary crimes, forming a class apart and distinct of themselves, engendered for the most part by morbid passions, love, lust, jealousy, and revenge, which are of daily occurrence in the southern countries of, Europe, Asia, and America, are almost unknown in those happier lands, where English laws prevail, with English liberty and language.
It is to this that must be ascribed the fact, that, in the very few instances where crimes of this nature have occurred in England or America, the memory of them is preserved with singular pertinacity, the smallest details handed down from generation to generation, and the very spots in which they have occurred, howmuchsoever altered or improved in the course of ages, haunted, as if by an actual presence, by the horror and the scent of blood; while on the other hand the fame of ordinary deeds of violence and rapine seems almost to be lost before the lives of the perpetrators are run out.
One, and almost, I believe, a singular instance of this kind—for I would not dignify the brawls and assassinations which have disgraced some of our southern cities, the offspring of low principles and an unregulated society, by comparing them to the class of crimes in question, which imply even in their atrocity a something of perverted honor, of extravagant affection, or at least of not ignoble passion—is the well-known Beauchamp tragedy of Kentucky, a tale of sin and horror which has afforded a theme to the pens of several distinguished writers, and the details of which are as well known on the spot at present, as if years had not elapsed since its occurrence. And this, too, in a country prone above all others, from the migratory habits of its population, to cast aside all tradition, and to lose within a very few years the memory of the greatest and most illustrious events upon the very stage of their occurrence.
It is not, therefore, wonderful that in England, where the immobility of the population, the reverence for antiquity, and the great prevalence of oral tradition, induced probably at first by the want of letters, cause the memory of even past trifles to dwell for ages in the breasts of the simple and moral people, any deed of romantic character, any act of unusual atrocity, any crime prompted by unusual or extraordinary motives, should become, as it were, part and parcel of the place wherein it was wrought; that the leaves of the trees should whisper it to the winds of evening; that the echoes of the lonely hills should repeat it; that the waters should sigh a burthen to its strain; and that the very night should assume a deeper shadow, a more horrid gloom, from the awe of the unforgotten sin.
I knew a place in my boyhood, thus haunted by the memory of strange crime; and whether it was merely the terrible romance of the story, or the wild and gloomy character of the scenery endowed with a sort of natural fitness to be the theatre of terrible events, or yet again the union of the two, I know not; but it produced upon my mind a very powerful influence, amounting to a species of fascination, which constantly attracted me to the spot, although when there, the weight of the tradition, and the awe of the scene produced a sense of actual pain.
The place to which I allude was but a few miles distant from the celebrated public school, at which I passed the happiest days of a not uneventful life, and was within an easy walk of the college limits; so that when I had attained that favored eminence, known as the sixth form, which allows its happy occupants to roam the country, free from the fear of masters, provided only they attend at appointed hours, it was my frequent habit to stroll away from the noisy playing-fields through the green hedgerow lanes, or to scull my wherry over the smooth surface of the silver Thames, toward the scene of dark tradition; and there to lap myself in thick coming fancies, half sad, half sweet, yet terrible withal, and in their very terror attractive, until the call of the homeward rooks, and the lengthened shadows of the tall trees on the greensward, would warn me that I too must hie me back with speed, or pay the penalty of undue delay.
Now, as the story has in itself, apart from the extraneous interest with which a perfect acquaintance with its localities may have invested it in my eyes, a powerful and romantic character; as its catastrophe was no less striking than un-English; and as the passions which gave rise to it were at once the strongest and the most general—though rarely prevailing, at least among us Anglo-Normans, to so fearful an extent—I am led to hope that others may find in it something that may enchain their attention for a time, though it may not affect them as it has me with an influence, unchanged by change of scene, unaltered by the lapse of time, which alters all things.
I propose, therefore, to relate it, as I heard it first from an old superannuated follower of the family, which, owning other, though not fairer demesnes in some distant county, had never more used Ditton-in-the-Dale as their dwelling place, although well nigh two centuries had elapsed since the transaction which had scared them away from their polluted household gods.
But first, I must describe briefly the characteristics of the scenery, without which a part of my tale would be hardly comprehensible, while the remarkable effect produced by the coincidence, if I may so express myself, between the nature of the deed, and the nature of the place, would be lost entirely.
In the first place, then, I must premise that the name of Ditton-in-the-Dale is in a great measure a misnomer, as the house and estate which bear that name, are situated on what a visiter would be at first inclined to call a dead level, but on what is in truth a small secondary undulation, or hollow, in the broad, flat valley through which the father of the English rivers, the royal-towered Thames, pursues, as Gray sang,
The turf, the flowers, the shades among, His silver-winding way.
But so destitute is all that country of any deep or well defined valleys, much less abrupt glens or gorges, that any hollow containing a tributary stream, which invariably meanders in slow and sluggish reaches through smooth, green meadow-land, is dignified with the name of dale, or valley. The country is, however, so much intersected by winding lanes, bordered with high straggling white-thorn hedges full of tall timber trees, is subdivided into so many small fields, all enclosed with similar fences, and is diversified with so many woods, and clumps of forest trees, that you lose sight of the monotony of its surface, in consequence of the variety of its vegetation, and of the limited space which the eye can comprehend, at any one time.
The lane by which I was wont to reach the demesne of Ditton, partook in an eminent degree of this character, being very narrow, winding about continually without any apparent cause, almost completely embowered by the tall hawthorn hedges, and the yet taller oaks and ashes which grew along their lines, making, when in full verdure, twilight of noon itself, and commanding no view whatever of the country through which it ran, except when a field-gate, or cart-track opened into it, affording a glimpse of a lonely meadow, bounded, perhaps, by a deep wood-side.
On either hand of this lane was a broad, deep ditch, both of them quite unlike any other ditches I have ever seen. Their banks were irregular; and it would seem evident that they had not been dug for any purposes of fencing or enclosure; and I have sometimes imagined, from their varying width and depth—for in places they were ten feet deep, and three times as broad, and at others but a foot or two across, and containing but a few inches of water—that their beds had been hollowed out to get marl or gravel for the convenience of the neighboring cultivators.
Be this as it may, they were at all times brimful of the clearest and most transparent water I ever remember to have seen—never turbid even after the heaviest rains; and though bordered by water-flags, and tapestried in many places by the broad, round leaves of the white and yellow water-lilies, never corrupted by a particle of floating scum, or green duckweed.
Whether they were fed by secret springs I know not; or whether they communicated by sluices or side-drains with the neighboring Thames; I never could discover any current or motion in their still, glassy waters, though I have wandered by their banks a hundred times, watching the red-finned roach and silvery dace pursue each other among the shadowy lily leaves, now startling a fat yellow frog from the marge, and following him as he dived through the limpid blackness to the very bottom, now starting in my own turn, as a big water-rat would swim from side to side, and vanish in some hole of the marly bank, and now endeavoring to catch the great azure-bodied, gauze-winged dragon-flies, as they shot to and fro on their poised wings, pursuing kites of the insect race, some of the smaller ephemera.
It was those quiet, lucid waters, coupled with the exceeding shadiness of the trees, and its very unusual solitude—I have walked it, I suppose, from end to end at least a hundred times, and I never remember to have met so much even as a peasant returning from his daily labor, or a country maiden tripping to the neighboring town—that gave its character, and I will add, its charm to this half pastoral, half sylvan lane. For nearly three miles it ran in one direction, although, as I have said, with many devious turns, and seemingly unnecessary angles, and through that length it did not pass within the sound of one farm-yard, or the sight of one cottage chimney. But to make up for this, of which it was, indeed, a consequence, the nightingales were so bold and familiar that they might be heard all day long filling the air with their delicious melodies, not waiting, as in more frequented spots, the approach of night, whose dull ear to charm with amorous ravishment; nay, I have seen them perched in full view on the branches, gazing about them fearless with their full black eyes, and swelling their emulous throats in full view of the spectator.